Thursday, February 26, 2015

Art Is For Everybody

This week's discoveries...

Billie Marten: Ribbon

'Meadow Lark'  artist: Kentree Spiers

Niki + The Dove - the drummer

We worked on lily pad collages in art class...the kids made beautiful pieces!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Playing Koi

Here on the west coast of Canada, Chinese New Year is a really big deal!

Our kids celebrate it at school (Oliver's contribution for tomorrow's fete - baby mandarin oranges - purchased and chilling!) and there are plenty of community activities on the weekends to bring in the year of the sheep with style.

As an art instructor, I'm always trying to teach a new skill in a current theme children may also be exploring in their classrooms during the day.

Hence: koi fish folding; the perfect paper project for beginners and intermediate folders alike!

Here's how:

The competed piece.

Here is the template we'll need.  I printed this onto plain white computer paper and had the children colour their own designs.  To make this even easier, turn these into tracers and trace them onto the red "lucky money" envelopes kids receive at this time of year!

Once they've been coloured in beautiful patterns, cut the shapes out, then make the two small cuts at the front of the fish.

Put a small amount of white glue in front of the incision, folding the front of the fish down, pinch and hold, creating a 3-D effect of the fish's head.

Once both sides of the koi's head are holding, pinch on the fold line near it's tail.

Now, slide the second cutout - the koi's tail - in between the fold.

One quick staple and voila - the tail is attached!

Turn your piece over on it's back.  Spread a small amount of white glue in the four spots illustrated here:

Now for the magic!  Secure your koi onto your chosen background by pressing down on the koi's glued front fins...

...and now holding down on it's tail for a few seconds (make sure to create the appearance of movement by twisting the tail to one side or the other).

We created an extra special background for this koi by using a local Chinese newspaper to collage!

More advanced?  Shrink the template and create a tiny school of koi!

Do you remember all the paper folding tricks you knew when you were a kid?  Can you still remember any?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Forgotten Art and Puppies

In the last little while, we have have celebrated our little daughter turning 4 (!), hidden out at the movie theater as a family for the first time (Paddington...t'was marvelous), and as ever, busy at the art desk...

A back-alley in downtown Vancouver.  Just across from Harbour Center...

Kids in my art class took a crack at being fabric designers.  They painted carrot designs on plain white cotton; then, we turned them into hipster carrot stuffies!

A lovely mosaic on a downtown sidewalk.  Can you spot the iconic sails, bridge, seagulls, cruise ship?

Aw...a puppy portrait I just finished for a special client.

Another view - same alley.  I envision having a photo shoot done here:  me in vintage garb, having high tea at a set can dream!

Have you ever stopped to find the "forgotten art" in your town or city?  I'm glad that I finally made a point to seek it out the last time I was downtown.  I'm looking forward to discover more the next time I'm down that way.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Moo. Tunes. Pigeons.

New stuff I'm excited about!

My new business cards:

Eh?!  I *heart* MOO...they did a fantastic job printing these mini-artworks/business card!
(Citrus print can be found here)

Am rocking out (a lot) to this tune by Celia Pavey.  It's very happy/pretty/fun...

I feel so bad for pigeons.  They are are the underdogs of the bird world, no?

Ah, Ellie Goulding...this new track is lover-ly...

I've also been immersed in some movies and shows this week:  Mr. Hausfrau and I went on a date to see "The Imitation Game" (SO good!), and I'm almost all the way through "The Bletchley Circle" series.  Last month, I finished the Campion/ Hunter collaboration "Top of the Lake" which was CRAZY good.  I recommend all of these if you were also completely addicted to the "Serial" podcast last year!!

Hope you have an inspired week, wherever you hang your hat.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Little Inspirations

I've been wanting for a while now to work together with the City Archives to find historical subjects to paint.  This is a reciprocal venture that I think will appeal to artists and history lovers alike.

The idea came to me when I was out on a walk on a beautiful day last year.  There are so many beautiful old homes near the studio - they all have a story!  Who lived there?  Was it renovated respectfully?  Is it in desperate need of renovation but still beautiful?

While I work on setting up a formal workshop where Archives and I can pay homage to some of the city's most beautiful old homes, I'll share a quick trial run we tried out in a recent class:

I snapped this picture when I was out for a walk last spring.  This house near the river yearned to be painted...

One interpretation.  We all spent less than an hour on these quick renderings.

...and another.  They turned out exquisitely...effortless and light...ready to be framed and hung!

I do love a quick little sketch in the afternoon.  They always seem to turn out best - unaffected and truthful.  I'm looking forward to leading a watercolour class in the springtime to work on more of these little 'house renderings'!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry and Bright

We have had very full, very festive days as of late.

Here is some of my photo journal:

Do you feel ready for 2015?  What holiday foods rocked your world this year?  Does a new year excite or daunt you?

Sunday, November 30, 2014



Fave new band 'Austra'.  Got the tip from my sister-in-law...merci!  This one is my, THIS one...


We live on a hilltop - we get quite a bit of snow in the winter months.  This year, I'm adding "case of wine" to our list of emergency supplies in case we get stuck up here!  (Ok and I'm sure everyone in the world is already doing this, but I frequently spy on en trend restaurant wine lists for a top rated wine suggestion that isn't too mainstream yet.  This one, I found at this chic little tapas place on Charlotte Street in London.  Like having a personal sommolier!)


A street in Gastown in Vancouver.  We stopped for microbrew IPA beer and Peking duck pizzas
on this walk...


...over this drawing our seven year old Oliver recently made.  What's with the flying radish?!

What is inspiring you these days??
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