The impact of seemingly secure

Someone sent me this quote today and it just seems so fitting that I had to share. This applies not just to things that are no longer meaningful, but also to situations where things are simply no longer an option for us and no longer available to us. For those in transition it certainly asks us to consider how important ‘security’ is to us and the impact of that need (or fear) in how we are (or are not) choosing to move forward in our lives. Here’s to movement!

 

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Process Painting at Kripalu

Recently spent a wonderful week process painting with Stewart Cubley, Caroline McCartie and over 20 painters at Kripalu in Stockbridge Massachusetts. I’m looking forward to offering a process painting program possibly augmented with expressive arts here in Toronto – GTA. Call me if you’re interested in participating!

 

 

 

You know things are getting interesting when …

IMG_7362 (480x360)July 8, 2014. The clouds get all dark and the storm is beyond brewing – it’s pelting us with half-inch hailstones, we’re steering through 90 degree wind shifts, and adjusting for gusts, whitecaps and waves…  We look back and I’m thinking maybe those nasty clouds are a tornado brewing! Not. Yay. Phew.

We are well prepared, with foul weather gear and life vests; close (enough?) to shore and a safe harbour, both of which, within minutes, we can’t see anymore. And funny, as in strange, how I can become so anxious when my husband goes forward on flat waters to do the usual stuff on deck, but we can sail through a storm like this, and I find it… exhilarating. I take pictures… dozens of them, when just maybe I should be trimming the sails.

Sailing provides so many metaphors for so many other aspects of our lives. Focus. Preparation. Distractions. Jumping to conclusions. Making adjustments. Relief. Fun. Fear of loss. Being safe. Taking risks.

You can’t outrun a storm. May as well enjoy it.

 

 

Solo Exhibition

Over 25 of my watercolours and acrylic paintings are on display at Gold Picture Frames and Gallery Wall here in Toronto – well, Scarborough, along with many more matted/unframed originals. It feels good to show my work in my community and I’m grateful for family, friends and supporters who came to the opening. Since then three pieces have sold. Feels a bit like sending ‘my babies’ out into the world… they’re leaving the nest. The show is on until July 31st, then it’s a question of what’s next!

 

Touched By Fire, 2013

I haven’t been blogging, regularly, but I’ve been having an awesome-busy time of late in my life-as-artist. Entered my work into Touched By Fire Art Show & Sale, which was held in November at Artscape Wychwood Barns hour window of opportunity to view the show. And what a lot of work the staff and volunteers and committee members and jurors put into creating that show!

Take a look at the slideshow created to highlight the event, which is really all about the people. For the art – visit the gallery at www.touchedbyfire.co or check out the digital exhibition catalogue. And I just want to give a little shout out for Gold Picture Frames & The Gallery Wall – 3083 Kingston Road, just east of McCowan. They did a brilliant job of framing my-enormous-watercolour and I want to recommend them!

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Gwen Hayes with her latest watercolour from the Threshold Series, shown at Artscape Wychwood Barns November 26, 2013 as part of Touched By Fire Art Show &B Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just three days after the main event, we (MDAO) also participated in a conference organized by TD ‘s Diversity Leadership Council with a smaller, private, juried Touched By Fire exhibition at their event which was attended by over 400 TD staff. Close to 40 paintings were displayed, including work by fellow artists also present at the event: Lorette Luzajic, Jeff Jackson, Amanta Scott, Joey Dammit!, and Ralph Martin. 

The TD show was a lot of fun to set up because a group of us got a behind the scenes look at the Ritz Carlton, including a pass-through the kitchen, where 400 plates were being meticulously and beautifully prepared for the lunch, on our way to the loading dock to retrieve the paintings.

MADO staff and TD staff-volunteers set up the event (thank you all) which was also attended by MDAO Executive Director & CEO Ann Marie Mac Donald, John Burghardt, and Paul Grissom. 

And thank you TD for a fabulous opportunity to present the work of Touched By Fire artists – and for lunch, and for the opportunity to hear Caroline Casey, the fabulous founding CEO of Kanchi in Dublin, in person.

She made us laugh and almost-cry as she shared her story, which starts with quite the revelation and winds up with a challenge to move beyond the limits that we may think we have (or I might also say, limits that others in society sometimes attempt to impose).

Her points were that disability is about attitude; ‘othering’ people isn’t helpful; and to change the way society behaves we have to change the way it thinks. The whole day was a celebration of the capability and ability of all and it was uplifting and inspiring to share some time with someone who is so eloquent about her desire to live in a world where every single person is included and can actively participate irrespective of difference. Caroline Casey’s TED talk is well worth watching!

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Making voices visible

Sometimes it’s hard for people to envision what expressive arts is… Here’s an example of exploring depression through expressive arts: Fay Wilkinson’s Visible Voices program; http://vimeo.com/55992979  a video snapshot of Fay’s work with seniors in two long-term care homes was taken to a variety of community groups for their response.