painting inspiration…


Project 365 Photos: #68

I finally got around to painting on the big hot pink canvas I prepared last year! The sunshine and blossoms we’re starting to enjoy inspired me and got my creative juices flowing again. I’m having fun experimenting with some new oil paints that can be cleaned up with water–who knew?

The Next Best Thing…blog hop

The Next Best Thing…blog hop

I really enjoy finding new blogs to follow, and I love sharing them too. So I was delighted to receive an invitation to participate in “The Next Best Thing” (TNBT) blog hop. Hopefully you’ll enjoy getting to know a little more about me and some of my favourite bloggers.

Alana Agerbo–Hazy Shades of Me–invited me to participate in TNBT. She’s a writer out of Vancouver, BC, Canada, and I always look forward to her posts—they’re brilliant exerpts of her skillful ability with words!

Her blog was launched in March 2011 in an attempt to pin down the words skittering through her mind. It inspires her to write on an almost daily basis. She has a dusty old manuscript lying in the drawer, complete with, more than a few, letters of rejection. Alana’s hopeful to see her work on a shelf one day, not a speck of dust to be found.

Some of Alana’s work is published on, and can be found here


She blogs here



She tweets here


She hosts a writer-inspired facebook page here (

As part of TNBT, I get to share a little about myself:

What is your blog about?

Coffee and Couch is an extension of my creative life. I’m a painter and a photographer, and I love to write–it’s the perfect creative storm! C&C is my playground where I get to share my day-to-day pleasures. But I don’t want to be phony, so I also pepper it with some of my gripes and grouchy moods—I don’t have time for blogs that aren’t authentic. Life just isn’t always perfect, and that’s what makes us interesting!!!

How did you come up with the name Coffee And Couch?

I start every morning sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee beside me and my laptop on my knees. It’s my favourite part of the day. I am fascinated by people’s stories and I learn lots of new things every time I hop on the world wide web (my kids gasp when I say it that way). I get to live vicariously and be immersed in inspiration.

I’ve been blogging for three years, and like most bloggers, I got burned out, and my posts became sporadic. I just didn’t feel inspired and uncertain about whether anybody cared about what I was publishing. Rather than stop blogging, I decided to use C&C as a forum for my photography practice, and I started a 365 photos project. It’s a great exercise that “forces” me to use my camera every day. A happy consequence is the fact that my blogging is way, way more consistent and I feel so much more connected to my readers.

Have you always been creative?

Art is in my blood. My grandmother was a talented artist and poet, and so is my father. One of my earliest childhood memories is painting rocks as a five-year-old in my back yard. I was lucky to have parents who really encouraged me to create stuff. I remember my excitement any time my mom bought me a new pack of Crayola crayons or a roll of newsprint paper from the local newspaper.

What is the best part of your photography?

I absolutely love finding great shots. I’m constantly walking off the trodden path to find an obscure fern growing out of a stump, lying down on a sidewalk to get a new perspective on a manhole cover, or standing on a crowded street with my camera pointed straight up at a crow on a telephone wire. There’s nothing worse than boring photos with standard poses. If I can’t make it interesting, I’m not interested.

Where do you find inspiration?

Colour is my seductress. Every day I find spellbinding colours in nature, grocery stores, clothing, interior design, artwork…everywhere. My Pinterest account is a testament to my colour inspiration hoarding.

I’m also inspired by light. The play of shadows and light is what tells a great story in photographs. It’s the same in my paintings. I do most of my photography using natural lighting, and I love the clarity it brings to my pictures.

Everyday items can inspire a whole set of shots. A stack of coffee cups, or a sudsy bar of soap might stop me in my tracks. It’s an exciting challenge to make something beautiful out of something mundane.

That’s all about me, now comes the fun part—some of my fave blogs…

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot:

Kimberley Laing is a talented photographer based in White Rock, BC, Canada. She divides her time between raising her kids, enjoying her horses and wielding her camera in an intensely creative manner. She has a keen eye for the beauty in otherwise overlooked day-to-day items.

Pinecone Camp:

Janis Nicolay is a renowned photographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her work graces the pages of various national shelter magazines. Her latest shots are of beloved Vancouver Canuck, Trevor Linden (hubba hubba) in his Whistler, BC home.

