03 November 2015

"Carpe Diem"
watercolour on A3 paper
October 2015

I’ve been thinking about all of the incredible, strong-willed, and bravehearted women, out there, all around us, who are seizing the day, changing themselves from the inside out, and changing the world, one courageous act at a time. Feminism is more than the radical notion that women are people, it is also the act of actualising and cultivating the value of women as more than the sum of our reproductive parts, and being proactive in creating a culture of cooperation, communication, and mutual respect, not just for women, but between all human beings. This is our power, this is our beauty, this is our time! CARPE DIEM.

Mark Lanegan portraits

Gray Goes Black (Portrait of Mark Lanegan)
watercolour on A3 paper
October 2015

Muddy Water (Portrait of Mark Lanegan)
Conté crayon on A4 paper

Portrait of Marie-Ange

01 September 2015

Portrait of Marie-Ange
coloured pencil and ink, on paper
16 August - 1 September 2015

My dear friend, Emma (Marie-Ange), and I agreed to make portraits of each other, each in our own styles. We're both fans of symbolism, so it's no surprise that my portrait of her is loaded with it! 

Angel Wings: to represent her name

2 Black Cats: her furbabies

Turquoise-Green: Emma's favourite colour

Leo (zodiac symbol): her astrological sun sign

Rainbow: a prominent symbol, in her own artwork, used to express joy and hope

Roses: also a prominent symbol, in her own artwork, used to express of love and happiness 

Ivy in her hair: she's a fan of Kate Bush (Under The Ivy is her favourite song)

Golden Sacred Heart: she's a fan of Neil Young; represents his song Heart of Gold, and the music notes are from the line, "I wanna live, I wanna give"; I chose the image of a "sacred heart" (stemming from Catholic iconography) to underline her passion for music

Piano: she's a fan of Tori Amos (we met at one of her concerts)

Red Thread: (in her hand) represents her fav Tori Amos album, Scarlet's Walk

Books: she's an intellectual and an avid reader; the open book in her lap, creating a downward-pointing v, also represents feminine intuition and maternal wisdom

Eiffel Tower: Emma is Parisian

Wave: she loves the sea, and uses seaside imagery often, in her own artwork

Pencil and Brush: she is an artist and a mathematician

Lots of pics here.........

Mark Lanegan Band @ Lokerse Feesten (Lokeren, Belgium)

13 August 2015


I traveled to Belgium, staying with friends, and spent two evenings in Lokeren, at the Lokerse Feesten music festival. This was my first Lanegan show, and what an amazing show it was! They band was charged, communicative, and right on point. Mark, standing humble and fast to his mic, was totally focused into the music, and hypnotized us all with his signature honey-gravel croon. They played lots of my favs, including Gravedigger's Song, Floor of the Ocean, and Harborview Hospital.

My bestie and I were fortunate enough to stand at the front of the stage, 
and then get an autographs, after the show.

  Mark was surprisingly cheerful and smiley after the show (I was expecting his usual "I hate everybody" grumpy face that I've seen in friends' meet-&-greet photos). I told him that the show was awesome, that I love his music, and about how, being a Steel Valley (Ohio) girl, the new song Smokestack Magic really speaks to me, and gets me right in the heart. That made him beam and laugh, and then he happily wrote it on my poster (from the Imitations tour, because I wasn't keen on the new poster art) with an exclamation! next to his signature.

 I was a'floatin' on a rock & roll cloud.


    1. The Gravedigger's Song
    2. Harvest Home
    3. No Bells on Sunday
    4. Gray Goes Black
    5. Hit the City
    6. One Way Street
    7. Dry Iced
    8. Ode to Sad Disco
    9. Riot in My House
    10. Floor of the Ocean
    11. Harborview Hospital
    12. Black Rose Way (Screaming Trees song)
    13. Revival (Soulsavers cover)
    14. Methamphetamine Blues
And now, a ridiculous fucklot of photos from the concert & the post-show .......

Tori Amos @ Lokerse Feesten (Lokeren, Belgium)


I traveled to Belgium, to visit friends, and to see two shows at the Lokerse Feesten music festival, in Lokeren. Tori Amos' show was an absolute dream!

The setlist was full of gems, Tori was focus and full of joy, her voice was like crystal and the new electro arrangements on the keyboard of some songs were great! The lights were fantastic, and I'd say the prettiest I've seen since the Plugged Tour.  It was an incredible evening of gorgeousness, and one that I will never forget!

Of course, I cried like a baby during Horses and Oysters....

