Wednesday, December 21, 2011


After a slightly dragged-out hiatus, I have finally completed a new painting!

This is my city. It is my interpretation of downtown St. John's. I thought Signal Hill was a little too accustomed to getting the attention so I decided paint the view in the other direction. I took a photograph of this spot last winter.  Although I used it as a guide, I never wanted the painting to look exactly like my photo. I like to think of painting as an outlet to communicate my own unique expression of what is real. I use different colours, geometric shapes and smudges, but usually try and keep the overal layout of things the same.

I'm generally pretty pleased with this one thus far. I really like the colours. Specifically some the accents (bright red and mint green). I am totally digging the fact that it worked out like I wanted. Up close, it just looks like a pile of colours and shapes. BUT, from far away, it actually look like what I want it to look like! Downtown St. John's.

Hope everyone is having a glorious holiday with fam and friends! Merry Christmas and Merry wishes to all that you may be celebrating this time of year!

above my bed. it is actually fairly gigantic

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I swear I am working on something.

paint on the floor. blackberry on the paint.
November was a hectic month. School and work and wonky life events kind of took over. Here is a preview of something I was finally able to get into. Time to be creative again.

listening to - Junip "Howl" 

Monday, November 14, 2011

"It's not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen."

I came across an article on The 99 Percent today entitled "Making Big Decisions and Mastering the Consequences" and thought I would share.  I love finding connections between business, creativity and life and when I read articles like this one, I can't help but see the overlap.

My favorite part of the article was when the author mentioned that when decisions are made, one must "understand that you will shape the outcome". You do not just sit back and see how things unfold, you must actively engage to ensure success.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

she colours up the sunshine hours.

Lately, as an artist, I have been completely and hopelessly uninspired. I have started several paintings but they are all just sitting in my bedroom (aka art studio and hermit cave of emotion), unfinished and kind of unfortunate looking. I have one half started boat and a night skyline that I painted over an abstract that turned out looking like a gigantic vagina (Win?). I'm going to blame this slump on overall busy-ness, with school and work (new job!) and general self analysis that I always seem to get myself caught up in.

So I figured, considering I have been a total blob and haven't been up on my blog posts or painting endeavours, I would share with you a few of my favorite pieces as of late (normally, found by my scouring of art blogs and reading of various magazines and online articles).  I usually just post what I find to my Pinterest account and come back and have a look when I'm feeling like starring incessantly at the blank canvas is just too much to handle. It helps! My apologies for not having the names of all the artists available (horrible of me). I forgot to tag them when I added the images to the Pinterest account and now I cannot seem to find the permalinks. Blasted interwebz.

Here's to increased artistic and intrinsic motivation!


Artist unknown. via allthemountatins

Willem de kooning. Pirate untitled II 1981

Next three paintings are by an artist named Michael Cina. Check his website out here. Seriously, his work is some of my favorite. Love the color choice and textures. 

Trying Is the First Step To Failure,  Michael Cina

Leave the Future Behind,  Michael Cina

Draw Near, Michael Cina

Note: I have been meaning to go to Kent Building Supplies and buy a shit ton of wood to use instead of canvas. I love the way the acrylic paint sits on wood. Got some fun ideas for projects!

A collaged map by Matthew Cusick. Check out some more via BOOOOOOOM!

 Sean Clark

Unknown artist. Via The Edit
Note: You would think I had a thing with skeletons or something? Not the case at all really. I was just extremely impressed with the color choice on both of these pieces. Very unique and wonderful. Couldn't help but totally love skeletons for these two.

Zoe Pawlak
Listening to: Joni Mitchell- Conversation

Note: title adapted from lyrics from Joni Mitchell's "Ladies of the Canyon"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ups and downs.

My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually about the "light"and never mentioned the other, then as an artist I would be a liar.
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. hey were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.
I came across this letter from Charles Bukowski the other day, as I was distracting myself from schoolwork. It really got me thinking about things. Well, re-phrase.. it got me thinking about something else only somewhat related to the above statement. Bukowski wrote this letter in response to the removal of his book "Tales of Ordinary Madness" from the Public Library in Nijmegen. A reader had complained about its unacceptable, sadistic, content and thus, the book was removed.

I firmly believe in freedom of speech and love Bukowski's writing (in all forms) so this post has nothing to do with disagreeing with his letter. I think his reply was perfect and I agree with it 100%. His book should never have been removed. But the particular passage stated above made me think about how I choose to write and how I choose to live. I have seen both lights and darknesses but continually write about seeing beyond sadness and living in a world where you can achieve your goals and you canbe happy about being here in the first place. Has it become too much to want that life?

