Monthly Archives: May 2010

New River Beach in New Brunswick and learning to move forward without fear

hula hoop on branch with shadow and sand drawing at New River Beach in New Brunswick

I traveled to New River Beach yesterday with Vikki, Gus and his little guy. It was a beautiful day, albeit too cold for swimming. I had my hoops with me and spent a good hour hula hooping up and down the coastline. Vikki wondered off photographing most of the coast… Hopefully she’ll upload the photos her Flickr.

We ended the day by driving back into Saint John to the Thai Hut located inside Quality Convenience on King Street and ordering chicken Pad Thai. Yum!

jessica doyle with boy and hula hoop

Last weekend, when I decided to take some time off from Etsy I drove to Fredericton to visit with these guys at their respective houses. Put it this way, it was the first trip I planned and took by myself. And, I knocked that irrational fear right out of the water people!

I’ve been close friends with these two since first year of College, which was 17 years ago now. I hadn’t seen them in seven years but we’ve kept in touch online and lately, the time just felt right to pick up from whence we left off in real life. Each of us seemed to have our own serious life and health related issues that we were coping with and healing from during those last seven years that needing tending to. All three of us are healthy and happy these days and moving forward. We each own our own homes and enjoy the work we do too which is mighty different than the apartments we each rented and the financial struggles we each faced during the post college years.

Both Gus and Vikki studied photography at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design while I concentrated on Graphic Design and illustration.

The photo credits go to Gustavius. He snapped them with his cell phone. The links in this post will take you to their Twitter and Flickr accounts.

Handwriting is a lost art form or why I’m glad I learned to dot my I’s and cross my T’s

Vintage Spelling Test Book - 1981 - Jessica Doyle

So, I hand write letters to people and post them in the mail and rarely seem to receive a letter in return. And that’s OK. Perhaps, I’m one of the last hand writers left on earth. My grandmother used to write me back though. But she passed away a couple of years ago. Her handwriting was elegant and old style and it made me smile when I opened a letter from her to read. And, I notice as the years progress my own mother’s cursive handwriting is taking on that same scrolling form as is my own.

I tend to print in all caps though, and avoid cursive, as it’s slower to create and more cumbersome to lay down. My own handwriting is fast and deliberate; the letters flow seamlessly into one and other first forming sentences then paragraphs and pages and hence, volumes of journals.

While I lived in Vancouver from 2001 to 2005 the only medium I used was ink; more specifically Pilot G-tec C4 pens. I settled on that pen for writing after trying out a stupendous amount of pen brands. I spent that four years of my life purposefully writing and drawing in only ink. I wanted to eliminate the use of pencil and become adept at using only pen and ink on paper. At it’s height, it was all consuming; and emptying dry on average two pens per week. That is a lot of writing and drawing in this day and age.
Continue reading

A little bit of vacation

Daily scribbles by artist Jessica Doyle

My Etsy shops are closing this Saturday at noon EST now. They’ll likely be closed for one week and reopen once the the other stuff is tended to.

I have custom work to finish.

I want to garden and simultaneously take a packaging and postal run break to.

I think I’ll drive somewhere far away and take a mini vacation on less than $150. Believe me, I can do it. I’m one of the most frugal people out there. Case in point, I’ve only put $30 worth of gas in my car since buying it two months ago.

I want to work on my hobby and research both vintage and antique items. I love researching! It actually makes me happy searching the interwebs and tubes of information on things that are from a time before.

I want to visit my long time friends; Lisa, Gillian, Shyanne and Karen. I’ve known these women most of my life, since early childhood and they understand and I understand and know that regardless of how long it’s been since we last saw each other that we can pick up straight from where we leaped off. They are akin to my sisters.

I always loved how my Mom was so close to her four sisters while I was growing up.

I really enjoyed my time off in February. I always know when it’s time for a vacation as I simply stop drawing and painting. I haven’t drawn or painted anything in two weeks. Been doing other creative things.

I just want to let the dust settle and plant some seeds so to speak.

I write things down on little bits of paper; thousands of little bits of pieces of paper. This little piece of paper is one of the most recent. I doodled it on the back of one of my certificates of authenticity. Please note that identifying numbers have been censored.

Secret #6 – Sharing a day in the life

The guilt arrives in waves. For many this guilt is something you may never experience. It could be something you experience daily.

It’s a form of anxiety associated with earning money. That’s the only way I can describe this; that knowledge that one is beginning to earn more than poverty level income and entering into the middle class dream.

I mean, I’ve never had to deal with earning much money by Canadian standards or budgeting in larger amounts each month.

All I want to say is dream, then think of that dream and make it a reality. This dream has to do with money and making money in a way that is healthy, self gratifying and brings happiness or emotion into the world; a contribution.
Continue reading

Hand painted jewellery box – Burst

hand painted jewellery box by artist jessica doyle

handpainted miniature box by jessica doyle

hand painted jewellery box by artist jessica doyle

Colour Burst!

