January 16th 2012

Installation in Progress

I spent a little time a couple of days ago helping out Chris and the other members of Team Macho paint one of their new structures that they've been building at the AGO.  

They're creating four separate workspaces in the public gallery in the lower level of the gallery where people can interact with their structures and even create their own work.  Each space is based on the four pillars of the universe written about by Canadian writer Northrop Frye.  These pillars are the cave, the furnace, the mountaintop and the garden.  They've taken these four elements and applied them to each of the structures in context with their own creative process.  

Here is a write-up from this past Saturday's National Post on their creative process.  They've just finished up an interview with the Globe and Mail this morning, and I'll post a link to that as well when it's been published.  Also, here is a link to their article on the AGO website.  To follow progress on their project, they've been uploading images to their Tumblr and updating on Twitter.

Their space will be available to the public between January and April of this year.

{ The mountaintop }

{ The cave }

{ The garden }

{ The furnace }

January 12th 2012

As promised, I'm posting another couple of paintings that both Chris and I worked on before going on holiday in December.  This project was a lot of fun!

We'd been commissioned by our friends Celine and Jin to do a couple of paintings collaboratively.  They'd mentioned that they'd love portraits done of their two sweet cats; Mea and Mojo.  We wanted to take things a little further and include the two of them as well.  After some brainstorming, this was the idea Chris came up with, and I instantly fell in love with it!  I knew it would be so much fun to paint!  Both Celine and Jin have a lot of character, and so do the cats!  This was going to be easy.

We asked them if we could come over one afternoon to take quick photos of the two of them. They had no idea what we were up to!

So we worked on it these two paintings together, while taking breaks from all of our other work.  We were both super busy at that time, but this was welcome work.

Because things were getting to close to Christmas, and the framing shops were all too busy to take on work to be ready before Christmas, Chris decided to make two beautiful pickled pine frames.  He made the pickling stain himself, and I loved them!  I want to frame all of our work like that now!  (It's nearly white, with a bit of natural grain still showing).  So pretty.

We told them we had something to drop off quickly the evening before we left the city.  We'd wrapped the pieces up so that Jin got the painting of Celine, and Celine got the painting of Jin.  Their expressions were perfect when they opened them!

To see a really sweet blog post from Celine, and to see the pieces hung on their wall in their frames, here is a link.

Thanks for being the most fun subjects, Celine and Jin, Mea and Mojo!

January 4th 2012

First post of 2012!  Happy New Year, everyone.

It's time to do a little post-holiday catching up.  It's taking a little bit of a push, but I'm starting to get back in to work mode.

Just before the holidays, things got very busy!  They always do, but this may have been a record year!  I did what started off as one illustration for The New York Times Magazine, and that turned in to six!  It was thrilling.

The issue I was asked to contribute to was the final of the year, and was dedicated to those that have passed away during the past year.  It was titled "The Lives They Lived".  First off, the cover page of this issue was one of the most gorgeous magazine covers I've ever seen.  It was illustrated by Mike Lemanski, and can be found via the link above.

Ira Glass, Julie Snyder and Lisa Pollak of This American Life guest edited a section in this issue titled "These American Lives".  Included in this section was the article for my favorite of the illustrations I was asked to contribute, "Uneasy Rider", (see image above).  The article was heartbreaking, and made me teary the first read through.  I really enjoyed painting this illustration, but it was a tough, emotionally-charged one.

I realized while looking up articles to link to them for this post, there is a video on the New York Times website of Hugo Lindgren, (editor for the magazine), talking to Ira Glass, (who hosts the NPR radio show This American Life).  I watched it only to realize that pinned up in the background of the video behind the two men is the mockup page of the "Uneasy Rider" article!  In the same room as Ira Glass!!  Okay, I'll calm down...  It was also nice to see Sara Cwynar, an art director for the magazine and good friend, featured as well.

Also in December, I did an illustration for Air Canada's inflight magazine, EnRoute.  Here is a link to the article online.

This post has already gotten completely out of hand, so I'll wait for my next post to tell you all about a couple of paintings that Chris and I worked on together recently.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful start to 2012.