Monday, February 27, 2012

Illustration Friday: Capable

  I've finally done it! For ages I said I was going to do an illustration for Illustration Friday and I finally came through. What do you think?

Friday, February 24, 2012

For several years now the world has been dealing with a financial crisis and many families have seen the value of their homes plummet. This has been true for most of North America except where I live. While the economy in Vancouver has slowed down like most places, the value of real estate hasn't followed and the cost of owning a home here is crazy. The average detached home now costs $750,000. That's the average. On my street alone every house will cost you between $800,000 and $1.7 million to buy. (!) This vintage home down the way, which is considered a tear-down, can be yours for a mere $888,000.

In a previous post I told you about all the renovations we've done to our rental suite. Even though we can't own here we thought we should at least have our place feel livable. Well this apartment complex is nearly forty years old and it looks as though its days are numbered. The land is too valuable. We've kept our eyes open for other places but it looks as though the rents have been going up as fast as the real estate. I guess you can't ask for less than a couple thousand dollars rent for your "mortgage helper" if your house cost you over a million dollars. Sigh.

As we shake our heads and ponder how far east we have to move take a look at this site "Crack Shack or Mansion" in amazement. Take note that to live in the most expensive city in North America you'd be wise to sell crack. Just sayin'.

How much does a family home cost where you live?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

La Calaca Press print exchange

In a previous post I showed you my submission to the La Calaca Press print exchange I did last year. Hundreds of printmakers from numerous countries submitted an edition of 15 hand-pulled prints that were exhibited in several countries. The turn-out and press for the shows looked great.

Well I finally got my set of prints and I was so pleased with what I got. Below is a shot of a few of my favorite pieces.

This one is an engraving. Look at small the lines are! Wow.

I just got an email that there has been a call for another print exchange based on the same theme of La Calaca. I haven't decided if I will be participating but I think it's worth doing some sketches for. If you would like to participate this year you can find the specifics here. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Valentine's (I eyes)

As this is my Valentine's post I would like to say Happy Valentine's Day to you and I hope that you're able to enjoy it with the ones you love. I usually get to have a nice dinner with my husband on Valentine's but this year we agreed we could celebrate it another day so that I could work a restaurant shift that night and I could make some nice tip money from others enjoying their special night. Little did I know that I would come down with a case of shingles that now has half my face covered in disgusting sore blisters. Shingles!

The shingles have surrounded my left eye and the scary thing about this second-round bout of the chicken-pox is that if it reaches my optic-nerve, I have a chance of sight damage or blindness. As I sat in the doctor's office with my eyes dilated and waiting for my exam, I tried to look at magazines. With everything a complete blur, I felt a wave of fear of what it might be like to lose some of my vision. I'm a visual person and I communicate visually. I need my eyes. I love my eyes.
I've been tested a couple of times now and while I won't be serving any dinners to loving couples while looking like Quasimodo and I won't be gazing into the eyes of my own husband that night, I am very happy to say that my left eye is okay. I can handle looking horrific this Valentine's if it means I get to see with both eyes next Valentine's.

P.S. This is the part where I put in a plug for getting your child vaccinated against chicken-pox. I think it's worth it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Inspired by Jennifer Davis

Being online and having access to so many images and artists has been so wonderful and inspiring to me as a creative person. I generally complain that I don't have enough hours in the day to work on all the things that inspire me. I have made mention of artists whos work spurs me to create before, but I thought I would share with you today a piece  I created recently inspired by Jennifer Davis. I'm in awe of Jennifer's work and I would love to get my hands on an original of hers.

I took a painting that I had started on canvas and had abandonned and photographed it. I then imported into Photoshop and practiced my digital painting. I really love not having to wait for paint to dry and always having access to the "undo" button. I used a painting of Jennifers as my inspirational reference. Below is the reference and my final image. While I think I strongly referenced her painting I think I was still able to make the image my own.

I uploaded the painting onto Flickr and made a point of claiming my inspiration and contacted Jennifer to let her know about it. Jennifer sent me back the most wonderful letter to let me know that she was not only okay with me using her work as reference but that she felt honored. She also told me about a couple pieces that she has created inspired by others. The results are fantastic.
Here's a great painting of Jennifer's and the reference photo of a lamp that she found on Etsy that appealed to her. Love it.

While many of us hear of artists getting their images ripped right off their sites and used to make money for someone else, we can't deny the benefits to creativity to be influenced by other artists. What are your thoughts on this? What is the line between plagarism and influence? I think the work will always be better when you make it distinctly your own.