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April 30 2013
Out of sight, out of mind
I have come to that stage in my commission piece to just turn it against the wall and forget about it for a week. When I work and stare at a painting for too long, it is difficult to see it as it really is. The mind plays tricks by subconsciously making corrections. After a week or so, the painting is turned back around and if there are any "sore thumbs", they will show immediately.

I am going to be very busy for the next 5 days, and may not get to my blog postings. If I do post, they will be "short and sweet". I will be back in full force after that with plenty more to talk about.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 06:45 0 Comments


April 27 2013
Teaching observation
Last night and today are granddaughter days. She just turned four and is full of wonder. We were playing on my computer, filling in a simple coloring program. You choose from the array colors displayed on the side, click on the one you want then drag the curser which is now a paintbrush, onto the area you want to color and click. Easy but fun.
We were working on a "dogpile" of fat little piggies last nite. We colored each of them a different vibrant color, then chose the last one in the middle to be filled in with a wild pattern. (also one of the color choices) We made up a story about how he was a special pig who wanted to be different than the rest.
After that we erased the colors and started again, this time we colored all the piggies green and the last unique little guy red. Complimentary color scheme. wooh! she said. Then we did the same with the blue/orange and yellow/purple pairings. Art is fun and learning all at the same time!

Other things I like to point out to her while out walking or driving: The irregular shapes of dark trees against a light sky and how they are all unique. The new yellow green leaves on the trees and how they glow against the dark backdrop of evergreens. The mountains across the water and how blue they are. How light filters into a forest and "spotlights" areas of interest.

Oh! I have to go now. She just got up!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 07:15 0 Comments


April 26 2013
Well I must say, yesterdays blog was great therapy! I had a wonderful, truly confident day of painting. I resolved problem paintings right left and center and came up with wonderful new designs. I think I will go back and read it again this morning.

My workspace is closing in on me so I am going to have to do some re-arranging and stretching out. I am trying not to get too fixated on my future free standing studio. These things take time....I will be patient and make due.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 07:22 0 Comments


April 25 2013
Believing in someone
I was sitting down here in the studio and got to thinking about how many people support my "efforts". It all comes down to believing in me when sometimes (being the emotional character I am), I am overwhelmed by the thought of "why do I think I can make it as an artist?"

Here is a list of "Why" that I came up with this morning.
1. Because it is who I am, it is what I do and I may as well take on the challenge and go as far as possible as long as I am here.
2.The drive to better myself has never let up.
3.Talented and professional artist friends support me and pick me up with words of encouragement and put things into perspective when I question myself.
4. The time my husband ran outside and built me a specialized easel when I was struggling with a certain size canvas, because he believed it was important.
5. The encouragement, excitement and support I get from the outlets that sell my work.
6.When another artist purchases one of my paintings.
7.When a painting sells.
8. When a client actually seeks you out after viewing your art on your website and asks you to do a commission in your style.
9. When your actual true vision appears on your canvas in a magnificent swoop. (thats a little dramatic but sometimes it kind of feels that way)
10.When you just know it is what you are meant to do.

There. Now that I feel all "positively like" I can continue painting for today!

Oh, and I was in Coombs yesterday, and they have those wonderful pencil sharpeners in there again. They have a little sign that says something like "The best pencil sharpener in the world", and they just may be right! After struggling with crummy sharpeners for so long, I was so glad to find these a few years back.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 05:01 0 Comments


April 24 2013
A day of normal stuff...
Yesterday I went to Courtenay to grocery shop. Unfortunately we have to eat. I also stopped in and had a long chat with Marilyn at the Ginger 9 studio and Gallery. If you are in the area it is a wonderful place to stop for a coffee and one of Marilyns decadent sweet snacks. (Yes, she even has gluten free) They have small private tables set throughout the gallery and a larger area with a couch to sit back and relax. A very unique place. Check out their website: for further information.

