October 23rd 2010

As expected, I have the best time up at
Tanya's print studio! I wrote yesterday that I'd won a giveaway through her blog, Snap & Tumble, that allowed me to take her letterpress curiosity workshop. It was even more fun than I'd imagined!

I learned how to set lead type into the chase, (see diagram of the anatomy of the machine below), mix ink, apply it to the ink disc, and register my stationery on the platen of the machine. I probably printed about 100 cards with "FROM THE DESK OF MELINDA JOSIE", (what? I'm old school like that). I'm so happy that I was able to use one of Tanya's personal designs; the set of three little flags, as well.

I got to use her new press; the Chandler & Price pilot press. It was amazing. I want to invest in a press so badly now. (I'm sure Tanya's given the local printing press shop, Don K Black Linecasting, up in Scarborough a lot of business!).

Thank you so much, Tanya, for a wonderful intro to printing!

Also, I forgot to post yesterday about the Masanori Oji exhibition at Mjölk. It was beautiful! For some photos of the opening, visit Mjölk's blog, Kitka Design, and Celine Kim's blog, Bonjour Celine. I'm madly in love with the brass faceted pendant light. It's perfect in every way.

October 22nd 2010

I'm getting really excited for tomorrow. I realized this morning that tomorrow at 11am I'll be up in Scarborough at Snap & Tumble, Tanya Roberts' letterpress studio taking her curiosity workshop. I recently won the class as a(n amazing!) giveaway on her blog.

I've had work printed for me, but I've never used a press myself! Chris and I plan to print our own wedding invitations in Tanya's space, so it'll be nice to familiarize myself with the workings of the press, mix some inks, and print away! I've had friends that have taken the class as well and loved it. I'll post my results afterward!

I had a great mail day today. (Actually the last week has been pretty great). But this morning I received a copy of new Toronto-based magazine PLAID, with an article written by Navi Lamba, the newest issue of Uppercase Magazine, and a Mystery Loot Pack from Kid Icarus and My City Lives full of stationery, prints and wrapping paper! So many fun things!

October 21st 2010

It's raining outside and I'm in my warm studio room painting away.

I'm going to try to get a fair bit of work done this afternoon because I plan to take tonight off to go to Mjölk to see an exhibition of Masanori Oji's work, titled Life on the Floor. If you're in Toronto tonight, I highly recommend coming out to see his work. He's also visiting from Japan, so you can meet the artist himself.

Some of my favorite objects from Mjölk are those designed by Oji, including the Kami Mug, Butter Case and Kake Tosaka broom. His work is so perfect and so simple.

Also, here is an article recently published on the HGTV website on the couple, John and Juli, that run Mjölk. They're so well spoken, and you can tell they really love what they do by how they speak about it. That's always inspiring.

October 16th 2010

I'm getting really excited for Team Macho's upcoming show at Narwhal Art Projects. Chris has been working like crazy to finish pieces and frames for their show on Thursday, October 28th. I notice that all of their pieces are getting more and more painterly from show to show. I can't wait to see everything together!

Here is the statement from the Narwhal site :

"Narwhal Art Projects is pleased to present Hibernation Sickness, a solo exhibition with Toronto collective Team Macho. Hibernation Sickness marks the collective's notable return to fine art after a two year sabbatical dedicated to their individual pursuits. A term used to describe the side effects associated with awakening from a period of suspended animation, Team Macho related similar type symptoms when returning to their group practice. Although their creative environment has remained virtually unchanged for the past six years with all members continuing to create out of the legendary shared space, the dynamic within the collective altered as each member developed their individual practice. Embarking on solo projects ranging from classical oil painting to collage to airbrush and woodworking, the collective dedicated themselves completely to a specific practice allowing for a deeper understanding of both themselves and their techniques. Team Macho return to their communal fine art practice with five unique sets of sharply honed skills and a renewed passion for their shared creative dynamic. Steadfast in their loyalty and mutual appreciation for contemporary cultural references, Hibernation Sickness is an homage to rebel fighters, and celebrates the continued evolution of the Team Macho brotherhood.

Comprised of members Nicholas Aoki, G. Stephen Appleby-Barr, Christopher Buchan, Lauchie Reid and Jacob Whibley, Team Macho occupies a large studio in Toronto, where their collective efforts are focused on developing an art-making practice that spans the worlds of both fine art and illustration. With a penchant for using unconventional materials and subverted narratives, Team Macho playfully juxtapose styles and motifs ranging from the crudely rendered to the classically painted. Working with a wide range of media, Team Macho’s diverse offerings convey a decidedly unorthodox and individual approach where figurative painting, drawing, airbrush, collage and sculpture find harmony within the group's infinite reserve of inside jokes and prolific banter. Team Macho have exhibited at Magic Pony and Narwhal Art Projects since 2005, with Friends for Life (June 2005), Team Macho is a Tough Man (May 2006), Fancy Action Now (May 2007) and Kitschy, Gay, And Over In a Second (September 2008). Magic Pony published their first monograph in 2007, entitled Fancy Action Now: The Art of Team Macho."

For a sneak peek at the artwork for the show, visit the artwork page on the Narwhal site. To RSVP for the opening, visit the event page on Facebook.

October 14th 2010

The last day has been so exciting. I received a package in the mail from the Canada Council this morning including a sheet of 'Finaliste des GG' foil seals to stamp on to the cover of my books! (Look how lovely they look with the seal! Growing up, I used to think that books with those foil seals must have been very special books, which makes this feel so surreal).

I want to thank everyone for all of the kind words of encouragement over the last day. It's been pretty overwhelming!

October 13th 2010

I got some incredible news this morning.

I got a call from the Canada Council for the Arts to inform me that I'm one of five finalists for the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Book Illustration! I'm ecstatic. I never would have dreamed of such an honour.

For the press release, follow this link.

October 12th 2010

This is just a quick note to thank everyone who was able to make it out to the gallery walkthrough at Narwhal this past weekend. It was lots of fun! I was surprised that so many made it out, even during a holiday weekend. So thank you for that.

There will be a closing reception for the show on Sunday, October 17th, including the launch of the catalogue for the exhibition! I can't wait to see it in print. There was so much amazing work in the collection. I'll be sure and post a link to the event here and on my Facebook page when it becomes available.

October 7th 2010

In the last couple of days I've finished a commissioned painting that I've been working on for some time, received my invitation to the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award gala and booked our transportation and hotel in Montreal. So many exciting things happening!

I also found out this morning that My City Lives posted a link on their Facebook page to the Kid Icarus mystery loot bag giveaway, (one of which will include my newest print!). To enter for your chance to win, simply click 'Like' on their page, and leave a comment in the 'Promotion' album! Winners will be announced Monday, October 11th. (Also, here is a post from Mike and Bianca on the Kid Icarus website about the new print).

{ via Kid Icarus }

This coming Saturday, October 9th, I'll be taking part in a gallery walkthrough at Narwhal Art Projects to discuss our ideas behind the work in their current exhibition, The Dazzle. Other artists in attendance will be Nicholas DiGenova, Shannon Gerard, Jennie Suddick, Katie Bethune-Leamen and Carly Waito. I'm looking forward to being able to explain the reasoning behind my recent collection of paintings.
To RSVP to this event, follow this link to their event page.

Oh, and I nearly forgot! There was some very exciting local news circulating yesterday... Yes, that's right; there was a unicorn sighting in the Don Valley. (There's even video evidence!). To see the article and video for yourself, (including the emergency unicorn hotline! haha!), follow the above link. I don't even know what to say. Toronto; I love you.