Ann & I’s Nova Scotia paintings + process & music

This morning I proudly carry this with me on the bus towards downtown:

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On September 9th,painter Ann Tygett Jones & I agreed to start a collaboration to be finished & shared on September 15th. The goal was to paint a painting each, both themed after Nova Scotia, seeing that I had made a comparison between her art and the colors of the houses in this province, as well as the marine style Halifax strives on for it’s tourism. (& as a reflection of it’s culture)

Yesterday, I literally speed-worked on this painting the entire day, from morning, to the library’s very last closing minute, to be able to post a picture of it by then. I was working at the speed of absolute ridiculousness.


(pictures of my setups at the library)image


These pictures are beautiful, but I had next to no time to look around and take mental pictures of my environment for my own. I was very much submerged deep into this rather small canvas, attempting to ride the waves of music like The Shins to help regulate me.

… You know that hi-ho song in Snow White?


Music and atmospheres very much help me do my work. I think the same can be said for allot of us, regardless of the nature of our work. Still, there is a particularly close relationship between music and artistic* production – the connector being emotions: It’s a mix of the  metaphors expressed in the music, and the ones we create in our inner world as a listener. Concerning the creation of art — When a parallel can be made between this experience and the one we are focusing on, in this case, painting, I see a subconscious synchronicity. I see happy-brain-activity coming with the satisfaction of being able to manifest metaphors tangibly while enjoying making them in our mind. (and what we refer to as our hearts)

I’d like to take the time to explain how this relates to improvised art vs planned art:

Allot of successful (professional) artists use a method that is very much planned, like say, the kind of planning I imagine they teach you in college or university – they have even taught this to me in high school. A sort of technical planning with steps, where your idea must first be calculated realistically & planned out in steps, only then to be realized in the form of compliance to these steps… Like a to-do list popping out of a chicken. (Congratulations! A new project has been laid.)

This part of the process is one that I can’t define as creative in spirit. The planning of this idea may be an intimate creative experience on it’s own, but when it comes to obeying, anyone can do that with proper technical skills. I could, in this sense, train someone to do the applied work of my pre-planned art for me. For (exaggerated) example, someone who likes methodology allot, like a secretary, or someone who likes to work with their hands, like a construction worker.

(Okay, those are indeed two very exaggerated examples of slaves. Pardon-me.)


My point being, if most of your creativity comes from planning a work of art, then I guess it may perhaps be equally creative, but mostly in thought*, rather than in experience. I suppose it can always depend on the person’s memory-span, & what kind of thinker they are. If they are at their creative peak when reflecting in advance and taking many things into account in their mind, drawing connections without the need of exploring themselves physically (I am not talking about masturbation – I am talking about testing yourself closely, by improvising as you go) then their art likely suits their kind of creativity, and in that case, so be it.

But now, bravely risking giving the impression of obnoxiousness, I proudly state the following:

I am an improviser, an artistic minute-to-minute emotional masturbation machine. (When “aroused”)

I do hope you caught on to the above sentence being a comical metaphor. I’d assure you that I am not a creep, but this would be a false assurance. I am very much a creep.

Nice to creep you,

(— Regardless,)

My point in all of this is that it was strange that I sprouted something unexpected despite having the goal of completing my painting today at any cost in mind. The particular improvisation I am referring to would be the yellow part of the painting, in the upper-right corner. So without stalling further, here is a better shot of what is the finished result from a few painting sessions throughout a busy week, and this one highly pressured last-minute painting day:


Finished, ha. That’s funny. I really did want it finished yesterday. I finished it to this extent, though, for the sake and for the respect of the painter collaborating with me, as well as for the challenge, which is something I think we were both going for in setting a time limit. I appreciate the opportunity to kick myself in the butt and actually accomplish something. I believe artistic masturbators in general have a hard time with that. (Not everyone can plan their artistic hard-on)

(forgive my crude metaphors. Again, rest assured, if you read back, they ARE metaphors*)

I plan on continuing this painting as thoroughly as I feel it appropriate to. I understand that from a money prospective, I should not only be selling this as soon as I possibly can (given my need for materials being something that is more and more important & unfortunate in my daily journey/efforts to launch my career & the income I must depend on) — but I also strongly believe in selling art that is not simply a product, but mostly, a product yes, but of what.* — of my artistic “jizz”. (Again with the nasties…) What I mean by this is the obvious. (Or perhaps not quite as obvious as I’m writing this to be) : I want to sell art that is to the heights of my emotional investment in art as a whole. I want to convince you that this is, and it is, a medium through which SO MUCH can poor out, from a human being, to a 2 dimensional image.

I want to invite you in.