The other "normal" thing I did yesterday that I am very proud of is I cleaned out my little car! It is now like driving a new vehicle...I was even tempted to take it for a little spin afterwards because it felt so wonderful. But I thought that was maybe over the top... One of the reasons I cleaned it out was because I was tempted to check out the Mazda dealership while in Courtenay yesterday and I needed to feel better about the car I have at this moment. I will eventually need a larger vehicle to pack my canvases in and I am in love with the Mazda 5 mini van. But for now I have decided I need to keep my little protege hatchback for at least 10 years to get my moneys worth. I really like the car, so its no problem and it runs like a "hot damn" but it has surface rust around the outside of the wheel wells so I will never get my moneys back out of it. Eventually someone will get a really nice little car for a good price because of it.

I am sitting outside on my back steps listening to the birds and watching the sun rise up from behind the trees. I believe it will be another glorious day!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 08:02 0 Comments


April 22 2013
NCES Paint by Numbers
What a wonderful showing of paintings at this years event. The energy in the room was electric. The difference between this event and an art show or a regular auction is that everyone has purchased a ticket for $500 and will go home with a painting worth much more. People with booklets in hand are comparing the original paintings lined up on the wall with the images in print. Most everyone has numbers scrawled beside the images, some even from 1-60 in order of preference. Artist Ken Kirkby commences the event with a short speech and an announcement that his new book by author Patricia M. Fraser is hot off the press (all proceeds from the sales donated to the Nile Creek Salmon Society).
The draw begins. The way it works is the first number drawn gets first choice of all 60 paintings. Second number, second choice..etc etc....People are holding their breath throughout the room in anticipation. Oh!....someone chose their first choice, cross that one off the list and hold breath again and cross fingers...please please number next...!! It is fun to sit back and watch the expressions.
My painting was chosen mid way through the event and I could finally breathe myself! I introduced myself and we had a wonderful discussion. Interesting thing was the woman who chose it, vacations in the very same location as the person I am doing the commission painting for right now....What are the odds of that?! Just another sign that I am on the right track.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 06:35 1 Comments


April 20 2013
Distractions have always been a problem for me. Those who went to grade school with me can attest to that. I was so lucky to have teachers that regularly dragged my desk(sometimes angrily with me in it) out into the hallway. I would never have finished any of my work if they had not. I remember the wonderful silence of the hall, broken here and there by the click click click of a teachers heels, the opening and closing of a classroom door and the muffled voices of a class in the distance. A few easily dealt with distractions, unlike the "circus" going on in the classroom.
In my bedroom as a child I fashioned a quiet space out of a closet, stringing xmas lights inside for ambiance. When the world got to be too much (usually my messy bedroom) I sat inside and closed the door. Ahh....silence...
These days in my makeshift workspace I also have daily distractions. Ones that will be remedied once I get my free standing space, a space in which I can close the door and shut out the rest of the world allowing my creative mind that free uninterrupted reign it needs. One feels guilty at times needing so much time alone but the guilt is quickly brushed aside by the drive to create. A drive that has been there all along but mislabeled by "those in the know".

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 08:32 1 Comments


April 19 2013
paint storage
One of my challenges painting with acrylics has been 'out of the tube' paint storage. I have tried many options. A stay wet pallet, rectangular plastic "tupperware" type containers, ice cube trays, compartment style organizers with lids, glass jars, plastic jars, paper cups, styrofoam cups, plastic bags....I am sure I have missed a few. Most ended up in the garbage, covered with a dried mess of color that I couldn't remove. I do like plastic jars with lids which I purchased from industrial plastics. They are white so you can write whats in them on the lid and the paint easily peels off when dry. I use them for gesso, sky colors and edge grey. I have recently discovered my best find yet. Small bathroom size plastic cups from Walmart.(I almost did a happy dance in the aisle when I found them!) I was using the paper variety but when you mix paint vigorously in them, you end up with paper fibre in the mix and the cups get too soft and eventually collapse. I do like the size because the paint stays wet longer in a smaller space. Yesterday I mixed a series of colors in these new cups, placed them carefully into a plastic bag and sprayed water over them and onto the inside of the bag. While using the paints I placed a plastic lid, the type you get from takeout sushi or salad, over top to keep them wet. I am hoping I can peel the paint out of the cups when they dry and use them again. That would make me a happy painter!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 07:06 0 Comments


April 18 2013
Blog gone.....
I had a blog all written up about my "normal" job (home based business) and how busy I was this morning and how I couldn't get downstairs...Then I wrote about how I am working on color charts because I have fallen in love with transparent color since my Gwen Fox workshop and how most of my paints are opaque. Oh and how the phone is bothersome when deep into the "painting zone".....Then I pushed "add blog entry" and was kicked out. Blog gone.

