Sunday, December 7, 2014

For Sarah's Kids

I am going to donate 90% of the sales of my art until the end of 2014 to a "You Caring" campaign to raise money to assist the family of a young lady who recently passed away from cancer. Her name was Sarah Turpin and she had three children ...under the age of 3. Here is a link to the donation page if you wish to make a donation directly there without purchasing art, or to find out more about this family's story.
 I also have two paintings for sale at the League of Artists of Western Newfoundland Christmas show. I will post photos of them here. Please contact me directly if you wish to purchase. As I said, 90% of the profits will go to the You Caring campaign for Sarah's family. (10% to help cover costs of replacing materials for me ). Please share to help raise some money for this family! There are a lot of donations made but there is quite a way to go.....
Wine, Words and a Weekend, $395, buyer pays shipping
11"X14" oil on gallery wrap canvas
Child's Play, $175, buyer pays shipping
8"X8" oil on gallery wrap canvas

Saturday, November 29, 2014

a Few new teeny tiny paintings

each painting is 4"X4" and the plan is to try ebay auctions as a new way of selling. We'll see how it goes!

the snow is falling here today, the kids are skiing, the LAWN Christmas art show opens this afternoon, the santa parade is tonight and some of us artsy folks are getting together for a Christmas family potluck! starting to look a lot like Christmas!

New ebay auction! Horse eye 4"X4" oil painting!

This is a painting I did recently of a horse's eye. I love painting eyes. So glassy. I like the warm and cool interplay as well.

