Category Archives: questions

Whose Art Is It Anyway?

I usually don’t pay attention to any crazy-artist streaks within me, but I suppose from an outward standpoint it’s probably obvious. I have a tendency to swing between extreme emotions about everything I do, spending half the time loving a painting, and the other half hating it. But that’s normal, right? Creating is hard.

I also like to spontaneously change my work after it’s finished. One might say “destroy.” “Ruin.” “Cover up.” I say “improve.”

I have been known to quietly remove an unsold work from public view in order to change it in such a drastic way that it is essentially a brand new painting. First I’ll paint it white. Then I’ll paint it over.

This infuriates my husband. In his mind, the work now belongs to my fans and my audience, even if no one owns the physical painting. In my mind, the painting isn’t finished until it has a home, and as long as it’s hanging on my own wall, we’re calling it a “work in progress.” Continue reading

In Between the Art

L

ast weekend I went to a concert of someone I’ve technically known since I was five, and despite the fact that she’s fairly popular, I was woefully unfamiliar with her music and had never seen her perform (unless you count living room karaoke.) It ended up being pretty incredible to watch, not just because the music was awesome (which it was) but because I was witnessing this person that I’d interacted with in a casual way perform as she does best, in her element, in front of her fans, in the spotlight. She displayed a great command of experience and talent in exactly the moment she needed to.

As artists, we’re familiar with this situation to varying degrees. Any time we’re at our own shows, or even doing something as simple as releasing a painting for public view, we summon all necessary skill and confidence into a fixed period of time in which we allow ourselves to be stars, to lead the room in a chorus of our own making. We understand the necessity of doing so, at least in short bursts, especially when we’re promoting something specific.

But what happens the rest of the time? Why do we tend to put our public selves into stasis when we’re not attached to the art? We still have a duty to be artists, which is doing more than making art. We have a purpose to live artistic lives, with intention and passion. Our lives should be as interesting and inspiring as our art. Being an artist is an action, not a title.
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You Can’t Handle The Truth

Happiness is a Beach in Kauai

So I’ve learned something.

I went to Kauai to find answers, not really even knowing what my questions were, but feeling like there was something I was missing that I needed to find. Or maybe I needed to be found. One of those. I don’t know.

I wait for answers too often. If I want something to happen, I assume things are simply going to work out, eventually. Someone or something will swoop in with neon signs and arrows showing me every step of the way. 

But clearly, for awhile now, I’ve been unhappy. I’ve felt unsettled and awkward, almost like I was intentionally avoiding something. And for the first few days in Kauai, I wasn’t settled either. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but I felt a little like I was phoning it in. The truth was, I was starting to panic. What if I didn’t find answers here? WHAT IF THERE WERE NO ANSWERS?! Gack. Continue reading

Art Frenemies

Perspective is everything.

Lately I’ve been pondering the relationships artists have with other artists.

I think in some ways, there’s this mistaken dream that artists all gather collectively the way we imagine it was done in 1920’s Paris; a utopia of sorts for artists to mingle, support, and commiserate with each other.

A scene from the movie Midnight in Paris:

Gil: I would like you to read my novel and get your opinion.
Ernest Hemingway: I hate it.
Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.
Ernest Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it. If it’s good, then I’ll be envious and hate it even more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

Well put.

Online, I’ve been fortunate to connect with many artists, mostly visual artists, but artists of other genres as well. Perhaps it’s the distance between us, the safe barrier of computer screens shielding us from the snickering, eye-rolling, and snide comments we’ve experienced in real life. Maybe it’s the sense that we share a common bond, not only of marketing ourselves as a business online, but also a common lack of artist-to-artist relationships in the real world.

Or, maybe we just have a wider audience in which to find people we truly click with.

In real life, at least for me personally, I find an odd, awkward distance in communication between myself and other artists. For whatever reason, conveniently, my real-life artist friends are the least likely to comment on my Facebook updates, acknowledge anything about my life, or ask how I’m doing when they see me. Continue reading

The good in becoming vulnerable

How do you deal with unwanted attention or attention that perhaps you didn’t expect to get from something you wrote, said, posted, tweeted, shared or facebooked for the sheer fun of it; basically because you could, because it’s your personal space to share and create on.

Getting sick and feeling awful certainly puts one’s life into perspective. It has a way of making you take stock of where you are, where you were and most importantly where you want to be once you do begin to feel better.

Do you count your blessings? Do you make yourself vulnerable to new friendships, new business initiatives or even romantic relationships or do you avoid them out of fear? Do you take risks or do you always walk on the damn line like everyone else and fit into the mold that society markets to you?

