a blank canvas


I arrived at the gallery a little before 6. Curtis brought out the tables, I spread the paint stained table cloths and Laura was finding us some pARTy music! Within only a few minutes the back-end of the Gallery was transformed from Gallery to pARTy studio!

As I placed the last blank canvas on an easel, the white blank canvas it reminded me of the day the automated doors at YVR opened up and an ice cold wind blew in my face… I am in Canada! So nervous, so scared, so excited! How am I going to do this…

A few days ago, via twitter, Jonathan Christianson from We make stuff happen reminded me how I did it. He tweeted:

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh”

Who knew I would literally and figuratively had to ‘paint’ this much! Starting over in a new country with only 8 bags of clothing and enough money to live for only a few months, teaches you to ‘paint’. Whether you are an artist, or not!

Although my husband was employed by a reputable company in Vancouver he was ‘the junior’ ‘the newbie’ and often reminded of his non-existing North American experience. Four and a half years later he is no longer the junior, often being complimented for his commitment, his loyalty, his good work ethics and definitely gained some North American experience! I know he also, just like me, had sleepless nights wondering how are we going to do this…  BUT we chose to be here, we had to ‘paint’! And we are still painting!

After the first few strokes it becomes easier. You start liking the feeling of adding colour, texture and a little of you to the canvas.  As with a painting pARTy, everyone is a little cautious at the beginning, but after the first few brush strokes, I see magic! Laughing sharing and some really get adventurous… the sharing of ideas and people who came in with the idea that they can not even draw a straight line or a stick man an now inspiring others. It is exciting and you feel so accomplished at the end of the evening.

My favourite part of the evening is the group photo… With paintings in hand, a photoDSC_0765 is taken of everyone standing with their masterpiece! As a group we did the same painting, but when you look a little closer, every painting is unique it its own way. A little of every ones’ personality shines through! It is beautiful!

It is a few years now since we moved to Canada, we now have North American experience, North American (and not so North American) friends, clients and careers,  but our culture and personality shines through… We all look the same from a distance but when you move closer and hear the accent and listen to the stories, from struggling to drive on the wrong side of the road to holding the brush a different way, we are all ‘painting’. You decide if you want to enjoy the painting experience, if you want to add a little music and invite awesome people! It is all up to you what you make of this painting experience!