Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Crawl

It's been a while since I posted! I've been busy in the studio and doing some design work.

I want to give you a heads up about the Eastside Culture Crawl. Yes, our studio is participating again this year, yay!
This year it is November 18th, 19th and 20th.

There will be lots of great art to see, so mark your calendars and get ready to Crawl!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Back to back art nights!

Last night I went to the opening of Rebecca Chaperon's 'Like A Great Black Fire'.
This 10 canvas suite (polyptych), is striking as a whole, but almost more fascinating when taken in, one by one, for scrutiny.

Chaperon's wonderfully subdued, earthy colour palette is juxtaposed with monochromatic heroine figures whose faces are hidden from us. They appear to be delicate yet formidable. They are innocent, perhaps naive, yet one gets the feeling they may be up to something quite sinister.

The meticulous detail in the rendering left me wondering where one acquires such patience. Geometrically shaped voids and wordless speech bubbles interplay between the figures. Waterfalls, caves, ferrets and swords, whatever is going here leaves me intrigued and frankly, a wee bit frightened. 

Tonight I attended the Opening and Artist talk for the new show by Bratsa Bonifacho at Bau-Xi, Vancouver. I was lucky enough to see Bonifacho's last show there which blew me away. Such a bold force with colour and pattern. His work involves letters, symbols and shapes and really appeals to one's graphic sensibilities. 

The interesting thing about Bonifacho's new show, "In Nucleo", is that this time he's really spelling it out for us. The canvases are big and covered in words, words, words. Headlines, movie quotes, politics, snippets of water cooler chat. It's internet, radio, television, news. It's the commercials in the background and the barrage of constant messaging we are subject to every day. 

He says it's the stuff he thinking about - dynamically executed in bright rainbow hues, in earthy-muted tones and some in 'say-it-like-you-mean-it', black and white. 

Bonifacho says like many artists, he is not a nice person. "... most artists are not beautiful at all".
I didn't find that about him, in fact, quite the opposite. And maybe that's the key.
He has been able to get all of that stuff off his chest, and onto the canvas.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Rotation

Since I haven't been posting for several days you may have thought I hadn't been making any art.... wrong!
I have been in the studio and in my usual fashion, have been working on some rotating pieces. Often times I will start something, then put it aside until I feel like I have something else to add to it or finish it.

These are sections of 2 pieces that are in the rotation. Who knows where they'll end up?!?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Showing up

In relax mode on this long weekend!
The beginnings of something perhaps... just playing again.
Maybe it will go somewhere...?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Carry on... for now

It felt a bit weird to not post anything today so... here it is!
Now, don't hold me for continuing on with the every day thing! Anyone who knows me knows how I dislike committing to things, but let's just see how things unfold.

I had a conversation with one of my studio mates today about feeling unsettled and all over the place with our art. This was coming from her, but man, do I know how that feels!
We both paint very intuitively, most of the time without much plan or firm idea of an end result.

During our conversation I told her how I have recurring themes that come out when I paint intuitively, and one I've really acknowledged lately is the flower thing. The flowers that come out are abstract or motif-like, mainly because they are just out of my head! But I realized I DO need to acknowledge that and perhaps pay it more respect. Maybe that means using some reference. Maybe work on a series. Heck, maybe it's a passing phase!? Whatever it is, I realized I should accept it, respect it, let it come out and paint it, instead of fighting it. In other words, get over the "woman paints flowers" thing!

I puttered in the studio with a few things today but these were a couple of things I was "just playing" with tonight.

Hope you have fun things planned for the long weekend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Completing the task.

As mentioned, I wasn't able to update the images I worked on when I was away. 
As promised, here are the pieces I described.

Thursday, August 25: 
a peach rendered with watercolour pencil. First shot shows the model!

Friday, August 26:
3 Sisters, ink and watercolour pencil.

Saturday, August 27th:
Ironman signs, stinky marker on neon paper, co-created with my Aseeeestants.

Sunday, August 28th, Ironman Canada Race Day:
Elite Restaurant sign, pen and watercolour pencils.

Monday, August 29th:
Peach and Cherries, photo.

Tuesday, August 30th:
Hailey in her new incredible dog park, watercolour and pencil.

