Tag Archives: Family

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.

Progress shots of two weird illustrations

creative process shot… illustration, work in progress, colourful

The first is called Peter Pain and the one below is a family of spooky eyeballs just in time for Hallowe’en! Both measure 10 by 10 inches (25cm by 25cm). I’m hoping to complete them both this weekend. I’ll expand upon the significance of each illustration once they are done, scanned and blogged individually.

creative process shot… illustration, work in progress, spooky art

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Four vintage Smurfs and one vintage Carebear

Papa smurf, smurfette, carebear

A few weeks ago I held a small reunion of sorts in the backyard for close friends and family. Three of my long-time friends were in attendance. We all grew up on the same street thirty odd years ago and remain friends to this day. Continue reading

The DIY Deck in Pictures

My feet on the new deck!

When I purchased this home a couple of years ago the side stairs and small 3 by 3 foot landing were in pretty rough shape, but still usable. By the beginning of this Summer they were detaching from the house and were unsafe to continue using. My Dad and brother dropped by about a week ago and built this new 6 by 8 foot deck and staircase for me in one day.

This is the story in pictures… (click them for a larger image)

My Dad (John) the mason and younger brother (Stephen) the journeyman carpenter are awesome! I love you both and the new side deck rocks!

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)

I’m looking forward to June or why May didn’t bring flowers

Beatrice Bird Face illustration

May can just go back to where it came from with it’s rain, fog, rain, showers and did I say rain? It can also take the piercing pain and intermittent numbness in my left hand away too, and the pain in my right shoulder blade away and the dizzying mind numbing heart palpitating hypothyroidism away too. This is why I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve been dealing with a vast array of symptoms for the last 30 days and just doing my best to just be with them.

This is the first cohesive thought I’ve been able to blog during the last 30 days. I got into see the doctor last week as my symptoms had returned with a vengeance. My medication was upped this week to combat the flight and fancy I’m feeling most days. It’s confusing as heaven/hell to feel like you physically have to run a marathon when your mind is quiet and sleepy, and must sleep or rest when your mind is full of vivid thoughts and imagery. This is the yin and yang of hypothyroidism.

It’s not pleasant to wake in bed with a start and then feel like you are going to fall over and have a black out. Focus is not easy right now.

studio - illustrator jessica doyle

And the backyard garden is too sogging wet to plant or work. I’ve been spending my time with friends and family this last month. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve learned the art of phoning or visiting people when I feel bad or am having an attack as I like to call them.

I’ve been reading, learning and drawing up a storm too as I seem to be able to research, implement, read and draw. I’ve been reading about Bitcoin and hope to offer it on a few select products in June. I read Thomas Moore’s, Dark Night of the Soul, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, BigCartel Help by BigCartel, PulleyApp Help by PulleyApp and the Bitcoin wiki written by everyone.

I went to a charity clothing swap and got some new-to-me clothes. I’ve donated more art this month to every event and charity possible. I think I’ve been added to a ask for donation list. I went to an art gallery hop and I made a few new real life female friends too which is awesome as it’s been too long. I am going to my 20 year high school reunion next month childless and unmarried. I’ve got two awesome roommates who seem to be able to cope quite well with my health issues. I’m hoping to travel to Fredericton next month and visit with two of my best friends, Vikki and Dana. Vikki has hypothyroidism and has been instrumental in helping me deal with the symptoms I’m experiencing.

Anyway, it’s been a long month, a full month.

The art in this post is a piece that I finished recently, although the photos are only depicting her half finished. I’ll post the finished one once she is scanned in. Her name is Beatrice. Say hi!

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.

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:

Friday

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.

Saturday

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!

Sunday

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