Monday, February 12, 2007


It's a jungle out there, Jane.
~ someone, but not Tarzan

February has never been my favourite month, so clearly I'm overcompensating for my mood with this 24" x 24" addition to my Primal Landscapes series. To be fair, though, a painting that I thought was going to be a piece of cake turned out to be an almighty struggle. Thank God there are only 28 days in February. Even my attempt to break out of my depressive little shell and escape to the island to see a concert this weekend went tits up (excuse my French) so I should probably just accept, dig in, and see the rest of winter through like a good groundhog.

There's no question that I'm extremely vulnerable to distraction when I'm feeling low, so the following quote, sent to me by Angela, really hit home. It made me realize that I was medicating through blogging (does it get any more 21st century psychobabble than that?) and my work was suffering, so a break was (still is) in order.

"Our creative lives are filled with opportunities and distractions. It's important that we learn to discern which is which. As creatives, our curiosity is our lifeblood and also our death noose. We can become so distracted that we chase rabbits down holes and lose sight of our original intent." ~ Todd Henry, Accidental Creative

I have not been making the blog rounds -- nor any rounds except the 'medium' lane at the pool and some restless pacing around my studio -- but I hope to surface again soon and see what others are doing out there. If I haven't appeared again by March 1st, send in a search party.


Blogger Barbara said...

Hey there kiddo, I was wondering what had happened to you. Every day I checked your blog and everyday nothing new, but I knew you were still alive because of our e-mails. Keep up your spirits you talented artist, you.

12/2/07 5:43 p.m.  
Blogger Ces said...

Oh Andrea, this artwork is utterly , wonderfully fantastic that I have not read a word in your post because my eyes, brain and everything else are focused on the painting. WOW!!!

Okay, so I read the post while the comment window is up. I am not blogging much either. Winter did not use to bother me until this year. It has been very cold and a lot of dreary rainy days. I am dying for summer, I won't even complain if it is 105 degrees as long as I am inside the house or simmering in the pool.

12/2/07 6:54 p.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Welcome back! I understand the need for "time out."
But in my case it's more "extra time" that's needed...sigh
My blog has cobwebs...

12/2/07 8:25 p.m.  
Blogger Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

Have you ever come accross John Renwick's "L'invitation au voyage. Studies in honour of Peter France"? Since you like to travel with your pictures, I thought you might enjoy reading these essays.
And the title comes from such a beautiful poem, by Baudelaire:

Mon enfant, ma soeur,
Songe à la douceur
D'aller là-bas vivre ensemble !
Aimer à loisir,
Aimer et mourir
Au pays qui te ressemble !
Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Or you come and visit Vienna, just walking around will lift you up. I promise. ;-)

12/2/07 10:07 p.m.  
Anonymous kyknoord said...

Personally, I prefer the "up to your arse in crocodiles" quote, but your point is well made. Recharge & revitalise. We'll wait :-)

12/2/07 10:26 p.m.  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

Wow! I love this one. It's really spectacular. I'm sorry you're struggling but it looks like it's paying off. I know what you mean about blogging as an addiction or escape. Having been away from it for a week it was really weird getting back into it again and giving up the couple of hours I spent on it. I'm limiting the frequency of my posts and the blogs I visit to get things back under control.

12/2/07 10:27 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Struggle, or no, this piece turned out fabulously! I totally get the blogging-distraction/medication thing... I have to be careful - especially during deadlines... Can be tough.

Best wishes for balance, for both of us! Winter woes or no...

13/2/07 12:29 a.m.  
Anonymous silver said...

*wow!* This piece is simply stunning. I don't know what's the best part, the little lizards scampering through the leaves or the glowing turtle or the...parrot? is that a parrot?...or the ultra awesome array of blues sharing canvas with those powerful reds and oranges. And through it all, the underlying message of life building on life. I say again, *wow!* Whatever distractions you've been facing (or creating), Andrea, this piece rocks hard! This is the one they're going to show in the art history books next to your name. Bravo, brava!

I find that I tend to distractions more readily when I'm bringing forth some of my best work. Seeing this along with your post, I'd guess you share the same trait.

There are at least 40 different shades of blue in this that make me wish I could eat them.

13/2/07 1:12 a.m.  
Anonymous Detlef said...

Two thumbs up - more if I had more thumbs.

13/2/07 1:43 a.m.  
Anonymous Catalina said...

Beautiful!I want to go there! :) A hug. how's the weather in Vancouver?

13/2/07 2:00 a.m.  
Blogger Caty said...

I don't know why my address go to another place if I use my artist blog....I wrote the message above.

13/2/07 2:01 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

You are right to cut out on addictive behaviours - its tough but its a good plan! Just remember its harder on us than it is on you.... :-)

Love this one, especially those vibrant lizards!


13/2/07 3:17 a.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

Ahh i know just how you are feeling.
i have not been able to surface since I got back from CA. I pop in now and then. To much on my plate and so little time. At least you are painting. Which is just wonderful.
Take care spring is just around the corner.

