Saturday, June 30, 2012

Journal Post 6/30/12


Good news:

I didn't have to pick up my painting "Good Morning" from the gallery today because it sold. I guess this makes it the first gallery-sold painting - congrats little dude!

Though it's kind of sad I won't get to see it again.


Lousy news:

We decided to pack up the car with all the junk we'd been collecting for the past year to finally go recycle/whatever it all.

We got down to the underground parking and saw that someone had busted the lock on the driver's side door and made themselves comfortable inside. The car was empty but he/she left it unlocked.

I'm quite annoyed by all the pointlessness of it. Why break the lock on my car for no reason? Just to hang out? There's no money, no nice stereo, no tools, no nothing inside the car, so.... why?


And so I'm creeped out that had they had the ability to open the gate, would my car be missing right now? Who knows. And how did he/she get in AND out of a parking garage that needs a key to get in and out of?

So mysterious.


Despite all the rain, we purged our small apartment of all of our bottles and too-small shoes and broken gadgets, so we're still pretty pleased right now :3


Tomorrow is Canada Day and I super super hope that the weather clears up because I wanna go to the beach! Vendors (whhhhyyyy not me? lol) and burgers and kite clubs galore! Maybe I'll get to see local fireworks for the first time since I was a child? GASP!


Holy cow I can go anywhere, and on a weekend to boot! Amazing stuff, gais. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mini Painting - Fishing for Compliments


I have not completely forgotten my original goal of providing original artwork to those who have little money to play with.

Before I started art journaling and before I truly got back into painting, I was into Artist Trading Cards, which are baseball-card-sized pieces of art meant for trading. From that, started an ACEO trend where some artists sold the trading cards for money, and suddenly art was affordable and abundant.

I actually don't like the size/shape of ACEOs at all, so I decided to try a 3x3 inch square of paper! I think it's cute and can imagine one of my apartment walls covered in them. Wouldn't that be adorable?

Here is a video of the first one, "Fishing for Compliments"

So yeah, one of the things I plan to buy one day for this business is a new camera! Heh. Well, it's a nice thought anyway.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Portfolio Flip Through

Trying new ways to put videos together. I can't wait to get a new camera some day. :/

I normally don't record sound, but I discovered that the microphone on my laptop is decent compared to the mess that is a PowershotA620.

Anyway this is a super quick flip-through of the carry-around portfolio I'm making! It's not totally finished and I'm open to any ideas. I love the photos and I'm glad I didn't hide them behind shiny plastic :3

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sneak Peek - Portfolio


Here's a peek into what I was doing today. I was puzzling over the idea of a carry-around portfolio and wasn't sure how to do it. I thought about online publishing, but the layouts are too strict and unfit.  I thought about scrapbooks, but hated the shiny plastic pages.

I saw a photo album in a photography store, which was just large photo prints glued to thick, black pages in a perfect-bound hardcover book. It looked really nice! The idea stuck with me all the way back home.


In the end I used the last of the art journal materials to make a portfolio (minus one signature, two was plenty). I think this is what I wanted from the beginning but thought it would look too... "homemade". And maybe it will. I haven't gotten around to filling it yet, but when I do I will show it off!

The reason I haven't finished it is because apart from the HUGE life change of getting weekends like normal people (!!!), I am also officially as-of-today a driver! I dumped all of our money on a pretty little red car and I am freaked! It's like a giant baby! Felt weird leaving it in the parking garage and out of sight.

But it felt FANTASTIC to drive alone without someone there to judge and test me. :3

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Journal Post 6/23/12


Here's a casual one. It is easy to fall in love with this paper; it takes watercolour so wonderfully and I can't believe I lasted a whole journal without it.


I drew a model from a magazine. I guess I was in a bit of portraiture mood this week.


Splashing paint onto the paper....


Tracing dried clovers from the garden...

I have a headache from all of this walking around today, but I can't stop thinking about mini portfolios. It is a great idea to have samples of my artwork on hand at all times. There have been many opportunities where I could have shown them to people!  :O

But I feel a total lack of creativity coming on... there are so many clever examples that I could never think of. I'm also not entirely sure what artists do with them! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rolled Fondant vs Marshmallow Fondant


So I learned a new lesson.

If you've been following a while, you'd know that on occasion, I might make a cake. You might even know all about rolled fondant and how I abandoned it for the new-fangled marshmallow fondant. 

Silly me, I put my marshmallows in the bowl to melt and just left them there on the stove until they were crunchy little dried up things which was no good at all (do not multitask in the kitchen, btw).

Because I am making lots of roses for a wedding cake that will not be eaten (and I was out of marshmallows), I decided to just throw together regular rolled fondant instead. I remember holding the bottle of vanilla in my hand, thinking if I add this, it won't be white and then it won't match the marshmallow ones I've already made, so I will use the clear almond instead.