Here is a link to the ebay auction

Thursday, October 9, 2014

5 years on

A Good Horse

When I was 12 years old, I had a friend come into my life, a friend who would stay with me for the next 27 years. This friend was a pony named Dolly. I was almost oblivious to the normal teen angst because I spent most of my teen years in the barn, or in the fields, caring for or riding my wonderful mare, feeling free and whole, and living in the moment. I spent my twenties in university and adjusting to work life, and always she was there, a constant in my life. In my thirties I settled down, got married and started a family. She gave my kids pony rides and let them pat her soft black muzzle. She was always there for me. I cared for her and she cared for me. I wouldn’t have traded her for a fancier horse, or for a million dollars. Let me tell you about Dolly.
Dolly came to me on May 12th, 1982. I was 12 years old and had a few riding lessons during the summer times. I was obsessed with horses for as long as I can remember, and I think my parents realized that this was an interest that was not likely to wane. I knew little about horses and my parents knew even less. When she came off the horse trailer in Pasadena, she had enough of the cramped quarters and jumped, bucked, ran and reared. I was a little intimidated, but exhilarated. I was in love. She was mostly black, with a beautiful wavy mane and tail, a small white half-diamond shape on her forehead, and the softest, fuzziest warm velvety muzzle. Her eyes were beautiful. Big, brown, soulful eyes, with enormous long lashes showing her gentle and trusting nature. I think you can often see someone’s true nature in their eyes, and so it is with horses.
In the midst of her jumping and cavorting that day, she got down on the ground and had a grand roll in the dirt. She started rolling on one side and rolled right over her back and to her other side. I’ll always remember my grandfathers words at that moment. He said “The old-timers say that when a horse rolls right over, it’s a sign of a good horse.” And a good horse she was.
We did have some adjustments during that first summer. She was seven years old when got her, and I do not think she had much training. She was scared to do things that average horses were not scared of. I couldn’t touch her ears, pick up her hooves, put a bridle on her, or have her anywhere near another horse. She would not tolerate having a bath , or the smell of anything medicinal. If I missed any days at the barn that summer, I do not remember, they were certainly few and far between. I lived up there that summer, in the days before I brought her to my own home. I patiently and slowly taught her to let me touch her ears, lower her head for the bridle, pick up her hooves for hoof care. She learned to be relaxed around other horses, and have ointments or fly spray applied if it was needed. By August, she did everything I asked her to.
And a few extras! Dolly was a master Houdini, escaping from stalls, barns, fields on a regular basis. Often she would let other horses out as well, by opening their stall doors. I guess if you are going to make a break for it, you may as well take along your friends! I had great trouble trying to keep her in her pasture when I had her at our home in Pasadena. She would just lean against the fence with her chest to determine the height of the fence, then rock back onto her hocks and leap into the air and over the fence without any apparent effort. My other horse, her son, Cherokee, would run madly along the fence trying to figure out how he could get out, too. One time my grandfather and I decided to take an old fire-hose and nail it along the length of the pasture fence, about 6” higher than the fence. We worked at this job for several hours and thought we had outwitted her. It took her about 60 seconds to put her head over the fence and under the hose, stretching the hose up to assess the amount of give, upon which she leapt over the fence and let the hose stretch over her back. She often made jail breaks in the middle of the night, which meant by the time I woke up at 7 a.m., she’d already eaten her fill of grass and was staring in though the windows of the house wondering when I was going to get up. On more than one occasion I was startled to see a huge black creature staring in at me as I groggily made my way to the kitchen.
She also had a passion for Flakies. I used to take them to the barn with me for a treat in my lunch box. She soon learned how to open my lunch box (by pulling the plastic tabs open with her teeth), and sometimes ate my entire lunch!
Dolly was by no means a fancy horse. She was of unknown breeding, most likely she was primarily Newfoundland pony with a little bit of Standardbred (the trotting racehorses). This gave her an awkward gait. In the show ring, judges like to see “daisy cutters,” which means a long, low stride that could theoretically clip the heads off of daisies. Dolly would have been termed a “daisy stomper!” She had short, quick strides, and the most jarring trot I have ever tried to sit to: although she did have the absolute smoothest canter.
I did show her, but being far from the fanciest horse, we rarely placed near the top of the class. She always did what I asked her to do, however, and had a calm and willing demeanour. No drama with Dolly.
We did win one class at the Newfoundland Equestrian Association Provincial Horse show in St. John’s in 1988. I was 18 years old, and saved every penny I had from my summer job, and put it towards my show outfit, show fees, and gas to trailer her across the island. I was the only competitor from outside St. John’s that year. In fact I was interviewed by CBC radio for being the sole outside competitor. The other competitors were amazed that I was riding in both Western and English classes, as most were comfortable in only one side of the sport. I suppose, in retrospect, that I didn’t really know the difference. I also believed that Dolly could and would do anything I asked her to! We did jumping classes, and flat (non-jumping) classes in both English and western events. We competed in a class called the “western trail” class, which tests the horse and riders ability to negotiate a series of obstacles., such as walking over a wooden bridge and opening a gate while mounted. We were up against many fancier horses with professional training. Dolly’s sense of trust , and willingness to please shone through in that class. Many horses were fearful of some of the obstacles on that day and did not fully complete the class. I felt Dolly hesitate at times, but I communicated to her that it was ok through gentle squeezes of my legs, keeping my body relaxed, and slight shifts in my weight on her back. She put her faith in me, and on that day, we won. Not because I had a fancy horse, but because she trusted me and I believed in her.
Always well behaved, but nothing fancy to look at if you were a judge. From where I was sitting, I always knew I had the best horse.
She was the sort of horse who would slow down if she felt you were losing your balance and in danger of falling. On the one occasion I did fall off, while we were going over a jump. She went up and over the jump, and I went up and kept going up! Until I came down without a horse under me. I remember landing, and lying on the ground and seeing sky and grass above me, and then, a curious horse standing over me, looking right into my face. Instead of running off or eating grass, she came back for me. She nuzzled me, making sure I was ok. She came back for me then, and my hope is that, if there is an afterlife, that she is one of the spirits that comes back for me when I pass on.
I went through a lot with her.
I went through a lot for her.
I believe she stayed with me until I was ready for her to go.
I know she loved me.
I was a shy, quiet girl, and I needed her. She stayed with me through everything. I cried into her mane on more than one occasion. Through insecurity, lost loves, grieving loved ones, fears of going away from home, fear of leaving her. She was there through good times, too. She saw me start my family and saw my children start to grow. Twenty-seven years of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I do not regret for one second the time I spent cleaning stalls, raking hay, getting trailer loads of sawdust, fixing fences, paying for hay, grain or new barns. I think holding on to her made me hold on to who I really am. I couldn’t give up on her as I couldn’t give up on myself. I guess if there is anything she has taught me, it’s to hold tight to your true self in spite of pressures to conform to the rest of the world. There were always pressures to sell her, but if there was one thing I knew for certain, it’s that I would hold tight to her until she died. She died this past October, and I held her beautiful head in my arms as she passed on. I told her I loved her, that she was my girl, and that it was ok.
And it was ok.
There is something very natural about doing everything you can for the animals and people in your life, and then feeling a sense of peace when their time comes to pass. If we all do our best for each other while we live, then letting go is a natural part of that process. It is then time to look after the ones who are still here. Please look after those animals and people whom you love. Treat them with respect and treat them well. Remember, and move forward. Be together. Laugh and play. Most of all,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cow oil painting - Work in progress and back at it!

