Art Show – Sneak Peek

A quick sneak peek of a painting on my mantle waiting to go to the gallery.

It’s a big piece, 30″ x 72″ and is inspired by the educational reader I illustrated for David Bouchard and Turtle Island Voices.

The show is One Week Away!


The Bearclaw Gallery Presents:
“An Unbroken Spirit”
Paintings by Aaron Paquette

Show opens November 17, 2012
Artist in Attendance 2-4pm

10403 – 124street
Edmonton, Alberta



iPad 2 – Creation Tool

Well, I finally did it. I broke down and got the iPad 2. It’s amazing. I’ve seen it in stores, I’ve clicked the little icons, but something about owning one, customizing it, making it your very own.

That’s powerful.

So of course, one of the first things I did was draw.

Here it is:

What I’ve found is that contrary to what I’ve been hearing, I’m actually not that interested in watching movies or YouTube, I’m just right in there wanting to create, create, create! The sketch above was rendered in SketchBook Pro.

More to come.

All You Amazing People!

I want to ask you something.

Over the years I’ve been asked to give personal art lessons. Instead I’ve been going to schools, doing workshops, and using my art as both a teaching tool and as a way to promote cooperation in communities. For me art has not just been about painting a picture, but something I feel is far more important.

Art has been my path to reach a deeper understanding of what it takes to be successful both professionally and personally.

I’ve had my highs and lows and learned A LOT along the way and nothing gets me more excited and to feel more in purpose with my life than to share these things.

My question is simple:

Would this be something you’d be interested in hearing about? Would it be of value if I were to put together the most important things I’ve learned about art and provide them to you?

I’m talking about people with no skills who are just starting out.

I’m also talking about artists who are further along and want to learn the final keys that I believe would work for anyone to take their work to the next level.

And even more important I’m talking about learning powerful ways of thinking about life and creativity that let you leave your troubles behind and open up to all the wayyy more awesome things in store for you!

Basically, I’m talking about a few simple steps that will improve your art, your career and your life.

I have decades of experience and feel like I really want to share it on a larger stage than I have been.

So what would you like to learn? What would be the biggest questions you have and the most important things you’ve always wanted to get a handle on or get better at? Please leave a comment below to let me know. I want to create something special that will really help people.

Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.



iPad2 – nerdy thoughts today for a better tomorrow

Last year around this time I wrote about the new iPad and how it would be great as a creative tool. I decided to wait until Apple got a few of the kinks out and straightened out the edges, so to speak. Behold, iPad 2. With the touch of a finger or a third party stylus, the iPad can function as both a quick, on the spot sketchbook and a way to test out different colour combinations on the fly. With a built in camera I can snap a photo of a piece I’m working on and quickly throw in different colours. This saves me from doing little colour sketches. Plus I can save my colour swatches for future reference.


So I was thinking about Apple and love the company or hate it you’ve got to admit they’ve revolutionized the way we look at technology. Steve Jobs always talks about how it has to be more than just the specs, but how the tech meets the liberal arts, the humanities.

Because of his vision, he is almost singlehandedly moving the world into what he calls the “Post-PC” era. As an artist, I am very drawn to Apple for my tech stuff and I’m grateful for the aesthetics, the ease and intuitive User Interface, and the streamlined way I can work, write, and communicate.

It got me to thinking about what the world would be like without Apple, how further behind we might be. There are exciting times ahead, and with the advent of user-friendly content creation, FaceTime and Cloud storage (putting your files in the internet instead of on a hard drive), there is the opportunity to be well-informed, take action, and come closer together as a human race.

Suddenly my Mom’s hippy generation has seen the corporate world catch up to their vision. At a price, of course, so we’re not completely there.

But here’s the thing. A world without Apple, and specifically Steve Jobs (who was also CEO of PIXAR, turning into the company it became), would mean that there would be none of this streamlined creativity going on. At least not on such a large scale.

Now, understandably, with it’s “closed system” there is less customization possible, and iTunes locks people into one way of purchasing music, movies, books, etc. But there are always alternatives out there.

And alternatives is what this whole article is about.

If we lived in the Apple-less world, we’d be just fine. I for one am glad for the reality we have but then…what if…?

What if there is an even more innovative way to look at art, human experience and tech that we are just not seeing? What if there is an explosive and dynamic vision that no one is taking the time to dream up? If tech+liberal arts=apple, well, aren’t here other intersections that could be even more compelling?

What if artists, musicians, writers came together with programmers, hardware creators and industrial designers. Then this group hooked up with humanitarians, volunteers, and healers?

What I’m saying is that there are even more visionary possibilities out there. All it takes is someone with the drive and capability to bring it together. All it takes is for someone to look at our awesome little boxes, portable or not and ask:

What’s next?

What can we do with all this human ingenuity and passion? Are there any limits to beauty we can make?

Are there any limits to the healing we can bring to the planet and to each other?

Perhaps it seems silly to ask these questions with technology as the nucleus but I don’t think so.

Technology equals telepathy.

With technology we read each other’s thoughts. Right now you are reading mine. If you comment, I will then know yours in turn, and so on.

