Mixed Media Artist




6″x10″ mixed media painting on paper. This painting will have to be matted and framed by you.

This painting is available HERE

It is such a secret place, the land of tears.


Dream Patterns

This is a 16″x20″ mixed media painting on wood. The sides are 1.5″ deep and are painted red.

This painting is available HERE.

Dream crushers.

I have blogged about them before. Those people who feel it is their duty to tell you that you really shouldn’t bother with your dream as it is so unlikely that you will ever be able achieve it.  After all, they are only doing you a favor, they are just trying to spare your feelings and wasted energy.  Why would you want to inspire someone to do better, to be greater , to be their best if it is just all going to be a waste of time in the end.

I will tell you why.

Because it is never a waste of time to be your best, to work harder or to be greater than you ever thought you could be.

It is important that we inspire and instill that in our children

And guess what?

As a teacher, that is your job.  That is  your job to every single student in your class. It is way to easy to simply inspire the obviously gifted child, the challenge is, for a teacher to realize that they need to inspire the child that may not be self motivated or show special interest, 0r to  make sure not to discourage or overlook the child that is inspired but may be a little shy,  or have gifts that are buried a little deeper or just haven’t developed yet.

Yes, it is my job as a parent to do this as well.  I know that,  but teachers must realize the power that they wield.  As a parent, it is very difficult to undo the well-intentioned advice or  the effect from complete disregard that a teacher can inflict on my child.  They are just that powerful.

Life is the process. It is not the end result. Don’t diminish one child’s possibilities  in order to bolster another’s. In the end, no one knows what the future has to hold for that child. But right now, to inspire and motivate a child to be the best, better than they can even  imagine themselves, is so truly  honorable.

I saw this recently during Imogen’s performance in The Midsummer Night’s Dream.  She struggled with a lift that she had to execute with Puck holding her high in the air above his head. Her legs  had to be held out straight with  her toes pointed. Her choreographer worked her hard. She believed in Imogen and gave her the gift of achieving something really difficult.  That Choreographer is an inspiration giver, a dream believer and a self-esteem builder.


Now that is something to strive for as a teacher.  Be that.  BE THAT.  There could be no greater gift than that.

A Magical Time

This is a 8″x24″ mixed media painting on paper covered canvas. The sides are 1.5″ deep and are painted black.

Click on image to make it fit on your screen

This painting is available


Monday morning, Imogen woke with a broken heart. You know, when you wake and there is a single moment when you don’t remember your heart has been broken and then in an instant, you remember. Heart ache. This is how it was for poor dear Imogen, and of course for me too because I feel everything that she feels.  Ah, me.

Sunday was her last show of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  I let her sleep with me because she was so distraught about it all being over. The people she met made such a huge impact on her.  They treated her with such respect and  love. It was truly a magical experience.  I remember when I was 12 I  had a small part  in The Miracle Worker. It was put on by a professional theatre company in Victoria at the time. I had my costume made from  drawings, just like Imogen did. It was very exciting and a wonderful experience.  When I was considering the amount of school that Imogen was going to miss and the amount of work it was going to mean for all of us, I only had to think back to that time. I remembered it with such fondness, truly one of my best childhood memories.

So, anyway, I was watching her as she opened her eyes that morning. She looked at me for half a second before the pain of her broken heart crossed before her eyes.  The thing about a broken heart is that it does get better. Time does heal. I know that her heart is bigger now and her memories are full and rich. I know that she will carry this experience with her for the rest of her life. Her love  and understanding of Shakespeare has been awakened, she could recite the entire play for you if you asked.

And you know, it has made me kind of realize something. Something that I kind of forgot.  Life IS your experiences, your experiences become you memories.  I have vowed to create more experiences. The great thing about theatre and live music is it forces you to be present and, if you are like me and have trouble being present that is really special.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream video clip

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…”
Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…”
Elizabeth Gilbert

A life-long blessing for children is to fill them with warm memories of times together. Happy memories become treasures in the heart to pull out on the tough days of adulthood.
Charlotte Davis Kasl

This Big


This is a 9″x12″ (2″ deep) mixed media painting on wood.

