Saturday, September 29

End of Month

Here we are coming to the end of a month, but the beginning of fall - which I'm sure will quickly change into Winter with the way the leaves are changing. But that's alright, I'm a snowboarder so I cannot wait for some snow!

This month definitely kept me on my toes, I completed a lot of commissions. Many of them are for Christmas celebrations, I definitely give those buyers thumbs up for being so ahead of schedule - it ensures that everyone is happy and everything arrives on time!

I've been packing up for the new house that James and I are renting. If you have been following along, you will have heard lots about it already. We have been able to start moving things over, but we 'officially' get to live in it October 1st. I have my current apartment until the end of October, so it will be nice to not be as rushed.
View from the new backyard - lots of nature goodness :D
I also go the first manicure, in my life, this past week. I got the shellac treatment applied to my nails. This is where they paint them, 'cure' them under UV light, and they are instantly dry after that - so no worries about mucking them up later. And they are super tough. I have had mine for a couple days now, and during that time I have packed, aggressively cleaned, worked on very messy artwork and still not even a chip! They are as bright and shiny as the day before. They say that they can last up to 3 weeks - as long as you don't mind the 'grow out' that happens. I love them so much, I might ask for an 'at home' light kit from the good ol' Santa Clause this year.

'Tutti Fruitie' shellac
And I will leave you with the song that has been consistently played on repeat since the beginning of this week when James introduced me to this new band: catchy. 

Friday, September 28

Monoprinting Goodness

No. II Monoprint detail
Those who know me, know well that I have a sort of artist attention disorder...I always want to try everything, and wanting and acting on these impulses are two completely different monsters. I stumble across Gelli Arts Printing plates while browsing through my favourite online art store, Currys.

Image from
Here is my quick workspace set up...I literally ripped it out of the box and ran for my paints to get going...

A monoprint is essentially an original print that cannot be reproduced. I could arrange and align everything the same, and with the spontaneous nature of the paint, I would still have a different print. I still have lots to learn about the process and I can't wait to see what I can create as I get better! It's amazing how you can achieve so much detail, and so much ambiguity all at once. ... and the results:

No. I Original Acrylic Monoprint Painting

No. II Original Acrylic Monoprint Painting
Each has 4-6 layers of acrylic paint, creating a lot of depth and lightness within the piece. I cannnot wait to make more, it was just so much fun! Both of these are available in the online shop! Happy creating!

Wednesday, September 26

Beauty Grows Mixed Media Dimensional Art

"Beauty Grows" Mixed Media on Canvas 8x10", Available
Amidst all of the packing (I'm moving from my tiny apartment to a small house with the boy) and commissions  I managed to find time to experiment with a mixed media piece. I think what helped is that I do not have a heat gun, so each layer has to sit and dry on it's own time...meaning: work for a little while, and let sit for a much longer while.

"Beauty Grows" is the result of all this procrastination and mental relief. It is available in the online shop.

The flower petals add a little bit of a dimensional element to this also makes it harder to scan / photograph. I used tons of different art supplies...probably a little bit of everything: decorative papers, washi tape, acrylic, watercolour, PanPastels and ink just to name a few. 

It was inspired by the collaborative spread that I worked on with Amanda from for our Sketchbook Project 2012 submission: 

Left side: Amanda, Right side: myself
The concept of something beautiful coming out of such disorder is a very comforting thought, but also very inspirational that there is always that 'light at the end of the tunnel'...and that sometimes you gotta go chaotic before you get to where you wish to be.  This piece speaks for itself: when I started I had zero direction - all I knew was that I wanted to create something messy and fun as a mental break from everything else going on in life and it did look absolutely horrible at one point - almost as though there was no hope, and then it 'grew' into a thought. I finished it all off with UV-protective varnish, so it will stand the test of time!

A peak at my work station when working on this piece....what a mess! Yes, I know!

Here is this weeks discussion from the Creative Spaces blog:

Do you break out the heavy artillery? Do you like the smell of glue? (it’s not good for you I know, but really it smells so great) What have you been making this week?
I have in fact pulled out a power drill, and used it to drill large 1-2" circles through a wooden canvas support back in my University days for an elective art course that I had taken, in order to create a dimensional collage with different planes. Unfortunately  that was long before I thought to document my art stuff, and I have no idea where that piece of art went. It just felt so good to drill through that wood! 

No, I do not like the smell of glue...I don't dislike it either, just sort of neutral on the subject. I love the smell of oil paint though. I don't 'sniff it' by any means, but if I'm working with oils, the smell will linger in my 'studio space' (em, living room / office / whatever room) and it's a very inspiring and gives me that 'I really am an artist' feeling. 

You can see more creative spaces, here.

A Peak Inside My Sketchbook

Dabbling with some cut-outs of leaves that I had left over from my wreath I made a little while back. I thought it would be neat to make a colour palatte based on the various leaves, and I left notes on how to remix particular colours that I was espcially fond of. 
...and because I couldn't resist Oreo being so cute in his regular spot on my sofa.

