International Art & Design

The other day I was online and it occurred to me that I was drawn to a variety of sites from around the globe. If I won the lottery and could travel anywhere in the world, Australia would be my first stop. The art and design community there is so inspiring.

I enjoy every house tour I browse on the Design File website. The plants in this room caught my eye, I'm very inspired to create something similar on canvas. This is the home of Australian artist Miranda Skoczek. Photo from the Design Files. 

Behind by Javiera da Fonseca

Behind by Javiera da Fonseca

As soon as I opened up my email, there was "Art for your Inbox" from The Jealous Curator. I was excited to see the colourful work of Mexico City based artist Javiera da Fonseca. When I checked out her portfolio I honestly could not pick a favourite painting. Every single image is stunning! I love mid-century architecture and she does it so well. If you are in Vancouver check out her exhibit at Back Gallery Project.

Refugio FX by Javiera da Fonseca

Refugio FX by Javiera da Fonseca

The photo below is from fenton&fenton a design shop in Australia. I was blown away to see all of the wonderful artwork they carry from over 20 local artists. I was a little envious to be honest, I would love to a collaboration similar to this one day. A girl can dream right!

This outdoor collection is perfect for the warm climate they have. There is still snow on the ground outside my window even though it is officially Spring. The planter on the left was inspiration for my painting Plant Study #9.

This outdoor collection is perfect for the warm climate they have. There is still snow on the ground outside my window even though it is officially Spring. The planter on the left was inspiration for my painting Plant Study #9.

"Lucy Fenton established fenton&fenton inspired by her experiences backpacking around the globe. From vintage to avant-garde, the furniture collection accords with vivid textiles, one-off curios, artwork and jewellery to create a highly sought after look. Lucy has created an emporium filled to the brim with colour and texture, a haven for creativity where you are bound to find the object of your desire!" 

They also offer services to help you decorate and style your home for resale purposes. I personally don't know of any retail shops in Canada that also offer staging as well. A fantastic idea in my opinion. "Adding warmth, texture and interest to a space is key when selling. Not only does it make prospective buyers instantly feel at home, it helps them visualize how they too can create a space that is welcoming, liveable and personal."

Artist Helen McCullagh reinterprets the still life genre in a modern context in her work.

Artist Helen McCullagh reinterprets the still life genre in a modern context in her work.

Meet my new girl crush...Megan Grant. I'm in love with her style & fell down a rabbit hole while browsing her IG feed.

Meet my new girl crush...Megan Grant. I'm in love with her style & fell down a rabbit hole while browsing her IG feed.

The painting leaning against the fireplace is by artist Carly Williams. Some elements in her work remind me of the mobiles by Alexander Caldwell. The small cactus piece on the mantle is by the talented Kate Jarman. 

The painting leaning against the fireplace is by artist Carly Williams. Some elements in her work remind me of the mobiles by Alexander Caldwell. The small cactus piece on the mantle is by the talented Kate Jarman. 

The graphic patterns in the work of Ali Wood are a modern juxtaposition to the floral arrangements. I think they look wonderful grouped together in this vignette.

The graphic patterns in the work of Ali Wood are a modern juxtaposition to the floral arrangements. I think they look wonderful grouped together in this vignette.

The connection between interior design and original art is an important one. Good designers & decorators understand that artwork really does make a space come alive. Whether it's a gallery wall or one statement piece, artwork helps balance all of the other design elements in a room.

Accessible Art

Last fall I had the opportunity to display my artwork at a popular restaurant in town. It was on display for several months and I thought it enhanced the space quite well. I created this body of work for my first solo exhibit that was last June. The interior of the gallery was similar to the main wall in the restaurant with exposed brick. I lucked out as the owners did not take any commissions from my sales. They just want to support local creatives, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given. As an emerging artist in my community this is a great way to get my name out there. If you are an artist who is contemplating your next step, I recommend contacting local cafes and restaurants.

I installed on a day the restaurant was closed. I snapped this photograph to show my daughters.

I installed on a day the restaurant was closed. I snapped this photograph to show my daughters.

"The connection between food and art has never been greater." I read this in an online article by domino magazine and I thought I needed to share it. One of the restaurants they include has "the largest private collection of Andy Warhol works in a public space." Can you imagine dining and viewing some of his original silk screens at the same time? I love his work and can only imagine this experience. http://domino.com/restaurants-with-best-art-and-decor#8

My original painting "Who You Are".

My original painting "Who You Are".

A customer recently inquired about this body of work, asking if the painting above was still available. I offered to bring it over so she could see it in her home, she decided it was meant for her. She has great style and I was thrilled to see where she planned on hanging it. I have just began a relationship with this collector, and it was the second piece she has of mine. I asked her to share a bit about how she discovered my artwork and this is what she had to say.

"I first came across your art at Two Dishes. I was there for the Green Eggs and Ham (so good!!) but also always love seeing the local art they have on display in there. I really loved the whole collection that was displayed, and there was one piece in particular that really caught my eye. Every time I went for brunch and got to admire the piece once more, it really solidified how much I loved it and helped me imagine what it would look like in my own space. Being able to view the collection in such an informal way made it seem more approachable and accessible. I went for the food but ended up finding a beautiful piece of art for my home!" 

"I like the idea that you can unintentionally stumble upon an awesome piece of art by a local artist while you're out for dinner, brunch or coffee.  Like I mentioned previously, it makes art feel a lot more accessible and artist's exhibits aren't just confined to the typical gallery setting."

I feel very lucky that I am able to paint and my local community is helping me exhibit my work. I'm busy creating more plant study pieces for my next show at a local Craft Beer Cafe in May.

My Creative Process

Today I found myself questioning my work for a brief moment. "This seems too easy, so effortless" I thought to myself. I have been experimenting and creating full time for a year and a half. During this time I have been envious of artists that have a distinct style, and create a body of work that is original. I now feel like I am doing what I was meant to do and my palette knife is my tool of choice.

