Blog

Charity
  • Painting sale for Everett

    Painting sale for Everett

    The last FosterMAK art show at Symon’s Valley Ranch was full of beautiful artwork for sale, including one brand new painting of mine titled "Subliminal Message". I had some wonderful conversations and left with the usual feeling of awe and gratitude to have my work displayed amongst these talented artists.

    One of my paintings sold, and of all the ones I brought to the show, I’m happiest to see this one go. ‘Eavesdropper’ was offered to raise funds for a local charity called Everett’s Wings: The Everett Pottinger Foundation for children battling congenital heart disease. One click to their Facebook Page shows the heart wrenching photos of these tiny babies up against the fight of their lives…I dare you to read Everett’s story and learn more about the 1 in 100 babies that are affected by congenital heart disease (pro tip: have a box of tissues ready!)

    Overall it was a beautiful weekend at the ranch. A big thanks goes out to Stacey from FosterMAK for organizing yet another great art show!

    With love and a full heart,

    Taylor  

  • Painting Donation: HomeFront Calgary

    I love this painting. Metamorphosis was my largest painting to date: a whopping 4 ft squared canvas! It took me a long time to finish it, and I had to negotiate my time wisely…acrylic paint spread over a large surface area created some parts that would dry before I could finish the effect I was going for! I had to work quickly and not linger on my artistic decisions (a difficult task for me most days!)  It was a great learning experience.

    Because of its size, Metamorphosis was best viewed in person to be appreciated fully. The way the silver metallic paint caught the light and the depth of the fushia-coloured glazes…MMM! Beautiful!  Unfortunately, this meant hauling it from show to show, hoping it would catch the eye of a serious buyer. This wasn’t a big deal until we installed a car seat for our daughter and lost the ability to fold down our back seats on a whim…suddenly, toting Metamorphosis around town didn’t sound appealing anymore!

    Enter: Fashion Forward YYC! It is an annual fashion and art show that promotes local artistic talent and raises funds for charitable organizations. This year’s charity was HomeFront: an organization designed to combat domestic violence (If anyone has followed the news in Alberta lately, domestic disputes have skyrocketed as the economy nosedives…). I was happy to donate Metamorphosis to the silent auction fundraiser, and kissed it goodbye as it was comfortably loaded into the back of a moving van with the other event artwork.

    I was told my painting had five bidders and raised over $400 for HomeFront. I feel thankful to support a charity that I don’t need to call upon. I hope Metamorphosis is making someone as happy as it made me feel when it was in my studio.  

    Love, 

    Taylor

  • Yes!

    Yes!

    Agreed! Even the smallest good deed can make a difference.

    That's why I am proud to donate 25% of my art sales back to charity, and am grateful for the ability to do this :)

    Thank YOU for making this movement possible!  

  • Annual Review of 2015 (Economic turmoil, waterfalls, and some BIG news!)

    Well folks, here we are again. 2015 snuck up quickly, slapped some reality into me a few times, and zoomed out of town seemingly faster than it came. I’m standing here in shock and awe: It's 2016. How the heck did this happen?!

    I guess the old adage proves itself true: Time flies when you’re having fun!

    I would like to share some highlights and photos that have made 2015 a very memorable year.

    1)      Shane got laid off in February and made a bold move to reinvent himself from a mechanical engineer in the O&G sector into an indie video game programmer (one of his passions he hasn’t had time to pursue in the past). I’m not going to lie…this was a hard transition for me to accept. I was scared to think about our future, but what else could he do? The job market was saturated with skilled O&G people searching for work in Calgary, and it’s certainly better to be creative/productive rather than wither away from boredom at home. He bought a license for GameMaker software and immediately taught himself how to program. He designed, coded, and marketed his asteroid-inspired arcade game called CMYW. He often programs 10+ hours per day, including weekends, and the final game was approved for sale on the huge gaming platform called ‘Steam’ in October…an impressive result for only 8 short months! He has participated in a few local Calgary events such as Indie Game Bash, Ludum DareMakers Faire, and became a member of the Calgary Game Developers Association (acquiring several new friendships with some awesome people, to boot!). Shane has become a bit of a local sensation with several TV, radio, and newspaper interviews sharing his inspirational story during these tough economic times. As scared as I was about the big career move, I can’t deny how much joy it brings him and am thrilled with how much he has accomplished this year. (Plus I’m hooked on CMYW. It’s addictive! Check it out herehttp://store.steampowered.com/app/396590 )

    2)      TRAVEL! What an amazing year!!!

