Monday, January 10, 2011

Artsy fartsy

After a bright-and-shiny holiday, January can be...well, blah. Very, very blah. This is almost always the case for me: the days are too short and the snowbanks too tall. (As I write this, my poor van is firmly lodged in four-foot snow piles looking utterly abandoned. Let's hope the neighbours don't call city bylaw again. Yikes.)

Thank goodness that my fellow Edmontonians organize amazing winter festivals to help keep the blues at bay. This weekend, I attended Deep Freeze, a two-day winter festival in the Alberta Avenue area. In addition to outdoor sleigh rides, ice carving, hockey, maple sugar candy and live music, there was an indoor art-and-craft market and a juried art exhibition.

I had a great time meeting local artisans like Jake at Craving Color (she makes beautiful silver jewelery, among other things), and Kathleen D├ęcosse, who makes lovely stained glass night-lights and clocks. No shortage of raw talent to be sure.

In spite of being totally swamped, I did manage to create art for this week's Thing (just posted it really, really late! Oops!). Here it is (sorry for the terrible iPhone pic):

I'm not satisfied with the balance of the piece, so I may tinker some more with it...we'll see.

In addition to Deep Freeze, I did an illustration last week for an Edmonton magazine called Birth Issues. The story is on rural prenatal care, so I figured I'd so something simple and stylized. I painted directly in Photoshop, rather than scanning in a pen-and-ink drawing and digitally colouring it. A far superior method.

I'm officially in love with my teeny-tiny drawing tablet (it's an old 4 x 5 Wacom Graphire, circa 2004). I'm not sure why I resisted digital art for so long.

My next technological investment will be a medium-sized Intuos 4, methinks. It's taking a lot of resolve not to break down and buy one online right now, but it seems like a greedy thing to do right after x-mas. Maybe I'll make it my reward for surviving another harsh January in Edmonton.

I'll be starting on my next blog project later today, after missing last week's deadline (whoops!). Many thanks to my Thing-A-Week buddy (the visionary behind this project), Mike Kendrick. Nice to have a buddy to egg me on when I'm exhausted lazy. Check out his entry this's magnificent.

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