Small Squares

Here are two paintings I like to share with you... because I had so much fun with the process of those two small squares.

1 - tearing out as many bikes as I could find in magazines
2 - finding a way to fit a face into a jungle of bikes was a challenge
3 - had to be daring to cover up big part of the collage
4 - check out the before and after

A PRETTY RIDE  -  8x8 inches  -  acrylic/collage

1 - pasting an entire page of a cowboy on a bucking horse I found in a magazine
2 - had to turn the horse on it's side to fit a face on the canvas
3 - Can you see the cowboy's lasso, the horse's ear and eye?
4 - check out the before and after

HORSE WHISPERER  -  8x8 inches  -  acrylic/collage


5enses - Are up to something!

We, the 5enses are preparing for our big annual 4 day event.

We will be showing new artwork

Lori Bagneres - semi abstract, acrylic, mixed media
Sara Morison - abstract, acrylic, cold wax and oil, mixed media
Therese Joseph - figurative abstract, acrylic, collage, mixed media
Mena Martini - Semi abstract, Landscapes, oil and acrylic
Catherine Fields - abstract, acrylic

Take a look what we have been up to in preparation for Harmony Arts


What to do with old paintings?

Roll them up and ship them out!

A couple of weeks ago I got into cleaning mode - or I should say into 'clearing mode'. I had to make space for my son's home gym - a monster in the house. So I started cleaning out my sewing, knitting and quilting armoire. Then moved over to the studio to see what I don't need any longer. Well, an hour later I dragged 42 paintings on paper out the door... sizes from 48x48 in down to 12x12 in.

With mixed feelings of 

I made 4 piles 

 I rolled up the giants, square heads, skinnies and cry babies
brought them to the recycling depot.


I very quickly got over the fear of loosing something valuable and irreplaceable. Parting with these old works is in fact was
liberating. It brought about a sense of newness, excitement and hope for better things. You should try it. Get rid of old works if it is no longer a true representation of your art making at this time. If you have outgrown it because you emerged as an artist - get rid of it. If you have changed your style and evolved into a new direction - get rid of it. BUT having said that, I would encourage you to keep at least 1 - 3 works. So you can look back and smile. So you can see the progress and go on your artistic journey again and again.



A couple of weeks ago I took all the tiny canvasses I had in storage and went on a 
No need to say more. Just enjoy.

1 - choose newspaper comics

2 - collage comics on canvasses

3 - transfers over comics

4 - paint with acrylic paints 
use transparency and lift off technique


6x6 in, acrylic/collage

6x6 in, acrylic/collage

6x6 in, acrylic/collage

6x6 in, acrylic/collage

6x6 in, acrylic/collage



on a cold November afternoon last year. 
Artist Iris Low and I, Therese Lydia Joseph, dragged all our paints, brushes, rags and buckets to the North Shore Neighourhood House (NSNH) in North Vancouver. We set up 10 easels, on each easel we placed a 16x24 inch canvas and hoped for the best. One by one they showed up - some shy, some talking and giggling and some came with their babies and some did not show up at all...  The coordinator of the NSNH brought in the rest of the supplies: Pizza, Cookies and a veggie plate. Now we were all set!


between the ages of 16 and 23 came to paint for a couple of afternoons with Iris and myself. Some teens never painted before, some started with an idea and ended up with something completely different and some had a fixed plan they pursued all the way to the end. Some were fast and some were distracted. Some loved pink and others black. Some were focused and some kept talking, eating and leaving for a while. Some had their minds set on creating art for their child and some rocked their babies between brushstrokes. 


or how the teens painted - it was a delight to see these young parents engaged in the process of art-making. At times it was emotional, at times it was funny and hilarious and sometimes we were at a crossroad and did not have an answer. In the end each teen was proud and pleased with their work. Iris and I were exhausted but encouraged. We were amazed with the vibrancy and the energy that filled the room as we admired the finished paintings. 

We would do it again in a heart beat. 

Iris and I had the idea to somehow add the teens artwork to the back door entrance of the NSNH. The 15 ft high entrance consisting of a double glass door surrounded by large window panes would be ideal. So out came the camera... We photographed each painting, put the high resolution files through Photoshop and came up with an artistic concept... no need to say more.  
Watch this short video and you'll get the 
"aha - oh I see - wow cool" 

The NSNH threw an "Unveiling Party" for the teens, guests and artists. Everyone admired the collaboration of this project. It was possible thanks to the financial support from the City of North Vancouver and the Arts Office, the partnership with the NSNH, the installation by Speedpro Signs and the 9 teen parents who participated in our workshops. 

check out and walk through the back door of the NSNH and see  - no - experience the magical effect the artwork displays in the foyer. 
It's a rainbow of colours with a kaleidoscopic twist 
A reflection of light and dance of shadows 
Quite spectacular!


Landscape in French

March 7, 2014 I was at Pauline Johnson French Immersion Elementary School practicing my French.

Standing in front of 28 grade 5 students with their eyes and ears glued on me, I made it through the introduction of the proposed art project. 

Once we started picking, ripping and tearing out pieces of newspaper, French was flowing and so was the glue. 