This time I will keep it short and sweet!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 01:34 0 Comments


April 17 2013
I think that the snooze on my cel phone alarm is infinite. I was going to try it out this morning but I only made it for 45 minutes. I blamed it on not sleeping well last nite, but I really think it was the beginning of my fear.
Yesterday I said I was going to begin painting the commission piece. Much easier to make that decision yesterday. This morning it all began with the snooze button. I made myself a cup of tea and headed down the stairs. There staring at me, looming on the table were the three canvases, lined up on the 6 foot wide easel my husband built for me yesterday morning after my blog post. The fear kicked in big time.... "Oh no! I forgot what colors I like to use! The lighting on this side of the room is all wrong! My paint brushes are too worn and frayed! I am doomed!"

"Get a grip. Choose the colors you always use, lay them out. Move the lamps to the side so you are not working in your shadow and choose the best brushes for the job. Mix the paint and just start can always paint over it! Oh! and no blogging until you are over your fear and your urge to procrastinate."

There, phew! I did it and am feeling much better now. I have many hours left ahead of me but the most difficult part is over. The older I get and the more I paint the better I get at talking myself out of talking myself out of....!

Just a glimpse into the "conversations" that go on down here in the studio!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 08:02 0 Comments


April 16 2013
Canvas size vs work area size
I am finally having a chance to take a good look at the painting I have been commissioned to do. I have the scene sketched out on the canvas and have glazed in the under painting. The easy part. Now I have to figure out how to set it up. The 3-24x24 sections equal 6 feet across....just over the width of my whole workspace. My easel is only large enough to accommodate one section and I need to work on them in a row to keep a cohesive flow going. I will have to lay them side by side on my work table, raise the backs up so they are angled downwards, and move my lamps and lighting around so I am not working in my shadow. (My workspace is less than ideal, which is why I am hoping for a proper studio soon.) Hanging the sections on a wall and working would be a great idea as well, but not an option down here in the basement. I will have to add that wall space idea on my "new studio needs" checklist.

There are times when I am down here working, listening to my music away from the rest of the world that I come up for air and hear something tragic on the news. It sometimes filters into my work in some way. A small undetectable "note" painted somewhere in memory. Not for anyone to see, just my way of showing the "universe" that I feel the sadness and I care......

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 07:07 1 Comments


April 15 2013
Painting exercises
This morning I was up at 5:10 am and headed downstairs with my cup of tea. It is another granddaughter day so I had to make a little time to paint somewhere in the day. I decided that because I only have a short time in front of the easel, I would watch my new Stephen Quiller video and do up some color charts. I should have known by the word "Exercises". Oh boy. I am afraid I would lose interest in painting really quickly if I spend too much time on this! But I know it is good for me, just like physical exercise. So, I worked on some. On my own terms. I will not do 6 color charts like recommended.(sorry Stephen, I am the worst student...) I already know which colors I prefer so I will play with those and study the mixtures further. There. That I can handle!

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 09:24 1 Comments


April 13 2013
My talented friend, Nana (check out her work and I headed out last nite for sushi in Qualicum Beach then to the "Lush" art opening at the Artworx Gallery for 3 locally based abstract artists, Chris Kazeil, Susan Mclennan and Leslie Gregory. All I can say is WOW! what a giant step ahead for all three of these amazing artists! I stood in front of so many pieces and feasted my eyes and my senses on the fascinating array of brushstrokes, pourings, glazings, colors, pathways, values, messages.....etc...I am not one for crowds at all, but the art kept me focused on why I was there, and not on how many people were milling about. I am inspired. Bravo ladies

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 10:07 0 Comments


April 12 2013
Not a painting day
So today was a granddaughter day, not an art day. But wasnt it? Hmmm... While at the VIU Deep Bay research center and viewing the ocean creatures in the salt water tank, all I could think of was "wow...would that make a cool painting". Out came my camera and the ideas percolated. That was, until the 4 year old got my camera and took photos of her own.