There is a theme in my blog posts (maybe because I often write to cheer myself up). I write them to remind myself that there is a part of me that is so wise and rational when I'm being an emotional nut bar.  My entries are often positive messages about achieving goals and overcoming obstacles, etc. etc. But, because I choose to write (publicly) about the lights and not the darknesses does not mean I have not seen dark times or that I do not acknowledge their existence. I just like the idea of someone randomly reading my blog and feeling a little bit better. maybe even a little motivated.

Why is it that we choose to remind one another that not everything in life is ideal.  Who set the bar on expectations for what life is supposed to be and how we are to accept ourselves?  I have been made to believe that I am reaching for some kind of unattainable version of contentment. But, what is wrong with wanting something, LIFE, to be unordinary and spectacular and joyful? Recognize the bad. Life is constantly going to be throwing obstacles and stressors our way. Do not allow yourself to be shielded from the "facts of existence". But that doesn't mean you have to be jaded or cynical or mean to anyone who chooses to believe that life/society is generally good. The positivity of others cannot hurt you.

Life is hard. It's frigging scary as hell and filled with a lot of negative. But it is filled with so many wonderful things too! What is wrong with choosing to focus on those wonderful, positive things if it gets you out of bed in the morning?

Someone recently shared this on Facebook. Sorry for lack of source!

Friday, October 7, 2011


"Yes, it was agreed: we were going to do everything we'd never done and had been too silly to do in the past"

This is a painting I just completed as a gift for my bestest gal pal Kristen, who recently moved to Toronto (and left me flailing about and seeking adventure on my own. Sigh.). It is a painting about life- about learning and growing and experiencing new things. It's about doing the things in life you've always dreamt of, persevering through the roadblocks, and being foolish and having fun along the way. Kristen is doing that RIGHT NOW. Lets give her a digital high five/hug.

Life. acrylic on canvas

Above quote is from Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rainy days and beautiful places.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend Writers at Woody Point- a beautiful, literary festival held on the west coast of Newfoundland. Woody Point is absolutely stunning. I can barely express how much I fell in love with the place- I was effortlessly filled with calm relaxation and creativity (normally, not an easy task). Being there was the absolute best sense of being overwhelmed- beauty and art and music and friends and feeling at home. Lovely.

It rained one day during our stay, but there was no way I would waste any time indoors. I put on my raincoat and walked around, taking pictures that I knew I would eventually turn into paintings. Here's the first painting of that rainy day (I'm hoping there will be many more).

18" x 24"
acrylic on canvas

On another note, there was one particular spot in Woody Point called Galliott Studios that made my heart skip a few beats. A gorgeous art studio, shop and cafe, with MY DREAM WORKSHOP at the back. I wanted to put on an oversized plaid shirt, pour a cup of coffee and get to work. So many paints and brushes and ideas. I cannot wait until I can have a little workspace of my own.

What a spot. I'd have a few cups of tea out here, rain or shine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.

I adore fall. Mainly because I love the cool weather.. and boots and wool socks and coats and sweaters and tights. Sigh.

So in the spirit of a new season, I present a collection of my most recent fashion inspirations as we say goodbye summer and hellloooooooo dear fall. Happy September!

(side note: The title, "One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.", is from Oscar Wilde's "Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the Young".)

So effortless. I want to keep this easy, breezy, feeling alive this season too.  Ava Gardner. Photo via 

All of my bracelets conveniently broke in the last week. Time to stock up. Wristy business via J.Crew Tumblr
Stunning, in every capacity. via The Sartorialist
Pretty much my identical lounge/painting attire. via Unruly Things
Simple and clean. Love the color. French Connection Fall '11 Lookbook
Coffee and a coat. via Little Plastic Horses
Leather shorts. plus stripes and jewels. SWOON. via Cupcakes and Cashmere

Roots always has amazing wrist/purse shots. Clean and glamours and rugged all in one. What a combo. Rediscover Roots Sweats Fall 11 Lookbook

Love this mix of prints- animal and polka dot! via o-my-heart
This is the same watch as depicted in the photo above. I loved it so much I messaged Kate from o-my-heart and she was sweet enough to send me a link! Check out the Michael Kors watch here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sketchin' about.

Lately, I have been inspired by Urban Sketchers (in particular, Omar-Paint, who has done some AMAZING sketches and paintings of downtown St. John's and everywhere else). So, I decided to buy myself a watercolour sketchbook and go sit somewhere around the city and give this a go. I have not painted with watercolours in about 10 years so it was interesting to break them out again. I left my apartment with my leather tote full of paints and coloured pencils, my sketchbook and a coffee. I walked only five minutes before arriving at the lovely Harbourside Park. I sat on a bench that was closest to the water and set everything up. Here's my first attempt...

