Florance Simpson is Dangerously Crafty!
Inspiration for creatively intrepid artists & crafters.

Located in beautiful Victoria, BC

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is it about Canadian artists and crafters?

This is a rant...you've been warned...if you decide to continue please grab a cuppa' tea or your preferred beverage and read away...hell leave a comment and maybe we can start something here!

My daughter sent me this email yesterday:

Hey mama...if you write that book on patch work jeans & start your yoga back up again you could be a Teacher at one of these (& bring me along since I'm suggesting it?!?) wouldn't this be a cool thing to have up here too?Hmmmm.... ;-) xoxoxox
Click here:http://www.squamartworkshops.com/

My response to her email:

Hi Love...yep, I know all about Squam but I don't have a hit website, I don't have a book, I'm not 'young' and as you know over the years I tried to get a similar retreat thing going up here but Canadians are not very supportive of fellow artists and hide their own creative lights so far underneath their USA counterparts that you'd think we were a country of no talents...it would be fabulous though...take the ball and run with it:) xxoo mama

Did I sound a little harsh, perhaps a wee bit bitter...damn straight I did!
I confess that I have become lazy (note...I told the daughter to take the ball and run with it) and could do a whole lot more to promote and start a fabulous Squam-ish style art retreat opportunity for Canadian girls/women...believe me I have serious Squam-envy because several years ago this was my big dream.
Correct me if I'm wrong but Americans seem to have this whole artist/crafter support system down to an 'art' (pun intended)...and quite frankly I think we are huge supporters of it...we love to read their blogs, take their online classes, cross the border and attend their workshops and retreats...and we love it, right...oh come on, sure you do!
Personally I spend so much time reading their blogs and wishing I could go to their retreats that I'm embarrassed.

Don't get me wrong I read many lovely Canadians blogs:


...these are but a few of the wildly talented women right here under our Canadian noses. I confess I am a lurker, I read their blogs but don't leave comments and I feel much shame in that...because I realize that if we are not showing support to these women how can we expect to ever have retreats of our own with some of these fabulously talented Canadian women sharing their skills with us?
I too am an artist/crafter that hides her talents under a great deal of real/false modesty and I could name at least a dozen other multi-talented women right here in my home town that have so much creative talent it would knock your socks off!

Do us all a favor and if you're a Canadian woman who has a unique artistic or crafty talent that you share on a blog leave a comment and a link. If you're interested in teaching at a retreat let me know...I've decide to grab the ball back from my daughter and try again! If you're interested in attending an arts and crafting retreat let me know as well...can't have a retreat without women who will support it...and pass this blog post on to all your Canadian women friends who might love an opportunity to join us.

Let's be the start of something wonderful and inspirational, let's encourage each other to recognise our talents and our love of creativity as Canadians!

...we can still love the American artists & crafters, we have a great deal to learn from them and their solidarity.

If you've read all the way through to here you deserve a thank you and I truly hope you'll leave a comment...good or bad, I think we need a collective kick in the butt to get motivated and be supportive.


  1. Well...frustrating it surely is, though eruption of it was not the intent. We never know how, or what, an "innocent" comment/email can produce!
    I agree whole heartedly that Canadian artists (& crafters) should be better recognized and supported. We, as the artists, must be less modest about our talents. Finding ways to put ourselves out there and be recognized is a HUGE challenge especially for the often introverted artistic-soul. Being by (Canadian) nature apathetic certainly does us no favours either!!
    The world of art is objective. It's a struggle to understand how I'm going to truly free my talents and share them without feeling imposing/boastful. I mean really, imposing on whom?? If someone admires your creation(s) & you are trained or innately able it is NO imposition or anything to be modest about.

    My best advice to myself, and others who fight the struggle to be wholeheartedly accepting of the artist their soul screams to be is...believe in the truth that your art is, for YOU. You can share anything that is yours, or not, and it is up to you to DO IT (or not!).

    Our individual and collective creativity is valuable...let's reveal, inspire, and support each other! We soooo deserve it.

