My Creative Weekend

Coffee in the Beach

This weekend was a wonderful deep breathe before I plunge into two busy weeks getting ready for our trip to Holland. It was great to get out to a coffee shop, journal in hand, even if I found myself mostly creating lists of things I need to get done before we go.

Beach Sky

From the coffee shop, I walked to the beach. I feel so blessed to have Lake Ontario just a stone’s throw away. The sky above the lake never fails to amaze and inspire. I find myself taking pictures of it every single time. Even though I am standing in the same spot, the view is never the same.

Seagull Dreaming

As I sat on a big rock, gazing out into the lake, I imagined myself and this little gull were sharing similar feelings of peace and introspection.  Though I think, perhaps, I did more reading. I’m currently immersed in Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan and enjoying every moment. I am reliving so many garden memories with him as well as being inspired to think deeply about the nature of gardening and ourselves.

Lost Doll

Out and about this weekend I was reminded how every outing can turn into an artist date when you have your camera! You never know what you’ll see. Imagine the story behind this moment! Imagine what happens next. This moment alone can inspire countless tales of wonder, mystery, loss, delight and more!

Open Streets TO Bloor

On Sunday, Justin and I went to the first ever Open Streets Toronto event. From 8:00 am until noon two major streets in Toronto were closed to traffic and open to people. It was wild to walk right down Bloor Street, enjoying the sunshine and the view. Unfortunately, I did get hit by a bike from behind. Neither of us were badly hurt but it was enough to shake us up and send me back to the sidewalk for a while.

Open Streets Toronto ROM

Luckily, there were plenty of good things on on that sidewalk, including in front of the Royal Ontario Museum. I was tempted to get my picture taken with a dinosaur. Who wouldn’t be?

Our real inspiration was to get out and have a listen to our guitar teacher play. The music and the open piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music were the highlight of Open Streets Toronto for us.

Art Day with Shannon. Jamie Ridler Studios.

There was still time in the afternoon so I just had to sit down for some art-making with Shannon! We’ve been taking the Art Journaling class at Creative Bug with Dawn Devries Sokol and I’d been aching to create some backgrounds. I’m experimenting with repurposing a large children’s book as an art journal and so far have been loving incorporating some of the illustrations, like this wonderful fox still visible in the corner.

Cats in the Hood - Hazel

Even going for a run can become a creative outing – though I have to be careful not to get so distracted that I’m forgetting to run! I’ve managed to take some great Cats in the Hood shots during my warm-ups and cool-downs. This weekend I caught a glimpse of Hazel sitting on this car and took a quick shot before picking up the pace once more.

Flower Reference. Jamie Ridler Studios.

I also can’t resist taking pictures of flowers, especially since I’ve been drawing! I’m used to the idea of drawing from nature but  continue to be astounded by how many times I see a flower that is the real-life expression of a graphic illustration I’ve seen that I kind of thought had been made up! I love the free play between mediums. More and more the pictures I take are becoming photo references for drawing explorations.

Mandelas. Jamie Ridler Studios.

And speaking of drawing explorations, my weekend creativity was rounded out by playing with mandalas. Until recently I had never drawn one before. Inspired by Andrea Schroeder, I’ve been having fun discovering this art form and am learning so much from it. More on that to come!

What did you get up to this weekend?


  1. Kif says:

    that sky wow!

    i was on the train going from toronto to ottawa last monday and i love how close it is to the water.

    wish i had taken a picture.

    and mandellas cool. somehow they are popping up in online feeds, photos – i’m seeing them in so many places.

    yours are gorgeous – I can’t believe you haven’t drawn one before!

    • Jamie says:

      It’s so interesting when things start to appear in our life like that, Kif! Have you tried your hand at Mandalas? Thank you for your lovely words about mine. It’s been a fascinating process to start to work with them, a great exploration and meditation.

      Isn’t the lake magnificent? Often when I share pictures of it people think we live by the ocean, hehe.

  2. Kif says:

    it’s our own little ocean! : )

    (my own mandala…. some day… I found a woman who creates them outdoors with found nature objects – incredible – might try that!)

    thanks Jamie!

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