    -Romantic getaway to Radium Hot Springs where we watched bighorn sheep lick salt off our vehicle and soaked in the pools until we were wrinkly.

    -Backpacking through Skoki Loop (near Lake Louise) with some kickass coworkers. We hunted for fossils, admired the Indian Paintbrush flowers, saw a sprinting grizzly bear and defended ourselves from the bugs and notorious porcupine. It was my first full-on backpacking trip, and the photos were worth the effort. 

    -GIRL’S TRIP TO CROATIA! The food (OMG, the food!), the quirky people, the stone architecture, the salty Adriatic sea, the war-stricken remnants of old buildings, the National Parks and their cascading waterfalls, the Westcoast-like trees along the shoreline, the melodic and unique Sea Organ, the horrible wine that they were very proud of (we tried REALLY hard to enjoy it…but I’m a BC wine-o! My taste buds have high expectations!)…I loved the whole experience, and would go back in a heartbeat.

    -VEGAS VIRGINS NO MORE! We toured the strip and iconic hotels, saw Sir Elton John in concert, rented a car and hiked around the beautiful red sandstone formations in the scorching desert heat, saw the Hoover Dam, and enjoyed one night of gambling and all-you-can drink… We could have spent another week there, easily. Definitely going back someday!

    -The White Cliffs of Dover, and the hilariously windy hike to the historic lighthouse for tea. As a geologist, seeing the iconic chalk cliffs from all my university textbooks was very exciting for me (but apparently not for many locals. Everyone asked us “why are you going to Dover…??”). I even used a piece of natural chalk to write my name in a concrete retaining wall….No big deal! (*happy dance*) If you ever visit Dover, make sure to check out their Bingo Hall. Seriously. 

    -Winning a photoshoot package from Red Plains Photography in Spirit Island, Jasper. Shane and I rented canoes, played with the loons, camped overnight in the wind and snow, and got rescued by the Park Warden on our paddle back home. What a weekend! The weather was crap, but we made two new friendships from it (and got some incredible photographs!)

    -Our annual summer road trip to BC’s coast. Always beautiful!

    -Summer road trip in the opposite direction: Lake Wascasieu, SK! The water was warm, the weather was great, and Shane’s little nieces and nephew were playful and hilarious. Shane’s family rented a pontoon boat and putted around the lake, andwe  saw two baby bears effortlessly scoot up a tree when we startled them on a hiking trail (we got the hell away from them - FAST! Gosh, they were cute…).

    3) My bestie flew out to Calgary to visit! We Stampeded, hiked around Canmore, rode horses in Banff, floated down the Elbow River, got sick and had several movie nights together...It was perfect. I wish we could do that more often.

    4) Weddings! Congratulations to our dear friends the McClary’s and Hoehn’s! One wedding was so wild, Shane strained his neck from his epic dance moves. The other one was so romantic that we got…

    5) PREGNANT!!! Surprised?! So were we! I’m due in April and the little Monkey has been surprisingly easy on my body (so far). No morning sickness, no mood swings…I’m still me, just a little rounder and slow-moving! Shane and I are looking forward to becoming parents. It’s going to be a game-changer (in a good way, I hope).

    6) I survived the first round of layoffs at my company, and it was one of the most stressful experiences I’ve had to go through. I was scared to tell anyone I was pregnant, because I didn’t know if it would protect me or make me a target behind closed doors…the day the “men in black” made their rounds through the hallways I was shaking, I cried tears of joy when I found out I was spared, and I mourned the loss of my colleagues. It has been an incredibly rough year for Albertans. I really hope the new year will bring about some stability and that the job market will diversify. I really hope I can survive a second wave of layoffs if the price of oil does not improve… (want to buy a painting?? Ha!)

