Watercolor Challenge November 2015 – Baddesly Clinton Manor


I did this watercolour today for the WetCanvas.com November challenge. The subject is Baddesly Clinston Manor in Warwickshire, from a reference photo from Google Street View provided by the group’s administrators. http://goo.gl/maps/TjvfL


Garden Home Project: Final Photos


Finally took a photo on site! Taken just before Christmas 2014.

Below: Old Folks at Home Mural, with residents from the Garden Home enjoying the scene.

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This photo is the Brighton View Landscape in sitio.

2014-12-18 11.13.40 Both works of art are on permanent display at the Garden Home on North River Road, Charlottetown, PE.

I, Colour (a self-portrait)


This is my very first painted self-portrait. When I was in 7th grade or thereabouts, I made a sketch of myself and I really liked it, but it was a very simple outline– no shading, and done very lightly because I was afraid to make mistakes and afraid to commit myself to my drawings. To this day, it remains that–a very light sketch.

When Peake Street Studios sent out the call for participants in an exhibit entitled “I, Defined,” I jumped in at once. Since the call, I had been toying around with ideas for what to do, how to incorporate as much about my art and me in my painting. Yesterday, the 8th of July, I decided to check the submission deadline–I vaguely remembered it was sometime in July with double digits–and realized, to my horror, that submissions would be accepted between the 16th and the 18th! When I got home last night, I hemmed and hewed, looking at the canvas that I had prepped with a light blue, because I felt strongly about that colour when I did it–over a month ago, when I was informed that I was selected as one of the participants in the exhibit–in preparation for the actual painting. (That light blue canvas sat on my easel waiting for me to work on it.)

I grabbed some old tubes of acrylics and gouache and unrolled the bottom ends, squeezing the paint out through the tube and using it to apply the paint. I painted straight on the canvas and finished everything but the dark blue lines and the highlights on the hair, which I did after having a close look at several recent photographs of myself. I had surprised myself, completely, when I noticed that even without the strong defining lines, what I had done actually looked like me! I guess I can say that I know what I really look like.

I call it a soul painting–it was my soul painting myself.

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The Recipe for Soup’Art: A Review


The Recipe for Soup’Art

by Cindy Lapeña

What do you get when you serve nine different kinds of soup and a variety of visual art pieces at The Mack? You get Soup’Art!

No, it’s not a joke. The Societe Saint-Thomas-D’Aquin and Confederation Centre of the Arts were completely serious when they sent out invitations to a novel art exhibit where, instead of picking at trays of traditional cocktail fare, viewers were presented with nine varieties of soup, from the traditional vegetable soup to the exotic Kenyan soup and the innovative sweet potato and coconut milk soup. It was an adventure and in itself, with the soup ladled into coffee cups that were just the right size to get a good taste of the soup without being filled so that you had no room to try the other varieties. It was soup sampling extraordinaire created by innovative and skilled soup artists.

That was not the only part of this twin-event. Along with the soup buffet was an exhibit of works by francophone artists. On display were works by Norah Pendergast, Faysal Boukari, Noella Richard, and Alma MacDougall, including paintings, photographs, graphic art, and animation. Also part of the exhibit was a traditional animal-hide shirt by self-taught Mi’kmaq artist Alma MacDougall, whose vibrant photographs of Mi’kmaq dancing in their brilliantly coloured ceremonial costumes were captivating. She photographed dancers’ heads so that they resembled colourful birds with extravagant plumage. Similarly, she captured costumed dancers in motion so that they resembled birds in some sort of ritual dance, flaunting their feathers as they twirled around.

Throughout the whole event, short films created by Faysal Boukari with students from L’École François-Buote under the ArtSmarts Program were projected onstage. Faysal is a Parisian graphic and animation artist who has chosen to stay in PEI.
He brings with him a unique and contemporary style with a certain whimsy that contributes to the mélange of artistic styles in PEI. When not working with film, Faysal’s preferred medium seems to be pen and ink.

Norah Pendergast displayed a few works that reflected island life. A French teacher in rural PEI, she is also a writer. Her paintings are reminiscent of illustrations for storybooks, likely a reflection of her background as a school teacher. Her use of primary colours in focal images in her painting draw the eye to them immediately. Her human figures are disproportionate, with the legs elongated and the heads and torsos much smaller in relation to the legs, a lengthening of proportions that is similar to Modigliani’s methods.

Noella Richard’s portrait of a man called the most attention to it, with the man’s face spilling out of the canvas, pursing his lips over likely toothless gums. Unlike her smooth portraiture were paintings of a squeeze-box and a keyboard that were done in similar style with strong red tones, rough textures, and the paint applied with a palette knife.

The variety in the artists’ styles was a great complement to the variety of soups and viewers left sated, both aesthetically and gastronomically.

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Soup’Art visual artists and soup artists


Poems for Papa on Father’s Day

by Kitt Lapeña

by Kitt Lapeña

thunder and lightning and papa


i was as proud as a little girl could be

at six

with my very own room

and my very own bed

and my very own closets

and a door i could close

to be alone

until the big storm

when thunder roared

and the lightning

turned the shadow of

our neighbor’s caimito tree

into grotesque arms

swaying and reaching

in the blue-white glow

of the stormy night

and the wind

lashed at the windows

and left an open one


and banging

and banging

i lay awake

crouched under my blankets

trying to shut my eyes

not to see

the monster arms

reaching for me

but they did

and i forgot

how nice it was

to have my very own room

and my very own bed

and my very own closets

and a door i could close

and i screamed

until papa came

and papa stilled

the thunder and lightning

so i could sleep.



7 July 1993

4:10 a.m.


…and papa was there


it was a dark and stormy night

and papa was there

to put me to sleep


i had always wanted to be a girl scout

and everyone’s mommy and daddy

was at the induction

to pin the tiny girl scout pin

and tie the white kerchiefs on

i thought no one would come

and just when they called my name

papa was there


mama brought me to my grade school graduation

but didn’t stay

and somewhere in the middle of it all

as i strained to see the tiny faces in the crowd

papa was there

with his camera and his big almost-smile


and when my tummy hurt

really bad in school and

i had to get an appendectomy

before the anaesthetic got to work

papa was there holding my hand

and his eyes and shining eyeglasses

were the last thing i saw

floating next to the iv bottle


and when i walked down the aisle

papa was there holding me

like a little girl again

and smiling and crying

as i was


and when bianca came into the world

i thought i saw papa at the window

in a green surgical smock and cap

and when i woke up

there was a bag of sweets and cakes

and papa


and when i die

wherever i go i’m quite sure

the first thing i see will be papa.



7 July 1993

4:55 a.m.


Whale of a Tale (poem and painting)


A Whale of a Tail
watercolour on paper

it’s a whale of a tale, i tell you

is it a tail of a whale you see?

i can’t really believe what you tell me

i don’t have to listen to you.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2011


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