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  • How Taylor Got Her Groove Back

    After quite a severe mental roadblock (see previous blog post) I can happily say I am back in the saddle. I am not riding a horse though, more like a tapir, or some other bizarre wild animal…but that’s a whole different metaphor for a whole different blog. 

    As most things are rarely straightforward in life, it probably comes as no surprise that the creative nudge I needed came from a random, unrelated source:

    My friend is launching a new business, so I casually checked out her website. While the structure, flow and branding on the site was impressive, I caught a few easy spelling and grammatical errors while I was browsing through the content. Anyone who knows me is aware of my attitude towards this: I am a stickler for proof-reading, particularly when it comes to business. Perhaps a little OCD…but certainly “Grammar Police” worthy. Summer students and job seekers take note - do not ever submit a cover letter or resume littered with spelling mistakes or else it’s getting tossed in the “filing cabinet”  *cough* – GARBAGE! - *cough*, and I am ruthless.

    The written word is often your first line of defense, meant to showcase your talents to the world and leave a lasting impression…Words are powerful. Donald Trump tweets notwithstanding, words can make or break you. In most situations, if you can’t take the time to proof read, you’re shooting yourself in the foot before the race even starts. (#covfefe)

    Now… I felt ashamed doling out unsolicited advice like this (because I hate people who do that!), but I compulsively went ahead and edited her web content and emailed her the revisions for approval. After all, she is my friend, and I care about her success! Thankfully, she recognized it as an act of love and wasn’t offended by my brazen copywriting. She even invited me to review several other advertisements and script animations they used to promote the new business, a task which I found quite fun. This got my creative juices flowing and…I’M PAINTING AGAIN!

    BOOM!

    Perfect timing, too. There’s a FosterMAK show coming up at the end of the month and I wanted to showcase some fresh new art. Stay tuned for more details…

     

  • "Subliminal Message" Indeed...

    "Subliminal Message" Indeed...

    My new painting is titled "Subliminal Message" because of the text that is revealed through the transparent paint layers, NOT because the colour palette has secret mind-control powers when it comes to dressing my child. 

    I just wanted to make that clear...

    :) 

  • 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

  • Boxing Week Sale - 50% off ALL original artwork!

    Boxing Week Sale - 50% off ALL original artwork!

    Hi friends! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and are recuperating from all the festive celebrations (read: feasting). My winter jacket seemed to fit me fine before flying out to BC to visit my family...now it's a stretch to zip it up (no pun intended!).  

    I'm very excited to announce I'm having a BOXING WEEK SALE! 
    From Dec 26th to Jan 2nd inclusive, ALL of my original paintings are 50% off! 

    Please visit my artwork albums on this website (2015 & 2014) and contact me or Stacey Walyuchow with FosterMAK to arrange a viewing. *Double-click the thumbnails of each painting to view the dimensions and pricing details!*

    There are some wonderful original paintings waiting to beautify your home. And, as always, 25% of the proceeds are donated to local charities. Ethical shopping at its finest! 

    Please feel free to share this post to all art lovers and bargain hunters alike! I appreciate the exposure, and there is nothing more powerful than word of mouth. 

    Thank you all and enjoy the rest of this beautiful holiday season! 

    Taylor 

  • Oops! I did it again...

    I had just put the finishing touches on "The Sum is > The Parts", and thought it might look nice hanging up in our bedroom before finding its Forever Home. Little did I know how PERFECTLY it would match our winter bedspread...

    I swear, this matching colour scheme was completely unintentional! As I hung it, my jaw dropped.

    It's fascinating how the colours of everyday life will sink into your subconscious and affect artistic decisions. Had my bedspread been neon green and hot pink, would that influence the colour palette I chose to work with? I imagine it would!  

    Want to see another freaky example? Check out the photo in my blog Taylor-Made. This painting "Hold me Under" was obviously inspired by our summer bedspread...again, totally unintentional. Clearly I have a knack for interior design (so long as I'm not trying!)

