If you see anything that interests you or would like to commission me contact me at simplytreasured99@hotmail.com
or visit my website at website

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I have decided it is about time I offered prints of some of my artwork. I have had a lot of inquiries on the availability of prints of my paintings, especially from my "Life In Northern Canada" series. I am now looking into having prints made of some of the paintings and offering them for sale.

The most popular to date is one of the paintings that was auctioned at the Conn Smythe Sportsman's Dinner auction this year in Toronto. It is the one shown below of the little boy that dreams of one day being on the Olympic Men's Sledge Hockey Team. Unfortunately at that time I didn't get a very good photograph of that painting. I am in the middle of sketches for a few new paintings based on children dreaming big which I hope will prove as popular.

If you would like to be notified when these paintings or others become available please send me a note at simplytreasured99@hotmail.com or sign my guestbook on my website THE FUNCTIONAL ARTIST.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Winter has sprung in Northern Ontario. You would think after all the years I have lived here I would have adjusted by now, but not the case. I hate winter!!!! I admit I enjoyed it when I was a child, jumping in fresh piles of snow, building snowforts and making snowflake angels. Now winter means dressing in layers and layers of heavy clothing to prevent the cold bite of the winter wind, trudging through deep piles of snow....*moan*. Yes, I am entitled to moan, I've put in my dues having been through 30, okay 40 odd years of the white stuff.
But I am wandering from my main reason for starting this blog and that is art work. Having just completed a winter painting in my "Life In Northern Canada" series I have already begun a summer one. Yes I am pushing the season a wee bit but hey, consider it artistic license. Maybe if I keep working on this one the painting will give me the warmth I need to make it through another Northern Winter. One can only hope.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I have finally finished my latest folk art painting. For some reason this one took more time than others to complete. It was definately a labor of love. It could be that my painting style has changed somewhat and I wanted to keep the style as similar as I could to my other paintings. Then again it could have also have been that I tried to be a little more through and careful. I'm not entirely sure, however, it is complete and I feel so much better. Almost like giving birth!!! :) I feel such a sense of relief. I am quite happy with the way it came out. I'm not sure if I will put it for sale on Ebay as I find their rates have really gone up and art doesn't seem to be doing as well on Ebay lately. It is also my biggest folk art painting so I'm not sure how much I will sell it for. I do know that I am ready for a change of season. I am going to go on now to paint a bright spring or summer painting with the children. Hopefully, it won't take as long to complete this one. Then again...with me...who knows?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


What a nice surprise to receive an email from Zazzle that 52 T-shirts with the image of my painting "They Can't Keep Us Down" had been purchased from my Zazzle shop. This painting was a Jazz wall hanging I did based on the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the spirit of the people of New Orleans.
Jazz put New Orleans on the map musically, and the culture lives on despite the events of Hurricane Katrina and the devestation she created. I wonder if they were purchased by some group to wear to an event? That's the only downside to selling through online shops is that you have no contact with the people that purchase from them.
Oh well, I am just really happy that so many sold and that someone obviously loves that painting. The original wallhanging is still for sale and can be seen at my ETSY store.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Finally I'm able to get on the computer and post my latest work. I've had a few hectic and busy weeks and haven't been able to keep up my blog, but I am back now and have lots to share.
I have just completed painting a pair of old figure skates. I love to paint on any surface, especially something I haven't tried before so when I saw these pair of skates being tossed aside...well...I saw a blank canvas. Out came my paints and my imagination and before I knew it, I had created these great decoration/conversation pieces. One I painted in a Christmas scene with the words 'Season's Greetings' on one side of the blade and 'Happy Holidays' on the other. One side is a snowy scene with a Snowman family and the other side features my little folk art houses. I removed the old laces and threaded lacy ribbon adorned with cinnamon sticks through them.

The second skate was painted in a non Christmas winter scene so it could be displayed all winter. One side shows Children enjoying outdoor skating and the other side shows more children enjoying winter past times such as building a snowman and sledding. These are similar to my Northern Ontario folk art children scenes.

