a new beginning.

The Postcard Project

      This project came about after most of my formal treatment for breast cancer ended. I was ready to find my way back to a routine in the studio, the only problem was, I didn’t know what my purpose was in that space?

 

      After several months of treatment, and living through the effects of chemo, I was/am becoming a new person... literally. New hair, new cells, scars, weird eyebrows, to list a few changes. My attitude on life had also changed, I was unseated as to my 'role' here in the studio, not to mention how I looked at the passing of time.  Upon my return to the studio, I noticed that time was also affected in that space, as I felt I had no connection to the past. If I were to continue working, what was my role in the room? Nothing felt familiar to me. I had changed, and I was fearful that my treatment altered my 'creative DNA' to something/someone that did not belong in that place. This strangeness went on for weeks. Each day, I entered my studio and took the same tour: touching artifacts from trips of days long gone, opening books, thumbing through sketches, paintings, holding brushes the way old “Lisa” would, but nothing rekindled that spark I was looking for to guide me back to a routine. I questioned, 'who I was?' if I was no longer an artist?  If I am still one, then what type? These questions were like a quilt that covered me, each concern was a square but I could not see the pattern.

 

      The idea for this project started with an object in my hand, looking for a vibration that would remind me of my purpose. One day I thought, why not take some of the objects in my studio and draw them? The silent meditative act of drawing could be just the jolt I need to welcome my new creative side into the studio. It was and is, a portal into what lies ahead from my creative soul. I was beginning to feel myself become grounded into the new me and how I 'fit' in my studio space. My view on ‘passing time’ is now measured in a series of “moments”, instead of a 'beginning, middle, and bedtime'.

 

     I am not the “Lisa” from 2019, pre-cancer diagnosis. I am the new, super-powerful “Lisa”, that despite the odds (and this pandemic), will live my life both inside and outside of the studio, 'moment by moment'.  More creating; more gratitude; more openness to change.

 

      I do not know what the future holds in store for the planet, but if I can fill corners of it with beauty, then this is what I will do…with gratitude.

 

Thank you for being a part of this voyage.

Lisa

studio clock final.jpg

'studio clock'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

STUDIO CLOCK:  This clock used to hang in a math class in a school named after a Canadian artist. Now it tells me the time here in the studio. (Yes, it has fallen off the wall a couple of times.)

SOLD

POSTCARDS.

work table

'work table'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

WORK TABLE: This table used to belong to one of my most favourite relatives, my grandfather. He used it to design a motel that was built in my hometown of Guelph and to write a book, among other things. When I was really little, my aunt and her best friend would put me on top of this table and perform ‘surgeries’. I recall once, they used my grandfather’s wood t-square to cut me open to take my heart out.(Her best friend later became the Chief Medical Officer of Ontario….thanks to practice on me!) This table is over sixty years old and I would not part with this for anything. 

wood tsquare final.jpg

'wood t-square'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

WOOD T-SQUARE:  Once belonged to my grandfather.

SOLD

SOLD

tube of paint final.jpg

'a tube of paint'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

studio mug final.jpg

'studio mug'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

STUDIO MUG:  Inspirational, in every way.

SOLD

TUBE OF PAINT:  Used this colour many times, in many different paintings. 

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stapler final.jpg

'stapler'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

STAPLER:  It's vintage, but does the job.

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smock final.jpg

'smock'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

SMOCK:  While in Paris, Joel surprised me with this smock, which is a replica of what artists wore in the 19th century. I was standing outside the Sennelier art store on the Left Bank, when he presented me with this gift. I cried with so much happiness. 

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palette knife final.jpg

'palette knife'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

PALETTE KNIFE:  One of many.

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pigment and palette knife final.jpg

'pigment and palette knife'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

PIGMENT AND PALETTE KNIFE:  During a trip to Firezne a couple of years ago with my friend Liz, we stopped in Zecchi, a local art supply store. While shopping, I channelled my inner Artemisia Gentileschi and purchased this jar of pigment and palette knife. Long reign Women Artists!

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pencil and eraser final.jpg

'pencil and eraser'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

PENCIL AND ERASER:  Essentials in the studio. Used for all the drawings for, ‘The Postcard Project’.

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pencil crayons final.jpg

'pencil crayons'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

PENCIL CRAYONS:  I used this medium to create many things. For example: ‘Heads and Tales: A Collection of Animal Stories Volume 1’.

SOLD

paint box final.jpg

'paint box'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

PAINT BOX:  This box has travelled with me on several road trips (Newfoundland, Atlantic provinces, New Mexico, to name a few) I fill it with paints and supplies needed to paint ‘en plein air’ or in a temporary studio.

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medium palette final.jpg

'medium palette'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

MEDUIM PALETTE: One of several. It has been in use in the studio for thirty years.

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radio final.jpg

'radio'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

RADIO: This was found sitting out on a curb on Roncesvalles over thirty years ago, when I lived in the studio building over on Dundas West.  I brought it back to the studio and was excited to find that it worked. Long nights were spent at my work desk listening to a station from Germany that played classical music. 

SOLD

easel final.jpg

'easel'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

EASEL: Where dreams become reality.

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mahl stick final.jpg

'mahl stick'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

MAHL STICK: I made this stick years ago and used it on most every painting I have created.

linoleum cutter  final.jpg

'linoleum cutter'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

LINOLEUM CUTTER: One of many I use for printmaking.

fan brush final.jpg

'fan brush'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

FAN BRUSH: Every studio needs a 'fan'.

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mixing bottle and linseed oil final.jpg

'mixing bottle and linseed oil'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

MIXING BOTTLE AND LINSEED OIL: One of the solvents needed for painting and the bottle I use to mix up various formulas.

SOLD

chair final.jpg

'chair'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

dipper final.jpg

'dipper'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

DIPPER:  One of many dippers I have to hold solvents.

SOLD

ink and brayer final.jpg

'ink and brayer'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

INK AND BRAYER:  Tools needed for printmaking.

CHAIR:  The chair that I use while sitting at my work table. 

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brayer final.jpg

'brayer'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

BRAYER:  I have owned this brayer for over thirty years. At one time, printmaking was all I could afford to produce. I used any scraps of paper or wood to make prints are or carve into. 

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drawing table final.jpg
canvas pliers final.jpg

'canvas pliers'

pencil on 6" x 4" postcard

CANVAS PLIERS:  These came to me as a gift from a former landlord. One day while having a conversation with him, he noticed that the knuckles on my right hand were worn down and bloodied. He asked me how that happened, I explained that I was stretching a large canvas.  I went on to explain how you go about doing this; using one hand to pull the canvas tightly over the stretcher bars, while the other hand stapled it down to the frame. The next day when I returned to my studio after walking my dog Dylan, there was a bag containing these pliers hanging on my doorknob.

'drawing table'

pencil on 4" x 6" postcard

DRAWING TABLE: Once belonged to my friend, Dennis. Now I use for drawing only. The hockey stick is attached to the side to enable me to fasten a light to it for added brightness while working and making this table a 'quintessentially' Canadian piece of studio furniture. 

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