Old Friends – A New Painting


‘Old Friends’ – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 16″

This piece was commissioned by an old childhood friend. Her instructions to me were quite simple; she wanted flowers and she liked purple – the rest was up to me.

She is one of those childhood friends who stands out in memory because she smiled constantly, laughed easily and made everything fun. And although I’ve only just recently had the opportunity of reconnecting with her through social media she still gives off that same energy. I wanted her energy to come through in this painting so I chose tulips – they are the heralds of spring, the worlds most cheerful flowers! I painted a single purple tulip to represent my friend and I hoped that minimizing the use of purple would make it more important overall. I also experimented a little with trying to marry my typical flow-y-line style with the more expressive, painterly style of my last two pieces.

Such a fun piece to create! (Here’s hoping she likes it – fingers crossed!)Tulips_Small_05





A Pool Shark, A 40th Birthday & An Experiment


I am breaking WAY out with these two new paintings! ;)

It was my little brother’s 40th birthday this past June and in celebration I had planned to paint a couple pieces for him but life got in the way… So, this past week I finally found a bit of time to create these belated gifts.

My brother is a billiards/pool playing fanatic (in the best way ;) ) and so I knew that he’d love anything pool related.  However, this subject matter is actually WAY out of my comfort zone – as you know I paint flowers, trees and mountains… And then to make things even more complicated (I don’t know why I do these things to myself?!) I decided that this subject matter best suited a loose and more expressive style of painting. Sooooooo different from my typical smooth flowing lines – Oy vey!

In then end though it was a fun painterly experiment and I am really happy with the result. (Oh and I stuck true to my innate need for a LOT of colour – which always make me happy!)

Happy Saturday all!!!


A New Painting – Winged Wonders


Almost all of the care I received from nurses during my hospital stays this past year went above and beyond. I am SO grateful for their time, their care and their expertise. While in hospital I created the small sketch pictured below – it was inspired by all the nurses running to and fro to care for those in need. I called the sketch, ‘Winged Wonders’. I knew that once I was healthy again I’d paint this sketch as an expression of my gratitude. Obviously I’ll never be able to find the particular individuals who directly cared for me but I do hope that the meaning of this piece warms the heart of every nurse who gets a chance to know it. And maybe they’ll feel just a little bit honoured.


It’s funny because most of the pieces I have created in the past year have been commissions and now when it finally came time to paint something that was exclusively my idea it was REALLY hard to do! I know right?!? You’d think I’d fly through it but, OH NO, I struggled all the way! <Rolling my eyes at myself>




It wasn’t until this point that I finally felt like I was finally finding my way but even then I had to push to finish.



Despite my fight to the finish I’m happy with all colours and movement. Part of me wishes some of the airy softness of the sketch had stuck a bit more but sometimes paintings travel their own journey and they can end up in quite a different place from where they began. <grin and shrug>

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. :)

Have an amazing weekend friends!!!



Winged Wonders – New Painting Coming Up!

Yes – this canvas is finally ready! My husband builds all my canvas frames for me now. It is amazing because I can actually request special custom sizes instead of being forced to use standard sizes. (Thanks hubby! ) We finally got this one stretched this week and it’s ready for paint!
The sketch you see just below the canvas is my plan for this piece. It was drawn during one of my hospital stays in the early summer. (I am feeling much better now – just so ya know.
) I call it ‘Winged Wonders’. I actually sketched it in honour of all of the nurses flying to and fro to care for those in need. I am so grateful for nurses!

BlankCanvas_Small nurses


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This painting means a great deal to me…

This is a commission that I received in May just before I got ill – it has been waiting a long time. BUT I’m so glad it was waiting!!! I have poured every ounce of joy I could into this piece – it’s a celebration of life! It’s so easy to take day-to-day life for granted… And now that I am starting to recover I am soaking it up. I am even happy to do housework when I can! (Ok, so maybe that will get old quickly but at least for now I’m enjoying it! ;) )

I suppose it’s kinda simple and maybe even a little cheesy but I titled it, ‘Joy’. I hope you like seeing the process.





Kootenay Child Development Centre

CentreThe Kootenay Child development Centre is dedicated to improving the support to families and children with health and development problems. My own family has personally experienced the benefits of having this centre in the Kootenays. I had a lot of time to think while being sick and what often came to mind was children and families who suffer daily with disease, mental illness, or physical disabilities…  This centre was created to help support those kids and families and I love being able to donate and support it whenever I can.

