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


6 thoughts on “Ann & I’s Nova Scotia paintings + process & music

    • I’m afraid I don’t have money to invest in proposing something like that, considering the cost of shipping things. I am broke. As it is, I can neither afford new supplies nor proper camera equipment to be able to film my process as a whole. (Speed-paintings is something I would otherwise be doing) All the money I have comes from government-issued financial aid. It isn’t something I flaunt but I will not hide it. I don’t like to hide things hypocritically. I work for free as an artist but I aim to make enough money to be able to have the ever so slightest financial freedom. (I don’t mean that your idea isn’t a good one, but I am penny-scratching for supplies more than anything right now, shipping costs are not something I can handle these days, unless it were provided by a sale or something like that)

      It would be a good idea though. In theory. I would imagine hard-black overlays, like floral patterns swimming through, or maybe striped-gloop-age spilling about. Surely I would come up with something. I’ll keep this idea in mind for when I will be able to pay for such exchanges, hopefully in the near future. I have interesting projects in mind.

      Collaboration might be a strong word to describe this project considering the impression one would get from that word, though we did collaborate in the aspects of time frame and common theme. I wonder what kind of word would better suit this kind of project, seeing that I’d actually like to be the one to put the idea forward with other artists later on… Because I like the idea! (Being an otherwise shy person with little to no influence on people, usually) the idea that my comments impacted Ann’s work has been endearing.


  1. Strange. I left a comment 15 minutes ago but don’t see it here, so will repeat a bit of it. I love love your painting and Ann’s, also. I suggest you trade paintings now and add to each other’s. Then it would really be a collaboration. Hers reminds me of a cityscape. Yours reminds me of regeneration–vocanoes, seeding new life, eruption of the old and beginning of the new. http://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/09/15/root-a-toot-toot-appetite/


  2. Pingback: Ann & I’s Nova Scotia paintings + process & music | ann tygett jones

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