Happy Holidays!

22 December 2010

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25 hand-made Christmas cards... and counting!

10 December 2010

This year I decided to make all of my cards by hand. What an undertaking it has been! Involved work, but well worth it, and absolutely enjoyed! Although, I'm not certain I'll do it again next year, LOL!

I managed to get pics of most of them:

They've all been sent on their merry way, mostly across the sea... safe travels little cards! And Happy Holidays to All ! <3

2011 Art Calendars are here !

25 November 2010

Hooray! 2011 Calendars featuring my original art are now on sale!
Order them now to give as holiday gifts (worldwide shipping!)

A Year Full of Whimsy
12 Month Desk Calendar featuring whimsical works of art. Full colour Images, spiral bound, glossy cardstock pages

PLUS! The 1st day of every month has a special message, to begin each month with inspiration, encouragement, and smiles!

2011 : Café Tous les Jours
12 Month Wall Calendar featuring coffee-themed works of art. Full colour Images, spiral bound, glossy paper pages

For more details, and to order calendars visit http://www.BonnieRoseArtiste.com

Halloween : dressing up

31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

A nod to Death (of the Endless) <3

Pass It Around

30 October 2010

Dali has a recycling/upcycling crafting extravaganza DVD hot off the press!

"Dali's very first crafting DVD! In this dvd you learn how Dali turns trash to treasure, using recycled materials for art and crafting projects. Literally loaded with project ideas you can do yourself, with your children or friends. Frugal, inexpensive, fun projects for all! Be good to the environment and recycle while you create!"


Willowing has a free healing art course on her Ning site!

Loads of mixed media and whimsy techniques, as well as heartfelt healing and Non-Violent-Communication goodness! Click this image to go to the course --->


This is Boogaart...

He wants you to come a little closer...Close enough to nibble on your soul! Muuhaha!

He actually does put out quite an eerrie vibe. When I was placing him on the table, after he'd been carved adn cleaned and was ready to light, Ola (underfoot, as usual) started growling and huffing at him. Now that really gave me the creeps!

I curried the bits that I carved out, and on Monday or Tuesday the rest of him will be transformed into a sweet treat (pie or bread). Mmmm, evil pumpkin head... yuuummmy!

Halloween is almost here....

29 October 2010

The festival of fear is almost here... normally I'd be over-excited about it, but this year, just clearing the cloud of death that's covered my path, I'm not nearly as cheerful about the holiday as I otherwise would be.

However, I did decorate the apartment and I'm planning to carve my Jack O'Lantern tomorrow night. I really hope there'll be trick-or-treaters this year (France is still figuring out that Halloween is an awesome holiday, and that giving treats to begging kids in costumes is actually a fun thing to do!) I'm not planning to dress up much this year, but I do have my go-to witchy hat (and I'm making a matching one for Ola! Oh, she'll be thrilled...)

Dispite all the mourning and sadness that I'm trying to shake myself out of, I've put my mind to it : it will be a fun Halloween!

See you in space, cowboy...

12 October 2010

Jack L. Brizzi, Jr.
25 Oct 1976 - 27 Sept. 2010

Jack was one of the most honourable and loyal people I've ever known. His strength of conviction, his sense of justice, and his generous heart were unshakable, unstopable, and always inspiring. Jack was, above all other things, a gentleman, and the kind of man I was proud to call my friend, my brother-of-the-heart.

Always, he will be missed by those who knew him. Although we mourn his passing from this Earthly form, Jack lives on forever in our memories and in our hearts. I will carry his smile and his kindness with me, where ever I go.

May the Gates of Valhalla stand open wide to receive him, Jack Brizzi, Jr., a man of courageous spirit, who lived his life by a code of honour and respect, and always stood strong for his friends. Give him a seat in the Great Hall, fill his cup to the brim, and let the Hosts of the Sky sing songs of his graces and his valour!

We ask that his spirit have safe and pleasant passage into the next life, wherever his destiny takes him. Someday, we shall meet again, my cosmic brother, my Dragon friend.

Ola's 12th birthday

24 September 2010

Ola's birthday was on the 19th... OMGlitter she's 12!

Ola is a female wire fox terrier, who was adopted from a local shelter in Feb. 2010. She was 11 years old, with several chronic health problems, and in serious need of a bubble bath! Because of her age, she was free (since nobody wanted an old pooch like her.)

Now, she's in wonderful health for her age (still has a sensitive hip, but it's much improved!) she's a healthy weight (almost blubbery) and has regained a playful and energetic joie-de-vivre!

