Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Ok, so many of you may be reading this for the very first time so I am gonna try to make this post SOOO GOOD that you will want to tune in regularly or add my RSS feed or even just comment!! You see, gentle reader, each time I send out a mass email (or a ME as I call it!) I get a little spike in readership..........so I hope you come back often, as I post things here 3 or 4 times a week! Sometimes they are funny stories - and sometimes they are just the cold hard facts, ma'am! 
This one may be just more facts than anything else.....sorry!
Ok so the piece above is from my "Mixed Messages" series. This little 6" x 9" assemblage is called "Cat Call". Although, I have this horrible fear that when at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition people will try to figure it out without the title on it......and they will start to guess things like "kitty call?" "cat phone?" "clock telephone?". I think the guessing will give a serious case of the crazies! Nevertheless, so this piece (Cat Call) is made up of 2 pieces of recycled imagery (recycled from my extensive catalogue of 300 mostly sold artworks!):

"Kitty Time" Obviously, the kitty clock (which hangs in my kitchen) is the centrepiece of this one! This painting is long since sold. It was from my etiquette Series which took quotes from old Etiquette books and matched them with great vintage themed visuals!

The other piece is from "Entertained" which is also from that series and is also SOLD! I loved this one, and thought it was one of the better ones of that time!

As with all the pieces from my "Mixed Messages" series, I did a bunch of hand embellishing in both paint and ink to make it 'pop' and then some coloured washes to make things come together. The final touch is some scrabble tiles!
What do you think?

Monday, June 28, 2010


Just the other day, I claimed that I was "attuned to bad composition ESPECIALLY when it is my own composition!" I also claimed that I seldom repaint my work. MAN,  AM I A LIAR-LIAR-PANTS-ON-FIRE!! I posted a picture of "Rat Race" and how I had added an element to make it complete! Well, I have done it again! Remember earlier in the week I posted Call of Nature" on Saturday, June 19, 2010:

I gotta be honest, this one didn't exactly float my boat. I sorta felt it was missing something. The reason I take things to my studio after I finish them, is to get them out of my eyesight and out of my brain - to make room for new ideas. (and lord knows I have a limited brain capacity at the best of times.) So as I sat looking at "Call of Nature" this weekend, I realized it needed some extra colour and another image. So, I painted the moulding on the bottom teal (which is my 'signature colour') I then added the restroom people on top in and added a couple washes. I am really pleased with the result! What do you think?

Friday, June 25, 2010


You know, sometimes a piece just doesn't look done, when this happens - I SEE IT, immediately! You could say I have a knack for seeing bad composition.....it is a talent! (Yes, I sometimes wish the rare talents bestowed on me were as a corporate lawyer or businessperson!) I am attuned to bad composition ESPECIALLY when it is my own composition! this little piece is a clear example of me not seeing that it could be better - just before making it better!! So, yesterday I finished this  6" x 9" shadow box called "Rat Race". It is another piece from my "Mixed Messages" series. As usual it is made up of a three pieces of imagery from my catalogue of completed work including:
"Burn Rubber" which is UNSOLD!! Crazy but true! You can buy this very painting from me right now…..I can wait while you rush to the phone……Ok, well back to the art…..This painting is based on a picture I took waiting for a bus at Islington and Bloor in Toronto one night. I like what it has to say! As you can see, I repainted the word on the bottom from 'rubber' to 'race' to make it work!

The little rat is from a painting that I repainted. It was worked on for my Wisdom from A-Z series. I didn’t like where it was going, so I switched it out for a robot. The end result worked much better! The little wind up businessman is from my painting called “The Trend”(which is sold). He was the last element I added, and I thought that he finished the piece up…..until......

See what a difference such a little thing makes?! I mean, c'mon, WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! My husband came home with a retro board game called ‘Mousetrap” – I am sure most people my age will fondly remember this game from their childhoods. So, just by adding the little rat (ok….ok, it is technically a mouse not a rat…but I still think it finishes it all off!) I really thought it was done, until I got the mouse! Now Voila….viva la difference! What say you? Is it better?? I would love your comments!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Do I really have to keep reminding you, gentle reader of what these fabulous little mixed media shadow boxes are?? MUST I?? (insert sigh here) Ok....this is one more from "Mixed Messages". This little 6" x 9" shadow box, like the bunch of others, cannibalizes imagery from my catalogue of completed paintings (I can't say it enough - from my catalogue of 300 or so paintings!) Anyway, as usual I have had the imagery printed, and then reassembled the pieces to create these sweet little box called "Bartender". 

The drink is taken from "Olive". This painting is from my Wisdom from A-Z Series. Although the painting is sold, I have a book available on BLURB or on my website! There is also a link to the book on the bottom of this BLOG! It is basically a catalogue of this series of 26 paintings. (oh, and it is fabulous and cheap cheap cheap!!) 