She pins at:

She tweets at: @PineconeCamp

Her shop:

Click It Up A Notch:

This blog is one of my guilty pleasures. I could sit all day long on my couch with my coffee reading this amazing resource for photographers. It’s fantastic. Courtney, the founder of the blog, was a teacher but now she spends her time at home with her three children and her photography practice. She also has a group of fantastically talented women helping her host the blog, and I get so much information and inspiration from all of them.

Smitten Kitchen:

Part of my creativity is my passion for cooking. I’ve been a foodie since I was ten years old and baking choux à la crème on my own, seriously. This amazing blog is hosted by Deb Perelman, a gastronomic genius whipping up her creations in her, “…puny 42 square foot circa-1935 sort of half-galley kitchen with a 24 foot footprint, a single counter, tiny stove, checkered floor and a noisy window at the end to the avenue below.” There’s nothing pretentious about her food, but it is so lovingly created that you can’t help but fall in love with every dish.

french bistro chair…

I just finished another painting and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a departure from what I normally paint, but it was so much fun to do! I love french bistro chairs. I actually love lots of different chairs, but they’re a little pricey, so I guess I’ll just have to paint more of them to satisfy my obsession.

French Bistro Chair

art from the heart…

Hi everyone!! I’ve missed blogging and it’s definitely time to get back into the swing of things. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you’re happily ensconced in this new year. I know it’s  a stupid question that we feel compelled to ask everyone we run into throughout January, but can you believe it’s 2012?! I feel like it was just yesteryear when we were all freaked out about Y2K!!!

I have been up to something wonderful lately–at least I think it is. I’m back into painting and I’ve been going crazy with colours. Perhaps it’s the grey weather, but I’m looking for bright colours wherever I can find them. So here are a couple of my latest creations.

This painting is based on a photograph that I took of my son, Sam, at White Rock beach a few years ago. It’s 11″x14″ acrylic on canvas.


This is a painting based on a photograph of my house (the purple Victorian) that I shot a few years ago. I was inspired to paint it by the frigid temperatures and snow we got this week!! I LOVE snow. It’s 24″x24″ acrylic on canvas.


I’m still thinking of painting the windows on the right side in the orange colour, rather than the red and blue. Is that a good idea, or not? Let me know what you think.

it's a colourful life…

Before I started my home decor business, I used to spend hours in my kitchen, painting canvases. I would lose myself in the sheer joy of creating art. As can happen in life, I stopped making time for my “hobby” and started focusing on my business. That was three years ago, and since then, I haven’t touched my box of paints. All that changed today! I dusted of my brushes and headed to my friend’s art studio for a day of creativity.

Patty Ripley is a talented artist with years of experience and a collection of works that takes my breath away. I’m always delighted when she completes a new painting! Her natural ability to mix colours is unmatched in my opinion, and I jumped at the chance when she offered to tutor me in colour mixing.

It’s so good to play again! Patty and I are meeting regularly for creativity days of painting and photography!

table magic…

You know the old saying, “Doctor, heal thyself.”? Well, I think I’ve got a case of talking and not doing. I sit in my office chair and write my little blog posts about la belle vie, but I’m don’t take my own bossy advice.

If you walked into my bedroom, you would alternate between laughing and crying. It’s a cacophony of styles, furniture, and junk. So, this weekend, I’m puttin’ my money where my mouth is and beginning a mission to transform my sad sanctuary (shhhh…nobody tell Mark…he’s afraid of falling off his wallet…love you, honey).

I know, I know, I always recommend starting your design project with fabrics, but I’m breaking that rule. I’m starting with my bedside tables, because, frankly, they’re flat out annoying. The orange stain on the wood is uuuuugly, and the pulls are, well, let’s just say it…STUPID!

So I’m starting to look for the color that I want to paint the tables. I love the look of this Pottery Barn bedroom (blues & reds together are just wonderful).

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore color "Constellation

I’m really drawn to this room too.

photo courtesy Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore color Wegewood Gray

I’m really drawn to this robin’s egg blue too!

Benjamin Moore color "Robin's Egg"

I’ll keep you posted…cross your fingers for me!

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