My baby

I painted the newest addition to our family quite a few times this year. He is quite gorgeous in real life.


Wesley 9″x12″ watercolor


Wesley and pots 15″x11″ watercolor


Wesley 9″x12″ watercolor


Wesley 9″x12″ Watercolor



I painted a few portraits of my oldest son this past summer.


Hugo 9″x12″ Watercolor


Hugo 9″x12″ Watercolor


Hugo 9″x12″ Watercolor

Here are a few more funny (to me at least) things he’s said over the years.

At 6 years old:

Hugo: you might not know this because it’s a secret, but I’m not religious. There’s a chance I don’t believe in Santa.

Mom: The reason I don’t want you building a fort out of the couch is you never put it back together

Hugo: The solution is to just leave it.

Hugo: I don’t know where this Aero bar goes back on the shelf. Perhaps we can put it in our shopping basket?

Mom: now that the baby’s bigger we can spend more time together just the two of us…
Hugo: it’s okay mom, you’re not that much fun

Hugo: can I eat ice cream in the bedroom? I promise I won’t make a mess.
Mom: did you already break your promise?
Hugo: I didn’t. I meant less mess than usual.

Mom: how old are you going to be?

Hugo: 6

Mom: is 6 big?

Hugo: no 5 is big, 6 is puberty.

Hugo: mom, I have a question that you might not know the answer to, but how does the male sperm get to the female egg? I have a theory. I think it goes through the mouth because it needs liquid. Is that right? Can we check it on the computer?

Mom: go put on some pants.

Hugo: pussy pants? I’m not sure I understand that, but I could search the web for you.

Daddy: Wesley, you’re the only one formally dressed.

Hugo: yeah, he’s dressed like a servant, he should fetch us our drinks.

Hugo: if I eat my sandwich, I’m gonna puke.

Mom: if you eat it and you puke, I’ll give you $100 dollars

Hugo: nah, $100 wouldn’t fit in my piggy bank.

Hugo: Audrey says she’ll marry a girl because boys are stinky. So, I told her that means she won’t have any kids. She told me I was rude. I guess she doesn’t know how things work. She doesn’t know about the sperm and the egg…

Hugo: can there be a family with two moms?
Mom: yes
Hugo: We should get another mom.
Mom: ?
Hugo: One that can make triplets, so we can have a bigger family to play Monopoly.
Mom: I’m not okay with that.
Hugo: It’s okay mom, she’ll be younger than you. You can become the grandma of the family.

At 5 years old:

Hugo: the baby only takes up space.
Mom: you take up space.
Hugo: no, I’m useful.

Hugo: what’s a pube?
Mom: a hair in your genital area.
Hugo: a bear in your general area?
Mom: that’s right.

Hugo: where are you going?
Jacob: here and there.
Hugo: you mean there and here since you’re already here.

Mom: Hugo, do you know any bad words?
Hugo: Yes, “pepper soup”. It’s revolting.

Hugo: dad, mom cares about my health, so you should buy me some junk food.

Hugo: here’s the secret code. You won’t be able to read it.
Mom: of course not. It’s secret.
Hugo: no, I messed up the letters.

Hugo: Wesley, I’m going to do an experiment. It has to do with gases.
Mom: Hugo!!!
Hugo: I accidentally farted in Wesley’s face. I didn’t know he was there.

Mom: isn’t that daddy’s Popsicle?
Hugo: yeah, but it’s family sized.

Hugo: I know everything except for one thing.
Mom: oh yeah, what’s 15 million minus 1?
Hugo: that’s the one thing.

Mom: someone got up on the wrong side of the bed today.
Hugo: I always get up on the same side because there’s a wall on the other side.

Mom: why is there tape on your legs?
Hugo: I need a pee shield. Pee flies on my leg sometimes.

Hugo: will the vaccine protect my brain from rotting so I can watch a lot of TV?

Hugo: my nose has lots of boogers in it, how can I get them out if not picking them?

Hugo: it snowed! We’re going to have to go out the window!

Mom: why are you licking the fridge?
Hugo: I’m spreading lime solution to keep away the mosquitoes.

Hugo: it’s 5:45… it’s 5:51… it’s 6:01…
Mom: why do you keep checking the time?
Hugo: just making sure it’s not bed time.

At 4 years old:

Sebi: your [Christmas] tree smells nice.
Hugo: the tree smells regular, it’s my hair spray.

Mom: time to turn off the light.
Hugo: I. Am. A. Robot. My. Turn. Off. The. Light. Button. Popped. Off. Thank. You. Beep. Beep.

Hugo: this truck deroaded.
Mom: you mean derailed.
Hugo: no, it fell off the road.

Hugo: I need you to sign me up for computer password lessons.

Hugo: shall we buy make-up for you?
Mom: what!?
Hugo: black, red and purple.
Mom: what would I do with the black?
Hugo: put it on your forehead, so you can be batman.

