NEW Body of Work (pardon the pun)

It’s MARCH! We did it guys, we made it through winter. Yes we did.  


I’ve been hard at work in my little studio, making a mess, cleaning that mess to only make it again! 

And you… YOU ladies who came to the gallery show and hung out with me at the Lili + Oli event, you guys are the bestest. 

I’ve been trying to write an artist’s statement and wow, I can come up with a lot of really valid nonsense when I put my head to it. 

The reality of it is that my work, well it comes from a question.  it comes from an inquisitive place that always wants to know : 

Who am I? 

What am I made of? 

What is important to me?

You may already have the answers,  but I certainly don’t. With every new layer of paint I put down, I get a little bit closer, a little bit freer. 

Take a look at the new collection called Embodied over on my site and let me know what you think. They stirred up quite the conversation on their first night out and I’d love to know your thoughts. 

Much love,


Updates front Garbarino Acres 

This is a bold move, to try and write something in a half hour, without going down the rabbit hole.

In 2017, I want to write more. My current issue is the ability to block off computer time. It feels so precarious, like at any moment I can lapse into a Pinterest tunnel or fall into the trap of Medium. However, I’ve pledged to try and solve this issue. If anyone has suggestions, please share! Ideally, I’d love to publish something once a week. There, apparently goals have a higher likelyhood of being achieved when you publicize them, but there is the counter theory that simply by stating them, your brain can be tricked into thinking it has already achieved it and feels free to move onto something else.


The Holidays were a bit of a pyjama and bread induced coma. Let me tell you that there were few doughy treats that I did not indulge in. For that reason, my arms are numb while I sleep and my snow pants are tight as hell. Turns out ice skating with a 6 year old isn’t the cardio workout I thought it was.

I’m joined the Revitalize Cleanse with Melissa Colleret starting next week and I’m excited that it’s only 10 days long.

See, it’s been 25 minutes and that’s all I’ve come up with.

We made great strides in our kitchen reno and it I’ve started believing in Garbarino Acres again. After a dismal harvest in the garden and horror stories about our chickens and barn critters… I really needed a win. And it came in neatly painted kitchen cabinets.



My struggle in 2016 was keeping things in perspective and losing sight of what is. I worked on some goals and things I’d like to accomplish in 2017 and while I was reviewing last year’s list, it was really surprising how many things I DID get done. Even the kids mentioned this last night, that I can only focus on what’s not done (in the context of setting the table, I DO expect plates, so yes, that is something I will focus on). They did make a great point. So I’d like to work on that.

My timer has gone off and my next task calls me. But not  before I invite you to my mini vernissage here in Rigaud, to celebrate what is. That I managed to follow through with that goal, even though it still feels ridiculous, and none of the artwork seems to want to hang straight! So you’ll forgive my amateurn level and just take a drive to the country (we have a gorgeous river skating rink!) to check out some art and some nature.



WHEN: SATURDAY JANUARY 21st 13h00 – 15h00

WHERE: Bibliothequèque Municipale 102 Rue Saint-Pierre, Rigaud, QC J0P 1P0

DETAILS: kid friendly, casual, quick (only 32 pieces) look around and chit chat. The Sanctuaire Notre Dame Des Lourdes offers lovely snowshoeing trails and the local park has a gorgeous skating oval, so maybe turn it into a fun day out! Stop by Mikko in Hudson for some delicious coffee!








Did you hear that? It was Oprah.

She said the planner is here.

2017 Planner

And you know she means business.

Years of having this on my Life Goals and it took a few ‘can you help me with _____’ to get it done. I made this with Maria, my partner in design crime and we can’t wait to bring you other products. It was totally outside of our comfort zone, but you know what happens when you step out of that zone, right?


That’s right. Jim happens.

I’ll be bringing it to Pottery Barn for my Pop Up Shop.

Oh, did I not tell you about Pottery Barn? Oh boy.

Ok, before I go into that, I’ll just link up to the Planner here.

They will be ready to ship November 27th! Yeehaw!

Ok, but Pottery Barn.