This was the first thing I photographed today, it seemed fitting to share on International Women's Day.

This was the first thing I photographed today, it seemed fitting to share on International Women's Day.

I have a show coming up in a few weeks and I am painting lots of plant studies to exhibit. I've noticed that I have had a lot of positive feedback about my colour choices in each piece. My friend Eva told me my palettes are "dynamic". Today I finished two pieces and then decided I needed to photograph them at a local skateboard park near my home. I had 20 minutes before I got my daughters from school and the rain started to fall. I want to share a few photos that got me excited.

Graffiti is my jam. I love the texture of the chipped paint and the patterns and overlapping colours. My work has been inspired by street art ever since I can remember. When I travel I am always on the lookout for a great wall to photograph.

Those black and turquoise marks in the concrete are SO GOOD!!

Those black and turquoise marks in the concrete are SO GOOD!!

My eye is drawn to the mint green in the top right corner.

My eye is drawn to the mint green in the top right corner.

I painted the vase first on this canvas, it was inspired by a piece of orange pottery that was my Grandma's.

I painted the vase first on this canvas, it was inspired by a piece of orange pottery that was my Grandma's.

I recently read something that said "You never know who you are inspiring" I want to share that I started this blog because an artist I admire said she recommended it. I was listening to a podcast featuring Michelle Armas, I thought to myself "I don't know what I'm going to write about but I'll give it a shot." I love sharing here and decided early on that I did not want to have people leave comments on posts. I am doing this for myself, if no one reads it that's fine. When I launched this collection I never imagined that my first sale would be to my "girl crush" Michelle Armas. I was so overwhelmed with happiness. Believe in yourself, stop thinking and just do it!

House Feature - Kate Lines

Kate, her husband Landon and their daughter Lula lived in this home in Arizona for several years. I reached out to her in December about sharing their home with me. The family has recently packed up and began a new chapter in Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately we are 6 hours away from one another, or I would have her over to chat about art, design and her newest baby on the way.

Kate's friend Tiffany Haynes snapped this stunning shot, I had to include it.

Kate's friend Tiffany Haynes snapped this stunning shot, I had to include it.

"We bought our house with the intent to completely renovate! At the time we were living in the Phoenix Arizona area, a city known for it's sea of tract homes. While tract homes have incredible neighborhoods and parks, we've always known that wasn't for us. My husband and I have both always loved ranch style homes, something we actually talked about when we we're dating! (I loved that he had an opinion on homes!) We house hunted for a full year before this one fell into our laps. We pulled up and both said "this is our house."

Kate searched for a mid century style door with no luck. Her husband bought a solid door & created this master piece! The pop of yellow paint screams summer to me, I'm very jealous as it is winter here.

Kate searched for a mid century style door with no luck. Her husband bought a solid door & created this master piece! The pop of yellow paint screams summer to me, I'm very jealous as it is winter here.

How fun is this mid century style mailbox!

How fun is this mid century style mailbox!

What little girl wouldn't love a swing in her front yard?

What little girl wouldn't love a swing in her front yard?

The addition of wall hooks are very practical & stylish in the entryway.

The addition of wall hooks are very practical & stylish in the entryway.

"I change my gallery wall every 6 months - at least." I will never tire of a good gallery wall, we have several of them in our own home. Kate has such a great eye for styling spaces, I've seen numerous of her past projects online with Jenny Komenda & Juniper Studios. This lady's got skills ya'll! 

"I have a strong belief that your home should be filled with art and color and life. I also know that art can be, in a word, expensive. My goal is to make art more accessible." Check out her online shop where you can buy the print, receive a digital download via email, and have it printed in any size and wherever you dang well please. How easy is that! 

The combination of textiles, paintings and some of Kate's original photography add to the eclectic design in this home.

The combination of textiles, paintings and some of Kate's original photography add to the eclectic design in this home.

That cactus is so textural, I need to paint it!

That cactus is so textural, I need to paint it!

A comfy spot to relax and unwind.

A comfy spot to relax and unwind.

Kate's in-laws gifted her the piano her first Christmas with them. Such a thoughtful gift.

Kate's in-laws gifted her the piano her first Christmas with them. Such a thoughtful gift.

"We raised the ceiling, painted the cupboards/walls/countertops, and replaced the linoleum with tile. The kitchen is kind of a tricky layout so Landon built the big island and we use it as a table with bar stools. It's definitely the most changed room in our house!"

Kate spray painted the range hood green. An inexpensive way to add a vintage element to your space.

Kate spray painted the range hood green. An inexpensive way to add a vintage element to your space.

With the warm climate I'm sure these doors were always open.

With the warm climate I'm sure these doors were always open.

The grey exterior gives the house a modern look.

The grey exterior gives the house a modern look.

I love the patterned tile, such a graphic element in a small space.

I love the patterned tile, such a graphic element in a small space.

"We went with a floating sink to open up this tiny bathroom."

"We went with a floating sink to open up this tiny bathroom."

Who says you can't have artwork in the bathroom? These colourful pieces are by Beth Allan Art.

Who says you can't have artwork in the bathroom? These colourful pieces are by Beth Allan Art.

Lula's nursery is so whimsical & dreamy. The vintage dresser was a $40 Craigslist find. 

Lula's nursery is so whimsical & dreamy. The vintage dresser was a $40 Craigslist find. 

Kate's favourite Brian Kershisnik print (in the black frame) hangs amongst some of her photography in this corner gallery wall.

Kate's favourite Brian Kershisnik print (in the black frame) hangs amongst some of her photography in this corner gallery wall.

"We did everything from scraping popcorn ceilings to landscaping, and raising the kitchen ceiling to knocking down walls. We did every step of it ourselves, it helps to have a handy husband and opinionated wife. We learned for next time what we'll hire out and what we'll do ourselves, but every room and corner is a memory for us." 

