Friday, December 21, 2012

Lords-a-Leapin'!

Four days to go. Are you all getting ready to celebrate this joyous season with as much pomp as this couple? Or maybe you’re planning something a little cozier with your true love?  However you celebrate, a very Merry Christmas to you all!

Snowflakes twirl as pipers pipe
A wedding filled with dance
For twelve days led us to this night
Of Christmastime romance

12 Days art, available for purchase at Fly Sky Pix.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fiiiiiiiiive Golden Rings

Well, more like one golden ring. But it’s a special one! 8 days to go.

A golden ring on bended knee
So spend forevermore
In blissful union with this love
A fairytale of yore
Enjoy today’s 12 Days art, available for purchase at Fly Sky Pix.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Technically the Twelve days of Christmas don’t start until December 25th and finish on the 5th of January, but I’ve always liked to think of them more as a Christmas Countdown in the days leading up to the big day. Aaaaand it allows me to promote more Fly Sky Pix art, just in time to order for Christmas! Twelve days left…let’s all celebrate with a partridge, some turtledoves, French hens and calling birds. Check back in 4 days for the next one.

My good friend Rebecca wrote the poems that accompany the pieces and they’re just so lovely and fit the love story I created so well that I have to share:
Four days of special gifts received
To prove his great affection
Bird songs fill the autumn air
An ode to love's perfection


 
“The 12 Days of Christmas” line is available for purchase at Fly Sky Pix.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who wants a Hippopotamus for Christmas?

(or, the Fly Sky Pix launch)


 I’m very excited to share a project I’ve been working on for the last year and a half: Fly Sky Pix, "storytelling art with a twist". I was approached by Swave Studios, an industrial design company, and asked to illustrate storytelling art to be printed on canvas. The twist comes from incorporating LED lights and music into the canvas. Of course I jumped at the chance and got to work on three of their creative lines: Decor, Lullaby and Seasonal. I based all of my illustrations on musical pieces and let those inspire me to create the story.

The great news? These 12x12 inch canvases are now available to order from Fly Sky Pix, just in time for the holidays! An owl family or elephant pals are perfect for a nursery or child’s room, a city postcard-inspired canvas is perfect to send long distance to a  loved one, while you can finally get that hippopotamus you’ve always wanted for Christmas for yourself.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Van Gogh in Ottawa

Last week we went to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. Despite the increase in price, the exhibit was wonderful, focusing mostly on his still-life and landscape paintings. It was inspiring to see so many van Goghs in the same room! This is definitely one of the bigger shows that the gallery has put on in a long time. I know Dominic was especially happy to see it as Van Gogh is one of his favourite artists. (I kept looking around hoping to see the Doctor and Amy wandering around the gallery – I didn’t). Here is my imagining of van Gogh out painting sunflowers, happy and calm as he told his brother Theo he was whenever he painted. I completely understand that calming effect that painting can have; I always enjoy losing myself in a painting and forgetting about everything around me.



If you’re in Ottawa at all this summer, the exhibit is definitely worth checking out! Run to it!

Tomorrow I’m off to San Francisco for a bit – I’ve never been and I’m very excited – before returning and leaving almost right after for the east coast.  I hope to have some art to share when I get back!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The newest book on my bookshelf



Little Fox and Little Star

I’m so excited to be able to share this with you! Last year I was asked to illustrate a children’s book as a wedding gift for friends, a truly lovely couple that just got married this June. The couple came up with a beautiful little story over a year ago, but nothing further was done with it. As a surprise to the groom and gift to them both, the bride’s sister and husband decided to write the story for them, with the bride’s help. The sisters quickly sketched their ideas for the book. Then they asked me to illustrate it and how could I not? It was such a cute, beautiful story and so much fun to illustrate. Dom even got to draw one of the pages! (And he did pretty well for his first time using Photoshop and a tablet). I like that it was a collaborative effort between the six of us. The book was printed as a photobook using Mixbook which is such a great idea for printing one-of-a-kind books that aren’t published. When it was presented and read at the reception, there were a few tears and many smiles and I felt so happy to be a part of it. But what I truly love about this special gift is that it is something that is so unique to them and it is a love story that they will be able to share with their children and grandchildren.
So here’s to Jessica and Payam,

 may your love shine like the brightest star.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Something a little different

Relief. Excitement. Happiness. Pride. I just finished a HUGE project this weekend that has consumed a considerable amount of time lately: one that I’m so excited about but unfortunately can’t share just yet. Hopefully come June I’ll be able to share – I’m very happy with the way my part in it turned out. But since I can’t share that particular project, here’s something else that I’ve been meaning to share for awhile.
Something a little different this time: a vegan maple tartlet recipe.
Here in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, maple season has just ended after an earlier than normal start. We visited two different, local cabanes a sucre (sugar shacks) this season and left armed with a fresh supply of maple syrup and one irresistible jar of taffy. We enjoyed a traditional maple brunch, sampled the desserts, and had taffy on snow while walking through the animal petting zoo.