This is Ann’s finished work:


This painting of Ann’s very much is Nova Scotia-like. not just because of the colours of the houses, but also because of the coordination with pale colours (whites, beiges). This colourful minimalism is not unlike the art that fills Halifax. There is this shop, for example, a fancy shmancy gift shop called Something-or-other (no disrespect, I would love to mention the name of this gift shop but my memory fails me & I don’t have 100 years to branch out in every direction I like when writing these novel-seque blog articles) This sea-themed Nova Scotia gift shop features carved silvers and lots of deep blues. When I pass by, I now tend think of her art.

The water dripping underneath is a great way to show that Nova Scotia stares the ocean in the face, and how the horizon here seems to carry on infinitely. Lots of rusty objects are found on the edges, wherever the water meets land. The mucky colour mixes paired with the beige in Ann’s painting also remind me of this. I love the personality of these moody waterfront finds.

Here is a link to Ann’s WordPress blog:

Her art, in rich colour combinations, thick Textures & fine shapes alike — & abstract compositions.

Thanks!!! This was great.

I hope you stay tuned in to the changes I will be making to my version of this painting project, seeing that it decidedly isn’t complete yet.

Visual updates posted every now and then on my Facebook page:


I try so hard every day to spread the word about my art, to get people to see that it (& I) exist. I thought I would mention this, so readers know that every Facebook “like” is warmly appreciated.

Have a nice week,

– Gaby


Moving out + Painting Colab progress (Vlog)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA0slGahggM]

I akwardly talk about finally moving out of Halifax’s youth shelter & how strange it feels. I also go in detail about how my progress with my recent painting collaboration was going, at the time.

I’m a little behind with these vlogs but I am catching up. – Making way for speedvideos!

Follow me on Youtube, here is my channel:




Preparing a move in Foggy weather

Riding in a bus to stop by our new home, an apartment 20 minutes from down town;

We’ve been jumping through insanely frustrating & unnecessary hoops to connect the right nose-picking people to the right nose-picking services to get food, furniture and payments through. So far this experience has been successfully contradicting.

* Long live charity, yes! — however charity in the hands of the working equivalent of Adventure Time’s “banana guards” …

“weeeeeee-wooo weeeeee-wooo weeeeeee-wooo………”

Regardless, we’ll finally be moved out soon. I “pick my own nose” in my corner while Raven deals with what at this point I still refer to as “big people stuff“. My giant native is ace at getting things done quickly and politically & I am a 23 year old toddler hopelessly oblivious to the entire situation.


He hands me chocolate chip cookies. (Keeps me happy.)(& healthy, & round)

I have no pictures of cookies. I don’t photograph free cookies, I eat them.

(please don’t judge me based on these comfortable pink atrocities — I did not chose them, & they are indeed very comfortable)

It is foggy weather today and this is helping with patience as our patience is toyed with. When you can’t see much farther than a few feet and every step brings a cool spray, your irritability and clutter feels nurtured away in a milky bath of moment-to-moment amnesia. Like the Buddhists say, and I think we all listen to at least a little Buddhism in these open-internet times; all we have is the present.

That last comment being said, this post is late.(<Ha) The present reality is actually me being in bed at the end of this day, finalising edits on this article. It’s 2:25AM. I will now proceed to presenting you, dear pass-by reader, with more photographs I took of today’s wondering:















1st Colab-Painting (preview) NightVlog

In this I explain details about this painting I am working on, the theme of which is paired with another artist I met on WordPress. I also talk about finally moving out of this Youth Shelter.


Nightvlog: shelter bedroom + owning donations

in this video blog I briefly share what my life is like in this youth shelter Raven & I are staying at by showing you around my room & conversing about what I find. Though it isn’t originally my intention to put emphasis on the matter, a pattern of donations makes itself apparent. I also talk about owning almost exclusively second hand things, be it in clothing or in art supplies, etc.


why I started a Video Blog (“EntirePerson”)

I was walking with Raven back in Moncton New-Brunswick, playfully drunk. We were trying to hide the fact that we had both had a drinking session before entering “Japan!Go”, a sushi restaurant. The (non-Japanese) waiter had to’ve noticed right away despite our attempt to be minimally subtle – Before we sat down, I dropped metal chopsticks on the floor making a really loud noise, as Raven proceeded to break (?) the log-like chair he was going to seat himself in.

Coming back from this walk, I was feeling blue. I had spent the last bit of my money on this indulgence. (my favorite food is sushi and I never allow myself to spend the bit of money I ever do have on such an absolute luxury) It was painfully delicious & lots of silly fun, looking for all the ways we could mock the fancy social atmosphere we were in, but my breaking my “wallet” (if I were to have one) had reminded me of how I had no job. For the millionth time, it came down on me how despite that I may be a very artistic person, I have no income. At the time, my “game plan” was to sell paintings in the streets I would encounter in any given town throughout my explorer’s lifestyle.