    You can count me in!...whose next?!!

  2. Florance. I applaude your renewed enthusiasm and look forward to visiting your blog. Thanks so much for "coming out" and not only paying me a compliment that will take me into Feb, hell even March with an eensy weensy bit more confidence but for mentioning me above! I'm gobsmacked!

    I quite frankly am quite a hermit and as such don't rarely attend any art retreats. I did go to a week long one at Red Deer College a couple of years back and enjoyed it. Alas, it was taught by Laurie Doctor (from south of the border) but I really don't share the impressions you do on the differences between Canadians and Americans. So, other than that I did manage two Nick Bantock workshops on Salt Spring and a handful locally. But, I do want to change this behavior in 2012. So, count me in! I'll be back to visit you and the other blogs mentioned. (Unfortunately, I'm a much better student than teacher.

  3. hi Florance, happy New Year to you! first let me say I am very humbled to be mentioned in your blog post! I just see myself as a regular gal, who plugs away at her craft, fairly quietly, lol! Thank you so much for leaving such a sweet comment, and please no more lurking, lol! although I tend to read many blogs without commenting, since I would be online forever if I did so.

    I loved your post! it must be the Canadian character, or maybe the fact we are such a small population, yet such a huge land mass, we tend to feel more isolated. I agree there are many talented folks here, I know a couple who are very successful in their business, alas, neither offer workshops :-)

    If a retreat has been your dream, don't let go of it. You live in a gorgeous part of Canada (I've been there once) that it would make such a magical place for a gathering of artists. You never know what will happen right?
    I'm going to be following your blog and cheering you on whatever you choose to do, so lets all make this year the best ever!

  4. Hi Florence,
    While I appreciate your enthusiasm to try and generate retreats and more interests in Canadian artists, I don't agree with the comparison between the US and Canada.

    IMHO.....There are cultural differences between the two and my experience with Canadians, having been one my whole life,is that we tend to be more quiet about our achievments, not full on like the US. We tend to enjoy our accomplishments with more restraint where the US make a big noise. I think it's just the way we are and I don't think that will change. It's what makes us who we are in Canada. We make a quiet noise.
    I think as far as retreats go,from people I've talked to regarding retreats for the different arts, most people just simply can't afford to go.

    At one time retreats were the in thing to do and off they go to them, now it's all about money and priorities. Those I've spoken to regarding conferences etc in the US have told me that even those are attended less and less due to cost. So while I think there is a place for retreats and a willingness to attend, it's the economy that is the deciding factor. I wish you well in your challenge...

  5. Hi Florance! I am glad you have come out of "lurking" and left that lovely comment on my blog! I like your idea of the retreat but I have to say I am like Trudi and am quite the hermit and rarely leave home! I do love to find other Canadian artist blogs/websites and have found a couple that also YouTube or UStream and they seem to have quite a few U.S. followers! So I think if we put ourselves out there it is possible to get the word out that Canadians can art with the best of them!
    I am glad to see you blogging and look forward to more!
    xoxo Karen

  6. Hi Florence, I have enjoyed reading your thoughts today and couldn't agree more, women should support each and of course being Canadian, though we tend to "make a quiet noise," as Romana said, I think every once in a while we could collectively "shout."

    I think Canada has some of the most gifted artists, from coast to coast ... just saying! *smile*

    Have a wonderful week-end everyone!

  7. Hi Florance!

    You commented on my blog about the Hendrick Lott House in Brooklyn, NY. No, sadly it is not opened to the public as yet. I drove by it a few weeks ago and it is still shuttered up. I believe with the drop in the economy funds dried up and work slowed down. There was a sign on the fence with this telephone number to the Hendrick Lott House Preservation Association that you can call for further information: 718 375 2681. I'm sure they would be thrilled to talk with a descendant and learn any info you have about the house! You can write to me at my e-mail and I'll be happy to send some recent photos. Good luck with your research and thank you for your comment --I am always excited to think one of my blog posts came in handy to someone.
    All the best,