Friday, November 22, 2013

sewing fundamentals

this is where i'll be this sunday

you know i've always wanted to learn to sew.  my mom was a master seamstress, however, she never had the patience to teach me.  so i'm finally taking the plunge and going for it.  i've broken a couple of sewing machines already, the first was threaded wrong (damn that bobbin thingi), and the 2nd, well, who knows what happened to it, but the needle wouldn't go all the way down anymore.  !!!!!

so, i'm just praying that i don't break one of their machines cause god knows i don't want to have to pay for another broken machine.  oy.

a headband.
headband, sewing

a zippered pouch.
zippered pouch, sewing

and a pillow.

how hard could this possibly be?

i'll soon find out.

wish me luck.

POST-EDIT :  people can i just say i love the janome 625E machine.  it is sweet and easy to use.   no bobbin malfunctions, easy to thread...oh my.  i'll be sewing everything in sight in the next few weeks. sewed up a french seam, 1/2" seam, wide and narrow zig zag stitches.  best class i've ever taken.. :))))

Monday, November 18, 2013


the weather on sunday was gloomy, and the house was quiet (dom took the kids out to give me some time to paint).  they did this.

at the mad italian gelato joint on college street. **  if you're local, you need to visit this place **

for me,  it was the kind of day to stay in pj's, blast the music, and pull out the paints.

grisaill, acrylic, portrait, painting
8" x 10", acrylic on canvas
and that's exactly what i did. she's not quite finished yet, but almost.  for this one i used acrylics rather than oil so the drying time is really quick.  really can't wait to give this a glaze and then paint over top with oils.  lets see how far i can push this without destroying it.  :))

slowly but surely getting closer to how i want to paint.  ira glass was right about putting the 10, 000 hours in.

ira glass, painting, 10000 hours

Saturday, November 16, 2013

grisaille alla rembrandt

i had this image in my head.  and i've been dying to paint it for a while now. last night i stayed up late to release it.  as you know, my palette is always quite dark with strong lights.  i shy away from too much colour and love the earth tones, the umbers, and siena, and yellow ochers, alizarin, and paynes grey, with touches of titanium white.  my painting are moody, and atmospheric..  

portrait, grisaille, painting, black and white, oil, toronto artist
oil on canvas, 8" x 10"

yet. still not quite where i want to be in how they're executed.  so to help me out i'm taking this oil painting class at ocad.   and it's been helpful.  however, nothing has been more helpful than visiting some of the works of the old masters.  

rembrandt, oil painting, portrait, old masters

i figure why recreate the wheel and try to figure this thing out on my own...  i'll just visit some of rembrandt's work, to see how he did it.  my palette is very similar to this, as is my love of dark darks and bright lights...  his portraits just glow, absolutely rich and vibrant in a beautifully dimmed atmosphere..  

rembrandt, oil painting, old masters, portrait

i've learned he started off with a monochromatic (mixtures of black and white), otherwise known as a grisaille.  then he'd glaze over it...

so my friends... i'm sure as hell no rembrandt, nor will i ever be... but gonna give this a try.

let's see how this goes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

holiday in the hood

yup.  will be selling some of my handmade journals and art at the local holiday in the hood craft fair.  ::)))))

holiday in the hood, art, craft, fair

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

self portrait

self portrait, oil painting, painting, portrait
16" x 20" oil on canvas paper, work in progress
self portrait 1

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” 

Monday, November 4, 2013


one of the best parts of my week is being in the studio on saturday afternoons.

i knew we were going to be painting a still life, alla cezanne, and i was very excited about this.  i mean, how hard could it be to paint some apples and oranges..

cezanne, still life, fruit, oil painting
photo source

well in our case, it was an apple, a grapefruit and a pear to be exact.

cezanne, oil painting, ocad, fruit

we went through a very brief colour theory lesson (all in a matter of 15 minutes which could easily have been an entire course).

then the practical session came next.  easy peasy, right? a little red, a little green, a little yellow and orange.

ah.  not so much.

fuck.  i suck.

value, temperature, chroma...  better get more practice in.  good thing dom did a big shop this weekend, told him to load up on the apples and pears and grapefruits.  ::))