Last year when I started all this nonsense, I did have a goal. And yes, I did want to have a small pop up shop. But I kind of thought we’d either do it in my living room, or yours. Certainly not at POTTERY BARN.

Through a series of events, they reached out to me via Instagram and what followed was a whole bunch of weird self-doubt and WHAT WOULD I EVEN WEAR type of thoughts. There was a gap when I didn’t know if it was happening and that’s when I knew I wanted this. Not only had I wanted it, but I had made it happen. It had taken a year. But I had achieved a goal.

And instead of washing it away with some form of nonchalance, I am trying to sit with it and see it as a direct consequence to my actions.

I think when you have encountered so many situations that don’t work even when you’ve done EVERYTHING RIGHT, you become surprised when things DO work out exactly like they are suppose to. Specially as a designer, you spend 90% of your time planning something you KNOW won’t turn out like you intended it.


Let’s just say I’m excitedly surprised and looking forward to packing all this up !

WHAT: Original Floral Canvas Paintins, Original Mixed Media Paper Pieces, Original India Ink Florals, 2017 Planner

WHERE: Pottery Barn Quartier DIX30 (brossard)

WHO: Emeline Villedary + Artmann Villedary PaperGoods

WHEN: Saturday November 26th 10-4 + Sunday November 27th 12-4

Sooooo…. maybe you’ll want to come and give me hug?

I might be that awkward person standing there with a desperate PLEASE TALK TO ME look. Or maybe I’ll be swamped and sold out.

Again, not attached to the outcome.  It’s all practice.

NEW Collection and a PROMO CODE! 

Well hello there! 

The winds have been blustery out here at Garbarino Acres! The rain has managed to almost weigh down the last of the fall reds and yellows and the bare articulated branches are announcing the coming winter.

I snuggled in last week, made some fires in the wood stove and kept the fortress going while Bruno worked out of town. 

Monday was fuelled by zeal and long lists.  Enamoured by a run in the mountain, I worked on a set of canvases that I had prepped the week before. I tried new things, worked with a tight palette and I fell in love, again. By Friday, I was ready to burn the house down and sell the dog, cats, chicken and children.

But back to painting…

Believe it or not, before each new series is born, there’s a long dance that precedes it. One where doubt and scorn are the main characters. One where laziness and “oh what’s the point” are the choreographers, and fear is the lighting director… always casting that unflattering blue light in my eyes. 

But once I wash all my brushes, run some hot water and scrape my glass palette, all those melt away. They are replaced with curiosity and bravery, each touch of the knife or the brush emboldening me. Just a little. 

And then it all disappears again and the doubt comes back…. Disappears…..Resurfaces…. Evaporates. re-emerges. Until you are exhausted and dirty and have nothing left. 

the floor is a mess and dinner was suppose to be made hours ago.  You secretly wish for a studio wife. But then remember that YOU are the studio wife!

 There are casualties. Not all paintings in a series are good. There are some that don’t make the cut. That are Dead 2 Me. But I guess that’s always the case. 

You never write anything important without deleting full sentences, WHY should it be any different with painting? 

And that’s how you make a collection folks. This is not something I’ve read in books, or heard on a podcast. It’s my own process. One I’ve invented. 

And to celebrate having faced all those meanies in my head, I offer you guys a special promo code for your next art purchase! 

UNTIL 10-31-2016 ENJOY 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE! Enter promo code EARLYBIRD15 at checkout and maybe you get to cross off a gift from you to you? Shop now for the October Gardens Collection



What’s Your Story

I feel tight in my back today. I slept huddled against the blankets, my own warmth filling the tiny bed. I’ve moved into the bunk room for the duration of my tantrum, a decision I’m really happy about, because I have the space and I was able to identify what I needed. But that’s for another post.  The dog barked in the night and I woke up this morning to the pitter patter of kids and walked right into the routine. No meditation, no yoga, no morning pages, no sage burning… call it walk into the fire.

It’s not the best start, but at least I refrained from starting the ‘poor me’ narrative, and to be honest, it’d refreshing. I put the kids on the bus and sent them off. Wrote the cheques for the lunches, answered an email or two, walked the dog in the haze of mist that surrounds our road. The trees in the fields glimmered, as if they were archetypes of a past society.

