MRI Results by Neil Blake

Since being diagnosed in 2013, I've had a total of 5 MRIs, and usually they end up showing any changes. I was really looking forward to this appointment to see if the MRI results correlated with the fact that, overall, I've been feeling the best that I have in 5 years, and    it did! He told me I have no new lesions, which is REALLY good. Then we spoke about the medication that I am on, Gilenya and how Tecfidera the Wahl's Protocol, although amazing from a health perspective, just really didn't help.

So after we were done talking about drugs and nutrition, we looked my MRI, and that is where my mind was blown away. I'm writing this from a coffee shop in New West, so I don't have a copy of the MRI data to show you all, but I definitely will in my next post.


Hard Day by Neil Blake

Every day is a new day, and so after this post, I'm going to try to not think about the day I had yesterday. It started off with me on my computer checking email and doing my usual morning Facebook routine. In one of the first stories in my feed was about a video made by  (see below). He managed to explain what MS is like like I, unfortunately, have not been able to. I will say however, that I think one major difference was that I was quite a bit older when I was diagnosed, which in my humble option, made things a little hards, as I had tasted enough of life before MS

After breakfast I decided I would go to the lounge and get more product. While I was there, a very familiar song started playing which instantly took me back to a much much simpler time of my life. A time where I had met my now ex-wife, but hadn't started dating yet. I was dating a girl who to this day is one of the top 3 women who have made me the man I am today.

Little Blue Box by Neil Blake

I was going through some boxes a few weeks ago and found a little blue box I once bought for someone whom I now wish I had never met, even though I wouldn't have learned the important, yet painful, lessons that I learned because of her and our brief time together. 

I had been looking into Bitcoin and how to  buy some online for Canadians, when I noticed an ad someone who could buy gold. I had already tried listing it at eBay, but ran into some selling limits that I would have to build a good sellers profile with a good history showing I was trustworthy.

Once I ran into the sellers limit, I decided it was time to head to for Vancouver Gold and see what kind of offer i could get. After a fairly short conversation, he made me an offer I was happy with. I walked out of there with a cheque in my pocked and a smile on my face. 

 A blue Tiffafy & Co box. 

A blue Tiffafy & Co box. 

Conversation with Crystal by Neil Blake

Earlier this week, I met up with Crystal to ask her one question. I wanted to know if she still had her wedding ring or not. It was a really tough conversation for me, definitely one of the toughest of my life,  as I miss her so, so much. Now, she, no we, both recognize that we had fallen apart, and that we both had a hand in breaking it, even though I was the one that made the final ruinous decision that would bring it to a screeching end. 

I told her about how I now considered that time of my life to be a time where I made worst, the most  terrible, painful and downright ruinous decisions of my life. I miss her so much that when I meet someone that reminds me of her, I instantly want to know more about her, even though I know it will probably only lead to disappointment because he isn't Crystal

The hardest part of the conversation for both of us was definitely the part where I told her that I missed her, and "I love you", which are both true. 

Eastside Culture Crawl by Neil Blake

While I haven't really had the time or energy to paint lately, I did get a chance to go check out some of the Eastside Culture Crawl and the Parker Street Studios at 1000 Parker Street. I met a bunch of local artists of all types. Painters, wood sculptors, rock sculptors, jewellery artists, even a woman who hand weavers chainmail! Her chainmail is absolutely beautiful, I wish I could show you by sharing a link to her website, but she unfortunately doesn't have one yet, which is where I will be coming in to help her with that. 

Also showing her art there was Tanya Slingsby, where she was showing many of the pieces from her 2017 Mutual Exhibit. It was great to see Tanya again and see more of her art. My favourite part of the evening was listening to her speak to another artist about the creation process we go through as abstract artists. It was great to catch up with her and get a chance to have ask her questions about it, which I look forward to trying on my next piece. Another part I always enjoy about art shows like the crawl is that I am able to see what a painting over $1000 looks like and learn about paintings that I like directly from the artist. 


About 4 years ago, I bought my first piece of art from a local artist, LJ. Throstle. After I bought the piece, I took my first art lesson, where I painted "Vancouver Sunset". It was also from Lucy that I learned about the Federation of Canadian Artists, a charity group for artists by Group of Seven luminaries Lawren Harris, Arthur Lismer, and A.Y. Jackson.

Last night I went to the 40 Below show at the Federation Gallery where I learned more about it. Now that I have a portfolio of work, and am so much more confident and experienced, I really feel as though I am ready to apply, which is what I will be doing next! 

Bitcoin by Neil Blake


If you haven't heard of bitcoin yet, it's a cryptocurrency that, in my opinion,  has the power to change the world, in many, many ways.