Mom: … no taking anything from strangers, no going with strangers …
Hugo: or I could just ask their name

Jacob: do you know what I do?
Hugo: you’re a programmer.
Jacob: oh, you know. Do you know what a programmer does?
Hugo: you make money.

Jacob: shall we get mama a present?
Hugo: no, she already has everything. She has a mop.

Hugo: don’t want that.
Mom: okay
Hugo: I want it now.
Mom: we’re going in circles.
Hugo: no mom, we’re going in ovals.

Hugo: when I’m 101, I’ll be big like a giant and I won’t speak Canadian anymore, I’ll speak: fee fie foe fum.

Hugo waves energetically to a teen boy.
Mom: do you know him?
Hugo: not yet.

Hugo: this is the bicycle unit.
Jacob: also known as the wheel.
Hugo: they call it a unit in Quebec.

Hugo: Do you like my policeman hat?
Zoey: No. Do you like my barbie?
Hugo: No.
Zoey: Do you want to play with my barbie?
Hugo: No. I only rescue princesses I don’t play with them.

Mom: Hugo, do you want to learn Romanian?
Hugo: No. Mama, do you want to learn English?

Hugo: Mama, I need your glasses to pinch my nose for when I start the farts.

Learning Korean

I started 2017 hoping I’d master Korean by the end of it, or at least be able to have a conversation. Sadly, even though I have studied quite hard at times, I can barely say a few things. The hardest part is listening. I can pick up words here and there, but not enough to actually know what’s going on. I can read and write in Korean, I can introduce myself, talk about the weather, ask someone for dinner… If I had to, I could probably make myself understood. I believe I have enough vocabulary for that, but every Korean I’ve met also speaks English, so it’s easy to fall back on that. It’s a beautiful language and quite a lot of fun to learn, though quite difficult for a European.

I painted my Korean friend’s daughter.


서아 (Seoa) – 9″x12″ Watercolor


2016 was a slow year. I had a baby and I only did two paintings. Here are a brother and a sister.


Dario – 9″x12″ Watercolor


Maya – 9″x12″ Watercolor

Two commissions!

It’s the middle of the year and I’ve sold two paintings this year. At this rate, I’ll have sold 4 by December. If I move to Africa, I’ll be able to live off my art.

Frozen 2 9" x 12" Watercolor and Ink on poster

Frozen 2
9″ x 12″ Watercolor and Ink on poster

Frozen 9" x 12" Watercolor on poster board

9″ x 12″ Watercolor and Ink on poster board

I also made a painting for fun. No pressure.

Quinn 9" x 12" Watercolor

Quinn 9″ x 12″ Watercolor

More Portraits

I think I’m really getting the hang of this portrait painting thing. Here are Luca and Rosie brother and sister and friends of my son’s.

Rosie - 9" x 12" Watercolour Portrait by Franci

Rosie – 9″ x 12″ Watercolour

Luca - 9" x 12" Watercolour Portrait by Franci

Luca – 9″ x 12″ Watercolour


I put on puppet shows at daycare centres and preschools. I mostly make my own puppets, but I do have some store bought ones. Here are some of the latest I’ve made.

Felt Puppets: rabbit, penguin, bear, giraffe, walrus, bird, by Franci

Felt Puppets: rabbit, penguin, bear, giraffe, walrus, bird


Stuff my 3 year old says

A painting of Hugo, the artist's son, by Franci. 9" x 12" Watercolor

Hugo  9″ x 12″ Watercolor

Hugo *runs up to some girls playing at the park*: okay, now catch me!
Girls: but we don’t even know you.
Hugo *thinks for a bit*: I know me. I’m Hugo!


Hugo: why is there no parking in fire lanes?
Mom: well, if there’s a fire and if there’s a car there, then the fire truck won’t be able to get to the fire.
Hugo: no, the car will catch on fire and then it will be a ghost car.


Hugo: mama, I want to change my penis for your penis.
Mom: I don’t have a penis. I’m not male. I’m female.
Hugo: that’s okay. I’ll give you mine anyway and you’ll be ‘maled’.


Hugo: how old are you, mama?
Mom: 35
Hugo: 35! That’s too many!
Mom: yep, I have 35 years behind me. How old are you?
Hugo: 16. I have 17 years behind me.


Mom: what pants are you going to wear?
Hugo: butt naked pants.


Hugo: no, I don’t want a bath ‘cause you might put me to bed.
Hugo: it’s not Los Angeles, it’s Lost Angeles.


Hugo: this is a book about you mama.
Mom: no, this is a book about a girl who makes bad decisions.
Hugo: you are a girl who makes bad decisions.


Hugo with two sticks: I’m violining, I’m a violiner, I made an X.


Mom: cups are for drinking, not for washing hands.
Hugo: no, cups are for throwing out.
Mom: and what are we going to do when we want to drink some water?
Hugo: we’ll be wondering where our cups are.


Hugo at bed time: I’m hungry, I need a tomato.
I don’t need to pee. I peed yesterday. Twice.
I’m so sick, I need some water.
Turn on the light. The wall is black. I think it should be white.