    7) Art Shows and Sales! Despite the downturn in the economy, 2015 was a record-breaking year for my painting sales. I sold seven paintings, finished two commission jobs, participated in two FosterMAK shows and had my first RAW Artist Calgary showcase. My painting ‘Bolo Tie’ even made an appearance on Global News! My charitable donations from my art sales totaled $450 (matched by my company for a total of $900! I’m amazed!). I chose to support iHuman Youth Society and Oxfam Canada’s Syrian Refugee Fund, along with donating a painting for a silent auction benefitting the Alberta Children's Hospital. Thank you, collectors, for being catalysts for positive change and for supporting a local artist! Click here to see a summary of the paintings sold in 2015.   

    8) ENGAGED! Squeeeeeeee!!! The rock (a cognac sapphire!) came after the baby news, which is fine...Shane and I have never been very orthodox! First comes love, then comes…a condo, two cats, a house, a baby, and THEN marriage! That’s how the song goes, right? Don’t expect a wedding announcement any time soon…planning for this baby has us occupied! Staring at this beautiful ring is going to help me get through labour contractions by releasing oxytocin into my bloodstream, so really, the ring is for the baby. Science rules!  

    WISHING YOU ALL AN INCREDIBLE 2016! Thank you for your ongoing support of my artistic endeavors over the past year, and for all the love pouring in about the baby and engagement. I am truly blessed and am looking forward to the adventures waiting to unfold in the new year! 

    With love, 

    Taylor

  • Archived paintings of 2015

    A photo collection of commission works and paintings sold in 2015 (my record year to date!) 

    "New Beginnings" - a quadriptych commission job for my friend's baby nursery, inspired by a funky mosaic Teddy Bear. 

    “Easy Come, Easy Go” – a diptych commission for my coworker. I bought some pink Fluevog heels with this sale! Treat yo’ self!

    "Copper Porphyry" - my first sale with FosterMAK :) 

    "Hold me Under" - a painting for Dr. Kent, who is working diligently to find a cure for Alzheimers <3 

    "Mini Meltz Massacre" - A fun painting for my coworker's little girl (she's such a character!)

    "Into the Mystic" - delivered on our annual summer roadtrip through BC. I really loved how this painting evolved, and I was a little sad to see it go...it looks lovely in its new home!  

    "Globetrotter" - a birthday present for my dear friend down in Colorado! Also my first abstract painting. Extra special! 

    "Peony Gardens" - hanging in a beautiful woman's beautiful apartment in West Vancouver. This painting + her couch pillows = a match made in heaven! 

    "Vertigo" - a silent auction piece benefitting the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, sold to the highest bidder at the October FosterMAK show & sale

  • $500 donation to iHuman Youth Society!

    BOOM!

    $250 charitable donation (25% of my 2015 art sales to date) plus a corporate match from Cenovus Energy Inc = $500 towards a worthy cause! I am thirlled to say 2015 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for charitable donations. 

    iHuman Youth Society gives troubled youth in Edmonton an opportunity to break the vicious cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction and create positive change through the healing powers of art! Perhaps you’re interested in supporting them, too? Check out them out: http://ihumanyouthsociety.org/

  • Prices Are About to Increase (and I’m not talking about oil…)

    Prices Are About to Increase (and I’m not talking about oil…)

    Hello friends,

    I wanted to take this opportunity to warn you: my art prices are going to increase as of September 1st. I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m trying to give myself a raise! Let me explain:

    2015 has been an incredible year for my art career so far. So much has happened since January:

    - I renewed my art partnership with Rewind Clothing and switched up the store display (visit my two Alberta-inspired landscapes, Alpine Meadow and Alberta Beauty!)

