June 22nd 2012

I was recently asked to create two paintings to be given as a gift.  They were of a pair of cats that had belonged to a family, and I was given pretty sweet stories to accompany both of them.  The top, a female, was a bit of a tomboy and always getting dirty and exploring a nearby construction site.  The male, below, was bossy and demanding, but also a bit of a suck, and the family had a running joke about seeing him in a tiny tuxedo; hence the outfit.

I know these paintings will have a good home with such a sweet family to go to.

June 21st 2012

Of the places I've visited, Iceland has the most beautiful currency I've ever seen!

My favourite bill is the 5000 Krona with the portrait of Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir on it.  The details are incredible, and the back of the bill depicts a group of women in a sewing circle, working on a tapestry together.

June 20th 2012

Happy first day of summer!

It's supposed to get up to 34℃ here in Toronto today, (that's 94℉ for my friends to the south), and feel like 41℃ with the humidity.  It sounds like Chris and I will be heading to cooler climes just in time!  (We leave for Iceland on Saturday- hooray!!).

Before we leave, I thought I'd post a little look at the painting I finished up yesterday, which will soon be a silkscreen print; printed here in Toronto by Kid Icarus.  I'm very excited to see this one go to print!

June 15th 2012

My friend Nikole just posted the most beautiful video online.  It's a short documentary filmed by local photographer John Cullen about the work that she and her father do together for their company, Herriott Grace.  (And just in time for Father's Day, which is really sweet!).

It's quiet and beautiful, and very thoughtfully put together.

Congratulations to Nikole, her father Lance, and all of the talented filmmakers and editors that helped make this project as lovely as it is.  It's really something else.

Here is where you can find Nikole's post and short film.

June 14th 2012

I wanted to share a few photos that I've taken in the last few months before we come back from Iceland in a few weeks and I barrage this blog with more!

Here's a photo of Celine just days before she had sweet little Eloise!  And yes, I was feeding her marshmallows.

A pretty lane way in Hamilton, Ontario.

This Saturday, there will be the opening for an exhibition at Narwhal Projects in the Junction that I've been looking forward to.  It's for Souther Salazar's new collection of work; You and Me (And The Mouse In The Moon).  The opening will take place from 6 - 10pm, and I hope to see you there!

Also, I got some very exciting news this morning, and have a couple of really fun jobs on the go at the moment that I'm looking forward to sharing very soon!  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a very nice weekend!

June 11th 2012


Today's post is one I'm a little giddy about, (as well as just a tad embarrassed!  ha!).

I recently went through a pile of older work on an old external hard drive, and found a treasure trove of golden oldies.  These paintings would have been completed either at the end of school or just as I'd graduated.

Things have changed a little, haven't they?

I notice a bit of a 'put a bird on it' thing going on here...

June 7th 2012

Hey everybody, meet Jenna!

Jenna is going to be interning with me this summer.  She's currently a student at Sheridan; the same art school I went to.  We're going to be working together in my studio on paintings and getting this new print going in the next while.

If you'd like to see some of her work, here is her website, and her blog.

Also, the New York Times Magazine just published their Innovations Issue this past week, and their online article on the 32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow is pretty incredible. They've created a flash model that changes the colour of the screen through the colour spectrum as you scroll down the screen.  It's a really interesting read too, and the infographics to accompany the article are pretty fantastic.

June 5th 2012

Here is the reason I'd recently been looking up vintage seed packets for reference; I just finished up a design to be used on seed packets to give out as favours at an upcoming wedding.  I painted the strawflower with watercolour, and used ink and a brush to hand-letter the banner and ribbon.  It was a lot of fun to do!  I can't wait to see how they look printed on their little envelopes.

* I've blurred out the names on the top banner for privacy's sake.

June 4th 2012

I wanted to write a little on process today.

Often, when I'm doing an illustration job, the deadline is tight and I don't have a lot of time to work on preliminary drawings.  I'll do a quick sketch or two to get more an idea of the space I'm working with than anything, but they don't usually end up being very nice, polished drawings.

When I'm doing personal work, however, I like to spend a bit more time developing my ideas, so I'll do more finished preparatory drawings.

I'm planning to do something I haven't before; I'm doing a painting to go straight to print.  I've wanted to do another silkscreen print with Kid Icarus for a while now and needed an excuse.  When I'm planning to do a print, I usually take existing paintings that I'm especially happy with and have them printed.

Above is a sketch that I started a few days ago.  I wanted to do a detailed portrait of a running hare.  I was happy with the drawing, but felt like it may need a little more, so I took some tracing paper, (which I use a lot when working out the layout of a painting), and drew another hare; this time an arctic hare.  

I'm using a very similar posture for this rabbit, with very subtle changes so it doesn't look pasted in.

I noticed after taking a step back from the drawing that the right foot on the arctic hare looked too relaxed for it to appear to be running realistically.  So I went back and did a couple of variations on the foot and scanned them in-

- then cloned it in to place.  It may look not look obvious, but I think this change was just enough to make it look more true to life.

Well, the funny thing is, after all of this debate and redrawing I decided that the first drawing would work best.  I felt it had a bit more impact than the two hares.  I guess that's just part of the whole process!

I'll be sure and post the finished painting, and update when they've been printed!  (Also, a very happy 5th anniversary to Kid Icarus)!