Something snapped inside in March after travelling to Fredericton. I haven’t been quite the same since. And that could be due to the Synthroid beginning to work and stabilize the hypothyroidism. Or, it could be that in being honest with and surrounding myself with people who inspire, share, challenge and grow with me rather than work against or hold me back, I’m growing as a person again. And this doesn’t mean that we agree all of the time… in fact it’s quite the opposite… it just means that we like each other and like the dreams we talk of. That Waitress Story is more important than ever.

I applied for a creation grant in early April. It was rejected three weeks ago.

I signed with an artist representative a few months back. I ended that relationship quite abruptly a few weeks ago after learning that all was not what it seemed to be.

I also turned down a part-time College level teaching job earlier this year after realizing during the uber-complicated negotiation process that we were not a good fit after all.

I am dating and realizing more and more what it is that I’m looking for and it’s not so simple or black and white as what is written on this list as many men seem to think from the sheer amount of emails I’ve received from them about it. Look, I don’t date men that I meet online anymore, well maybe…

All it really takes in life is a genuine smile and an outreached arm to dance. Actions speak much louder than words and it’s those actions that make a person back away or grab on and enjoy the ride.

Really, life is that simple and if you are not experiencing that then you must do everything you can and get off of that straight line and enjoy the bumps along the way.

Today I’m grateful for family and friends who while being kind and gentle are challenging me to break out of the shell that I slid into sometime last year.

Photo Credits: Andrew of Park Imagery

  1. Me and my beautiful friend of 20 years, Vikki (Fredericton, NB, Canada)
  2. Me and Vikki again (Fredericton, NB, Canada)
  3. Me hoola hopping with 50lbs of homemade hoops (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  4. Doing my best to keep those hoops spinning (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  5. My good friend Anne hooping (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  6. My good friend and roommate Andrew, hooping! (Quispamsis, NB, Canada)
  7. Harrison’s Dad, me and Harrison (Cambridge Narrows, NB, Canada)

Which road to walk down?

I find myself at a crossroads at the moment and unsure of what road to travel down.

Do I pack up, sell the house and move into a smaller home or into an apartment? I did the cost crunching and it would basically cost about the same as where I’m living right now. So, I am staying put. One decision made.

Do I continue to find people to rent rooms to? This is the nagging question that’s been spiralling in my head as of late. I had many problems last Fall with the people I was renting to; missing tenants, unpaid rent and excessive use of scented products which in the case of the latter I’m severely allergic to.

The missing tenant was thankfully found after I was featured on the local news and is coming clean on the money he owes me while another tenant will likely be served legal papers and taken to court for the monies he owes to me. Oddly enough the third tenant who wears excessive cologne wants to move back in and when I received the email I spat out a mouthful of water onto my desk in shock. What did he not understand? Even the money he paid his rent with reeked of cologne and made my finger tips swell when handling it and I had to encase it in plastic before travelling to deposit it at the bank. This same person vehemently hated cats and hissed and shoed Missy repeatedly telling me to keep her out of his room. I said you’ll have to accept that she lives here and this is her home and that if you don’t want her in your room you’ll have to gently pick her up and place her outside of your room. Continue reading

What I’m looking for in a man list

Jessica Doyle artist

It’s been suggested a few times that I sit down and write out what I’m looking for in a man. I’ve done this with jobs, dreams and other life altering events and thus far the track record of the results has been very good. But I’ve never taken this approach to finding a partner. Perhaps you are the man I’m looking for?

