Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hello New a Toy ( or the day I fell in love with paper53)

I was out for dinner last night and someone (thank you Tanja Gardner) mentioned paper53; an app you sketch with on your iPad. I was intrigued, mostly because I get so messy using chalk pastel, and I'm always wrestling with big sketch pads and trying to reach my materials without crashing in to the person seated beside me at Dr Sketchy. I downloaded it when I got home and the fun began. First I sketched my feet (like I always tell the people in my workshops to do when they want a simple subject). That was fun. Then on to the hound. Then, ready or not, I headed off to a night of burlesque sketching at Hot Art Wet City.  The model was Georsha Gal, and she was fabulous. Great performance, super playful, and fun costumes for sketching.  I like my new toy.  And look Ma, no mess!  Closed my iPad at the end and walked out clean.   

Oh, and here's the sketch of my feet, for anyone who made it this deep into the post :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bound for Carnaval del Sol Arts Market!

Been busily painting in the studio all day getting ready for the upcoming Carnaval del Sol!  It's the city's annual Latin bash, with food, music, dancing and a big arts market.   A little salsa, a little cerveza, and a chance to display my artwork and meet some other like-minded art folk; sounds like a perfect weekend to me. The art booths will set up along Granville Street between Dunsmuir and Nelson.  Come down and visit if you're in the area.  The festival draws 100,000 plus people and should be a total blast! 

It's funny, I had no plan to be part of this event.  It came the same way we always seem to get parking spots.  When we get close to where we're going, especially someplace busy, we ask the Parking Fairy out loud to provide and a spot just seems to magically appear.  It amuses us every time, but we're always careful to say thank you out loud so we don't jinx it for the next time. We were doing a visualization exercise on Monday aft before heading to my friend Trent's birthday party, and I wrote down three things I wanted to draw into my life in the next 30 days.  The first one was to find more places to show and sell my artwork.  In the middle of the party a few hours later I checked my phone.  Lo and behold there was an email out of the blue inviting me to participate in this festival.  Insert Twilight Zone soundtrack here.  I think those 'Secret - Law of Attraction' people might be on to something ;-).  So, thank you Life Fairy.  Will let you all know when the other two things I wrote down appear.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prints from Italy - both traditional and painted

Below are the 10 images from my recent residency in Italy, in both linocut and linocut with watercolour.  Each image is printed on 15x22" Stonehenge paper. 

Rooftops of Montmartre 

Hanging Out In Trastevere

Roman Glass

Umbrella Sellers

River Gods

Petit Prince of Lyon 

Grande Blu 
Rooftops of Perugia

Perugian Slivers II

Perugian Slivers I

Monday, May 5, 2014

Playing with ink

Such a fun day in the studio today. I was playing with different coloured inks and ways to apply them. First time I've used an actual press since before Italy. They were an excellent invention. Thirtytwo prints later and I could still use chopsticks to eat dinner after I was finished. Can't wait for these to be dry enough to paint. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BIMPE Mini Print Goodies

Water St Time, Linocut w watercolour
Image 4x6 Paper 8x10

Mt Pleasant Time, Linocut w watercolour
Image 4x6 Paper 8x10caption
 These may look like regular grown up prints, but they're just little guys.  The images are 4x6".  I did them to submit to  BIMPE (Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition).  It was tricky working small! But fun.

The top one is the steam clock in Gastown.  I have such clear memories of field trips here when I was in elementary school, learning about Gassy Jack and the birth of our city.  We thought it was so cool to go to "Blood Alley"  Livin' on the edge.  One of my first jobs downtown, answering phones at the Jerry Lodge Model and Talent Agency, was a stones throw from this clock, and Zientte, where my black and white prints are sold, is about a block from here.  There is always at least one tourist standing under the clock having their picture taken.  I had to jostle for position to get this angle.

The other clock is in my hood, just a short walk from the house.  I drive past it every day, and have been eyeing it for subject matter for a while.  It sits right in a nest of some of our fave local restaurants.  I wrote a little guide for the people who come and stay in our house about all the cool little spots within walking distance.  The list is LONG!  People love it, and always rave about the restaurant/pub/cafe selection included in it.