Thanks for sharing your home with me Kate, I look forward to the day we meet...maybe a summer road trip to Toronto? I hope you enjoy living in Canada!

Plants, plants and more plants!

If you are the type of person who can't keep a houseplant alive, maybe I've got your solution. How about a painting of a modern plant that you can keep & style in different rooms forever! If you like the look of greenery in a space, I've styled a few vignettes so you can imagine them in your own home.

Make sure to check out the full collection tomorrow at 11:00 EST. If you see something you love and it sells, send me an email and we can do a custom piece. I want buying original art to be an easy task with no stress involved. Now I guess I have to name the paintings, that's the hard part.

Highlights of the week

I've been keeping busy painting lately, which I will admit feels really good. Yes I still paint things and stand back and think "This sucks...I hate it." For the most part though, each time I sit at the easel I produce something I would hang in my own home. 

I now know I am not good at painting cacti as I tried the other day with no luck. I also attempted to create this geometric planter, but my friend Yumi gave me her thoughts and it got a make-over. I love the Instagram community and the friends I've met through it. Email a friend a photo and ask for an honest opinion, you'll probably get one. My husband is usually the one I ask as I work out of my home, it was great to get more feedback.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ECHO + EARL PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPH BY ECHO + EARL PHOTOGRAPHY

This bedroom design on domino that I just read about really stood out. The retro 70's vibe and colour palette inspired the painting below. I often use Interior sources for ideas. I actually dreamt of the green and peach combo, and woke up that morning and painted the background.

If you are local check out Artspace on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7pm for an artist talk and closing reception with artist Omar Badrin. I had the chance to see the installation last month and it was like nothing I had seen before...in a good way.  This is one of his pieces below.

If you haven't already seen the collection of art up on Schoolhouse Electric, you should check it out. This kind of collaboration is so wonderful, I can only hope that one day I will have an opportunity so exciting. 

I adore the work of Lulie Wallace, this is one of her pieces. She mixes objects and patterns so well.

I adore the work of Lulie Wallace, this is one of her pieces. She mixes objects and patterns so well.

"Originality is alive and well. Introducing one-of-a-kind works of art by five independent artists handpicked by Schoolhouse. As makers, we believe that art – original or otherwise – plays a vital role in the creation of the home. Each painting in this series was made in collaboration with Schoolhouse to celebrate creative expression and the enrichment it provides us."

When your on a roll you have to keep going. You never know when the momentum and desire will stop. Things happen and every day is different, especially when you have children. Finding time to create has never felt so good. I better get back at it! Next week my new series will be available, the day has yet to be decided. I'll keep you posted I promise.

Art Love For Leah

This is Leah, a lovely friend of mine, who is battling something a lot of people never talk about; Post Concussion Syndrome. She is a wife, a mother and an incredible artist out of Barrie ON. "Art is my life, I am in pain a lot and it is a great form of therapy and keeps my mind working."

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Her range of talent surpasses most, as she is skilled in numerous mediums. Look at this!

Her range of talent surpasses most, as she is skilled in numerous mediums. Look at this!

Three years ago Leah was rear-ended while stopped at a red light. Most people heal within a few months - because Leah is now 4 years in, her prognosis is not good. She has not been able to work and lifting her arms to care for her children was too much. Her husband had to care for Leah full-time, as well as for their newborn, a preschooler and run his own business to provide for his family. They have suffered many hardships since this time and now both suffer from chronic depression as a result of the accident. Leah has struggled with guilt for many years and recently began selling her art to help provide for her family. Check out her designs at https://littleliefcreative.com

Myself, Melissa, Leah & Laura met up for lunch last year. We had a blast getting to know one another in person.

Myself, Melissa, Leah & Laura met up for lunch last year. We had a blast getting to know one another in person.

Two artists, Laura and Melissa have organized an online account on Instagram called @artloveforleah This art auction will raise funds for Leah and her family and runs March 15-17th. Photos of the items for sale will appear in the Instagram account closer to the end of February. Numerous artisans and makers are donating goods/services and we need to spread the word. If you are reading this and thinking well I'm not a maker why is she telling us this? We need people to bid on these items, maybe you are looking to buy a birthday or Mother's Day gift. Instead of going to the mall, support small businesses and help a family who could really use it. If you are a maker and interested in donating you can contact Laura at hello@laurafedorowicz.com

Here are a few pieces that will be included in the auction.

Original painting on paper by Laura Fedorowicz, size 8 x 10". 

Original painting on paper by Laura Fedorowicz, size 8 x 10". 

Original resin piece from my Daydream series, size 8 x 10"

Original resin piece from my Daydream series, size 8 x 10"

Original acrylic painting by Lisa McLinden, size 16 x20"

Original acrylic painting by Lisa McLinden, size 16 x20"

Remember to save the date! March 15-17th 2017.

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Studio Scenes

I'm the type of gal who does better with a deadline. For example last February a photographer from Apartment Therapy emailed and asked if she could do a photo shoot in two weeks? A million things went through my mind of stuff I wanted to finish around the house. I agreed and the date was set, only so many things could get done in that time frame and I was ok with it. I'm a typical Virgo and I like things very organized. I'm far from a perfectionist, but I have to admit that I feel more relaxed and at ease if my surroundings are tidy. My studio in the basement is probably the only space that I can totally chill in even if it looks like a tornado just swept through it. 

I'm currently reading "Your Critic Is A Big Jerk" by Danielle Krysa (aka The Jealous Curator) and this paragraph is what I needed to read. "So many professional artists, designers, and writers have told me that one of their biggest motivators is a big, fat, juicy deadline. Get out your calendar and mark a big red X on the day that you're going to be finished with whatever it is you really want to finish. If you don't trust yourself to see that through, have a friend or family member give you a deadline, and assign them the task of checking in on you."

I grouped some of our houseplants together for this photo. Inspiration is every where I look!

