Category Archives: Life

Happy Kitty

Missy Two Shoes Died Today or why the decision to euthanize a pet is agonizing

I feel a little stunned and the back of my eyes and head hurt while my heart aches. Missy would have turned 17 years old this Summer which is 84 years old in human years.

She was a happy cat, a trooper, and travelled and lived from one coast of Canada to the other with me. She saw me through two major surgeries, marriage, divorce, addiction, and too many parties and both good and bad times to count. She always purred when you patted her and rolled onto her back for you to rub her belly. Missy loved when I whistled The Andy Grifith tune to her. She used to spend hours outside on decks and rooftops, catching moths at dusk or licking dew off of leaves in the garden. She was a great furry companion.

She is survived by Little Orange, her adoptive son, and Skulley, her stepsister and predeceased by Cat McGandy.

I miss her so much right now. It was agonizing taking her to the veterinary clinic this afternoon to euthanize. She lost the ability to walk this morning and would not eat or drink anymore. Her heart was failing and I couldn’t bear to watch her suffer any longer.

I love you Missy. You are truly missed and will never far from my thoughts.

With Child – new pregnancy limited edition art print and I’m now 20 weeks pregnant

pregnancy art, jessica doyle, pregnant, illustration, baby shower gift, limited edition

I drew this pretty pregnant woman when I was about 13 weeks pregnant and struggling to get over first trimester morning sickness, dizziness and low blood pressure and later coloured her by hand around 18 weeks pregnant when I was feeling much better.

The size of this print is 8.5 by 11 inches / 20,5cm by 28cm. With Child is a limited edition of 250 only and i chose to print her on a natural coloured acid and lignon free paper.

I don’t think you really know how bad you were feeling until you actually begin to feel better. I am 20 weeks pregnant today and my belly is growing and growing. I’m feeling pretty good though.

Chris and I decided to not find out the gender of the baby so it’ll be a surprise when he or she arrives in early September.

IMG_0552

This is the original ink drawing before I began adding in the coloured pencil.

With Child will make a beautiful baby shower shower gift or gift to a newly pregnant woman. You can get one in my Etsy Shop.

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.

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

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

In Pursuit of Passion

This past weekend I was talking with my dancer friend about a film she’d recently seen (Pina, a tribute to dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch) that she was very enamored with. She said I had to see it, that all artists would benefit from watching it, regardless of what art they created. I wasn’t opposed to the idea. Having read and benefitted from dancer Twyla Tharp’s universal perspective in her book The Creative Habit, I felt like I was down with the dancing crowd. I didn’t feel compelled to run out and see the movie, but sure. Why not.

To make her point, and because she had a captive audience, my friend whipped out her laptop to show me a few YouTube clips of the film. Okay, yes, it was pretty, and they definitely knew how to dance, and fine, they–OMG WHAT WAS THIS?! What were they doing?! The fluid movements and lovely down tempo beats! The sets! The costumes! IT WAS RAINING ON THE STAGE! The color and texture and framing and… holy crap, this was like watching a painting. I saw each scene much like I see the beginnings of ideas when I start a new piece. It was beautiful. I was downright inspired.

I love talking to other passionate artists. I love hearing them blather at length (as I do) about their individual loves and interests in art. I don’t even have to be familiar with their art to know why they do it. It’s a kinship. We speak a dialect of passion. Continue reading

The Shower Scene – A Gallery Story

I want to say upfront that this is just one story from my life, and not a commentary on the gallery system as a whole. My personal experience with “traditional” galleries has ranged from lackluster to unethical (and possibly illegal, but I’ll get to that in a second.) I do not believe they’re all like that. I’m very open-minded about galleries. I’ve simply had great success and enjoyment representing myself, and doing so is not a reaction to anything negative as much as it is a belief in doing something positive.

But anyway.

When I was starting out professionally, I heard from a number of people within the local art scene that I was ready for my own show. So I went out and got one. The gallery I’d found was up and coming, an offshoot of a more successful gallery nearby. The owner (we’ll call him Shawn) was an artist himself, and sold a great deal of work, all at higher end prices, with a pretty significant and growing following in the area. He liked my work, and immediately offered me a show. After securing a date, I heard from fellow artists that although his art “was a bit formulaic,” he seemed to be a fantastic businessman. The openings I attended in the months leading up to my show were lively events.

When I arrived at the gallery the morning of my own show to set up, I could sense a weird and unexpected attitude from Shawn. He was cold and unhelpful. He abruptly announced that I couldn’t use blacklights, a fairly integral part of my art, despite seeming enthusiastic about them a few weeks prior. He further informed me that I wouldn’t have access to half the space I was promised, because another artist was using it. When I firmly explained the necessity of the blacklights, he finally told me I could use a small room through a hall and in the back for this purpose.

I was determined to keep a good attitude about things. Continue reading