Friday, August 21, 2009


ATC addiction is real.. It's sweeping the world with images and expressions of comraderie and connection... Two years ago , I didn't even know what an ATC was... Since joining, " Flickr" and "Fantasticflatpaperdolls", a whole new world has opened up in the realm of artistry and finding like minded friends.. Isn't the internet a marvellous tool? ' "Enlighten" ( above) and " " Caught "( below) are an example of two of my ( traded) ATC's.

This week, I joined, two more groups... "Roses On My Table" and "The Sum of All Things" ..... As if I didn't already have enough to do ( Ha Ha). The fact is
these little pieces of work are theraputic to my creative soul. It just feels good !!!

I mean who would have thought that a 6cm X 9cm card would become a such craze. The cards are produced in various media( pencils, pens, markers, etc) wet media ( watercolor, acrylic paints etc.) paper media( in the form of collage, papercut, found objects etc.) They are usually traded rather than being sold. What an exhilerating exchange of artistic freedom.. KAAZAM !!!!

Clubs, trading sessions and online mailart communities have largely replaced the original concept of trading cards.( eg,Baseball cards) Besides being a great hobby.. ATC's have become an iconic expression for existing artisans and wouldbe artists, who can hone in on their creative abilities, while sharing and learning from the experts. It's a great way keep intouch with the artistic community and enjoy classes online or locally or abroad...

To date, I have friends as far away as Budapest, Finland, Sweden, Britain and of course Canada/ Japan... and we all have one thing in common ... ZaaArt of creating. It's amazing how a small pleasure such as making a trading card can create such a big space in the heart of the world.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Pottery Hunting...Yes I'm fanatical about artists and their artistry... Last week-end we travelled just outside Yufuin, where I knew there was a great gathering of open market antiques. Come rain or some shine , the pots withstand the weather, in the humidy of a Japanese summer. Needless to say, I was lanquishing amid the rainy mist that was falling. Much to my dismay, I was really, too hot, to appreciate the kalidescope of beautiful pottery that lay before me.

Into the dust ridden shop I went, sneezing and wheezing into every corner and platform of the antique shanty . Goodness, there was a millenium of rare collectibles, too many to even see past, into the sunlight. Really I wanted to sit amongst them and revel in all the treasures, but heat exhaustion dictated...." "Get ye into an air conditioned car". Yes ma'am I replied and stepped out the door.

"Wait a minute ", called a little voice..."Just wait one minute"! I hestitated, turned, looked in both directions and THEN gazed down to the earthen floor... BEHOLD ... a beautiful poet, handpainted on glass, lay peeking out from amongst a pile of old papers and debris. It was love at first sight !!! She, was an early 1900 piece of art, just waiting to write a haiku for the new world ... Lucky Me !!!

Personally, I'm just loving the ZaaArt of her presence. It's sort of an East meets West connection ...Deja vu. ... I'll buy the pottery next time!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


While tiding up the tatami room I happened across alittle paper fairy, that I had created for Kittie Kelly's " Artful Paper Doll " group. She was woefully stashed in amongst my paperdoll collection in the deep dark closet... Oh Dear !!!!

With busy schedules, we artists sometimes forget our little muses and heap tons of burdening chores etc. etc over our creativity... It's so sad. I pulled her from the basket, closed my eye and fondly REMEMBERED, my fairy muse's name. It was " Light Sprite".

I had never really thought about taking on the fairy role but gee, " Why not ? I giggled as I set to work creating myself as a flying entity . "Where do I begin ?"and " What materials do I use ?"and GOSH ... What is her personality like?" I mean, I was re-creating myself, into the fairy persona... so there were many question to be answered . Yes, I was talking to myself.. AGAIN ( Ha ha ) Do you ever do that?

It took weeks to creatively connect with my little fairy muse . In a transformational gesture , I decided that fairies have to be comfortable within themselves ....Sooooooo, I applied a petal pink fibre over the original template of the body, hoping that she would take on that warm fuzzy feeling.

In every daydream, I could feel this child-like innocence staring in an array of soft colors. Hues of pinks and purples and green floated like bubbles all around and then popped me back into reality. My little fairy muse was taking form as I secured the last of four heart shaped brads to her delicate body.

