The Japanese Call it Forest Bathing

The Japanese practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.

This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.

According to Dr. Qing Li, author of Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, a “two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits.

I have been doing a lot of sky gazing lately, more than usual. I’ve always thought that if emotion were to be painted, it would be in the form of a sky.

The colors, the clouds and all that space in between evokes so much feeling in me. Nature is perfect, it doesn’t question, it doesn’t consider, it simply is.

I am my happiest when I am surrounded by nature. It is my sacred place.

Seascape I, 2019
20” x 20”
Oil on canvas

 

The Love of Cats and Dogs

I was very happy to do 2 murals for Vétérinaire LaSalle. It’s where art, design and medicine live. Dr. Bourrellis is the visionary and sole owner of the clinic since 2016.

As if her workload was not big enough, she decided to realize her dream – combining her two passions, art and veterinary medicine.

When she visited a commercial space in Place LaSalle, it was an empty box of 5000 sq. ft. and a 22 ft. high ceiling. She saw a beautiful blank canvas for her project and the future clinic took shape.

Supported by a great team of architect, entrepreneur and foreman, her the ideas were realized. From the murals at reception and in the treatment room, the skylights, the project of recovering old negatoscopes into “portraits”, by way of the kennel space for cats and the indoor bathroom for dogs; Dr. Bourrellis was allowed to give way to creativity and to work with local artisans to promote art and offer you a space out of the ordinary.

Thank you Dr. Bourrellis for trusting me with your “kings” and to Melanie Pittarelli for giving me a shoutout.

Thank you also to Gord Onck for your handsome dog Riley! Thank you also to Suzanna Assaf for your handsome cat Kai!

 

A Cardinal on Rue Masson

This gorgeous red cardinal is seen all over our Canadian landscape, from the countryside to the urban playgrounds in our cities. I chose this particular bird because of what it represents – according to Spiritual Astrology, Tarot & Metaphysical Studies, the Cardinal represents renewed vitality and the recognition of self-importance.

Another element to my design is the flowers. All flowers have meanings associated with them and are a part of the most important occasions in our lives. They are conspicuously present on birthdays, funerals, graduation, weddings, etc. forming an integral part of our lives. Some flowers have religious significance too. In this case, the flowers I chose pertain to the spirit of Rue Masson – The Daffodil symbolizes regard and chivalry. It is indicative of rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life. A bunch of daffodils indicate joy and happiness. The Iris symbolizes eloquence and is symbolic of wisdom, faith and hope.

All these elements are framed and gathered while not restrained within a triangle. The design of a triangle is meant to guide your eye from left to right and upward. In a more spiritual significance, the triangle here is a symbol of strength and courage, elevating you, sending you upward toward the sky – rising above all!

My Last Painting in Florida ’18

Finished my last painting here in Florida (Feb. 2018).

I took many trips to the east cost driving through the Everglades – the flat landscape and massive open skies that surround you inspire me. Anyone who has taken that drive with me will tell you how I’m constantly being taken away by the birds and skies there.

This painting is something I hope will take you there- visually at least!

My first painting of 2018.

My first painting this year – Black & Gold II, 2018

Also, the first of many in a small collection I’ll be doing for Judith Liegeois Designs in Naples. Florida.

I am beyond happy to be showing with her. I encourage everyone to visit her website at http://www.judithliegeoisdesigns.com and if you are in Naples, Florida, please drop in and visit her gallery. You’ll love it!

 

Wow. I’m in British Vogue Magazine.

This is HUGE!! VOGUE reached out to me for a feature on their Gallery Profile page in the October issue.

I am ecstatic over this…to be noticed by such a high profile magazine such as VOGUE has truly exceeded my wildest expectations. WOW!

My art is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure happy it’s theirs!! Straight up EPIC. Thank you British Vogue for this fabulous opportunity.

Wow, Showing With Marie Saint Pierre

I was very excited to be featuring my latest work in collaboration with Montreal fashion icon, Marie Saint Pierre. The Maison Marie Saint Pierre presented “ACTE I: CAPSULE 30 ans”(June 2017), the thirty-year celebration of their brand and their newest fashion collection.

See it at: https://www.mariesaintpierre.com/ca_fr/actualites/capsule-30-ans/

She’s an award-winning pioneer in the Canadian fashion industry and a woman of many firsts. Marie was the first Quebec designer to participate at the Fashion Coterie of New York, and the first Canadian designer to present her collection in Paris. Marie’s awards range from Designer of the Year from Elle Quebec to recepient of the National Order of Canada.

Marie Saint Pierre’s collections are distributed in its two Montreal, Miami, online stores as well as in a multitude of sales outlets throughout North America.

Sacred Geometry

I was very excited to submit this piece (36″x36″/ oil, gold enamel & silver leaf on canvas) for the FamaArt Fair during this year’s Mural Festival Élémentaire II, 2017

As an artist, I have always been fascinated by sacred geometry. It’s all around us, in nature, in architecture, in art, etc. It’s always there. Subliminally, we all see it. It defines our sense of what is beautiful. Our subconscious sees it; even if we don’t.

I have started to incorporate it in my paintings and murals in a visible, conscious way to show our eyes what our soul really sees. This new direction has been a kind of refuge for me.

The alchemical symbol for air is an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line and I have included this in my paintings. Painting these landscapes with wide-open skies has helped me to release emotion in a way that is particular to painting. It’s just you, some paint and a canvas. I love that alone time I have created for myself while painting. It’s my blessing, my refuge, my happiness…and I hope that the viewer feels that energy.

I hope that the viewer will ‘Stop’, even if for a moment to take a good deep breath. It will slow down your racing mind and soothe your pounding heart, I promise.

STOP and take a good, deep breath

Revisiting the elements in this piece I painted for @mumtl – Encan Soirée Bénéfice.

The alchemical symbol for air is an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line as seen here in my painting.

Given my current state, I felt it was important to paint something that reminded me to stop and just breathe. 
Life is hard at times, messy and complicated… I am notorious for never stopping and always pushing through it all without taking a minute for me – I thought we could all use a little reminder to STOP a second and take a good deep breath.

In fact, much of my work has focused on this recurring theme – the stillness of my birds, symbolizing awareness hopefully inspires reflection and reminds us all to stop and take the time to deal with our own thoughts, emotions, awareness and the blessings in our lives.