Tuesday, September 25

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

Just a peak inside my new sketchbook that I got for my birthday. It's another "Artist Handbook" one, but this time a standard portrait orientation. I love this brand of sketchbooks, the paper is rich and sturdy enough for paint and mixed media applications. It has a slight creamy colouring to it as well - sometimes the bright white is just too harsh. 

Monday, September 24

Art Journal: All That You Are...

Materials Used: Gesso, 2" round punch, Recycled newspaper, Acrylic paint (Liquitex Soft Body: Light Portrait Pink and Medium Cadium Yellow; Heavy Body: Medium Cadium Red; Golden: Cobalt Turquois), word stickers, Sakura Marker

Friday, September 21

These shoes were made for walking

My birthday shoes, love at first growl! I broke them this week, and now they're super comfy :D

Thursday, September 20

Shop Update!

Christmas is just around the corner...sort of... In the online world, Christmas happens a lot sooner, due to shipping times and customers planning ahead their purchases.

First off, I am offering Gift Tags again this year! I have a set of Holiday Gift Tags, and a set of Everyday Gift Tags:

Everyday Gift Tags - Set of 8

Holiday Gift Tags - Set of 8
I've added some new Holiday Card designs to the shop as well. All cards this year are hand-painted, and therefore will all be 100% unique!

Happy Owlidays - Glittered Holiday Greeting Card

Ombre Christmas Tree - Glittered Holiday Greeting
And, here are my traditional, and just as loved designs below. The Blue and Red Christmas Trees are original designs that I created, and have been painting since 2006 - yikes! They are still best sellers too! But I always like added special designs (as above) to the mix each year to provide new options to returning customers :)

Blue Christmas Tree Hand-Painted Greeting

Christmas Flowers Hand-Painted Greeting

Red Christmas Tree Hand-Painted Greeting

Christmas Cardinals Hand-Painted Gretting
 It took a bit of time getting all these pieces together and listed, but I am thrilled to share them with you, and they look lovely in the shop! Meanwhile, Oreo was just snoozing away on the couch....

My Creative Space: Autumn Wreath

I went for a bit of a 'nature walk' through the Bruce Trails the other day, and collected a nice handful of pretty coloured leaves. I had been inspired by Alisa Burke's Autumn Wreath, that I knew I wanted to make one for myself:

I included a larger variety of leaves in mine. They're just starting to slowly fall now, so finding really nice ones already on the ground took some time. 

In addition to the gold 'puffy' fabric paint, I also sprayed all the leaves with a clear acrylic spray, and gave them a dusting of gold glitter. 

What makes this wreath especially festive for the autumn season, is just like the trees outside, it changed for the next couple days. Here is it four days later, with the leaves all curved up and finally dried through:

It hasn't changed much after this initial 'curling', and I think it brings the perfect finishing touch to the piece.

Wednesday, September 19


Yesterday marked six years of James and I being together. It's been a long journey these past 6 years - long distance for school, both trying to find jobs around each other and making it work, and finally finding some common ground and moving in with each other. 

James was too kind and surprised me with having flowers delivered when I was home dabbling away with art-business stuff.

I just love the colours of the bouquet - the yellow and red are perfect for autumn, and so colourful and pretty.

Monday, September 17

Sketchbook Collaboration Update

It's time for another update from the collaborative Sketchbook Project that I'm working on with Amanda, from I did do some more pages / added some more after these quick pictures were taken, but I can share those next time.

First up, I began my "name / intro" page. I decided to include the furry beast, Mr. O in it as well (Oreo, as more commonly known):

Materials: sharpie

This next page is a spread where I've started the left side, and Amanda will complete the right based on what I've done. 

Materials: Acrylic paint, sharpie, collaged papers

What I love, is this page opens to this crazy spread below:

Materials: Sharpie
This spread, "Blossom" will have to be my favourite of this round.  It has ridiculous texture to it.

Materials: Gesso, acrylic paint, stencils, gel medium, crackle paste,
 iridescent medium,  PanPastels,  sticker letters

It is the companion page to the 'Grow' page that Amanda started:

This is another page that I did (on the right), where Amanda started the spread on the left:

Materials: Gesso, Acrylic, collaged magazine words, sharpie
Another set of pages that I'm starting. I need to be sure that all my "starts" are getting done - I am the last to have the sketchbook before it gets sent off to Arthouse Coop, so this will give Amanda plenty of opportunity to add her contributions.

Materials: Ink, Watercolour
Here's my start to a double page collaboration spread. Amanda will finish this off with whatever her creative mind wishes :)

Materials, so far: Gesso, paper-hole-reinforcers, letter stickers, PanPastel
As mentioned earlier, not all these photos were the most up-to-date, but that's okay. You'll get better pictures next time, and eventually I do believe I'm scanning the book for both of us to have very nice high-resolution images of all the completed artwork.