We're painting the exterior of our house this year. While I had the paint can open for our new door colour, I decided to give our porch bench a fresh coat of paint, too. Even though we bring it inside for the winter, it was still showing signs of wear from exposure to the elements. It needed freshening up and, let's face it, we have a whole gallon of this blue! That rationale made me smile as I realized how like my Dad I can be, at times.
My parents painted our family home an unusual shade of turquoise and for years after, everything - and I mean everything -was painted turquoise in an attempt to use up the surplus.
My Dad died several years ago and one of my earliest memories is of age 6 or 7, being in the garage with him. (You may have heard this story before.) I can still see him clearly in my mind's eye. He had one knee resting on the cold cement floor of the garage while he methodically cleaned a paintbrush in an old coffee tin he'd filled with turpentine. The smell of it stung my nose while I watched him dip the brush in the solvent and then press the diluted paint out against the side of the tin. Dip and press. Dip and press. Eventually, he'd wring the brush out against his rough hand, patiently working the paint out in increments. We talked as he worked, rhythmically, almost meditatively. I chattered away to him, as children will, our attention fixed on the hypnotic motion of the paintbrush. I don't remember the content of our conversation. It doesn't matter. What matters is the time we spent together, just the two of us, while he worked. It took a very long time for him to clean all the turquoise paint off that brush.
Now, 50 years later, whenever I see that particular shade, I'm transported back to my childhood and the cool interior of our garage watching my Dad clean that paintbrush.
Time is running out on Promotional Pricing for Tin Rooster Farm Notes. On now until the end of today, May 15th! Still not sure it's for you? Read more of what others are saying. "I love my Tin Rooster Farm Notes! Carolynn is so generous of her talents with each mailing and the quality is superb! Not only is this an absolute treat for me, it's the ideal gift for anyone in your life in these stressful times." Corinne D. "Inside the envelope is a peek into a farmhouse moment." Jen V. "Very creative and a great way to stay in touch. I'm in and I'll be ordering gifts!" D. Harris Sign up here to get in on the fun and receive a little sumpthin' sumpthin' in the mail from me.
Tin Rooster Farm Notes are finding their way into mailboxes all across Canada and the U.S.! Here's what people are saying... "I have a new favourite thing...It is an absolute delight to open this envelope. The writing is absolutely exquisite. It's a meditation and a benediction and such a gift to get in the mail. I love every piece of it!" Terry T.
"Have a look and see if its quiet appeal resonates with you or perhaps as a gift for someone in your life. I can vouch for the quality and uniqueness of the mailings. The calendar offered as a bonus is absolutely stunning!" Corinne D. "It's about connection, and so much more...This is the gift that you have been searching for, something special for yourself, or someone that you know who will appreciate these monthly mailings. Tangible treasures...tucked into an envelope." Jen Vandervoort, Founder & Editor, RURAL Magazine
After months of behind-the-scenes preparation, I'm finally ready to release my pet project out into the world! I do hope you'll join me on this fabulously new and exciting journey of connection. It's storytelling...with a twist. Care to check it out? Click on the invitation below to hear more.
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This is what I love about a return to warmer weather, the chance to get out and enjoy early morning walks in the fields with my animal companions. Prairie light is especially gorgeous at dawn and this morning, a thick fog rolled over us, coating everything in a fine mist and softening the edges.
Our dog, Willow, loves nothing more than a good romp through the tall grass. There's always so much to discover with her nose.
Luna loves to trail along behind us, too. She's so tiny, we sometimes lose sight of her in the tall grass. Teddy, our other mouser, opted to stay inside and sleep, after having spent the entire night gallivanting outdoors, the rascal. I love my life in the country.
I'm still working away on all the little details for my project and it's all very exciting. I'm closing in on a launch date and hope to be able to share it all with you very soon! If you haven't signed up to receive e-mail notifications from me yet, it's a quick and easy process over on my sidebar. Stay tuned!
I've been busily working out the details of a new project that's dear to my heart. It's multi-layered and nuanced and there are a lot of ideas to sort through and experiment with. I'm quite excited to share it with you, once I've worked out all the kinks!
Original Watercolour Illustrations
Copywrite Carolynn Anctil 2017
In the meantime, here's a sneak peek into the sort of unbridled creativity that's happening in the studio, in preparation for the big unveiling.
I invite you to sign up to receive announcements on the sidebar to the right.
