November 30th 2010

This is the set of paintings set up at Mjölk. They went up the other day, and should be up during all of December. If you're in Toronto on December 15th, John and Juli will be holding a private party to celebrate their one-year anniversary, the upcoming holidays, and the new collection of paintings. If you'd like to attend, please send me a message through the contact form on my website, and I'll pass on the information.

Today I'm doing a little oil painting. I'm attempting to do it using a little table easel that I got a while back, and it's taking some getting used to. This afternoon I'm looking forward to a tea break with some of my favorite packaged cookies - Dare Maple Cookies! Mm! So Canadian!

It's nice to be at my desk today, because it's really blustery outside. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow a bit, and I'm really looking forward to it. What a nice way to start December.

November 24th 2010

Yesterday I finished putting work in frames and dropped paintings off at Mjölk. There are six paintings total, 11" x 11" framed.

They're all Dala Horses; a take on some previous work, Dalahäst Brodera and Dalahäst Blå, (as well as my newest print). John and Juli, owners of Mjölk, wanted a small collection of these paintings to display during the holidays. Chris made the beautiful frames for them. I want all of our work at home to be framed the same way! They're in pickled pine frames with a semi-gloss finish. So pretty. I'm really happy with the finished pieces!

If you're in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto, please stop in and have a look. (The shop is certainly reason enough to visit!). It's located at 2959 Dundas Street West.

November 21st 2010

It's a Sunday, (and I love Sundays), and it's snowing outside, (and I love snow), so I think it's going to be a good day.

I finished a pair of mittens a few days ago that I'm really excited about wearing. It's been chilly, (and now snowy, too!), the last couple of days, so I've been wearing them, and they're very cozy. And pretty cute, too. To make the same pattern, use this one by Norwegian designer Wenche Roald on Ravelry.

I've finished the paintings for display at Mjölk over the holidays, and hopefully gotten most of my grant writing out of the way, so it's on to a couple more jobs. I've got a commission and illustration job to do in the next couple of weeks that I'm really looking forward to.

I think it's time to go make some tea with honey and settle in at my desk for some work! Happy Sunday!

November 15th 2010

I'm working away at my desk today. This time of year always gets really busy, just before the holidays. But the last week or so has been especially hectic.

For one, I'm applying for a couple of artist grants this winter, and I always have a difficult time writing about my work. I think many artists have the same trouble. I can paint, but I'm not a writer. I have lots of ideas and concepts in my head, but they find a very difficult time making it to paper in word form. Luckily, I have a very similar set of ideas for this year's proposals that I did last year. I've been working toward a solid collection of oil paintings for well over a year, and I'm excited to keep developing them further.

I'm also finishing up a small collection of paintings for Mjölk. I'll post all of the paintings when they're finished and ready to take in. They'll be up over the holiday season.

I have another couple of projects lined up, which I'll write about another day.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a few photos of the gents from Team Macho. I was going through some image reference on my hard drive and found some funny old photos of TM.

Below are some photos by Richelle Forsey, (top and bottom). Richelle has been taking portraits of the boys since their first show with Magic Pony back in 2005, (and she never fails to capture the magic)! The other was taken by the boys of some puppets they created of themselves for display in a miniature igloo fortress at Sid Lee in Amsterdam.

They currently have an show up at Narwhal Art Projects, titled Hibernation Sickness. It's their first exhibition in nearly two years, and contains some of their best work to date.

{ photo by Richelle Forsey }

{ the boys in miniature }

{ a very handsome portrait of Chris, taken by Richelle Forsey }

November 5th 2010

I have to apologize for the short hiatus from the blog. Chris and I have been traveling!

We went to Montréal for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards (Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse), on November 2nd.

We took the train in to the city and stayed at the Queen Elizabeth, which was a beautiful hotel. We had just enough time from our arrival to shower and get ready.

I met up with Mélanie, the wonderful author and publisher of Le Géranium, in the lobby of the hotel. We hit it off straight away. She was very sweet, and very helpful; (I was hurriedly trying to squeeze in some last minute French speech pronunciation with her!).

We proceeded to hop into a cab to the Canadian Centre for Architecture. It was a beautiful building and we were able to walk around some of the exhibit that was on display before the cocktail party began. There were some amazing hors d'oeuvres, but I was so nervous I could barely eat a bite. Then came the announcement; we were to go into the theatre and give our speeches and listen to Marie-Louise Gay, last year's laureate, speak. Luckily, we were the second presenters out of five to speak, because I was very anxious. Mélanie graciously took over for a good part of it! The presentation went on, and I picked up as much in translation as I could. It was really nice to hear the other authors and illustrators speak about their work. Finally, we heard the juror's verdict.

When we were getting ready to leave that morning I checked to see how my (old) vintage heels looked with my outfit, went to put them on, and snap; the strap broke on me. So the only other pair of shoes I was able to wear with the outfit were the shoes I got to wear on our wedding day next spring. (No more surprises, Chris! Sorry!). But they must have been good luck shoes, because we won!

We finished off the evening with dessert, spoke to jurors and other participants in the evening, then went out for dinner at an amazing local restaurant. It was the most incredible night. We met so many wonderful people and got to see parts of Montréal that we may not have known to visit. I can't thank everyone who organized, and was part of the night, enough.

Below, I've attached a clipping from the Montréal Gazette that showed up in front of our hotel room door the next morning. Exciting!

Also, for more photos from the trip, please visit my Flickr Photostream.

Lastly, I want to thank Mélanie Vincelette for having me be a part of this project. I had so much fun illustrating this book, and I look forward to working with you again!