Monthly Archives: May 2012

Customer Appreciation Photo – George – yes, he’s a pretty fish

George the fish - drawing by artist jessica doyle - bathroom decor, wall decor

A few days ago Sue from Michigan emailed this lovely photo of George matted, framed and hanging on this bathroom wall.

Initially Sue emailed asking if I could print George at a larger than 8.5 x 11 inch size so that it would cover 12 x 16 inch wall area. I wrote back saying, that while yes, I can print it out at that size, just to keep in mind that once matted and framed a letter sized print would be around the size she had wanted.

She went ahead purchased the letter sized George about a month ago.

Sue emails…

Jessica – I have attached my framed print of “George” and he looks wonderful in my remodeled bathroom… Thank you so much for brightening my day – every day – when I look at him. I have received so many compliments on the picture. They all love it.

And continues on after I wrote asking for permission to share the photo with you all here on the blog,

You sure can share it with everyone. You should be so proud of him because every time I look at him, I smile, and that’s so important these days. Being in my bathroom he gets frequented often and it’s so much fun to just look at him and smile.

Have a great weekend and thanks again for your wonderful talent!

Sue

Thank you Sue!

George, the pretty fish is available in three sizes…

  1. Limited Edition ACEO Sized George
  2. 5×7 Inch George
  3. Letter Sized George

The Original illustration of George was purchased by a local Canadian Art Collector 18 months ago.

To drink or not to drink and how this relates to crohn’s disease

heart broken drawing by artist jessica doyle inside a fabriano quadrato artist journal

After a couple of weeks of reading too many self help sites and reminicing over what doctors, councillors, and other medical professionals and what family and friends have said or not said or suggested I find myself thinking back to when I was healing after a second surgery for Chron’s Desease which saw 11 inches of ileum removed, the right fallopian tube and ovary scraped of inflammation and one ureter put back into place. I weighed 95lbs at the time of surgery.

The doctors told me I would be sick for the rest of my life. That I would relpase within five years and most likely have another major surgery within eight years. That I’d be medicated on 5-ASA, Pentasa, antibiotics and/or steroids indefinitely that (in 1998) were costing me $300 to $400 per month. I really considered going on welfare so the meds were covered by the government.

With the support of a few close family members and friends I bucked the treatment after six or seven months and began seeking an alternative to the naysaying specialists who, yes, did save my life by removing the rotting intestine and gangrenous apendix but who, by no means offered any words of encouragement or even considered that there was an alternative to taking medications that were causing more side effects than doing good.

I’m happy to say I’ve been in remission of crohn’s since September 1997. That is 15 years. I learned that drinking a bottle of Bio-K and taking pro-biotics on a daily basis for one month straight was enough to ween myself off of the drugs after having followed a strict diet set out by a nutritionist. She first instilled positive knowledge by saying “try it out” and “introduce one food at a time and pay close attention to your body in how it reacts and adjust what you eat or don’t eat as needed”.

I learned that fast and processed food were what may have triggered the crohn’s disease to begin with. I learned that I can eat popcorn, raw vegetables, potatoes, drink milk, eat whole grain products and savour crunchy nuts and fresh fruit with seeds. And to this day eating excess white flour, white sugar, soy and processed or fast foods set me off and cause me to either vomit or have diarrhea which are hallmark symptoms of crohn’s! How odd. I still ingest Bio-K during a potential flare-up and take Natural Factors Acidophlis and Bifidus capsules everyday.

But, the biggest change of all happened on the inside after the surgery. I mentally shifted the hopelessness into repetitive reafirming positive thoughts followed by action.

It meant leaving a husband and his family behind, dissolving a legal business partnership and losing all the graphic design and illustration clientele after my hard drive was mysteriously wiped and moving back to my hometown in 2001. I never looked back.

I’m a fighter and will by no means let the disease of addiction ruin me. It may cause spiritual, emotional or physical pain for short periods of time during my lifetime, just as crohn’s does, but it also makes me sensitive, empathetic and courageous when faced with both adversity and this feeling of emptiness that comes along when you have nothing else to lose but yourself.

brain void drawing by artist jessica doyle inside a fabriano quadrato artist journal

In Saint John they don’t look at the fact that I was a social user of alcohol for five years after cleaning up from addiction in 2006 followed by one year of problem drinking that lead to detox this January. Whether I return to drinking or not is something I will decide on my own with the help of those who are closest to me. I guess if I can control and moderate eating only one peice of cake or one piece of white bread every now and then why can’t I moderate what I drink? The clean up process of addiction feels eerily similar to cleaning up from Crhon’s. You simply learn what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly or experience a relapse and need hospitalization.