Wednesday, August 31st:
Highway home photo and yesterday's MAC.

A number of people have asked if I will keep this up. 
Maybe you should keep checking back to see what happens!
Again, thanks for following along with me!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MAC - Day 30!!!!!

Day 30 is here!
It's been a big challenge this past week being away from home and keeping up with my Make Art Challenge. I wasn't able to update the images whilst I was away but I did manage to make the art, visit with my family, support my brother at Ironman Canada and do a lot of driving!

It was such a great week in the Okanagan. I so enjoyed the time spent with my siblings, we did lots of reminiscing about childhood, which was enhanced by the fact that our family lived in Kelowna in the 60's.
Today I came home to Vancouver and it seems fitting that it coincides with the last day of my Make Art Challenge.

It's always so good to get away and spend time with family. But it also feels good to come home.
Such a beautiful, loving, happy, comforting word.
And the perfect place to end this 30 Day Make Art Challenge.

Tomorrow I will upload all the images from the days I was out of town. 
And thank you so much for following along the last 30 Days with me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MAC - Day 29

A great day today! A nice, easy morning, out to get a special housewarming gift and then off to Mission Hill Winery for an incredibly delicious lunch and tour.
After we left the winery, we went to the most stunning dog park I've ever seen. The views from the high big field were stunning. Hailey dog got to swim and then have a good fetch session.

Tonight is the last night before the siblings go their separate ways. Good thing we got some wine at MH. This has been such a fantastic gathering. Only wish RB was here to share this time with us.

Today's MAC: a watercolor of Rick's dog, Hailey chasing the ball.

MAC - Day 28

I have passed hundreds of signs for 'fruit for sale' over the past week. It is also peak season for harvesting. Everything is ripe, juicy and delicious. I drew a peach a few days ago. Maybe it isn't a big stretch but today's MAC is a photo of a peach. There's some cherries there too and they're the same colours as the peach! So exciting, try to contain yourself.

Some days are more creative than others.
And some days you have more time than others.

So here, on Day 28, away from home and spending some quality time with my siblings in vacation-land, is one of those less than stellar creative days.
But like Woody Allen says, "80% of success is in showing up".

Today's MAC: still life photo of peach with cherries.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

MAC - Day 27

Today my brother Rick completed his 4th Ironman Canada race. Such an incredible feat to swim, bike and run those distances for a 4th time. And to make it even sweeter, Rick achieved his goal time and set a PB: just under 12 hours! We are all so proud of him, and thrilled he finished upright and smiling!

While Rick and his friend Dave were off doing other things, you know, like climbing mountain passes on bikes in 34 degree sunshine, we were having breakfast and finding a Shady spot to sit until their return to the transition area.
We had a real diner breakfast at Elite Restaurant on Main Street. This place has been here since the 30s and has a GORGEOUS retro sign. So after scarfing down the eggs Benny, today's MAC captured that sign, whilst sitting under that shady tree, during a little event known as Ironman.

Congratulations, Rick, Dave and all the other Ironman athletes. You are all "Elite" in my books and you are all an inspiration!

Today's MAC, coloured pencil on paper

Saturday, August 27, 2011

MAC - Day 26.

Ok friends, a long day and a short post. Tomorrow will be even more challenging for MAC as it is Ironman Canada and my Seeesters and I will be out cheering for our super-awesome brother Rick, competing in his 4th Ironman competition.

So, today I had some assistance from my Seeesters for MAC, yay! We made some signs for Rick and his friend Dave to encourage them in their incredibly massive endeavour tomorrow: Swim 3.8kms, Bike 180kms, Run 42.2kms (yes, a full marathon!). So. Totally. Amazing.
Brother, we are in awe of you and love you. Have a kick ass race!

Today's MAC: stinky marker on neon colored paper.

Friday, August 26, 2011

MAC - Day 25

Oh beautiful, sunny, hot Okanagan! What a perfect place you are to spend some time with my siblings! All but one, :-(
There is nothing like the comfort and easy affection you have for your Brothers and Seeesters. This I know for sure.
Some great, funny, reminiscing today. We lived here, oh so many years ago, and some great colorful stories spilled out.