I already own a tiny bit, 0.00373473 BTC, and i've been thinking of a way to more easily transact with people who are, perhaps, also interested in purchasing some of my art.

The other thing that really interests me about bitcoin is that if you get things up properly, you can make a little bit of cash every day for just leaving your computer on so that you can  help "mine" for more. Mining is the act of processing blocks on the blockchain in order to find more coins. 

I'm still in the process of getting a coin square account setup, but I'm at step 2 of 3. I'll update here with any progress of note. 

When it comes to becoming an independent artist, Bitcoin combined with the fact that also have a Square account and card reader really opens up a lot of options. 


WE Art Market Results by Neil Blake

Last Sunday was the WE Art Market. When I was trying to decide to go or not, I realized it would be the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so I thought it might be a good chance to maybe have my art seen by some visitors from out of town. Sadly to say, even though it was a sunny day all day long, it was also a bit windy and definitely chilly! This all meant that market traffic was rather light, and when it did come by, it was usually stopping to look at and buy some of the beautiful jewelry made by Parisa from @standoutboutique at table next to me.


During the quiet times I would go around and look at what the other artists were offering for sale. When I got back to my table and took another look at my display, I noticed something. My lowest priced piece was $280, there the tables around me were selling thing for a little less. I mean, in th end it did make me realize that I should probably prioritize figuring our how to get nice prints made that I can turn into higher end value items like cards, duvet covers, comforters, sheets or maybe even decorative pillows. 

In the end, I just means that I have my next project to get started on all figured out.


WE Art Market by Neil Blake

Over the summer, as I would walk home from the beach, I would have to pass the West End Art Market. I would strike up conversation with other artists  and people who were maybe there to buy a piece themselves.

Sometimes I would learn something that I would try myself or maybe share things about myself.

Either way, I will be at the Jim Deva Plaza on Bute St. at Davie St.

A Day I Thought Would Never Come by Neil Blake

 A day a didn't think would come so soon, finaly has. Yesterday was the first time that I have ever put thought into what it would be like to move back home to be closer to family and save money, which I need to do for the first time in my life. Every time I start to think about it though, tears instantly start swelling up in my eyes.  The thought of moving back east was a big part of why CM and I would fight so much, which, among many other things, would eventually lead to our divorce. 

 Sometimes, I'm pretty sure I know that it would be a good thing for me financially. Then there is the side of me that just knows that all of those financial gains would come at a HUGE emotional cost, which I am simply not able or willing to even try paying. 

One interesting thing that I am also so surprised by is the fact that CM is still here in Vancouver, just across Burrard Inlet. I really wish we had both thought about all this a little bit more, and had actually communicated properly about it. I do also really wish that I looked deeper into having children back then.  the same way I do today. 

Also, I think one final thing that is really not helping me let go of her and what we had together is the fact that neither of us ever even tried to get back together, which I can totally understand from her perspective. That is just one part that hurts a lot when I think back to that time. That and how I let myself get so distracted by what, I now consider to be, such an ugly human being, expecially when compared to the absolutely beautiful woman I once hoped to spend the rest of my days with, and eventually have kids with.

The thing that really kills me though is how I decided to end it in the most painful way I possibly could have. It also put an absolutly permanent "DONE" stamp, for her at least, on the relationship. 

In the end, I have learned SO much and I can't wait to use this new found knowledge.

Anyway I look at it, it probably just isn't even going to happen, even though at this point I'd be soooo willing to try. However, that being said, I do know that she is in another relationship, and I have learned to NEVER go there again. 

Artistically Productive by Neil Blake

I've been feeling really good lately, and so I've been trying to use my days as productively as possible, as you my have noticed by the increase in the number of blog posts i've been doing lately. An even better example, in my opinion, is how creative i've been and how many times I've actually managed to put some of that creativity on canvas. 


Art Show Review by Neil Blake

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Last night was the Pancakes and Booze Art Show at Fortune Sound Club, which now that I'm looking back at it, was something I could probably have done so much better. Being early to set up and install is definitely something I will be doing next year. I was late twice this year, and one of those time was key was for installation. It meant that I couldn't have all of pieces hanging together and so I ended up scattered all around. In the end though, I met a lot of great people and fellow artists and will think about trying to do it better next September.

Square by Neil Blake

The last time I went to a Pancakes and Booze Art Show, I saw some of the other artists with their Square mobile card readers you can use to process credit cart payments. Brilliant!!!

And so while sitting at home, getting my work ready for the show, Square popped back into my mind, so I signed up last week hoping I would get the Square reader in the mail before the show tonight. When I went to check the mail yesterday, I immediately knew what was in there as soon as I opened up my mailbox and saw the envelope I was hoping to see. 

So, hopefully I will get a chance to use it tonight!