The most interesting part of creating something, for me, has to be the journey of figuring out what it is. Some ideas come out fully formed and others change and morph over time so that only a semblance of where it began remains. The Society of Curious Creatures is a project that I think more and more will have an interesting life. Just when I think I may have to abandon this project, another piece of the puzzle falls into place and things start to morph and change.
Enter the mini cab. This is a miniature version of the larger cabinets I have made in the past but with a few more elements. I’ve been struggling to figure out a way to link a lot of these ideas I have about what is part of this world and starting this “mini cab” helped me figure a lot of that out. When painter’s embark upon larger works they tend to do a lot of small paint studies or drawings that will help them figure out a number of things about the larger work. This was exactly the same thing only dimensionally for me.
Process, process, process. Here it is.
It’s my turn in the Sister Sketch Exchange and this time around I was having a bit of trouble figuring out what to do. I usually use this exchange as a way to experiment with things I have ideas about. Right now though my ideas are more other materials dimensional than paper related dimensional. If that makes sense. Finally inspiration did hit and out of it came little present doors with “Santa’s Companions” behind them. It started out as being a Krampus thing but then evolved when I found something referring to all these different characters as known “associates” of Santa. These guys are there to make him look good, or they are thought to be previous incarnations of Santa before he became more pleasant. It was a bit tricky to photo but hopefully you get the idea.
It’s that time of year again. Linocut card time! This year’s theme has kinda carried it’s way through 2 projects. The first was the card image for this years greeting cards. It was inspired by the Druid story of the Oak King and the Holly King. As the story goes these two beings battle it out every year with the aim of ruling the seasons. No one ever “wins” really cause they end up sharing the seasons. The Holly Kings rule starts summer time and continues until winter when the Oak King takes over until summer. What I liked about it was that the Oak King was a symbol for the coming spring and longer days. As we are almost at our darkest here right now in my part of the world with the sun setting around 4:30pm and not coming back up until 9 am, I thought it was a great winter card theme. My little Ladybug friends made an appearance again this year each taking on one of the roles.
Then to continue onto the linocut present tags, which have become my favourite way to do these tags as of late, I decided to stick with the oak leaf as the image. I was trying to aim for small detail reproduction in this one and I’m quite happy with how it worked out. It took a bit more time to carve and some patience but I think they are the best ones yet. Happy Holidays!
It’s finally here! The second edition of my creature card series is finished and ready to go out into the world to find new homes. Thank you to everyone who bought cards in series one. It was fantastic to be able to sellout the first series at this years ArtWalk and I’m very pleased to be making another set.
This time around I’ve increased the number of images in the set from 3 to 5 and I’ve made the edition slightly larger at 30. For those of you that may not know this is a limited edition 4″x 6″ card set. Once all thirty are sold I’m not printing anymore. Each set is signed and numbered and comes with a small info card about the creatures featured. The new set introduces three new creatures that some may have already met this summer and fall when my work was on display at the Whyte Ave ArtWalk or the Kaleido Family Arts Festival.
Please say hello to the Fuzefly. An odd looking insect that seems to be morphing into the trash it collects. The Nudilichen. A tiny species both colourful and cute that lives in mosses and lichen across the globe and finally the Orchesia fish. A skittish fish often referred to as the orchid of the sea.
Save the Date! Come on out to the Whyte Avenue Art Walk July10-12th and see new work in my Society of Curious Creatures Project. There will be items big and small for purchase, or come say hello and have a chat. I’ll be doing previews of some of the new work for the next two weeks on my social media sites.
New print’s in my Society 6 shop for those who like morbid Valentine gifts…or just skulls and flowers. 🙂
Alright I’m a bit behind in posting so it’s time to do some catch up. This year’s Christmas present tags started out early on in November. Yes, that’s how far behind I am…Christmas. It’s the earliest I have ever started the tags and I stuck with doing a linocut print again this year. I have really been enjoying them over the last few years.
This years guy is inspired by the Anoplognathus pallidicollis better known as the Australian Christmas Beetle. Known as this because of it’s appearance en masse around the Christmas season. Oh so clever of a name 🙂 Beetles are festive right? It had a great muted gold and green tone to it from photos I found. Add a few eucalyptus leaves and berries and there we go. I originally intended to print the beetle in gold but after a few test prints I changed my mind and went with a green print and gold detailing added in after the fact. The final colouration isn’t very true to the original insect but I like how it turned out. The gold doesn’t show well here but it’s quite flashy as it turns in the light. Here’s a pic of the beetle in his green state and then with the added gold. I may try and do some prints in just gold again but maybe on a different paper. I felt the white background just washed the whole thing out too much. It is a tag after all and needs to stand out a bit.
Here’s a fun little side project for a friend. My spouse is an amazing artist in his own right. He makes these beautiful cigar box instruments. The necks, knobs and finishing details are all hand carved and painted. They are also all playable. He’s made everything from guitars, ukeleles and banjos. He’s also been known to dabble in making speaker cabinets and effects pedals as well. It’s really quite awesome stuff. Have a pop over to his site and check his stuff out. bobbysmale.com
What does this all have to do with me you ask? Well a musician friend of ours is preforming in a theatrical comedy show called One Man Two Governors. He plays a part in this awesome Skiffle band that is part of the show. He purchased one of Bobby’s creations to play in the show and managed to talk him into building a custom case for it. Not something he usually does but he’s a good friend. Wanting to add a little something special we decided to paint the instruments name on the case for an added personalization. So fun letting project for Angie! Yay! Here’s the finished product with the maker’s mark in gold below.
The latest project has been my creation for the Sister Sketch Exchange. Being that it was my turn and all 🙂 I’ve spoken a few times about this ongoing little adventure between myself and my sister. Click here and here for previous entries that explain more. Or head on over to my website for a look at that whole adventure.
This time around I wanted to add a bit of dimension so I created the images across two pages with a third in the middle acting as a flip window.
Here are a few starting process shots of the drawing being laid in and coloured on the right side of the book.
The part that I think makes this all very fun is the “window” page. It has a portion of the page cut away and I replaced it with a piece of acetate that I layered some wavy lines of Gel onto to create a wobbly underwater current look. It doesn’t show up in the final scans so I took a few extreme angle shots so the effect can be better seen here.
Finally here are scans of the finished works with window flipped in either direction. One side your inside the sub and the other way you floating with the fishes! 🙂
Hello all! The time is finally upon us! We are two days away from the Kaleido Festival. For those close by the festival runs for three days September 12-14 in the Alberta Avenue District from 90-94th Street.
This will be the first showing of the Curiosity Cabinets I have made tied to the Society of Curious Creatures concept I’ve been working on. I’m pretty excited. I have a few things planned to go along with this unveiling to hopefully keep the momentum going. Please follow me along on Instagram and Twitter for more info on how you can get involved.
Thought I would post some pics of the bits that make up my cabinets before they became permanently affixed. Enjoy!