barbiedoll fairy queens

barbiedoll mermaid fairy

Barbiedoll mermaid fairy queen. Recycled barbie doll, pre-mixed cement, glitter, chain, bead, soldered crown, pearls, stained glass wings, tail.

barbiedoll mermaid fairy queen side view.

Side view.

Rhino fairy.

Rhino fairy, glass wings, plastic toy from the thrift shop, in a bag with the two sheep I wanted for a painting, and two goats, because that’s a natural combination.

barbiedoll fairy plastic salad bowl umbrella.

The first barbiedoll fairy queen. Glass wings, tulle skirt, amber heart necklace, glitter, rhinestones, pearls, plastic leaves.

skeleton fairy king solder crown.

New crown made from solder for the skeleton fairy king.

Curled leaf painting.

Some leaves fell off my poinsettia plant at Christmas. They dried up and curled, so I took some pictures.

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This is the painting so far. Layer 2 of green on the leaf. No text on this one.

April 16 2019 Jo Forrest

April 16th. More green, and Titan Buff on the background. I’m mixing the purple, since I don’t have any.

April 21 2019  Curled leaf painting.

April 20. More work on the leaf and the shadow.

curled leaf photo May 10 2019

May 10th, painted some detail in, then painted it out.

George Machin, boxer painting

A painting from an old promotional photograph of the boxer, George Machin.

George Machin March 14 2019.jpg

Layer one, just started this. The original photo was in black and white.

George Machin photograph.

The original photo.

George Machin  March 30 2019 Jo Forrest

The finished painting. I might tweak it a little. I’m writing the poem that goes with it now. I’ve never written about a boxer before. This is my husband’s sister’s husband’s father. Got that?

George Machin the boxer of the year Jo Forrest 2019

Re-painted the shorts, and added a death’s head moth in the upper right hand corner. It’s varnished now, so I guess it’s finished. The poem is called ‘the boxer of the year’.

lily, lily, rose

Tell me every flower that

your secret garden grows,

it’s all about the sweet carnation,

lily, lily, rose.

lily, lily, rose

#605 v:20

two lilies for painting.jpg

I’ve been watching a series on the Knowledge Network about the Tate Gallery Walks, with GusCasely-Hayford. I saw the program about John Singer Sargent twice. After the second time, I wrote the poem ‘lily, lily, rose’. I have to do a painting to go with it, and this is one of the photographs I like of the lilies in my garden. I’ll probably buy some white ones, and some roses and carnations, all white, to do another photograph to work from. That’s a few projects from now though. I have a few other things I want to do first.

Paris Painted Rocks

People in my neighbourhood have been painting rocks, and putting them out for other people to find, photograph, and move to a new location.  The pictures are posted on the Facebook page Paris Painted Rocks.  I didn't think I was going to do any, but I found a stash of rocks beside the house, so I decided to paint a few and see how it went. 


This is one of the skull painted rocks.


Close-up of a few of the painted rocks.

Paris Painted Rocks July 13 '18.JPG

A plateful of painted rocks.  I'm now making an Egyptian mummy skeleton fairy, with a backdrop and a sarcophagus...if I can find the cheesecloth.  The Egyptian eye rocks can go with that.

The face rocks are modeled from air-dry clay on top of the rock. 

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Skull painted rock.  I put all the ones I'd painted in the narrow flower bed beside the house, and they'd all gone the next day.  I'm working on the second batch now.


Another skull painted rock.




The moon.


A few skull rocks.


Kind of Australian colours.


More rocks.  They're so much fun to do.


An Egyptian painted eye rock in front of the pyramid.

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King Tut Fairy Skeleton Egyptian Pyramid, and painted stone.

Paris painted rocks Jo Forrest Sept 26 2018.JPG

A few more painted rocks. I like the earth and moon in space rock the best. Acrylic base coat, acrylic design. Golden Acrylic paint. I’m spray varnishing them now.


Three gold faces.

Paris painted rocks Jo Forrest Sept 26 2018 (2).JPG

Face, painted rock.

Guinness stone, Julian's grave.JPG

Union Jack painted stone, Julian’s grave, England. 2018.