13/2/07 5:54 a.m.  
Blogger Alina Chau said...


13/2/07 7:27 a.m.  
Blogger carla said...

I am so glad you've been painting and not blogging...and I'm glad you shared your result. This is...yes...stunning! glorious! everything that's already been said! It is so true that we need to find that balance between inspiration and community and what can turn into an incredible stalling mechanism. The Accidental Creative site has a wealth of worthy information.

I'll say it again...I love this!

13/2/07 7:42 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Party? I'm in!

13/2/07 8:04 a.m.  
Blogger Angela Rockett said...

Beautiful!!! I love it.

13/2/07 8:53 a.m.  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

There is a lot of that going around..does everybody has some seasonal mood disorder?
Love the Jungle..
were you inspired by Apocalypto?

That film is a wonderful mix of our original simple lives surrounded by verdant splendor being systematically destroyed by superstition and greed.
(Green = Nature & Greed)

Do what you have to do Andrea I'll be lurking..I mean hangin' out.

13/2/07 10:18 a.m.  
Anonymous donna said...

Beautiful bright colors to beat the February blues.

13/2/07 10:30 a.m.  
Blogger Ellen said...

WOW! Love this!! Love the masks further down as well!!! Are you still working with coloured pencil on black paper?
So glad I stopped in...yo are such an inspiration!

13/2/07 12:52 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Barbara: What I *really* need right now is lunch... :)

Ces: Thanks -- that means a lot coming from you, the queen of vibrant, spontaneous painting.

Dinah: No need to be a slave to the blog. Let those cobwebs do interesting things before you clean them up!

Merisi: Lovely and bittersweet. Are the essays in English translation, though, as French is too much work (this took me too long). As for Vienna: shhhhh. That's just sadistic. :)

Kyk: Oo, forgot that one. Much more pithy, isn't it?

Jana: A wise decision. I'm still laying off other blogs for the most part.

Tara: You have way more pressure on you than me. One day you'll be able to breathe and look back on an incredible amount of very fine work.

Silver: The little guys are a butterfly (yellow) and a spider (that chartreuse-like colour). I find it interesting how the mood of the artist seems to have little bearing on the mood of the work. This is a good example, but I like what you said about tending to distractions bringing forth best work. It's true: everything seems to be on a more intense plane.

Detlef: Thanks -- I'll lend you mine. :)

Caty: Thanks and good to hear from you. The weather is mild and cloudy. Very February-like. Two days of sunshine would make me delirious I think.

Caroline: Your long sabbatical was something of an inspiration to me. You proved it could be done. (And I spelled your name right!)

Toni: It's mostly seasonal, I think. One more month and things should improve.

Angela and Alina and Donna: Thanks!

Carla: I promise to finish responding to comments and then NOT visit blogs. It's hard, though! OK, maybe I'll just go and check out what Accidental Creative is all about first... *slap*

Teri: You animal, you. :)

HE: I haven't seen Apocalypto but when I heard about it I knew I'd have to see it just for the visuals!

Ellen: You're very kind -- and yes, I have discovered a passion for negative-space drawings that means I was just buying more supplies today!

13/2/07 1:34 p.m.  
Blogger Within Without said...

I wondered if YOU had gone tits up! Glad you (and/or they) are still alive and with us.

I'm kind of sputtering along myself in Blogland and find myself feeling up and down.

Of course you're missed, Andrea. But if you're being like Ahnold and saying "Ah'll be back!", we'll be here.

Gorgeous, super bright painting, but then I feel like I'm a broken record in that regard...

Hugs to you now and open arms await you upon your return.

13/2/07 4:52 p.m.  
Blogger susan said...

hey there, chin up. march is my sucky month and it's way longer than feb...;-)
ah well, go see the mess of a podcast i did with an upcoming artist. that will give you reason tolaugh!
NPR WON"T be calling ME!
love your painting, but you already KNOW that.

14/2/07 2:27 p.m.  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

love your painting! soon it will be March and you can come out of hibernation!

15/2/07 10:38 a.m.  
Blogger Joyce said...

Hey Andrea- been thinking about you. Hope the sun starts shining soon!

16/2/07 9:00 a.m.  
Blogger Bibi said...

Ha ... this was timely for me too Andrea. I've been trying to sort the distractions from the opportunities; some are obvious distractions and others appear to be opps but are not!

I'm still mulling over a couple of those.

Good post ... thanks!

19/2/07 7:19 a.m.  
Blogger Jean said...

Très belle !

1/5/07 11:52 p.m.  
Blogger Sandy said...

I figured I would go through your blog randomly here and there when I get time. You have some amazing art work. I doubt that you will even see this message this far back, but thought it would be fun if you did!

Your blog is so darn interesting, filled with lots of cool stuff.

23/3/09 1:53 p.m.  

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