tiger lily

There’s a tiger in the tiger-lilies,

staring at the moon,

the drunken flies eat everything,

and bones are not immune.

Lily, plastic tiger

Image and text for the tiger lily painting.

Best tiger and lily photo for painting

Or this one. I took a lot of photographs.

flying tiger

…then I made stained glass wings for him. I have a friend who’s motorcycle painting company is called ‘Flying Tiger’, so I might send it to him, if I can figure out how to pack it safely.

Fairy Tiger wings

When the light shines through the orange waterglass wings, it makes a tiger-striped black and orange shadow. I love that.

Green tiger

Found a green and orange tiger at the thrift shop. I don’t know why he’s green, but I’m going to make wings for him too.

all those kleptomaniacs #659 verse: 4

I gave them maps to travel by,

and shoes to fit their feet,

the vagabonds, the dark avengers,

dancing down the street.

red map shoes  Jo Forrest

I had this idea of putting maps on the insides of a pair of shoes, and on the soles. That way, you’d never get lost, and it might make you want to travel. I got the shoes at the thrift shop, and I printed the map from an image I had. The flag is a New Zealand flag.

red map shoes  Jo Forrest

The bottom of one shoe, and the inside of the other one.

red map shoes  Jo Forrest

I had a good time photographing them on different backgrounds. I was thinking of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, if she’d had shoes with a map, then she would have known how to get home.

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.

Rapunzel tower,  Jo Forrest.

The start of the next project, the Rapunzel barbiedoll fairy tower. I have to cut out the window. That should be fun. Metal furnace pipe, metal cone Christmas decoration roof, covered in premixed cement.

Small turret.

Making the roof for the small turret. I got a small styrofoam cone from Mary Maxim’s. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be used for, but it was the perfect size for the smaller turret. It’s covered in premixed cement from Canadian Tire. I glued it to the top of this plastic container to work on it. The rocks are for weight at the bottom so it wouldn’t tip over.

Castle turret.

I attached the roof of the small turret to a cardboard core from some wrapping paper and applied the premixed cement and stones to it to make the smaller turret.


Flagpoles made from small skewers and soldered copper foil. The finials on top are lids from bottles of glue, and beads painted silver.

Rapunzel barbiedoll fairy, wig in the sink.

The wig I got from Value Village, washed and drying in the sink.

Rapunzel barbiedoll fairy doll.  Dress, hair.  She still needs wings.

Rapunzel barbiedoll. Hair extensions, dress. Fabric scraps, sewn, glued. Still needs wings.

Rapunzel and Barbiedoll fairy.

Rapunzel barbiedoll fairy in her castle, in the garden, with the flying fairy barbiedoll. What should I do next? I have a red-headed barbie doll…Little Red Riding Hood?

jo forrest tiger glass wings

I got a plastic tiger at the thrift shop to photograph with the day lilies for a painting, but then I thought I should make a fairy tiger, so I went to the glass store and got some orange glass. The pattern is just laying on the glass. I have to glue it down, then cut the glass. He’ll go outside with the fairy rhino I made.

winged tiger

Flying Tiger. Plastic thrift shop tiger, glass wings.

The waterglass wings cast a striped shadow.

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 poem, #605 verse:20 Jo Forrest.

Original photo for the painting.

two lilies for painting.jpg

I’ve been watching a series on the Knowledge Network about the Tate Gallery Walks, with Gus Casely-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.

Lily, lily painting June 20 2019  Jo Forrest

Tinted gesso background. Layer one of the flowers. I’m putting the paint on in a thick layer, instead of my usual 3 thin layers, (or more). I’m not being too fussy about it. I like it, and it’s quicker. The background is going to be all dark green leaves on a darker green background, like the few off to the right. That’s going to take some time.

lily June 21 2019. Jo Forrest

Close-up of the background leaves. Lots more to do.

lily painting June 21 2019 Jo Forrest

Full view of the leaves. I’m only going to do one word for the text, instead of the whole verse.

lily June 22 2019  Jo Forrest

More work on the background. This is going to take a long time. Up ‘til 3 again…

Lily June 26  Jo Forrest

Working on the background first. It’s more fun than I thought it was going to be, but it’s taking a long time.

Lily painting.  Jo Forrest. July 7 2019.

Still have the leaves to do. It’s comin’ along.

Lily, lily, rose, August 6 2019

The finished painting. Varnished and signed.

Aug 4 2019.JPG

Started the next day lily painting. I think it’s going to be a good one.

Lily, August 7 2019

A bit more of the background done. I like the high contrast, and the light.

August 9 2019 Lily.

I did some more work on the background. I’m really looking forward to seeing it finished.

Lily, August 10 2019.

Layer one, all the leaves done.

Lily Aug 12 2019

Working on the petals now. It’s coming into focus.

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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

blood pear for poem (2).JPG

'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