Skeleton fairy house

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Skeleton fairy house, close-up.  Moose hip joint, wood, driftwood, plastic dollar store skeleton, air-dry clay, beads, embellishments. 

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Skeleton fairy house with four skeleton fairy kings.

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Shadow fairy king, holding a plastic faceted heart.

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Ghost skeleton fairy king, holding a plastic heart.

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Skeleton fairy house, ghost skeletons.

I've seen a number of fairy houses in the neighbourhood, but they're not my style, so I didn't think I'd want to make one, until I thought about the little plastic skeletons I got at Halloween one year, and then I thought I'd like to make my own dark version of a fairy house, and here it is.  What else can I say?  This is so me...

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For Canada Day.  They need beerskis and baseball hats.


Canadian skeleton fairy, unfinished.


Both Canadian skeleton fairies.  Unfinished.  Air-dry clay baseball caps, wire for wings.


Muskoka chair with air-dry clay beer bottle.  Unfinished.


Inukshuk for Canadian skeleton fairy garden.  Painted face.  Stones from the beach at Port Dover, and beside the Grand River in Paris.


Two skeleton fairies with baseball caps and beer bottles, sitting on their Muskoka chairs.


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Two Canadian fairy skeletons, with an Inukshuk.


Stone, pre-mixed cement, sand, pebbles for the landscape.  I'm trying to decide if I should make a small lake or not.

Little Fairy Skeletons cabin front and side view.JPG

Made a little cabin to go with the beer drinking fairy skeletons.  The door opens on real hinges. The smoke is made from steel wool.  The window is a square of glass from the dollar store.  The basic structure was a house-shaped shelf from the dollar store. Acrylic paint, air dry clay.

Little Fairy Skeletons cabin door opened wood stove, tea pot.JPG

Door opened.  Inside is a wood stove, made from air-dry clay, acrylic paint.  The tea pot is a metal place card holder.  Clock made from watch parts.

Little Fairy Skeletons interior wood stove tea pot.JPG

The wood stove, door opened (it has a real hinge, made from wire, and a bead.  The flames are pieces of red glass, and the wood is driftwood from the beach in Gibsons.

Little Fairy Skeletons cabin, back.JPG

This is the back.  I sign my work mt forest, with a glyph I've been using since the 70's.  I usually put a stamp on the back of my work too.  Just for fun.


Cabin, behind the Canadian fairy skeletons drinking beer.

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Interior of the pyramid, fairy skeleton mummy, painted stone, etc.

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Fairy Skeleton King Tut pyramid, and sculpture from the dollar store, painted.  Painted Eye of Horus stone.

Skeleton fairy king.  Jo Forrest.

The latest Fairy Skeleton King. Plastic skeleton, air-dry clay crown, gold and red and black paint.

skeleton fairy king repair 2 (2).jpg

Needs to have a new crown made. This one disintegrated over the winter.

barbie doll fairy wings, unfinished.

Barbiedoll fairy with iridescent glass wings. Unfinished.

barbiedoll fairy plastic salad bowl umbrella

The finished barbiedoll fairy, hanging under a plastic salad bowl for an umbrella to keep her dry in the rain.

skeleton fairy king soldered crown

A new crown made of solder for my fairy skeleton king. Hopefully this one will last in the rain. The air-dry clay dissolves, even if it’s varnished.


I bought a shark headed puppet at the dollar store.  Then I bought a couple of dolls.  This is what happened next.

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This reminds me of the painting I did called 'the former Miss America', for the poem of the same name.

The former Miss America  ate all her dinners raw,  tucking every extra morsel, bloody  in her bra.

The former Miss America

ate all her dinners raw,

tucking every extra morsel, bloody

in her bra.

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Bought a shark puppet from the dollar store.  Took some photos, put them on Facebook.  Someone said something, and I said, 'you're lucky I didn't buy a barbie doll'.  So I did.

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Shark head puppet painting, from the poem 'this is the realm of the wild remora'. 

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Shark head puppet redhead barbiedoll in the bath photograph.  Then I said, 'I should put them in the bath', so I did.  Jo Forrest 2018.

