Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Green Door Print Exchange has arrived!

Check it out! My Green Door International Print Exchange has arrived. This has been the second time  that I've participated in this show and I've been quite impressed with how organized the exchange has been. Below are just a few of the pieces that I received in exchange for my Bandit linocut print.

l-r: Eleanor Walker, Harriet Brigdale, Monique Wales

The picture above is of the wonderful info-graphic that was included with the print set. Here I got to see which print mediums were used, what paper was the most popular, which countries submitted as well as all of the names of the participants. What fantastic info! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Art Market at The Loafing Shed Glass Art Studio

  Hi everyone. Mark your calendars for October 25 & 26 as the day to do some early christmas shopping. The Loafing Shed Glass Art Studio has invited me back to sell my wares. Myself and seven other artists will be selling one-of-a-kind items that will impress anyone on your list. Come say "hi".

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New painting : Operation Sushi

  Today's post is all about my latest painting. I created the watercolour below, "Operation: Sushi" for Hot Art Wet City's upcoming Boobies and Weiners show in Vancouver. Unfortunately time and money constraints make it so that I won't be able to get the piece down there in time. Do go see the show though because I'm sure it will be a good one.

 I don't usually paint nudes of any sort but I was inspired by something I saw in my Facebook feed. In the city I live there are plenty of great restaurants to eat at but there has been a disturbing trend in the food service industry to sexualize the whole dining experience. Large chains like Brown's Social House, Earls, Original Joe's,Cactus Club, and Moxies have aggressively expanded and have required their serving staff to fit to a "grooming standard" that would be unacceptable in most industries today. 2 1/2" high heel minimum, hem lengths 2" or more above the knee and a look of "sophisticated sexiness" are written rules the servers have to to abide by. I'm not kidding here, these are facts. Added to the list are the unwritten rules that you should be very slender, attractive and young. I know I've had this rant before. It's not that I'm just a seasoned server who can't fit the Barbie mould but I think this standard of service is dangerous. It's damn scary slipping on a wet tile floor with a tray full of glasses, I can't imagine doing it in stilettos and a mini-skirt too. As well, I think this style of service puts an unfair burden onto the server when interacting with the customer. Not only does the server have to sell food to the customer using her body(?!) but she has to always consider the relationships between the patrons themselves and between her in relation to her attire. I don't know how many times I've heard people tell me how awkward it feels to have "breastaurant" server clear plates from their children or see the face of their own daughter in them because the server is so young. Why? Why and when did we decide that men needed hard-ons to eat?!

So.....just when I thought the restaurant culture couldn't get any worse I saw a headline about a new food service concept that's come to Vancouver by way of Japan. This new low is called Naked Sushi where diners can order a selection of sushi that will be served on the body of a young, beautiful and naked woman. This young woman is not to speak, the customers are not to touch her or make lewd gestures but rather she is just supposed to lie still and be a plate. Yup, a literal object. You've got to be fucking kidding me. I'm going to end this rant with a big "Fuck You Assholes" and I hope everyone involved with this new venture has mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends and sisters who are discounted, disrespected and treated as nothing more than a source of desire for other men. Oh, and thanks for the painting inspiration. Jerks.

The translation on the chopsticks are: man, mouth, men and geisha

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hot One Inch Action 2014

Woo-hoo! I made into this year's Hot One Inch Action! This fun one night art button trading show is one of my favourites and I'm only sad that I won't be able to attend. Below is my submitted image "Big Mac" which is from an artist's proof of a yet to be editioned drypoint. 

If you haven't been to this yearly show yet you really must go. It maybe teeny tiny art but it's big time fun. And make sure you trade for my Big Mac!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Langley Art Studio Tour

Why hello there! How have you been? I've been crazy busy! I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up with my studio practice while still putting out cake orders AND trying to home school our kids while we go through a teacher's strike here. Needless to say my kids schoolwork involve baking and art projects. Meh, makin' it work.

 Right now I'm preparing for the Langley Art Studio Tour Sept. 20-21 & 27-28. This self-guided tour will feature 43 artists in various studios throughout Langley. To view a list of participating artists and venues click here. This year I will be stationed at the Loafing Shed Glass Studio where Robert Gary Parkes will be demonstrating some glass blowing magic. Who couldn't watch that sort of thing all day? As for me I will be doing printmaking demos everyday which will include linocuts, silkscreens, and monotypes. I will be emphasizing  how to print at home and without a press. Demo. times will be 1-3pm each day but I will probably be working on something the entire time I'm there.

Below is a short video I created of using a homemade gelatin plate for monotypes. I will be demoing this technique on Sept. 27. Shall I see you there?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Abbotsford Wine and Art Walk

I don't know about where you live but now that September has hit someone has decided to flick the fall switch here and the temperature has dropped and the leaves have started to turn colour. Can't we drag summer out just a bit longer?

