Category Archives: journey

I wish I could do more about the stench of crude oil but it may take the efforts of the next generation

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As I laid awake again for another night of clanks, bangs and grinding steel, metal and horns I wondered when it would happen. I wondered when the explosion would occur and I would be running beside Chris carrying Willow amidst an inferno so grotesque that there’d be no use of even trying as we wouldn’t survive the explosions to begin with. We’d likely be incinerated and scientists would be identifying us through use of dental records.

I spoke with Chris about my fears this morning. He carries the same ones. We live somewhere where the trains carrying toxic crude oil and natural gas outnumber humans five to one. And we live 500 meters from the end of the line where all the tanks are unloaded of their black liquid gold which is then pumped to the Irving Oil Refinery a few kilometres away for refining.

Neither one of us would have purchased homes back in the old neighbourhood that we grew up in had we known there were going to be HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of freight trains unloading there oil in our backyard for Irving to refine.

The stench is more than we can bare at times. It permeates our home and makes it impossible to breath outside or open your windows when the wind is calm and humidity high. Old women and children plug their noses on public transit buses as they near the intersection of Bayside Drive and the Courtenay Bay Causeway and it sickens me that I need to pull the buzzer and step off in the thick of it. The smell has been so bad on occasion that I thought there was an oil leak in my home. I have dashed down and into the basement to check the tank for cracks on more than one occasion. How ironic that my home is heated with oil and that it is some of the most expensive oil to buy in Canada even though it is refined right here in my backyard.

I feel angry and cheated out of the peace and quiet that used to pervade this neighbourhood. The noise pollution level has risen to the point that we rarely sleep through the night anymore. And what is this doing to our six month old daughter.

I’d like the end of the line to be moved or for Irving to buy my home and my boyfriends home so we can relocate at a minimum 2KM away from the end of the line if it’s to be here permanently. I’d like the refinery shut down and converted to windmills but that’s akin to wishing the Pacific ocean clean of plastic debris. These things will not happen in my lifetime.

There are people who tell me to shut up and not say anything because if I want to sell my house I better be quiet about it. WHY be quiet about it… This is everywhere. You.can.not.escape.it. This industry dominates the skyline of of the City of Saint John.

I tire of living in fear, on a constant alert that an all out oil apocalypse is going to happen and no amount of new overpasses and evacuation routes will save my family and I, living here, at the end of the line.

If the Plutocracy can spend billions on retrofitting DOT-111 tanks they can certainly move the end of the line to the refinery or purchase the neighborhood so we can all move. We were duped into thinking a park would be where the terminal is.

They say things happen in three’s. Lac Magentic, Plasterock… The end of the line?

Photo Credit – (Selfie) My daughter Willow and

It’s 2013 and the beginnings of chunky marmelade

Chunky Orange Lemon Marmelade

When you haven’t written in so long it’s easier to keep on not writing. But, in the back of your mind, the words and letters keep churning and jumbling up and into empty space until you get them written down in a tangible form. While I have been drawing pictures, it’s the words that weren’t making sense to me and therefore I did not write.

These last six months have been nothing but life changing. I haven’t found God or anything like that but I have found the courage to live more honestly and to trust in those people whom, let me, into their lives. You can’t help but wonder how you could have lived the way you did for such a long time repeating gesture after gesture after ever after.

There is solace in repetitive movement and even in the the state of inaction… the ticks, the drinks, the inhalations, the thoughts, the running, the drawing, the writing, the eating, the frantic screaming, it all soothes anxiety and mends the hearts of troubled souls irregardless of how temporary or destructive in nature this self-soothing may be. We can only go on circling for so long in a state of chaos before spinning out.

So, last night I made some chunky orange lemon marmelade from scratch. That sums up my everything.

Happy 2013!

AND FYI… Handmade 2013 desk and wall calendars are listed for sale in the shop.

The Marmelade recipe I adapted from the Mad Scientist and home Cooking. Also, I used an extra amount or orange peelings that I have been freezing over the last few months. If you are going to make marmalade DO USE certified organic citrus fruit as the peelings are not sprayed or died.

About selling at markets, having a boyfriend and living a sober life

O is for owl - childrens art for bedroom by artist jessica doyle

It’s been a long time since I felt confident enough to say I love what I do. Selling at the City Market over the last few weeks has been a blessing. I worked hard to find full-time work outside of the home yet almost every door I knocked on stayed closed for the last seven years. So, I’ve always returned to creating my own work.

Not everyone is meant to work a 9 to 5 job and this time around I accept that. Just as I’m not supposed to drink or smoke. It’s been over five months since I had my last drink and while it’s occasionally hard, it’s getting easier to focus on life without donning the rosé coloured glasses.

And it’s very strange to begin seeing clearly the reasons you drank, used drugs or smoked.

I “used”, to dull emotions, senses and stimuli. I would then use to heighten them when I didn’t have enough energy.

I feel more high sober than I did high so to speak. I’m accepting the strong emotions and insane bursts of energy and focus as they come on and the people closest to me accept them too. I let those people know what’s going on and don’t bottle the sh!t up nor spend too much time alone except when working here in the studio or when resting after work.

And I’m working lots these days. The pictures in this post are scenes from the Saint John City Market, the monthly outdoor Queen Square Market, a new owl limited edition print and of the mantle in my living room. That piece sold and is on route to Indiana at the time of this writing. But, you can get your own limited edition Sassy Sea Urchin here to frame and hang on your wall form the shop.

