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Mining Life’s Experiences

December 10, 2021

The more attentive we are to the events of our lives, the richer the potential in mining for meaning. As I reflected on themes around my recent adventures in art, I found myself seeing more than a few of my life experiences with fresh eyes. Reflecting on some of your everyday experiences might prove rewarding for you as well.

If you’ve been following my recent posts on social media (Facebook and Instagram), you may have caught one or more of the ten brief videos vignettes in which I shared some of the experiences and inspirations that gave rise to the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition and the Café Series in general.

The series touched on all of these themes:  hospitality, contribution, community, relationship, connection, contemplation, beauty and creativity.

The entire series of vignettes has now been combined into this composite video along with a selection of the paintings from the show. If you are so inclined, I invite you to grab a cuppa your favorite beverage, press play, and reflect on your own life experiences connecting with self and others over a mug of coffee or a cup of tea.

If you haven’t yet seen the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition which has been featured through the fall at City Perks Coffeehouse in Saskatoon, this link will allow you to browse the individual works virtually and enjoy a virtual video tour of the show online at the Pauseworks Studio website.

 

Video Tour Of My Latest Art Exhibition

December 2, 2021

As promised in my previous blog post, I’m sharing here the video tour of my ‘Care For A Cuppa’ art exhibit showing at City Perks Coffeehouse here in Saskatoon (807 7th Ave N).

At the request of City Perks, the show has been extended another two weeks until December 15/2021. So if you are in the neighborhood and would like to see the works in person, there is still time to do that.

Hope you enjoy the images whether you see them virtually or in person.

 

PS – For a closer look at each of the images, see the online virtual gallery.

 

Launching My Cafe Series II Art Show & Sale

April 29, 2021

I know some of you have been long time followers of my adventures in art, so I’m posting here to let you know about a Virtual Art Show and Sale that launched today and will run through the weekend to end of day, May 2.

Pandemic times do not lend themselves to public gatherings, so for the second year in a  row, I’m sharing some of my work in a virtual online show.

This Café Series Art Show & Sale – Part II – celebrates moments of connection over a cuppa tea or coffee. I hope it won’t be long until we can share those moments together again.

The series features original watercolors on stretched canvas, sealed with varnish spray, and ready to hang. No matting, framing, or glass protection required.

This Pauseworks Studio web-link will take you to full show and sale details, larger images, and descriptions of each of the paintings.

Here’s hoping these beauties all find new forever homes. Perhaps one will come to live with you!

PAUSE – 20.01 – What Fuels Your Imagination, Enthusiasm & Creativity?

January 1, 2020

Reflection: It was about 20 years ago – way back at the turn of the century – that I started dabbling in art. If you’ve followed me over that time, you’ve seen my dabbling turn into a full blown passion.

Over that same period of time, perhaps your interests have also shifted and evolved. Maybe you, too, find yourself excited about things that were barely on your radar way back when.

As we launch into a brand new decade, I find myself thinking about what I find so compelling about my adventures in art.

Here’s what I realized:

  • It keeps me noticing things – inspired by the sights around me, paying attention to light and color and design.
  • It challenges me to keep learning – stretching to master new techniques, experimenting with new materials.
  • It has opened up a whole new world of relationships – with fellow artists, collectors, gallery owners.
  • It meets my need to create beauty in my life and share it with the world.
  • It delivers deeper ways to experience the places to which we travel – visiting museums and galleries and sketching in the streets.

I don’t know what this fascination with art will bring my way in the years ahead; but I do know I appreciate its presence in my life and welcome what it has to offer.

 

Action: There are many forms of creative expression – from visual arts, music, and dance to photography, crafts, and cooking to welding, carpentry and beyond. (more…)

PAUSE GEM #47 – Go For The Grin & Art 150.4

July 19, 2017

Editor’s Note: As they have for the last couple of years, your summer Pause messages will feature the ‘Best of Pause. These GEMS are readers’ favorite messages from earlier years. Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to our list, I hope you enjoy them all. After Labor Day, your Pause messages will once again feature all new info and resources.

P.S. – Also, be sure to scan right to the end of this message. You’ll want to be sure to catch the details on my Canada 150 Summer Art Project and the unique Provinces of Canada paintings on offer each week. This week – Manitoba.

REFLECTION & ACTION: Here’s something I’ve been observing for some time now. When I am out and about in public places – shopping the markets, gathering at festivals or theaters, or simply walking down the street – I’m looking at peoples’ faces and noticing their expressions. Do they appear happy, sad, indifferent, concerned? What emotion do they present to the world without even knowing they’re communicating?

I made a point of watching expressions on my last visit to Disneyworld. You would think if there’s any place on earth where you might expect to see smile after smile, and one set of sparkling eyes after another, it would be there. However, that was far from the case.

Sure, people cracked their smiles for the camera, but if you just watched the expressions on the faces as folks ambled down the streets of the Magic Kingdom, smiles were running at about 5% of the population. Even half hearted expressions of contentment were only running in the 25% range. The rest of the expressions ranged somewhere between numbly neutral and tersely tense.

Take a look for yourself. See what you notice on the faces of those you pass as you go about your business today.

Even more importantly, pause to check your own reflection in the mirror or a window. What do others see when they meet you on the street or pass you in the hall?

