Live Drawing with Dancers


IMG_2843Did you do something scary today? I did. I went to Live Drawing with Dancers.

I’ve always wanted to go, but the thought that there would be artists — real artists who can draw — there, and that they might make fun of me, always stopped me.

But today, I decided on three things:

1- I would go.

2- Instead of trying to sketch like everyone else, I would draw stick figures to explore movement.

3- I was going to have fun.

When I  arrived at the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth theatre at 2pm, I saw two dancers – one male and one female – dressed in beautiful costumes, moving in a very graceful choreography. I quietly took a seat and immediately started to draw small kinetic figures.

My first figures were stiff and looked like Chinese characters.  As I loosened up, I drew curved arms, and added little feet.


As my confidence grew,  I added a head to the figures.



I drew the dancer’s tutu as two curved lines on each side of her body.

I started to really enjoy the process.


The dancers changed and came back with black shorts.

As the last hour began, Arts Umbrella instructor Jason Wright said, “Let’s try something loose and goofy.” The session that followed was amazing, as the dancers contorted their body in ways I’ve never seen before, inspiring some of my favorite drawings.



By the end of the session, I had truly found my style and was able to enjoy the process of creating as many stick figures as possible.



So, will I go to the next Live Drawing session? Absolutely. And I will leave my fears at home.


live drawing

the dancer’s shadow

on my page

— Jessica Tremblay


What about you? Is there a thing that scares you that you’ve always wanted to try? What stops you?


The life-changing magic of tidying up


magicA few months ago, after reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, I went through my bookshelves and, like the author prescribed, asked myself only one question: does this book make me happy? If not, it went in a suitcase.

At the end of the afternoon, the suitcase was full and there was lots of free space on my shelves for the stuff I really cared about. It was an amazing feeling.

* * *

Recently I was preparing for a trip so I grabbed a suitcase and was surprised to find it full of books. It seems I had neglected the last step of the tidying up process which is to get rid of the stuff right away.

This morning, I hauled the suitcase to my local second-hand bookstore.

As the clerk went through the books, I felt a bit naked. The books revealed a lot about me, my personality, my interests. I felt self-conscious.

Bu then I realized: “This is not who I am, it’s who I was.”

A lot of these books I was selling because I had moved on to other interests or hobbies. The books I cared about were at home. The real me was at home. On my shelf.

 puling an embroiderie thread

out of a book






Haigabun (a haibun accompanied by a haiga) is a technique started by Line Michaud. In here, I try my own version: a haibun followed by a comic.

Lucy the Elephant – painting exhibit

IMG_6309 This painting was done by Lucy, an Asian elephant from the Edmonton zoo. In case you didn’t notice, it’s the imprint of her trunk on the canvas. You could say it’s the equivalent of leaving a lipstick print on a piece of paper.  However, I’m guessing this painting is worth thousands of dollars.


This exhibit of paintings by Lucy the elephant occupied a wall at the Edmonton international airport where I had a stopover on January 1st.

The poster said that elephants in the wild spend all their time  looking for food and being on the lookout for predators. Since food and shelter are provided at the zoo, the animals get bored and need something to occupy their time. Lucy took painting as a hobby and is now famous around the world.


gallery opening night

nobody talks about

the elephant in the room

Happy Holidays

dreamcatcher IMG_6073One week ago, I attended an aboriginal workshop to learn how to make a dreamcatcher.   After I finished weaving the centre (it took about 15 minutes), the teacher tied a rose cedar bark in the centre then wrapped the circle in cedar branches.  To my surprise and delight, we got to decorate the dreamcatcher and turn it into a beautiful holiday wreath.

I’ve always wanted to make a dreamcatcher.  During the workshop, the instructor corrected me when I called it a “dreamweaver”. It did feel like I was weaving a childhood dream.

dreamcatcher      my dream of making one

dreamcatcher IMG_6081Happy Holidays!