The other bit is from this old piece! This was one of my very first Landscape paintings called "Swill". I love the quote on this one "Alcohol is just a misunderstood vitamin." It is, of course, sold, but it paved the way for a number of great landscape paintings!

This one has a little drawing of a martini glass in the background that is not from anything, but just so you know, there are 10 of them!! As usual I added ink and paint to punch up the colours, and added some found objects to fill out the box. In this case it was some numbers for a house, and some letters from a kids game.

What do you think? Will it sell in seconds? I sure hope so! As always, your comments are TREASURED!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That's right, gentle readers, ANOTHER piece from "Mixed Messages". This little 6" x 9" shadow box is called "Space Cadet". It is made up of 3 pieces of recycled imagery. I know you dont want to hear the artist statement on EVERY post....so I am skipping it! This piece is made up from my old work including:

"Convince" was sold last year to none other than Alex Lifeson....yes......as in RUSH! CRAZY HUH? Funny story.....I asked him for ID! Note to self - think before you ask!! I must have the worst celebrity radar on the earth! It has happened 3 times in my career! I get in a mode at these art shows, and I totally lose my mind! Each time I have asked someone for id, someone else has watched the transaction and laughed at my stupidity!!  One year, I asked 
 Ann Marie McDonald for all her contact info and I did not realize ‘till afterwards who she was (although I have read her books and seen her plays etc...) then the following year, I 
once again made an ass of myself when I asked Stuart McLean (whose very humorous stories have amused me on CBC’s Vinyl Cafe) for his contact information - to make sure he didn’t skip town with my painting! OOOPS! 
This painting is called "Outta this World" and it is sold as well. I took the background from this piece to make up the 'space' part of the shadow box. I have never shown this painting, so it is fun to blog about it!!

The final piece of borrowed imagery is from this piece which is from my Landscape Series. it is called "All Aboard" and guess what? it is also SOLD! But you can check it out on my site! I thought maybe this seaman could be a cadet! (hee hee.......seaman)

As usual I added ink and paint to punch up the colours on all the elements. I added a piece of dowel on the one side and some scrrabble tiles on the other side....then I gave the whole thing a few washes of colour!

I am aiming to get all 20 pieces done this week!! Wish me luck and keep tuned for more more more!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Another piece from "Mixed Messages". This little 6" x 9" shadow box, like the 13 before it, has cannibalizes imagery from my catalogue of completed paintings (over 300!!! Which is a bit nutso!) Anyway, as usual I have had the imagery printed, and then reassembled the pieces to create little clever nuggets of splendidness! Ok, so this piece was built from:

The lady whose hair is in question here is "Beauty". This painting is a scene from Toronto, and is part of my Urban Series. But sorry, she is SOLD to a lovely home in Riverdale! 

The dog is from "Dog" which I know is an INSPIRED name, but it was in my A-Z Series. 

As usual I added ink and paint to punch up the colours, and add some found objects to fill out the box.

On this piece I added some letter tiles form a kids game and a bottle cap from an old liquor bottle. I had to down a whole bottle of booze just to finish this piece. Oh, the things I do for my art! 

Each piece is one of a kind, and is completely affordable!
I think it is super cute!

What do you think? I LOOOOOOOOOVE comments!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


More from my "Mixed Messages" Series. I am making my way to 20 completed pieces for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (which is 19 days away!) This piece is called "Call of Nature". Just to remind you, and to inform any new readers, I have stolen imagery from my extensive catalogue of completed paintings. I print the images, then reassemble the bits and bobs to create these super cute 9" x 6" shadow boxes.

The background on this piece was built using imagery from the commissioned piece "Fresh Apples". I did this piece years ago, for a Doctor's office. I thought it was great then, and I was thrilled with the number of people who got to see it!
The phone is from "Chatty Lady". which IS STILL AVAILABLE! Crazy, huh? As usual, I added some ink on top just to make it 'pop'. On this piece, I also added a little metal plate with the word 'of' just to make sure that it was grammatically correct!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Ok, so I am on a roll, finishing up the rest of the pieces in my "Mixed Messages" Series. For those of you wo need a refresher, these are little 'shadow boxes'  that I have been working on that take my old imagery (from previously completed works of mine) and reinvents the subject to produce HILL-AIR-EE-US results. Ok, that might be over selling it, but I think they are pretty cute and clever! I am hoping to have 20 done for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (which is only 20 days away!) This piece is called "Flip the Bird". Here is a definition that makes the meaning clear:
1. The act of rotating an avian creature through more than 90 degrees.
2. The act of extending the central digit of the hand with the intent to cause offence 

This piece was built using imagery from my paintings "Flipping Eggs" which is SOLD, 
The little chef dude was taken from a piece that I painted over! Every now and then I do a painting that doesn't quite thrill me. I think paintings are like children.....some are not beautiful, but they still have something redeeming about them. And like children, I often just sell it and hope to never see it again. No? Not appropriate? I think there are only a handful of these paintings. But the even rarer bird, the repainted painting. I do most of my final compositions in Photoshop, so I don't have to keep redrawing things.....so I have very few 'duds' that need repainting, but this one - was one! It was so HEINOUS that I simply cannot show it to you! You may be blind after staring into the terrible composition!