What is my story?

This summer, in some of the goal setting work I was doing, I pushed myself to see if I could get my stuff art out there, in the physical world. And so I opened the online shop, I started showing alot more work and became comfortable with the idea of being an artist. Or whatever that word is that you want to use.

Or so I thought.

Now recently, I met with a store manager for an exciting event, that could be really big for me. And I realized through my conversation with this person, that I wasn’t even close to being able to assume a title of artist. I stammered through questions and left with a distinct feeling that if I wanted a show, as an artist, that I shouldn’t really play up the fact that I work mainly as an interior designer and that my ‘stuff’ is really just doodles that I work on in my free time. You know, that it was just for fun.

which is a steaming pile of shit. Right?

Outside of the comfort of the screen, and the cozy protectiveness of my studio, IN A FACE TO FACE CONVERSATION WITH A STRANGER I wasn’t able to say the words (that get me choked up every time, btw) I am an Artist. I want to sell my work. I think my work is worth something (oooh, that one is the real doozy) and I believe that people want to see what I see.  You can include in there I want my art to have an audience and if you can bear it, I want an audience.

I have a show at the local library in January. Something I challenged myself to do. To see really how it all works: how to you hang your stuff art, how much stuff art  do you need, does your stuff need to be cohesive or can you mix and match your stuff. And my first challenge (creating the work seems to be the easy part, at this point anyways) arose: the curator needs a blurb about the artwork.

So what the fuck is my story? How can I write an artist manifesto if I can’t even be honest and openly claim what I want?

Screetch to halt.

This isn’t about my art guys. It’s not even about me.

This is about ownership.

This is about tust.

This is about truth.

So I’m trying something new.

This is the story I carry:

I don’t feel like I deserve. To get paid for drawings, is just one of the things. Drawings are easy for me, but life is hard.  You need to do hard things in order to be a good person and if things are too easy, they’re probably bad. Drinking two bottles of wine is EASY. Let me tell you. People around me suffer and have difficult lives, and so, why should I get the free pass. Do the hard things and you’ll be good.

But this is my truth: 

A while ago, I remembered I could draw. I remembered that I had drawn for longer than I hadn’t, and so I started again. After having life’s rug pulled from under me a number of times (alcohol, drugs, bulimia, shame, guilt), I knew I needed to start from the inside. And so I did. I live torn between opposites, never fully able to land in one place.  These are the pieces of art that have emerged from my self-exploration. I see magic in the sky and clouds. I see sorrow and beauty in the the women I know and those that I do not.   I see stardust in the wilderness around me and it reveals itself in patterns.

If you happen to know what it all means, please let me know.  I haven’t a clue, but I know I’ll figure it out eventually.




Beyond the ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing…

There is a field. Meet me there. ~rumi

Oh boy. The past few weeks. Wow.

In the Artist’s Way there’s a whole chapter devoted to anger.

Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a map. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we’ve been and lets us know when we haven’t liked it. Anger points the way, not just the finger. In the recovery of a blocked artist, anger is a sign of health.

~julia cameron

Last year, doing the Artist’s Way, I didn’t even think I was angry. Angry is not something that I am quick to… sadness and anxiety are the first responders to my negative situations. But now one year in and I fantasize about flipping tables and smashing mirrors- in a good way! I promise!

Ironically, my 9 year old had a total tantrum yesterday.

Like an out of body tantrum, the ones that make him runaway in pyjamas, or climb trees and lock himself in the house instead of going to Spanish school. He was in that space, and as a parent, it’s hard to know how to act. But you guys, because I had been angry and crying ALL WEEK, I was finally able to put my shit down and reach him.

Because I KNOW what those tantrums feel like, and as adults, women SPECIALLY, we are never allowed to have them. But because I have now given myself permission to have as long a tantrum as I need, it was a lot easier to have empathy for him. Imagine as a society, how healing it would be if we could extend that kindness to each other, as a basic need?  That instead of walking around trying to pretend like we have all the answers and we’re totally together, we could just recognize that we’re at the core, just tantrum ridden toddlers, angry about the fact that we can’t really be free.