I also managed to sneak downstairs a couple of times and splash a glaze on a painting I am in the midst of. I am afraid I cannot go a day without doing something creative. Its what I do.

Recently I filled out the information section of my Linked in page. There was a question asking where I used to work etc etc.....I used to be an optician, amongst many other things, but I left it blank. I decided it had nothing to do with me being an artist, except for showing me what I did not want to be!

Oh, and my painting "untitled" which is now titled "Branching Out", was accepted into the Vancouver FCA's Canvas Unbound show. I kind of threw it in on a whim.....I should do that more often! Untitled

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 04:49 0 Comments


April 11 2013
Sunrise in Bowser
I as up at 5:30 this morning and actually headed out the door by 6:00 to watch the sunrise on the beach. I was tired and not very enthusiastic as it didnt seem that it was a good morning for a sunrise. Up here in the forest I rarely see the sunrise until it clears the trees and this morning the sky was fairly clouded over. As I crested the hill on our road I glimpsed a slash of red/orange in the small clearing that sparked my hopes and made me gasp slightly. My foot pressed the gas pedal a little harder and I was instantly eager to get to the beach.

So there I sat, watching the stages of sunrise and how the light subtly spread behind Denman and Hornby. It was amazing to watch the changes along the a mountain would ebb and flow into my sight as the light changed and the cloud cover drifted. I feel much better this morning. Much more in touch with myself. I should do this every day.

I have posted photos of this morning on my Cindy Mawle, Westcoast Contemporary Artist Page if you are interested.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 08:57 0 Comments


April 10 2013
Trees are classical piano
I have really been trying to get up bright and early these days to maximize my painting hours. (5:30 am) Early yes, bright?...not so much!
It does work well though. Now I need to figure out how to fit the walk or the jog into my day. Once I get painting I don't want to stop. If I could incorporate aerobics into my painting stance I would be just long as I dont have to leave the easel. I am a work in progress, in many ways.
If you have been following me you would know that I am a lover of many kinds of music with the exception of a couple which I wont mention as to not offend anyone. Most often I have the cbc world station on my laptop with my little "cheapie" speakers plugged in, but lately I have been smitten with classical piano. I have been painting trees with their "dance" of branches these days and have discovered that "trees are classical piano". The swoops, the smaller spaces between the leaves, the rhythm.....Also, I understand piano. I can see in my minds eye the artists fingers dancing over the keys, much like my paint brush dancing over my canvas.....Its a wonderful way to start the day.

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 06:36 1 Comments


April 08 2013
Just stopping to load up my newest painting off the easel. It seems these days with the weather getting better, the load of things I "should" be doing is getting heavier. I am trying my best to ignore it all, but I am not sure how long I can hold out. You know, gardening, yard-work, cleaning out the car etc...etc...Never mind the forever looming housework. I do feel odd though, somewhat like a mushroom as I paint in the basement while the weather outside is beautiful. Darn. So I have hauled some of my stuff upstairs onto the back deck. We have a lovely long covered deck with plenty of room for me to make a huge mess of in no time. Right now I am stretching and priming canvases out there. We are on 12 acres, surrounded by forest with no close neighbors so it is very peaceful except for the birds. After I load this picture up, that is where I am headed.

I have been commissioned to paint a triptych (3-24x24 canvases) of the view over the water in Bowser. I was going to head down to the water this morning at 8:00 am, but I left it a little late. The sun was too high for my liking so the "drama" of the scene was washed over with too much reflected light and to make it even less appealing, a fog bank on the far shore was hiding the mountains. I will see what the weather will be like tomorrow and get out there earlier!

Entanglement 36x30
This image can be viewed in my WestCoast Studio....Entanglement

Posted by Cindy Mawle at 02:57 0 Comments


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