  1. You are intelligent.
  2. You prefer Mac to PC.
  3. You are a geek.
  4. You are not a nerd, but a geek. And you are passionate about it.
  5. You believe in the future, live in the present and learn from your past.
  6. You are grounded with no current severe addictions, afflictions of the heart or mental instabilities that need prompt medical attention.
  7. You have no children but are open to the idea of having a child or maybe two.
  8. You love your job, career or calling and thrive on it.
  9. You are not in debt (save for your rent, mortgage and/or car payments) and pay your current bills on time.
  10. You love family and close friends.
  11. You are not a social butterfly that needs to be entertained hourly by other people.
  12. You can spell and love the intricacies of language.
  13. You enjoy silence and it doesn’t freak you out.
  14. You are good with your hands.
  15. You don’t mind getting them dirty.
  16. You listen well.
  17. You enjoy cooking.
  18. You are clean.
  19. You are not overweight.
  20. You are at or above 5’10”.
  21. You know what a blog is and perhaps have one yourself.
  22. You prefer slow cooking to fast food.
  23. You actually loathe fast food.
  24. You are a non smoker.
  25. You can read between the lines.
  26. You are a sexual creature and are well endowed.
  27. You are perhaps a Pisces, Cancer or Capricorn.
  28. You believe in Magic.
  29. You are creative and can think outside of the box while jumping up and down on it to smush those outdated beliefs.
  30. You like gardening.
  31. You believe your home is your sanctuary.
  32. Your home can be anywhere.
  33. You do not need to own the latest fashions or gadgets to feel good about yourself.
  34. You are honest with your emotions but don’t wear them on your sleeve.
  35. You believe in talking it out rather than walking away.
  36. You own up to your mistakes.
  37. You believe in mother earth.
  38. You treat people with kindness.
  39. You prefer ambient beats, house music or even the odd techno blip or live band to country, rap or top 40.
  40. You are between the age of 37 and 42.
  41. You know what HTML is.
  42. You know how to use a hammer.
  43. You look at the person you are talking to.
  44. You are more anxious than depressed.
  45. You can laugh.
  46. You can make me laugh.
  47. You know the difference between hugging and getting it on.
  48. You like pens that click and have awesome ink flow.
  49. You don’t snore.
  50. You flirt.
  51. You have faith in humanity.
  52. You have beautiful eyes and decent teeth.
  53. You believe there is a solution to any problem and work to resolve differences or in the least agree to disagree.
  54. You like walking outside.
  55. You aren’t ashamed of your past.
  56. You have been in love maybe more than once.
  57. You have had your heart broken.
  58. You understand math.
  59. You have healthy habits and even some quirky one’s that you are working on.
  60. You stand up for yourself.
  61. You encourage but do not enable.
  62. You are not afraid of colour.
  63. You love anomalies.
  64. You’ve consumed drugs in the past to enlighten yourself.
  65. You prefer wine or cider to beer and cooler.
  66. You believe in quantum physics and have jumped into the rabbit hole on occasion.
  67. You believe we will live on another planet within a 100 years.
  68. You eat your vegetables and love them.
  69. You know what you like and what you don’t like and don’t lie about it.
  70. You like Fringe.
  71. You dislike Glee.
  72. You dislike hockey.
  73. You have a hairy chest and can grow a full beard.
  74. You do not wear cologne, perfume or use scented products.
  75. You have larger hands than me.
  76. You don’t dart your tongue like a jackhammer while kissing or hold it there and do nothing.
  77. You have full lips.
  78. You talk about things that interest you.
  79. You share your life experience openly.
  80. You don’t hide when things get tuff.
  81. You know when to call it quits.
  82. You aren’t that fond of wearing stripes.
  83. You hate malls.
  84. You can keep up with me and perhaps slow me down when needed.
  85. You like to be followed.
  86. You like taking the lead and put your hand out to do so without even asking if it’s OK.
  87. You talk with your actions.
  88. You are a man!
  89. You like fruit.
  90. You like fish, chicken and other meats but do believe in vegetarianism to.
  91. You buy second hand.
  92. You buy new when needed.
  93. You believe in handmade.
  94. You understand the law.
  95. You understand politics.
  96. You are gentle but strong.
  97. You like your nipples touched.
  98. You like to touch nipples.
  99. You can take or leave floor play.
  100. You can keep it up.
  101. You are not married.
  102. You are not recently separated.
  103. You like gallery openings.
  104. You like dancing.
  105. You like trees.
  106. You like architecture.
  107. You love the ocean and swimming it.
  108. You like sand.
  109. You have a hobby.
  110. You can build things in real life.
  111. You can build things online too.
  112. You inspire me.
  113. You like Tetris.
  114. You aren’t so much into violence unless you’re being attacked by a bear.
  115. You like lady bugs.
  116. You dislike hornets.
  117. You are not afraid of spiders.
  118. You are not afraid of the dark.
  119. You are not afraid of rain or fog.
  120. You might have allergies.
  121. You might have minor current health issues.
  122. You know that Facebook is not the internet.
  123. You earn enough money to support a family.
  124. You are creative and can solve problems.
  125. You are wordly.
  126. You have traveled.
  127. You can tell wonderful stories.
  128. You don’t mind repeating yourself.
  129. You aren’t scared to make the first move.
  130. You are…

That about sums it up folks. I pulled both the good and the bad from all my relationships and the above list is what I came up with for what I’m looking for in a man. If this is you, you can get in touch with me by emailing eastvanesica (AT) gmail DOT com.

Update – Many of the comments below are being imported from my Google Buzz feed. If you want to respond them go to Google Buzz.

I don’t need convincing that your product is good because I already love it

Don’t you, as an online content creator, wish you were paid just a little when you mention a product that you use everyday. I think I’ve mentioned Pilot G-tec pens a gazillion times on this blog, with Apple, Faber Castell and Arches following close behind. I’d be a little better off if these companies paid me just a little.

I think in part, I don’t mention these companies more, because I’m not being paid, regardless of how much I use their product. I find myself leaving their name out of posts and simply writing created with india ink, watercolor and paper rather than created with Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Windsor & Newton Watercolor and Arches Watercolor paper. I wonder how many of you when out shopping for supplies and/or products, thought of that blog post, Etsy listing or Tweet which mentioned that product you were out shopping for directly or indirectly, and purchased said product.

I guess it comes down to Continue reading