Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Question Begins

 I just finished this piece- it is for a group show at Ingram in February. This is Lee. She is a lovely, Scottish born, writer and teacher.  Her favorite book is The Picture of Dorian Gray and she wonders where does truth and beauty begin and where does it end?
Got me thinking.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Portrait Gallery of Canada

I am happy to announce that my portrait of Enrico Colantoni, created for the Star Portraits series, is one of the 6 chosen by the Portrait Gallery of Canada to be part of their permanent collection. Going into the show this is the outcome I most coveted, so I am thrilled. With a new born baby and another pressing deadline, I was only able to work on the portrait for 2 and a half days. It is not a great representation of my work but it was fun to paint and is the result of a very satisfying experience. It's too bad Stevie H. put an ax to the Portrait Gallery of Canada's building (which was already in construction by the way)......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Piece for the TIAF

 Lost and Found
 mixed media on watercolour paper


A few months ago my family and I found an immature hawk near Algonquin park. The hawk had no visible signs of trauma but it was not moving much and allowed us to pick him up. We had noticed an adult hawk low in the trees, near our cabin, a few times in the days prior. No doubt that was his mother.  The  hawk died that night and to my surprise I found it so devastating.
I have known the woman in this drawing since high school. Her name is Jenn and she is an architect living in New York city. She is a woman of stunning beauty and talent. She speaks 4 languages, put herself through school and has traveled extensively by herself. She struggles with self doubt and does not see how truly awesome she is. I also find this devestating. But she wants and tries to be happy and healthy and in that I find great hope.
So, here they are together in a piece about being lost and found, about seeing, not being seen, power and vulnerability.
As a side note I did almost this entire piece listening to a fantastic band (fronted by equally fantastic  guys) called Chinese Food- the album is When the Future Caught on Fire- check them out- http://www.myspace.com/chinesefoodmusic
So this and maybe a few other pieces will be hanging in the Ingram Gallery booth next weekend at the Toronto International Art Fair (for details http://www.tiafair.com/) I will be at the opening gala all tarted up, so if you are there come and say hi and be nice, I will be so out of my element!

I'm on T.V!

Check out this weeks episode of Star Portraits on Bravo on Saturday October 17th at 8pm to see me and 2 other fantastic artists create portraits of the actor Enrico Colantoni. To view this episode online click on this link: http://watch.bravo.ca/star-portraits/season-1/star-portraits-ep-104-enrico-colantoni/ It was a great experience and I am interested to see how it translates into a 30 minute program.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boy Nature

I did this little drawing to test out a finishing wax treatment. The drawing is carbon, graphite, watercolour and guoache on watercolour paper. I brushed on melted parrafin wax and burnished it with a metal canning lid. I am opposed to putting glass over these mixed media drawings and this is an option for protecting the pieces- but I miss the texture of the paper and am going to keep trying different approaches.
The drawing is of my son and a dog called Charlie. We spent a lot of time just outside Algonquin park this summer (hence the infrequent posts!) and thinking about how being surrounded by the natural world affects our children.....  

Friday, August 21, 2009

My School

A few years ago I started this school out of my home. What began as a way to make a few extra bucks has become an exciting project that has taken on a life of its own. We started with 4 students and last term we had 20! This year we are offering new classes in book illustration (with my husband, Peter Mitchell), adult classes in oil painting and drawing and painting for life and our regular Saturday and after school classes for kids and teens. Classes are limited to 6 students and I have to say that every student who has come to the school, keeps coming back for more! Check out our new website and 09/10 schedule.


Friday, July 10, 2009

2 Jenns

carbon and gouache on watercolour paper

I finished this piece a few days ago. This pretty lady is a super smart, super talented video artist named Jenn Norton. I put a burning tree with a girl swinging in it in the background at first- see the picture below. But I thought it was too heavy handed- like I was trying to give too much direction to the viewer or something. So I opted for a more subtle background.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Too Personal?

My Heart Beats For You
mixed media


Man, sometimes being a mom can be really hard. Sometimes your kids feel hurt and sad and sometimes it's your fault. I started this drawing as a sort of apology "letter" to my 2 and a half year old son. A note to say "I see you and I will try harder".
Now I don't know what to do with the piece- it's not a very true depiction of my dynamic little guy. It says more about some of the struggles I go through as a mother...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ingram, yey!

I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Ingram Gallery. Check out their website at
It is a very cool gallery in Yorkville where I am in the company of some really fantastic artists. I believe we are a great fit for each other and am very excited about our future.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


carbon pencil, graphite and gauche

I finished ths drawing yesterday. This is Heather, she co-owns the Ideal Coffee shops. She is lovely and stunning and my son adores her.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sandra Oh Portrait

It was always my intention to do 2 paintngs of Sandra Oh to exhibit together in the Loch Gallery's Young Painters Show in July 2008. The first one, which is very dark and full of pain and anxiety, made it into that show (you can find an image of at the beginning of this blog). The one above I finished a few days ago. I started it 4 different times, on different surfaces and with different materials. The painting became a drawing and morphed in many other ways as well. I am glad I held out- it became what I had hoped it would become. Sounds cheesy, but I think that the birth and life with my daughter made it possible for me to create something with this much light and space to breathe.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Manitoba eh!

The Loch Gallery in Winnipeg sold this paintng to the Manitoba government over the weekend. This sale is especially sweet because I did the painting almost 3 years ago- not remembering the work that went into it makes it feel like free money! We can pay our property tax, yey!

Friday, March 20, 2009

....life drawing

life drawing is great,
life drawing is fun.
do more life drawing
(must be read to a tune)

Friday, March 13, 2009


A few days ago I came across this little line drawing I did of Jackson sleeping. It was sometime in his first year and I find it quite lovely.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fine Liner Fun

or fun with fine liners.

Natural History Museum

I started drawing because, like most kids, I was crazy about dinosaurs. When I was 4 I desperately wanted to become a paleontologist. Here are a few sketchbook pages from my last visit to the American Museum of Natural History in New York- one of the most magical places in the world. They have not only the largest collection of dinosaur bones and fossils, but also the entirety of Edward Drinker Cope's fossil collection. Cope was one of the most famous and wealthy paleontologists of all time.  I am returning to New York and this happy place in June- can't wait....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Life Drawing

I started a weekly life drawing night at my house 2 weeks ago for myself, my husband and a few friends. I haven't drawn from life since school ended about 7 years ago. We are doing all quick poses- mostly 1, 2 and 5 minute poses- it is a blast

5 minutes

5 minutes

2 minutes

Messing Around

So I have been messing around in my study for the past few weeks- trying not to think of making anything "finished". Been doing quick drawings (20 minutes- 2 hours), drawing out of my head and experimenting with different materials. Here are some of the things that happened...

ink thing

conte old man

Jackson and Donnie