  1. Little Earthquakes
  2. The Nobodies (Marilyn Manson cover)
  3. Bliss
  4. Beauty Queen
  5. Horses
  6. Girl
  7. Take to the Sky (with Datura bridge mashup)
  8. Cruel / Sweet Sangria / Unrepentant Geraldines (remix-mashup)
  9. Oysters
  10. Pandora's Aquarium
  11. Father Lucifer
  12. Fire on the Side (Y Kant Tori Read, her band from the 80's)
  13. Running to Stand Still (U2 cover)
  14. Precious Things
  15. In Your Room (Depeche Mode cover)

The truth lies in between the 1st and the 40th drink

21 June 2015

I did this illustration as a submission to a (Tori Amos themed) charity fundraising cookbook, for RAINN.

Each character represents a song:

 " The truth lies in between the 1st and the 40th drink "
(ink and coloured pencil on A4 paper ; June 2015)

(Some of them are saying lyrics. The title of the drawing comes from Concertina.)
I tried to capture the look of the songs through colour (I often "hear" the colour of songs) and posture; some of the song characters resemble Tori (from the era when the song was released), while others take on a look that is either described or implied, directly, by the song (like Toast's "honey hair", and Cactus Practice's  Native American look (from the implication of the sacred cactus rituals of North and South America), with white Goose feathers in her hair, to represent the shape shifting character of Anabelle (who co-sings her song, on the song-cycle album Night of Hunters.)
I really enjoyed making this drawing, and it has inspired me to create more illustrations in this vein.
Check out some close-up details of this drawing & lyrics that inspired the characters' design ....

8 Drawings From My New Sketchbook

14 January 2015

I've managed to draw nearly every day in the new sketchbook, since the first week of January (all in graphite.)

The drawings come naturally, I don't start out with any plan, I just hoved the pencil over the page, and let the lines start, organically. I began the book with a quick study of a glass, and then faeries started to show up...

emerging from the water...

more pics after the cut ... (FYI: one is a nude, so it may be NSFW)

France's National Unity March (Marche Republicaine) du 11 January: JE SUIS CHARLIE

12 January 2015

4 million people marched across France today.
 70,000 marched in my city, Clermont-Ferrand.
This national event was the largest public anti-terrorist march in history.

The streets were a flood of people, all in support for freedom of the press, memorializing the victims of the Charlie Hebdo magazine (2 of the victims were from Clermont-Ferrand, working in Paris,) and making a peaceful, yet powerful, stand against terrorism.

 My sign reads: "Liberty. I am Charlie" ("je suis Charlie" is the popular motto in solidarity
 with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and pro-freedom of the press)

Not only as a supporter of freedom for the press and a voice against religious tyranny, but also as a fellow artist, I felt it was really important to take part in this march.

The trams were overstuffed with people, so I had to walk to the center of town, were it began, and continued for 2 hours, to the half-way point of the march. I had hoped to make it to the end, but my muscles and joints were giving out, sunset was nearing, and I still had a long, cold walk to get home. I'm glad I went though, and stayed as long as I could... it was worth every ache and blistered toe!

Some more pictures from the march .....

The last of 2014, the first of 2015

02 January 2015

The end of the sketchbook has come, just at the threshold of the new year. The last drawing was started on 29 December 2014, and finished on 2 January 2015...

"An Ending, A Beginning"
graphite and contemplation on paper

More pics after the cut . . .

Carrousel de Jaude

07 December 2014

A commissioned painting of the carousel in my city's central plaza.

"Carrousel de Jaude"
watersoluable crayons, graphite, watercolour, and acrylic on paper
25.8 cm  x  25.8 cm
5 & 6 December 2014

more pics after the cut . . .

Château Lieujean (vin rouge)

11 November 2014

 Château Lieujean (vin rouge)
acrylic on canvas
November 2014
(one of a set of two commissioned wine paintings) 

Painting glass is always a challenge!
 I'm really pleased with this one, and I think it's the best glass I've painted, yet.

More pics after the cut . . .

Ashre Ashre (portrait of Tori Amos)

"Ashre Ashre"
a portrait of Tori Amos
chalk pastel on tinted A4 paper
11 November 2014

Inspired by the song Muhammed, My Friend, from the album Boys For Pele.

As I was drawing, the lyrics  "ashre, ashre, ashre ..." and "Moses I know, I know you've seen fire, but you've never seen fire, until you've seen Pele blow!" kept coming into my head. I sang as I worked, and I tried to bring a fiery glow into the drawing, in keeping with Pele's energy.