For her 12th birthday, Ola wore a special pink crown (she was surprisingly agreeable about it!) and had a delcious mini birthday cake, smothered in stinky gravy... fit for a princess!

Happy Birthday, Ola ! <3

3 New Collages

14 September 2010

Yesterday was a busy day! I did three new artworks, each a collage, using pages from an old English dictionary.

This is the first time I've used dictionary pages in artworks, and I must say, I love it! In the past, I have hand-written word deffinitions into collages, but being able to rip-and-snip right from the book was a fun and fascinating process.

I chose some words that I liked... some are personal to me, and some are just things that I liked the look of, or the sound of. I tried to enorporate a few of the book's illustrations, here and there, too.

"Garden of Knowledge" was the first

Followed by "cof'fee n."

And then "Scorpion" (which was actually created on the 13th, which I think is spiffy!)

Mamut loves spanks (RIP the Queen of Everything!)

04 September 2010

Mamut... I miss you already!

It's ofiicial: Today SUCKS.

First Kira San... and now Mamut, the family cat.

I just heard, my mother-in-law took Mamut to the vet for The Big Sleep...

She was being treated for a severe bite on her neck, and today she was diagnosed with feline AIDS. The infection in her neck bite spread to her liver, and her white blood cell count was almost nil. Poor sweet kitty.

We will miss you Mamut, the Queen of Everything!

I'm going to find a big rock, climb under it, and hide until tomorrow.
Today has just been too fucking sad.

Kira San : Happy Travels and Rest in Peace

So strange.
I just did his portrait a few days ago...
Yesterday, I posted a blog about it...
This morning, he's gone.

Kira San died quickly and peacefully this morning, under his water bottle. It looked like he got up, had a drink, and then curled up in the corner for a bath and a nap (as he often does after a water sip.) Lucien noticed that he was still, not breathing. When I picked him up, he was still warm, and there were no signs of blood, urine, or struggle. We think Death came quickly, plucked his spirit, and vanished.

Kira San's neck had been crooked for about 2 months. We suspected a stroke, but when I felt his neck this morning, I could feel a little boney bump. It seems he had broken it (probably from jumping off his box or his cube... that little acrobat!) Although his head was tilted, he ate, drank, dug, ran, and fussed around as usual, and didn't seem to be in pain. He adjusted, and his hamstery business went on as it always had.

He had his 2nd birthday in April, so in hamster-years, Kira San was about 88 years old. (His breed, Roborovski dwarf, lives 2 - 3 years.)

Happy Travels across the Universe, and Rest in Peace, funny old man!
You're probably off chasing your sister, Bianca, across the stardust of the Milky Way.
We'll always love you, Kira San, little puff of light.

Whimsical Animals

03 September 2010

This week's lesson of Tamara Laporte's World of Whimsy 2 workshop has been so inspiring! We've been making funny little animals... I had such a great time discovering new ways of making little fuzzy critter people!

"Kira San"
watercolour, acrylic, and graphite on paper
10 x 15 cm

This is a portrait of my white-faced Roborovski dwarf hamster, Kira San (his name is Japanese, and it means Mr. Light)... he's crazy about peanuts, as you can see!

I used some metalic gold acrylic paint that, sadly, didn't want to show up properly in the photos. The actual painting has a golden gossimer shimmer.

"Drummer Bunny"
acrylic, graphite, and collage/ink transfer on wood
15 x 15 cm

"Drummer Bunny" is the first painting I've ever done on wood... although I was intimidated at the start, I really got into it, and now I'm certain I'll be doing more wood-based artworks in the days to come.

This is also the first time I've successfully managed an ink transfer! I used some of the music sheets, which I transfered onto the acrylic paint layers with acrylic gel medium, leaving a few bits of the paper during the rubbing-off phase of the transfer, because I really liked the subtle grunginess it created, giving a slight textural collaged effect to the background.

This painting was inspired by someone I know... it's a sort of imagined and whimsified portrait. I love the way it turned out; it really makes me smile (^_^)

"hello Mr. Zebra"
acrylic paint, watercolour, graphite, coloured pencil, in pen, collage/ink transfer, glitter on paper
10 x 15 cm

I finished this one last night... I'm loving these animals! (^_^)<3

This painting is an illustration of the Tori Amos song, "Mr. Zebra"

The lyric is: "Hello Mr. Zebra, can I have your sweater? 'cause it's cold, cold, cold in my hole, hole, hole..."

I used the sheet music from the song in the background.