As usual, I added some ink on top just to make it 'pop'. On this piece, I also added scrabble times and some metal - which I also painted, and aged. You'll notice I actually flipped the bird upside down for added effect!

Whadda 'ya think??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Ok, so by now, you are probably figuring out that I am less and less frequent of a blogger. Here is the skinny. I am working my days doing some faux in a home here in T.O. It is a full time gig this week, and by the time I get home at night and make dinner and do my emailing and 2-3 hours of painting, I just do NOT have the blogging time. It is making me blogging nuts! However, next week, I will be back 'adder. So in the meantime, I will show you some of my photos from the 'Cleve! Enjoy! Oh, also, I have changed my reaction comments, as I guess "true dat" is just not a great enough reaction......Maybe these new ones will compel y'all to comment!!!
First is Sue and Jacquie at Pennello Gallery who are just FABULOUS! There are a few inside the gallery, and then some I took out and about!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Hello gentle readers, I know you have been clamouring for more insight about me......Ok, maybe not so much clamouring.......ok, so not even a mild curiousity, but as a blogger I feel it is my job to give you all the intimate details that you could care less about!! So here we go. As a  teenager, I was super into painting and worked hard to get the highest mark in my class. It was hard in the early grades, as I was always in the class with a foe.....actually with a Pho. Lilly, Ivy and Rose Pho were the very few Asian peoples at my high school in London, and they were art prodigies. It was annoying. The art awards always went to a Pho!! Until they graduated, and I was able to swing into the lead - I know it is not a contest.....but I really do like to win! Anyways, this painting was one of my Grade 11 projects and I was super proud of it! My mother, who was DESPERATE for me to be good at something, promptly framed it and put it up in the house. Nice story, except, to this day it STILL hangs in the hallway at my folks house. UGH! It is funny becaus I am NOT really a landscape painter, and often find the subject matter a bit MEH....

The funny part is, that my 16 year old niece has developed a skill for art and has produced a painting that is similar to my master work of art. The good thing is that it is for her surrealism project, notice the face in the centre of the work. I thought it was super cool, and I am very proud of her! It is a funny coincidence though!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


OK, wisdom this is the first of the work ready for my big September show at Gallery 129 Ossington. truthfully, I am not gonna post all this new work before the show, as it sorta takes away from the show if you have seen everything on the web BEFORE you even get tot the exhibition. And most of my work looks SOOOOO much better in person! Ok, anyway, this piece is 15" x 30" and is painted on wood.
More specifically it is painted on a reclaimed game board that I found at a garage sale. The old game was worn off totally, but it had the two silver stars on it, and that was my inspiration. As always, the imagery is entirely made up. I like the whole star thing and I just kept painting stars, and then at the last minute realized it was maybe too much. Luckily my last step of painting is to put a few coloured washes and an umber wash to age the imagery! The distressing and aging is the key to giving it that authentic look! I like the quote: "shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars". It is a quote from Confucius. He is one smart cat, and I am always stealing borrowing wisdom from him! 
What do you think?
Like it? LOVE it? I love your comments!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


As  you know, I am in Cleveland for an art show, and for some vacation time. You have to check out this YouTube video. The guy says he is making a promotional video for Cleveland - the result is sidesplitting!!



Ok, so while I am away this weekend, The Riverdale Art Walk is on. This is an all art weekend, and is a great place to find some new art!! I have participated several times in the past, showing my art in Jimmie Simpson Park. This year, I am exhibiting at Ethel Mid-Century Modern. I am a huge fan of the furniture and the accessories at this fabulous store. I have 12 pieces showing all this weekend. They range from $500 up, and are a little cross section of my current work! Check out their blog:

and check them out this weekend as part of the R.A.W. at 1091 Queen St. E. (at Pape)!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Well, we have been here a day or so, and already checked out some of the exciting sights here in Cleveland! Just in case you are just catching up on my news, I am in the 'cleve for a group exhibition. Pennello Gallery is showing 6 of my tin toy paintings. I am staying in downtown Cleveland, just minutes away from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The show at Pennello is located in Little Italy, which is a super cute little section of the Cleve! There are tonnes of gelato places and quaint little shops. If you are in the mood for great authentic Italian food, you will find all the best places here. We have already had some delicious deserts......
Today, we are gonna to check out the area around Little Italy, called University Circle, which is a pretty little area! There are galleries and shops and some terrific architecture! Stay tuned for more info lice from the 'Cleve!!