Well guess what. Marshmallow fondant isn't as white as I thought.


Also, the texture is totally different. I'd much rather use the marshmallow kind because it's the only one that tastes decent. But it's ever so slightly off-white. 

Remember that when you're mixing the two and you want them to match. Because they won't. And you'll feel silly and wish you'd just gone to the store to buy more marshmallows. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

From the Post - Stephanie Law


This may seem obvious to people familiar with her work, but when I was a teenager my absolute favourite artist was Stephanie Law.  Her detailed landscapes and fairies inspired me to fill up many sketchbooks. The way she used layers to create the illusion of light kept me focused on improving my own skills. Her tutorials (which are probably still on her website) quite obviously guided my explorations into watercolour.


Back then, we were all very interested in fantasy themes. It was all about the Lord of the Rings, Angel Sanctuary and fantasy novels. I have an entire sketchbook embarrassingly full of wings wings wings.


I don't actually care much for fantasy themes anymore, and so I don't keep track of Stephanie's work as closely as I once did. But I did fall in love with this dragon print. Maybe it's the colour theme that made it stand out from the others?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Evolution of a Painting


Today, someone requested I try to repaint a sold painting, so I gave it a shot. I repainted "The Direction Things Always Go", but told myself that it wasn't going to be exact. After all, I painted it two years ago with a different set of paints.

I am happy and kind of surprised with the result.


Okay. So I had the most unbelievably difficult time capturing the colour. My camera only wanted to see blue, and oddly, my scanner was completely off the mark. This has never happened before, and I don't recall ever struggling with the blues/greens. I tried to fix it up as best as I could in photoshop but it's still not really there. The colours are actually very much like the original (bright turquoise and peacock blues), just.... significantly more vibrant.


Computer troubles aside, I am pleased with the update. I must have a bigger brush selection now because this second version has crisper lines. Her facial features are closer to what I originally wanted. 


Also, to update further, I added some butterflies to stick out of the painting because I love the way that looks.

I consider this to be the Director's Cut! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Journal post 6/17/12


Playing with patterns this week. I haven't started any actual paintings yet, but I did spend the entire day today editing and listing new prints in the shop.


There is still lots to do. But this weekend was the first weekend I've had off in ages. Hopefully this trend will continue! It feels like... It kind of feels like endless roads are suddenly stretching long in front of me.  Like I can do anything or go anywhere I want.


Tread cautiously.


I've also been collecting little black clovers from my balcony garden. I wonder what I'm going to do with them? :3

Friday, June 15, 2012

What About Art School?


I love this journal layout, and to think it was one of those "on the couch watching tv" things. When away from the desk (by about five feet *snort*), water-soluble crayons and a waterbrush come in handy.


Seriously, this is a very sad year for tomato plants. I am jealous of other bloggers who have beautiful sun-lit photography haha! None of that over here, that's for sure.


Thinking about art school. Would I go back? Would I recommend it?

Yes, if you have money. No, if you don't.

I actually didn't go to any fancy school. We have a few in this area and they are very expensive. I went to a community college (with an identity crisis... it was a college/uni when I went and now it's a polytechnic - can you guess which???), and it was mostly studio classes with the hopes I would be inspired.

Well, I wasn't. And studio classes didn't teach anything. It was more of a weekly critique group that cost a bunch of money.  Colour theory was awesome, photoshop class was alright (though I still don't understand layer masks so maybe it wasn't), and I thought the art business course was good until I started putting it into practice.

Maybe it was just a crummy school. Maybe it's because of this.


But do I regret trying? Heck no, because anything fun is worth doing, and even though I spent a ton of money to drag canvases around on the public transportation system, I did not go into debt for it. I worked full time and painted late into the evenings so that I could pay rent and take the classes I wanted.

I would not go into debt for this.


Perhaps I started to feel this way the first year after high school when my mum handed be a stack of papers relating to graphic design/illustration. It outlined entry level jobs such as "gopher" which was just someone who made coffee and filed papers. From there, a person would schmooze and work up to their ideal position. It really was about who you know, and getting work experience. Trying to get my first job (any) was a wake up call to reality. 

I am completely disillusioned about post-secondary education, apart from the super specialized like medicine or law. For freelance, I don't think a BFA is worth a loan. But it does look good, and it probably feels good, and it lets you charge higher wages.

It is tantalizing and I can see myself trying for it some day, maybe when I'm elderly. But hopefully when I can pay for it out of pocket.

What do you think? Do you think an arts degree is worth the money?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Balcony art


This canvas had been hanging out on our living room floor for a while, getting kicked around and apparently chewed on by cats. So I painted over it with the plan to decorate my balcony. But I don't know if I like it enough.

I've always been a self-conscious, paranoid type person, and the reason I don't go out on my balcony or even leave the drapes open on the windows is because the outdoors is so... exposed. It always feels like there are a million people watching, judging and laughing at everything I do!