Layers upon layers of acrylic paint, watercolours, coloured pencil, acrylic medium ink transfer, collage, and glitter. (Sadly the lavender glitter doesn't show up in the scan, it looks blackish-greyish... the whole painting is shimmering with it, as well as green glitter in her eyes, and iridescent glitter on the "bubbles")

This is the first time I've tried the bubble-wrap technique. I think it worked well. (even better than I had expected!) Overall, I'm really pleased with how the whole piece turned out. It went through a few "disasterous" phases before I got the colours just as I wanted them, so I'm glad I stuck with it!

Artist Interview

31 August 2010

I was the first in the new series of Artist Interviews at Willowing & Artist Friends (http://willowing.ning.com). A great big thanks to Tam and everyone at W&AF *hugs and sparkles* for the love and support!

And now, onto the interview :

1. Who are you and how would you describe your work/ art?

I am Bonnie Rose Bryan, a woman and an artist, made of stardust.

Primarily, I’m a figurative artist; my specialties are the female figure and the “fantasy” genre (particularly faeries.) All of my work contains personal elements, and I often infuse spiritual currents and sacred archetypes into my work. Typically, my mediums of choice are watercolours, acrylics, coloured pencils, and ink pens; I have quite a variety of mediums under my belt, but those four seem to be the ones I reach for the most.

2. Who or what inspires you to create?

In a nutshell: colour, nature, aesthetics, music, spirituality, my moods, and my conversations with the Universe.

With my figurative works, I think the inspiration behind the work can be quite evident (for example, I like coffee and I like purple, so I paint a purple coffee cup.) However, there are some paintings which come to me from the outside-in. I often feel, especially with my faerie portraits, that the images come in a sort of intuitive messages and conversation with the faeries, and with other subjects, the inspiration comes from messages and conversations with the Universe… I don’t always know who’s sending the signal, only that I’m receiving it.

3. What is lying on your art desk today?

At the moment, I have one mixed media work in process, a large portrait of Green Tara, which has been lying on the shelf, untouched for quite sometime, and is next on my list of things to finish.

I don’t actually have an art desk, per se. My studio (more like art storage) space is shared with the office. Much to my dismay, my art-making space is very impermanent, and has to cooperate with meals, my husband, and a rather clingy fox terrier. For small drawings, I’ll often work on the tiny corner of free space next to my keyboard. For small paintings, I usually work on a little wooden folding table, either in the office, or while sitting on sofa in the living room. Larger works are done on the dining table, or I’ll set up the easel in the living room, in front of the windows. When I’m not painting, everything gets packed up and tucked away, where it sleeps, while I go about the non-painting parts of my day-to-day.

4. Out of everything you've ever painted, what is your favourite painting/ creation and why?

Ouch… this is a difficult question to answer!

If I had to choose a favourite from my recent works (within the last 10 years,) it’s a toss-up between “La Tristesse” (an acrylic) and “Sharing Secrets” (a watercolour).

I consider them to be two of my best works, and at the time of their creation, each was a technical accomplishment for me in both of their respective mediums. Both include deep esoteric and emotional undercurrents, which appeals to me. The depth, gossamer glow, and soft rendering in “La Tristesse” always surprises me (Did I really paint this?)

I love the jewel toned colours and all of the decorative details in ”Sharing Secrets”. That painting always makes me feel satisfied, accomplished, and glittery on the inside. (It also features a moth, a symbol that pops up in a few of my works, which has a special significance for me).

5. What is your favourite piece of art by another painter/artist?

Oh, this is equally as difficult as the last question! The works of Brian Froud, Alfonse Mucha, and Vincent Van Gogh have always touched me so deeply, and been such tremendous sources of inspiration throughout my life. Almost anything and everything from those three saints of paint would fall into my “I’m in love, it makes me swoon” category.

6. What is the worst bit of art advice anyone has ever given you?

“You have to make sketches first.” This was an anthem in my university art classes, and I spent countless hours forcing out sketches for pieces that were more than ready to be painted. Lots and lots of sketches… sketches until my eyes could blur shut and my hands could fall off… sketches until I had no will left to paint anything at all. What utter nonsense! When the baby’s coming, you breathe and you push, you don’t say “hang on a while, kid, I gotta make an itinerary and a blueprint first.”

“Have to…” this is art, there is no have to!

I tend to work on things in my head, and when it’s ready to come out, I make it. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to make, until I put the brush to the canvas!

From time to time I have done sketches to work out parts that aren’t finished baking in my head, or isn’t coming through clearly from the cosmic conversation, and sometimes I sketch to jot down ideas for artworks that I plan to work on later. But, I can’t make a painting wait, just because it hasn’t been planned and practiced down to the finest detail – to make it wait is counter productive and creatively stifling, and I certainly don’t consider the pre-planning of artwork to be a mandatory and necessary precursory step to the actual making of it.

