Monthly Archives: February 2011

Gettin’ plastered!

In 1981, or so, I attended the Alberta College of Art. I was five. Or so.

Being the youngest student by about fifteen years (and not “technically” a student) could have been daunting, but as luck would have it, my mother was also a student and introduced me to her friends. I recall being a very popular part of her gang. I also remember well the feeling of confidence that filled me as I skipped across campus, at home amongst my artist colleagues. It is good to be five. My wee brain soaking in the enthusiasm, the constant creating, the inspiration exchange. This is when my collaboARTing began.

One project in particular was a simultaneous joy slash living terror. My mother leading me to the cold damp basement, lying me on the hard floor, placing straws up my nose, and plastering my entire body. I’m cold. Told not to move. The logical half of that little girl knew that the situation required some level of heightened anxiety, but mom had proven trustworthy to that point. More than that, I was entirely bought-in to the project underway. What joyful little girl doesn’t want to be a part of building a life-size edible sculpture of herself made of cake?

Plaster girl as a child

[an aside, I hate cake. Always have. I wonder exactly when that started? hmm…]

I also wonder if my mother knew how much I believed we were partners in all of that? No wonder collaboARTing is such bliss.

This is what filled my head Saturday afternoon, stretched out on my dinning room floor covered in plaster, collaboARTing with my gold star AA on “body parts”. It is started. I like where it is going.

Thank you mom for getting that started.

Thank you AA for getting this started.



Mark Fast Knits A/W 2011

Mark Fast Knits A/W 2011












Lovely leather by Canadian born Mark Fast shown at London Fashion Week yesterday. I will take one of each please. Including the tummy.

Other A/W 2011 favourites, Charlie Le Mindu and Holly Fulton.

“Body parts” has started to take form and is drawing inspiration from my voyeuristic fashion binge.

I need some leather…



“Home” 24″ x 18″ Mixed Media (Acrylic, community newspapers, found material)

An Ottawa gal’s love song to her hood. I came alive when I moved my wee family permanently to Centretown. As heARTbeatgal, I am drawing on the eclectic energy of my environment, creating, making collaborative collage.
“Home” uses the flavours of Centretown in a hopeful expression of my profound affection and attachment to the area.





Signs of progress

The first step in my creative evolution required simply starting. This sounds easier than it was.

Next came clearing the hurdle of declaring something finished. Check.


3. I am no longer precious about my creation.

The piece above is something I started in the summer. It was deeply personal. Intensely fun. But I didn’t stop when I should have.

For months it stared at me, taunted, and filled me with regret. What total nonsense. So I tore it apart, covered it over, returned to white. Relief.

“Sometimes you`ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you`ll find that when you`re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.” – Tina Turner

You tell it Ms. Turner! I simply cannot wait to see what comes next.


Love letters

I had an extra special Valentine’s Day this year. Well actually, more like an extra special Valentine’s Day Season, because for a few weeks I have been working on love letters to my “Sunshine Rainbow Magic” collaborators.






Some of them may have arrived. Some not quite yet. All of them contain my love. From the outset, the project became a reflection on the unique nature of each of my most important connections, my connection to the world. These collaborators are my nearest and dearest augmented by a formidable collection of newcomers on my scene.

[Fack!!! Shut it nauseating happy lady!]

The truth is today is Monday. It sucked in varied and uninteresting ways. But at least I know, in some formal measurable way, the utter abundance of love I have in my life.

One more GIANT thank you.


Falling in love with Ottawa in the most unexpected ways…

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It is cold. It is grey. But, I am actually enjoying it. Weird.


Early spring?

Early spring!

Not so long ago I attended with a talented pal Ottawa’s Sexapalooza. I had thought that it might be an interesting venue to continue my meditation on touch. I was wrong. I did however predict an early spring by peeking my head outside the giant vagina.

No, these thirty days, these collected images are destined for something else. A blurry vision, a shadow, has hung over this idea from the outset. It wasn’t until a friend, my best, rudely, benevolently, ripped the scab off all my vulnerabilities that the idea sharpened. I am excited to start making this real. I am equally uneasy. I bet that is a good equation.

Dear collaborators: Once again I am in awe of your willingness to indulge my silliness. The photos, the parts, make a beautiful whole to start from. Some are from friends, many are from others. All of them gifts.

Thank you.

So now it is my turn. Give me another thirty days and I will see what I can do. It is behind my eyelids every time I close them. Here we go…


Is it safe to come out yet?

I have been busy hibernating. Physically, mentally, spiritually. February has arrived and that alone is enough to lift my spirits, rev my engine, and ask “Hey, what’s going on out there?”

Now, I am not about to get carried away. It is only February, and while that is progress, my movement remains constrained by the bulk of my snow pants, my mind is slowed by the frozen air, and my spirit is sluggish from the lack of vitamin D.

So by “out there” I am really only talking about a journey as far as my internet connectedness can take me.

Here is something cool, the Google Art Project. This project has put online the masterpieces from the world’s top galleries. Granted, nothing compares to the contextual pleasure of visiting a great work in the flesh, but the ability to access and zoom in to incredible detail on some of my all time favourite pieces from my bedroom or my cube sure is fun. Not only that, I can also create a personalized gallery of my favourites. So far, only El Greco has made the cut.

El Greco's View of Toledo - a total favourite!

When technology, creativity, and collaboration collide in this way it gives me hope that we are on a path that I want to follow.

So what of our technological creative collaboration? The thirty days are almost up. Sunday night is the cut off. I am antsy and need to start working again. I am thrilled with the input I have received thus far, and encourage any others interested to contribute before Sunday.

Peace and love and hot chocolate.