You see, us kids grew up in a little neighbourhood of spies. If I left my window blinds open, I'd see our neighbours stare in through the windows as they were walking by. It creeped me out. Yet no one actually knew each other. As a child I remember being accused of breaking into my own house (I often forgot my key). As  a teenager I had nervous security guards try to escort me out of the neighbourhood because they didn't think I belonged there. Everyone was afraid of everyone else.

It's weird that I have no problem hanging my art on walls in schools and galleries, but outdoors is a whole other ballgame. 


I'm going to find some climbing nasturtiums and encourage them to cover the entire balcony so that no one can see inside! Yes. But I think the one I found yesterday is just a regular nasturtium. It tastes like postage stamp glue and radishes! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Snail Art Journal


I made this journal over the weekend and I really like it! It's definitely cutesy-poo, complete with silly whale scrapbook paper on the inside cover!

More photos here.


I definitely have more energy this week, though I feel like my free time is filling up fast! If you follow my facebook, you may have noticed that I've been thinking about outdoor spaces, how people decorate their backyards,  specifically.

I am playing with that, and maybe trying out decorated sugar cookies too.

What projects do you have going this week? Do you give yourself simply too much to do?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Journal Post 6/11/12


It's such a beautiful day out today, and I am so glad. I think a clear sky helps to clear my head. Must be some of that seasonal affective stuff.


When things grow complicated, a clear head helps a lot. There is so much I need to learn about business. I haven't even gone to see the Just Birds show yet. I'm excited about potential work schedule changes that will allow me to do more with my time.

If you want something, you'll find a way.


On my mind: business demands, cookies, cars, wedding cakes, money...

I've always been the type to go with the flow and follow the easiest path. But there is no easy path. There is no safe path. All paths are difficult and demanding and require effort. Even the paths that boast the best potential, the ones that "guarantee" a safety net.

There is no safety net. There is only work and reward.

Maybe the secret to a happy life is to only work for the rewards you really want, instead of the rewards that look the best. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Journal Post 6/7/12


Yay, I'm happy to go back to the blank journal. Scrappy was fun, but I think I'm over it.

I doodled a bunch of roses and coloured them in with a white-out pen. Yeah. Those things you have to squeeze the entire time is hell on the hand! Regretted it about three roses in. But I've been living on the couch lately and didn't want to work at my desk where the white paint is.


And it looks like all of my markers are dried out for some reason. Huh.


And half of this page is iridescent Lindy dauber. It doesn't take markers too well anyway.

I can't wait to get out of this funk! The weather is about as grey as I feel. I haven't even checked out the gallery show yet. The reception is tomorrow and I can't even go, which isn't helping the funk. Neither is the fuss my bank is giving me nor the constant errors I get trying to register as an exporter.

BLAH! says I. 

Ooh, I've been putting off filming the journal flip because I'm totes nervous about it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gilded Rose Journal

This is pretty much my theme song today:

It's weird that I'm in my late twenties and I still don't have a hand on a tenth of the grown up stuff I'm supposed to be doing. Sheesh.

I'm sure it's like this for everyone.


But I did manage to squeeze in time for another journal! I took the photos outside this time and so of course I forgot to take a casual angle photo of it, so we'll have to do with this one for the time being :P


Available here.

I was playing with a lovely piece of scrapbook paper that I really liked. With a couple of prismacolour markers, I doodled some roses on the cover. I kind of like these markers because they have very little smell to them, compared to the chartpak ones I never use as I could clear a room with them!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moment of Stupid



Guess what I did this weekend.

Okay, so I was all geared up for the ARTS2012 show at the local gallery this year. I had a painting accepted into that show last year and it was a good experience.

But then recently my brain decided to stop functioning smoothly. I almost completely forgot about the Just Birds show but managed to get my shiz together just in time! Not so for ARTS2012.

I packed my work up at the last minute (again, forgetting about the deadline every single day), and dragged it all on the bus to the gallery. Unfortunately, there was no one there and the box office lady informed me that I'd missed my deadline by a whole day.



Sure enough, I had the correct date circled on the calendar, but I had convinced myself it was a different day. For two months leading up to it, I saw a different date. Even when I wrote it on the calendar. Even when I meticulously went over the deadlines again three days ago.

I'm not as disappointed by the situation as much as I am shocked by this completely out-of-character move on my part. My life isn't that stressful. Come on, brain, get with the program already. It's been too fuzzy for too long.

Anyway I just thought I'd share that little warning: check dates more than three times! :P I paid thirty bucks and got nothing.

On the bright side, there is a possibility that I can get my work schedule moved around so that I can finally do all the stuff I've been wanting to do which happens on weekends. I'm totally psyched about that, about eventually having a car... but not so psyched about the new late night shifts (til 1am) I'll have to take on as a compromise.

Worth it?