Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Calling all missing art...

My good friends from former Emily Carr days are doing an affordable art show together this coming thursday, April 2nd at Box Studios, 622 Franklin St. fro 7 until late! I am looking forward to seeing silkscreened prints, paintings and photography from these three: Disa MacKay, Erin Johnson, and Kelly Nairn, all who are incredibly talented and amazing both as artists and graphic designers. And with art starting at $35- $400 I can't wait to take one of these babies home! (I got a sneak preview the other night at Disa's place and I have an idea which one I'll be grabbing first! Architecture and olive green are two combos I can't pass up...)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shop up-date...

I am slowly getting some new work up-loaded to my etsy shop! More to come soon!

Portobello West Spring Opener!

Portobello West Market was this past weekend and it felt really good to get some new work out of the studio and in front of a few hundred people! There were quite a few other potters (6 of us- the most I've ever seen at Portobello at one time), and it was good to connect with other artists and designers from all over BC.
As promised before I am uploading some new items to my etsy shop and will be off to Granville Island this afternoon to drop off some much needed work to the BC Gallery of Ceramics (which nearly sold out of my work this past month:)
Thank you to all those who bought work from me over the weekend! I took a bunch of orders so will be back in the studio working on those, while also preparing for Calgary!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Great Colour for the Season!

I'm finding myself on the front page of etsy or in treasuries more often, and it's kind of cool to see the colours I had chosen for my work coming out in all the latest trends of the season!
Hope you have a great weekend, I'll be at Portobello West this weekend and will definitely up-date my etsy shop on Monday for all those outside of the Vancouver area!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New work!

Fresh out of the kiln, the new bottle vases finally turned out the way I had imagined! Also I am loving the new ginko bowls- So fresh and springy, would look amazing with a salad or fruit inside! Pale inside or dark Turquoise blue. I'm saving everything I have made for Portobello West this weekend, but will put some new items in my shop after:)
Don't forget, if you are in the Vancouver area: Portobello West Market, Saturday March 28th, Sunday March 29th from 12-6pm at the Rocky Mountaineering Station, on Cottrell Ave just off of Terminal. $2 at the door!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I should really be doing my taxes today as I wait for the kiln to cool for Portobello West this weekend, but I can't miss this opportunity to start working on the garden! It's warm, sunny and all these great little new plants are poking their way through and I can't help but want to clear away the old ones so I can see what's growing underneath! So see ya later, I should be able to unload the kiln and take photos later tonight! There will be some beauties for the market- cake plates, lovely bowls, new Vases and of course, poppy mugs!

Monday, March 23, 2009

photography of print

My latest photo assignment for myself has been to capture print in unlikely spots. Here are a few recent ones: The classic VIA logo on a great older passenger train on Vancouver Island, the view from down home amy's studio of the Morris building, and then Dean, recreating his name out of driftwood at the beach this summer!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The beginnings...

The first of my new bottle vases turned out... ok. I'm not quite satisfied yet with the glaze fitting the clay body, but I think it will take a little time. On the recommendation of my mold maker I bisqued high to burn out any impurities that the clay may have, but then it was hard to get enough glaze to be absorbed into the clay body so I won't be doing that again. (That's why the poppy is a little faded)
Anyways, I was able to fit in a day of painting and to change things up for myself I painted with watercolours on paper. It was very freeing just to be able to do a bunch of paintings without thinking them over too much, focussing on colour and shapes. I was loving that yellow ochre colour too!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Finding dahlhaus...

It seems that I finally made the front page of etsy on Wednesday night sometime! I just found out through Craft Cult, which has a 'vault' of past etsy front-pages, super handy for those of us who can't figure out why they got so many 'hearts' and 'hits' over a few days...:)
I also was featured on another great site called Design is Mine where they had me on their Etsy finds for the Week article (image above)! Cool blog with some beautiful photography!
So it seems my work is slowly getting out there in internet land!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is on it's way!

With a nod to St Paddy's day and some green bowls with squares down 3 sides from last spring, I am busily getting ready for the next Portobello West Market, happening March 28-29th at the Rocky Mountaineering Station. I just finished a glaze firing and put in another large load for the bisque firing today and I'm feeling confident that I'm nearly ready to start on my spring shows!
I always get really inspired during spring with the beautiful colours of flowers and the green leaves pocking through and it definitely comes out in my work. Tomorrow's post will have pictures of more current work, including a couple of pictures of my new vases which are starting to come along. If you know anything about clay, you know that the minute you change clay bodies, there are a whole new set of rules for what glazes will work or not. So I'm in the beginning stage of working out those kinks and the results are hopeful!
Otherwise, I am still feeling a little sluggish around 4:30 every day because of some late shifts at the studio along with a late-night concert on Saturday night that was amazing! I went to the opening of the Hermit's CD launch: Turn-Up (the art) which was really great! I thought the band was solid- and I loved the additions of the trombone, the string section, the Marimba (?)! Anyways, a great concert and great art (of course I was slightly biased in this regard) made for a great evening!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New work from down home amy

