Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I'm feeling guilty. There are all these bloggers who are writing a post a day in November whereas I, after 2 1/2 years of blogging, have only managed to post, say, four days in a row on maybe a half dozen occasions. I haven't posted at all this week, and last week only provided pictures.
Okay, I admit it, I'm not really feeling guilty but it has been quiet (though always busy) around here lately. The high point was probably getting an update from the family of Carlos, the first of about a dozen dogs we fostered a few years back. Isn't he a handsome devil? After his early career in highway robbery, I broke him out of a shelter in Bellingham, Washington, and we fled north over the border. All the dogs were hard to give up but he was the hardest.
And we kept this evil-looking creature instead? On Monday night we had a sort-of snowfall (wet and short-lived) ~ perfect for lounging in, of course. Zappa is pretty but not too smart or brave, as he proved last Saturday when he used me as a shield while I kicked and screamed at a vicious Chow Chow who tried to carve him up and eat him for lunch.
Bit by bit the handmade stuff I've bought on Etsy for Christmas has been trickling in, and I got some work back from a gallery last week. I took two of the landscape paintings into town yesterday, so if you're in downtown Vancouver over the next ten days, pop into Royal Centre at 1055 West Georgia Street and have a look.
I also have five of these framed landscape drawings left to find homes for. These frames are so perfect for them that I don't want to sell the drawings by themselves, but shipping glass can be a pain-in-the-arse and finding a new venue also a problem as they're not exactly mainstream landscapes. Because of their reflective quality they do need to be seen by the naked eye. I've decided to put a couple on Etsy anyway, just to test drive the idea.
In other news, Carl was invited to go on the senior concert band trip to Kelowna next spring, even though he only had room for a guitar class and extracurricular jazz band this year. Adam also has a band trip to Seattle with the junior band. These band trips cost money and there seems to be two trips a year these days, either to Quebec with the French Immersion class or somewhere closer with the band. I can't ask the grandparents to help out so I foresee a few bottle drives in our future.
One of those bottle drives might be for me as I really want to go to a Nick Bantock collage workshop (I want to learn more about mixed media) on Saltspring Island at the end of May. Anyone care to join me? I've never read Griffin and Sabine or any of his other novels so I really must do some 'research' first.
Well, Diary, I have some painting to do so must go. What do you think I should do with this strange-looking thing?
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
This drawing fits nicely into Illustration Friday's theme 'the zoo' this week. It reminds me of visiting the now-defunct Stanley Park Zoo and riding on the miniature train when I was a child.
I've had a busy week here, nose to the easel and all. Happy American Thanksgiving and Black Friday to those down south. I suggest staying out of the malls and shopping on-line today. May I ever-so-subtley suggest Etsy? :)
And whilst giving thanks, this article, about an artist imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge, is a timely reminder of how many things we can be thankful for. Have a good weekend.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
art and fundamentalism
To combat the call of sin ... the fundamentalist plunges either into action or into the study of sacred texts. He loses himself in these, much as the artist does in the process of creation. The difference is that while the one looks forward, hoping to create a better world, the other looks backward, seeking to return to a purer world from which he and all have fallen.
It's an interesting idea that I've been turning over for a few days. There's a simplicity and logic to it. If he were to broaden the search, though, could the opposite be said of the progressive religious person who gets involved in empowerment activities, like job training for the homeless, and the traditional artist who believes the only true art builds on a classical past?
In other news, I've been continuing to play with Etsy but am getting a bit frustrated. (Note: please no lectures on creativity being more important than economics. I know that. I also know that creativity doesn't pay the orthodontist bills.) My recent attempts to understand Etsy success have been interesting and have also revealed that this artist has sold more than any other. 9500+ sales! It's an amazing achievement and would be encouraging but is actually quite sobering because her work is so profoundly different from mine and so sought after that it makes me want to pour a tall Scotch and check out Workopolis.com. That said, I have decided to test the limits of Cutesy -- er, Etsy -- and see if a series of eight of my photos, called Urban Myth, will make any sort of blip on the radar. It doesn't get less cute. I still have to load the rest of them but I'm taking my cue from Etsy experts and not uploading all at once to ensure higher viewer stats. Sigh. (I'm working on getting my BS from the U of Etsy and am in danger of flunking out.)
Monday, November 12, 2007
art as altered reality
While at Etsy I also came across this artist's surprising assemblages. To alter it one step further, I'm feeling inspired to make some drawings from them.
And while we're discussing altered reality and 'is it art?' what about words? Do they count? Hell yes, if they're made into artwork by Wayne White. I was fascinated to read that he also directed Peter Gabriel's groundbreaking (to geriatrics like me) video Big Time in the '80s. He picks up old paintings at thrift shops and integrates his 'message' into them. Kind of like Trixie Delicious at Etsy. I lust after her vandalized vintage dishes but my budget won't allow it.
Friday, November 09, 2007
OK, OK, the draw. I'm using classic narcissist strategy: pique their interest then string them along for as long as possible. (I learned it from a master.) The winner is A KITE RISES, an Irish lass with a lovely blog. (And for the really observant, she left two comments -- not deliberately -- but she still only got one entry.) This was fun and I will probably do it again in a few months. Ms Kite, please email (see profile) and I will give you a choice of prints.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
First of all, I've been adding new work to my Etsy shop. Finally. I'm not done yet and I am putting a variety of things there to see what sticks and what doesn't, including a couple of landscape prints.
Next, I decided to test drive ImageKind. ImageKind is a direct-order print company that will make prints on your choice of paper and will also do framing and matting. I must admit that I spent way too long trying different combinations of mats and frames on each painting.
Finally, I checked out what was happening in my almost-forgotten CafePress store. I want to make some calendars for 2008 but in the meantime, I added a few products and changed some images on others. I don't do much with it, but once or twice a year I like to play shopkeeper.
Enough blatant commercialism and back to the important stuff. This is post #499 so next time I'll be drawing for a print. If interested, enter here.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Meantime, to enter all you need to do is leave a comment on this, my 496th post (thanks for the idea, Dinah!). Post #500 will reveal the winner, names drawn from a hat.
As you can see by the image, I have been experimenting. The original of this print is huge: 48" x 48" or 122 cm x 122 cm. What I did here was take a print (306 gsm Hahnemuhle Photo Rag) of the painting and mount it on an 8" x 8" x 1.5" cradled wood panel. I gessoed the panel first and painted the sides raw umber, then attached the print with matte acrylic gel medium. The whole thing is then sealed with the medium, the light texturing on the surface giving it the illusion of an original painting. All materials are the best I could find and completely archival. I was chuffed as all get-out at the results. This one's at Etsy (check out my new shop banner) and I plan to try this with more prints. If there's anything you've seen that you'd like me to do up, I'll be trying the following sizes: 6" x 6" ($25), 6" x 8" ($30), 8" x 8" ($35) and 8" x 10" ($40).