December 18th 2012

Above is a set of 11 illustrations I was asked to create for The New York Times Magazine in an article, 'Feast in A Day'.  The article timelines how to assemble an unforgettable holiday feast in just eight hours, and was published in the December 16th issue of the magazine.

December 5th 2012

For the past number of years now, I've been illustrating a Christmas card for the interior design firm my sister designs for, (that's her in the centre with the red hair).  I've never posted any of them online, so I thought I would this year.

They're always looking for something fun, in the form of portraits of everyone in the office.  It may not be my usual work, but it's always interesting to come up with something new each year.  Past portraits have included the designers decorating a Christmas tree, everyone made to look like dolls hanging in stockings on a mantle, etc.  It's nice to know that clients are looking for a little humour in their holiday card designs, (because it makes things a little more fun for me too).

December 3rd 2012

I'm entering another very busy week of painting, so I thought I'd do a quick update before I disappear again.

Above is an illustration I did a couple of weeks ago for The New York Times Magazine.  It's a portrait of chef Julie Sahni to accompany an article entitled, New York Dals.  (There are some fantastic looking recipes included that I'm looking forward to trying).

I've been working on a number of portraits lately, and I'll be posting more up soon; I can't wait to share them!  They've been so much fun to do!

November 29th 2012

Here it is, nearly December, and the holidays are approaching so quickly!  I've discounted  of a couple of prints on my website that would make nice holiday presents; Dalähast Blå and Like A Bear Knitting, and my new Reindeer prints are still available.

A few weeks back, Naomi and Heather came over to visit and interview Chris and I for their online project The Wardens Today.  (I've made further mention of it on my blog before, here).  They interviewed us separately, and just posted my portion on their blog yesterday.  You'll find a link to it here.

November 26th 2012

A couple of weekends ago a small group of us got together for a brunch.  This has become a bit of a semi-annual tradition with this little group; see here, here and here.

This time we decided to meet at a beautiful restaurant in Yorkville, La Société.  The restaurant was lovely; furnished in dark woods and deep leathers, and the food was decadent and beautiful.

It's always such a treat to meet up with these ladies.  They're all creative and so much fun to talk with.  We also had a new edition to the group this time; little baby Eloise!  It was such a great start to a new week.

November 20th 2012

Things have gotten very busy for me lately, and I'll have some new work up here to prove it soon enough.

In the meantime I wanted to share someone else's work.

Chris and I went to see the work of a talented young friend at a shop here in our neighbourhood.  We've been friends with Hannah for a while now, and she's come by to work with me in my studio.  She's currently exhibiting work at Of A Kind, a vintage and vinyl shop, which also acts as a venue for local artists to show.  You can view a profile of her work on their site, as well as more of her work on her blog.

This particular piece was my favourite; titled AND IT NEVER CAME OFF.  Hannah is sixteen, and her work is wrought with those raw emotions we all had at that age; she portrays these feelings with a deft hand.

If you're close by, I highly recommend a trip out to Of A Kind for a look.  Hannah's work will be up on display until December 15th.

November 7th 2012

While watching the very exciting US election coverage last night, I finished printing a new, small-scale silkscreen print.

I've been developing some ideas for prints for the last little while, and I finally settled on this.  I'm so happy with the way they turned out!  I wanted to experiment a little bit with my Print GOCCO using multiple colours per screen; (not only because I thought the effect would be nice, but also because of a shortage in GOCCO supplies these days).

Firstly, I applied a screen with white snow and a faint outline of the reindeer; it's difficult to see from this scanned image.  The next two screens were printed with 7 and 3 colours respectively.  It turned out just as I'd hoped!

They're 5" x 7" and printed on a lovely ivory hot press stock.

To order, please visit my website, here.

November 1st 2012

Happy November!  I hope everyone is having a great start to the new month.

I've been pretty terrible at keeping up with this blog lately.  I've been busy with a couple of things on the go, which I'll be excited to share when I'm able to.

Since my last post, Chris and I visited Montréal, where we attended a benefit auction of children's book illustrations to raise funds for the CCBC.  It was held at the beautiful Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, and was a pretty exciting event, (and nerve-wracking when it came to my piece).  I'd never been to an art auction before, so it was a treat.  Unfortunately, the trip was far too short, but it was a lovely one; just a quick day and a half trip out of Toronto.