They would look wonderful hanging on a front door to greet visitors or simply for display. They would also make unique gift packages for Christmas filled with treats...the possibilities are endless.
They will be offered for sale at my shop on ETSY and through my website.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I am a very frustrated artist at the moment. I tend to get a wee bit grumpy when I don't have time to create artwork. It's almost like an obsession I have...I have to be creating or I feel like I am wasting time. Very hard to explain but I am sure that other artists and not just artists get this feeling when the are almost 'obsessed' with something. I wonder if this would qualify as a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Hmmm...must ask the Doctor if I can ever get one that is.
Which brings me to another frustration. Having a health problem that requires regular monitoring it is very frustrating to find myself unable to obtain a family doctor. I mean, geeze, I have been living in this city for almost 2 years now and still I cannot get one. So for now I travel back and forth to my old family doctor 2 hours away.
So at the moment, due to lack of time, discomfort from my ailment, family obligations and I admit, total disorganization of my art supplies I am getting more and more frustrated by the minute.
I decided to attempt the recyling of grocery bags, as done by another artist I featured previously in SEPTEMBER another blog entry. I thought this might be relaxing and a 'portable' creative outlet I could do anywhere. However, after only one or two evenings of crocheting plastic bags...I developed pain in my right arm from the repetitive motion. At least that's what I think has caused it.
So I look around my place, looking at partly painted canvases, partly finished sculptures in paper mache, numerous pieces of denim clothing waiting to be painted...and I become extremely frustrated.
Time...it moves too swiftly. Sleep...well, I consider it a 'necessary Evil'. So I hope this cycle of running around like a chicken with my head cut off and the ache and pains in my body end soon and I can regroup, be creative and once again spend time doing what I love best...creating art.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I came across the most incredible unknown pop artist and I just had to get a painting done. His work is so incredible and reminds me of Andy Warhol, the famous pop artist. His ability to create paintings of people in my favorite style of pop art is...well, I am in awe. I couldn't resist. I just had to have a painting done so I requested a painting of Roy Orbison. It came today and I was even more impressed. It was well packed and I received it in record time. I couldn't have been happier.
I cannot believe that he doesn't advertise his work however, he does do commissions. Here is my wonderful new painting.
Eric Dee has been painting for quite awhile but has not gone national in marketing his work so I am so happy to get in on an early sale before others discover his talent. Here is another painting he did of James Dean.
I don't know who owns this one but lucky them. If you are interested in having your own painting done I did make a note of his email address and you can reach him at ericdee@gmail.com

Friday, October 05, 2007


I have come across another recyling artist in my search on the internet. I can never get enough of viewing recylced art. It takes such imagination and creativity to create as they do. To take some everyday ordinary item and view and use it in a totally different direction creating a unique piece of art is an artform of it's own.

Lane (the only name he seems to go by) creates whimsical original sculptures from recycled castaways. They seem to have a character of their own as in the piece shown below. Who would think to use a wall socket for a body? I haven't seen that done yet. Another type of 'functional artwork' he produces are his lamps. The lampshades appear to be made from recycled license plates.Lane recycles plain metal parts into his sculptures and lamps. His work can be seen at Gallery Zipp, near Santa Fe, New Mexico, at Adelante, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and at Ghost Town Trading Company, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Okay, I'm going to go google some more and find other amazing artists out there. I cannot get enough of recycling!!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

TORONTO WATERFRONT - completed painting

Well here it is, my completed pop art painting of the Toronto waterfront. I love the way it came out. I am having trouble however getting a good photograph so will have to keep at it, but for now, I wanted to show you the finished painting. The colors are deeper as in the first photograph. Overall, I am pleased with it and I am sure that true Torontorians will have no trouble picking out some of the buildings such as the CN Tower.Below is a picture of what it looks like on a wall. My apartment walls are the boring typical beige, not what you'd expect from a color junky like myself, but it gives you an idea. It measures 26wx22"h, a good size for a painting. I am going to continue on in this style and produce more paintings based on major cities in Canada and possibly the US.
In this last photograph you can see how I like to continue my painting around the edges so they can be hung as is with no need for framing.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Toronto Waterfront in full color (A work in progress)

