Friday, July 26, 2013

Mosaicultures International Montreal

Montreal is a wonderful place to be in the summertime because there is so much to do and see. Visitors and locals can enjoy several artistic and cultural events and this year I am grateful that I was able to visit our world-renowned, Jardin Botanique de Montreal again.

This summer's horticultural art exhibition, Mosaicultures is not to be missed. Spectacular gigantic man-made botanical sculptures representing mythological figures and legends of Canadian First Nations and many other cultures from around the world as well as themes representing the relationship and importance of nature and ecology grace the beautiful gardens. This is the second time I have seen this exhibition in Montreal which was previously held at the Old Port of Montreal and I enjoyed it just as much.

The exhibition runs until September 29, 2013 and you can find out more here:
Mosaicultures Internationales de Montreal

Friday, July 12, 2013

My First Interview

I have met some really great people at the Yes Oui Canscaip group in Montreal who are writers and illustrators of children's and YA books . These folks are very supportive to eachother, attending book launches and conferences and giving valuable industry advice and I am very grateful that I have met them and learned so much from them.

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by my friend Monique Polak who I met at one of the meetings a few years ago. She is an author, journalist, English teacher and superwoman who has thirteen YA titles to her name. Monique is such an inspiration for me and many many others on their creative journeys.

In the interview, she asked me about my experience illustrating my first book, The Apple in the Orchard and about my creative process developing the illustrations of the trees. The story is about trees and apples and the natural way they communicate in the orchard so I had to create three distinct apple trees, two of which play leading roles in the story: Red Harvest and Pale Green. (These are ficticious names created by the author and are not actual species of apple trees).

Thanks for the interview Monique and for making me feel so special - you're the best! You can read the interview on Monique's blog here - Meet my friend Constantina

Friday, June 21, 2013

Horses & Art

Last Saturday, my husband and I drove out to Plantagenet, Ontario to visit The Willowdale Equestrian Center. For a few years now, my good friend Suzanne, an artist and member of a plein air artist's group called Artbo and Carol, owner and operator of the center have collaborated to organize Horses & Art day. 

This event takes place once a year in June where artists are invited to paint or draw the beautiful countryside and horses on site as well as participate in equestrian activities. It was a clear and sunny day and people spent more time enjoying the sunshine and meeting the horses and new friends than making art, but that's OK. The fresh air and sunshine always help to rejuvenate the artist's soul and the beautiful views provided much inspiration for paintings and drawings to come.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Spring is a busy time for me every year and I get involved with and distracted by many things. Nice things but mostly ordinary things. One nice thing about spring is the physical, psychological and spiritual feeling of renewal. It's all around us and if I keep my schedule with ordinary stuff simple enough to notice, I feel the renewal within me as well. 

I am presently devoting my time on many creative projects: illustrating an educational children's picture book for a wonderful teacher who is self-publishing, creating new work and revising existing work for my portfolio for children's literature and developing some personal artwork inspired by nature. This year I feel a very profound sense of renewal - a renewed sense of passion for my work. My experiences last year with artists and the Imagine a Story conference I helped organize and attended 2 weeks ago (which was a great success!!!) have helped me feel more connected with myself and my work. I am having fun. I am growing as an artist.

Another inspiration that entered my life via synchronicity recently is an amazing book - Design by Nature by Maggie McNab. It has been added to my collection of favorite books that have guided me on my journey to creative self-discovery, this time through nature's design and principles - immensely powerful and I am grateful for finding it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Imagine a Story 2013 - Conference in Montreal

Yes Oui Canscaip, the Quebec Chapter of CANSCAIP (The Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers) is proud to present Imagine a Story 2013 - A day of workshops for those interested in writing, illustrating and performing for children. Featuring presentations from several specialists in Canadian children's publishing as well as some outstanding Canadian writers, illustrators and performers: Marie-Louise Gay, Suana Verelst, BelleBrute, Monique Polak, Alan Silberberg, Rachna Gilmore, Anita Daher, Amanda Kellock and Jennifer Gasoi. Registration for Yes Oui CANSCAIP's Imagine a Story conference is now open! You'll save $10 if you take advantage of our Early Bird Special and register by March 25th!
So if you are interested save the date: May 25th 2013 and visit for more details and registration form. The organizing comittee, Carol-Ann Hoyte, Joyce Scharf and me would love to see you there! This is an event you won't want to miss!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Looking back at 2012

It's almost the end of January 2013 and I'm feeling really great about the year ahead on many levels especially my personal creativity because 2012 was a very inspiring year, especially in November. Sonia Di Maulo and I launched the printed version of The Apple in the Orchard and I attended two very special literary events in Montreal. I believe it is important for every creative individual to attend artistic events in their community and support other artists no matter what their craft. It makes us feel connected and helps us get motivated to succeed in our own creative goals...

The 2012 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award Gala & Ceremony

I attended (for the first time) The TD Children's Literature Award Ceremony at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on November 6th. My friend Suana Verelst who was a French-Language finalist for illustrating La Saison Des Pluies written by Mario Brassard shared first prize with him. It was very exciting to see her win and the gala and ceremony were quite impressive. For more info about Suana and this award please visit her blog post at

The Apple in The Orchard Book Launch at Quinn Farm

Sonia Di Maulo and family at our first book launch at Quinn Farm on November 10th

My friend Stella and her mom, Catherine came out to our launch at Quinn Farm. 
It was a really red day all-around

Many thanks also to friends and family who attended, 
The Apple in the Orchard workshop at Thrivability Montreal 
and to the other book launch that took place at 
Kaffein coffee shop on Bishop Street in Montreal.

The Salon du Livre de Montreal

I also attended (for the first time) The Salon du Livre de Montreal at Place Bonaventure on November 16th. It was quite amazing to see how big this event is which reflects how important literature is to Montrealers/Quebecers. I was very happy to visit my friend Yayo (Diego Herrera) at the Pleine Lune stand promoting his book, Signore Tamborini et Autres Fictions written and illustrated by him. I wish him success - it is quite a little jem filled with his poetic and anecdotal illustrations accompanied by his own poetry. Signore Tamborini

At the Salon du Livre I also went to see one of my favorite illustrators, Helene Desputeaux who's career I have followed for many years. She is the original creator of Caillou, and after a long and unfortunate legal adventure, she was able to reclaim her beloved and affectionate Caillou and is now a very successful, self-made illustrator-writer-entrepreneur working with her husband, Michel Aubin. It was very touching to meet her in person and she has such a cheerful and welcoming personality which is similar to the what is expressed in her Caillou books. She even gave me a little bisou in her signature:)

Coming about another special literary event taking place in Montreal this May which I am helping organize. In the meantime, keep warm and pursue your creativity!