Also, Nathan Jurevicius' show I recently did a painting for, and was scheduled to open last night, was postponed due to power outage at the gallery.  It's located in the lower half of Manhattan in the East Village, and got hit pretty hard by the hurricane.  They're hoping to have things restored and opened by the weekend, but updates will be made on their event page.

Lastly, I want to send my regards to everyone who was effected by the hurricane.  My thoughts are with you all.

October 11th 2012

I was recently asked by a friend, Nathan Jurevicius, to create a painting for a show he was curating.  Nathan is the artist behind Scarygirl, a series of illustrated stories, games and toys centred around the namesake main character.  He has been creating this series for the last 10 years, and wanted to have an anniversary show dedicated to other artist's interpretations of his set of characters.

I decided to tackle the main character, Scarygirl.  I wanted to make her look like a real little girl, which was a real challenge because so much about the character is highly stylized.  She has a stitched mouth and a hook for a hand.  The character also has a single bone where her hand should be, and I decided to leave that absent.  I think she started to look a bit like a little girl from a Japanese horror movie, but I'm happy with the direction it took.

The show is set to open at Underground Gallery in New York on Hallowe'en night; Wednesday, October 31st.  To view a few more pieces from the exhibition; which will display the work of over 100 artists, head over to Magic Pony's blog.

September 28th 2012

Anabela and Geoff got married a couple of weeks ago.

I wanted to make something special for them, because they're pretty special friends.  They both love cats; quite possibly, (dare I say it), even more than me, especially their two kitties Oreo and Pony.

Both Chris and I put our heads together and decided that we wanted to make them a framed painting.  If you're familiar with their work, you'll know that they use a lot of light, ethereal imagery, so I wanted to include a hint at that in the painting.  Anabela loves peonies, and I thought Pony would look adorable in a silk ribbon.  Chris made a beautiful frame and we stained it with white pickling stain to keep the whole thing nice and bright, (like their lovely apartment).

Anabela posted a little more about the painting, which you can view here.

On another note; I wanted to mention the event happening at the AGO tomorrow night for Nuit Blanche.  Heather Goodchild has recreated a midcentury garment, ceramic and metal-work factory in Made It Then, Make It Againwhere workers will be assembly-line manufacturing uniforms, mugs and metal stools for the workers to sit on.  I'll be helping out along the garment line, and will clock on between 1-4am, but the whole performance takes place between 7pm and 7am.  For a proper explanation, and some beautiful photos of the space coming together, visit The Wardens Today.

Also, I'm looking forward to sharing a painting I've been working on lately for an upcoming show.  It will take place at the end of October in New York.  It's been a lot of fun so far, and I'll post all about it closer to the date of the show.

September 27th 2012

If you're already familiar with my work, you'll probably know that I use a lot of mushroom/fungi reference in my paintings.

I'm not really sure when this fascination began, but it was probably when I was quite young.  I did not like eating mushrooms; I thought they were horrible, until an old neighbour who used to watch us took my sister and I out into the woods to look for edible mushrooms.  From memory, I think they were probably King Bolete mushrooms, but she called them 'Butter Mushrooms'.  We took them back home with us, she fried them up in some butter, and they were delicious!  (Butter will do that).

There was a long while when I didn't give much thought to the humble mushroom, until I started adding them to the odd painting a few years back.  Then, in 2010, I took part in a show at Narwhal Art Projects called The Dazzle and devoted all five oil paintings to them.

Now, any time I go up north to my parent's home, I try to go for a walk back in the woods and see what I can find.  This past weekend was rainy and cool; the perfect climate for mushrooms to pop up overnight.

Here are photos of just a few findings back in the woods.  I brought a field guide along with me, and was able to identify some of them along the way.

*(Please note: I'm not a trained mycologist, so please don't use the names below as reference).

Some type of Mycena


Tremellodendropsis semivestitum

Hemitrichia species and Phlebia tremellosa

September 19th 2012

While in Iceland, we had a couple of days to take things slowly and explore the area around our little cabin in Skagaströnd.  Chris and I would climb up the cliffs behind the cabin and sit in the grass and draw or paint.