I have been carrying around in my head an idea for a painting I have wanted to do for some time. I love the view of the Toronto waterfront and have wanted to capture it on cavas but not from a realistic perspective but in my own pop art fashion. Sticking with my love of bright yellow/blue combinations and the sky here is a picture of the predrawn work on canvas. Some paintings I do freehand but some I like to draw and block out in advance.
I'm not going to pretend that I have drawn it to scale or included every single building, now that wouldn't be pop art would it? However, if you are a true Torontonian I am sure you can recognize some of the buildings. I painted it on a 22 x 26" canvas which seems to be a good size. In the picture below I have begun to add the color.
I began wanting to do it in my usual bold primary colors but for some reason I decided to go with a different tone and created my own colors by mixing my paints. It is almost complete and I will post it here in the next day or so. Right now I am off to search for good pictures of Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and maybe some US coastal cities. I think I have the makings of a series here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I have to admit that I hate sitting still or being confined to once spot for long. Combine that with my need to either be painting or creating art and you have 'art on the go'. I started these paintings of 1960's girls because of my love of pop art and the hippie 60's era. They are loose pieces of artist canvas measuring 17"x17" and I can roll them up and bring them with me to work on whenever the mood hits. I will be making these into pillows or cushion covers to fit 16" x 16" cushion forms and offering them for sale at my ETSY store. I have almost 4 completed.They are so much fun to do and I love creating the outfits and earrings not to mention the bold retro background. It also kind of ties into my paper mache ladies heads I make. Actually, I am thinking of creating ladies heads with each of these retro girls. I think that would be a really neat addition to a funky 60's retro decor. You could have a 1960's outfit hanging on the ladies heads and a few of these retro cushions on your bed. Hmmmm....I can see it now. I think Austin Powers would approve...Yeah Baby!!!....:)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well I have finished 3 pieces of children's denim clothing that I must admit was a lot of fun to do. And...bonus...they held up great in the wash test. Cold water and hang dry is the way to go I discovered. Okay, some people might find that a little too fussy for children's clothing. However, when you consider they are wearing an orginal one of a kind, hand painted outfit by a professional artist... Well, let's just say your child will be the talk at the Mother's Day Brunch. Look how cute this little jumper turned out. Can't you just picture a little girl in a red turtleneck and tights?
This is the back which has an apple with a worm poking out of it. These are my own original designs. In keeping with my love of recycling this is a girls size 4T, gently worn OSH KOSH denim jumper in excellent shape.

Well, I am off to my store at ETSY to list these items for some lucky little girl.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Continuing on in my love of trying all mediums I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create my own hand painted shoes. There seems to be a lot of interest in painted shoes lately. I had a boring pair of white canvas shoes that were just crying out for color and loving color as much as I do...well, you can figure out the rest.

It was a little awkward painting on a curved canvas but also very challenging and fun. When I wear them out I get a lot of surprised glances at my shoes but only a few brave souls that asked about them. I coated them with a flexible varathane and they seem to be holding up quite well. Think I may just have to attempt another pair.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I am constantly surfing the net admiring the work of artists that are able to create fantastic works of art from recyclables. To take something that would normally be discarded and turn it into a work of art is a talent that always amazes me.
Recently I came across an artist, Jeanette Jansen, that takes items such as hardware parts, discarded watches and turns them into assemblage dolls. Assemblage dolls are exactly that...dolls created by assembling various materials together. Here is one of my favourites.

