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Floating Zen

Posted: February 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

My take on the Japanese calligraphic symbol representing enlightenment, the universe, elegance, expression, and ‘the void’. It’s painted between panes of glass, encased in a polished silver float frame. 

This symbol tells the journey of life – complete with imperfection and variation – in one stroke.

Currently for sale at my etsy shop :)

bw chair IMG_4035


Indian Elephant

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I’m looking to improve my observational drawing skills. Sometimes, that gets tiring. To give my brain a break, I’ve been painting some of my friends photographs. Drawing from photographs is exponentially easier than drawing from life. Converting 3D to 2D in your mind, while keeping any sort of perspective, is arduous. Photographs do all this conversion work for you, so I can keep drawing without tempting to give up on making drawing a habit.

Here’s one of the recent sketches from my past few days of drawing. Thanks to Tom for the image, check out his blog about his travels!

Indian Elephant

Inktense blocks on 300g cold press watercolour paper.


[Updated] Kingston in the Springtime.

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art | No Comments »

I love this piece, it’s based of a photograph my friend Faizal took. I made a smaller version of this a year ago, but its potential was so much greater than the initial product.  I tried again, and this time I made a video of the whole process.

If you’re interested, prints are for sale at my online store.


Pricing Art.

Posted: January 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art | No Comments »

Making profit by selling your own artwork online is difficult. Prints are easier to price because the costs are more calculable. But original artwork has this sentimental value, especially when this is just a hobby. If I paint something I really love, I give it to a family member. Just about every other painting of mine became gifts to friends.

This map of the world at night is a recent piece of mine that I truly value. Viewing ourselves globally can be such a daunting concept, but painting this piece really helped me to comprehend that idea.  The time spent creating each individual dot – representing lights from cities across the world – was pretty painstaking. It was also amazing. I could see deserts, highways and I got to see the visual difference between global cities and major ones.

I wanted a high-gloss, ultra-modern finish to the piece. To achieve that, I decided to use glass with the image painted on the back. It was all done in reverse on a piece of plexiglass, no canvas or paper – I had to paint the mirror image on the back in order for it to look correct when you looked through the glass on the front. So, when I decided to sell it (for charity) I knew that it had to be at a value that corresponded with how I felt about it. As a hobby-artist, being objective toward your own original pieces does not come easy. If it never sells, I’m glad to keep it with family. If it does sell, my hours of detail work would be making a sizeable donation that I can be proud of.

To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to really try and sell it until now. But, it’s the right time to start e-mailing corporations and exploit any connections I have. I can see it looking stunning in an office. HINT HINT.

detail. african cities


Happy Little Mountains.

Posted: January 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art | Comments Off

I’d say my love for the rockies reflects my love of being Canadian.  I tried to paint them once before, but they looked a bit off.

For my second attempt, I did a few things differently:

1. I painted on a ‘clear canvas’ (big sheet of plexiglass) so that it would feel like the mountains were painted directly on the wall. I like playing with materials, purely because I can. Next time, i’ll be  painting on on aluminum.

2. I watched a whole bunch of videos by Bob Ross. I used to come home after school and catch a few minutes of his show before my brother made me change it. He’s the happiest and softest spoken man I’ve ever listened to. I read that he used to be a drill sergeant, I can’t picture that at all.

3. I went bigger. Bigger surface, bigger paint tubes, bigger palette knife. Real mountains are huge, I wanted to respect that.

4. I took my time. Something like this could easily be done in under an hour. I decidedly looked for light and dark areas and forced some perspective that I didn’t have in the first version.

This attempt was much more successful. I would have kept it (shockingly – I always give my art away), but instead I donated it to a student auction for charity. I’ll be making more of these giant rocks in the future, hopefully they can be another addition to the ‘originals’ section of my Etsy store.

 

 

 

Update: Below is my 3rd attempt at this wonderfully fulfilling style. No brushes, just a palette knife. I made this one for my dad.

mountains3

Acrylic on a glass float frame.