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Shark head puppet blonde barbiedoll in the bath.  Jo Forrest 2018.

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Shark head puppet blonde barbiedoll in a pink tutu, in the bath.  Jo Forrest 2018

I filled the bath with warm water and took these photographs.  I'm going to do at least one painting from them.  The fun you can have from two items from the dollar store, and the thrift shop.


Shark puppet barbiedoll painting, day one.  For the poem 'this is the realm of the wild remora'.

Coughing up bones,

we expel our emotions,

love-sick for blood

in delirious oceans. 

#509 verse: 17

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Shark head puppet red head barbiedoll painting, day two.  Up 'til 4.  Too damn late.  Fun though.

shark head puppet red hair bbd.jpg

Layer one of the red hair painted, teeth, gums.  So much fun. 

shark head puppet red head bbd painting July 5 '18.jpg

Shark head puppet red haired bbdoll painting.  Light on the water.  Still needs more work, but it's getting there.  The text will be last.

July 6 shark head puppet red haired bbdoll.jpg

Did a bit more work on the blue edge, and added some white highlights to the patterned background.  The text is next.  That will take some time to do.


Text added.

Coughing up bones,

we expel our emotions,

love-sick for blood

in delirious oceans.

Shbbdoll July 16.JPG

Shark head puppet blonde barbiedoll painting, day 2. 

Bubble-gum pink

in the moon's cold aurora,

this is the realm of the

wild remora.

Jo Forrest 'this is the realm of the wild remora', verse: 11


Painting number three.  Blonde barbiedoll, shark head puppet.  Unfinished.

July 19 Shark head bbdoll.JPG

Got the text done, which is the hard part.  Had to change the hair and the text at the bottom right.  The shark is next.

July 19 Shark head bbdoll.JPG

A bit more work done.


More work done on the hair.


Finished.  Started the next one.  Well, it is shark week.

July 30 18 shark head puppet four.JPG

Shark head puppet blonde barbiedoll.  Wrote a new verse to go with it.

Swimming with sharks

is a lesson in pain,

these are the only words

spoken in vain.

'this is the realm of the wild remora', #509 verse:18

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Almost finished.  Things got a little out of hand, maybe.

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Shark-head-puppet blonde barbiedoll painting number four.  I think I've overdone it.  I might repaint parts of it out.

the blood pear

the blood pear  verse:19 and 35

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'the blood pear'  Jo Forrest 2018.

Your shadow bowed its curtain call,

it left for parts unknown,

I struggle on to catalogue the universe,



You taught me truth from razz-ma-tazz,

for that, I'm grateful too,

for all the words, the images,

the memory of you.


for Anthony Bourdain.

The last iconic drop of water
overfills the cup,
the dead are lost to silence but
you just can’t give them up.

Twisting turns the mechanism
clock-wise to the day,
you offered it a dollar but
your shadow walked away.

I cuddled up against your spine,
you’re belly-soft and round,
you won’t be so euphoric when
your bones are in the ground.

Beauty fades, but bone endures,
we’re all the same to Death,
I shucked my shoes and ran until
I ran beyond my breath.

I left you smudgy fingerprints
and reliquary bones,
the this and that, the why and how,
the sickly pheromones.

I left you pain and endless cups
of chamomile tea,
I left you in the dark beside
the empty skin of me.

There is no grief beyond the heart’s
ability to bear,
the seeds acquire memories
inside the bloody pear.

No resurrection ghost will come
to haunt your murky dreams,
the widdershin machine is less unstable
than it seems.

It’s slow, by any measure you could
quantify by tears,
overhead and underneath,
the music of the spheres.

In between, the spinning poles,
the arc of bluest sky,
the shadow laying on the ground,
the solitary fly.

There isn’t time to count the dead,
their numbers multiply,
too much time makes anything
complacent to the eye.

Bubbles form in brewing blood,
the sugar turns to sap,
blunt your former pearly teeth,
the bones will not unwrap.

If only kissing brought you back,
then Death would turn his cheek,
you and I would find the warm entanglement
we seek.