And the boyfriend has been a positive influence on me for sticking to a routine especially when getting to bed and getting up in the morning. We drink tea and talk, go for long walks, cook meals, spend time with family, play games, explore, laugh and enjoy the present. We have much in common and enough self interests to keep things interesting and moving forward. Most of all our core values, beliefs and morals are in line with one and other.

I didn’t know that life could be this way. And I didn’t know that by saying “no” to things that didn’t feel right that eventually the right stuff would make it’s way into my life.

BTW… i’ll be at the Saint John City Market on June 30th and again on July 1st in my regular stall down by Pete’s Frootique. Drop in to say hi! I’ve got many new framed pieces to choose from, new prints and the locket sets too.

I’ll be at the outdoor Queen Square Farmer’s Market and inside at the Saint John City Market this weekend

Artist Jessica Doyle's art at the saint john city market

I’ll be selling my work at the Queen Square Farmer’s Market in the South end of Saint John this Sunday, June 17th, 2012 from 8:30AM to 2:00PM.

My booth number is 26. The rain date is the following Sunday, however the weather forecast for this Sunday is looking mighty fine and sunny!

And yesterday I began selling my art and paper goods in the historic Saint John City Market located in Uptown Saint John. This market officially opened in 1876!

I will be at the City Market on all days when cruise ships are docking at the Port of Saint John. You can read the hectic cruise ship schedule here. It’s about 70 days in total from now until the end of October.

The next cruise ship day is this Saturday, June 16th. It’s looking to be a mighty busy weekend for me. Hope to see you out and about on either of those two days. I’ll be at the foot of the market this Saturday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM in beside Pete’s Fruitique in one of the nifty red stalls.

Jessica doyle's art at the saint john city market

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

Walking the railway… down by the bay

saint john nb

Before the rains came over this last week and began turning most everything green we set out in the mid-evening crossing Bayside Drive and entered into the mouth of the Marsh Creek area where it meets the Bay of Fundy on foot along the railway tracks. We walked along and then down to the shore on the North side of the Courtenay Bay Causeway during low-tide.

A herd of deer that live down here, however, all we caught were their white bums skipping away from us as we approached them. They moved away too fast for me to capture them on film.

There is a copious amount of plastic debris washing up on the shore from the ocean… including the little pink pig, syringes, plastic bags, bottles and thousands upon thousands of tampon applicators. Use a menstral cup already women.

Before the Courtenay Bay Causeway was built this area was home to the largest shipbuilding operation in Eastern Canada and remnants of that bygone era remain here to this day. This area was a tidal ocean front beach where even my Dad used to play when he was a kid.

Even with the plastics dotting the grassy marsh it’s still pristine and relatively untouched by human hands.

blue sky, saint john, nb, canada, trees, thorns, beautiful, courtenay bay

When you look West you can see the beginning of Uptown Saint John (Central City) and the South End Peninsula.

During the next few years an amazing restoration will be taking place… The Marsh Creek area is being restored, cleaned up and made fit for human consumption again. Bike and walking trails with elevated decks and lookouts will be added.

Many different species of birds and wildlife call this area home including this decapitated seagull.

At sunset we began making our way back East.

And at dusk we walked back into the hood.

My hood - courtenay bay area of east saint john - ward 3

Goal Evasion

Lately I’ve realized that the best method I have for accomplishing goals is setting them to begin with. Revolutionary, I know.

I’m a big goal setter. Usually. At the very least, I firmly believe in the concept. But occasionally I lapse into this weird space where I’m terrified to set any goals, because that would mean I’ve committed myself to accomplishing them. And sometimes I just don’t want to accomplish things. Sometimes I want to live in that place where anything is possible and I can dream REALLY big because there’s no deadline looming in the future that will prove my goals were too big to accomplish in the first place.

Which is how I see the world when I’m lost in this space. It’s fear, really. One moment of avoidance becomes another, until you have a long string of goal-evasion that has replaced all you’ve previously accomplished. When you have no goals to meet, nothing pressing on your mind that you must work at, ANYTHING is possible! I can be a princess! On a unicorn! On Mars! Continue reading

Walking on the East Side of Saint John, NB in Early Springtime

Growing up, we all walked everywhere, biked or rode the bus to get from point A to B. We were all in shape.

irving oil refinery

Recently, I’ve begun walking and hiking through the back fields, railroad tracks and forgotten lands, that I used to travel through when young, with a wonderful person who enjoys walking them as much as I do.

fog rolling in

These are some photo’s from our latest trek. You can see the largest oil refinery in Canada in the distance while the fog rolls in from the Courtenay Bay.

If you are unfamiliar with the Courtenay Bay Area of East Saint John, it is home to homes that were built shortly after WWI and WWII. This place is nestled in between a few major thoroughfares, is located on the best bus route in the city and is genrally a very safe area to live in for both young and old alike.

100 years of smashed liquor bottles

irving pipeline east saint john

This area is five minutes by bus or car to Uptown or 25 minutes walking. It is surrounded by industry, sea water, fields and rolling hills.

irving oil trains east saint john

Anyhow, I love this area… even when the fog rolls in and blankets out the sun and you can’t see across the street anymore.

All Original Illustrations are 50% Off in my art shop right now. Prices are already reduced in the originals section. Decorate your home with one-of-a-kind whimsical art today!