I grouped some of our houseplants together for this photo. Inspiration is every where I look!

I have a stack of canvases in my studio and I am telling anyone who might be reading this, that they will be completed at the end of February. I will fill you in on the exact date closer to the end of the month. It feels good to have that to works towards. Once I'm done it will be a big accomplishment for me. The collection that I am working on is based on my interest in both interior design and using plants as decor. I really love where I'm going with it and can't wait to finish a piece once I get started.

Wallpaper patterns by Kelly Wearstler are finding themselves as backdrops for my paintings. I've never loved painting with gold until now.

Wallpaper patterns by Kelly Wearstler are finding themselves as backdrops for my paintings. I've never loved painting with gold until now.

The first painting I made in the collection, still untitled and currently hanging in my living room.

The first painting I made in the collection, still untitled and currently hanging in my living room.

 

 

Dusty Deco

I recently discovered this unique shop in Stockholm Sweden. Realistically, I'm sure I will never have the chance to walk through the show room in person...so today I'm sharing a few photos so we can all drool over them!

This front entrance! I love the graffiti mixed with the font on that sign, so good.

This front entrance! I love the graffiti mixed with the font on that sign, so good.

The lines on each piece of furniture are crazy & those Keith Haring pieces are jumping off the gallery wall at me!

The lines on each piece of furniture are crazy & those Keith Haring pieces are jumping off the gallery wall at me!

"What started out as a hobby collecting furniture and art that we love (and filling our storage to capacity!) became a weekend pop up shop at Gärdet and now four years later we have one fantastic shop. We try to mix rough industrial pieces with a great patina, design classics, photo art, beaten up leather chairs and beautiful objects we find on our travels."

I've never seen anything like these before!

I've never seen anything like these before!

With lighting, accessories and books they really do have it all.

With lighting, accessories and books they really do have it all.

Original art by Joakim Blomquist. Say that five times fast!

Original art by Joakim Blomquist. Say that five times fast!

I thrifted a chair in Bobcaygeon a few years ago exactly like this. Turns out it's vintage Ikea. The Swedes have some good taste folks.

I thrifted a chair in Bobcaygeon a few years ago exactly like this. Turns out it's vintage Ikea. The Swedes have some good taste folks.

Check out the bronze sculpted tree to the left of the chair, your not going to find that at Target!

Check out the bronze sculpted tree to the left of the chair, your not going to find that at Target!

If this post excited you check out their website dustydeco.com & shop online. They ship some stuff world wide. Maybe a trip to Sweden just made it onto your Bucket List? No need to thank me, just a small souvenir from your holiday would be fine.

 

 

Inspiration from the book "In The Company Of Women"

Approximately nine years ago I stumbled upon the blog of artist Michelle Armas. I often checked back to see what she had to say as we both have a thing for design and interior spaces. At that time I was only creating paintings for my own home and as gifts for friends and family. I was too afraid of my inner critic to try and persue being an artist as my actual career. Fast forward to 2015 when I decided to take the plunge and make my dreams happen. My husband helped me make a website and there was a section for a journal or blog. I told him I would try to write a post once a week for a month, and then just go from there.

Well it turns out that even though I never enjoyed writing in school, I have found a topic to share here every week since then. I took a week off at Christmas...that's it! It kind of shocks me still that I have stuck with it. When fellow creatives tell me that they enjoy what I'm doing it makes it all worth while. Maybe a year ago I listened to a great podcast that interviewed Armas & one of the things she said to do was "write a blog". Allowing people who enjoy my artwork into my world has allowed me to make some real connections. 

As I was reading this book I got for Christmas I thought to myself, I need to go back & bookmark all my favourite pages. Most of my reading choices are online articles that are design and art related. In The Company Of Women is something I couldn't put down, it's that good. If you are a creative female I think you will agree. I thought I would share a few quotes that have really stuck with me. 

"Whether it is the hours you are open for business or the frequency in posting a blog, let people know they can depend on you. I believe that being consistent has been one of the best ways to build our reputation and to grow our business." - Cheryl Day

"Embrace social media completely. It is the most incredible tool to feed your audience, to engage, and to advertise ( skillfully ). You should give a portion of every day to do this as a creative business owner. Follow people in the field; follow people who are really, really good at it to learn your craft." - Genevieve Gorder

"You have to be willing to be bad at it in order to get good at it." - Mary Going

How incredible is the work space of Dana Tanamachi! Loved her interview on page 203.

How incredible is the work space of Dana Tanamachi! Loved her interview on page 203.

"To me, success means staying true to the vision and values I held before ever setting out to be "successful". As long as my work continues to foster joy, celebration, community, generosity, and simplicity, I'm on the road to success." - Dana Tanamachi

"I love seeing brilliant, creative women making space and laying down tracks for other women. It's easy to fall into the pernicious trap of thinking that just because you scrapped your way toward achieving your goal, there's no room for anyone else. I also think generosity can apply to both self-care and care of others, allowing yourself time away from work, allowing mistakes, allowing forgiveness. To me generosity is openness, and openness is crucial for creativity." - Carrie Brownstein

"Ever since becoming a mother, I am mostly motivated by the desire to set an example for daughters. I want them to see that they have a mom who truly loves what she does." - Joy Cho

"I would have started my own company sooner. I started my design studio the day my daughter was born. She was basically my biggest career catalyst. I thought I wasn't ready before that. I was waiting for that angelic choir to come down from heaven to tell me I should start my business now. But what I realized is that perfect moment doesn't exist. The perfect moment is when you realize you actually want to start your own business and you have the freedom to make it happen. Take small steps but work your way towards it. Don't wait. Also, your twenties are the ideal time to experiment." - Tina Roth Eisenberg

Moving forward in 2017 I will take the words I have read and put them to use in my own business. Grace Bonney I thank you for writing this book, you are a wonderful role model. Design Sponge is one of the websites I look forward to checking out every day.