I had tea with Amy on friday at her new(ish) downtown studio and had to take some pictures of some of the new things she is making for the home these days! I use one of her lunch bags daily and she recently came up with a bigger version, above, with the really cute tree silkscreened on it. All the pattern designs and silkscreens are her own- based on her amazing drawings! I adore these new little baggies she's making for the up-coming Blim Market. Instead of using a ziplock bag, why not use one of these, washing it clean when it gets dirty. Perfect for the kids and their snacks too as they stand up on their own. Velcro top holds everything inside- so it would be perfect for cereal snacks, veggies, etc. See more of her work on her etsy site here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kids and Art

I'm currently listening to my kids talk to each other through the window, one playing hockey outside asking the other one to watch what he's doing: the conversation is hilarious with all the little things they are saying and commenting, rooting each other on in their boyish way!
I've been having a little dialogue over at the Sycamore Street Press blog under the post about me and my work about having kids and doing what you love. A comment that made it sound really idealistic kind of got me on the topic and I feel like it is something worth talking about. I think there are a lot of parents and artists out there- people who make their living doing what they love and juggling kids along the way. For some people parenting was a 'happy accident'- such is my case, and the timing of kids wasn't totally planned, for others, they are planning their kids around their work. Any way you slice it, it is a big move to make!
My boys are my biggest joy in life. Creating is something I am very motivated to do because it's who I am. I had my boys fairly close together and was mostly full-time at home for the first 4 years- I taught art 4 times a week at the local community center when my second was 8 months old. All the while I made arrangements to be able to do a little clay work at the local pottery studio at the community center where I also taught, just to feel like I was growing as an artist.
When my youngest was 2 I hit a cross-road. I had outgrown the community centre studio, was starting to sell a little to my community connections and felt like I needed to try to see if I could make a living as an artist. It was too hard for me to just ignore my passion and call what I do a 'hobby'.
It took a little while to find a suitable studio space, access to a kiln, get my paintings into some shows, get my work looking professional enough to sell, especially because I was cramming in time to do this in between my creative child-care solutions. For a while I did a swap with another mom who is a photographer, to watch each other's kids one day a week for each other. I had my mom come out for a while and stay with us for a day. We shared a nanny with another family one day a week for a while, and then there were weekends, when my husband was 'mostly' around and I would go to the studio to cram in some time.
The other thing I did was get myself into a government funded Self-Employment Program, where they paid you $300 a week to 'start your business'. There were things involved in getting into and being in the program-not everyone is qualified, but for 11 months, this helped tremendously! It gave me the ability to move from my part-time hours into full-time and really jump started what I do.
That program ended about a year ago, and my oldest son started grade 1 in fall so my childcare situation is slowly improving. I'm still figuring out how to get enough work done every week to make do, but slowly my work is getting out there and people are starting to look for it. I have to really believe that this is the right thing to be doing because my kids are worth so much more than all the things I make. Yet we all have to make a living somehow and I would rather be doing what I am passionate about than do a 9-5 job that pays the bills but that kills my creative spirit. I just hope that I can afford to do this long-term and that I don't kill the love for what I do to make that happen!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Out and about...

I've met some great people throughout my blog travels of late! It has been really fun to connect with artists from all over, tell them a little about myself and gain an appreciation for what they make and do in return!
The first being Eva from Sycamore Street Press, who asked if I would like to be involved in their artist q & a this week! Check it out right here!
I also submitted a photo to the Smarts & Crafts blog-I love what they have going on there- a little photography assignment every week where they give out a theme and then they post their favourites. Check out my submission under the theme of 'night'!
I had a great little email with Jinsil from Elephant and Chickpea, the one who makes the really great shoes from my post below.
And if you want to swing over to Artsy Dartsy, you'll notice my painting on their front page!
I'm glad you came by my blog- feel free to drop me a line and say 'hi'!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Vancouver Etsy Wishlist...

I love to see the local talent from Vancouver appearing on Etsy! It's very inspiring to find things I love on etsy that actually come from 'my hometown'! It makes me want to get us all together and have a little face to face, etsy vancouver team or something! Plus I really want to do some shopping and it almost feels funny to buy something on line when I could technically find them in the city and buy it directly from them.
Here are some of my latest Vancouverite finds and favourites:
Mary Jane house shoes- How great are these, they no longer come in this colour, but I love them, by Elephant and Chick Pea.
Brand-new to etsy: Salal Knits, with a beautiful knitted beret! When I saw this image (on Modish this morning) I immediately thought- that looks like Vancouver, and sure enough...
I love Noei's fabrics and am looking forward to seeing her at Portobello West Market June-August! I especially love her ginko leaf fabric that she designed and had manufactured in Japan before coming to Vancouver!
I met Colleen Baran at a local market, but first found her on etsy! I love the earrings I bought from her then, and am quite smitten with the 3 ring set above.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring... or maybe not.