Well it's not horrible for my first try (haha). I am dying to take an extremely inky, black, fine tip pen to this and give it some more detail (I must). But, most importantly, I forgot how extremely cathartic it is to sketch! I like to be very quick with the paintbrush/pencil so it feels almost natural. What a feeling and what a great way to spend time and explore a city. A gentleman actually walked behind me and had a look over my shoulder to see what I was painting and said "That's beautiful!" which gave me a little confidence boost and a much needed dose of happy.

 I have a long way to go before I am satisfied but I'll keep giving it a shot.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Untitled", a painting.

"Untitled" acrylic on canvas (approx. 27" x 35")

I finished this painting two nights ago and am actually (surprisingly) pleased with myself. I'm usually not satisfied with my work, but I am really liking how the color story and texture has developed.

I'm honestly not really sure what this painting means to me (yet). Another unusual characteristic. Normally, when I paint something abstract I know where I am going or I know where I went. But this kind of just happened and just is. Hence, the unoriginal use of "Untitled".

Because there isn't much to say I figured I would share some FUN FACTS about my experience with this piece.

Sources of inspiration:

 1. Will Baras. Absolutely, head over heels in love with his work. Seriously, check him out, you will not be disappointed He was first bought to my attention via BOOOOOOOM! (Please also check out BOOOOOOOM!) Watch this video around the 1:15 mark and be totally amazed.

HBTV: POW WOW Hawai'i 2011 - Part 2 from HBTV on Vimeo.

2. This print. It's a shirt/dress I own (fairly unexciting compared to the above but awesome shirt nonetheless).

The soundtrack:

I always listen to music when I paint. It puts me in some kind of relaxation, zen-like, zombie trance. It's the best feeling. Here's what I listened to (all are highly recommended):

1. Bon Iver "Bon Iver" (Stream here)
2. Boards of Canada "The Campfire's Headphase"
3. Balam Acab "Wander / Wonder" (Listen here)

Stages of development:

I like looking back and watching how a painting has developed. So, lately, I have been taking pictures of the process along the way. To me, it's like watching a thought process, I dig it. Please, don't mind my horrid photog skills.

And at last... fini.

Monday, August 29, 2011

-but there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.

I have been so introspective lately. I have, for the most part, been trapped inside my head. Thinking about life and love and God and me and everyone and everything else. But, this is not an unusual occurrence. My mind has always had a knack for getting ahead of itself. I pretty much specialize in over analyzing.

Analyzing the bigger picture helps me de-stress when I have the time to really let my mind wander. I always contemplate life's many questions (the "whys" and the "what ifs"). I am continually trying to pin point the ones that cause me stress and the ones that calm me down, both big and small.

To purchase from click here.

R. M. Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" has been my philosophical life guide for the better part of the last 8 months, the entirety of 2011. My paperback copy (same as depicted above) has been re-read, shared, recommended, and never far from my bedside table. I flip through the pages daily, scouring over my viscously underlined sections to find beautifully poetic phrases about life, love, art, direction, and uncertainty (pretty sure those would be my main questionable, in-need-of-guidance, life topics conveniently aggregated into a collection of letters.. amazing!).
You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Seriously? Best advice ever and my favorite passage from the book. I can nearly recite it. I think of it whenever I let my mind wander to those questions that leave me feeling stressed or discontent. It never fails.

I've been using my introspective-Lauren time to look within for creative inspiration. I often let external pressures and fear of criticism prevent me from really opening myself up creatively. Well, surprise! Rilke has advice for that too:
..all critical intention is too far from me. With nothing can one approach a work of art so little as with critical words... Things are not all so comprehensible and expressible as one would mostly have us believe; most events are inexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away, endures.. You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart.
Well then.

He is so right. If i fear the criticism and opinion of others with respect to my art, how will I ever let myself grow (both creatively and personally)?  It is all about exploring your mind and heart without fear or restraint. In art as in life.

So, I'm taking the advice. Attempting to rid myself of fear without seeking external reassurance. I'm looking inward and trying to take notice of the simple things: happy moments, small wonders, enjoying the calm. I am digging everything and I feel at ease. I am hoping for wonderful changes and many creative projects to come from all this.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

like brrrr.

It is freezing cold and windy today in St. John's, Newfoundland. We are barely hitting 7 degrees (C). Wouldn't mind waking up and seeing some sunshine some day soon. To keep my spirits up, I needed a reminder of the one nice, sunny, day we had so far.


Weekday. 2:00pm. 4 hours in a park. Sun. Loving life. Unemployment.

Songs in the park


ultimate relaxation

There were so many children climbing this tree