From cave paintings, to hieroglyphs to pixels on a screen. From grunts to speech to song. From gestures to acting to dancing. We have evolved our communication. We have been striving for millenia to understand each other.

And to be understood.

When we have the technology to make ourselves known and to know others, we have reached a place where we can talk instead of fight. Instead of being scared, hurt or offended, we can simply ask: what do you mean? What was your intent? Why?

We can find the places where we connect, and through our interactions come away changed.

And it can be fun!

Apple has made computers fun. Facebook has made keeping in touch an absolute addiction. When it comes to communicating, where do we go next? What’s the third heat?

I like to imagine there is someone out there who has a seed that is growing, an idea, a spark that is being carefully nurtured and they are on the cusp of creating something truly game changing.

Then again, maybe that’s all of us. Maybe in these days of war and environmental and economic concern, when people are raising their voices and demanding freedom from repression, maybe it’s no one person. Maybe it’s all of us.

Is there a beautiful and righteous wind at our backs? Have we come these crossroads in human history, ready to make the world a paradise?

Why not?

Let’s do it.

And let’s do it now.

Love, laugh, and give.

Give yourself to life, and let life give back. Stand up for your brothers and sisters, and ask them to stand up for you. Let go of the shackles of expectations, traditions, and old beliefs that make us hate or be angry, or worse: afraid.

There’s an amazing future just around the corner and it doesn’t want to be a far-off land, it wants us to live it today. Well, I see by the clock it’s already 5:45pm MST, so…maybe we do it tomorrow.

But one of these days has just got to be THE day.

And if a little company in Cupertino can make an iPad out of materials that already exist, why can’t we make this a better world, a World 2.0, with all the amazing souls that are already here?

Well, I think we can.


From the Archives

The Old Saint
Mixed Media on Canvas

I painted this last year for a friend who really loves art, collects art and is just a good all round guy.

It’s an old spiritual man, a saint, listening to the whisperings of the spirits of the land. In Old Europe, Christianity was pretty much the only option for spiritual expression, so I really respect these old saints who tried to do what good they were able in their time. They were deep thinkers, clear writers, and really did their best to peer past the world we take for granted to understand the wonder that connects it all.

In front of him lies an illuminated manuscript. As Stephen King has said, telepathy exists and we call it books. We can literally read the minds of those who wrote their thoughts out for us.

I believe everyone has something to offer. The problem is we think we have to be experts or create the Most Amazing Thing Ever! If everyone who put themselves out there thought that, we’d live in a truly desolate creative landscape.

Whatever you have to give, give it now. There’s no better day to offer your gift than today, and whether the audience is great or small doesn’t matter. The truth is, whatever you do will pass through the years, through the generations and one day just might be the thing that changes someone’s life. We can never know what it will be or when it will happen.

So just create!

Offer what you can.

And let it go.


Dull drums decline

Chalk Pastel on Paper
12″x 16″

I know spring is months away, but I feel like I’m waking up a little early. I’ve been laying fallow for the past six weeks or so, seemingly unable to do anything art related. Create, ship, whatever. This week has seen a rejuvenation. I’m ready again.


Moon Shadows and Stuff

Solstice in the New World
18″ x 24″
Mixed Media on Canvas

This past December saw the Winter Solstice arrive with a bang: a full lunar eclipse. Here in Western Canada, it began before midnight and ended in the early morning hours. I stayed up to watch the event unfold, as did many others. We are far removed from the days when such phenomena were frightening and unexplained and that can lead us into a sense that such events are unimportant.

Just because we can explain a thing scientifically, however, does not mean that we understand it or that it is simply another event of slight interest only because it is remarked on by a few people on either side of the scientific or spiritual fringe.

In other words: just because you are not aware of the importance of an event doesn’t mean it won’t affect your life!

We live in a time where an astounding number of people are awakening to their own existence and seeing that there is a curable madness inherent in it. The sheer waste we produce, both physically and emotionally is changing the face of the planet. This solstice marks that awareness and even better, the will to do something about it.

Some people still believe that forcing others to their viewpoint will make for a better world for our children’s children. Some people despair that nothing can be done anyway, so why get worked up about it? But some change themselves.

That’s it. Some people change themselves.

It’s really that simple. Behind all the fears, illusions, and defeats is one simple truth: to change the world, change yourself.

Speak more gently, speak your truth more clearly. Act in ways that are in keeping with your values. Like it or not, we are all responsible for the fate of our planet and for each other. We are all one tribe, one people, and turning our eyes away from the suffering our privileged lifestyles cause to our family in poorer countries only harms ourselves.

Be aware. That’s how you change. Changing isn’t a process of fighting yourself, of straining and stressing, it’s simply awareness. Be aware and the change will come as naturally as breathing.

Be honest. Be aware.

As the Sun, Earth and moon aligned, so too can our thoughts, words and actions.

As the Solstice marked the end of the darkness, and as it was broken with the moon slipping out from shadow into light, so too can our lives be illuminated by the gift of awareness.

Solstice in the New World.

Pretty cool, huh?