April 29th, 2010 | Comments Off

Just within reach

I’ll be out of town this weekend, which I’m really excited about but it means missing out on a whole bunch of interesting things going on in town.

Make It! The Handmade Revolution: A shopping extravaganza of handmade items by local designers and artisans. Boris and I went to this last year and saw many beautiful things for sale. It runs all weekend long at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive.

Got Craft?: this is Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair that only happens twice a year. I’ve managed to miss it every time. It’s happening on Sunday from 10 to 5pm at the Royal Canadian Legion, also on Commercial Drive.

Art Walk: This is part of Artists in Our Midst, the studio and gallery tour that focuses on artists living in the west side of Vancouver. The Art Walk takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6 pm and includes 31 venues with 52 artists.

Free Comic Day: Yes, that’s right. May 1st is FREE COMIC DAY where you can get comics from your favorite store for FREE. I like the word FREE.

Emily Carr 2010 Grad Show: A huge showcase of the work of over 300 graduate and undergraduate students in visual arts, media arts and design. The opening reception is May 1st from 7 to 11pm, and the show runs until May 16th.

I think there may be EVEN more events going on this weekend, but I suspect that’s enough to keep everyone busy. Let me know if you get any comics.

April 27th, 2010 | 4 Comments »

Altered Book: King of the Beasts

I’ve had a love of lions since I was a kid because I was born under the astrological sign of Leo. I have also always wanted one as a pet because taking a lion for a walk would be so cool, at least until it decided to eat someone, or someone’s dog, or me. I have a whole list of inappropriate pets but for now I’m maintaining things at one small bird and two small fish. But I digress…

I think the significance of lions as my birth sign made it difficult to settle on just the right setting for this wooden lion in an altered book. I tried to make him a home in about three or four of the previous books but nothing felt right. I ended up doing a bit of internet research on lions to help inspire me but the reality of the situation for these creatures in the wild is quite depressing. They once ranged all over parts of Europe, Asia, India and all of Africa and now have mostly been wiped out in the wild.

Altered Book: King of the Beasts

More of my research led me to the rich symbolism of lions. They are often called “King of the Jungle”, but this is a misnomer since they don’t live in jungles at all but prefer to dwell in savannah grasslands and semi-arid plains. In ancient cultures the lion is considered a solar animal symbol (Leo is a sun sign) but lions are actually nocturnal. I took all of these bits of information and tried to incorporate them into the imagery of the book.

Altered Book: King of the Beasts

The rolled pages with brown leaves stamped on them became the grassy plains and also reference the jungle, while the stylized wood pieces (from a musical instrument) are the palace of the king of beasts. The two tarot cards were a lucky find so that I could include both the sun and the moon in the book. The crown on the lion’s head was the finishing touch that I added as an afterthought but it gives it the right bit of whimsy and ties things together.

Altered Book: King of the Beasts

Altered Book: King of the Beasts

Materials used: book, tarot cards, wooden toy lion, wooden musical instrument parts, Japanese paper, rubber stamp and ink, and gel medium.

Posted in Altered Books, art, collage
April 26th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

On Butterfly Wings

I really should do a better job of blogging the portraits I’ve been shooting because when I write about them weeks later I’m never sure what to say. I’m so much better about this with the altered books.

This particular portrait session was very exciting because it presented the opportunity to work with Petrina as a model, and with Shai as a hair stylist. I’ve never worked with a stylist on a shoot before and Shai did a wonderful job styling Petrina’s hair and wrangling the butterflies.

I’ve wanted to do a portrait with butterflies for awhile, and since there was no way I could get real ones I settled for brightly painted fake butterflies. Dressew was my source for butterfly fakery. They have a have a whole section of them in the basement along one of the back corners, which was a pleasant surprise for me to discover.