I don’t care about right anymore.  In the woods I go, to recognize my anger and try to figure out where it’s leading me and my fellow angry women. This is what I’ve figured out…

I’m angry as a woman for all women… that we have to worry about looking a certain way to be taken seriously. That we get  worth boosts from groomed eyebrows and have been raised to judge others based on their own appearances, the same way we judge ourselves.

I’m angry as a parent, for all parents…. that we need to think about how my sons and daughter are growing up in a completely inappropriate world.

I’m angry as a wife,  for all wives….. that now 50 years later, we need to be full time mothers AND full time wage earners to live in ‘middle class’. And that the chasm between man and woman is so deep that maybe we need to question the whole structure of society. Maybe we need to go back to village.

I’m angry as a daughter … for all daughters of women raised by generations of patriarchs who showed no love, no care and placed no values on female lives beyond their ability to procreate and tend to men.

I’m angry as a person, for all people who live in a world where lack and abundance co-exist at the detriment of health, social rights and security of  billions of people.

Today on the mountain trails I realized something.

I don’t think I want to  be right, I don’t think that’s what I’m fighting for at the core of this anger

And I am no longer willing to compromise my values,  just to make someone else less uncomfortable.

So maybe you’re angry too. Nothing about this is easy, but I have a feeling that Julia Cameron was right… anger points the way.

So. My friends, where does that leave us?  Elizabeth Gilbert closed up her 2nd  season of Magic Lessons podcast by lauching the following question: (you can read the almost 3K comments on her FB page here)

John Steibeck wrote in East of Eden

And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.

And it got pushed one step further by asking

What if instead of being good, we could be free?





Milkweed and your 11 year old Self.

I took Rosie out for a long walk this morning. As I reached into my pocket, I found an old milkweed pod. It was soft and made me smile instantly. I squeezed it for a few extra seconds and then smelled my hands.

Milkweed is sticky and produces a thick white glue when you break off the stem. If you happen to be 11 years old, you often pick the pods and try to fly the inner fleece, but the stickiness of your hands makes it impossible. But tomorrow you try again. You never know, maybe things change overnight.

The same thing happened this morning, except I’m no longer 11. And my collection of fluorescent zinc tubes melted in my snow suit a long time ago.

I don’t hide in my closet to read anymore, and I don’t roll up fake paper cigarettes and pretend to smoke like Marilyn. I don’t write letters to save the belugas either. I watch my kids do that now. And luckily, they’ve taken over certain parts of my 11 year old self. They like finding treasures in the forest, when they’re not complaining about how far we’re walking.

I hear your same stories. You and me. Resentful, angry, sad. We manage to pull ourselves together when it matters, we can smile if we have to. But is it me, or is there something missing?

(My index finger really does look like that)

I have been painting with my eyes closed, and sometimes I cry while I feel the paintbrush glide over the paper. I can’t tell you why. Nothing is different, everything is the same outside, but the tears keep coming. I cried through the Sunday School meeting this weekend,  overwhelmed by the kindness of the teachers and the baskets of home baked muffins. All the while I had complained all morning about having to go at all. Sometimes we can be jerks.

All the while I type, I cry and then worry about being sad, and how that’s hard for those people around me.That everyone else has more reason to be sadder than  me. But then that makes me cry even harder and so I go on Instagram and pretend not to be sad for a few minutes. Usually it ties me over for a bit. But if I dare let my mind wander, it finds the forest and it closes in on itself. Sometimes Often, there is uncontrollable bread eating.

When I’m with people, I am not sad. I am interested and curious, present and connected.

These are the ebbs and flows though, right?

Maybe I just miss Nancy Drew. A lot. And maybe I miss the smell of the horses and the tickle that happens right before you uncover a treasure.

I’ve been dragging myself out of bed at 5am, sleeping in the bunk room because of crazy insomnia and the desperate desire to be alone, I get to wake up and see the moon at its final appearance of the day. I’m stretching a lot. Burning sage and candles. I lost another chicken… she went away. She comes back every now and again, but it makes me wonder why she would chose to live in the wild and not the in the barn that we made for her.

Why do we need to mow lawn?