 


I’m selling my art!

Posted: January 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Design, WWW | No Comments »

Raremark.

I thought I would update this page and let you know about my online store.  It’s run through etsy, a place for handmade items of all kind. I decided to try and sell my work last summer. Partly for validation and partly to raise some money for a good cause. Some wonderful friends and family bought some prints when I first opened in October 2011 (thank you so much Bubbles, Wah, Alysh and Michael!!). I couldn’t believe that I had such supportive friends.

Just recently, I made my first sale to a stranger. The feeling of having a random person like something you made, enough to buy it, is pretty amazing.  At this time, TWO strangers bought something I made. It looks like a small number all typed out, but I honestly didn’t think it would happen. I never want to harass my friends into buying from me (hopefully my facebook posts haven’t been too irritating), but I was beginning to consider it because sales were at a full blown stop. Marketing to the public is something I see value in, but investing in it is scary. A lot of what I have printed is seasonal, so that’s something I’ll be doing for the upcoming spring.

I ended up speaking at length with one of my buyers, Sarah, who is a photographer based in California. We discussed everything from custom sizing, photography (she’s a fellow advocate for the 50mm 1.4), and snowboarding! Etsy really is the online version of a quaint shop where everyone is friendly with one another. She sent me a picture of my birds painting framed on her nightstand. I asked her to watermark it, so I could show it to you guys and perhaps give her site some extra clicks.

:)

Giving back can be fun, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson: making any sort of profit is difficult… so please take a look around my virtual store and keep in mind that 100% of proceeds go to charity.

Raremark.


Old Favourites.

Posted: January 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Art | No Comments »

I wanted to take a look at the kind of art I have been creating as a whole in order to really understand my style (or just discover if I have one). Once I stopped taking art classes, the assignments stopped and painting really became a hobby. Creating my own watercolour cards for friends really helped give my creative outlet a purpose without being too serious.  My collection of work post-high school is heavily based in a self-taught medium, purely due to the convenience that watercolour lends to art. Being able to paint a card, write on it, and give it away within an hour is so useful. The task of learning a new medium became trivial because practicing was so easy and efficient.

Here’s a look at my evolution of hobby-watercolouring:

From this collection, it’s clear I love playing with pigmented colour. My vibrant subjects are due to the reality that these are mostly quick, mini-paintings, or cards made for friends. Also, watercolour  easily lends itself to this colourful style.  Surprisingly, my preference leans toward the more neutral toned landscapes and architecture renderings.

As you can see, I have a lot of room to improve in my technique and expand my style in this medium (and all others).  I wanted to take a mini-course on watercolouring this semester because I have been without any sort of art direction for almost 5 years now. Unfortunately the scheduling doesn’t work for me, but I want to take some sort of art class (intro to drawing perhaps) because  I cannot deny the value of hands-on learning in fine art.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of the artist and value of art in general. As of now, I’ve concluded that something you enjoy doing doesn’t need to be analyzed in order to understand why you value it. But that’s a bit of excuse to buy me time to read more on the subject.


China (lost+ found)

Posted: July 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Photography | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

I’ve been thinking about buying a new lens. Because of this, I’ve been looking back on my old pictures to see what type of stuff I shoot, what range I shoot in, and how I’ve been limited so far my the lens I have. I found these snapshots and saw some potential in them. I’m throwing them up here because I’m on a posting kick and maybe you would like to see them!


Oil Pastel Jacket

Posted: March 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Art | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

This may be my favorite piece from high school (other than the dress!). It was my first true attempt at realism in grade ten (I think) as a take-home art project. We were assigned to do a jacket and I chose my mother’s sheepskin one. Since then, oil pastel has become my favorite medium that I never work in. ;)


Puerto Vallarta’s Beach Sky

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Photography | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I got to put my Gorilla Tripod to use and took this picture at an italian restaurant in PV called Mezzogiorno (that place had a great atmosphere!).  I always love the effect a long exposure gives to a photo!