As creativity is never in short supply in our house, and I am always searching, making or creating something new. It’s of no real surprise that my children turn out ‘masterpieces’ like there is no tomorrow.  In fact someone is painting as I write this!!! (… which someone else who IS writing this will have to clean up later…).

But how often do you get the chance to work with an acclaimed local artist to create something completely unique and beautiful?!

When I found out about the Little Picasso Series by Joyce Ozier and learned of her mission to celebrate children’s creativity by creating gallery-quality artwork to proudly hang in any room of the house – I was thrilled. I mean it’s right up my alley. And my, eternally churning out artwork, children’s alley at that! Immortalizing my children’s early creativity with a work of art – what’s not to love?!

Then I met Joyce and it got even better! She is wonderfully interesting, knowledgable and incredibly talented (and so, so likeable). She is the sort you would love to have coffee with – with or without fabulous artwork to discuss (and in fact I have been fortunate enough to do just that, at an event both of us attended)!

So when Joyce and I met to discuss a collaboration involving my youngest, I was happy. I jumped at the chance for Acacia to work along side such an accomplished artist and I was excited for the final outcome. I knew Acacia would just love it! But little did I know how much I would enjoy the experience too.

Joyce is a creative and talented artist (just check out her website for yourself if you don’t believe me). But she is not just great with art, she is great with kids too and their mothers (and I think it’s safe to say she would be pretty great with fathers and grandparents too)!

As she got to know us, Joyce put in the extra time to really get to know Acacia herself and make her feel comfortable, to find out what she liked and didn’t like. And she made us all feel at ease. With children who do not immediately warm up to others, this impressed me and resulted in getting a very authentic final product that we cherish, because it is truly very Acacia!

A pleasant surprise was just how taken both my kids were with the opportunity to go to an actual artist’s studio and see where it all happens. And just how incredibly patient and kind Joyce was with my girls and their questions ( and possibly with all their mother’s questions too…).


The process started by us meeting up for coffee, Acacia, Joyce and I. This was where she explained to us what we could expect and how the project generally unfolds.


Next we set up a time for Joyce to come to our place. This is where she was able to get a feel for our tastes and a chance to experience Acacia in her comfortable surroundings.

My children delightedly toured Joyce around, happy to have the full attention of an actual artist to show and explain ALL of their artwork and baby photos already on the walls!

After her ‘tour,’ Joyce then gave me a couple suggestions of where we could best put the finished piece. We discussed a few possibilities (this was important with all of my photography loving ways, as there is very little unoccupied wall real estate left) and we settled on a spot in our front entrance. This then allowed Joyce to take measurements and get a feel for scale and colour in our place. It was also just really fun!


We then arranged in couple weeks time to meet at Joyce’s studio  (just outside Olympic Village).

The day of the studio visit, the girls and I made our way into Vancouver. Joyce met us at the door and made us feel right at home in her lovely, light filled studio. What a wonderful space to create!

And what a fabulous thing to expose my kids to! I had brought both kids with me as my oldest was dying to see an art studio as well (and I wanted her to patiently ‘watch’ her sister paint as her sister had patiently watched her dance on many an occasion). She had crayons and paper all set up and ready to go for both kids. Plus an over sized t-shirt for Acacia to slip over her clothes like an apron!

I happily observed that she did not rush Acacia, she just patiently drew her out and they worked with several mediums and different sizes of paper. Each time Acacia got more and more comfortable (and of course loved being the centre of attention doing one of her favourite things).

Then Joyce brought out the paint and brushes. That was when Acacia’s eyes really lit up!

Acacia happily painted our family, a page of moustaches and then followed inspiration to her name sake and painted a glorious acacia tree.

It was such a wonderful opportunity and impossible to be in that space and not feel inspired. I absolutely loved getting to see Acacia starting out a bit reserved and timid and then just enjoying herself so much. It was a fantastic way to spend a morning.



A week later Joyce emailed me 3 possible sketches based on Acacia’s studio creations. All were lovely, but it was a no brainer which to choose as Acacia had spoken non stop about her acacia tree that she had made with a real artist.


Then the next time I heard from Joyce, it was with the fabulous news that the painting was finished and to set up a time for me (without the kids) to come see it.

I was delighted with the painting, in fact it is impossible for me to look at it (to this very day) without smiling. I loved Acacia’s interpretation of an acacia tree and the bright colours Joyce chose to use, framed in so nicely with the grey border. And Joyce and I both agreed that it is just too cute to immortalize the fact that Acacia signed not just her name, but mom and dad too, and all backwards! With Acacia starting kindergarten, that has already changed and I am just so pleased to have the memory of Acacia insisting writing backwards is better!

Finally we set up a date and time for the big reveal, when Joyce could come to our place and show Acacia their finished artwork collaboration and do the final installation.


When the day arrived, Acacia rushed home from school (seriously she didn’t even look at the tire swing twice), helped set out some cake for snacking and waited at the door expectantly!

Then the big moment arrived. Joyce had wrapped the canvas and Acacia carefully pulled the wrapping paper off to reveal their painting underneath. Then Joyce read Acacia the personal message she had written on the back of the canvas. It was a very sweet moment.

Then Acacia watched (a little shyly) from the stairs as Joyce installed the painting that now proudly sits in our front entrance and elicits a smile every time you enter.

This was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it! The finished product is an unique piece of art. It is based on your child’s original drawing or painting, but it is also full of Joyce and her unique eye for colour and expression, so the piece is truly a one of a kind collaboration and a true conversation piece!

Joyce’s love of art and children really showed the entire way along, as she always had a little something for Acacia (a way of breaking the ice with her each time we got together) and a way of making her feel comfortable, which I always appreciated. Going into his project I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but was excited to see it unfold. However, the experience far exceeded my expectations and it wasn’t just about the beautiful final product, but the full experience from beginning to end. Working with an artist and getting involved in the process from conception to completion was an amazing, incredible and unique experience not just for my child, but for myself. Something that made me so grateful to live in a city with such diverse talents and opportunities. The chance to show my children a career in art and an amazing role model. That was the part I did not and could not have expected. Or the friend I have made from the experience, because I for one can not wait to attend one of Joyce’s art shows!


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5 thoughts on “the LITTLE PICASSO SERIES”

  1. A truly unique experience is right! What a treat. And what a beautiful result — typical of Acacia, but also something the whole family can really enjoy. Well done everyone!

    1. Thank you, we did enjoy the experience – and it has added some lovely colour to the front entrance

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