Linda Bell  
Mixed Media and Collage



I looked back to see when I started this Blog/Newsletter and it was way back in December 2012. I did a lot more posts when I first started my website, not all of which were sent out to my mailing list, but by 2022 I was down to only one post. My goals last year included making Art more of a priority in 2023. Well I am happy to say that I have been successful with this goal as this has been a very good year for my art.

I have participated in seven juried art exhibitions, won two awards, sold a number of paintings, was included as one of the artists in an article on “Finding your own Style” and one of my paintings is the current cover of FCA Fall Edition of Art Avenue. I also collaborated with a company to include one of my abstract paintings on a Scarf (see March 5th post). I did two workshops on “Playing with Abstraction” and was a Juror for 6 different exhibitions at the Federation of Canadian Artists. A good balance of activities that has kept me involved with Art throughout this year.

Looking forward into 2024 my plan is to experiment more. As I may have mentioned previously it is clearer now how important it is to me to try new stuff and essentially to paint for myself. That does not mean disregarding other peoples responses to my paintings but it is important for me to focus on what interests me and to enjoy what I am doing. I also believe this helps me produce some better art. It may seem obvious, but experimenting runs the risk that some painting do not turn out well or a change in style may not be received  enthusiastically by some. I have however accepted that creating some messes and making changes is part of the whole creative process. My confidence has improved over time and really I am just very very grateful that I am still motivated to paint and that I get positive responses to what I am doing. So thank you to everyone who takes the time to give me feedback on my art. 

My 2022 post also mentioned my desire to hear less of the “UN words” such as unprecedented, unsettled etc. It is obvious now that we are living in a time of uncertainty and dealing with some big changes in the world not in keeping with what many of us in the past have considered to be “normal.” In the last several months I have been involved in several conversations about how world events have affected some of us personally and how to deal with the impact on our emotions. I admit to being a a bit of of a “news junkie” but am learning to reduce my daily consumption. Someone sent me the cartoon below and I have already shared it with some people on this art mailing list but have included it here as well because it sort of expresses the dilemma we face.

But —what, you may ask, has the title of this Newsletter …..and a view from my 5th floor balcony …have to do with any of this? I mentioned to the guy in my life it was December and time to put together my “blog” but that I was dissatisfied with that word blog and thought perhaps I would change it to Newsletter. He was not impressed with using News or Newsletter. He felt that something with a little more “Pizzazz” was needed. One of the titles he suggested was the 5th floor balcony phase. Unfortunately I laughed at the suggestion but feeling badly I did agree to consider it. It is unlikely to become my new title but he did “hit” on something as one of the things I really enjoy is sitting on my little balcony and watching my world below. I am across from a school and playground and love to watch the kids and sounds of play as well as the bikes and strollers and all the dogs going by, some being walked and some taking their humans for a walk. I lost my cat Jack earlier this year, but it was favourite morning and evening spot for us to enjoy. So I have included a photo of the View from my 5th floor balcony and one of Jack sprawled out on the bistro table. The counterweight to some of the challenges we face is about the simple pleasures and special moments in life and and being able to laugh with others. So on that note I have also included one of my most recent paintings with the intent that a bit of whimsy may make some of you smile. The cow painting below is titled “U Talking to Me!!”




Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2024, with many many special moments and lots of laughter in your life!

All the best.  Linda