I am a firm believer that this abstinence from alcohol is allowing me to think more clearly on whether I even want to test the waters or not, just as abstaining from certain foods gave my body, mind and soul time to recover from crohn’s to make healthy decisions on how to proceed.

Rest assured that if I began eating fast and processed foods on a daily basis that I’d likely need another bowel resection and that if I return to what I drank before I would need to detox again.

Tomorrow, on May 25th I’ll be four months sober.

The two drawings in this post were drawn shortly after being released from the hospital. they were drawn with coloured pencil and india ink.

And the garden is growing

This past weekend I spent Mother’s Day at my folk’s place helping outside in the garden.

We planted organic seed potatoes and complained about the creeping charlie and talked about how well the strawberry rhubarb is growing this season.

It was a peaceful day.

Owl Tattoo

cute owl tattoo - owl illustration design by artist jessica doyle

A few months ago, Kayleigh wrote asking for permission to use my artwork as a tattoo. She wanted to use the opening owl from this blog post as the basis for her tattoo.

The final tattoo turned out pretty fabulous don’t you think! I’m truly honoured that someone liked my artwork enough to have it tattooed on their skin.

Thanks for sending in the picture Kayleigh.

Interested in getting a tattoo of my artwork… simply download it from HandmadeCloud.

Be unique and wondrous at all times – drawing

drawing inside fabriano quadrato artist journal by jessica doyle

Ideally we’d all be unique and wondrous at all times. This, however, would be difficult to achieve and maintain.

As children we were so. But, as we grew into adulthood we were taught to let go of this wonder and form into lines one after the other as we proceeded to checkout. While we are unique, we are more the same than we really want to admit. It is only through actions that we render each other indifferent perhaps.

detail of drawing inside fabriano quadrato artist journal by jessica doyle

Maybe it comes down to being honest with what makes you tick with those you love, admire and trust.

The drawing above was created using Prismacolor Verithin coloured pencils and Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens inside a Fabriano Quadrato Artist Journal.

Want to support the artist who wrote this post? Go and buy some snazzy wall swag directly from her.

The Physics of Being Busy

Have you ever noticed how busy people seem to get more done?

I’ve heard that if you have a task that needs completing, give it to a busy person. They’ll get it done. Probably in a timely fashion too.

Maybe it has something to do with physics. People with a lot to do have a lot more energy whirling around them. They’re already moving fast. Adding something else just propels them faster. Tasks are easy because they’re used to doing them. They cook and clean simultaneously.

Now think of that person who never does anything. Their biggest contribution in life is unlocking a weapon in a video game. They sleep during the day. They have all the free time in the world to complete as many projects as they want. Yet… Would you have any confidence whatsoever that this person would be able to complete your task at all, let alone quickly?

I wouldn’t either.  Continue reading

Abigail the Bird – Drawing

Abigail the Bird - drawing by artist Jessica Doyle

Detail Abigail the bird - sketch inside fabriano quadrato artist journal

Abigail the bird - sketch inside fabriano quadrato artist journal

Abigail was created with ink and coloured pencil on ingris paper. She measures 9×9 inches.

She’s a rather phat birdie! ;)

I’ve been listing many original illustrations in the shop. More will be added in the coming weeks. It feels great to be working again. I’m so glad you are all here. You give me hope to continue onwards.

I see dead birds

I don’t see dead people but I’ve certainly been seeing my share of dead birds lately. This latest pigeon was bludgeoned in the Woodlawn Schoolyard off Westmorland Road this past Sunday evening on April 29th.

At first I thought it was just a bunch of feathers strewn across the green but upon closer inspection the carcass was fresh and dripping with blood. My co-walker and myself were certainly grossed out as I kneeled to get a closer look.

I think the stray cats or hawks or eagles in the neighborhood are attacking!

On a brighter note… the grass is certainly growing green on this side these days!