Your bones will brood eternity,
I’ve seen them bend and brawl,
you’ll rarely see them moving in the darkness,
if at all.

I hear you breathing in and out,
the mechanism speaks,
I promise you, I’ll study your collapsing star
for weeks.

Your skin will lie abandoned
like a dream you can’t recall,
joy is coddled sweet and raw,
but suffering is all.

You’re sweating, I can taste the ocean
cooling on your skin,
every heart that beats for love
is clock-wise to the spin.

Stars implode and gravity
curves bones into a sphere,
matter turns to energy
a billion times a year.

Your shadow bowed its curtain call,
it left for parts unknown,
I struggle on to catalogue the universe,

Fusion takes the place of love,
we glow the white-hot heat,
we dance the shoes right off our small
incendiary feet.

We tick-tack-toed across the floor,
the air was blue with smoke,
we haloed them with roses as
the mechanism broke.

Your shadow left before your hands
could button up your shirt,
we eye the world with wary eyes,
but beauty is inert.

Your shadow curled around me like
a secondary skin,
a week, a month, a year from now,
the dreaming will begin.

Why would I accept my heart’s
miscalculating eye?
I’d pierce my skin with rusty blades
if I thought I could die.

I’d rearrange the day’s events
to give you time to waste,
I’d cook your alter-ego’s bones
and grind them into paste.

I’d spread it thin beneath the sun,
the bitter parts consumed,
by us, I mean the torturers,
the chosen ones, the doomed.

I wove a nest around your bones
to help them feel secure,
helpless in absentia,
I’m drawn to their allure.

Knowledge passes skin to skin,
it’s best to break the rules,
beneath a swollen sullen moon,
the remnant body cools.

Beauty speaks an ancient language
no one’s ever heard,
I see why you, the traveler,
thought sorrow was a bird.

Its voice was high and musical,
you loved the awful sound,
you packed your bags and left for greener pastures,
homeward bound.

We cried the night the moonlight died,
your shadow flew the coop,
I dreamt your resurrection in
a never-ending loop.

Waking is the hardest part,
we all know dreams aren’t real,
I know it’s wrong to love the moon,
but this is how I feel.

Underneath, we’re lonely too,
there’s little to deny,
there’s more to life than beauty but
it hastens from the eye.

This is what the bones believe:
it’s better to forget,
it’s better to remember things
that haven’t happened yet.

You taught me truth from razz-ma-tazz,
for that, I’m grateful too,
for all the words, the images,
the memory of you.

Cast away your heavy heart,
its need outweighs its worth,
ease your tired bones into
the sympathetic earth.

The body shrinks around its core,
there’s time for beauty yet,
its time to write the story in
another alphabet.

The body wears its history
for everyone to see,
the Buddhist master said it best,
‘to be is not to be’.


                                mt forest 2018




the six-minute night

This is the way to the end of the rainbow,

the road winds away through the fields,

down came the boys from the cold side of heaven,

to carry us home on our shields.

mt forest #546 verse:10 the six-minute night 2018

Angel ornament collage Lindsay Gallery 2014 - 15 (2).JPG

'boom the rain'


Moose scapula, acrylic paint, beads, wooden tags, crystal chandelier parts.

The elephant's graveyard

is a myth.

They die where they fall,

like any other



like any other ghost

born of memory,

like any other


of remembrance.


We're the ones

who make


from the burnt



mt forest.


Back of moose scapula.  Wire, beads, collage, acrylic paint.  April 2018.

Alternative Artifacts/Upright Tools

Alternative Artefacts the letter A Jo hand drawn March 29.jpg

This is the first draft of a logo for the fictional company, Alternative Artifacts/Upright Tools.

I bought an old oil can from an antique store as my prototype.

Alternative Artefacts star logo Mar 31 '18 two.jpg

Version two.

Alternative Artefacts winged logo Ap 4 with tag.jpg

Version three.


I have to redraw the design, then reduce it, and cut a, easy peasy, right?

Then I have to figure out what colour(s).  Maybe the "A" will just be for the tag.  I still have to do an image to go with the Upright Tools name.

