Thursday, May 28, 2009

Last weekend I was flown up to Fort Smith (in the Northwest Territories) to teach an altered book workshop at the Northern Life Museum. We had so much fun! My class was filled with a wonderful group of very talented and generous ladies!
Look at some of the remarkable books they produced...
(unfortunately I didn't get pictures of all of them)

Thanks so much to Laurie Young, manager of the Museum,
for inviting and arranging everything for me to come
(and for taking care of things while I was there).
It was truly a pleasure to meet all of you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

...from the song "sweaters"

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Weekend in the HOT Sun!
I just got home last night from San Jose, California
where I attended a journaling workshop
taught by Teesha and Tracy Moore.
This was the cover of the journal I made in the workshop... I enjoyed the workshop,
particularly my conversations with Joanne Burkett
(a wonderfully generous person and talented artist),
but I have to admit,
the highlight of my weekend
was definitely being able to visit
with my brother and stay at his house.
We are very close
and chat almost everyday on our macs
but don't get to see each other or spend time together that often.

I arrived in San Jose Thursday night
and Friday morning I woke up
into one of the best days of my life.
This is where I sat and drank my morning latte
with my journal/sketchbook...
and this is the view from that chair...
I had the whole day to draw,
glue in sketches (of the people I drew in the airports on the way down),
write and swim, (and repeat... many times)
...until I went to the workshop at 5 pm.

Here are a some pages of that day...
and here I am being all Californian in the convertible,
on my way to the workshop on Saturday
when the temperature reached 100 degrees.

Now I am back in Edmonton already
and it is snowing here today...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Besides renovating and getting my new studio
ready to open I have also been busy with other things...

This is an Art Nouveau style "Quaker" wedding certificate for a wedding in Paris next week. All the guests at the wedding will sign the bottom section of the certificate. (A first for me!)

Then of course some caricatures...

...lots of live drawing gigs...

Birth Issues layout (for the special 30 year anniversary edition)
...and a lot of tree climbing supervision...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The act of reaching a conclusion or making up one's mind.
For me, making a decision is a relatively simple but timely procedure...
It just has to feel right.
Thats it.
It doesn't matter if its logical or reasonable.
When the right solution appears, I know it instantly.
However, I have to admit that during the indecision time,
I can get really cranky
(especially the longer it takes to find the right solution).

This is my process.
Its the way that I approach my painting, my design work, my parenting and basically...
my life.

I never realized just how many decisions are involved with opening a new commercial studio space. Every night I feel the "overload" alarm in my brain going off
(which fortunately is silenced easily by red wine).
Even with the essence of overwhelm wafting through the air,
its very exciting,
especially every time I realize that it can be
"Whatever I want it to be".

I have been working so hard on the new studio space!
One short week ago it was a completely blank canvas
and now it has...
  • a floor plan,
  • a flow plan (how things will work there)
  • a colour scheme (warm colours),
  • second hand wooden dining tables and chairs (costing me only $45 in total),
and is starting to have the feel of the most inspiring little cafe that you could imagine.
I have always loved the feel of funky little cafes. When I personally want to go out and write or draw in my journal the first thing I think of is some cool little cafe, so I wanted to combine and recreate the essence that I have found in all my favorite cafes around the world.
...and its getting there!

This is the part I know that might confuse a lot of people.
It FEELS and looks like a cafe but its an art studio cafe, not a regular kind of cafe.
You don't come to eat, you come to create!

For instance...on the tables are
  • the condiments—fluid acrylics and gel medium,
  • the place settings—paint rags with scissors, glue sticks and paint brush and a glass filled with paint sponges.
The most exciting thing today was to be at the studio measuring the dimensions for the new front bar counter and the reception counter with my Dad, who will be building it for me. He loves building and refinishing things and I can't tell you how thrilled I am that my Dad is here taking part in this new entrepreneurial adventure with me. He is the person I genetically received the entrepreneurial spirit from. 35 years ago he started his own locksmith company with a couple of friends and it was a very successful company. Then, when he wanted to change things up a bit he had the courage to sell his part of it and go travel Canada in a Winnebago with my Mom. When they arrived back home 6 months later he began to do something completely different.

Since his renewed health, due to his double lung transplant, I don't take any time with my parents for granted, and the fact that my little studio will have his wood work means more to me than anything else in there.