CREATIVE: Art for the "Book Nook"

“The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done. I think one purpose of art is to get us out of those routines. When we hear music or poetry or stories, the world opens up again.” Ursula LeGuin

The first of my 12 Projects, this corner of my basement. It seemed like the easiest, but that was naïve of me to think so. In order to clean off the chair that is hiding under all of that stuff, I had to figure out some big shit. Like, where the hell was all that stuff going to live. Sleeping bags, other camping gear, some of Dan’s crafty stuff, tonnes of books that don’t fit in those bookshelves. This easy project to start 2021 strong turned into a humdinger really quickly.

But this post isn’t about the mess, this post is about the art.

I created the base of this canvas last year when I had a spurt of creative energy. I was feeling inspired by colour swatches, and I always paint big messy flowers when I don’t have another more specific idea. Those green splotches started out as leaves, and then they got out of hand. Scrape some more green through a stencil to make it look like I did it all on purpose. The eyeball doesn't have any symbolic meaning, it's just an eye.

Y'all, writing about art is tough.

I am very pleased with the end result, especially as it adds some much needed colour and vibrancy to our basement.


I haven’t quite wrapped my head around what I want to write about these projects, but here is a blurb from my first post of the year:

“Something specific I have already started to block out time for is a big goal I am calling “12 Projects”. A month is a good amount of time to complete a “larger” project, maybe one requiring a few hours of solid work at a time. Or weekend access to a hardware store. Or drying time in between coats. I started this list with one project around the house, and then I easily added 5 more. I wasn’t intending on it to be a 12 Projects Around The House list, and while it is so far, I still have a few spots left to fill on the list.”

My first of 12 projects is this reading/exercise nook. Cleaning it up, finding storage for all of these items (or getting rid of them), making this a usable space and not just a dumping ground. But don’t get too starry eyed, as I still have many many dumping areas in this unfinished basement of ours! The one month timeline for each project was chosen because I know how I work at things, and that is not all in one chunk. I need brain breaks, and energy breaks. A one month timeline means I can do a few hours on a weekend, and then a few hours over the course of weeknight evenings. It’s short, but not too short and therefore unrealistic. And it’s long, but with a proper end date so I don’t let it drag out all year.


We already had those Billy bookcases from IKEA, but Dan has frankensteined them so they make a wall. The reading lamp is also from IKEA.

The canvas was purchased locally. My fave art supply stores in Edmonton/amiskwaciwaskahikan are Colours and The Paint Spot.

The stencil is an old one from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. She is and always has been a huge inspiration in my art and is worth a follow.

Ursula LeGuin is an amazing author. My first ever tough fantasy book was by her and it was a gift from my Auntie Sherry. The story made no sense to me (partially because it was the second book in the Earthsea series), but I knew even then that it was the “made no sense” that I wanted more of. She passed away two years ago this month, and my local library is about to get a stack of holds on her books.

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