    My kitty Katana looks fabulous all year round :)

    Want something to match your bedroom? Send me an email! I do commissions.  

  • Dollars and Sense – Part Two

    A common question that many artists struggle with: How much should I charge for my work?

    Art supplies are expensive (as I tried to illustrate in Part One of this series), but artists also have to consider the price of further education courses, transportation costs and participation fees for art shows throughout the year, studio space rental fees, and your most precious resource: your time! If you are a full-time artist, you have to factor in the cost of benefits, health care coverage, and vacation pay, too. Few people that enter the fine arts field are able to survive (let alone thrive) as full time artists. Like me, many artists work at a completely separate job and have a very different identity to make ends meet. Geologist by day, painter (and crazy cat lady) by night!

    Again: how much should you charge for your work?

    Obviously, artists want to make sales (so they can create more art!) and they don’t want to discourage people with ‘hefty’ price tags…it’s a delicate balance to strike. Many artists haven’t done a particularly good job at justifying their price tags, and I think many consumers are unaware that the manufacturing costs for original artwork can be so extreme. 

    If you are in love with a piece of art but can’t afford it, I highly encourage you to talk to the artist about it! They will be flattered by your compliments and who knows…perhaps you two could work out a deal! Belinda Fireman offers art rentals for her paintings (a great concept which I might adopt in the future! Check it out: belindafireman.wordpress.com). Many artists can afford to be flexible with their payments and/or prices (so long as you’re not a dick about it)

    Chances are, many artists feel a tinge of guilt requesting the prices they do---BUT THEY SHOULDN’T! A lot of time, effort, and love went into creating that piece of art. Don’t make them feel crappy about earning a living wage.

    If you are an artist struggling with charging an appropriate value for your work, just remember these two weird facts to avoid any guilty feelings:

    This tiger shark (preserved in formaldehyde and displayed in a tank, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living) was purchased by Steven Cohen, an American hedge fund manager and 106th richest person in the world, for $12 million in 1991! Artist (pictured here): Damien Hirst. Damien was not a “starving artist” who rose to international stardom…he was sponsored and his famous piece was fully commissioned by Charles Saatchi, an art enthusiast and British businessman (also the owner of the world’s largest advertisement agency in the 1980’s. Current net worth: $100 million).

    Do you have any millionaire/billionaire sugar-daddies to help your artwork make international headlines? Neither do I!   

    This large, colourful abstract painting by famous German artist Gerard Richter, titled Abstract Bild, sold to an anonymous bidder for £30.4 million in 1986 (equivalent to ~$46 million US today). “The records keep being broken and every time my initial reaction is one of horror even if it’s actually welcome news. But there is something really shocking about the amount,” Richter said. (No kidding! At least he has remained humble about his fame and fortune.)

    Perhaps you found this blog depressing, but that was not my intention! I was merely showing that people are willing to pay for the artwork they enjoy, even if the art seems absurd to some, even if the price is absurd to some. Keep believing in yourself and don’t get discouraged!  

    Related blog entries:

    Prices are about to increase (and I'm not talking about oil)

    Taylor-made Commissions

  • Dollars and Sense – Part One

    Rational Taylor says: “I should use all the art supplies I have in my existing inventory before I convert my painting studio into a baby nursery”

    Pregnant-brain Taylor says: “I have a few months left before the baby arrives, I might as well go shopping and stock up while I still can!”

    It has been an expensive morning. After meeting my friend Eva for brunch, I swung by Inglewood Art Supplies to pick up a couple essential items on my shopping list…

    Well, some things were on sale, so my preggo-brain decided I should buy them. "Screw the nursery," I told myslef, "I’m going to paint-it-up while I still have the space!"

    This is what $127.41 worth of art supplies looks like.