  Coming up this month I will be participating in the 2nd Annual Abbotsford Wine and Art Walk on September 11, 5pm. For $15 ticket buyers can do a self-guided tour of various downtown businesses and sample some tasty wine while enjoying the displayed artwork. Only 200 tickets will be sold so if you haven't picked yours up yet you should soon as I heard last year sold out. I will be showing at Tha Realm Dance Studio at their new location, 33788 George Ferguson Way. I will be selling original drypoints, a linocut and an original watercolour. See you there?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Green Door print exchange

Hey, check it out! I've actually been working on some artwork lately. Even though a good chunk of my spare time has been spent creating custom cakes, I was able to squeeze this linocut in for the Green Door International Printmaking Exchange. Did you create something for it too?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Now selling at Kizmit

I'm really happy to announce that you can now find my work at Kizmit Gallery in historic Fort Langley. They will be carrying some of my hand-pulled prints, pocket mirrors, and fridge magnets. Visit them on your fun day trip around the birthplace of B.C.  You might even see a movie or two being filmed.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

PaperGirl Vancouver is back

It's been ages since I've posted on this blog. Sorry. It's not that I haven't been creating but rather my time has been occupied by my other creative venture in cake decorating. Take a peek and you'll see I've been busy learning so many new things. That is one of the best pay-offs for me, the chance to learn something new. I need it. Nothing sends me down the slippery slope of depression faster than boredom. Unfortunately it also means I can't hold a full-time job very well. Ah,the lottery....if I ever win I do believe I would become a professional  student. Teach me more!

 For now though, I'll sneak in my creative fixes whenever I can. That brings me to how I'll be sharing some of my artwork again through PaperGirl Vancouver on July 8th. PaperGirl Vancouver is a city-wide event where volunteers will ride bikes through Vancouver and hand-deliver  artwork donated by artists to anyone they come across. Anyone can submit and anyone can receive a piece of artwork. Take a peek at last years Flickr shots of the event to see how well it was received.

I sent 25 copies of my Birthday Bear this year and one hand-pulled linocut of my edition "Flower". I wonder where they will end up.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Jealous Curator talks at Hot Art Wet City

  So last night I went to my friend Danielle's talk at Hot Art Wet City where she spoke about her best-selling book Creative Block. As I told you before, Danielle and I have been friends from before our blogging days and I was eager to catch up with her now that we live so far apart. Realistically I knew we wouldn't be able to have one of our coffee chats though because there were far too many people there who wanted to talk to her too. What can I say? She's one popular gal.

  As I was driving to the event I felt nervous for Danielle for having to speak in front of so many people. How was she going to do it?  What if she stumbles on her words? What stories would she be telling? She had said that she would bring up the conversation that we had so many years ago that spurred the Girl Crush Workshop series and the subsequent book. Eeek! I was nervous about that too. Of course I had nothing to be nervous about because Danielle is a fantastic and entertaining speaker who has always  been able to stay authentic and accessible.

As I've watched Danielle's career progress over the years I've noticed with delight how any time she's felt insecure about her choices and worried that she should act like some preconceived idea of an artist, curator or author, that someone has reminded her otherwise. Back in June '09 I had written a post about Danielle's blog to help promote it. Later Danielle had asked me to remove her name from the post because she wanted to remain anonymous as the Jealous Curator. "Why?", I asked. At the time Danielle believed that no one would think a stay-at-home mom in the suburbs would know anything about contemporary art. It didn't fit her preconceived idea of a curator. I didn't agree but I obliged and took her name off. Luckily many other people felt the same as myself and she was exposed for what she is: a formally educated fine artist, a creative director, an educator, and a public speaker who just so happens to also be a stay-at-home-mom who lives in the suburbs. I always thought adding the mom part made everything else look more impressive.

The whole world has asked for Danielle Krysa the original and an altered one won't do. I remind myself of this every time I doubt myself and think I should make my work more like so-and-so's to be more accessible. Stick to the original.

Below are some pics I took of the night's talk. Supposedly the brownie badges are going to be made for purchase. When they come out I'm snagging "My inner critic is an asshole". What's your pick?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Leftovers Print Exchange 2014

Hey! I almost forgot to tell you about my submission for this year's Leftovers Print Exchange put on by Wingtip Press. This is the third year that I have participated in this show that fundraises for community food banks. I always enjoy creating artwork and I love it even more when I'm able to contribute to a great cause.

