Monday, January 12, 2015

Another Grey Morning - Sketch at Tap and Barrel

This is one of the million beautiful viewpoints on our daily dog walks.  As I sat and sketched this I found myself signing 'Another Grey Morning' by James Taylor.  It ain't exactly a tropical beach scene, but Vancouver has its own kind of beauty this time of year.  Plus it's good practice capturing a full range of greys.  The tiles in the foreground were fun.  I didn't relish the idea of slavishly trying to capture the pattern, so I grabbed one of those red plastic netted bags that you buy oranges in.  I twisted it into a formation I thought might work, anchored it with random objects and pounced a loaded brush on top of it.  Voila, one million tiles in 20 seconds. Works for me :-)

My show at the Cultch came down today.  It was a great experience all around.  Many thanks to those of you who came out.   I'll keep you posted for the next one.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Went out and bought all the ingredients to make butternut squash ravioli last night. Was dreaming about it all aft, picturing myself all covered in flour, laying sheets of freshly made pasta onto my new ravioli mold. Then somehow, when hunger struck and I hadn't even made the dough, going out to try the new restaurant in our hood became an obviously better alternative. Invitro is the latest incarnation in the heritage house around the corner from our place. The place is great, the food inspired (I had the pasta wth leeks and cream and we shared a bococcini salad) but chef/proprietress Sarah was definitely the best part of the experience. She's a creative soul (music, art, food), and she's pouring all her passion into this lovely little nest of a restaurant. I foresee many more cooking plans shelved in favourite of a walk around the block for whatever's on the menu.  Welcome to the neighbourhood. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Reading Pablo

In prep for my upcoming Spain trip I've been reading Patrick O'Brian's biography of Picasso. It's so well written, and they actually knew each other well which provides for some good perspective. I'm reading on my kobo, so no pics, which I think will make it feel like even more of a discovery when I get there and see his work and legacy in the 'for reals'. 

And... look at this big chunk o' linoleum he's playing with!  My kind of guy. 

Art Opening at The Cultch

We had such a great evening at The Cultch on Wednesday night; what a crowd!  All my party favorites were there, and lots of great new people I'm so happy to have met.  Thanks to all who came out, to artists Atty and John who are showing there with me, to Jenn at the Cultch, and a special big thanks to those of you who are taking home a new piece of artwork.  Show is up until January 8th. 1895 Venables in Vancouver. 
Here are a few snaps:  

And here's me recuperating the next morning with the chocolate bar Trent brought me as a present. Thanks Trent. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spanish Art Residency - Pre Game Plan

A huge part of the fun of any adventure is the anticipation that fills the gap between deciding to go and getting on the plane.  Well, I’m happy to announce that I’ve entered that phase.  My art residency in Spain is booked!  I’ll be leaving on February 16th, spending 2 weeks sketching and traveling with my favourite trip buddy/husband, then spending all of March at Estudio Nomada on the outskirts of Barcelona exploring different methods and creating a new body of work.  I've confirmed with Estudio Nomada who offered the residency through, we booked an adorable flat in Madrid through, and traded our house with a couple who live in the heart of Barcelona through  How did we do these things before the magical interweb?!

So here’s how the pre-game goes for me: First  I do up a reading list.  It’ll cover some history, geography, culture, travelogues and the like.  This time it includes lots of Hemingway and Michener, and books on Dali, Velasquez and Picasso.   I started chipping my way through it  when I first got the invite from the residency, so I’ve already hit some big stuff like Don Quixote (it may be heralded as the first modern novel, but it’s still a bit of a slog in spots).

Then I make a language study plan.  In this case it’s easier than past trips, since Spanish is my strongest ‘non-english’ language.  I’ve been reading my fave Spanish books (el Alquemista, Cuentos de Eva Luna) and listening to audio books in Spanish like ‘El Monje Que Vendio Su Ferrari’.  I’m also using audio podcasts and worksheets from Marina Diaz and Ben Curtis.  They’re an adorable Spanish/British couple who make great learning tools at all levels.  They discuss really interesting topics, anything from environmental concerns to the Heroes TV Show.  She corrects him when his Spanish isn’t perfect, and  together they explain any unusual terms or idioms.  Super effective.  I’m watching my way through every Spanish movie Netflix has to offer.   There is a January session at  right around the corner from my house that I'll be attending, and has Spanish meet-up sessions at the bar a few blocks in the other direction.  Que conveniente!  I know when I get there there’ll be lots of people who speak English everywhere, but it’s far more fun to torture them in their own language J

Now I get to plan the art part: what supplies to take and what tech-y tools I’ll need.  I'm envisioning tucking into the streetscape, capturing wild Gaudi structures, old Moorish buildings and contemporary marvels all jumbled together.  I'm so excited about this destination!

Then comes the promo stuff.  This time I’ll be using something like Indiegogo to raise funds to cover the trip.  I’ll do up a video sharing my dream, showing my methods and what people will get if they invest in my adventure. 

So, I hope you’ll follow along.  Empazamos! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Vancouver Linocuts

Another awesome day in the print studio (is there any other kind?) and now I'm almost ready for my upcoming show.  It'll be at The Cultch in East Van, opening reception December 10th 6-8 pm.  More details to come.  In the meantime I'm printing, organizing and painting away.  My part of the show is called 'Cityscapes Here And There' and it'll feature these new linocut works of Vancouver  along with the series from my residency in Italy.  There are two other artists who's work will be on display:  John Steil is showing a really cool series of woodcuts all based on Wallace Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", and Atty Gell will have a series of works there all based on Trout Lake Park.  It's a show I would recommend and attend even if I wasn't in it.

The East Side Culture Crawl was this past weekend.   Some 300 plus studios on Vancouver's East Side throw their doors open for 4 days.  The biggest wow for me this year was 1000 Parker Street.  There are well over 100 artists all showing under one roof.  The work is varied and fantastic.  There were a few printmakers, and everything else from the most serious of oil painters to a guy who'll make you a classic replica camper scaled down for your dog to call home.  I could have stayed there and wandered the building for days.  In fact, stay tuned and see if I don't happen to find a studio sublet in there at some point this year.  Could be fun :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chalkboard Art at Pandosy Vet

Oh, I had sooo much fun doing these chalkboards. Two spent days up a ladder, listening to my favourite 'music to make art by' playlist (those of you who've had an art adventure with me may be familiar with these playlists), and just noodling.  Heaven.  I climbed the ladder each day without a plan.  I just played, incorporating suggestions from Arnica, the shop owner, elements from the store, and of course images of Yogi and some of my other fave hounds. I did 5 boards in the two days.  My plan was to use chalk ink, but my good old chalk pastels were calling me. They blend so nicely, and these boards were really well prepped and nice to draw on.  And they're up andsafely out of reach of curious hands. 

Their dog treat bar is filled with wonders, many of them herbal.  It's like an organic canine candy counter.  I decided to reference that on their 'specials' board. 

These guys are above the kids play area 


And of course Yogi (who's watching me write this post) 

These cuties populate the board above the pet feed, primarily because they are (or are related to) the animals found inside the cans and bags. The irony of a person who doesn't eat animals who were factory raised drawing cute animals because they will be eaten by cuter animals is not lost on me, but honestly I loved doing this board. And, if anyone cares, my dog is a carnivore. I never put much thought into that. I'd make a terrible activist/politician. 

Here's Molly-Moo, Yog, Laughlin of Pandosy Vet fame, Lulu and Bones. 

You might recognize one of these guys. If not, there's this new thing called the internet you might want to look into. I hear it's really catching on. 

"What r you lookin' at"