 

 

 

 

 

Gardiner Museum

 The Gardiner Museum is located in downtown Toronto and celebrates the art of ceramics. I had the opportunity to visit for the first time a few weeks ago, primarily for "True North", and the exhibit did not disappoint. The exhibition charts Canada’s embrace of Scandinavian design and its enduring influence on local artisans. Nordic design struck a chord in Canada. I've included photos of a selection of pieces as more than100 objects and furnishings were on display.

 I have worked in a few high end design and furniture shops over the years. I gravitate towards midcentury architecture and design, this is my kind of fun. 

Graphic pottery in neutral shades...yes please! In another area they had a great selection of Lotte lamps, the shades alone are works of art in my opinion.

Graphic pottery in neutral shades...yes please! In another area they had a great selection of Lotte lamps, the shades alone are works of art in my opinion.

I have a thing for chairs & these two are lovely! Years ago my husband thought I would enjoy watching Mad Men for the decor, unfortunately it was the only thing I enjoyed... sorry Don Draper.

I have a thing for chairs & these two are lovely! Years ago my husband thought I would enjoy watching Mad Men for the decor, unfortunately it was the only thing I enjoyed... sorry Don Draper.

Wool wall hanging by Velta Vilsons (1965-1970). I could use this as inspiration for one of my paintings for sure. The striking pattern and bold pops of colour are stunning! 

Wool wall hanging by Velta Vilsons (1965-1970). I could use this as inspiration for one of my paintings for sure. The striking pattern and bold pops of colour are stunning! 

I'm not a fan of red, but I would allow this chair into my home. The one on the right with the tufted seat is my favourite though.

I'm not a fan of red, but I would allow this chair into my home. The one on the right with the tufted seat is my favourite though.

This piece of fabric has a Group of Seven vibe to it.

This piece of fabric has a Group of Seven vibe to it.

This textile is on trend with Pantone's colour of the year. My daughter got a small loom for Christmas, I can only imagine how long it took to create this master piece!

This textile is on trend with Pantone's colour of the year. My daughter got a small loom for Christmas, I can only imagine how long it took to create this master piece!

The museum is known for its ceramics and they offer a wide range of pottery classes. If you live close by you should look into some of the classes they offer. All kids 18 and under are free admission and Family Sundays sound amazing. Only the adult pays admission and your child gets to be creative and take home something unique and hand made. We attend a local gallery where we live and they have a similar program that my daughters love.

Back at it

My mind has been thinking a lot lately, unfortunately it's when I'm trying to sleep. I wake up at 3:00 am and things that I think should happen with my art business are on repeat in my head. My daughters are still on Christmas break this week so the only creative time in my studio ( aka a corner in my basement) has been when they go to bed. Today I actually left them doing Play-Doh for a few minutes while I snuck away to have me time. That quickly turned into them watching me paint and trying to do yoga on the floor beside me. I was, however, able to start a small painting that I am happy with. The last pieces I worked on were with resin so it felt nice to pick up a brush again. 

I'm thinking of working on paintings similar to "Two Houses" shown here. We have a lot of plants surrounding us in our home, I may try and add some of those as well...lots of ideas.

I'm thinking of working on paintings similar to "Two Houses" shown here. We have a lot of plants surrounding us in our home, I may try and add some of those as well...lots of ideas.

 

I signed out some design magazines the other day from the library, thought I would share some images that inspire and connect with me:

Organic forms and shapes are what I want to concentrate on as I move forward.

Organic forms and shapes are what I want to concentrate on as I move forward.

The colour and pattern in this caught my eye.

The colour and pattern in this caught my eye.

This is modern and has a mid century vibe which I love! Blue often finds a way into my palette.

This is modern and has a mid century vibe which I love! Blue often finds a way into my palette.

I like the colours and geometric forms here. It's like Kelly Wearstler designed a boutique hotel circa 1985.

I like the colours and geometric forms here. It's like Kelly Wearstler designed a boutique hotel circa 1985.

I recently watched the Tom Petty documentary "Runnin' Down a Dream" on Netflix. It was actually over two evenings as it was like 4 hours long! Watching other creatives write, compose and collaborate was just what I needed to see. If you like his music I highly recommend it. I've been listening to "Wildflowers" a lot around the house lately.

Pretty/Peculiar Exhibit

The name of the exhibit alone told me I was in for something special when I entered the space a few weeks ago. Danielle Krysaart aka "The Jealous Curator" recently curated an exhibit at the Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto. My husband and I travelled around the city one Saturday afternoon visiting all the art spots on my list. I'll be sharing the rest of our adventure in a few other blog posts ( I took a lot of pictures y'all...I didn't want to bore you) The photos were all taken on my phone so the quality is not the best representation of the installations and art pieces. I've included some of my favourites...not everything. The show is up until January 7th, so if you are local you still have time to see it in person.

Alison is also an Interior Designer, I was so excited to finally see this stunning space in person.

Alison is also an Interior Designer, I was so excited to finally see this stunning space in person.

If you don't know the work of Tina Berning go look her up. Figurative drawings that are gorgeous! This framed piece greeted us when we first walked into the gallery.

If you don't know the work of Tina Berning go look her up. Figurative drawings that are gorgeous! This framed piece greeted us when we first walked into the gallery.

A portfolio filled with drawings for sale as well as her book 100 Girls on Cheap Paper. I should have bought a copy, the images were all so wonderful & it was a steal at $35!

A portfolio filled with drawings for sale as well as her book 100 Girls on Cheap Paper. I should have bought a copy, the images were all so wonderful & it was a steal at $35!

Visual artist Tania Love lives in Toronto & creates these delicate works of art. This installation really stood out in the room.

Visual artist Tania Love lives in Toronto & creates these delicate works of art. This installation really stood out in the room.

It's all about the details.

It's all about the details.

American artist Natalie Baxter "I create soft sculpture that playfully push controversial political issues."

