PROUDLY Announcing . . .

•April 19, 2019 • Leave a Comment


A few months before my breast cancer diagnosis my sister and I began a new adventure.

I must say that my sister Sue is the heart and strength of this collaboration as well as the creator. I am her understudy and grateful sister doing my best to keep up as she teaches herself how to build this wonderful way of reaching out to others.  She has created 90% of the website and its content while supporting me through this time of change in my present reality …

here’s to my fabulous sister!!!!

Two days ago, Wednesday April the 17th, was the launch of our project!

Working together as two sisters and friends has been wonderful.  We have many ideas to share and try out!

SISTER :          synonyms: comradefriendpartnerassociatecolleague

Please take a moment or an afternoon (there is lots there already) to visit our website where we  hope you enjoy our first tutorials and creative ideas meant for whomever we connect with.

We are dedicated to making this a wonderful place to find inspiration and creative juice …

Click on our logo below to take a look and please offer us your feedback.


We have only just begun to fly . . . (as ususal I sound like a song track)

join us on our new adventure!!




Another New Beginning . . .

•March 16, 2020 • 14 Comments



I am finished the drug part of this journey !    It has been a very long year and a half yet, time has slipped by in a blink, both sides now somehow . . .


My last herceptin treatment was last Tuesday and I can honestly say that I feel stronger just knowing there are no more knockdowns coming from treatments.


I will have final visits with my oncologist and surgeon to finish me up but it is now  my time to take back the lead in my life.


For the past three months I have been facing the emotional state of realizing everything and nothing has changed, perhaps the most demanding and difficult part of this time. Good news is the process is underway for returning to normal life and balance…

I plan do it slowly and let myself taste day to day “newness” whenever I can

I have made a promise to myself not to dump in the stress piles I am famous for.  I have learned, in this dark time, this is one of my creative methods for preventing feelings from registering. This is new to my awareness and brings light into the dark spaces of the depression I fell into at the finish of my radiation treatments .

Lots to learn and lots to appreciate. The day came when I took an old canvas and worked out my emotions with a brush. My hands and their brush extensions came alive with the emotions that had pushed up to the surface during the treatments in the room I called “the coffin” : a cement fortress room where they did our radiation sessions. This strange cross shape cut into the ceiling tile where the light came through became a symbolic part of the sessions for me.

An “x” was often there in my work, but to recognize it during these treatments, it became something that I held on to as I laid on the table. One day, as I walked through an icy rainstorm to the cancer center, I found a black cross made of felt in a puddle on the road. As I am known to do I picked it up and carried it with me as a gift of the symbol I had chosen. A confirmation.

Some of my new learning has been how to let out the rather large emotions inside me when I need to . . . and the paintbrush and a canvas are wonderful vehicles for that. Also, I am learning to hum when I want to interrupt my spiral . . . new tricks for this old pony.


All part of this rather significant chapter in my life story.


Sorry to have been so unable to write, there are so many reasons to be quiet at times, especially when life turns upside down.

It feels good to begin to write and post again as we all are on high alert for ourselves and our loved ones on this planet with this virus.

It seems just as I was ready to begin to travel again the world is coming to a standstill, so we will travel to one another via the keys.


sending love from my space into yours

Love to hear from any or all of you,




•April 19, 2019 • 1 Comment


I was to start in April teaching the Spirited Birds Workshop in Kansas City but one day in March we sat in the oncologists office to learn that travelling and teaching was no longer going to be possible.

Seven and a half weeks ago I began herceptin and chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

It came out of the blue as a sore spot on my breast and within two months the diagnosis was confirmed. The cancer was agressive and urgent.



We postponed classes on Vancouver Island until spring of 2020 but Kansas City was scheduled to begin too close to cancel which meant it was time to get creative!

My friend and colleague Joyce Cloutman kindly agreed to be there to teach on my behalf. Our coordinator Donna Harryman kindly took the lead and let students know my news and gave them the option to withdraw or attend the class I would now prepare via video sessions with Joyce as facilitator.



I  then turned to the immediate task : create the video series of instruction and guidance for the week long sessions. Serendipitously as I finished this project I felt my energy decline, something I was told would come with chemotherapy.

I pressed send on my folder full of videos and class got underway.



I am so proud of the work everyone accomplished as well as the hearts that grew together during this time, I cannot express it well enough other than WE DID IT!!!




Those who know me know I love to teach, mostly because I love who my life touches through my teaching. My students and my coordinatiors are why I am this capable experienced person and the method that I rely on has been develpoed and tested with of all of you.



So . . . how interesting I am now going to be able to travel via a virtual teaching path and develop some on-line workshops !!

The images in this post are of some of the Spirited Birds and Spirit Riders the students created this past week, I am thrilled . . .

Three cheers for a big success!





this has been an amazing journey and I am only at an early point along this road but I have to say that the love and kindness that has flooded into my life has been remarkable. Every turn I take brings me so much, I am often overwhelmed and words are never enough.

