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Like the trees that communicate with each other through a network of roots, the artists of the Circuit des Arts Memphrémagog 2018 want to establish more communication with those around us.

Forest confection
©2017Suzanne Bélair
Mixed media on canvas
10 X 10 in

Art plays an important role in our society and we want to stand out from the multitude of symposiums offered. The rigor of the Circuit des Arts to make a selection of professional artists and craftspeople is one of the characteristics that distinguish the quality of our products.

We are professional artists and craftsmen who work all year long. From this exhibition off circuit, we want to make our products known beyond a single summer period.

We invite you to the exhibition ARTborescence to be held from November 7 to December 21, 2018 at the Visual Arts Center of Magog.

The opening will be on Thursday November 8th from 5pm to 7pm. All are welcome!

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Innocence
©2011 Suzanne Bélair
Oil on canvas 24 X 18

My painting « Innocence » was selected to be sold during the Shield of Athena 24th Annual Art auction in support of the fight against family violence and its consequences. The auction takes place November 18th at Le 1000 on De La Gauchetière Ouest in Mtl.

 

This painting is very special to me because it was my deceased friend that took the picture of her niece and gave me permission to paint it.

 

The painting was part of a very unique exhibition in the summer of 2014 that took place in Lac Megantic, Qc. The exhibit called “Les Chemins de la Renaissance” was all about the rebirth of the community and town that were devastated by a train derailment that burnt close to half the downtown area of Lac Megantic on July 6th 2013 and killed more than 47 people. The exhibit spoke of hope and reconstruction and I talked about it here: https://wp.me/p9FGQ-8F

 

The painting was also part of a publication called “Carnet Résolution Santé” that was launched in October 2013. For more details on this: https://wp.me/p9FGQ-74

 

So it is now that this very unique painting will help raise funds for a great cause I very much care about.

 

Two other paintings were also chosen by the jury for this special event:

Bouquet exalté ©2014 Suzanne Bélair
Mixed media on terraskin
25 X 17.5 in

 

Printemps (Peeking through)
©2016 Suzanne Belair
Oil on canvas 20 X 16

 

 

I am happy to contribute to this event. For more information on the Shield of Athena Family services or if you are a victim of violence, go to

http://shieldofathena.com/ or contact 514-274-8117 or 1-877-274-8117.

 

Suzanne

 

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Things that disappear

Have you ever noticed how things sometimes disappear?

 

Yesterday I was driving along past the bank and decided to get some cash. I usually keep a small purse inside my big handbag.

 

When I run an errand, I like to take the smaller one to feel freer while leaving the big one behind.

 

Anyhow, I thought my debit card was in this small purse so only grabbed that one. As I excited and locked the car, my fingers were already searching for the card that I keep in it’s own protective sleeve. While walking briskly, I touched various cards, tissues, notes, toonies and change, realizing I could not feel the distinctive sleeve. Annoyed, I stopped walking and looked inside the purse until I took everything out. I had to come to the conclusion the debit card was not there.

 

Watching for cars backing up, I returned to my car and checked my large purse’s zippered compartment. It wasn’t there. Wallet? After going through it 3 times, I saw it wasn’t there either.

 

Upset, I got back into my car and drove home thinking it had to be somewhere in the house. On the table, in the closet, in a pocket maybe. I thought back to the previous few days. Another busy week it had been and remembered using the card at the art store a few days before. I thought I remembered shoving the cards and receipt in the pocket of my black coat.

 

When you lose something, your mind tries to reconstruct the past. But memories are not always totally reliable. We live such a distracted life that there are always a few pieces of information missing.

 

I got home and dumped everything out of my bag to no avail. I searched my house, pockets of my coats and pants, the office, even the garage (maybe I put it somewhere and don’t remember). I opened the computer and checked my account, no transactions since the one I remembered on Monday, which reassured me. I gave up looking for it after two hours.

 

All this got me thinking about things that disappear and how odd it always seems.

 

One time, we came back from a week-end trip to find my daughter had thrown a house party. One month later, my son wanted to wear the engraved cross I was safekeeping for him in my drawer. I was surprised and upset that it had disappeared from my bedroom bureau. I searched for it for six more months, refusing to believe that a party guest had gone through my things and stolen his property. I felt guilty for losing it and still think about it 20 years later…

 

Another time, when I was cleaning out a night table, I realized a very precious photo was no longer there. Do we do things and then forget about them? Where was that photo? To this day, I have never found it. This happened about 10 years ago, yet every now and then, I go through all my stuff again in the hopes of finding it.

 

Don’t socks disappear all the time? Where do they go? It is almost as if there is an alternate reality out there.

 

My friend’s i-pad disappeared in a strange way. She was there, she never saw anything. Probably stolen…

 

 

Distraction or selective attention is partly to blame. I recently read the book “Why we make mistakes” by Joseph T. Hallinan. It explains how it is impossible to be 100% present all of the time and “how we look without seeing, forget things in seconds and are all pretty sure we are way above average”. A very interesting read!

