It all started with a 100 Day blog.

 Welcome to not so secret online journal. Welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

In 2010, I made myself a promise to create something every day for 100 days and post it online.  It was a way to connect with the world after long bouts of debilitating depression. I posted art, poetry, stories, thoughts, and dreams.  It was my 100 day blog. I was really new to the internet. I posted something every single day except when I couldn’t –and then I would start over at Day One. Eventually my hundred day blog became about 200 days of  posting art and writing and poetry. I got a lot done. I  made friends with a whole lot of like minded souls, all over the world, and we shared our personal journeys and our writing and our paintings. Here are a few of those painting

 

Anyway this adventure led me into a whole new adventure of connecting with other artists and also to finish writing a play and performing that play in the Fringe Festival in 2011, as a solo show-despite unbelievable -heart-stopping stage-fright that had interrupted my acting career. I had a wonderful director Sarah Rodgers who took my rambling script in hand and together  in a couple of weeks. We built the show.

Sally LIve Here2

So now it’s ten years later and though the Dogs of Depression continue to nip at my heels, I have consistently found ways to keep going even if my pants are torn in the process.  The goal is always to face my towering fears, come out the darkness and be seen in the light. I have accomplished quite a bit.I have directed a few pick of the Fringe Plays, and November 2018, I was in New York where a show I was privileged to direct starring the wonderful Beverley Elliott, won Best Musical in The United Solo Festival.  And 2019 has been filled with making theatre with wonderful people and making paintings with all the many parts of me.  How great is that?   If you only knew how ten years ago this would have been impossible to imagine. So here’s to art and creativity and the willingness to face self-doubt and fear. Here’s to a willingness to be seen. PS. Thanks for reading if you made it to here. Please feel free to share by posts. I would love to have more online activity with like-minded souls. 

If you would like to view more of my art and learn more about my process click here 

If you would like to view more of my art and learn more about my process click here  If you would like to read more of my blog keep scrolling down.

What’s the title of this painting?

What is the title of his painting I ask myself.

I am so inspired- is that the feeling–so awed maybe–

By the complexities of the universe,

And the way that so much is going on invisible and unknown.

The very fact that there is a tangible real existence that we all believe in–so even colour for example-just that one thing that one glory in the world  which is all about the way light acts on surfaces of objects and sends the happy little electrons scrambling and dancing to absorb certain rays,reflecting others – throwing out those rays to allow us to perceive colours.

Sometimes I am kind of paralyzed by awe and wonder that I get to be part of this whole
wonder of living in the universe–in the sense that I am here on this planet where all
these wonderful things are going on

Or do you think that title is too long for the painting. LOL

Inspiration and Cognitive Fires.

I am inspired by trying to understand things that I don’t understand. The unknown inspires me. Confusion and displacement and new perspectives– new ways of thinking inspire me. 

Glimpse of another world

 I am inspired by everything  that demands that I slow down and face all that I don’t know. Nothing is more intriguing to me than trying to figure something out. And nothing produces more anxiety.  I guess challenge inspires me.

Painting is always facing the unknown. There are always so many questions. Every brushstroke, every scribble is kind of question. What will happen if I. . .

Quantum relationships

Then of course there is the inspiration I get from looking at the works of great painters and writers whose work is so masterful that it allows me to get swept away. Or a line by a great writer in a book that takes me right into the scene and in that imagined place, I find another place, a completely different place, where my own stories live.

And when I look at the work of other artists I feel invited into a world where new worlds are born. It becomes like a conversation somehow in the language of imagination, where one artist speaks and I am listening.

Art frames the world for us and opens doors in our minds that ignite cognitive fires.

Fairy worlds under our feet. Tread lightly
Fairy Worlds

If you would like to view more of my paintings click here

Painting and Writing and dreaming and stargazing

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Even if we have a reliable method and a process that seems to work  there is still a lot of mystery in making art.

It’s a act of faith sometimes.

Somehow magic is involved and patience.

Sometimes a  story calls you to come and find it, but you can’t quite locate where it’s hiding.

I think an artist or a writer or any kind of maker has to be a bit of dreamer with a willingness to search imagination the way a stargazer searches the endless sky.

In a way we are looking for distant galaxies of meaning and metaphor–trusting that somewhere, beyond the dark matter of a half-baked plot,  there is a story that needs to be told or a painting that wants to be painted.

Astronomers know that beyond the glimmer of  a of a billion years lies astonishment.  And an artist must  be like an astronomer and trust that beyond the dark matter of self doubt that story will appear.

 

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Hey friends. I have this little article I wrote that might be helpful for when you are experiencing a bit of a block.

Leading the Witness. A cautionary tale for my fellow writers and artists.

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When I ask myself why I never finish anything- my mind will assume that this question is valid and that the statement is true and I will supply all kinds of evidence and end up concluding that I shouldn’t even bother writing or painting or doing anything artistic.  

I call this particular kind of self-questioning leading the witness.

 It’s like there is this big trial going on inside me and the prosecuting attorney wants me to confess that I am guilty of never finishing anything–and of course I have this very compliant witness inside me that is swayed easily and will provide lots of evidence that I am guilty as charged.

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But the thing is it’s not true. I’m not guilty. I do finish things all kinds of things.

I have learned that when I feel stuck or confused, I try to ask questions like: What can I do today to get back on track- to keep me excited- to keep me focused on my writing goalsHow can I make better choices to keep going when I get bored or confused by my script— or how can I increase my focus  when I am distracted and in danger of  losing my momentum? These questions are more effective because they have me asking a wiser part of myself how to do what I am trying to do.

A writer asking themselves why they are not writing might miss the implied judgement in the question, and judgement of self is not useful for moving forward in life or in art.