    - I joined FosterMAK’s online gallery and participated in their June art show. Because of Stacey’s hard work promoting the artists and organizing shows, she earns a commission on all her sales.   

    - I ordered new business cards to include my NEW social media accounts (follow me!)

    - I registered with Square Reader to now accept credit card payments

    - I became a RAW artist and participated in their GLIMPSE showcase in July, which included a live painting event AND a TV segment with Global News Calgary featuring one of my paintings!

    - I donated $250 to iHuman Youth Society last week, thanks to my fabulous collectors! Thanksgiving is usually when I submit my donations, but since my 2015 sales have been so hot I figured I should donate some of my contributions early. 25% of all my art sales go to charity, and iHuman is one of my favourite places to give.

    Because of all these factors, my ‘artist value number’ is going to justifiably increase from a 7 to a 9 starting September 1st. (What is an artist value number, you ask? To paraphrase DaSilva’s blog: It’s a combination of things, mostly related to the level of experience, exposure, gallery representation, etc.)

    Example: to calculate my painting’s worth, I add the gallery canvas dimensions together (24” + 24” = 48) and multiply it by my Artist Value Number (9). 48 x 9 = $432. Ta-da! Pricing is one area where I lack creativity!

    So, if you are interested in purchasing an original painting, you may want to consider doing it sooner than later…

    Contact me for a viewing!

    Thank you for your support and understanding. 

  • Taylor-Made

    Taylor-Made

    This is my bedroom. One of the great joys of creating your own artwork can be rotating paintings from room to room, constantly changing the look of things! This painting is from 2014's collection, Hold Me Under, and it just so happens to match our current bedspread perfectly. 

    Did you know, you could have an original, custom painting like this for your very own home? 

    Here's how it works:

    1. Contact me at: taylor.olson86@gmail.com to book an appointment

    2. We review the space together, talking about lighting, favourite colours, textures, and artistic preferences. I will suggest a canvas size to work with and will shop for all the necessary materials. Once I am prepared to start working, I will forward you the receipt for reimbursement (consider it a deposit against your final product!)

    3. When it is 99% complete, we will review the painting together. Once it has been approved, I will apply all the finishing touches: varnish, hanging wire, signature. 

    4. The finished painting will be delivered to your home and we all live happily ever after!  

    The best part about commission work is: It costs the same! I will not charge anything extra above and beyond my current price matrix (Yes, I have a formula). You can have something special, custom-made, and unique to fit your space without breaking the bank. And, of course, 25% of your purchase will be donated to charity! 

    "I think the collectors have made an enormous contribution, not only to the market but to painters themselves... These people that buy, that set standards, make everyone else itch to emulate." - Philip Johnson, American architect and founder the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

  • Painting donation for #RTCC

    SkyFall Remix was donated to Amber's silent auction fundraiser to raise $ for her Ride to Conquer Cancer (remember Amber, the one battling ovarian cancer? Not only did she overcome it and survive chemotherapy, she is continuing to spread awareness about cancer prevention and research by keeping a blog and riding a goddam bicycle for two days through the ROCKY MOUNTAINS! The RTCC would kill me, and I don't have any known health issues to use for an excuse. This woman is so inspirational!!).

    The last time she saw the painting in between bartending shifts it was up to $150...I am so pleased it could make a difference! I may not be able to rock the RTCC, but I can support the cause in my own creative way :) 

  • Brave the Shave: Lisa’s Breast Cancer fundraiser

    My cousin, Lisa, is my hero. She proficiently manages one of the busiest liquor stores in Alberta, drives from Sundance to Cochrane to work her lady-balls off, often works overtime and is frequently short-handed. She is a married mother to an incredible little boy, taking a hands-on parenting approach. No TV, no sugary snacks, no daycare or nanny.  He is only three years old but is already able to read words from his storybooks, speak eloquently, and can complete jigsaw puzzles in record timing ---THREE years old! (I worry he’ll be “too” smart by the time school kicks in…he is obviously a product of very dedicated parenting!)