I had started a painting on an enormous canvas that got donated to me. Though I had incredible visions for this painting, it felt as though I had little to no reason to hope that I would succeed at selling my art. I am not a very good vendor, I despise the idea of selling myself. I was in despair.

Then Raven came up with the story of his success as a Youtuber. He explained to me that he used to have a gamer’s channel that got very popular. He posted videos on a regular basis, had a fan base, products, and an income from “monetizing” his YouTube videos. He cooperated with other people and the project was indeed a successful one.

Raven was suggesting that if I had a Youtube channel where I talked about my process as an artist, it would be a good way to bring attention to my art & would help me sell the finished paintings I would produce.

At first, I reacted the way I typically always have: I am FAR from good enough for that. It would NEVER take off. The idea seemed terrible to me but I treated his suggestion with curiosity, because part of me actually loved it. What could make me happier than being seen & understood by people around the world?  Equals, rather than people to look down on me. Society has always looked down on me, for my lack of freedom, of money. Of continued education. Transportation. Realistic career direction. (& so on)

As he explained the details of how he was able to truly catch on and grow his fan base, he made it sound like if I gave it enough effort, eventually it would have to catch on. He named examples of people who posted videos every day, who’s lives were far from particularly interesting – but they were able to catch on because some people enjoyed their personalities enough to make a regular space for their videos in their time. People like hick trucker fathers or depressed young women.

We then went into details about how I could (theoretically) start filming my painting process. That afternoon, when we got back from drunk sushi, he helped me carve slits into a little cardboard box, so that my cell phone could stand despite it’s thin round edges. We connected my cell phone to the wall with a USB extension.

I placed some library books open & standing on a shelf next to the giant canvas I was in the process of painting. Chose two illustrations (among many) of complex patterns in some foreign materials. I used them as inspiration for colors – suggestion color palettes, if you will. Then I set up my paints, placed my cell phone and it’s box-stand on an ironing board behind me, sat on a tool box & waited to know what I wanted to begin painting. Turning my head from side to side in an attempt to better visualize endless hesitations in my head, I heard a familiar digital chime:

(Listen to Fountain by iamamiwhoami on SoundCloud:)

What this song does to me can’t be described in words. And yes, I’m going to do the cheesy writer’s thing – and not at all bother.

^ (…)

When that song started, my red ring sprouted a twisted blue wave out from a sea in my mind. The twisted blue wave turned into a twisted blue tree. The tree eventually grew a yellow blotch of leaves with a semi-detailed silhouette. From this corner on, and within the red ring, it all branched out.

I don’t want to talk about this painting in this article. The reason for this is that I would rather take my time in doing so. This painting will always mean so much to me, and it was going so many different directions within it’s own rectangular self. I take it with me, even though I wasn’t aloud to take it with me in a physical sense. In a nutshell, a few hours before our train trip permanently out of town & toward Halifax nova scotia, VIA rails Canada straight up told me it could neither be brought in the cargo, nor in the passenger’s area. I won’t branch out on how this broke my heart, either. In time I’ll go through it all in detail, in another post.


From that point on, it had been my goal to give the Youtube project a strongly motivated & hopeful go. It was to be be adjacent with my passion & my right to continue it. No one can realistically continue on without an income. Surely I knew how this wasn’t necessarily true – I’d been submerged in Montreal culture for the past several months. I won’t go in detail, but as much as I reaped so much wonderful from this experience in Quebec’s most exciting city, it wasn’t all beautiful. The culture I was submerged in was that of homeless urban youth. This culture is still in my (metaphorical) “heart” & I still stand behind them in many ways, but I’ve seen allot of drug abuse & regular bouts of great discouragement. I’ve seen the lengths young people have to go to in order to get their hands on any money at all. Though nearly all of them wear this lifestyle proudly & though their values fall into it like fate, it’s a fate that acts as such – without permission, or control. We can’t control everything, I know – but I always aimed to have some control. My pride was snug when I was broke among street folk, but my home was threatened & I had access to so little. I went hungry all the time, regardless of any on-off dieting decisions. It was the way things were.


So here is my Youtube channel for anyone who’d like to follow my experiences & art projects. Though school & browsing the internet has taught me that the appropriate thing here would be to proceed to some sort of advertising as a perfect closure to this extensive blog article, I won’t indulge in this. Instead I’d like to mention that I will be recording, editing & posting videos regularly hens forth. As for my career altogether, I will continue on the wave I’ve always been on even in times of doubt – amplified. This is what I want to & chose to do with my life. The necessary efforts will be put in.