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Posts Tagged ‘Andrea Stokes’

Picking up painting after a decade off…

July 3rd, 2009

Tonight (Friday, July 3rd) at 8 pm — Open House for “Word Up”, a group exhibit featuring loads of local artists; at CycleLogik, 1111A Wellington Street. Fellow Ottawans, come on out!

A month ago, the lovely Andrea Stokes of Pink Wagon asked me to partake in this show… which starts in just under two hours. I decided that I should do this ‘properly’ and undertake a real-life painting… the first non-digital painting I’d done since graduating university over 10 years ago. It was a mixed bag of remembering how much I love the physicality of working with paint on canvas, wondering what I’d gotten myself into, really missing the power of “undo”, and worrying that I wasn’t going to like the outcome.

Thankfully, I do like it and am posting a sneak peek:

It’s a diptych called “apart + together”. Each panel is 12″ x 12″, and I did it with acrylic paint, plus a bit of pencil and fun Sharpie water-based pens.

A step-by-step of how I got here..

Below: this was very definitely the “Oh  #%*!@, what have I gotten myself into?!!!” stage. I seem to encounter this for every non-digital piece I do…

Here are details of the finished piece:

I’m definitely feeling a wee bit nervous about the event tonight — if you’d asked me a decade ago if I’d ever partake in another art show, I’d have said “Not likely!” I’m not sure how solo exhibitors do it! So there you have it — and *gulp* off I go…

general rambling , , , , , ,

The life is the pink wagon

December 18th, 2008

This past summer, I participated in my first round of craft and art shows as a vendor — and boy, was there a ton to learn. Just knowing what shows there were in town, which were worth applying to, how best to apply, yadda yadda yadda. My second show was a big’un — Art in the Park, a massive annual outdoor Glebe event that features 250 artists from the vicinity.

Somehow, amidst the chaos, I managed to make the acquaintance of Andrea Stokes — the lovely and talented force behind Pink Wagon. Ain’t she fine?

I’d heard Andrea’s name before, as well as that of Pink Wagon, and had already done some moderate to shameful drooling over the stuffs on her website. At Art in the Park, we did a swap — she snagged one of my gunneling rhino tees (in raspberry, of course) and I got one of her super cute birdie hats.

Since then, she’s been a wealth of knowledge for me as a newcomer on the local DIY scene, and we’ve found we have more in common than our love of making stuff (not the least of which is our obsession in the 90’s with the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir). This is one wing I’m happy to be taken under.

Post-script pics…



Post-post-script… Anyone catch the Jane Siberry nod?

One more very regretful and sad post-script, added on Saturday, December 20th…

Andrea and I had a lovely back and forth late on Thursday evening, just after I posted the above note. She told me that her company name was indeed named after the Jane Siberry song “The Life is the Red Wagon” — her and husband’s marriage song; the lyrics (see below) were read at their wedding. When it came time to name her company, “Red Wagon” was already taken, so she snagged Pink instead.

And then, a ton of bricks hit yesterday. Andrea’s husband died of a sudden heart attack in the early hours of Friday morning. I can’t begin to express the sadness or shock that has hit me… and this coming from someone so peripheral in Andrea’s life. I met Barry on the day of the Ladyfest event earlier this month; he helped Andrea set up her stall, brought her coffee, and then came back at the end of the day to help take everything down. From everything I can see and tell, he was an amazingly supportive partner and father, and this just all seems to unbelievable.

Andrea asked that I let all her facebook contacts know of the news, but as I got to the “C’s” in her list, facebook stopped me because my behaviour triggered a spamming warning… so I couldn’t continue. Since then, she has joined the fb group in memory of Barry, and posted related notes — this may help let people know of her circumstances.

It is clear, Andrea, from the folks on Barry’s group and from what I know of you, that you have a strong vibrant and compassionate support system all around you, and I am certain that they are all ready for you to lean hard on them at this incredibly trying time. Lean hard, and let us pull for you.


Lyrics for ‘The Life is the Red Wagon’ by Jane Siberry

you watch the slow train moving
through the city late at night
adjusting back and forth
against the darkness and street lights
I know that you’re feeling bad
but I’m glad you didn’t lie
easy to get caught up…but you know
you can always you can always
you can always walk away

the life is the red wagon rolling along
the life is the red wagon simple and strong
the life is the red…is the red…
oh, it’s no big deal
but when the feet are draggin’

you pull me
and I pull for you
you pull me
and I pull for you

past the teeming marketplace
and the blur of faces there
past the silent dockyards
and the darkness looming there
maybe it won’t work this time
but that’s the risk you take
(and you want to take it)
and just as long as it feels right
doesn’t matter just as long as…
doesn’t matter …gotta feel good
even though you don’t know why

the life is the red wagon rolling along
the life is the red wagon simple and strong
the life is the red…is the red…
oh, it’s no big deal
but when the feet are draggin’

you pull me
and i pull for you
you pull me
and i pull for you

the life is the red wagon
simple and strong.


For anyone who would like to join, there is a facebook group, in loving memory of Barry Doyle.

good peeps, m chen wears , , ,

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