I don't quite know what to say. I had everything ready to go to do a post about the first signs of spring here in Vancouver, ready to gloat to the rest of the country that we had crocuses up and mini irises blooming and I even had the proof of great photos. And then it snowed on Sunday night. A big dumpload of snow. Isn't that so like spring, to tease us with it's warmth just enough before sending a big cold snap back at us so we don't forget what winter feels like.
Dean is going to go up to Baker tomorrow to do some Spring snowboarding so I guess it isn't all bad. I, on the other hand, still have this lingering cold and nagging head-ache that is hampering my studio time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Me? A blogland winner!!

I'm so thrilled! SOOOO thrilled to be the new recipient of an ABC/123 print by the Sycamore Street Press! Did I tell you how excited I am? I don't often win things. And I have never won a hand-pulled georgeous print before in my life! A microwave, yes. I won a microwave when I was 16 - my mom had entered me in a contest just to see if someone from our family could win the microwave she was wanting. And I won it. But a hand-pulled print... sooo beautiful! The choice of which colour combo to choose was tricky, I have to admit! I love the red/water one a lot. But I have 2 boys and the red/water one is a little more feminine. I went for the tangerine/charcoal one above- I will love it for years to come, even as my boys get bigger.
What more can I say- a plug on Eva's blog, a free ABC/123 print- it's a great day! Thank You Eva!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Show Opens on South Granville!

It was a great turn-out for the first ON the Rise Art Collective opening! Thank you to all of you who came out and especially to my friends and family who traveled from near and far to stop by! The work is up for the month of March at 2231 Granville Street, if you are in the Vancouver area, come by and check out the show!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's hard to chat when you're over there and I'm over here...

I've been more or less around home this past week, either taking care of my sick boys or being sick myself and I can't help noticing how little my phone rings anymore. I have a lot of really great friends and family that live within an hour or two of me, some are at home with their own children, some are working, and some juggle both work and kids, much like I do. I have found it increasingly difficult to keep in touch. Different schedules, different schools and slowly, we are like birds on different lines, wondering if we would ever be on the same line again. I have many new friends and connections and am enjoying these new relationships, but there is nothing quite like a visit with a long-time friend. Those are the people that really know you for who you are and where you came from.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Last Year, This Time

Do you ever think to yourself, last year this time I was... Well, this week I am thinking about last year this time, because I was off to Toronto for the Toronto Artist Project right around this time. I had shipped my paintings off, crossed my fingers it would all get there on time and in one piece, and boarded a plane to stay with people I didn't know in a city I had only been in one other time to be a part of the inaugural Artist Project. It was a great honour to be included in the first show. They had hundreds of applicants and the jury only chose about 200 of us for the show and it was generally a good show. But as these shows go, there is a lot of money, time and energy put into them, and when you don't get that all back during the show, you really have to reconsider doing it again. That is part of the reason I won't be there this year, the other part is that I physically couldn't have kept up with my ceramics this spring and would have missed out on Portobello West here in Vancouver and in Calgary. And I would have missed out on the On The Rise Show too.
Nonetheless, I do have some great artist friends going to the show: Fiona Ackerman will be there again, this year with a brand-new 3 month old baby boy in tow! and Emily Cooper will be back at the show again along with Vancouver painter Kerensa Haynes. New this year from Vancouver will also be mixed media painter Arleigh Wood. I wish them all the best this weekend and if you are in the Toronto area, do stop by and see the show- it will be great show, guaranteed! The Artist Project Toronto, March 5-8th, the Liberty Grand, Toronto.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Artsy! Dartsy! and ONTRAC Show!

Yesterday was installation day for the inaugural show for the new On The Rise Artist Collective on South Granville! I was really excited to meet the other 2 artists exhibiting with me. The show was curated by the founder of the Collective, Merete Kristiansen, and she specifically chose 3 women painters from really different backgrounds and themes. To read more, check out this cool site called Artsy Dartsy- Vancouver's new art and design guide that up-dates weekly art happenings in this great city of ours! I've now plastered my work all over the site and you can find me on the plug for the On The Rise Show, on their community page, and on their etsy links!

Show details are as follows: Opening Night for ONTRAC is Thursday, March 5th, 5pm-8pm, 2231 Granville Street (South Granville area, between 6th and 7th)! Hope to see you there!