We went by the old house and a young family came by, back from the beach at the end of the street. When they learned we once lived in the house, they were eager to tell us about how much they love this same neighborhood we were once kids in. That they have CHOSEN to raise their children here, look how great it is. As much as things have changed, I guess they're really much the same. We all want a safe place to raise our kids, to have those great moments with our family, our siblings, so hopefully someday, they can come back to the old neighbourhood and a young couple may tell them how wonderful it is to live there.

Today, a pen doodle with a hint of colour: 3 Seeesters entwined, wined and dined.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MAC - Day 24

Ok. This is going to be challenging. I am in the Okanagan (yay!) and updating today on my iPad. Problem is, I still haven't been able to upload photos of the work to the blog. So, friends. Here is where you will have to trust me and have patience until either I can figure it out, or get back home next week to upload images of the next 7 entries. I know, I am sure you'll be on the edge of your seat with anticipation! Uh huh. What I can do is update the words so I will TELL you what I have worked on and then it will be exciting to see it after the fact, right?!
I stopped in Keremeos, aka the heart of BC FRUIT farming. I went to the organic market and the woman at the counter asked me if I would like a "Today Peach" on the house. She told me sometimes the peach gets bruised when it gets picked and they can't sell it, so it must be eaten... Today! Of courses I happily accepted and omg. It was one of the juiciest, most flavourful peaches I have ever had. I bought some 'tomorrow' peaches to go and that is the subject of today's MAC. A single Tomorrow Peach rendered with watercolor coloured pencil on paper.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MAC – Day 23

This is where I got today on the piece from yesterday. As you can see, I am not staying as loose as I wanted. I'm still working on it so we'll see where it goes.
It's still an abstract interpretation, which isn't a stretch since it's just from my head!

I guess they look like tulips. I'm not sure why I continue to paint these. Particularly since these were what I admired on my walk today. WOW!

My Mom always called them Brown Eyed Susans. What a lovely name for a flower! Maybe they'll show up in my work when the weather turns to Fall. 
In the meantime... it is still summer, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MAC – Day 22

Worked on a couple "in progress" pieces in the studio. I keep doing these flower-y type images. I am ok with them until, as often happens, I start to get finicky and tighten up with details.
Not a bad thing to always remember: don't sweat the details.

One thing I am sweating is how I am going to update images to the MAC blog while I'm in the Okanagan. I've been trying to figure out if I can do it from the iPad. There are suggestions out there but none seem to be working when I've tried...
I may have to update the words and do the images when I get back.

Here is a section of one of one the in progress pieces from today.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

MAC – Day 20

Today, our Marathon training group ran 27km. It was sunny. The route was hilly. And it was very warm. By the last few kilometres, everyone had grown quiet. We were ready for it to be over. A 3-plus hour run is always a bit taxing, and then factor in that we have not had much heat to run in... needless to say, we were done.

My head even felt a little light after standing up from a strecth. So today's offering is, perhaps a reflection on how I felt, all day really: a little dizzy.

Here's to a good start to a new week.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

MAC – Day 19

Yesterday I had a great run along my beloved Seawall.  
I was very hot by the end of it though, and for the last few kilometres I knew exactly what I wanted to have when I finished: a Popsicle®!
I can't remember the last time I had one, a few years at least, I guess. 
Luckily, there is a semi-convenience store at the end of my street. I looked in the deep freeze and there it was, exactly what I wanted: a Creamsicle®! (Do you remember 'Buried Treasure'? Oh, how I LOVED those!) Anyway, this Creamsicle cost a lot more than the last one I had, but the most shocking thing was unwrapping it to find a fake, NEON-orange monstrosity staring at me! I remember a cool, mellow, creamy-tangerine delight of frozen goodness.  It didn't sway me enough from eating it though... I devoured it whole-heartedly and it did the trick of cooling me down. Although it didn't quite fulfill the nostalgic memory of a favourite childhood treat, it was still pretty, damn good. 

Today, a 5-minute rendering of the (regular) orange Popsicle from childhood memory. 

I painted this with these paints I've had since (gasp!) art school. I don't know what their shelf life is, but they still seem to do the trick!