We need to get ourselves ready for winter, but really, I want to sleep in the car and have someone carry me inside and put me to bed. Wrapped up in a wool tartan blanket. I carry the kids when they fall asleep, but when you’re an adult, there’s no one to carry you anymore.

I’m trying to not lose myself in the sadness. I really am, don’t worry. I know the other side of just on the other end of the publish button. It’s green and pretty and there are little miracles to be discovered in the strangest of places. There’s wonderful moments of awe and inspiration. There’s wild laughter, there’s the warmth of knowing you’ve helped someone, there’s the smell of a wood fire and the sound of chatter around the table.

I’m ok.

This sadness is temporary. And every time it visits, I recognize it as an old friend that drops in unexpectedly. The one that reminds you of who you were when you were 11.

Labours of Days 

This past week has been full of planning, lists and task check boxes. Sure, there’s been late nights playing Risk, but we’re trying to stay focused on our renovation. And so far, so good. 

In moving forward though, we’ve had to make some tough calls about what we choose to do, and what we say no to. And it’s been really hard to say no to so many fun things.

But as our Mysticore leaders have taught us.. it’s in saying No that we learn how to say Yes? Right? 

Right. 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄

All the while, I’ve been plodding along in the studio, stunned and so grateful by the sales that followed the launch of the online shop

Reallt, it was an overnight transformation for me. Going from “in the cracks” doodler to selling pieces, well it just gives you a little boost in morale, and it helps pay for groceries!  

What’s been strange is how to keep painting after seeing what was popular versus what was unpopular. Creatively, how do you follow up on a project like this? 

Since I don’t see myself as having a specific medium (I’m going with  artistic explorer) it’s sometimes a bit frightening to ask “what’s next”. 

Moments after the hurdles have been cleared- an achievement, or loss, or goal accomplishments- can sometimes be weird.  There’s  a gap in that aftermath when you ask and answer “what now”. 

Maybe I’m far too reflective for my own good, but selling my pieces made me ask myself the questions

What do I make now? What do I want to make, what do others want me to make?

Which were really surprising, since I hadn’t given one ounce of thought to that leading up to launching the paintings in the first place! 

So I threw a lot of brain power on to these questions. I worked on a few different scenarios and for whatever reason, I came to some conclusions.  

In an effort to not overthink things, I decided to “retire” some older pieces (ladies included) in order to make space for the new florals/water worlds I’ve been playing around with.  

I LOOOOOOOOOOVE my ladies and I know I’ll come back to them in one capacity or another. But to keep painting new ones simply because they sold well? That made me feel icky inside. 

So they are up until Tuesday and then I get to keep them for myself as source material for other work, and for the daily smiles I get when I look at each of them. Not that I want to stop you from buying them (by all means! Shop Now!), but they are probably just extra special for me. 

In other news…

You can expect about 8 new floral pieces , 2 abstract landscapes and 4 new watercolour abstracts to hit the “shelves” next week. 

If anything, this project has been the incarnating of the adage “start where you are”. It confronted me with my preconceived notions about needing things to be a certain way before starting. It has also made me realize that sometimes things don’t look exactly like you want them/expect them to look, but that when you start down these paths, you never really know how it’s all going to unfold. Best to check your expectations at the door. 

In recap: 

  • Shop Update goes live on Tuesday September 6th! 
  • I’ll be retiring my Ladies and other pieces 
  • I’ll be adding about 10 new pieces!!!

Oh and … 

  • Creating is hard work 
  • Expectations always lead to disappointment 
  • Start Now 
  • Yes you can
  • You can figure out how as you go
  • It’s ok to be scared 
  • It’s terrifying 
  • Yes, you will cry
  • Don’t wait to do it properly

August and Everything After

For so long, I have  ruminated on what I would write when I finally sat down here with you. Every day almost, a thousand words would fill my brain, but they escaped my fingers as my hands were always tied to the kids, the phone, the dog, the wounded duck and the paintbrushes. All choices.

But Dear Summer,

I am not sad to see you go!!!!

You were beautiful and sunny, but that humidity…. oh my. My thigh chaff will never recover.

