“The spiral in a snail's shell is the same mathematically as the spiral in the Milky Way galaxy, and it's also the same mathematically as the spirals in our DNA. It's the same ratio that you'll find in very basic music that transcends cultures all over the world.” Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • Creativity & Process Spiral

    Poem Paintings

    Over the break I started playing with acrylic paints to create paintings as though they were poems. I had just finished reading Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by  Stephen Nachmanovitch and was inspired to improvise more often. I wanted to show up to the canvas and paint a poem without words. I gave myself permission to paint things I didn’t know how to draw. And then using the paintings, I’ve started writing poems.

    Poem Painting Collection #1: In Transition

    In the Fields
    Being Seen
    In Transition
  • Love & Energy Spiral

    Autumn Leaves: Poetry, Photography, and Song

    I loved the song ‘Autumn Leaves’ from the first time I heard it. I love the energy of the song and the way I feel singing it. I have spent hours with this song, singing this song just for the sheer pleasure like I did as a teenager.

    At Thanksgiving this year it rained most of the weekend, but there were occasional short breaks. Dad and I went out on Sunday afternoon to take pictures along the Britt road (otherwise known as Riverside Drive). On Monday, driving home I continued to pull over and take pictures. Since the sky was so grey it made the colours pop.

  • Creativity & Process Spiral

    Creative Connections

    One of the best parts about having a blog is learning that something that is posted is of some use to people. I love the interactive nature of blogs. The opportunity for people to leave comments on blogs. We can share things that are important to us. We can collect and document experiences. We can learn from each other. We can inspire each other.

    Over the past couple years I’ve heard that some of my photos have become a source for other people’s projects and I’ve found some of my posts linked or embedded in other people’s work. I’ve met some really interesting people from around the world too. These creative connections are important.

    My cousin Lise sent me a note this week. She’s bringing joy to herself and others by painting on jean jackets. What a fabulous idea! Here is one she recently created for her mother using a picture from my site:

    And then last Spring, Paul Mondoux, another talented artist reached out to me asking if he could use one of my photographs for a painting. At the time of this post, it was listed as available on his website. Here is his beautiful life-like creation:

    And before that a wonderful local artist, Jennifer Trefiak, used a photo of Lake Ontario I took in the Spring for one of her paintings. Riding my bike to the lake always inspired a photo and a share on Facebook. I was so thrilled that Jennifer wanted to use this one to create this dynamic piece:

  • Love & Energy Spiral


    sun lights red maple
    glowing warmth
    and memory
    summer afternoons gone
    crisp breath talks
    to fallen leaves
    collected as treasures
    upon our table
    thank-you trees
    and sun and time
    children like sunflowers
    energy spirals
    and mindfulness
    winter mornings near
    bright appetites linger
    family’s feasting
    savoured as love
    captured in our portrait
    thank-you home
    and food and this.

    © Jessica Outram

  • Community & Connection Spiral

    Creativity in Community

    I feel blessed to live in a creative community that values, generates, and celebrates the arts. Saturday night I attended a fundraising dinner for SONG, a local music program for children. Even the asian fusion dinner carefully prepared by Craft Food House was a work of art! Northern Hearts performed (more local talent). Upstairs in the Loft other arts enthusiasts attended an event inspired by Joni Mitchell.

  • Solitude & Self-Awareness Spiral

    The Art of Doing Nothing

    Days away from summer vacation and I dream of doing nothing. Soon I’ll be able to do nothing every day. Nothing has become an important part of my busy life. I started this practice a couple years ago. I sit in my most relaxing chair, close my eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on nothing. During the school year, I can only do this on the weekend. I try to carve out 1-3 hours a weekend for this “do nothing” practice.