Thursday, 26 February 2015

Naramata mentorship residency, Monday, 11:30 pm

Whew! What a day. 

Short, sweet, just-me yoga practice by the lake before breakfast. Inviting a calmly energetic day. Sleep has been tough the last couple of days. Too much adrenalin, fear facing, excitement.

Powered through bases for 2 large paintings in an unexpected way. Learned to begin in an organic approach. Found my brush mark. Friended Sonja's gold powder. Yum. Worked on the deck again well into the night.

Lovely incense is a permanent resident in our cabin. Candles, scotch, music to keep it going. Winding down, dead tired, happy, feeling empowered & accomplished. Gratitude. Calmly energetic.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Welcome, renewal. Welcome babies. Welcome buds and blooms. Welcome creation.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

bees do it birds do it


This is an oldie I took a chance on. It's called "Ignition Coil". I questioned myself when I did it. It sold immediately.

Monday, 9 February 2015

storm and silver


This song tore me to pieces each time I listened to it. It wasn't that I found it sad. It was about reaching deep inside my soul and about being perfectly vulnerable. For a time, I thought it was about lovers. Then I read Chantal's contribution to a book about motherhood.

link to "all I can do is love you to pieces"

Thursday, 5 February 2015

I just wanna stomp on this nest

In Naramata, almost 5 months ago, I had a vision. Ok it was one of many. But this one stuck with me. I really want to build a nest. A miniature attempt crudely wraps around a lamp in our home. It is raw, little pieces fall off and paper thin bark is lost each time I turn the switch on. It makes me happy. A lightbulb sits atop, as if on a pedestal, softly illuminating the tiny branches. It was a good study in preparation for the 'real' thing.

This is where the difficulties come in. At least the technical ones. I know I need a frame. Did that. It's not pretty but serves the purpose. Shreds of this. Squirts of that. Thick and thin. Black and silver. And gold. Plastic. I'm so excited I stay up till 3. Love it. When I see it the next morning, I just wanna stomp on it.

"Don't, Nik", says my mentor. Add. Remove. Work. Just work. It's just not done. You'll know when it is. Of course, she's right. She always is when it comes to my hesitation or fear. She always makes me reach in and pull out an emotional, gut-wrenching, sweaty, well - me. But this is different. It's not about that. This is sweet. It's soft. Yet sturdy. And nurturing. I don't need my angst for this.

Aha! There's my answer right there. Whew. "nestiswheretheheartis". Cool. Looks almost Latin. See you tomorrow, baby.

Nikol Haskova Studio

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

social medium

At first, this painting was about overwhelmingly self-indulgent content 
on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I almost wanna label them as "Twittfacegram". I guess I just did. Selfies in just the right light, 
make up and clothes and posts to promote an individual’s interest. 
I wanted to show the lack of warmth and connection that I was seeing 
in these. While it was nice to peek photos of people's kids, I missed a depth of the interactions. 

I yearned to highlight “social media” in a different context. 
The right idea came as I watched a group of birds flying, chatting and 
seemingly engaged in play. “That’s what I want more of”, I thought. 
“More person to person conversations and interactions outside of 
the artificial online world.” I made a conscious choice to un-follow posts 
of people that only had self-celebration on their pages, never giving 
a nod to other stuff. I also stopped reading negative comments, 
and, eventually, if I saw nothing but complaints, 
I un-followed those contributors as well. 

“Still, can this situation change?”, I wondered. I’m hopeful, 
but I don’t want to get out there to preach new etiquette. 
I can change though. I can share inspiring stuff, good art (mine and others’), 
happy mommy moments, love - the list is rich and endless. 
I changed my Twitter blurb to: 
“Canadian visual artist, writer, mommy, 
believer in positive internet, both written & visual.” 
Then I began to utilize social media for fundraising for my son’s school, 
contributing to worthwhile projects and connecting people. 
I feel like it’s working. My Facebook feed has dramatically morphed 
to feel-good stories, requests for help and cheering on successful people. 

This painting titled “Social Media” is important to me. 
My husband & I have enjoyed it this year and I’m so grateful it can now benefit 
such a deserving cause. For me, it’s now about social media 
doing something for the community.Visually, it's always been about the beauty
of play, taking part in joy and being swept up in wonder. 


Nikol Haskova Studio

emotional intelligence

To my husband, who inspired this and so many other paintings: 
"Thank you for standing by me. Thank you for listening and hearing. 
I love you."

Galleries West magazine article