I painted this same image last year, an ACEO. It may have been the first ACEO I did. A couple of weeks ago I was going through my images, looking for inspiration, and I came across this photo again. It was taken when Imogen was almost three, I was pregnant for Scarlett. I think I asked her how big she was and she stood as tall as she could and stretched out her little neck. At three, it was really important to be ‘this big’. Come to think about it, I guess it is still important at six. Imogen had a big cry the other day because I made her get the size 13 shoes instead of the (big girl) size ones. Let me tell you, the 13s were even a little on the big side but she cried and cried and said ‘I am just a baby!’. It was hard not to laugh, if she could only realized that in a few years she will be wishing her feet were smaller so she could fit in all those fabulous size six shoes on the sales rack!

IF ‘flawed’- Sad Song


Her song was only flawed by its sadness.

The Thinker

It is amazing to me how children become who they become so early on in life.  Imogen has always been a thinker.  Very compassionate and sensitive.  When she was less than a year old, you could not sing certain songs to her because they would make her cry.  Really cry, like her little heart was going to break.  Two of these songs were My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean and Momma’s Going To Buy You A Mocking Bird.  As she has gotten older, it hasn’t really changed.  She basically doesn’t like songs sung in a minor key.  This kind of rules out  lullabies.  Maybe that is why we didn’t sleep for that three month period when she was first born!  We thought we were comforting her but we were actually distressing her!   I have since asked her why she didn’t like the Mocking Bird song and she said because the mamma kept taking everything away from the baby.

My friend took this picture of her and  it seems to capture her in a moment of deep thought.  Who knows what she was thinking about at the time, she could have just been contemplating what she wanted to whine about next!  A five year old’s prerogative, you know.


The Pink Tutu

This is a drawing of Imogen in her Tutu from my sketchbook.

When we were in Victoria we bought a fairy dress and a tutu for the girls and the night before we flew home we put some music on and let the kids dance around. I was laughing so hard at them all and the way Scarlett (2) was moving to the music. Then, if that wasn’t enough, my Mum put the Tutu on Matthew (2.5). It was so hilarious I was crying! He is such a boy and to see him dancing around in this delicate pink Tutu when he is anything BUT pink and delicate was so cute, but really funny as well.

Poor Matthew, I photographed and video taped the whole thing.

Oh well, when he gets older he can just blame us crazy women for making him wear it…

BUT I’ll let you in on a little secret: he was just dying to put that pink Tutu on!

In The Wings

Yesterday was Imogen’s novice ballet recital. She did a great job. Some of the older girls were so beautiful dancing their solos. I got all weepy about it all and then right in the middle of the show, everything was stopped and a teacher came out carrying a sobbing little girl. Her parents were called and when she saw her Daddy approach the stage her little body shook and she sobbed even harder with relief. That was just too much for me. Tears were streaming down my face. It would have been very embarrassing if it hadn’t been so dark in the theatre.

This multi media piece is called “Waiting”. I did it a little while ago. This is what I wrote about it at the time:

How much time does a dancer wait in the wings? Certainly more time than actually dancing. I am sure it is true of a lot of things but I am so intrigued by the world of dancing right now  that I couldn’t help but paint this.

Crying in the Moment

I was thinking about loss today.

I had a good cry listening to Yael Naim. Not the “New Soul” song, but track 6 and 7. Usually, those songs would not make me cry. Not like Ben Fold’s “The Luckiest”. I can’t really listen to that song without crying. It is ridiculous. Like Robert Munsch’s “Love You Forever”. Just forget about it. I definitely can’t read it out loud. Imogen usually won’t let me even look at it unless for some reason or another she will show it to me and say, “remember this book?” She looks up at me nervously, curious. Maybe she thinks that I will start bawling right on the spot. Not satisfied with my reaction and perhaps with more than a little morbid curiosity, she will start flipping throughout the pages. “Remember this part?” she asks, again, carefully watching me.

Crying helps me when I feel sad and happy. Today, I was sad. I thought about how some people don’t get a fair deal in life. I thought about losing my own Mother. I thought about dying and leaving my children. I thought about how fast your life can change. And I cried because life can be so raw sometimes. Just so cruel. I thought about that for awhile and about how the opposite of that is the total and utter beauty that life also offers us. The babies that are born to us. The friendships that we develop. The love that we find. The nature that surrounds us. Once again I had to remind myself to live for those things right now because none of us ever know when those things might change and to never take them for granted because there are so many people that would switch places with us in a second. The only way to show respect to those who are suffering is to live life right now, fully present in each moment and, if that means having a good long cry, then so be it.