 

I used to be proud of being able to multitask yet research is clear that multitasking does not exist per say. We only shift our attention and each time we do, this uses seconds and the brain has to re-adjust, making both tasks less efficient.

 

Other things that sometimes disappear are people, friends, lovers and neighbours through move, break up, death, change of heart.

 

Everything and everyone will disappear one day. This is life, impermanence.

 

Things get misplaced

Things get forgotten
Everything shifts and changes

Everything will disappear one day
We try to hang on to people and things

But all we can do is enjoy them while we can

For all is disappearing every second that we live

While something new sprouts and takes its place

 

As for my debit card, I found it this morning, in the zippered pocket of my white coat, so it wasn’t lost after all. I was so sure I was wearing the black one, I never checked that one until today.

 

Thank you for reading and enjoy every second of your reality!

 

 

Suzanne

 

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Simply , write!

A short one today since I have been really busy and have not painted much lately. Lots of projects in different stages of completion though.

 

 

I resumed my creative writing workshops 3 weeks ago and have been writing quite a lot more since. I will probably add a section to this blog to share some of my short stories soon.

 

I saw this on Twitter (@writerconclave) a few days ago and thought I would share it with you my fellow writers and readers:

 

Dear Writer

You can write 10,000 words in an hour, or 1.

You can be a plotter, a pantser, or anything in between.

You can want to write for a career, or a hobby.

The simple act of writing defines you as a writer.

Speed doesn’t. Style doesn’t.

Simply, write.

Love, a fellow

 

Thank you for reading and keep on writing !

 

Suzanne

 

 

 

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Bend!

Love this take on hope and resilience !

rupalgarg

When things go wrong and they sometimes will

When the way is confusing and sometimes uphill

When life is full of twist and turn

When it gives you wounds and burn

When situations are making you down a bit

Rest if you want but don’t quit

Let the best memories you have, heal their warm glow

The sorrow in your heart, with time, will surely go

Never think that this is the end

In life, God has just created a bend.

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Life-changing months

“I think we’re creating all day long. We have to have an appointment to have that work put on the page. Because the creative part of us gets tired of waiting, or just gets tired” – Mary Oliver

©2018 Suzanne Bélair

This really speaks to me as I am sitting here and thinking about all the ideas that cross my mind, all the projects I would like to start and of all the exciting art I would like to make. The last few weeks have been extremely busy with the little ones and preparing for the next Symposium, seeing friends, and publicity for the LAA group. I find myself getting frustrated because there is no time to put anything down on paper or canvas.

 

The last month has been a whirlwind of emotions and activities. The birth of our first granddaughter and seeing my daughter pregnant in the previous months brought so many powerful emotions that had to be processed.

 

One day, as I was sitting with my daughter who first became a mother two and a half years ago and was pregnant with the little one, I was hit by a reality I was not expecting. I saw her, not as my daughter but as a strong independent woman, who has carved a good life for herself and is in control of her destiny. It hit me that she really didn’t need me anymore. I could almost physically see the shift in my head.

 

Once a mother, always a mother and up to this point, I still felt that my kids needed me somehow, that I could enhance their lives, help make everything better like when they were small. It was a belief in the background of my mind, something I took for granted for nearly 40 years. But my three children are adults now, independent and autonomous. They all enjoy good family and social lives, either run businesses or have decent jobs. They are all well functioning adults and don’t really need us parents so much anymore.

 

I knew all that for a long time on an intellectual level but now I feel it on an emotional level, deep in my core. They are all successful and our role is changing from parents and protectors of their well-being and happiness, to observers, on the fringe of their lives even if intertwined. I am proud of the three of them and of the lives they made for themselves. I feel we did our job as parents but we were also very lucky that they are all intelligent and healthy.

 

In a way, I am back to my carefree days. I feel I am in a transformational stage of my life right now, that my role is changing in a big way. New doors are opening and hopefully, there will be more time for art making in the weeks and months ahead.

 

Thank you for reading !

 

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Last day CDAM 2018

Since last Saturday, the Circuit des Arts Memphremagog event has been taking place and my studio-gallery has been opened to all that show up at my door up until 5pm this afternoon. Today is the last day and as this exhibit is ending, I though I would share a few photos of my paintings set up in two rooms of my home.

 

Weather-wise, the week was eventful, with strong rain storms and hot sun, a mix of everything. Today for the last day, all is quiet, sunny and cool.

 

I always enjoy that event that puts viewers directly in front of my art without any distractions and helps them understand what is behind it, the motivation for creating it, the difficulties and joys encountered during the development of each painting.

 

For me, there is nothing like direct contact and conversation with the viewer. This exchange is enriching on both sides and more interesting than during a group exhibit or a symposium where the person is trying to see as much as they can in a very short time.

 

This was a wonderful 9 days and I feel I learned a lot about art lovers and their needs and expectations.

 

A big THANK YOU to everyone who visited me!

 

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