American artist Natalie Baxter "I create soft sculpture that playfully push controversial political issues."

Seonna Hong is a contemporary pop surrealist artist out of Los Angeles. 

Seonna Hong is a contemporary pop surrealist artist out of Los Angeles. 

"Deciding How It Should Go" was one of my favourite pieces in the exhibit. These colours are what I gravitate to.

"Deciding How It Should Go" was one of my favourite pieces in the exhibit. These colours are what I gravitate to.

Tonya Corkey is another Toronto based artist. These gorgeous portraits are made with lint on canvas. My husband & I could not believe our eyes, they were stunning in person! 

Tonya Corkey is another Toronto based artist. These gorgeous portraits are made with lint on canvas. My husband & I could not believe our eyes, they were stunning in person! 

A pair of Tina Berning's Acrylic on Paper pieces.

A pair of Tina Berning's Acrylic on Paper pieces.

I can't stop looking at this painting by Tina. It's loose gestural brushstrokes make me want to go create.

I can't stop looking at this painting by Tina. It's loose gestural brushstrokes make me want to go create.

I wish I could have added these geometric beauties by Martha Rich to our art collection at home. The graphic pops of colour are so delightful. 

I wish I could have added these geometric beauties by Martha Rich to our art collection at home. The graphic pops of colour are so delightful. 

Here you can see the scale, they are each 8x10". I totally agree with her on this "Original art should be accessible to all." Martha resides in Philadelphia.

Here you can see the scale, they are each 8x10". I totally agree with her on this "Original art should be accessible to all." Martha resides in Philadelphia.

This day was special. My husband and I were without kids, he drove us all over the city so I could experience art that I had only read about online. I was so inspired when I got home and I can't wait to see what happens in my studio in the New Year. 

Boho House Feature

When I first joined social media I was surprised to see how many other people shared my love of thrifting.  I remember a piece of art that caught my eye in Jo's space & it turns out it is her favourite element that welcomes you into her home. Every time someone sends me photos of their home to feature I get excited.  I have a sense of what style they gravitate towards, but the full tour is like icing on the cake. Jo also lives in Ontario, only a few hours from me. Maybe in the New Year we will have the chance to meet up and go shopping together. When she shares her latest finds on her instagram account, @jmwearing, I totally feel like she is the Canadian version of Emily Henderson. When you see her home & her styled shelves you will agree with me. She's got mad thrifting skills y'all! 

"Holly and I recently connected this year on instagram after finding a mutual appreciation for amazing art and love of décor – bonus points for being a fellow Canadian!  She asked me if I would be willing to participate in a home tour and I jumped at the idea. I have always wanted to start a blog, but am unsure if I could commit to do it, but knew this would be a really fun experience!  My boyfriend and I live approximately 40 minutes north of Toronto, where we purchased our home a little over a year ago.  I work in the financial sector where my creativity tends to be put on hold, so my home is where I am able to fully let it go."

"One of my favourite items in this room is my framed Art Gallery of Ontario poster from 1988 of Andy Warhol’s Elvis I and II (1964), which was produced for an exhibit. I scored this off of eBay and had it professionally framed.  I love this little nook as it adds a big impact when you first walk into our house because it’s one of the first things you see."

"Our home was built in 1987, and is your standard cookie cutter subdivision home, which meant adding personality and character would be done through the decorating!  I tend to live for everything and anything vintage or thrifted. I have no idea where this came from – I only started going to thrift stores over the past 2 years, but I haven’t been able to stop.  There is something weirdly soothing about walking through the aisles of thrift stores. I love looking at items and wondering who the original owner was, why they bought the item, and how it ultimately ended up on the shelf in front of me."  

"I have, and continue, to struggle with our ‘L’ shape layout combo of living and dining room. I have a feeling this room will always be changing. The way I accumulate items means I never know what I’m going to come home with and what will change. I always thought our home would be exploding with colour, but I seem to have shifted to a very neutral palette."

This unique coffee table was one of Jo's latest finds. I love how she layers texture into her space and adds pops of colour with greenery.

This unique coffee table was one of Jo's latest finds. I love how she layers texture into her space and adds pops of colour with greenery.

Mid Century pieces are what I'm drawn to as well. This thrifted chair needed sanding & staining & looks great with updated upholstery.

Mid Century pieces are what I'm drawn to as well. This thrifted chair needed sanding & staining & looks great with updated upholstery.

I just want to invite myself over for dinner. I would stare at the photography for hours!

I just want to invite myself over for dinner. I would stare at the photography for hours!

"When my boyfriend and I first started dating we took a weekend trip up to his family cottage. In the basement, was the most beautiful antique harvest table I’d ever seen. And coming from a mid century modern fan – I knew this table was something special. I remember making a mental note about how this table needed to eventually make it with us where ever we went.  When we moved into our house, the universe honoured my vibes and the harvest table came with us! The table originally came from my boyfriends grandparents farm and is loaded with character – boards that are starting to curve and plenty of nicks and burn spots – but I wouldn’t change a thing."

"I knew we needed to keep the rest of the finishes pretty modern so that the harvest table didn’t go too rustic. The eiffel chairs and industrial chandelier were easy choices. The picture shelf concept, four in total from IKEA, came from some Pinterest images I had stumbled upon. I was looking for an easy way to differentiate the space between the family room and dining room since it is one big ‘L’."

"The shelves have been mostly filled with photos from thrift stores, antique shops, and eBay. My favourite of the bunch is a small black and white photo my dad took with his brownie camera of the kaleidoscope pavilion from Expo ’67 in Montreal."

"Our master was one of the easier spaces to put together. Prior to us even having a house, I had a bad (…or maybe good?) habit of buying furniture and stashing it away in my parent’s basement.  I think at the time everyone thought I was crazy, but I would tell them that if I loved the item I would make it work in whatever space I ended up with. Our master bedroom is a perfect example of this.  The end tables ,lamps, and rug were all Kijiji and estate sale purchases that I made while we were house hunting.

