Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Little fish, big pond.

Wow, this is a little daunting. I keep getting a visual of me in an endlessly large room, speaking to the emptiness, wondering if anyone is there. I can almost hear the silence whisper. Then I think...
"silly woman, just talk to yourself, then! You do that all the time anyways, lol."
I wonder how difficult this will be, learning to let go and do what I love? Maybe some background will help you Grok* me better.
(*Note: from Heinlien's Stranger in a Strange Land; definition: to Grok is kind of like to understand from the inside out. In today's way of speaking I guess the loose translation would be "Do ya feel me?")

Ok, so here's a little background about me. My grandmother was an artist, my mother is an artist and so am I. This is not to say it was our main thing in life, I'm the first to try that route. It took me all my growing up years, a degree from UVic in Psychology, a few interim years of frustration and unhappiness and more than half a decade being a designer wedding cake artist to really embrace what my heart has been telling me all this time. I want to paint more than anything. I want to paint as much as I want to keep breathing. In fact, if I can't paint maybe I'll just hold my breath until I can...
...well now I have a headache, that didn't do me much good now did it? You people have to warn me when I'm being stupid. Assuming there's anyone out there.

...back to my mini biography.
I painted in grade school, like everyone else, then when I graduated to high school I petitioned the art teacher to allow me to skip the beginners art classes and do the advanced stuff instead. I guess she saw promise in me because she agreed. A requirement for the course was a special set of tempera paints and brushes. My first real experience in paint, therefore, was tempera. I used up every ounce of paint in every bottle and then bought more. I painted throughout the four years of high school but stopped when I moved home to Victoria and started at UVic. The bottles were empty when I was packing so I threw them out, planning to maybe try a new medium in a few months. I figured I'd settle in University first, then start painting again. It obviously didn't work out that way.

After graduating, in those few frustrating years where I didn't know what to do with myself, I purchased some professional grade watercolors, paper and brushes. I thought I should have a career of some sort and paint for pleasure. I didn't start painting right away because I didn't actually know how to use watercolor paints. I had to get some books first. Hunting used book stores for art instruction books took me a while; a little bit of fear about starting this new thing started. Mostly, though the reason I didn't start painting again was because all the other stuff of life got in the way. As the years passed my life got more and more organized but the fear of starting got larger and larger. I kept procrastinating, putting off the watercolors. It also should be mentioned that I'm just a leeetle bit of a perfectionist. :o) Sooo, instead of enjoying watercolors in my spare time, I threw myself into learning a totally new artistic medium - gumpaste/sugarpaste flowers. It seemed to make sense to me, if I wasn't going to do what I really wanted to do, at least I'd be expressing myself artistically. At a minimum I'd be using the God given talent for something.

I saw Martha Stewart make beautiful flowers for a wedding cake and thought, "I can do that." So, I bought the supplies and a book and promptly started a business making wedding cake flowers. Within the first 6 months I started using a new food friendly paste that wasn't made of sugar. I thought it would be a great idea to market these flowers as a wedding keepsake and this new paste made that possible. Here are a couple of my cakes...

I've created designer wedding cakes for 6 years or so. I own my own business, which feels great... and yes, it is a good artistic outlet. But I'm still not satisfied. I still want to paint. How does a perfectionist let herself be free to make mistakes? I feel like one of those mimes trapped in their own glass box. How do I get out?

I'm sure you're all screaming at me...
"Well, if you want to paint, then just PAINT, silly!"
So, I'm taking your advice, I'm going to paint, throw caution to the wind, skwoosh all that fear into my glass box and slam the door closed!
I'm going to paint... and breathe. Ya, that's what I'm gonna do. Paint and breathe. :o)

I'm reading: Little fish, big pond.Tweet this Post


  1. Wow! Great intro and glad to see you are going to paint!! :) Can't wait to see what you create!

  2. I cannot tell you how beautiful I find your cakes. Wow! What a vision I saw this morning. You are very talented and should have NO trouble putting brush to canvas; believe me.

    Get to it, and let's see some more beauty!

  3. Hi Hopflower,
    Thanks so much for the compliments and encouragement. I should have new art up today!!

  4. Those are amazing cakes. From what I have seen of your painting and blog I love what you have created so far. I'm now one of your followers and I'm enjoying all of your "silly" blogs. ;)

    j3ss1ca (SB)

  5. I totally understand your urge to find another creative outlet, and I know this isn't really the point of your post but I just wanted to say how brilliant your cakes are! I'm planning my wedding at the moment and I've looked at hundreds of cakes and yours are among the most beautiful I've seen

    samuraijen - swap bot

  6. Oh my gosh your cakes are so lovely I can't stand it. And if that isn't even what you most want to do...I can't imagine the beauty of what you'll paint once you fully have your whole heart in it! Inspiring.


  7. Hellooo Jennifer ....long time no comments ... I've been overwhelmed (perhaps your University degree will shed some light on a statment like that - but hey don't charge me okay? LOL... Good to see you are still bloggin and painting... You are still my cake hero you know? The first real cold-porcelain flower artist I meet - and still my favorite.... I'm pleased you are enjoying the painting though... it is good you are doing something you enjoy...
    Us artsy people are our best when we are creating - you just gotta let it out or it swells up inside you and comes out in very strange places - you know like when you line up the cans in your cupboard in a different color combination and say to yourself hey that is a combination of tertiay colors but I wonder if it would have more zing if I added a dollop of ... well you know what I mean...
    So you still doing a cake or two here and there? I've got a couple but back to work full-time with the left side of my brain - generates more income but not nearly as much fun! Someday perhaps... Sent my son to the kootenay mts region to learn stone mason work .... sounds like a little bit of "mexico in BC area?" time is different there apparently and us people from Saskatchewan think we are the only ones in Canada with a "time" to call our own apparently there is kootney time - not quite like millertime (beer) but close... LOL... anyway I better stop my blabbering and let someone else tell you how amazing your paintings are... Keep up the creativity girl ... you are GREAT....
    (smile) Come to Saskatchewan some time K?


Please leave me a comment, I've sure missed hearing from you!


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