Friday, August 19, 2011

MAC – Day 18

It's been such an odd summer here on the Left Coast.
Normally we would experience long stretches of sun and warmth. Instead we have had many cool, cloudy days. Thankfully, we've been having some great weather lately, just as Summer winds down. I know Summer is winding down because I've noticed the sun setting earlier but also, the sunsets are getting better. I like the sunsets we get in September and even into October. Dramatic clouds. Cool blues and purples merging into pinks and roses, eventually turning firey orange and red.

I played with a blade and some sunset photos I had taken from the balcony a few years ago. The colours in the sky can be so incredible, as these were.
It was fun playing with the shift of colour and pattern and the space in between.

That lead me to an idea for a painting. The last image shown is the first stage of that... I'll show the rest another day, if it turns out ok!
Hope your weekend is off to a good start. Savour summer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MAC – Day 17

I'm going to keep this short today...

I've had something in my head for a few days and decided to put it down.  
It would probably be a good thing if I used some visual reference sometimes – which is almost never!
This is just a section of it, it's still in progress.

Hope you have some good plans for the weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MAC – Day 16

Firstly, I'll just make a quick mention of the different look to the blog. I have a restless nature so I guess I needed to freshen things up a bit. Onwards...

Even though I live in the city, I love that I can pick wild blackberries right across the street. If there is one thing you can say about BC it's, we have blackberries! No wonder there are so many bears. 

Call me crazy but I love picking them. Sure, I have a few scratches on my arms and I swore a few times after getting pricked by thorns, YEEOUCH!! But for me, there is just something about landing that perfectly ripe, plump berry. Of course, anyone who has picked them knows, the most delectable ones are always about 6 inches from your most outstretched fingers.

Anyway, I had some of these on my cereal this morning. Mmmmmm....

Have you ever really looked at blackberries? Lots of little circular segments all joined together to form one larger sphere, that also happens to be delicious.

Once in the studio, those intrinsic circular patterns came out. These are some detail shots of piece I was playing with on paper. Of course they don't look like blackberries, but they were inspiring. Gotta love nature.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MAC – Day 15

A number of conversations I've been engaged in lately have touched on the subject of fear. It's such a involved subject!

All of us – humans and animals alike – have the capacity to experience fear. It's instinctual, it's survival.
Some people will spend much of their life being fearful of something, or, many things. I have fears, most of which feel silly when spoken aloud. They feel petty when weighed against what many people in our world have to be fearful about, like going hungry or living in a safe environment. Or dying. That is real fear, the deepest, core fear for most of us.

As if we humans don't have enough to fear, the media is always ready to stoke up the "fear fire". The headlines scream about gang shootings and (to women!) an attacker on the Seawall. But should we allow them add to our fears?

Next time I read one of their fear-based headlines, I know exactly what I'll remind myself.

Monday, August 15, 2011

MAC – Day 14

Do you know what today is?
Well yes, it's Monday.
Today also marks 2 weeks of blog post entries from me in my Make Art Challenge!

I got my butt to the studio this afternoon.
Some of my studio mates are doing some really exciting work right now!

The piece below (a work in progress) is my MAC for today.
It's crazy the way I've been hanging out with this aqua/teal/turquoise (beachy?) colour palatte.
The photo isn't great. I'm already noticing the light changing by the end of the day. Have you noticed the days getting shorter, too?
Maybe I'll just keep hanging with these colours for a while. And hang on to the last bit of summer too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

MAC – Day 13

Did a 29k run today, thankfully the weather cooperated – no rain and a nice cool breeze. Had some work to do this afternoon too.
Today's offering shows how I'm topping off my evening, and my weekend!
Hope you had a good one.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

MAC – Day 12

This weekend, my Dear friend is walking 60km as part of the Weekend to End Women's Cancers. This is the 6th year she has participated. She has raised money and awareness along the way but sadly, has also lost some of her Dear friends.
She is a fighter. Small but mighty.

If you notice a sea of PINK WOMEN walking in your city, cheer them on! Thank them for being out there and make a donation if you can.

I am thinking about you, my friend. Sending good karma to you on your journey this weekend, and always.

Friday, August 12, 2011

MAC – Day 11

Happy Birthday My Sweet Girl.