We hiked the trails through the acres of tapped maple trees and watched as the wood fires were lit to boil down the clear sap into the beautiful, sweet, golden syrup we’re used to.

To celebrate the season that brings us that beautiful, sweet liquid gold, we decided to bake some vegan maple tartlets. Inspired by the desserts we tasted at the cabane, these are a tad healthier with silken tofu replacing the cream, but no less delicious. Maybe I should make another batch to celebrate the end of that big project?

Maple Tartlets:
Maple Filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1/2 tetra pak (about 2/3 cup) of silken tofu, blended till smooth without any chunks
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/8 cup arrowroot starch
pinch of salt

Gluten-free Dough:
2/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 tbsp vegan butter
2-3 tbsp ice water, as needed
To prepare the dough, pulse the flours, arrowroot and sugar in a food processor till combined. Add the butter in small chunks and pulse till combined. The dough should begin to come together as a ball. Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, til dough is a good consistency. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and cool in fridge for half an hour.

While dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Heat brown sugar and maple in a pot over medium heat until sugar is melted. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir. Add the blended silken tofu and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and stir until completed combined. Stir in the arrowroot and salt, making sure the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 4 or 5 tartlet molds on a baking sheet. Roll out the tart dough on a gluten-free floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Fill four to five 4.5 inch tartlet molds with the dough. If it tears a little just press it back together. Divide the filling evenly among the molds. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until centres are just about set. Cool completely.

Note: You’ll notice that my blog will be changing a little, ever so slightly, to include posts featuring some of my other interests. I just think that a self-titled blog should be a little more representative of me. You’ll find that I’ll be including posts about cooking and baking, gardening, travel and photography along with my art. If you’re here just to see my art, don’t worry, you’ll be able to access all posts featuring original artwork at the sidebar under "My Art" or by clicking on the “ART” or “PAINTING” tags. Hope you enjoy my evolving creative space!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gothic Mist




Here in Ottawa we’ve had a very early and very intense start to spring, with summer–like temperatures in the high 20’s. Unnatural, but hard not to enjoy. But those high temperatures have brought along with it lots of beautifully eerie morning fog and mist. Last weekend as I woke up, I looked outside and just knew I had to get out and take pictures. The mist was incredibly thick and since the trees are still bare it felt so gothic, like I had stepped into the pages of a Bronte novel. We walked all through the backyard, snapping these pictures and waiting all the time for Mr. Rochester to come riding out of the misty forest on his horse.

We walked until the sun came out and started to burn off the mist. It became so wispy and mesmerizing. Unfortunately the pictures can’t capture just how beautiful the slow, dancing rhythm of the wisps of mist in the spring breeze is. But these will have to suffice.


Naturally when we got back in I was quite inspired so I did my little interpretation of the time that Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester meet for the first time. Inspired a little by the 2011 film too; I just love that scene and that set so much and wanted more of the film to take place in that moody, gothic mist.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Merry (belated) Christmas


It’s been over a month and a half since Christmas, but I thought I should finally get around to posting the Christmas card that Dom and I sent out this year. It features everyone’s favourite puppy Cocoa, Dom in his Habs hat sans logo (I couldn’t bear the thought that my Sens might think that I’ve betrayed them) and myself in what used to be my Harry Potter scarf until I decided to take out the red for the sake of the illustration…and a Christmas surprise! The hippo appeared in some work I did over the summer for some holiday designs based on the song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” so I thought he was a good addition to the card as he represents the past year.

This is the mess that was our crafternoon, preparing  the cards before they were sent out. I love stamps! We didn’t really have a plan in mind and my ink pads had dried up so we made a quick trip to Staples hoping to get some red and green ink pads but Staples decided to be very boring and only gave us the option of black. So we got crafty and picked up some colourful permanent markers which allowed us to multicolour the stamps to our hearts’ content! The chips were obviously a must – we had to start preparing our tummies for the onslaught of all that decadent holiday food.
I’ve been extremely busy lately with some very fun and veryvery top secret projects, but hopefully I can still make the time to post something new now and then.  Till then, merry (belated) Christmas and wishing you lots of laughs and love in the New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Work Christmas Card

I’d been doing so well with posting regularly but December is…December. As always, it is way too busy in an enjoyably stressful kind of way that has left me no time for personal artwork, no matter my good intentions. Until today! I was asked to whip up a quick card in Photoshop at work this morning to be sent to our customers. And when I say quick, I mean veryveryvery quick, as our manager was just about out the door to deliver Christmas packages when he realized we didn’t have a card. So here’s the card from the Added Touch team for 2011, designed by me. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

So I’m preeeetty sure that Jane Austen never spent her Halloweens carving pumpkins, and if she did I’m also pretty sure she looked a lot more serene and dainty doing it, but really, where’s the fun in that? Scraping out the pumpkin goo with your hands is the best! I’m a big Halloween geek – I love decorating and crafternooning to make all sorts of spooky decorations and cooking pumpkin soup and eating it out of more hollowed-out pumpkins and putting together my (sometimes very elaborate) costumes. Oh, and listening to the Monster Mash a bazillion times. Usually I spend a lot more time planning my Halloween, but this year it just sort of crept up on us and left us with not very much time to plan anything. But I did manage to throw together this Jane Austen costume using stuff I already had. Yes, I actually own a cropped pink paisley blazer…um…ew. It may offend some people’s fashionista senses and sensibilities but I was pretty happy it was still hanging up in my bag of “maybe I’ll just keep this old stuff for a costume one day” clothes when I was putting together my costume this year.
Have a very happy and spooky Halloween and maybe listen to the Monster Mash once for me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Tofurkey Day!


