Monday, February 28, 2011

Time To Reflect

With the boys safely occupied I was able to skate on my own, take pictures and reflect. What a wonderful opportunity I had to think about all I have learned and experienced this winter.

Designing and constructing e courses has taught me much about how to combine images with ideas. I have discovered how much I love to do this. I knew that I was visual but being able to put my ideas to pictures has opened up a whole new means of expression for me.

Taking e courses has taught me much about how others see. I have learned what it feels like to be a student in the e universe. I have discovered that I like the smaller more intimate classes where I can interact with a handful of other students.

I have also learned this winter that taking art classes and painting regularly makes me feel happy. Funny that I had forgotten just how much pleasure I get from picking up a paint brush.

I watched a video of the artist Milton Glaser who said, "art is whatever remains". I love that idea.

I also love the idea of using art as a means of accessing what is often not easily put into words. My work as a therapist is often so full of emotion that cannot be adequately articulated.

All of my experiences have influenced my thoughts on the direction that I see my working taking. I want to focus on the development of methods to access and express the unexpressed.

What I want to do is find a way to free the girl within, the woman, men and boys so we can play, enjoy life, to find acceptance and inner peace.

I want us to develop a way of life where we can remain engaged and capable of curiosity indefinitely!

That sounds like a good goal.

Good thing I like something complex to sink my teeth into!

Friday, February 25, 2011


This is a great shot that Tracy Olan took for me when I asked her to help me gather images of men for my Man Code ecourse.

Here we are mid-way through The Man Code. We are having lots of fun. We are taking lots of pictures of the ways men live. It is so interesting to go in search of these images and learn what they really mean.

We have had lots of discussion with the men and boys who live amongst us. They have been more then willing to share their opinions on the way they live.

We have also had a few laughs along the way. Some of what we are learning is just plain funny!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Still Painting Away!

Still painting. I finally put brush to canvas and came up with this one. The assignment was to mix paints, not just pull them out of the tube! Well, busted, I do use the colours from the tube most of the time. But there are such great colours. I usually don't get to sit down to paint long enough to mix and complete a project before the paints dry out. So from the tube has be the way to go for me.

I just want to do my art and have even gone as far as using a black sharpe on canvas because I had one kicking around for writing my kids name on his school stuff. I could get in and out of a canvas with a sharpe with minimal mess or fuss. Sometimes you have to be resourceful to be creative!

The course is fun and 300 students strong! So imagine how many paintings there are at this point! In fact, there are so many that it is hard to view them all. All wonderfully creative people and some amazing work.

What is good for me is the assignment. They are making me think in different ways, plus I am painting which I love to do.

This is the last week of Sublime. I have run the course 3 times now. I think the next move for me with Sublime is to give a one day workshop. I hope to do that in the Spring. I may run the ecourse again in the Fall.

The Man Code is in week two. I have had so much fun coming up with the assignments. I have been running around with my camera getting shots of the man world. It is so interesting to see what you find when you really start to look!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Update-Finally!

Okay so I have been painting in the ecourse I am taking called Get Your Paint On with Lisa Congdon and Mati McDonough, two talented San Francisco artist. Imagine a painting a week for five weeks! This is week three and I have yet to put brush to canvas but the week isn't over yet.
I have been running Sublime and just launched The Man Code for the second time.
Oh ya, I also have a day job!

So this is painting number one.
They gave us some direction in terms of what to draw on for subject matter but then left the rest up to us.
I love metallic paint so I included it but find it doesn't photograph so well.
I am not so thrilled with this one but did step outside my comfort zone
which is part of the point of taking a painting class!

This one I like a whole lot better.
It is more organic which is my thing.
I am outside my comfort zone again in terms of colours
but did enjoy doing this painting and I am pleased with the results, mostly.

I made a new contact in my little town which I am thrilled about
Robin check her out.
I think you will see some collaboration come from the pair of us. I'll keep you posted!

I am telling you, running ecourse is a blast.
I love the course development stage the best I think.
It is so much fun to link my ideas with images and assignments.
Of course I really enjoy the students too. After all the material is for them.

Taking an ecourse is also lots of fun. Last month is was Winter Girl with Tracy Olan and this month it is

I guess this is the year of ecourses for me.
I am learning a lot and enjoying the many challenges both running and taking them.
The learning curve for me this past year has been enormous!
That is what I love best though, learning! So I am one happy girl!

Oh I gotta go now cause I have to paint, run my courses, answer my messages, see my clients, feed my family...and slow down...all with a smile on my face!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why The Man Code?

Why have I developed The Man Code you ask?

Well I have been doing couple counselling for quite a number of years and I have come to the conclusion that part of the beak down in communication between men and women is due to The Man Code.

The reality is that men and women live according to different codes. This makes communication between us tricky if not down right impossible.

How many times have I had to translate for each partner what the other was trying to say? So often that I can't count, in fact, it is the norm.

Couples often have the same values and philosophies but how they express them is entirely different. So each ends up with the impression that the other doesn't support them.

I feel sad about this communication breakdown. All I want is for couples to fall in love again. And I also want mothers to enjoy their sons again.

I think that if women learned more about the codes that men live by then we would be able to communicate better with them. In addition, I think that we would enjoy them more and they would feel more comfortable talking to us about their world. It is a very rich and fascinating world and it is very different from the world of women.

By learning about The Man Code we can invite the boys and men in our lives to talk to us about how they see the world. When they do this two things happen. First, we gain a perspective that we didn't have before. This perspective will allow us to see them in a new, more receptive, light. Second, they feel like we are giving them permission to be themselves and so they will be more inclined to open up to us. When they do this we all feel more connected and as women we love to feel connected.

So I figure it is a win win situation for everyone. Getting familiar with The Man Code will bring more fun and laughter into your life and laughter is good for our health!

For more information go to or

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Man Code

Well. This is the last week for The Man Code and it was so much fun that I have already arranged to run it again. This time it will be a photo-journalism ecourse.

This photo-journalism journey is designed to open your eyes to the world of boys and men.

All too often we think that they see, or at least should see, the world as we do. But the truth is they don't!

Our communication with men and boys breaks down simply because what we are describing is put through very different filters depending on whether you are male or female.

The goal in this e course is to learn how men see the world around them. Through photography, and some journaling about our observations, we will learn just where the differences between us lie.

In this photo-journalism course I will post three photo challenges a week where you will be asked to look for specific evidence of the way of life of men and boys. You will be asked to add some commentary to your photographs and in the spirit of fun we will share our findings on our flickr group site.

You don't have to be a photographer to take this course. You don't even need a fabulous camera, even a cell phone camera will do. Nor do you need to be a great writer. All you have to do is be willing to join us for four weeks and learn what The Man Code filter is and how it works.

 I guarantee that you will learn something you didn't know before about boys and men!

To Register you can contact me at

It will start on February 14, 2011 and run for 4 weeks, until March 11, 2011. The cost will be $39 (reduced from $99) until the start date.

So come on out and join us for a bit of fun and learning!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Well in the not so sunny North, the city that I live in has basically shut down. It is an official Snow Day. That means that all the schools were closed and all the kids are happily playing at home! As for the rest of us we are trying to plug away... The above is a shot from my desk at home in the basement where I normally look up to the street. Well not to the street today because of the snow! Good thing I am not claustrophobic!

I am fortunate enough to work for myself so I was able to cancel my sessions for the day and stay home with my son. However, given that I am running two e courses, which means that snow or not I can show up, I was able to show up to do that work today.

The snow shows no signs of slowing down so I think there will be a big dig out tomorrow morning as we all try to resume our regular daily schedules. Keep you fingers crossed for us!