There is no reliable evidence to prove the old saying that it takes more muscles to frown than smile. However, there is research that shows people do respond in kind to the facial expressions they encounter.

So what would it take to raise the smile quotient and lighten the mood in your corner of this world of ours? (more…)

PAUSE GEM #46 – Burnout And Meltdowns & Art 150.3

July 12, 2017

Editor’s Note: As they have for the last couple of years, your summer Pause messages will feature the ‘Best of Pause. These GEMS are readers’ favorite messages from earlier years. Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to our list, I hope you enjoy them all. After Labor Day, your Pause messages will once again feature all new info and resources.

P.S. – Also, be sure to scan right to the end of this message. You’ll want to be sure to catch the details on my Canada 150 Summer Art Project and the unique Provinces of Canada paintings on offer each week. This week – Newfoundland Labrador.

REFLECTION & ACTION: I’ve been thinking a lot about burnout in recent days. Not because I’m feeling burned out myself, although I have been there more than once in the past. But rather because I’ve been digging back through results of the Overload and Overwhelm survey that I conducted a few years ago.

Over and over again, people mention the downward spiral triggered by too many expectations and too few resources. They describe the hopeless feelings associated with not being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And, to cap it off, much of what they are doing feels pointless.

Still I’m hopeful. While meltdowns may be common, they’re not necessarily inevitable.

One of the things I have noted over the years, is that burnout is not always related to the number of hours worked. Meltdowns and burnout are just as often connected to feelings of hopelessness and pointlessness. It’s like we’ve lost track of any meaning that might once have been associated with the activities that fill our days. And so while we invest more and more energy we experience fewer and fewer returns on that investment.

And therein lies one of the main challenges: staying connected to the reasons why we’re doing these things in the first place. (more…)

PAUSE – 16.07 – Simple Pleasures

March 16, 2016

Spring Returns -w-210

Reflection: When my dear Aunt Eileen moved from her large home in Edmonton into a small assisted living apartment here in Saskatoon, I took her a small bouquet of flowers – just a couple of blossoms in a tiny glass vase.

She loved that vase and it held a place of honor on the coffee table in her new living room.

On my regular visits I brought fresh blossoms to replace the ones that were past their prime.

That vase and its flowers were a Small Treasure that delivered a Simple Pleasure.

I learned the value of small but wonderful from my parents. Each year my father made a pilgrimage to the patch of prairie where he knew the first blooms of spring would appear. Each year he placed a small bowl of fuzzy purple crocuses on the kitchen table – a gift to Mom from Dad and Mother Nature.

As spring turned into summer, and the flowers in the garden burst into bloom, my mother regularly harvested handfuls of blossoms (nasturtiums, calendula, poppies, pansies).

She placed these nosegays and posies in small vases scattered on counters, shelves and window ledges throughout the house. More small treasures that delivered simple pleasure!

(more…)

Diary Of A Painting

March 28, 2015

Tree In Canola Field-100-wEver wonder how a painting moves from inspiration to finished work?

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the progression of a recent painting titled Field Trees. (more…)

PAUSE – 15.03 – Are You Bringing Your True Self to The Table?

February 18, 2015

Key West Tower-wReflection: On our recent cruise vacation, Dave and I shared dinner each evening with the same three couples.

All came from different parts of the world, all were congenial and good humored, and all had interesting backstories to their lives.

Over the course of the trip, we looked forward to the nightly connection – swapping tales about our day’s excursions and life in general.

As our adventure drew to a close, I wondered how best to let them know how much we appreciated their company. In the end, I sketched a postcard for each couple. Each sketch was different and each one represented a unique aspect of that couple’s interests.

I signed them, added a personal note to the back of each card, and presented them at our last dinner together. The postcards were a colossal hit.

I was actually surprised at how deeply they were appreciated. To me, the ideas for the cards came easily, and I enjoyed making them. It felt like no big deal. I found myself curious about what prompted the strength of their reactions.

It occurred to me that one of the reasons could be that creating and sharing the cards was a direct expression of a few of my strengths: appreciation, creativity, and thoughtfulness. There seems to be an authenticity, an ease, and a deep connection that arises when we’re acting from the core of who we are.

 

Action: So what’s to be gleaned from this experience at sea? (more…)

Your Final Pauseworks Postcard Pick Of The Week

August 27, 2014

Parisian Window PW Postcard-wHere it is! The last of nine chances in the 2014 ‘Summer Sketchbook Special’ to own a piece of original art at a sizzling price of just $49 (plus applicable taxes and $10 for shipping).

Parisian Window is number nine in the series of Pauseworks Postcards.

Each 4” x 6” postcard features the Pauseworks Studio 2014 postmark in an upper corner.

Each will be surface mounted on a coordinating 6” x 8” mat board ready for framing or display as is.

To claim your PW Postcard, just send me an email with the words ‘I’ll Take It’ in the subject line.

The first reader to call dibs on each week’s mini masterpiece takes it. Enjoy … and may the early bird snag the sketch.

BTW – if another early bird beats you to the draw, and you’d like to order a print or prefer something in a larger size, here’s the link to make that happen: Parisian Window

Note: Only the original bears the PW Studio stamp.

You can always check out this and other images on my Fine Art PauseWorks Studio Gallery Website.