You showed me magical things and yet you were kinda mean.

Your heat and lack of water almost decimated my garden, but that’s ok. I guess part of the natural cycle is knowing that there are things you can’t control. You also killed my ducks. But that story is for another day…

There are things that happen that you can’t take on as your own failures or successes.

July had the Devil May Care attitude of campfires and roadtrips, new ducks and Canada Day.  Good friends in chunky sweaters. Pottery happened and I got to scratch it off my bucket list, but of course, it wasn’t good enough, the pieces weren’t perfect enough for my own towering expectations, but that’s ok, someone just asked me if I bought them at Anthropology. So I guess, I win in the end.

August cast a gloomy spell here, as siding came down and time slipped away. The Olympics captured my eyes and gave me a shrine to visit every night, beer and chips à volonté  Oh August, how you made me second guess my ability to handle the land, the house, the kids, the work, all of it. You pushed back hard when I tried to wash all the stress off, you waited in the corner until the moment was right and you rained down. And I’m still a little wet.

I spent a lot of time in my cage of expectations, looking at it, recognizing it, trying to break some off some of the bars. I switched meditations, I painted more, I drank beer and ate chips alone at the campfire.

But that’s ok.

September is here, and with it the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new shoe boxes.  My head is swimming with task lists, budgets, salsa recipes and batch cooking dreams. Along, of course, comes all the work projects that didn’t get finished during the peak of July’s fun haze.The promise of roasting tomatoes and freezing corn. Maybe even wearing a blazer? I get to switch my wardrobe out and say farewell to the long gauzy skirts, and hello to pants, crewneck sweaters,  sunflowers, and apples.

If you’ll indulge me just a little longer, I did have one great breakthrough this summer…

I started thinking that maybe we have cycles of productivity, just like hormonal cycles or moon cycles, we’re all spending  a ridiculous amount  of energy trying to stay on top of everything at the same time. I felt like I was  always trying to push hard, all the time. And when I needed rest, I chastised myself for not being strong enough to take it all on.

I couldn’t figure out why some days I felt like I was floating on clouds, while some days I felt like I was drowning in  quicksand.

None of my circumstances were changing all that much (ok, finding dead ducks in the morning is kinda extra-ordinary, but still!) while the effort to get through my days varied insanely.

I had listened to Ezzie Spencer   (lawyer & ph D in social work btw) on an entrepreneurship podcast discuss her theories on Lunar Cycles and before I knew it, I had drank ALL THE KOOL AID, and asked for more.

DON’T SMASH YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN, I may sound like an insane person, I know. Shhh.. it’s ok.

I think we’re all looking for something, you might juice or do pilates… I am into the moon.  Judge away, but suspect your cynicism at least for the 1000 words here.

To continue, I decided to plan my monthly intentions: maybe I would  feel a little more focused if I concentrated on one aspect of my insane life instead of doing it all?  Anything would be better than just pushing all the time and finding yourself on the floor, crying, amiright?

And so…

July was for Creativity: I launched my online store, I pursued a daily sketching practice and committed to sharing my work, obtaining a solo show at the local library (in January!) and selling 5 pieces in 10 days of opening.  I took a whole bunch of classes on Creativebug too. I was careful to respect the yin and yang phases and was really pleased with how easy the month went.

August was for Harmony: ok, disclaimer, this one was really tough and I lost track by mid month, the gloom of the reno got the better of me. But it was my goal to tie up loose ends in the house, (we did a lot!)  increase harmony among us (that was actually really good for us) and focus on love & kindness meditations.

September is for Care: Focusing on care in the house (finishing up projects, organizing our budget, setting ourselves up for winter), care in our food (processing fresh produce, batch cooking for the week), care in my own health (blood work, check up etc), care in my relationships (making sure I reach out and stay in touch) and essentially seeing what are the small steps I can take to ensure that I’m taking care of what’s important.

There’s a new moon tomorrow morning, AND an eclipse AND mercury in retrograde… so if you’re leaning towards the Mysticore side of  things, it would be the perfect time for you to set your monthly intention too.  And I think we both know who our Mysticore leader is…

jim morrison2