Heart for alternative artefacts upright tools april 4 2018 (3).jpg

This is a collage of a plastic heart from the dollar store, and wings that I got at the thrift shop.  I like it for the shape of the wings.  For the oil can project I need wings that don't spread out so much.

Alternative Artefacts A circle star wings logo May 30 '18.jpg

Version four.

Alternative Artefacts wing June 3 '18 red star white A.jpg

Version 5.  Much simpler.  Now I have to cut a stencil, and see if I can apply paint through it onto a curved surface.  No problemo, right?  This would look good on a t-shirt.

Version 5 on a t-shirt in rusty colours.

Version 5 on a t-shirt in rusty colours.

Version 6.  I'm losing track of how many I've done.   

Version 6.  I'm losing track of how many I've done.


Ammo box from 1941.  A potential project.

Ammo box from 1941.  A potential project.


Alternative Artefacts/Upright Tools

The butcher sells bones with their skins wrapped around them,
the sweetest ones taste like the sea,
the hearts cost the earth, and the bones are expensive,
but the rest of the organs are free.

A man with a hammer put nails in my coffin,
it’s covered with thousands of jewels,
I twitch in my sleep, like there’s more to remember
than the simple momentum of tools.

I cough as the smokers make sad declarations,
they call themselves,
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again,
you can’t change the world with a bomb.

Changes were made to the house of remembrance,
it’s smaller than ever before,
twenty-six layers of latex emulsion
cover the walls and the door.

A man with a ladder came in through the window,
he’s wearing a leopard-skin coat,
he tells me my dreams have medicinal powers,
but love is the real antidote.

His face is a mirror for all those emotions
you swore you would never reveal,
I looked at his face as it made my reflection,
but sorrow is hard to conceal.

Who do you see when he looks at your image,
how do you live with the lie?
This is the sacrifice heaven requires,
an eye for an eye for an eye.

Pain is a lesson the body remembers,
I suffered a little too long,
I boiled the heart to a tender concoction,
since eating the living is wrong.

It cools on a plate as I look for the candles,
you have to eat slowly at first,
it bobs like a cork in a sea of emotion,
it’s shadow completely immersed.

They dressed me in silk for the mystery tour,
they did what they could with my hair,
they’re not really used to the sight of a body
encrusted in pearls, to be fair.

Time’s a machine with a mortal obsession,
it grinds you to darkness and dust,
hope is the flickering light from a candle,
igniting the things that combust.

The ladder man took out his fat leather wallet,
his pockets have tattering holes,
he’s perfectly drawn, from the tips of his fingers,
down to his Louboutin soles.

He paid me in coins from the country of menace,
I smiled in raptures of joy,
his eyes mirrored beauty in love’s admiration,
but sorrow is hard to destroy.

I captured the mood of a whole generation,
fame is beyond your control,
after the fire burned everything down to it’s embers,
they swallowed me whole.

I drew on the walls with a small yellow pencil,
I want you to feel what I felt,
you talked about dying from love’s poisoned arrow,
but my lump of a heart wouldn’t melt.

Gravity holds you with small restless fingers,
this is why everything moves,
you dance to the voice on the old vinyl record,
as the dust settles into the grooves.

The room is the colour of chalk over roses,
a sickly medicinal pink,
love is the memory no one remembers,
that’s why I wrote this in ink.

I drew on the floor by the light of the candle,
I want you to see what I saw,
the man with the tools stood in front of the mirror,
looking for memory’s flaw.

This is the sequence of life’s precious moments,
a man eats a snake eats a fish,
I want to evolve into something as real
as a shadowless heart on a dish.

Death is a skeleton knitting a sweater,
I want you to dream what I dreamt,
now that I’m shot through the heart with an arrow,
there’s nothing I wouldn’t attempt.

I slept in a room where the bed was an oyster
and I was the mythical pearl,
I’m not really sure how to prove that I’m saner than you,
but I’ll give it a whirl.

He said I was born from the void without mercy,
tomorrow is yesterday’s news,
little does he, with his heart beating madly,
know that I’d kill for his shoes.

mt forest April 2018