Monday, May 23, 2011

Thing-a-week: Art-o-rama!

This is a crazy art week. Which is why I feel justified in posting this simple watercolor doodlewhatsit for your viewing pleasure. It's untitled, to boot.

So why is this such a crazy week? Firstly, this Friday is the Night of Artists magazine launch! Yours truly will be there, chatting about art, eating snacks and watching live music, over at Expressionz Cafe, on the southside of Edmonton. (In fact, tickets are still available and I may even have a comp to spare...).

Secondly, I'll be on Breakfast Television Wednesday morning with some fellow artists, talking about the event. It's the morning after the Death Cab for Cutie concert at the Shaw Conference centre, so if my eyes are fully open, that'll be a major victory. If I can wax poetic (or even mostly coherently) about art, that'll be a miracle.

The day before, I'm having a prospective client come by to look at my available original pieces, too.

All of this makes up for the fact that my billboards are down now (or will be, in a day or two)! I was feeling a bit sentimental about the whole thing on Sunday, so we took a bunch of photos of the billboard at 70 ave and 50 st in Edmonton. I'll post some during the week when my computer cooperates!

Art pal Mike Kendrick is also busy as heck, due to all kinds of stuff - and yet, he still posts faithfully. What a guy! Don't forget to check out his own work this week here.  And, as he notes this week, we're almost half-way through the year! Not quite, though. We're at 22, I believe...which isn't quite half of 52, apparently. :P So, ignore my post last week which declared us at the halfway point. (Well, I've never been known for my math skills...)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thing-a-week: Half-way mark

This colour-pencil sketch (with a few digital flourishes) marks the half-way point of the Thing-a-Week challenge.

Yessir. Just six months ago, Mike Kendrick and I were lamenting the lack of art in our lives. And now look! We've made all kinds of neato sketches and paintings because of this crazy plan.

That said, I've decided to start posting on Mondays, instead of Sundays, because I seem to run out of steam at the end of the weekend.

In fact, steam is in short supply these days. I've had quite a few art events on the go lately. As you probably know, my art billboards have been up across Alberta this month (until May 22) via the Art Upon Request campaign.

I've also donated art to a couple of silent auctions in recent weeks, created some illustrations, and started a commission.

I'd better get my ZZZZZ's this month, because there seems to be no sign of a slow-down anytime soon. I've got a few gigs on the horizon, including an appearance on Breakfast Television on May 25, alongside of a few other artists who belong to the Night of Artists. That's because we've got a big magazine launch on May 27.  Then, in June, I'll be showing some of my work at the University of Alberta Hospital. July will be all about Whyte Ave Art Walk, mid-month.

Mike Kendrick posted his Thing-a-Week yesterday (I salute you, Mike!), so don't forget to check it out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thing-a-week: Spring!

Some people think that those of us who work from home spend our days lingering in independent coffee shops or hanging out with the garden gnomes in the backyard.

Not so. Being a work-from-home creative type has it's perks, for sure (PJs, pets, and Judy Judy on my lunch break), but most days are spent in my home office, glued to a computer screen from 8-5pm, like everyone else.

Like anyone else, I'd love to be frolicking outside, now that it's finally spring here in Edmonton. The sky is blue, the birds are singing, and it's getting harder and harder to stay focused.

This week's post is a wee pen-and-ink/watercolour doodle, with a little digital magic on the side.

It wasn't meant to express my spring fever, but it's pretty obvious, I think.

Now, back to work! Time to close the blinds and pretend it's cold outside!

My pal Mike Kendrick's Thing-a-Week isn't up yet, probably because he's had a whirlwind weekend (read his blog for the deets!), but I'm sure it will be soon. Don't miss it - he's a talented dude:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thing-a-week: Playing catch-up

I haven't painted in watercolor since I was a small child, so when I spotted some watercolor pencil crayons at my friendly neighbourhood art store the other day, I went for it.

I've been noodling around a little in my sketchbook, without photo references, while watching Mad Men with my significant other and two judgmental cats. 

Doodling with watercolour pencil crayons.

Watercolour pencil crayons and pen-and-ink.

But I think my plan for the next little while will be to start experimenting with comics. This weekend, I was at the Creative Non-Fiction Collective's annual conference, at the Banff Centre. There were plenty of great speakers, including Sarah Leavitt, author of a graphic memoir called Tangles: A story about Alzheimer's, my mother, and me. As a graduate of the UBC creative writing MFA program (the same program I'm taking right now), I was initially interested to hear about her publishing experience, more so than graphic novels. But her presentation transformed how I see the genre. I've just started reading the book, and I'm impressed at how text-driven it is and how the panel art pulls the reader through the story.

I'm inspired to play around with the genre, stay tuned!

In other news, my billboards are up all across Alberta - about six in Edmonton, five in Calgary, four in Lethbridge and one in Medicine Hat.

They look something like this:

So, if you spot one, take a quick picture with your camera phone and e-mail it to me at, with info on where you spotted it and your mailing addy. I'll send you FREE postcards in the mail, with images of my work! That's right, free -- just a small thank-you for passing along an image of the billboard. After all, I can't possibly find all of them before May 22!

Oh - and I'll be posting regularly next week. Last week I was pretty overwhelmed with work, but things are returning to normal - or, whatever passes for normal in a freelancer's life!

As always, check out my delightful blog buddy Mike Kendrick's Thing-a-Week. He's a talented dude - and way less flaky than I. :) You may have noticed that he posted last week, while I totally spaced...three thumbs up to you, good sir!