Thank you everyone xo

Not sure what to expect over the next set of tests but the road ahead is simply one that brings me healing and grace. This is not at all a fight for me, this is an acceptance and a learning about what matters in life.

As a friend and fellow figurative artist Leslie Keeble inspires me to remember

. . .  D O N ‘ T     P O S T P O N E    J O Y  . . .

Spirited BIRDS . . .

•February 16, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I wanted to share some of the figures that are coming to life in the studio and are part of my project for the Spirited Birds workshop this April in Kansas City…



I made the early forms for these guys over the summer but never found time to finish working them out. Once the gallery closed for the winter I began to spend time to work more in depth and find my connection to them …



Gallery?? you ask??

I now live in the town of Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Last winter we, three friends, decided to create a gallery on Lincoln Street amongst the other wonderful galleries and gallery shops along this street. We called our place THE SWAN …



We did not look up until December when things finished for the year. After eleven months of finding space, creating the space, filling it with our art, managing the hours, time, books and events, we closed our doors to be able to do other things over the winter.  Things like make art, travel, read, knit, create studios and storage …



Back to the Spirited Birds story.  I  began with the protoype for my upcoming workshop, the idea of a bird that is also a person, or a person becoming a bird, or perhaps just someone with a great sense of humour dressing up as a bird … this one will still be evolving until I leave for Kansas City to teach the class. As straight forward as I try to make the classes, there are many months of working on a particular piece to find the right mix, method and sentiment of what I try to bring to my students.



Several other patterns I had made became flying seagulls. I am fascinated with these birds because I hear their cries now instead of the loons calling from their nest on the lake behind my old farmhouse …

The seagulls fly so there had to be spirited riders … which I hope expands and adds ideas and inspiration for students when they arrive to make their Spirited Birds with me in April



Here is one more …



there are more, but I will save them for another day …



Classes for 2019

•January 31, 2019 • Leave a Comment

My gosh it has been so long since I have written on this blog…how time flies when you decide to change most everything in your life … !!

I have three teaching dates and workshops for this year and hope to add a week long class here in Nova Scotia either this fall or in the spring of 2020. This will depend upon how the progress goes in the new studio/storage space we are working on!

I will write more about that in a future post because this one is ALL ABOUT CLASSES and the what, where and whens of them!

First up is SPIRITED BIRDS in April at the Heartland Retreat Centre in Parkville Missouri.

This location is just minutes from the Kansas City International Airport in the
rolling hills of the Missouri River Bluffs.

Contact: Donna Harryman :


Secondly, in May I travel back to a place and friends I adore … the remarkably beautiful Vancouver Island British Columbia !!! and the opposite side of my country :)

We will be hosted by Marla Limousin at the Blue Moon Winery in Courtenay, Vancouver Island just a few miles from the Comox airport.

I have two week long sessions plus a one day in-between workshop about salt water etching that students have been asking about …

Week one: Full Body Sculpt

contact: Marla Limousin :



The IN-between Saturday: The Brooch … copper salt water and polymer clay

contact: Marla Limousin :

Week two: Expression and Design

contact: Marla Limousin :


And the Third destination, the historic,beautiful town of Mineral Point, Wisconsin where we will have a week long class called METAMORPHOSIS … Mineral Point is a remarkable little town filled with artists, art studios and great antique and collectible shops …

Contact: Carol Spelic :

click on this link for the workshop page :


Here is a link to more about our location, Shake Rag Alley, a wonderful exciting art centre to know about and Mineral Point!

And of course, you can contact me with questions or curiosities …

workshops JUNE 2018 Portola CA

•March 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment


Portola is on the horizon now, working out the prototypes for what we will be working on in a three day class… will post some of the process work as I prepare…!!!

JUNE 16-18 2018



Then we follow up with another two day class using an exciting combination of salt water etching and polymer press molds… !!!!

JUNE 20-21 2018



Our days will be  R I V E T T I N G . . . . (could not resist)

contact Sherri Morgan to register :



Spirits and Birds . . .

•November 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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My show at the library was lovely.

I had just returned from Mineral Point, Wisconsin where I taught a superb group of enthusiastic artists how to make sculptural characters. We had a great time and decided to hold a workshop again next fall. I have to say that having an entire week to work and dedicate to projects is a fabulous way to do it.

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Before I left the house had sold and we had begun the task of packing. There was not a moment between the painting, taking photos, the listing and showing. The house sold in two days. We never put the sign up …

I returned from my long journey to friends gifts of help with packing, moving and even hanging The Spirit Birds show at the library  . . .

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My favorite part of the exhibit was the day I came to read my story to the kids who turn up on Wednesday mornings for storytime. I must admit, even though they were young children, I felt nervous to read my story for the first time in public …

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The story was done and we went on to craft time with a theme of spirit birds with crayons and paper cut outs. This was much more fun than the story because as we all got drawing the kids told me about things they had seen, imaginary things and the magic of the story seemed to linger with them …

spirit birds I


I will complete the illustrations over time and look forward to having an actual book in my hands to return to storytime and read The Spirit Birds once again.