Yesterday, I bought a block of tinted pastel paper... Canson... beautiful... sumptuous texture... how could I not dive right in?! It's been a long time (omg, years!.. really? yes!) since I worked on tinted paper. It's so different to work lights into darks, rather than the other way around, and it really forces me to approach my drawing from a totally different part of my brain.

More pics after the cut . . .

Leaving Terra (portrait of Tori Amos)

"Leaving Terra"
a portrait of Tori Amos
chalk pastel on tinted A4 paper
10 November 2014

Inspired by the song Scarlet's Walk (from the album of the same name).
Yesterday, I was listening to this album and, as always, it was reaching into my heart and stiring things up... the colours of red clay earth always come to mind when I hear it, so I went to them in the studio, and we had a visual conversation.

This drawing helped to remind me everything about why I love chalk pastels.

More pics behind the cut . . .

Ceramic Cemetery Portraits (Cimetière des Carmes)

03 November 2014

 J'adore these ceramic cemetery portraits. They are so beautiful and touching.
 I love them best of all when they are faded or cracked in interesting ways. 
When I die, I hope to have one on my tombstone.

More pics after the cut...

Crucifixes in Cimetière des Carmes

1st November 2014. 
A stroll through the graveyard on The Day of the Dead.
Cimetière des Carmes, Clermont-Ferrand, France

More pics after the cut . . .

A Stroll Through the Graveyard (Day of the Dead 2014)

A visit to my favourite local cemetery 
(Cimetière des carmes, in Clermont-Ferrand, France)
 on The Day of the Dead, 1st November 2014.

Lots of pics, after the cut . . .

WWI Memorial, Cimetiére des Carmes, France

02 November 2014

Fresh flowers for the Day of the Dead (1st November)...
The setting sun casting its golden light on the relief of solders, carrying a fallen man...
The memorial reads, "For our glorious dead 1914 - 1918"


More photos behind the cut....

Angels in Cimetiére des Carmes, Clermont-Ferrand France

 1st November is the Day of the Dead, and for the occasion, I went to my favourite local cemetery, to visit the west corner, which I had not yet seen. I discovered two beautiful angels, one in bronze, and another in marble. The light was lovely, as the sun began to set, throwing pink and gold light on the black lava stones.

More pics behind the cut....

Happy Halloween


Much to my joy, we actually had 10 trick-or-treaters this year!
 (Halloween is still a new phenomenon in France.) 

After our delicious roasted pumpkin feast, we took loads of pics (thanks much to David Helsten for taking our couples shots!) and then settled in to Hitchock's Psycho on bluray (sooo good!)

I hope you had a delightfully spooky Halloween!

 Lots of pics after the cut... 

Hallowe'en (autoportrait series)

01 November 2014

I have a new hair colour...
A mix of Crazy Color violette, bordeaux, and vermillion. (I love it!)

More pics after the cut . . .

Fruit of the Dead (autoportait series)

 In Ancient Greek mythology, the pomegranate was known as the "fruit of the dead", and believed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis.

The myth of Persephone, the goddess of the underworld, prominently features the pomegranate. Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken off to live in the underworld as his wife.  It was the rule of the Fates that anyone who consumed food or drink in the underworld was doomed to spend eternity there. Persephone had no food, but Hades tricked her into eating six pomegranate seeds while she was still his prisoner, so she was condemned to spend six months in the underworld every year.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate#Symbolism )

An autoportrait session on Halloween, featuring The Fruit of the Dead . . .

More pics after the cut . . . .

La Colère et La Négociation

05 October 2014

La Colère et La Négociation)
Anger and Bargaining
 acrylic and gesso over paper collage
A3 (11.7" x 16.5")
4 October 2014
The fifth painting in my series about grief.
The palette knife was my weapon of choice for this piece -- slashing and striking at the wet paint and gesso, calling out the inner demons of anger and bargaining, of which even now, there are still a few lingering in the darkest part of the sorrowful pit in my chest.  

(more pics behind the cut)

Tu me manque

Tu me manque
I miss you
acrylic and gesso over paper collage
A3 (11.7" x 16.5")
4 October 2014

This is the fourth painting in my series of grief.
 (It's also my second favourite in the series.)
I've had this image in my head for months,
and I think it lit the flame for the series, at large.

(more pics behind the cut)

Les Larmes II

Les Larmes II
The Tears II
acrylic and gesso over collage
A3 (11.7" x 16.5")
4 October 2014
The third painting in my series about grief.

(more photos behind the cut)