I called upon the BUILDERS and the ENGINEERING among the kids to create a cityscape with a peaceful waterfront. They collaged the already selected pictures to the surface of the canvas - pictures of sofas, crosswords, suitcases, fast cars, groceries, stock market results, real estate, fashion, and tons of fun words and phrases.

Then I asked the ARCHITECTS and SURVEYORS among this fine bunch of 10 year olds to ensure that the buildings were perpendicular. They added interest and appeal to the structures. 

Next in line were the DESIGN and ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS. They had to make sure the water was pure and transparent; the air was clear and clean; the streets, alleys and waterfront were attractive and inviting. 

Last but not least we had the INSPECTORS, a group of kids to come and finish up the painting. They added final touches and gave the seal of approval. 

Everyone - teacher, class parents, kids and me the FREELANCER had a great time and were pleased with the results. 

This project was done in 2 hours - this was possible because of great teamwork, creativity and a positive attitude of all the grade 5 students at Pauline Johnson School.  


Kids and their Faces


Some time ago I proposed an idea for an art exhibition at a local Gallery. My proposal was about the human face, a show where artists from near and far could submit artwork of faces and portraits executed in all sorts of mediums, styles and interpretations. My proposal was accepted. North Vancouver Community Arts Council is hosting the exhibition at CityScape Gallery here in North Vancouver, BC Canada. The show entitled 'ABOUT FACE' is on from January 30 - March 1, 2014. Twenty-eight artists are represented. Their paintings, photography and sculptures focus solely on the human face, capturing the essence of the subject through approach and medium. The works strongly embody expressive and emotive sensibilities rendered in realistic, impressionistic and semi-abstracted styles.

Today (Saturday Feb 1, 2014) I held a workshop for children ages 8 and up. Ten children signed up - but 19 children showed up !!! After a quick tour through the gallery and a short demo children were each given a 8x8 inch canvas. The project was done in two parts.

>>> First the children could tear out pictures, text or words from newspapers and magazines and paste them on their canvas - any way they pleased.

>>> Next they were given acrylic paints, a variety of brushes to paint over the collage, letting some of the pictures and words show through the paint or leave them unpainted all together. Children were encouraged to paint a face. Some children were compelled to create an abstract work of art.

Everyone was into it! It was delightful to see all the children creating one masterpiece after another. There was a lot of personality and expression in their work. We all had a fun Saturday afternoon.

Many thanks to the children who participated. I very much appreciated the help of my artist friend, Iris Low and the volunteer from the North Vancouver Community Arts Council.


The Nutcrackers:

The Holiday Makers:

The Naturals:

Our youngest participant's abstract artwork:

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A few years ago I started painting faces. Well, not really! The first few faces 'actually' did not have a face at all - no eyes, nose, mouth or eyebrows. There was just a suggestion, a hint of personality and character. The rest was up to the viewer to discover.

About one year later the faces began to show more distinctive features. The face became divided into two parts. I call it 'dual disposition'. I believe that most people have more than one side to them. We often show one side to a certain group of people and the other side we only show to ourselves or to those we love or hurt the most.

This 'two-sided temperament condition' began to intrigue me. I explored different personality styles and tried to embed them into my portraits. Eyes, noses and mouths gradually appeared.

This is when I started to have a conversation with the 'person' on my easel. From there onward the personalities became stronger, colors became more vivid. The 'split' down the middle of the face became more pronounced as well.

The facial features started to take on a style of their own. The faces often portrayed a small chin, small lips, a long nose and always a pensive look.


I thoroughly enjoy creating these imaginary people. But even though they are created purely by intuition they do remind me of people I actually know.
About one year ago I began to implement torn newspaper clippings on the empty canvas before starting to paint. I created a composition of newspaper collage. The purpose was mostly to create texture.

Also around the same time I created my first male portrait - "The Beloved" above left. Followed by "No Kidding" above right.
The newspaper collaging became an important part of my portraits. Not only for texture but also for interest. The text and the images I tore from the newspaper and flyers took on more and more importance.

I could spend hours looking for the right words, sentences or illustrations. Even objects like grapes, shoes, tools, wine bottles, sweaters or comic strips and so on... were keeping me inspired. I experienced a creative overflow with all the possibilities.

Last summer (2013) my friend, Iris Low and I submitted a proposal and applied for the Don S. Williams Grant through the local Art's Office, FANS (The Funds for the Arts on the North Shore).
On November 8, 2013 we each received the funds during the ceremony of the Awards Night at the Gordon Smith Gallery in North Vancouver. Our goal is to create between 28 - 52 faces representing the the multiculturalism of the North Shore. Both of us live on the North Shore of Vancouver and are thrilled to take on this project.
Ever since then I have been busy producing faces using clippings from the North Shore Newspaper.
We launched a Facebook Page, Faces of the North Shore - find us there, like our page and follow the progress.

In February 2014 I will also be part of a show entitled "About Face" at the CityScape Gallery in North Vancouver.

Who knows where my faces will take me next. But so far it has been a fun and colorful journey.

To view the all the faces in a larger format >>> click here