Category Archives: Paintings

Illness, Art and an Interview

Autumn is here…..and with it, some cooler temperatures. Unfortunately, not entirely in my favour, as I sit here with ears floating underwater, and a small fire spitting flames in my throat. I guess my immune system got a little bored with all the good health.IMGP8275

Though it’s hard not to laugh-cough, when you catch yourself answering the “How are you?” question, with a cracking and squeaky “Good! You?”. Fun times.

So I apologize in advance if my words don’t make complete sense – my mind is a little distracted with, you know, not being able to hear, swallow, cough, breathe, move.

IMGP5760 But since all I’m doing is binge-watching Australian comedies resting the past few days, it’s a good time to catch up on the past month and a half:

…I finally got back into painting, after a bit of a hiatus. Lately, I’ve been leaning a lot towards landscapes, though I did squeeze in one portrait (note: not all of these are complete)

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio…I’ve been working on some new sketches, preparing for a small craft show next week.



Painting | Saltwater Birch Studio

…and I set up and took down an exhibit of landscape paintings in Market Square in Saint John (no pictures of this process, sorry. Horrible memory + easily distracted is not a great combination).

While there, I did get a chance to check out the market, where I discovered this amazing potter (almost looks like watercolor painted onto those wares), and checked out the Sculpture Saint John event, which involved sculptors from across the world.


Lastly, I had an interview which was featured in a local magazine – it turned out quite well! It’s been strange but encouraging to have random people come up to me and compliment the artwork they saw in that feature. It’s rewarding, and somehow reaffirming that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something right.

Next time, I’ll share a few of the reference photos I’ve been collecting over the past few weeks.


Brief Reprieve From Time

Painting by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio June, June, June.

The weeks go by slowly, the months seem to disappear. I’m sure that only gets worse with age. Though it’s a pleasant, therapeutic side-effect of painting – that (occasional) brief reprieve from a sense of time. The kind that arises from intense focus, and lets you forget existence, with all its joys, disappointments, pressures and hopes.

Painting by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Painting by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio


Not to mention it also provides a nice distraction from the army of relentless mosquitoes waiting to maul you at your door (the not-so-pleasant side of living in a forest!). Every season certainly has it downsides, though the bright, blooming flowers, and Vitamin D surplus, more than make up for the occasional bite.

Painting by Vanessa Pesch | Saltwater Birch Studio

Dilemma of the Working Artist

Busy painting away, for a portrait series coming up next month (the painting featured here is a part of this series). All while preparing for a few new series – the cycle of submission deadlines! By the time your work gets exhibited, you’re applying for the next shows. It certainly keeps you on your toes, and, for better or worse, keeps you future-oriented. the present, it presents a slightly difficult problem: between past and future shows, you start to run out of room for more canvases.

Portrait in Progress | Saltwater Birch Studio

Here arises the dilemma of the working (and not rich) artist: you either have to sell them all (wouldn’t that be lovely!) or find a sustainable storage option.

Admittedly, my storage situation is, at the moment, not exactly ideal. It involves using every available wall space, and some reconfigured bookcases. Eventually, when I feel less lazy more ambitious, I may end up building an art rack, along these lines: herehere, or here (this last one is for purchase, though it looks DIY-able).

Portrait in Progress | Saltwater Birch Studio

And…this is usually around the time when I start daydreaming about a warehouse sized studio, with a splendid garden view and floor to ceiling windows. Mind you, warehouses tend to run in the $300K range, but that’s what lotteries and dreams are for!

Portrait in Progress | Saltwater Birch Studio

In the meantime, I’ll keep on painting, even as canvases creep their way onto every surface, multiplying every 3 weeks or so (I can’t resist a good canvas sale).