After all the traveling and drawing strange and interesting locations I've been doing lately it's kind of fun to settle in and capture a couple of scenes that are so much a part of my real life.  My bags are all unpacked and put away, the jet lag is long gone, and I've stopped saying the word "here" after I ask people what time it is.  Guess that means I'm back.
Water St Time, Linocut
Image 4x6 Paper 8x10

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Arrivederci Amalfi

My week on the Amalfi Coast is over. In fact my month in Italy is coming to a close. I'm writing this on the train to Rome, where I'll spend one last night with my friend Jim and his family before catching the plane for Vancouver in the morning.  After 31 consecutive days of pasta I'll be eating sushi in my favourite spot with my family before my head hits a pillow tomorrow night. 

There are so many stories from my time here on the coast that every day I found myself thinking  'I have to write this down. I want to remember every detail!'.  Somehow now it's just too much. Hence the blank page above. 

But here are some of the highlights: 
-hiking through the valley of the old paper mills above Amalfi, 
-joining in discussions with the Youth in Action group in a convent in Tramonti, hearing about their projects and their lives in their home countries; places like Belarus, Greece, Georgia (no, not that Georgia, although shamefully I am singing it in my head every time she says the word) and Albania
-walking in the hills above Cetara with Senem where she shows me the old abandoned stone swimming pools, still filling with fresh water that flows through aqueducts from one to the other all the way down to the sea, eating fresh asparagus sprigs that she hands me after spotting and picking them on the hillside as we go
-listening to Gian Pietro tell beautiful stories about food and culture, experiences and traditions, with all his passion and enthusiasm, Senem providing the odd word that he doesn't know in English and I can't figure out in italian, all while he makes bread or rolls out pasta dough for dinner

The sketch above is the old tower on the beach in Erchie; a magical place that is twice as beautiful at night with a million stars overhead. I did this sketch sitting on the beach yesterday, right before I entered the scene myself for a head-clearing swim. I'll never forget this place. 

I will tell you all about these things and more over a Peroni, those of you who are interested, and if you're planning a trip there I'd love to give you some references. But, half the fun of a trip is the serendipity of it all.  So the best advice I could give anyone is just to go, wherever your Italy happens to be. I'm glad I did. 

Thanks mom, for thinking this didn't sound like a crazy idea.  And a big thanks to all of you who pre-bought artwork from this trip. I couldn't have done it without you. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Amalfi Coast

I really almost didn't make this last leg of my journey. I was so happy and comfy at Ginestrelle I found myself half-wishing that a spot would open up for me to stay on until the end of the month. And then wouldn't you know it; exactly that happened. Someone left ahead of schedule. It was like a test of my resolve to follow through with my original plan. I pondered, then thought of my own little 'ABC's of Life' (Adventure, Bravery, Creativity), put my bags in Marina's car and headed to the train station.  

The landscape of this country changes pretty quickly as you head south. It becomes looser, more colorful. I was trying to read one of the books I bought at the train station in Rome, but I couldn't keep my eyes on the page.  Once I switched from train to bus in Salerno I was just flat out staring at the view, jaw dropped, nose against the window. The one and only road clings to the coast, teetering in and out with the rock formations high above the Mediterranean.  Grove upon grove of terraced lemon trees are interspersed with wild jumbles of vegetation; fig and olive trees, cacti, flowering bushes. Ancient buildings cling to the rock face like barnacles. Every so often a bay opens up below revealing a beach, boats and a cluster of rooftops below. The road is so narrow that we honk as we head into each curve, and many times cars are forced to stop and reverse carefully along the narrow road to let us pass.  We're like goats on a mountain trail. I'm anxious for the driver to call out my stop. There's no actual bus stop where I'm going, I know you can't see the town from the road (too steep) and I have a giant suitcase to retrieve from under the bus. Finally he calls our Erchie (air-key-eh). I step off to find beautiful Senem, smiling, ready to help me haul my bag onto the narrow shoulder and wind our way down the hillside to my new home away from home. 
Senem and her man Gian Pietro live in a sweet little apartment above Federico's Restaurant, 50 metres clear shot to the sea.  Within 20 minutes we are lifelong friends, sharing food, wine, music and stories. They're both passionate about food production; growing and sourcing, preparing and eating. They make their pasta by hand with flour ground from wheat grown from their own seeds of ancient origin. It's an education and a complete pleasure to sit at their table.  And the food, oh my god. It's good. I can't believe it's only been four days that I've been here. We've been on many adventures, which I will write about later, but today is all about resting up. It's three thirty in the afternoon and I've done nothing but sit in the sunshine and play my guitar, nap, and write this post. Might be time to wander out and see what's cookin'.
More stories to come...