This piece is inspired by those construction paper/hand-tracing turkeys we had to make every year in grade school. Do you remember making them? I probably made at least fifty, some covered in feathers and others in macaroni and even more in sequins; when I was feeling very creative, they would be covered in all three! But thanks to my recent foray into veganism, I’ve been wondering “what about the vegetarians?” This is my take on a very vegetarian Thanksgiving crafternoon at school.

Whether you’re eating turkey or tofurkey this weekend, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Best Friends


I’ve finally had the chance to make a banner for my blog. I really liked the idea that these two are the best of friends, even though one lives on the ice and one beneath it.  I actually created this piece because I felt like painting the colour blue. But with the onset of autumn I’m feeling like painting warmer colours. Who knows - maybe I’ll have a new banner up soon?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One by One


I just got home from seeing the Lion King in 3D. It was wonderful to watch one of my favourite movies on the big screen again. I spent the summer it came out sitting in that theatre, watching it over and over and over again. I still know the entire movie by heart. The 3D aspect of it was kind of bothersome to me, but most 3D is. I still can’t get over the grayness the glasses give the picture. I usually have them perched at the bottom of my nose so I can see the true colour along with the blurriness, but the chance to see The Lion King again was just too enticing and I put up with the 3D. Actually, I got the chance to see The Lion King in real 3D this summer, not once but twice, when the Broadway musical came to town. It was so beautiful and magical. Here’s a painting I did based on one of my favourite songs from the musical: One by One. This song in particular was so engaging as some of the actors were in the balconies and around the orchestra floor as well as on stage, flying their birds around over our heads. I felt like I was in the jungle with them!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baking Help

Since I’ve introduced my favourite little kitty Rudigger, I thought I should also introduce the sweetest cocker spaniel puppy in the world: this is my puppy Cocoa. I’ll never forget the day my parents brought him home, all tiny and fluffy and loveable.  I immediately fell in love with him. He’s less tiny now, and fluffier, much much fluffier, but he’s just as loveable. Cocoa loves to help out around the house, especially making sure the kitchen floor is spotless of any food. Which makes us great friends because I love food too.

All this fall weather is making me crave some pumpkin pie…mmm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yoga



Last weekend I got the chance to attend a free yoga class on the lawn of Parliament Hill along with 350 of my closest friends. It was my first time doing yoga outdoors and I loved it! I highly recommend trying it and I guess I’ll be doing yoga in my backyard from now on. I really enjoy breathing through all the tough poses even though I’m not exactly very pro; in class I usually end up looking something like this:






3.5 Years Later

Hi Everyone!


Long time no…uh…post? It’s been about three and a half years since the last time I posted anything on my art blog and I finally felt it was just about time to do it again. I can’t believe it’s been that long – it’s not that I wasn’t producing anything, but after I graduated I became very passionate about many different things like gardening, yoga and baking and when I got home from work each night, I spent my downtime exploring my new passions. I think I’ve managed to settle into a newer, more balanced routine and I’ve come to really look forward to and relish the time I get to spend doing a little bit of personal artwork every day now.


So I felt like sharing this today. This is Rudigger, a little kitten that we found one night this summer when he came to the patio door clawing at the screen and frantically climbing it all the way to the top. He had blood and scabs over his eyes and had obviously been in a fight and he was just too tiny and too skinny. So we took him in and made a little spot for him in the garage and fed him and played with him and he’s doing so well now! He’s the most playful and friendly kitten I’ve ever met and he follows you around like a puppy at your heels. Because of allergies we couldn’t keep him but we found a lovely home for him with kids and I know he’s so happy. I really miss eating my breakfast outside with him curling around my feet and the lazy afternoons when he would fall asleep in my lap, so I made this piece to remember him by. One of my favourite memories of him is when we were painting the deck furniture and he stepped in the wet paint and tracked it all over the pavement. A little clich├ęd, maybe, but it really gives a feel for his curious and playful personality.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Le Gourmand, coming to a Sheridan near you

Hello Everyone! I just finished my film! To celebrate, here are a couple of my backgrounds. Enjoy!






Monday, March 10, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Le Gourmand

Hey everyone. I've been busy with my film this year and I'm finally finally putting up the first piece of art related to it! (Even though there's been a ton produced) Yay! My film is about a man feeding birds in the beautiful Par-ee, and these are my characters. The colours aren't necessarily final yet - I may have to tweak them a bit depending on my backgrounds.

My characters are (from left to right): Generic Pigeon #1, Baby Pigeon and Maurice.