Below is my linocut "Pretty Please"

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Creative Block by The Jealous Curator

It's finally here! I've got my copy of Creative Block by The Jealous Curator aka Danielle Krysa. This book has been the talk of the creative blogosphere for months now and for good reason. The premise of the book deals with the doubts and insecurities that every artist deals with in regards to their work. Am I good enough, do I know what I'm doing, does anyone care, should I bother, what if I fail, what if it doesn't sell, what if I'm rejected, what if, what if, what if.....this is my soul.

About five years ago Danielle and I met at our kids gym-time and we got to talking about being artists and how we both wanted to get back into making art but it was tricky trying to find time between the dishes, breast feeding and laundry. Besides, it was scary. We joked about how appealing laundry can look when you're being confronted by your art insecurities. While we both wrestled with the doubts, Danielle took to writing about artist's work that she thought was enviously amazing. Hence the Jealous Curator was born. The response to her blog was fantastic and she soon had a large following of her daily posts. 

One day,  I was tearfully complaining to Danielle that I wasn't selling my art like I wanted and that I was wishing that I didn't want to be an artist at all. Maybe I'm just not good enough. Danielle offered to reach out to her readers and see what advice they would give. The response was so amazing and heartfelt. So many people responded with a resounding , "I can relate" comment. Not only were the responses coming from readers but some were from very "successful" artists that Danielle had featured on her blog. I found that I wasn't alone in my fears and that the truly successful artists are the ones who have figured out how to get past their insecurity and create work despite it. 

In Creative Block Danielle asks 50 artists about their art practice,why they feel the need to create,what inspires them, and whether they listen to their inner critic.  She also asks each artist to give a project to the reader to "unBlock" their own creativity. Some of the projects are simple and some are quite complex but the underlying theme to most of them is "just create, don't think. Just do." I will make this my mantra.
I highly recommend getting a copy of Creative Block if not for all the great exercises but for the collection of great artwork. Julia Pott, Jennifer Davis and Kate Pugsley are just a few of my favourite artists that are featured in the book. So lovely, so inspirational.

I just want to say "thanks" Danielle for being an empathetic ear and getting all of us creating despite our fears. I'm jealously happy for all your success. Mwah!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Showing at Fat Cow and Oyster Bar

  So you remember that creative funk I've been in? Well I saw a showing call that was put out by a local independent restaurant that I admire. With eyes wide I jumped at the opportunity and met up with Chris, the owner of the Fat Cow and Oyster Bar to look at the space. 

The Fat Cow is tucked in a little industrial plaza that would be so easy to miss if you weren't looking for it. Kudos to Chris for creating a restaurant that serves food you're willing to search for. Langley is abundant with large corporate restaurants that serve safe standard dishes for the masses coupled with mediocre service. My heart is always warmed when there are chefs willing to make great food with fresh local ingredients and who are responsive to their guests. Too bad there aren't more.

Back to the showing space.....the walls are quite high at the Fat Cow so I had to put up mostly larger pieces. I went with a recent food series I've been working on. I however didn't have anything for their large brick back wall so I had the genius idea of buying a 30" x 40" canvas and creating something. I haven't painted that large in ages and I had to wrestle with a lot of negative self-talk to get it done. Thankfully my timeline was short and I forced myself to get it done. How's that for confronting the demons?!

Below is the painting "Lotus Tea". I was able to work on a few things in this piece that I've been putting off for ages. The pattern on the cups is from an uneditioned linocut block I cut years ago. My mantra for this piece was,"less thinking, more doing". I have mixed feelings about the finished piece but I'm proud of myself for having done it despite my insecurities.

If you haven't made your Valentine's Dinner plans yet I recommend checking out Fat Cow for their yummy looking Valentine's Aphrodisiac menu. Tell them I sent you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Year of the Horse print exchange

Well! I'm happy to say that even though I've been slogging it through an artistic slump that my creative addiction has won out and I created something for the Year of the Horse International Print Exhibit and Exchange. The horse theme was a little tough for me as I couldn't come up with anything that didn't look lame or cheezy. I think the new video I saw from Kayne West featuring running horses DID NOT help. Fromage!

Anyways, here's my linocut submission: "Circus Pony".  I look forward to seeing what kind of horses I get back from other printmakers. Did you submit something?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! It's been over a month since my last post! That's an epic amount of time in online terms. The truth is that I've been feeling really uninspired and I can't think of anything too positive to say. My studio practice has taken a beating lately and even though I keep trying to create something, I haven't been happy with the results. This funk has crossed over into my baking as well and has me making some silly culinary mistakes. So......I'm going to go with my instincts and I'm going to retreat away from an online presence while I find my way back to feeling relevant. I hope to see you again on the other side.

What about you? How did you get past your last artist block? I would love to hear your thoughts.