This particular doll is made from a vintage furniture hardware part and her legs are from wire. A watch face is in her center and a tiny Gruen watch vial hangs from her wing. Her face is enclosed within a watch crystal. She is available for sale at Jeanette's ETSY shop.
This next item is one of her assemblage pins. It is made from recycled items including an ornate button, watch parts and an antique safety pin.
It too is available for sale at Jeanette's ETSY shop.

Monday, September 10, 2007


This is the front of my latest hand painted child's denim outfit. It's a really cute little jumper that I have painted up into a school outfit. Notice the apple on the cuff of the sleeve.

Here is a view of the back where I have painted a bright school bus.

Below are closeups.

I made sure this time to add enough fabric medium to the paints so the paintings will hold up well. I can picture a little girl in red tights wearing this adorable jumper. In keeping with my love of recycling this is a previously gently worn dress. It was so much fun to do I'll have to go do another!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I doubt you could guess what this started out as. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the back of it before I gave it to my son.

Here is my latest piece of functional art.
My son is an avid and very talented musician now in his second year of college. Yesterday was his 20th birthday and I went to visit him and this was one of his gifts.

The last time I visited him I noticed he had a terrible habit of losing his keys. Living in a basically one room apartment downtown, space and decorating is very limited. So I painted up this piece, added some hooks for his keys and he now has functionl piece of Mom's artwork.

This piece of wood shaped like a violin started out as a serving platter for cheeze and crackers. If you had seen it before I got my paint brush out you would have seen that on the reverse side is an indent to hold the crackers and there was a round ceramic tile for the cheeze. Naturally, when I first laid my eyes on it I immediately envisioned it full of paint and color. Goes to show you that just about anything can be transformed into a functional unique piece of art. Guaranteed no one else will have one like it!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Do you ever get tired of the increasing plastic bags that come home with your groceries? A lot of people now use canvas for packing their groceries but sometimes the plastic ones are unavoidable. Every store has them. What to do with them besides lining your small wastebaskets? Well, CraftiKathi at ETSY has taken the plain plastic store bag and recycled them into very useful items.
Take a look at these all purpose functional bags.

Not only are they functional but they are also very strong and durable and definately save a lot of waste for the environment. Take a look at Kathi's store at CRAFTIKATHI. You might want to get a few of these eco friendly totes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


The Great Bowl O’ Fire is an unique work of art hand-cut by artist John T Unger. Made of 100% recycled material it not only acts as a warm inviting fire pit to gather around with friends but also a unique piece of art.

John Unger has been making art professionally for a little over a decade, and has made a full-time living as an artist for the past six years or so. John believes in working primarily with recycled or re-used materials thus minimizing the impact on natural resources, climate and the environment. He also feels that successful recycled art and design encourages creativity in others. It's alchemical, magical, subversive, and transformative by nature which could only be a good thing.

I agree with him. Seeing all this creativity oline by so many talented recylcing artists just makes me see everyday objects in a truly different light. I've always been one for not throwing anything out or trying to find a useful purpose for it so to see this type of creativity and art that incorporates recycling...well, as Martha would say..."It's a good thing."

Thanks John for letting me show your wonderful unique 'functional art'. To view more of John's work go to his WEBSITE or visit his ETSY store.

Monday, August 27, 2007

EVE PAINTING - finished at last??

Well it's finally finished...I think. I am terrible for finishing a painting and then going back days later and making changes. I can't seem to ever completely walk away from it until it is parceled up and ready to ship out. Sometimes it works out for the better as I'll spot something after a few days I might not have earlier...then on the other hand, there is overkill. Yes, going that one step further, a little too far and ruining it by overworking it. So sometimes it is just best to walk away. So, "Multitude of Sins"...I am walking away.
I wonder how many will get the connection of the title 'Multitude of Sins'. If you think you know how I connect that with my painting I'd love to hear your opinion. How do you think the title connects to the art? Let me know.
Okay, now I have to go list her for sale on my WEBSITE and ETSY. Pop over and have a look and while you do that I think I might go scout for some more great artists I can feature in an upcoming blog. Catch ya next time!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Well here are some of the pieces in my 'Eve and the Serpent' line. The two stools have already been purchased. I took this picture before I was quite finished the painting which is titled "A Multitude of Sins." Since this photo I have added some sun rays and a bit more color to the snakes and that is it. I hung it on my wall and I loved how eye catching it was. At 22" x 26" it was just a nice size. I plan on listing it on EBAY on Sunday hopefully.