"And yes – we are TV in the bedroom kinda people. My dirty secret is out."

"And yes – we are TV in the bedroom kinda people. My dirty secret is out."

"The campaign dresser is one of my favourite pieces in our home. It came from my aunt, whose grandfather or great grandfather either brought it over to Canada from England during the 1800s, or purchased it upon arrival.  I was nervous about how it would work against the mid century vibe of the other dresser, but I think they balance each other out very well."  

The graphic black & white prints above the bed pop against the white wall.

The graphic black & white prints above the bed pop against the white wall.

Someone was throwing out this plant as they thought it was dead.  Jo scored it for free, as you can see it's thriving it her sunny space.

Someone was throwing out this plant as they thought it was dead.  Jo scored it for free, as you can see it's thriving it her sunny space.

"The mid century modern dresser and mirror are vintage – my dad bought this set off of my grandparent’s best friends many, many years ago. This was in my house growing up, and was my first introduction to mid century modern furniture as far as I know. In my early 20s my parents were ready to put it out on the curb. I panicked and begged them to hold onto it. This guy ended up sitting in their garage for 5 years before we finally got our house and went to work refinishing it."

How cute is that rattan rocking horse!

How cute is that rattan rocking horse!

I can't even pick my favourite piece from all these thrifted goodies, there are too many!

I can't even pick my favourite piece from all these thrifted goodies, there are too many!

"About a year ago, we decided the office would work really well with a wall mounted shelving system. I am a mid century modern lover, and have always loved the look of wall systems/Cado set-ups. After looking for what seemed like ages, I finally came across a set off of Kijiji that worked perfectly. They were gorgeous solid teak that had been milled for the original owners in the 60s."

The Danish monkey & that gorgeous hand are high on the list.

The Danish monkey & that gorgeous hand are high on the list.

"Fast-forward to today, after forcing black paint [Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron] on my boyfriend, and the office is complete."

"Fast-forward to today, after forcing black paint [Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron] on my boyfriend, and the office is complete."

"This room really came together after I spotted the peacock rattan headboard at a local thrift store. At the time, I had a rusted out 1997 Toyota Camry and prayed this guy would fit the backseat. Once it was put up, my mind was pretty set on what I wanted in here. It has gone through several different versions, but I think the current one will stick for awhile!"

I would love to be a guest in this space, how cute is the elephant! We have a lot of teak in our home, the style is timeless in my opinion.

I would love to be a guest in this space, how cute is the elephant! We have a lot of teak in our home, the style is timeless in my opinion.

"The most recent purchases, the equipale chair and the batik, were scored at a great estate sale and I feel like they really polish off the room. The batik adds a pop of colour that this room definitely needed but still fits with the vibe."

"Our home, like many others, is a never-ending project. I’m sure you noticed our kitchen, bathroom(s) and basement didn’t make the cut this round! I’m sure we will continue working away, room-by-room, and have some updates in the future."

If you're like myself and love a great bargain and get excited when a complete stranger finds the best pieces, then follow Jo along on her Instagram account. You won't regret it! @jmwearing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portland...here I come

The other day I discovered the most delightful shop through Instagram, and began drooling over every image they have ever posted. When I was a teenager I travelled with my mom to Portland, but at that point in my life home decor shopping wasn't high on my list of priorities. My husband & I would both love to hop on a plane for a weekend getaway! My first stop; Woonwinkel. "Owned by two color-obsessed women with a passion for independent designers and handcrafted objects. We carry modern, colorful, inviting pieces from all over the world, with a particular affection for makers of the North American west coast. Woonwinkel means “home shop” in Dutch."

This is in the front window, how fun is this.

This is in the front window, how fun is this.

If you love modern design and colour you will love this shop. (Note: Canadian's spell colour with a U) You can shop online if you are not in Portland and happen to live in Canada like myself. When I paint I'm often inspired by interior design, bold pattern's are what I gravitate towards. The more the better!

They have a blanket wall....how amazing is that!

They have a blanket wall....how amazing is that!

Hand made pottery...yes please!

Hand made pottery...yes please!

When my daughters were small my favourite toys were the wooden ones. You can easily see why.

When my daughters were small my favourite toys were the wooden ones. You can easily see why.

Pillows & textiles,  you can never have too much.

Pillows & textiles,  you can never have too much.

These soaps by Wary Meyers are made in Maine and each one is a piece of art.

These soaps by Wary Meyers are made in Maine and each one is a piece of art.

The pineapples are lights, so even if you have long freezing cold winters you can pretend you are in the tropics!

The pineapples are lights, so even if you have long freezing cold winters you can pretend you are in the tropics!

I'll take one of everything please.

I'll take one of everything please.

While I'm shopping I would also love to stop into Schoolhouse Electric & search the city for some murals by artist Lisa Congdon. A girl can dream right?

 

 

Holiday Show & Sale

Artspace is having its first holiday sale and this Saturday is the opening night. If you are looking for a unique gift come out and support local artisans like myself. The show will be on until December 17th, plenty of time to pop in and check out all the goodies! Hand made gifts don't have to break the bank, all of the items are priced under $100.

One of my favourite new paintings is available in the sale "Old School" 8x10" Acrylic on Canvas.

One of my favourite new paintings is available in the sale "Old School" 8x10" Acrylic on Canvas.

I came across this photo on www.shyle-brandi.com As soon as I saw it I was imagining what my painting "Old School" would look like installed in the bottom left corner. The energy, style and design of this studio space all speak to me. Sure I have daydreamed of gorgeous interiors, but this time was different. The image jumped out at me & I couldn't help but take notice. I'm not sure if or when it will happen again but I can't wait, it was a fun process. If you are a creative give it a try, let your imagination run wild.

