Summer is in full swing here on the farm. The vegetable garden is growing gangbusters- and so are the weeds! Weeding is what I do instead of a hobby. The results are worth it, though.

When not in the garden or the barn, you can find me in the studio. Here are a couple of new collages destined for Mackinac’s Little Gallery in Michigan. 
The Windermere 6×8

Wicker Rocker 5×7
Both collages say ‘summer’ to me. How about you?

Work and Recent Work

It’s a busy time of the year for work on the farm….oh, who am I kidding: it’s always busy. Our lambs are growing;

Wool covered lawn mowers.
the garden is planted; we have ducks, broiler chicks, and new laying hens in the barn. And we have this little guy. Do you see him? One of these things is not like the other.

Chick, chick, chick….goose?
That little ball of fluff in the middle of all those chicks is a GOSLING! He (or possibly she) was hatched in an incubator I borrowed from a friend. I’m looking forward to having a goose around again since Henry the Watchdog doesn’t bark. He just watches.
And in the new works department, these collages have recently arrived at Mackinac’s Little Gallery on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The first one is already sold!

The Grand Hotel, Summer 10×6 (Sold)

The Iroquois Hotel 6×8
And I especially like how this one turned out. Wouldn’t you like to stay there?

The Iroquois Patio 8×6

A Couple of Cool Things

The good news about Katherine Tyrrell’s book Drawing 365 has made it to The Huntingdon Gleaner. The Gleaner is weekly paper of the Chateauguay Valley area of Quebec.

Journalist Katie Martin came out to the studio last Monday to do an interview. She was also able to do an email interview with Katherine, which was kind of neat- all the way from the rural Chateauguay Valley of Quebec to London, England via the good old internet.

The other rather cool thing that happened recently was the video made for and about me by my old friend Tracy Martin made it onto a list of Eleven Artist Videos to Whet Your Appetite on the Art Biz Blog.

Art Biz is the brainchild of art coach Alyson Stanfield of Colorado, USA. She helps artists build and advance their careers through workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, and a variety of writings. Her book, “I’d Rather Be in the Studio” is a personal favourite of mine. Alyson’s blog postings, newsletters, and Twitter feed, are followed by THOUSANDS of artists worldwide. AND she spells her name the same way I do, which is kind of cool, too!

I have included Tracy’s video again below. Cameo appearances by studio cats, sheep, and chickens.Enjoy!

New Book, New Work, New…Dog?

Good news! The last time I wrote a blog post I was awaiting the publication of Katherine Tyrrell’s book, Drawing 365. The book has arrived and it is GREAT! I’m so glad I got to be part of this wonderful project.

Drawing 365 is absolutely full of useful tips and techniques. Just flipping through it is a terrific way to stimulate (or reawaken) your desire to draw; there are so many things to try! Here is the back cover.
Psst. My collage is on page 48.
And in other news, we have a new dog. After our old girl Nelly died in the fall, we knew we would need another largish dog to be a watch dog and all around companion on the farm. It took some time to find the right dog, but we eventually lucked out at Woof Rescue in Howick, Quebec. We met Henry shortly before Christmas, and I think we can safely say it was love at first sight for everybody. Well maybe not so much for the cats, but that situation is improving.
So here is Henry. As you can see, he is already making himself quite at home in my studio.
Of course there is new artwork in progress. The first collage of 2015 is going to be a large landscape. “Bog” will be 24×36- the biggest one yet, I think. I’m pretty excited to get going on this piece. I spent a day  working up a preliminary drawing to plot out my main shape areas as well as values. The drawing is done in sharpie and ink wash. Here it is below with the freshly prepped panel in my studio.
Because this is such a large project, I thought new collage papers were in order. 
Really this is just an excuse to have fun with paint and to make some new stamps. I think I will do some more of this ‘work’ tomorrow too, you know, just to be sure I have enough.

Some Exciting News and Some New Work

I was asked earlier in the year to submit some images of my work and brief descriptions of how I go about making my collages for possible inclusion in a book on drawing techniques. The book’s author is renowned UK  artist and art blogger Katherine Tyrrell. Obviously I was very flattered to be chosen, as I have been a huge fan of her blog for years, but I didn’t want to say anything about it just in case I didn’t make the final cut, so I put the whole thing out of my mind. 
Now I am very happy to announce that I did indeed make the cut and some of my work found on the pages of an internationally published book! The book, which is called Drawing 365 in the US and Sketching 365 in the UK, will be published on January 1st, 2015, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon and North Light Books. I haven’t seen it yet, so it’s all a bit of a mystery, but I’m hoping Santa will bring me a few copies for Christmas (hint, hint).
The other bit of good news is that The Brush Off Exhibition has been extended until December 12th, so you have extra time to get down to Avenue Art in Old Montreal to check out all the fabulous art in this gallery show. 
Duck Day Afternoon – 24×30 available at Avenue Art, 
731 de la Commune Ouest, Montreal, 514-867-3745
Dressage horses have taken over my work table just recently. Here are a couple of new ones:
Big Grey – 8×6 painted paper collage on cradled panel

Blue Ribbon – 10×8 painted paper collage on cradled panel
I wish all my American friends and readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Birds of a Feather

On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting Mohawk artist Natasha Smoke Santiago. She came to my studio as a guest of the MRC du Haut St. Laurent, which is the regional governing body in my area of southwestern Quebec. The visit was arranged by Luc de Tremmerie, who is the Coordinator of Cultural Development for this region. Natasha and Huntingdon artist John Ryan (shown below) are collaborating in the joint creation of murals in the MRC du Haut St. Laurent and in Akwesasne, the Mohawk Nation territory – which straddles Quebec, Ontario, and New York state – where Natasha Smoke Santiago lives and works. 
Natasha Smoke Santiago and John Ryan
Natasha is a potter, painter, and mixed media artist. The first thing I noticed about her work is her love of the female form, especially evident in her sculptures of heavily pregnant bellies. I love the rich brown colour of this one.
Burnt Pot by Natasha Smoke Santiago

Natasha describes her work as ” …heavily influenced by her Haudenosaunee heritage, history and teachings. She also draws upon the experiences of her life as inspiration for her works. Much of her work tells a tale, or has a story behind it…”.

Mother Fracker by Natasha Smoke Santiago
We talked shop for a while, comparing methods and materials as artists are wont to do whenever they get together. Our visit was also filmed by a videographer as part of a documentary. I hope to have more information about that soon.
Natasha and I also discovered in the course of our conversation that we have a mutual fascination with corvids, i.e. crows and ravens. (Go figure!) I especially like this painting by Natasha of a crow with a stolen kernel of corn in its beak. Typical crow!
Blue Corn Crow  by Natasha Smoke Santiago
If you would like to see more of Natasha’s wonderful work, I encourage you to visit her website The Storytellers House.

Getting the Brush Off…for a Good Cause

I’m happy to announce that three of my collages:

“Duck Day Afternoon”
“Race Time, Saratoga”

were all recently selected to be part of The Brush Off painting competition at Galerie Avenue Art in Montreal. Avenue Art is a gorgeous art gallery located in leVieux Montreal – which as its name would suggest is the oldest part of the city – right on the Old Port.

(Photo source:

(Photo source:
The Brush Off is a competition, exhibition, and fundraising event, with a percentage of the sales going towards Art Based Projects for people living with Alzheimer’s.
The opening night event is October 16th, 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $25 at the door. The exhibition continues until November 14th. Galerie Avenue Art is located at 731 de la Commune West, on the second floor.
I’m curious to see the other artwork and to meet the other nine artists!