Mom: go put on some pants.
Hugo comes back with his legs through the straps of a bra.
Hugo: I’ve put on my ‘foxies’!


Jacob: you have to listen to me because I’m your daddy.
Hugo: you have to listen to me because I’m your Hugo.


Mom: are you going to say “yes” to anything today?
Hugo: peek into my mouth, there are no “yes”-es left. They flew into the other room.
Mom: so if I take you to the other room, you’ll say “yes”?
Hugo (thinking): I want to say “yes”, but I can’t.


Mom: Hugo, are you paying attention? Focus, please.
Hugo: it’s not focus, it’s hocus pocus.


Hugo: I’m going to eat you all. I ate you all!
Girls at the park: No, you didn’t. We’re still here.
Hugo: Daddy! I ate all those girls.
Jacob: No, you didn’t. I can still see them.
Hugo: I just pooped them out.


Hugo: look mama, a cute little tiger.
Mom: aw, he’s cute.
Hugo: pet him.
Mom: he’s so soft (I’m petting the air).
Hugo: look mama, a cute little shark.
Mom: aw, so cute.
Hugo: look at his boobies.


Hugo: we have to get the vinegar rabbit.
Mom: what?
Hugo: the velveteen rabbit.
Mom: you want to read The Velveteen Rabbit?
Hugo: no, we have to get the car.
Mom: oh, the Volkswagen rabbit.


Hugo: I’m changing my name.
Mom: okay, what should I call you?
Hugo: Spot.
Mom: Spot, come here boy.
Spot: I’m coming.
Mom: Good boy!


Hugo: Oh boy mama! This book has words!


Hugo: dad, you’re a square.
Jacob: and I’m not offended at all.
Hugo: and I’m triangle.
Jacob: what kind of triangle are you?
Hugo: a rectangle triangle.
Jacob: a right angle?
Hugo: no, a rectangle triangle. and mama’s a circle. she’s round.
Jacob: yes, she’s got a circumference and a diameter, a girth.


Hugo: Where is it? Give it back! Give it back!
Mom: What did you lose?
Hugo: My scrape! On my knee!
Mom: It’s on your other knee.
Hugo: Oh.


Hugo: can I watch Dickie Toys?
Mom: no.
Hugo: mama, you got the words wrong. you got ‘yes’ wrong.


Hugo: Giuliano has a penis, me have a penis. Zoey has a china.


Mom: are you going to finish your banana?
Hugo: no, mama. I’m not going to eat it. I’m not a monkey. I don’t eat bananas.
Mom: what are you?
Hugo: I’m a tiger, mama.


Hugo: Take off my shirt.
Mom: No. What? What are you going to wear?
Hugo: My boobies!


Mom: what do you want for breakfast?
Hugo: tomatoes.
Mom: okay, omelet and tomatoes it is.
Hugo eats the tomatoes and runs to the mirror.
Hugo: my hair’s not red! What’s going on Arie? What’s going on? Oh, I forgot the ketchup.


Hugo: In 3 I turn March and when I was grown up at 0 in January I stuck my fingers in Hudson’s birthday cake


Two LEGO pieces stuck together.
Hugo: Mama, take off the green one.
I pull them apart and give him the pieces back one by one, red one first and then the green one.
Hugo: No, mama.
He puts them back together.
Hugo: Take off the green one.
I pull them apart again and give him the green one first and then the red one.
He’s happy.


Jacob: What’s on the moon Hugo?
Hugo: The sun.
Jacob: What else?
Hugo: Africans.


Hugo (talking to himself): 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and hurt his head. Mama called the doctor and the doctor said: do you want to watch Mighty Machines? The monkey said: no, it’s time to play outside.


Hugo: a map ball.
Mom: it’s a globe.

Hugo: a globe.
Mom: you remembered!
Hugo: it’s a planet ball.


Jacob: Look Hugo, a garbage truck.
Hugo: It’s a cement truck.
Jacob: I can play this game too buddy. It’s a plane.
Hugo: It’s a boat.
Jacob: It’s a train
Hugo: It’s a garbage truck.
Jacob: You’re right.



Hugo wraps a blanket around himself and says: “Look mama, I’m a man. Just like mama”

Hugo: mama, sing a lullaby.
Mom: Hush little baby…
Hugo: no, mama, that’s a left one. Sing a right one.


Jacob: Hugo, you’re such a joy!
Hugo: I’m not a joy. I’m a boy.



Hugo: You want milk.
Me: No, Hugo, you have to say “I want milk”.
Hugo sticks a finger in his eye.
Hugo: Eye closed.


Not quite there yet

I have this image in my head of what the portrait I’m about to paint should look like, but it never seems to transfer to the paper. I am getting closer though. It’s also true, that sometimes when I step back from my work, I surprise myself. Sometimes I want to do a good job so badly, that I ruin the paper.

Watercolor portrait of Zoey by Franci

9″ x 12″ Watercolor

Watercolor portrait of Mihaela by Franci

9″ x 12″ Watercolor