Artists I Admire

Back in my early twenties I worked in a Furniture/Design shop in Toronto. The owner had curated a collection of art that was hung in the space. It was one of my favourite elements. It was here that I first discovered resin artwork and I instantly connected with the work of Canadian artist Joshua Jenson-Nagle. His pieces were large scale and really grabbed your attention. The colours were muted and the images captured the landscapes that I have grown to know living in Ontario.

Here is one of his pieces installed in a home in Toronto.

Here is one of his pieces installed in a home in Toronto.

I have only been on social media for just over a year, in that time I have discovered many creative artists I admire. I came across Joshua's name & a light bulb went off. I actually sent him a message letting him know how much I enjoyed his artwork and that I first came across it 15 years ago. For me a working artist, just starting off in her career, this gives me hope. His talent and determination has allowed him to have a lasting career. If you check out his website you will see just how talented he is. His current works are photographs that are face mounted onto plexiglass, that explore dreamy large-scale beaches. http://www.jensennagle.com/

This is another older piece that I love! Those pastel polka dots add the right amount of whimsy.

This is another older piece that I love! Those pastel polka dots add the right amount of whimsy.

The other artist working with Resin that has inspired me is Canadian artist Christine Flynn. Her passion for vintage decor, interior design & photography makes me think we would be friends if we ever met in real life! I love how she layers in text, colour blocks and numbers to create a unique piece of art. There are so many of her pieces that I enjoy it was hard to choose. Make sure to check out her website for more information on her work. http://www.christineflynnart.com/

I feel as though I am walking on this highway, just breath taking!

I feel as though I am walking on this highway, just breath taking!

Christine's shop "Love The Design" a great place to hang her latest pieces.

Christine's shop "Love The Design" a great place to hang her latest pieces.

I think I am going to put my paint brushes down until the New Year & focus on my second collection of resin based pieces. I look forward to sharing process shots from my studio with you over the next few months.

Breakfast, Lunch & Art

I had the opportunity last month to hang some of my original paintings in a local restaurant in town called Two Dishes. They will be on display over the holidays so you can tell your loved ones they can enjoy dinner and shop at the same time. Sounds pretty easy right!

This is one of my husband's favourite pieces "Overload". He is always honest with what he likes and dislikes, which I appreciate.

This is one of my husband's favourite pieces "Overload". He is always honest with what he likes and dislikes, which I appreciate.

The exposed brick attracted me to the intimate space and I couldn't be happier with how the collection has come together. Since that time I have received some lovely compliments on my work and I am excited that my local community will have access to my paintings without having to go to an art gallery to view them.  Here you will not feel intimidated if you just want to look around. The other day Heidi shared a photo of herself in front of one of my paintings on social media and had this to share with me;

"As a fan of Holly's art, I was pleasantly surprised that on a recent visit to Two Dishes, her work filled the walls! I recognized Holly's distinct style immediately; there was no question it was her work. The bold colours that are somehow soft, the texture, everything I love about her work online only better in person! The art, instead of standing alone and viewing it from a distance, became part of the experience of breaking bread with a friend. It added to the warmth of the morning in a lovely way."

In this casual environment if someone has a connection to a piece they can come back to visit it again. I am always open to bringing paintings into homes to see if they work in the surroundings you had envisioned them in. Art is very personal and in my opinion if you love it you will always find a spot for it. All of these paintings are originals, there is just one like it. If you have any questions please contact me.

A variety of sizes to add a pop of colour into your home.

A variety of sizes to add a pop of colour into your home.

"Hanging work in a new space is like sending children off to university. New surroundings, you have to hope they can stand on their own two feet. By that stage you’ve done all you can. Put it out in the world and the other side of the deal is up to someone else." quote by artist Alice Sheridan.

 

Highlights of the week

I've been busy lately teaching art classes, filling Birthday loot bags, and trying to maintain a house that keeps me sane. I always feel more relaxed when the space I'm in is tidy, especially in my own home. Halloween decorations & costumes were piled in my laundry room until Birthday decorations went up. Christmas always sneaks up so quickly I ought to start thinking about getting out the tree ( yes it's a fake) and putting out lights before it snows. Amongst all of this I'm trying to remind myself to do the following;

This tea towel is a rag I use in the studio. It keeps getting better every time I pick up a brush.

This tea towel is a rag I use in the studio. It keeps getting better every time I pick up a brush.

After a trip to Home Depot I got all of the materials I needed for my booth at the Make It Indie show this Saturday. I prepped all of my paintings for hanging, and decided on names for each one (sometimes it's not that easy) Loving these stickers from MOO!

"Everlast" 9x12 Acrylic on Canvas

"Everlast" 9x12 Acrylic on Canvas

I dropped off four new paintings at Burrow, so if you are looking for a gift or want to add it to your holiday list stop by. Recently I was having a good day, I even told my husband how happy I felt mid afternoon. My day got even brighter when I read this message.

 "LOVE your pieces!!!   I've been in Burrow checking them out and following you now on instagram.  I know one day I will buy one.....but it will be the "perfect one" for our home....I also have my husband's approval(since we share a space...lol)

I am deeply fascinated by your art....it's like finding a song that you feel connected to."

As an artist I've never really thought of that connection before, it was like a switch was turned on. Some days you just need to know that you are connecting with others and that what you are doing does matter. I love seeing where my artwork goes to live after it leaves my studio, keep sending me photos folks!

 

Make It Indie

I'm so excited this year to participate in my first holiday art market. Shopping local and supporting small businesses is a wonderful thing to do. I hope you can stop by to check out the vendors. You can even enjoy a beer while you're shopping, my husband will be pleased with this. Chatting with collectors and art lovers in person is something I am looking forward to. Some new paintings will be avaialble and some special sale prices will be in effect for the one day only.

A selection of hand painted glass ornaments will be available.

A selection of hand painted glass ornaments will be available.

One of my new paintings done on wood panel.

One of my new paintings done on wood panel.

Come out for the day and get your shopping done early. Don't forget to stop and say hello!