I'm back from our vacation on the West Coast of B.C. and am excited to get back into my studio. I visited my favourite art supply store while in Vancouver and brought back a whole host of goodies to play with.
Rocky Mountains, Alberta
I have so many exciting ideas and new creations to share with you. As you know, I've been restructuring and adjusting my focus and, as part of that process, I'm developing a mailing list so I can keep you informed of updates, new work, and time sensitive offers. Use the sign-up form on my sidebar to make sure you don't miss out on anything!
Rocky Mountain Elk
Which brings me to my latest project. I'm currently working on something new and exciting and I hope to be able to release details very soon! Sign up and Stay tuned! In the meantime, swing over to my Instagram account (@carolynnanctil) to see more of my vacation photos, including a few ink drawings I did in the wee hours of the morning, when I couldn't sleep. I'm not used to city noises anymore!
Thank you for stopping by!
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I'm not entirely sure what I want to say here today, I just know that I'm in transition. My artwork is undergoing a change, as is my lifestyle.
Some of the things that are affecting this change include our decision to take our house off the market and stay where we are for the foreseeable future. This decision has made it possible to make plans again and to reassess what it is that we really want out of life and what that looks like to us.
For me, it's a move toward a simpler way of living. Not long ago, I used to look forward to slipping into my bed an hour or so before lights out, all cosy and warm, and reading a real book made of paper and ink. Now, I snuggle into bed and stare at a blue screen for a while until the eyestrain becomes too much and I turn out the light. So, Step One for me is to return to reading actual books with bindings and a pretty bookmark tucked in between paper pages to mark the spot last read.
It also means reducing our use of electronics in a more general sense. That means turning off our wifi unless we are using it for a specific purpose. The same goes for our flatscreen tv and the microwave, which will be used less overall, as well.
It means looking into installing a landline telephone again and only using our mobile phones for navigation and for communication when we're actually mobile. Which, naturally means, less SMTS (Social Media Time Suck) and more time for food preparation, time spent in nature, conversation, and art creation.
I'm also advocating reintroducing softer lighting in the evenings in the form of beeswax candles, which makes even the simplest meal more intimate and enjoyable.
My word for the year is Hygge - a Danish word meaning, the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open-hearted and alive.
It also speaks to what Danielle LaPorte calls Core Desired Feelings in her book The Desire Map. Mine are Serenity, Simplicity, Liberty, Creativity and Harmony.
Ultimately, my goal is not to create hardship for ourselves but rather to make more conscious decisions about what we bring into our home and how we choose to use it in order to live a more fulfilling, rather than a 'filled' life.
Hello Lovely People. Effective immediately, I will be taking a step back to reassess my creative direction and restructure my business. On Monday, January 9, 2017, my work will no longer be available to purchase through Society6. If you have been waiting to make a purchase there, I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to do so at the currently reduced prices on offer, as I will likely not make my work available in this way again for the foreseeable future.* In recent months, I have been devoted to producing and promoting original watercolour illustrations on-line, primarily through Society6. I have participated fully by offering my designs on a variety of products, ranging from coffee mugs to shower curtains and I've come to realize that it has only served to dilute my artistic vision and has had a negative impact on my original intention to develop as a legitimate artist. They say you teach people how to treat you. While I have no complaint with the quality of products Society6 offers, it has become very apparent to me that this platform is not a good fit. If you've been following me on Facebook, you will know that their marketing strategy relies heavily on discounting their product offerings - products that bear my original designs. The frequency with which this occurs effectively devalues my work and undermines my efforts to establish myself as a legitimate artist. What makes it worse, is I am given no opportunity to opt out of these sales that are good for everyone, but myself. Going forward, I will be producing less work and endeavouring to create higher quality. For the time being, I will continue to offer a select number of signed and numbered prints on my Etsy site, where I can offer a more personal service. I will also continue to share my progress on my Facebook page and Instagram feed. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to leave a comment here or contact me directly via e-mail. My objective in 2017 is to grow as an artist, to focus on quality, not quantity, and to develop both my own unique style and my technique. It is my desire to reconnect to the stirrings in my soul that first led me to pursue artistic expression in the first place. I hope you'll join me.
*Special requests for specific items currently available on my Society6 shop will be considered on an individual basis, however, they will not be made available at reduced prices, so please bear that in mind should you contact me to discuss that.