Saturday, May 29, 2010

Now at The Enchanted Gift Shop!


One of the things I love about living and working in downtown Vancouver is all the little locally owned shops. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking down here! Just a few weeks ago a new shop was added to the mix. Stepping into The Enchanted Gift Shop and Tea Room is like stepping into an old-fashioned English garden party. But the cool thing about this garden party is that you can buy all the gorgeous stuff! And boy do they have some gorgeous stuff! Whimsical handcrafted vases in the shape of dresses, dozens of teas from all over the world, retro inspired aprons, as well as art by local artists like me!

That's right, Gail and Jody (mother and daughter owner/ operators) asked me to sell some of my paintings in there! I'm delighted, honored, and excited to be a part of this great new shop. They're just a few blocks from the Farmer's Market and Esther Short Park so make a point to stop in, have a cup of tea, and shop for someone special - even if that special someone happens to be yourself! They're located at 502 Washington Street in downtown Vancouver. Call 360-693-0650 for business hours and upcoming High Tea service times. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sad Clown

"Sad Clown" is what you'd get if you were able to see my soul. Not trying to be melodramatic here, just sayin' it like it is! This actually comes from a photograph of me around age five. I had gone to a school carnival where, apparently, there was some face painting going on. My mum says she kept trying to get me to smile for the picture but I flatly refused. It's always been one of my favorite childhood photos - I think because it's just so "me".


"Above"  The vast majority of my paintings come from photographs that I've found in books, magazines, or online. I had rescued a stack of magazines from my mum's recycling bin to tear out pictures of pretty ladies. All the pages I wanted to keep were in a stack which, due to my stupor-powers, fell all over the floor. One page was lying on top of another, cutting off the top of a head. I thought the composition was pretty cool that way, so painted it! This one is done entirely with two paints: brown and pthalo blue. All the shading is done through layering the colors using both wet and dry-brush techniques. Fun experiment and I'm diggin' the results!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010



 "Moonlight" is yet another inspired by a 1930s era photo by George Hurrell. As I write this, I can't think of the name of the actress as I had never heard of her. She was quite striking in her full-length velvet cape though! I primed this board with matte black paint then painted her with slightly thinned paints to let the darkness show through. The many, many folds and contours of the cape were a fun challenge!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Like My Art? Your Friends Might, Too!

I've been sharing my paintings on Facebook since last summer. I just added their "Share" button on this blog so you can share your favorites with your friends. See a painting you like? Hit the handy dandy "Share" button - et voila - your friends will see what you like. Who knows, maybe they'll remember it when your birthday rolls around! ;-)

Monday, May 10, 2010


"Harlow" is derived from several photos of Jean Harlow taken by George Hurrell, a Hollywood photographer in the 1930s. I had checked out a book of his portraits from the library; I had actually never heard of him before then but instantly fell in love with his work. I sat down to mark the photos I found most inspiring and found I was putting a bookmark every two or three pages!

Perhaps the most remarkable thing I learned from that book is that Photoshop is nothing new! The means maybe, but not the result. He (or an assistant) would retouch the negatives with lead to smooth the subjects skin, fix wayward hair, and add highlights and lowlights that couldn't be achieved with lighting alone. One page featured a retouched photo of Joan Crawford beside the original, unaltered print. She had freckles, crows feet, laugh lines, and all the other "blemishes" of life! It made me see the other photos in a different light knowing that they all had received the same treatment. They may as well have been paintings.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Deep

"In Deep" This literally came to me in a dream. I was talking to someone about my new painting and I pointed to a wall where this was hanging. When I woke up I figured I had two options: 1) have the image plague me forever, or 2) paint the bloody thing and be done with it.