oil painting of cow
Just getting back into painting after a few months off with the kids for summer, and an online plein air course - that sounds rather ironic ;)  Course was great, lots of practice paintings but nothing good enough to show yet..........

but I did this little cow painting today as a sort of warming back up to oil painting today. Some fun. It needs a few tweaks so I will be back!

Thanks for looking.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Barefoot boys on the Beach

child beach shallow bay oil painting newfoundland
Painting based on a photo of Sam and Evan in Shallow Bay, NL last summer as tide was coming in.


robin bird spring oil painting

6" X 6" oil on canvas
A spring robin
oil painting

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Friesian horse oil painting

This is an oil painting I recently completed of a Friesian horse.
I love Friesians!

I think this is one of my very favorite paintings I have ever done :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Lens and the Brush - New exhibit at the Glass Gallery in Rocky Harbour!

gros morne rocky harbour art exhibit
My sister, Shell LeDrew and I are mid-way through our first ever exhibit and now are mounting our second before the first is done! Call us crazy :) but we were just jumping at two good opportunties!  Should be a time, come on out for the opening if you can or sometime between june 28th to July 12th to see it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wine, Words, and a Weekend

Wine glass oil painting
Based on a photo I  took of my husband, Andrew, drinking from a crystal wine glass, light casting reflections on his reading. 11"X14" oil painting.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Memories Oil painting

down at JL Gallery until June 30th as part of my "Surrounded by Beauty" exhibit with my sister, Shell LeDrew. More pics to come in the days ahead.
water child fishing oil painting
An oil painting of a young child fishing , reflections on the water.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Artist Bio and statement for "Journey" exhibit

I'm part of the League of Artists of Western Newfoundland, a great group of artists.....we have a juried exhibit at The Fisher's Loft in Port Rexton this summer. Just opened and up until November. My painting of Evan as well as Barefoot boys on the beach are in the exhibit.

Here is my artist bio: (I was feeling silly when I wrote it!)

Nicole LeDrew May is a visual artist from Western Newfoundland. As a child, she used to color Chips Ahoy cookies with crayons before eating them. In spite of that she has survived to her mid-forties (so far) and has switched from coloring cookies to painting on canvas. Nicole is unable to settle down to one subject matter, type of media or one style of painting. However, in the last year the evidence of oil paint smears all over her dining room table indicates her recent preferred media and suggests that she needs a separate room for an art studio. Subject matter is all over the place as she loves it all......everything around her. She does love her two little boys and one big boy (husband) more than words can say. And because words cannot say it all, she paints.
And here is my statement:

Nicole LeDrew May - Artist Statement for Journey Exhibit

My current "journey," or chapter of life, has an over-riding theme of motherhood. I'm just like all other moms, trying to do a lot for the ones I love, and still find myself somewhere in the lovely and mesmerizing tangle of life.

I was scared of having children........would I be a good mom? When pregnant, I felt I wanted to show my children how wonderful a place the world can be. Warm and wet beach sand between your toes, summer sunsets, camping, marshmallows roasts, lying on the grass and looking at the clouds, building sandcastles and lego creations, jumping through a sprinkler, just feeling, and really seeing.......the real and authentic things of the world.... the earth, sky, water. Life doesn't happen in front of a iPad or a tv.