For a long time I have wanted to create a painting for the entrance of the centre. A painting for kids that is full of joy, with lots to explore and find. Once again while in hospital I created this little illustration attached here. I really look forward to painting it one day and hanging it in the centre! Check out their website here –> http://www.kootenaycdc.ca/ and their Facebook page here –> https://www.facebook.com/kootenaycdc

Healing & The Scottish Thistle

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Legend has it that a sleeping party of Scottish warriors were saved from a Norse ambush by this wee plant. One of the attackers accidentally trod on a thistle with his bare feet and cried out in pain. His cries roused the Scots who then defeated the invaders. After this victory the thistle was adopted as the national symbol of Scotland. Apparently, there is no historical evidence for this tale, but who doesn’t love a good story right? ;)

So many folks helped us out while I was in the hospital – my family and I are so grateful to all of them! My dear friend Meme went above and beyond. Her efforts not only brought others to our aid but also made EVERYTHING so much easier for us. We are so grateful to her. As soon as I could manage to sit up long enough I did this little painting for her in attempt to express my gratitude.

Why the Scottish Thistle? Well, I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t actually know Meme’s personal reasons for loving the Scottish Thistle… I just know that she does… Maybe I should ask one day – ha ha!

I made the painting a little whimsical because I wanted it to have a fairy style/Will-o’-the-wisps feeling.


This is the sketch I did while I was hospitalized. I couldn’t wait to be able to sit up long enough to paint it for her.

Scottish Thistle 2_Small
I am happy to say that my health is improving. I still need to rest and I can’t do anything rigorous yet but the medicine is helping me start to heal – YAY! I still have some tests that need to be done at the beginning of September before we know exactly what is wrong but I’m so thankful to be mostly functioning for now. It’s good to be back!



Life is Precious


There is no greater wake up call than poor health.

It’s amazing how quickly life is refocused… Who would have thought that showering, sitting up at the table for dinner or having a regular conversation would become so precious! Sadly, these simple things in life are not appreciated until you can’t do them anymore…

I started having health problems a little over two months ago. It wasn’t until June that it hit a peak. After numerous tests and a couple of hospital stays it has been narrowed down to a few possibilities. I am still waiting to get into a specialist who can -hopefully – make the final call. We are optimistic that it will all be very treatable in the end. In the meantime, I am happy to say I’ve been out of hospital for almost two weeks and I am managing to get by at home. (With a lot of love, patience and help from my family members.) And while some days are still a struggle I am soaking up every moment at home with immense gratitude.

The funny thing is that even while bedridden an artist never stops creating. In my better moments I had a bit of energy to sketch (attached above) and I’ve also compiled a mental list of paintings I’d like to complete when I am well again. Of course, all of these will come after I have drowned my family in affection and they can’t wait for me to leave them alone and paint. ;)

I know you’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again anyway… DON’T lose sight of what’s important, treasure your loved ones, and be grateful for every healthy moment!

See you all on the flip side. :)





Celebration – A New Painting!

If you’ve read my bio and artist’s statement then you know that one of my favourite things about creating art is the opportunity it affords me to become a part of someone else’s story. This commission piece is particularly special in that way because it is going all the way to Quebec to be with a family member. Sadly, I’ve not seen my family back East since I was small but I LOVE that this little piece of me is headed back there this week! (Now if only I were small enough to pack myself into the box with it!) ;)

The painting was inspired by a photograph I took in early spring. These crocuses were the first little flowers to show their face this year. I can’t help but celebrate each spring when they poke through. Hence, I titled the piece ‘Celebration.’ Hope you enjoy your scroll. :)IMG_2981


Fini! –>


‘Celebration’ – 16″ x 20″ – acrylic on canvas


A huge THANK-YOU to my cousin Marco for commissioning this piece from me – I can’t wait until you see it in person! xo

How to Take Better Photographs For Beginners : Taking Creative Photographs Indoors

_S_Paulsen_Oct_2010_0009I missed my Wednesday post – somehow the day just slipped by… whoops! Well Thursday is a good day too – isn’t it? ;)

As I mentioned in my last photography post, I have a tendency to steer away from flash photography… It’s not that flashes are bad, on the contrary, they can be quite useful and even creative but my personal preference is to use natural light whenever I can. Although natural light can be a little scarce when it comes to doing indoor photography. Normally there  isn’t quite enough light inside to capture a clear well-lit picture. However, there is one spot (or two spots) in everyone’s house that have a decent amount of natural light… Wanna take a guess? Yep – that’s right – by the window, or a doorway or an outdoor opening of any kind.

So, whenever I’m taking pictures indoors I head for the windows (or door, or opening)!

Now – if you are a point and shooter you are gonna need to take out your camera manual (I know… the dreaded manual…) and learn how to shut off your flash. Should be a fairly simple step. When you are indoors, your camera will often automatically decide that you need your flash but for taking creative pics by windows it looks best if your flash is shut off.

The fun thing about window light is that it can be very dramatic and you can play with it creatively. The other bonus is that once your flash is off, you can just frame your shots and then point and shoot. Be sure to try lots of different angles. Have a peek at the pics below for some inspiration. 0016_Small 0017 Jola Skretting_Nov_10_0044 Lara_Merz_Jan_10_0012 Williams_2013_0012_S_Paulsen_Oct_2010_0001