Judgement– to stay with the legal metaphor is a way to  punish yourself and lock yourself up in a prison of self doubt.

 Or if that’s too dramatic-it’s  a good way to slow you down or even cause you to give up.

Who, what and how questions imply that there is a solution. These questions move us into a part of our brain where we can strategize and plan and problem-solve and analyze. How can I get the support I  need?  How can I organize my time to make room for writing?

If we want to transform something,  change something,  finish something, asking  why is not the best  way to do it.

Of course writers need to ask why their characters do what they do. Asking why can helps justify an action or a decision. But, writers do not need to supply evidence of their lack of discipline, dedication or actual talent around writing itself. That is a waste of your time.

So if you are  wondering why you aren’t writing,  don’t ask why.

If you do–well–I object–the prosecutor is leading the witness.

 

Some work in progress–The beginning of a story

My Scribbled Secret Notebooks

This is the beginning of a story that I scribbled down in the coffee shop today.
I have had this idea in the back of my mind for a while.
It showed up in my notebook today like this.

My grandmother was quiet and mysterious and knew mysterious things.

She was part gypsy, at least that is what I grew up believing.

She could heal wounds, and cure sickness, and she always knew how things would turn out.

She could predict bad news, and see right through untrustworthy people.

She knew what to do about both.

She had secret recipes, and special remedies,

and wise old sayings, to fit every situation.

She believed in good luck and friendly forces.

She also believed in the unfriendly forces,

and she took great pains to protect us from them.

I would watch her fill a little cloth bag with needles,

and nails and…

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A New Year Wish for anyone struggling and not able to celebrate

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“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

 It’s December 31st 2017.  I am re-blogging this post from 2013, a very difficult year in my life and I’m sending it out to anyone who has struggled this year.

Life this year has been stamping it’s foot, screaming at the top of it’s lungs–that I should face my life and not look away. Well I have faced my life. I’ve stared it down, and looked directly at jmany harsh truths. I’ve struggled with all my might, mostly against my own self torment. And here is what I have learned.

1. Not to fear my fear.

2. Not to feel bad about feeling bad.

3. Not to be ashamed of my shame.

4. I have everything I need to create change in my life.

5. And sometimes  disappointment and grief and loss are our greatest teachers.

So on this last day of the year when people are celebrating, I am going to take a moment to speak to those who are not.

If it has been a tough year for you–and you think you have nothing to celebrate–let me send you a message of hope. You are brave and amazing and resilient and strong, even if you don’t feel that way right now. And if you are looking into the abyss of your own lonely heart, let me tell you that I know what that is like.

Be kind to yourself. Be loving with yourself. Forgive yourself. Let yourself feel whatever you feel.

And if you have a hole inside you-that you can not fill or if you are angryand afraid, if you have a wound that has never healed–a mark that will not go away–remember you are absolutely beautiful, and your torn and tattered heart, only makes you more so.

I like to think of the Japanese idea of Wabi-sabi- and the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

So Happy Wabi Sabi New Year to you my kindred family.

I have hope for you even if you don’t right now.

Let me hold your hope for a while.  It will be here when you need it.

You are going to feel happy and  stardust shiny  again.

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Remembering December 6.

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Every year I make this post to remember this sad day.

On December 6 in Canada many of us commemorate the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre,at L’École Polytechnique de Montréal. On that terrible day December 6 1989 14 innocent young women were gunned down-in a senseless and horrific act of violence against women. They were young engineering students-most of them-one of them was a clerk in the school office-one of them was 35 years old-and had gone back to school to study nursing. They were all filled with hopes dreams and aspirations. .For 45 minutes on Dec. 6, 1989 the killer, who’s name I will not mention, roamed the corridors of Montreal’s École Polytechnique screaming  “I hate feminists.”  Please take the time to say their names aloud-or read them slowly in your mind, and help me mark this day.

The women’s names were:

Genevieve Bergeron, 21 Helene Colgan, 23 Nathalie Croteau,23 Barbara Daigneault, 22 Anne-Marie Edward, 21, Maud Haviernick, 31, Maryse Leclair, 23, Anne-Marie Lemay, 27 Sonia Pelletier, 28 Michelle Richard, 21 Annie St-Arneault, 23,                                  Annie Turcotte, 21 Barbara Marie Klueznick, 35 Maryse Laganiere, 35

As you go about your daily  life today, please remember that Violence Against Women and Girls continues to be a massive global problem.  I think about the Murdered and Missing Indigenous women and I want everyone to do the same.  We have to make this issue more important. You could go here and donate to this organization.These folks have some good things figured out.

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Death-Dancing-2LOST GIRLS AND WOMEN

 

Trying to write a poem

0n the death of Seamus Heaney

faint-hope.jpgI am trying to write a poem

because I am sad–

and because

summer is ending-

and because

a poet I love has died.

I am trying to write a poem

because–

as the days grow short

and the nights fall so suddenly-

all my summers-

of innocence and invincibility

are coming to an end again.

As I face the ever expanding sadness

of this moment of my life–

As I face the turning of the season–

I am facing a turning in my soul.

I am longing to mark this moment

with something that will capture

it’s meaning.

I long to write something

to add to the map

of the unknown world.

Something to guide a weary traveller.

Something to put in that corner

where it says

“Here be monsters”

Isn’t that what a poem is?

A map of the soul’s geography?

I am trying to write a poem because

I am not a poet

Not really.

I am just a lost dreamer looking

at summer roll past

and needing to write a poem

to hold my sadness.

So here I sit fingers digging

into the soil of my lost

summers like the poet

who died has taught me to do-

trying to write a poem.

old map engraving