“Seascape”

007Just over fourteen years ago I met a kindred spirit, my dear friend Shannon. We met while working for a family services organization. Little did we know at the time, we would become very close friends sharing an intense common passion. Beside our friendship and mutual respect for each other, we discovered that we shared a love for writing.

Both Shannon and I resigned from our jobs on the same day in 2001, celebrating our final day of work together a few weeks later. Very shortly afterward she began writing her first novel, which ended up being a twelve year process, in between helping her husband with his business, having another child, and parenting responsibilities.  During this same time frame, I  ventured to the city to take the occasional writing workshop, dabbling with poetry and short stories.

Serendipity! Synchronicity! Within a few days of Shannon publishing her first book this Spring, the one she began so many years earlier, I discovered that for the first time ever I would have poems/ paintings exhibited, as well as a short creative non-fiction piece published in an anthology. I don’t think you could find two friends more ecstatic for each other. We never imagined we would celebrate being published authors together!

In celebration of Shannon’s novel “Seascape”. I painted two abstract paintings for her – “Seascape” (above) and “Seascape II”.  One was a door prize at her book launch. I call it the “Pay It Forward Painting” because it was won by another friend of Shannon’s who worked diligently to prepare the launch party. The second painting is in Shannon’s office / writing room.

A few weeks back I mentioned that I would let you in on a secret about my paintings. The secret is: I paint them using my hands, not a brush!

If you would like to read more about Shannon Raelynn and her novel “Seascape”, a contemporary fiction novel visit: http://www.shannonraelynn.com

Shannon is now hard at work on her second novel….and no, this one will not take twelve years to write she assures us. I am working on gathering a bunch of poems I have written over the last few years to edit, and will continue to “fingerpaint”.  We will continue to celebrate together.014

It’s REAL! My first exhibit / publication!

013002Ventured to Edmonton with one of my sons on Thursday evening to attend the opening reception of the InSight 2 – Engaging the Health Humanities International Exhibition. So exciting to see my paintings and poems displayed alongside so many other intriguing exhibits by talented artists and health professionals.

When we first arrived, we wandered though the UofA (Fine Arts Building) FAB Gallery viewing all the work, but admittedly my eye was on the look out for my exhibit. I was a little panicked when I thought we’d been through it all and I could not find my paintings / poems, then I remembered we had not been to the very first area near the entrance…..sure enough they they were! Whew. For a minute or two I did think it really all had been just a dream!

I was also thrilled to read some of the same thoughts I had expressed in my initial submission, and 150 word “abstract” about my exhibit, being expressed in the keynote speaker, Dr. Alan Bleakley’s introduction in the publication that is also part of this exhibition / symposium. As an advocate of the health humanities / arts and medicine working hand-in-hand, he readily acknowledges that there can be “well-being without being well.”

I was so grateful to be able to attend the reception to see my “Blue-Green Elixir” up on the FAB 011012Gallery wall, being visited by fellow artists, writers, doctors, health professionals, students, and the public at large. Thank you so much to Graeme for ensuring I made it to the reception, and Shannon who was very much with me in spirit every step of the way! Love you both for knowing how important this was to me, without me having to tell you!