MAC – Day 10

I met up with a friend today for lunch and to see some art!
We grabbed a yummy sandwich from La Brasserie food cart
and went to the new Picnurbia space to enjoy it. It was a perfect, sunny, authentic, Vancouver lunch experience, enjoyed with the most excellent company!

After our Picnurbia lunch, we went to see the Shary Boyle exhibit, which I'd been wanting to see for some time. Her work just blows my socks off! Not only is she incredibly prolific, her ca-ra-azzzy imagination stops you in your tracks.
Her porcelain work is breathtaking. Her delicately fragile, detailed work is juxtaposed against the twisted subject matter of childrens' stories gone terribly wrong. Truly original.

Today I was inspired the Yellow Picnic Wave and Shary Boyle.
The Shary Boyle exhibit is at The Contemporary Gallery until August 21st.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MAC – Day 9

It's so exciting to hear some of the feedback from those who have been following me along this Make Art Challenge! It gets me super-inspired to hear the things that you like, and well, just that you like these... outputs of my Challenge.

Sometimes when I start to paint I really go in without any tangible plan of what I'm going to do. I may think about colours I'd like to use or a shape or something, but often I just let whatever is going to happen when I show up, just happen.
Today's offering is one of those cases.

Ovals, pods, seeds, spirals, circles, flower buds. These are recurring motifs that inherently emerge in my work when I just let it go.

Coincidence that both my parents are avid (serious) gardeners?
Perhaps not.

BTW, a big thanks to all of you who are following along, it means a lot to me!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

MAC – Day 8

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my Dog, Lucy.
Of course, all dog owners love their dogs, right?

Dog parents who love their dogs are great at making small talk with other dog parents. We know the names of all the neighbourhood dogs, often years before we know the parents'. We know said dogs' favourite toys, what kind of treats they like, whether they sleep in the owners' bed (a no, no, no!), and whether they prefer rawhide to real bones.

A very common question among the dog parents is, "So, how old is your Dog?". I've really been conscious of this particular question the last couple of weeks because this Friday, August 12, will be Lucy's 7th birthday.


How can it be I have loved this Sweet Girl for seven whole years?
It seems I've loved her always.

How can it be that I have loved this Dear Dog for only seven years?
It's gone much too fast.

Today I was at my desk for most of the day working on some tedious, finicky work (yeah, the paying job). I really needed to do something loose and free. So, my favourite subject – always ready to pose – gave me my inspiration.

These are a couple blind contour drawings. For those who may not know, a blind contour is made by following along the contour of the subject with your eyes, but without looking at what you're drawing. They usually come out very loose, free and whimsical.
And these are also full of love.

Monday, August 8, 2011

MAC – Day 7

Day 7!
My LOVE reminded me yesterday that the purpose of my MAC isn't to create an incredible piece of art everyday. Just MAKE ART.
So today I was playing around. I mean, really just playing around. I worked with a few pieces but this one was the one that looked far enough along to post. I have been trying to get more comfortable working with multiple colours on a loaded brush, and I'm enjoying it! I have no idea why these colours seem to be recurring... hmmm.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

MAC – Day 6

Ok, so today was just SOOOO damn nice out, it was hard to hunker down to some art.
So I decided to offer some photo art, in honour of one of my favourite women, ever – Lucille Ball.
This weekend is the 100th anniversary of Lucy's birthday. She holds such a special place in my heart – I loved her as a child and I still do today. She really paved the way for all funny women to come after her. Sheer comic brilliance, I think.

As much as I love Lucille Ball, I must admit there is another Lucy that holds an even dearer place in my heart. My sweet dog, Lucy. And so, she is today's art. We went to Crab Park this afternoon so Lucy could swim, it was such a beautiful summer day! I love the way Lucy's fur goes all wavy and swirly after she swims. So today, in honour of my beloved human Lucy, my canine Lucy is a redhead too.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

MAC – Day 5

What a beautiful summer day, I hope you got outside to enjoy it!
My day started with watching the Pinoy Fiesta, the Filipino Cultural Street parade. It went right past our building and was very boisterous and the COLOURS! Wow.

Today I played around with some oil pastels. I don't have a lot of experience with them so it was a good exercise in just experimenting around with a different media. Oh, and that colourful parade was a great inspiration!