These pieces are fast becoming popular. They can be seen at EARTHWORKS GALLERY in Narberth, Pennsylvannia on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Owner Lenore Robison loves the bright bold pop art featured on these pieces. I plan on adding more to the line such as cushions and am currently painting a denim jacket with an Eve theme.
However, giving in to my Attention Disorder I took a little break and painted up a pair of my shoes. They turned out so kewl and funky. I will be posting pictures of those shortly, hopefully tomorrow.
As you can see I have a hard time keeping my paintbrush off any surface. I want to add color all around me!!
Well, off I go...back to the paints...hmmm....the cat is looking a wee bit pale tonight...:) Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I keep coming across these fascinating recyling artists on the internet. A woman definately ahead of her time, Debby Arem has for a few years now been creating wonderful jewellry art from recycled circuit boards. How unique is that? Here is just one piece of fascinating jewellry and I think my favorite.

Not only is she saving them from being added to the landfill, but it is also a very original idea especially considering the technology of today and the fact that just about every home now has at least one computer. Her product line, centered around recycled circuit boards, THREE RING CIRCUITS was launched in 1992. She not only uses circuit boards in the jewellry she makes but also in earrings, pins, tie tacks, and cuff links. THREE RING CIRCUITS also makes bookmarks, clipboards of various sizes and key chains. Below is an example of a tie clip. I absolutely love this one.

They are all truly unique and you should pop on over and check out the rest at her WEBSITE. Hmmmm....Now I know what I just might get that 'computer junkie' on my list for Christmas! I'm off to surf for more of these unique recycling artists. Stay tuned.


I seem to be acquiring a following on my new line of funky ooak pop art furniture and I'm loving it. It's definately keeping me busy. But enough about me...today's blog is about another fantastic recyling artist whose work you will really enjoy viewing.
Cat Bishop is someone I follow on FLICKR and what she does with recycled objects is truly amazing and fun artwork that will make you smile. Below is an example of a series she does using recycled vintage cameras. She has a way of turning them into sculptures that mimic people. Each piece seems to have a unique personality of their own.
You will find her as CATBISHOP on FLICKR or you can read her BLOG. She also sells through ETSY and is very popular there. And if that isn't enough to convince you how popular she is CAT was also featured in CRAFT MAGAZINE. You might want to bookmark her and check back regularly for her new work as I do.
Here's another example of Cat's creations.

Now who else would think to do that with old pots and billiard balls? I continue to be amazed by what some artists can do with objects that would otherwise be delegated to landfill. To take these cast offs and turn them into objects of art is truly a talent. I bet after viewing this artist and some of the other recycling artists I have featured you will think twice about every object you toss out and the ones you decide to put in yard sales. Which reminds me...tomorrow is recycling day...maybe I should take a ride through the neighborhood??? :)

Remember...one man/woman's trash is another man/woman's treasure...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This is my newest 20" h handpainted stool that is a match to the first (which can be seen in my Aug. 7 blog - UPDATE). I followed the initial theme but changed the pictures and colors somewhat so they coordinate but are not identical. I've just posted it at my ETSY store and I am off to post it on my WEBSITE now. I am going to continue on in my series of eclectic, funky, pop art style of 'Art Furniture'. I am about to begin a table that is 24" square and 29" high that goes with these two stools. I do have other pieces of furniture that are crying out for color that I plan to add to this series. I call it Art Furniture because the paintings on it are considered art and they are signed and come with a COA (Certificate of Authenticity). I have just about completed a large painting (22"x26")that goes with this series, I've titled it, 'A Multitude of Sins' also and will be posting it shortly. Also, computer nubie that I am, I created a banner to use to feature my new funky furniture line. Maybe I'll add it to my website. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: sold! wow that was fast!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I am very excited that my second stool in my handpainted "Eve and the Serpent" furniture series just sold. Wow that was fast but I do love it. So I am off to do another large stool and a table. I absolutely love painting in bright bold colors. Someone once commented that my work reminded them of Peter Max based on my first piece of 'pop art' below.

