Tag Archives: friends

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

Introducing Shayla Maddox – contributing writer

shayla maddox, artist

I met Shayla a while back in early 2008 on Etsy. We quickly become friends and even exchange handmade Christmas balls at Christmas each year with each other. While we have never met in real life, she is as dear to me as the friends I have in real life. And above that, she understands what it’s like to work online and be self employed in the fine art and illustration business. She is a beautiful person inside and out.

shayla maddox, light reactive painting, acrylic

Shayla lives with her husband and works out of her home studio in Southern California. Shayla will be contributing one blog post each Wednesday to the Art & Musings blog. Her posts will be about… to quote her…

A bit back I suddenly had this burst of an epiphany, from watching Sex and The City no less (which I wouldn’t say I watch regularly or am even a fan of, but there was nothing else on while I was sitting on the ground working on my Christmas balls and now I’m thinking it was bizarrely fated that I watched it.) Anyway, I suddenly saw myself writing a column, a Carrie Bradshaw like column, though discussing art and life as opposed to dating in NYC.

And a bit more about Shyala in her own words…

I paint, and travel, and absorb the universe. And then I paint about those things. My work is a blend of science, Zen style, and Sacred Geometry.

I am inspired by stars, moons, sunsets, tropical beaches, humidity, coloring books, crayons, glo-worms and lite-brites, the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade, Jules Verne, The Science Channel, ancient technology and civilizations, the study of the universe, spirituality, stained glass windows, sea glass, telescopes, down-tempo music, Zen wisdom, rainbows, fireflies, water and light.

You can read Shayla’s personal Blog here and visit her Etsy Shop here.

Her first post will be up tomorrow!

Welcome Shayla! xo

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 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!

New River Beach in New Brunswick and learning to move forward without fear

hula hoop on branch with shadow and sand drawing at New River Beach in New Brunswick

I traveled to New River Beach yesterday with Vikki, Gus and his little guy. It was a beautiful day, albeit too cold for swimming. I had my hoops with me and spent a good hour hula hooping up and down the coastline. Vikki wondered off photographing most of the coast… Hopefully she’ll upload the photos her Flickr.

We ended the day by driving back into Saint John to the Thai Hut located inside Quality Convenience on King Street and ordering chicken Pad Thai. Yum!

jessica doyle with boy and hula hoop

Last weekend, when I decided to take some time off from Etsy I drove to Fredericton to visit with these guys at their respective houses. Put it this way, it was the first trip I planned and took by myself. And, I knocked that irrational fear right out of the water people!

I’ve been close friends with these two since first year of College, which was 17 years ago now. I hadn’t seen them in seven years but we’ve kept in touch online and lately, the time just felt right to pick up from whence we left off in real life. Each of us seemed to have our own serious life and health related issues that we were coping with and healing from during those last seven years that needing tending to. All three of us are healthy and happy these days and moving forward. We each own our own homes and enjoy the work we do too which is mighty different than the apartments we each rented and the financial struggles we each faced during the post college years.

Both Gus and Vikki studied photography at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design while I concentrated on Graphic Design and illustration.

The photo credits go to Gustavius. He snapped them with his cell phone. The links in this post will take you to their Twitter and Flickr accounts.

RELAX!

… is what I tell myself these days, many days, perhaps too many to count.

meandfriend

Seems to me that when shit hits the fan it does hit all at once.

All I can do is remain calm and carry on as I am not at liberty to discuss what is going on. Not yet anyways! I have a secret… good secret and some crazy ones to.

And for those of you in the know… no, I did not relapse. Haha!

Yes, this is a short blog post. And yes, that is me and a close friend of 30 years wearing pink feather boas at a stagette party (bachelorette party) we attended on Friday night. What fun we all had!

Photographer credit – Shyanne McGrath (not shown who is another long time friend of 30 years!)