This project truly moved me..I wanted " Light Sprite to have heart and soul . I wanted her to greet each morning with a twinkle in her eye and a smile in her heart. I wanted her to be happy, light and free to take flight into this awesome world of ours. Last, but not least, I wished for her to be curious and to possess alittle glimmer of mischief, lest she get lost in a dark closet again and lose faith in her creative existence. ..SO ...Miss " Light Sprite", there you go ...

I hung her in the fairy window at the front of the house, so that she could see the bustling of everyday life happening ... The dogs barking the children playing and my neighbour meticulously tending his bonsai tree.

There is such patience in my fairy muse and such an amazing grace that pulls us through the darkness of our everyday lives into the windows of reality. Although " Light Brite" is only a figment of my imagination, she is ZaaArt of imagination that keeps me creating as an artist. Thanks, "Light Sprite" .... May the force be with you all ,as you find your own . sweet, fairy within.


HELLO all you beautiful people. It's so nice to be back into the sweltering humidity of Japan . I missed chatting with you. So , Hi , Hello and WELCOME to those of you who are currently reading this page. Thank You for sticking around my friends.
Lately , I've been doing alot of doodling on phone books, magazines, spare pieces of paper or anything that happens to lay itself in front of me... It seems that I'm making a very undignified mess .
I've been doodling since childhood, but lately, I'm starting to wonder why !!! Lots of people scribble away absent- mindedly and often these doodles carry a great deal of meaning especially for an artist. Sometimes it's a great source of inspiration for serious artwork. So why do people doodle and what do doodles mean?

We are a species that is constantly engaged in productive activity. I believe that
laziness is a sure recipe for extinction of the species, so doodling must be an act of preservation... Right !!!

We, humans are naturally akin to using our hands, scanning the horizons with our eyes and walking great distances. So we fidget, twitch, fiddle and doodle, whenever we are forced to sit still for any length of time. Don't you think that doodling is a natural outlet for frustrated artistic expression... It's just plain old healthy to doodle and create something meaningless and not especially beautiful.

Look at the ATC that I've posted. This was an artistic ATC assignment, complete just a few days before I left for Canada. I was so frustrated and actually fragmented, with so little time to wrap up so many projects.

I couldn't turn my head off so I engaged in a moderate activity with my pencils ,colors and paper. I also, had limited visual vocabulary and basically worked with the instincts of my inner child. YES ..I reverted back to childhood, recollecting shapes, form, texture, infact anything that was at my most primary level. With a major in psycology, I knew that theses shapes and colors had significant meaning. So I did a self- art therapy analysis on myself to see just what kind of mental shape I was in when creating these ATC's.

The happy face ( circle) represents infinity. Circles have no ending or beginning but evolve symbolically as the (whole) universe.( That's good) The rectangular body symbolizes earth or ground, ( stability) hopefully that means my feet were still grounded while awaiting lift off of the Air Canada 747.

Women often doodle flowers, which simply indicates, a love of nature and sometimes a childlike innocence or wishfulness. It's definately a feminine, passive aspect of the universe. So far , I'm normal ( Ha Ha) except for the very unorganized sqiggles etc. etc... In the context of doodling, color is generally that of which ever pen you have your hand. However I did color in the shapes so let's see what color associations they have.

RED represents power, physical energy and passion or it can indicate anger or anxiety. Is this what you call seeing red? ) PINK denotes love friendship, compassion and relaxation. Pink is symbolic of a gentle emotions and emotional unions. It's much less intense than red. I think the red and pink balanced one another.

DARK BLUE indicates stability, strength and security. Super Woman ( Hee Hee) It also denotes, depression, moodiness, impulsiveness and changability. Quess, I was alittle moody !!!! YUP !!!

Sea-green and blue represents the water and ocean that I was anticipating crossing and green is regarded as a restful color suggesting well-being. Maybe I wasn't as distressed as I thought( Wishful thinking).

I did place the ATC's on a black background and of course the hair was black which analytically transpires into saddness and confusion. However there were those lovely doodled hearts that saved my eternal being by expressing my sincere romantic disposition( Tah Dah). Hearts are usually drawn by people who are in love. That's me.

ZaaArt of self- analysis is a pretty touchy subject but sometimes a critical look at what page your standing on, helps an artist turn over a new leaf... forward HO !!!!!