At the time I didn't know who he was but when I googled him I was very impressed. I love his work. Some of it reminds me of the doodle art I use to love to color back in the 70's and I can see why they compare some of my work to his pop art.

Someone once commented on the painting below of mine that it was like 'Warhol meeting PIcasso' which really amused me.

Well I'm off to finish up the next stool and hope to post it here in the next few days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Through ETSY I discovered a truly unique artist. I really admire artists that can take a simple object and see so many thing with it and go on to create unique and absolutely original work. I love their vision. Take a look at some of Terry's work at his blog BENT OBJECTS where he uses his vivid imagination to create from wire and found objects. Every day items will never look the same again.

I also discovered another unique and very talented artist whose work always makes me smile. Ben Hawkins has taken junkyard trash and turned them into such wonderful and original characters. You can't help but smile when you see them. Check out his photos at FLICKR where he is known as WHIMSICAL RUBBISH. Ben was also featured on the show RARE VISIONS AND ROADSIDE REVELATIONS. He was kind enough to post it here on UTUBE so we could watch it. I for one, don't get that show here in Ontario.
You cannot help but be inspired by his work. It changes the whole way you look at simple objects.
I was about to throw out a paintbrush of mine when all of a sudden I saw it as a person. The scruffy bristles resembled hair and I just had to try my hand at Ben's craft and create my own little 'muse'. I love it and it was so much fun to do.
Check out Ben's blog.
Take a few minutes to look at these two artists sites and don't be surprised if it doesn't get your own creativity inspired!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Okay I am back at it. Here is the latest little stool in what I am now calling my "Serpeant" collection. I have decided to continue to paint more pieces of functional art in my own original pop art style. I can't help loving the bold bright colors and the way they seem to pop off the black background. The first big stool shown below in my last post was snapped up pretty quickly by a woman in Pennsylvania and I am now about to list this one in my ETSY shop and on my WEBSITE for sale. I hope it becomes a collectable series like my "Life in Northen Ontario" folk art paintings. Stay tuned as I am off to paint the second larger stool and I think I may also paint a ladies denim jacket and add it to this series.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I haven't posted in a few days because I was busy helping a friend move into a new home. Well I didn't actually help much in the physical part with my back, but good at directing...:) Then I got caught up in my painting. Right now I am painting a footstool in my pop art style and also finishing off a large canvas painting in again my pop art style. Both works are versions of my Eve and the Serpeant style which seems to be becoming popular. I sold this stool below to a woman in PA and since then a lot of people have asked me about it so I thought I might produce some more items in this theme.

I can't post pictures just yet as I don't have my camera here but I hope to post them on Thursday so please check back.
I am still working on my denim outfits so will post pictures of those also. I tend to go back and forth between projects as I bore easily and get easily distracted!!! However, I am finally getting better at completing more work.
You know you are an artist when there are blue and yellow fingerprints on your phone.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Always on the look out for creative recycling I love to surf the net and see what people have come up with. I found this really great company at the Viva Terra site that creates all kind of things from recycled objects. This item below was made from discarded flip flops!! What a neat idea.

Look around their site and you'll see all kinds of terrific things they have created. This picture below shows how they used truck tires to make an ottoman/table and stools. I just love it. Considering all the talk of what to do with old tires this idea is a great one!

Definately a site worth checking out!