    In her spare time (she will laugh at this: “Spare time?! What’s that?”), Lisa donates all of her freedom to her friends, family, and fundraising. This woman is a machine! Her team has won awards for being the top fundraisers in their nation-wide company for several charitable foundations (e.g. Easter Seals, Prostate Cancer Canada, etc.). The recent beneficiary of her efforts has been the Breast Cancer Foundation—a disease that has struck close to home for our immediate family.

    Our Grandma and my Aunt (Lisa’s Mom) had both battled breast cancer and won. Four years ago, we had zero family history of the disease. Today, we’re labelled “at risk”, and may likely have to battle the same demons ourselves someday. This fundraiser could help buffer that blow down the road…and even lead to a cure.

    Lisa’s (short-handed) store was given a seemingly unrealistic fundraising target of $7500, a FAR larger number than any other branch despite having a smaller customer reach. She was supposed to raise this money within five weeks. At first, it seemed Lisa was being punished for something…but I’m certain it was only top management’s “raising the bar” and knowing that if anyone was capable of raising a mountain of cash it would be Lisa! So instead of banging her head against the wall, she went straight to work: using her creativity to make and sell wine jackets at the store, collecting raffle and silent auction items (I donated this painting towards the cause), bake sales, 50/50 tickets, and booking a venue for the dramatic grand finale: Shaving off her full head of beautiful red hair!!! (Some little girl is going to feel very special when she gets that wig.)

    In total, Lisa and her team raised $9600 at the head shaving event alone. Together with customer donations, wine jacket sales, and other raffles at the store, they raised an incredible$16,662 for the Breast Cancer Foundation (and donated a whole lotta hair!!!). She took that original goal of $7500, set it on fire, stomped on the ashes and roared on top of its grave! She will not accept defeat, and always pushes herself to be better and to be the best. She is fearless, determined, and incredibly brave. I’m so proud of her. My cousin, my friend… MY HERO, Lisa! 

    (Special thanks to @ShaneBerezowski for the photos)

  • 2012 Charitable Donation :)

    2012 Charitable Donation :)

    Dear Supporters, 

    I am fortunate to work for an amazing company that matches donations to registered Canadian charities. Every October, they put forward a "Thanks and Giving" campaign to encourage employees to donate to a charity of their choice...my 2012 painting sales were donated to a non-profit organization in Edmonton (iHuman) that helps troubled youth avoid a lifestyle of self-destruction by harnessing the power of the arts (artists supporting artists!).

    As much as I adore this organization's vision, the flooding in Alberta was devastating for so many people and I would like to put my 2013 profits towards a charity that will support recovery efforts for those in need. Please contact me if you have any recommendations for which charities to support this year! (Remember: it must be a registered Canadian charity to be eligible for company matches!)

    Thank you for making a difference in so many ways. 

    Taylor

  • Amber’s Walk of Hope

    "Ovarian cancer is the most serious of all gynecological cancers. Over 2600 Canadian women are diagnosed every year; and every year 1750 women succumb to this disease…There is no screening test to detect it. But when found early  – and treated – ovarian cancer survival rate is 90%.” – Ovarian Cancer Canada

    A friend and coworker of mine was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. This news took my breath away…Amber is young, healthy, and trying to start a family. It’s just not fair. Cancer is greedy, indiscriminate, and changes lives too often and too quickly.  

    I was pleased to donate one of my paintings (My Little Pony) toward a silent auction fundraiser organized by Amber’s awesome younger sister, Kristy. She totaled an incredible $2800 in only two hours! That money will support ovarian cancer research, which will hopefully lead to the development of an early detection test and eventual CURE.

    On sunny September 8th, Amber wore a blue shirt on the Walk of Hope to show that she is a fighter-- a survivor! Two rounds of chemotherapy are over, with four more treatments to go. We walked for her recovery. We walked for the thousands of other women in Canada that will be diagnosed this year alone. We walked for the hope of a future cure, and to the death of ovarian (and all) cancer.  

    Way to go, ladies! I was honored to be able to contribute to the cause and walk beside you.