Usually, while on vacation, we don't have the time to do any drawing or painting because we're only there for a short time and would rather spend it going to new places.  The great thing about spending time up in the north was that we were forced to take things a little slower and take in everything around us.

Above is a drawing of the top of a rock pillar formation that was just off of the cliffs in the ocean.  There were Northern Fulmar (Fýll) nesting in the rocks, (as well as some angry Arctic Terns that kept dive bombing us while we sat.  We must have been near their nests).

This is a quick painted sketch of the view from our front door.  The mountain straight ahead, (which we could see from many kilometres away on the drive in), was covered in the most beautiful blue Lupins.  It made the whole base of the mountain a bright purple-blue colour.

These were the Icelandic horses that grazed in the field in front of our cabin.  They were a little shy with us at first, but got curious when we stood by the side of their field for a while and came to visit.  

The farm land around the village was so colourful.  There were purple and yellow wildflowers everywhere you looked.  And there were so many different types of birds; it being a bird sanctuary in the cliffs behind us.  I wish I'd taken even more time to draw what we saw there, but that will have to wait for the next time.

September 14th 2012

Starting today, and running until October 14, 2012, one of my paintings, (seen above), will be on display at the Musée des Beaux-Arts Montréal.  The painting is from the first children's book I illustrated back in 2009, and is to be auctioned off the night of October 16, 2012, in a fundraiser for the Canadian Children's Book Centre.

If you're in or around Montréal in the next month, I hope you get a chance to stop in and see the work of over 80 other Canadian illustrators at the museum.

September 6th 2012

Last week was Jenna's last day of working with me for the summer.  She'd been so much help around the studio, and a lot of fun to visit with when she'd come in for her days with me.

For our final work day together, she'd come up with a business card design which she printed using my GOCCO printer.  I think they turned out really well!

This is Jenna printing her second pass of colour on the printer.  She chose a subtle white ink, (only seen from certain angles), as a decorative element in the background, then printed over in gold ink.

Here is the finished result!  I think they look great.

Thanks for all your hard work this summer, Jenna!  To see more of her work, you can visit her blog here, and shortly she'll have a new site up at the web address above.  Yay Jenna!

September 5th 2012

I wanted to post a couple of illustrations I did for The New York Times Magazine a couple of weeks ago.

The first was a portrait of chef Juanjo López, titled "Finding the Divine in Madrid's Red-Light District".  (My work is alongside an article from one of my favourite NY Times writers; Mark Bittman, so I'm very flattered!).

The second, for the same magazine; is from the Lives section, titled "Looking for Meaning in the Detritus of Hurricane Katrina".  It's not a light read; the story was very depressing!  But, very well written and definitely worth a read.

Both illustrations were made to be printed quite small, so I'm posting them a little larger here to show a bit more of their detail.

August 21st 2012

This past week I did another illustration for the Lives section of The New York Times Magazine.  The article was about the complicated relationships between four sisters, so I depicted them as slightly crumpled and torn paper dolls.  You can find a link to the article and my illustration here.

I'll be working on a couple more for the magazine this week and I'll be sure and post them when they've been published next week.

August 16th 2012

I'd been running low on my previous business cards and decided to try out a new design.  I'd used my Print GOCCO to make the last ones, but they were far simpler; in a single colour and simple design.

I created the new design yesterday and had Jenna help me cut paper to size for printing.  I wanted these to be fun and use a couple of my favourite ink colours, (I used the same ones to print this small edition).  I think they sort of look like party confetti, don't you?  Fun!

August 3rd 2012

I was recently commissioned by the owners of Mjölk to create a print design for an upcoming exhibition they're having with renowned Japanese designer, Oji Masanori.  Masanori will be in attendance, as well as a number of the craftspeople that help produce the designs he's created; including Studio Prepa, (glass studio), and woodworkers from Asahikawa.

For the design of the print, I used some of Masanori's most well known designs to create a small collection of items in brass, wood and porcelain.  This is one of my favourite projects that I've done in the last while, but it was very easy to work with such beautiful designs as subjects!  The limited edition, (of 25), giclée print is 17" x 22" and printed on archival paper with archival inks, and will be available at the exhibition opening at Mjölk on August 11-12, 2012.