7. What is the best bit of art advice anyone has ever given you?

Two things: “Paint it however you want.” and “So what if nobody else likes it or understand it.” Following those bits of wisdom has made an enormous impact on my work, and the personal satisfaction I get from the process of making it (as well as enjoying the finished results.) I cannot and will not please everyone, nor do I aim to, but I can strive to be true to myself and my art.

In my opinion, art-making shouldn’t be about rules. It’s not about making work to please other people and fulfil their expectations of how my art should be, either. If I wanted to paint with a set of rigid instructions and inflexible absolutes, and paint it to the specifications of someone else’s ideals, I’d simply and exclusively do paint-by-numbers.

I’m of the opinion that in art making, nothing is mandatory and no technique is absolute. If I want to scrub with my brush until the bristles fall out, or use a “watercolour” brush with acrylic paints, I will! If a faerie says to me, “I’m blue,” well then, she’s blue, and if she changes her mind half way through, she might turn out purple instead… If I want to have a yellow sky and an upside down tree, so be it! I just go with the flow.

Just like the infamous Bob Ross, I regard each piece as a little world, and in my world, I can make it any way I want to. My artistic process is highly intuitive and personal, where “normal” and “traditional” may or may not be invited.

8. Have you ever put your paintbrush in your cup of tea by mistake?

Haha! Oi vey, if only I had a coin for every time I’ve put a paint brush into a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I could buy myself a paint factory.

9. What is the strangest medium/material you've ever worked with?

The strangest mediums: blueberry juice, for painting… strips of textured plastic mesh from potato sacks (which I knit into gold fish, for an assemblage work.) … and a digital scanner, for making auto portraits.

10. What hopes and dreams do you have for your art & future?

I hope, firstly, for the time to continue making it on a daily basis, secondly, for the ability to improve and hone my skills, and thirdly, for the luck and prosperity to sell more of it.

11. If you couldn't be an artist in this life, what other job or hobby would you really want to give a go?

If I were not an artist, I would not be myself… Art is so interwoven into the fabric of me; I’d have to be someone else in order to stop making it.

Being a rock star would fun, of course! Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, stage-fright is the major culprit who holds me back from more seriously pursuing my musical interests, but I do enjoy playing in the privacy of my home. I suppose if I didn’t make art, I would spend more time rehearsing and improving musically, if only for a hobby, not necessarily for a career choice.

While in school, if I had been at all clever with maths, the slightest bit capable of suffering through chemistry lab, and had actually been more practical and studious, rather than spending hours getting dirty with art supplies, it’s likely that I would have pursued a career in either veterinarian medicine or forensic psychology, both of which hold great interest to me.

12. What are your favourite 5 art related websites or blogs?

Of course, I’m quite fond of www.willowing.org ! I’m a frequent visitor to www.worldoffroud.com, where I can keep up to date on Froud goodies, and also discover new faerie artists via the webring. Although it’s not specifically an art site, I spend a lot of time reading and researching about artists and art history on www.wikipedia.com I enjoy reading random blogs and discovering artwork on the 2 Ning groups I belong to: willowing.ning.com and garyreef.ning.com (hugs and sparkles to all the Ning-a-ling artists!)

13. Give a shout out to a fellow artist whose work and/or person & energy you really love!

Without sounding like a total butt-kisser, Tamara Laporte has been one of the most motivating and inspiring artists I know… I always look forward to a new video, blog post, and artwork from Tam. Her energy is so positive and uplifting, and I always feel so at home on her Ning group, where the inspiration, support, and joie de vivre is so amazingly abundant. Thanks for sharing the energy, love, and art, Tam!

14. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring artists, what would it be?

Make art. Make it as often as you can. If you don’t pick up that brush or that pencil and actually make a mark, you’ll never advance in your artistic journey. Take it one step at a time, but take the step!

I think a lot of people are overwhelmed by the fear of failure, succumbing to the whisperings of the gremlins who say, “you can’t… you won’t… you don’t know how to…” and so, ultimately they do fail, because they never allow themselves the chance to begin.

We all learn and grow by experience, by doing, by trying. Remember, we all begin at the beginning, even the greatest art masters started with scribbles and stick figures (and some of them kept on scribbling, too!) If you feel like you need some guidance in your techniques then take an art course, check out books about art, or watch tutorials online; whatever helps you feel confident, whatever helps to motivate and support you in actually making your art, is a good thing!

To be the artist you want to be, MAKE ART

. . . and make it the way you want to, no matter what anybody says!

Meatless Monday -- curry style!