This rounded unique maple wood turned box has been gessoed, sanded, meticulously decorated artist quality acrylic then varnished four times for durability. The inside is sanded smooth after a couple of coats of gesso.

“Burst” is signed on it’s bottom by me, the artist and is availble for purchase in the art shop within the Handpainted Boxes Section.

Box Dimensions – 1 1/2″H by 2 1/8″W (H-3.8cm by W-5.4cm) It’s tiny!

It was an art gallery hopping, wedding and family filled eventful weekend

If there is one thing I’m not so good at, it is this: posting pictures of what happened over the weekend as I did not take any.

I’ll surmise:


Got up and ate some food. Dillydallyed most of the day and hung out on Google Buzz while writing last minute art bio’s and answering emails. Then got dressed and procrastinated a bit more and promptly decided that I did not like what I was wearing and changed again, then ran to catch the bus that was speeding down the hill. Got off the bus on King St. and purchased a bottle of Pepsi and a pack of smokes. Took a giant swig of Pepsi and smoked a smoke. Walked to the gallery and helped them finish setting up for the show. By this time is was 4:00PM and the show was beginning at 5:00PM. It was creatively unorganized and overwhelmed with people. There were no distinct way of knowing who created what ACEO as they were all haphazardly hung on the wall; all 1500 of them. Was fantastic!

The mood was festive and relaxed, yet jumpy and crowded. I enjoyed myself thoroughly! I met Fred Ross and also Herzl Kashetsky; two world famous local artists. I bought some ACEO’s, sold some ACEO’s and had a great time! Went over to the Happinez wine bar afterwords to meet up with some others. Left and went home around midnight, exhausted and with sore feet from wearing damn sexy tall dark brown leather boots. Sleep.


Got up and showered and immediately proceeded to cut the shit out of my legs while shaving with a dull razor… cursed. Feverishly began wrapping handmade placemats and coasters (I made them) wedding gifts for cousin and his fiancé. Decided that I desperately needed sheer pantyhose to wear with little black dress in an effort to cover scraped and bloody legs. Must go buy pantyhouse, take BF to his place for his change of clothes and get back to my place in 45 minutes and get dressed myself. Brother and his GF picked me and the *BF up and we headed to the wedding. None of us knew how to get there. We Doyle’s are a funny lot. We just knew it was at a church off of the Manawagonish road over West. Made it ten minutes before the wedding. Sat through wedding. Was beautiful. I cried.

We packed up and went to Burger King after the ceremony at 4:00PM as we likely wouldn’t be eating until later that evening around 7:00PM at the reception. I ate chicken fingers and fries.

We arrived at the Lily Lake pavilion. We parked. The men drank beer and the women smoked. More family showed up with beer. A party was happening in the parking lot. I left to go inside. So beautiful were the decorations! Food was amazing and the dancing was fun! Arrived home around midnight. Sleepy!


Awoke with a start! Well, housekeeping day and cooking meal for family day in celebration of Mother’s Day Day. Weather was cold and I decided not to BBQ. Drove BF home and bought some groceries. Made a tasty marinade for pork chops and let them stew in it. Began madly cleaning house and stripping tenants beds and linens and doing laundry. Brother arrived to pick me up and take me over to get a second dresser for my bedroom from his GF. She didn’t want it anymore and I needed a second dresser.

Arrived back with dresser and my brother the carpenter, helped me install massive shelving unit and hang some large artwork on the walls. Brother peeled and cooked potatoes. I vacuumed and changed bedding. Mom and Dad arrived. We made salad and ate the prepared food. Family left.

Fell asleep on papasan in sunroom for three hours, woke up and stumbled upstairs to bed to dream.

The weekend really was both blissful and lovely!

I was in a haze most of the day yesterday and am finally coming around today with answering emails and responding to requests. It’s difficult to to take three days off of silently working online and be thrown into live crowds when one is an introvert and coming back to this was actually quite hard yesterday. Today though, I’m feeling refreshed and invigorated and looking forward to a peaceful week of just me, my computer, pens and paper.

*BF stands for boyfriend and it’s much easier to write than the guy I am dating

Footprints – custom illustrative work, some process and a little Google Buzz

This is the first painting I created for Marathon runner and long time friend Darren Lee’s new running themed blog; RunDeeZone. There will be two to four more created for use within the design of the site.

RunDeeZone will explore the less talked about issues one faces when running. I like that, and think we as a society need to open up and share our experiences with others so that we indeed realize that we are not alone. The site is in the very early stages of inception and I hope you’ll follow along while both the illustrative work and design are completed.

This original painting measures 8×10 inches and was painted with Kroma Artist Acyrlic on Arches watercolour paper. I used a silver flecked paint on it too to give it some oomphah and shimmer of course. Continue reading