Blog

Reflections on the year

A few things I have learned about life and the creative process in 2017

Time. It takes time and space for thoughts to percolate. It takes effort to slow down. I find a need to allow for quiet, for time spent working with my hands – repotting plants, doing a puzzle, baking something delicious, or going for a long walk. Also, that time is too precious to waste not being your fullest and brightest self – your health, well-being, and energy deserve respect and care.

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Wind in the trees. Section of a Kallitype hand-printed photograph.

A tree in the wind

A moment for storytelling

There is a place here in Montreal, called the Champ des Possibles which means ‘the field of possibilities’. It sits on a piece of old railway land that has been reclaimed by the community. The land is slowly being rehabilitated with grasses, flowers, plants and trees.

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Cyanotype print of Cape Cod (section)

Through dark to light: returning to the darkroom after 10 years

Taking small, brave steps to heal your past

A few weeks ago, was my first time back in the darkroom after more than ten years. I never expected that I would be back in one.

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Crafting Painted Stories

A look into the process of creating a custom painting

The story… This painting was of a childhood cottage that is no longer in the family. We discussed the cottage itself, various memories, and favourite moments. We went over the most important things to include and things that could be or should be excluded.

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A beacon in the fog

Hand-drawn memories

I have recently been creating some pencil drawings of travel photos. I find pencil to be a wonderful medium for capturing a sense of memory, a softness around the edges and a richness of atmosphere. I used it here to accentuate the light and atmosphere that is sometimes hard to capture in a photograph. I worked to remain true to the subject while removing any unnecessary elements.

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Three houses for three sisters

Personalized portraits of a family home

This project was a series of three watercolour house portraits, lovingly individualized for each sister. Their father had this house built 62 years ago in north Toronto and, over the years, it became a loving homestead for frequent family gatherings. It recently came time to sell the house, and the family wanted something to capture the years of memories and laughter.

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My hand holding a printmaking squeegee on an inked screen showing a Montreal house drawing

Laying down ink

Exploring the printmaking process

Printmaking is something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. My first and only real experience with it was in an overview class of several processes in high school. I loved it at the time, but was focussed on photographic printing in the darkroom.

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A woman working in a large vegetable garden in the late afternoon sun (section of finished artwork)

Afternoons in the vegetable garden

Crafting paintings from memories

This was a very special illustration to create. My client, and now friend, Marie-Ève, shared a story that resonated with me personally. It was about a memory she has of her mother who died of cancer several years ago.

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Where we met

Heartfelt wedding gifts

I recently had the pleasure of completing this portrait of the Royal Montreal Curling Club. It was a custom wedding gift for a happy couple. My client reached out to me because her uncle was soon to be married and she and her family wanted to gift them something truly meaningful.

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Colourful houses

Custom illustrated house portraits

I have been spending time in the studio coming up with a new style of hand-drawn illustrated house portraits. Working from a photo or photos, I draw (or paint) the house directly face-on, flattening the space and playing up its unique architectural details.

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