The bigger piece I worked on for this show is of my younger son, Evan. It is based on a photo taken while we were canoe camping on Trout Tiver pond in Gros Morne National Park. For me, this piece is quite personal and I know the multiple journies beneath. The obvious one is the journey of canoeing, camping and being with nature. Evan is playing on an over-turned canoe and just behind is our family tent, which has seen many family vacations and many more to come. The more subtle journey is the journey as "Mom," the journey as a family, all of us together. Camping and being outdoors is such a huge part of my value system, and I am so blessed to have a husband who feels the same and children who whole-heartedly love to explore. A third journey is that with my artwork. As far as art goes in my life, I'm absolutely in a phase of exploration and growth. This past year has seen me try to committ to my artwork as if it were a job. No waiting for inspiration to arrive! Last April I began taking lessons with local artist, Rodney Mercer and one year later, I feel my art has grown in so many ways. I've gained new techniques, but also, more importantly, many intangibles. I'm more confident. I feel now that I look more at the painting for it's own sake, and not try to paint a perfect reproduction of a photo. I'm even beginning to branch out into plein air painting. There is so much more to come and I'm loving this journey!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Slice of Life

oranges oil painting

I could have done a better job of cropping this photo.................. ;)

But, an oil painting nonetheless! Available at JL Gallery in Corner Brook.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mint and lime mojito

mint lime mojito oil painting
Add caption
Not that I drink them! Or anything, really. But my husband enjoys them!

Monday, February 24, 2014


About 6 years or so ago, my amazing and talented and visionary sister, Shell LeDrew, did a photo shoot - or two - which captured beautiful and ethereal images of a young girl underwater. Shell had a vision of this, and followed it through. The young girl was dressed in a white dress and swam in an outdoor pool with a beautiful scarf. The images were very successful, and Shell won the Arts and Letters competition one year with one of the images, had three which were juried into an exhibition, had a show at a local successful artsy-fartsy restaurant, and on and on! I tried to capture the images in paint before, but not with a lot of success. Last fall, Shell handed me the box of original photos from that shoot, and I've been picking away at it ever since. I started one last fall in my lessons with Rodney Mercer aka super awesome artist, but it's really this winter that I am getting on a roll with them. Brought some of them to Rodney and Jamie-Lee Cormier last week to have a little look - see and artistic analysis and was happy with the initial response. I have big ideas in my mind of what I'd like to do with them and where I'd like to go, not sure I can bring that dream to fruition but I am really going to put some work in on it. Currently I am working on some small studies (11" X 14") in acrylic. I ordered a bunch of nice oil paints last week - lots of blues to explore the blues in the waters. My hope is that I can continue to work on these smaller studies and as I am learning, begin to re-work them much bigger in oil. big dreams!!!!!! NOW FOR THE BIG NEWS! ;) Shell and I are having a joint exhibit at JL Gallery in Corner Brook in June. No guarantee at the moment, but, if all goes according to plan (or vision, or hope or dreams or something like that!) you may see these studies reworked as bigger paintings as a big part of the exhibit. Shell will be contributing her photography and we are super excited to be getting out there. It's a bit scary to us in some ways, but it is also part of my motivation for painting these days. If the paintings and photos are going to be on the walls for all to see, we want to do an outstanding job.

flowers and birds to cure the winter blues!

I've been painting. I have been focusing more and more intently on my artwork since last fall. I did a few lessons with local artist and instructor Rodney Mercer last spring. Then summer came, and I just was too busy with kids and all to really focus. Once October rolled around, I really got going with my lessons with Rodney again. He's an absolutely AMAZING is a link to his website...... He is also a gifted instructor and can not only give technical knowledge, but lots of inspirational talks. He encourages his students to find their own way, their own style while still giving advice and information. The lessons have been keeping me on track, focused and motivated. the big thing we have been focusing on is getting me to "loosen up" in terms of my brushwork and approach. I've been doing lots of studies and quick little paintings in an effort to get there! Here are a few paintings I did to cure the winter blues!