23 August 2010

This week's Vegan Delight is Apricot Chutney!

Take a few handfuls of apricots, remove the pits, and chop them into pieces. Toss into a small sauce pan, add a generous amount of olive oil, a couple spoons of water, and simmer until it's soft and gooey. Mix in curry powder, salt, and a few pinches of sugar. If you want it smoother (less chunky) then pour it into a processor, and blend to your preferred consistency.

You can serve this chutney over rice, noodles, or taters. It's great with sweet veggies (like beets) on the side.

Food for Thought :

Eating 1 lb of meat produces the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving an SUV 40 miles.

A 2006 United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. (1)

Greenhouse gases cause global warming, which studies show will increasingly lead to catastrophic disasters—like droughts, floods, hurricanes, rising sea levels, and disease outbreaks—unless we drastically reduce the amounts emitted into the atmosphere.

Raising animals for their flesh, eggs, and milk is one of the world’s leading emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2). But global warming is caused by more than just CO2. Animal agriculture is the leading source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, which—combined with carbon dioxide—causes the vast majority of global warming.

* Methane: The billions of farmed animals crammed into factory farms produce enormous amounts of methane, both during digestion and from the acres of cesspools filled with feces that they excrete. Methane is more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere.(2)

Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency show that animal agriculture is the number one source of methane emissions in the U.S.(3)

* Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a global warming gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 percent of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions. (4)

1 H. Steinfeld et al., Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Livestock, Environment and Development (2006).
2 "Global Warming: Methane," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 8 Mar. 2006.
3 "Sources and Emissions: Methane," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2 Jun. 2006.
4 Steinfeld et al.

Eat. Think. Feel. Be well.


Burritos! Meatless Monday ... belated

10 August 2010

This week's Meatless Monday post is a day late, sorry... I was caught up with visiting family yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to post. However, my Tuesday is just as meatless as my Monday, so it's all good!

Food for Thought :

Vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters.

Elizabeth Somer, "Eating Meat: A Little Doesn't Hurt," WebMD, 1999.
Neal Barnard, M.D., The Power of Your Plate, Book Publishing Co.: Summertown, Tenn., 1990, p. 26. )

This week's Vegan Delight is: Burritos!

Made with soy proteins (you might know it as veggie crumble,) onions, tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, herbs & spices, and some giant cherry tomatoes on the side.

I buy my soy proteins dry, rather than pre-cooked and frozen, so I boiled the granules in water (with some oil, salt, and cumin powder,) for about 25 min. to flavour and soften them.

While the proteins were cooking, I sautéed diced onion and yellow bell pepper in a hot skillet with olive oil, then added diced tomatoes, minced garlic, cumin powder, a few dashes of dried basil and sage, black pepper, salt, and a couple pinches of chili powder. Once the veggies were ready, I added the soy proteins, plain tomato sauce, a pinch of sugar, and gave it a good stir.

I spooned the mix (2 Tbs. each) into soft tortillas, and rolled them up, with a little drizzle of olive oil and some dried parsley as a garnish. Yum !

Here's an idea: If you don't have soy protein granules/veggie crumble, just break apart a veggie burger, crumble some tofu, or use beans, instead.

I hope your Meatless Monday was delicious!

Eat. Think. Feel. Be well <3


A beautiful day in Vichy

06 August 2010

Yesterday, I took a trip to Vichy with the family... had an all-day walk about and a picnic at Parc Naponléon, and a couple stops for coffee at some cute cafés.

Lucien gave me a birthday prezzie early: a kickass Kodax digital camera, with 10 megapixels! <3 (Love you, honey!) I was a picture snappin' fool dall day.

The light was perfect for taking sweet shots of plants in the park...

Lucien got some fun pics of me, too . . .

In the Parc Napoléon, by the "Source des Fées" (spring of the fairies,) one of the many water springs in Vichy.

Good times on the train, going home . . .

You know an outing without an autoportrait isn't possible from me . . .

A few shots of the passing countryside. Bales of hay, rivers, and sunflower fields.

Ola was totally zonked by the end of the trip.

So adorable, in her little travel bag (^_^) Cute, but heavy as hell! She's just a lttle over 10 kilos (22-ish lbs) now, which is significantly more than the 6 and ahalf kilos she weighed when I brought her home, in Feb. Although I'm glad she's a healthy weight now (my brain is glad, my back and shoulders however, are not...) she could use a little diet to shed off half a kilo. Time to cut back on bread nibbles!

Such a beautiful day. *sighs*
Tonight, I'm off to hide in the mountain pines for the weekend!

Ciao, à bientot!