     

    …it’s not a lot of stuff, right? Are you surprised? Considering three of the items were on a really good sale, $127 is for these materials is considered a bargain. This is the typical $ amount I spend every time I visit an art store. A canvas and a few paint tubes add up really quickly, especially if they are of professional artist quality (vs. student quality). For example, the little bottle of Golden fluid body iridescent gold paint pictured above was $38.00 (thankfully 50% off, which was why I could justify its purchase. It’s really pretty…)

    In my studio, I have one small storage unit with three shelves, loosely dedicated to three stages of my paintings: Starting materials, middle, and Finishing products. I would like to introduce you to my “Gold Mine”:

    1) The Starting Drawer (the bottom): Includes various tubs of acrylic gels and modeling pastes, salt and other texturizers. (Not pictured: gallery wrapped canvasses x 6, tissue paper, giant tub of wall spackle, drop sheets, rubber gloves, knee pads, CD player, painting aprons and studio clothes)

    2) The Middle Drawer: Includes tempera paint powders in 4 colours, metallic paints, foils, and powders (along with face masks), green painters tape. (Not pictured: 99% rubbing alcohol, atomizer, water bottle, about three dozen acrylic paints in all the colours of the rainbow, 4 cans of acrylic spray paint, brushes, rollers, saran wrap, paper towel, brush cleaners x3, acrylic glaze x2, paint retarder)

    3) The Top Drawer: Includes D-hooks, hanging wire of various strength, Thank you cards, business cards, sharpies and acrylic paint pens, needle nose pliers, gloss varnish, varnish brushes, show tags and fancy string (Not pictured: spray varnish, measuring tape)  

    You may only see a colourul canvas and wire...but there are a LOT of materials that go into each finished painting! 

    Read on: "Dollars and Sense - Part Two"

  • 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. 

  • How many knives does one person REALLY need in the wilderness?

    MEC is the worst place in the world for an indecisive shopper like me to be.

    Yesterday, I went for a “quick” shopping trip to pick up a few backpacking supplies and ended up spending 20 minutes looking at sporks. In fact, there’s an entire spork section! Do I want a titanium spork? No, because $21 is too much and I don’t plan to use it to break out of prison someday. Do I want a thin, light, plastic spork? Depending on the length of the fork-teeth, I would worry about it breaking in my bag. Too long and they becomes delicate, too short and I might as well opt for a spoon. What about a full cutlery set? Is that more appropriate? Will that weigh too much? What’s my name again? AAAAAAAHHHH!

    My main question during this shopping adventure was: Why the hell is this Bear Grylls guy promoting so many murderous-looking hunting knives? They all look the same to me, yet each package has a different creepy image of his mud-slicked face and crazy eyes in the forest. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Apocalypse now!

    (RAW update: I’ve reach 50% of my goal for GLIMPSE ticket sales! I have 8 days left to sell the remaining 10 tickets…want to help me meet my target? Click here! :) THIS shopping decision should be an easy one…! Need more convincing? Check out this article published earlier this year by Metronews!)

  • 24 Hours

    I'm in a GREAT mood!

    In the past 24 hours: 

    -Shane (my talented photographer boyfriend), Isolde (my award-winning hair and makeup artist) and four inspiring Backcountry Beauties completed a creative photoshoot for a charity initiative last night (more about this in the coming months!). 

    -I completed a bunch of chores today and picked up the materials for a new commission order 

    -I bought a Square Reader, so I can now accept credit card payments from my cellphone (this will help immensely for July's GLIMPSE showcase on July 10th!)

    -I SOLD TWO PAINTINGS! Peony Gardens and Copper Porphyry are going to their new forever homes.

    This weekend is shaping up to be amazing. I hope yours are all starting on a good note, too :)

    Much love,

    Taylor

  • May Mayhem

    The month of May was pure madness for me, hence the dry spell in blog posts. Here are a few reasons why I have been avoiding computer screens:

    - I turned 29 years old (or, as some jerks pointed out, “I am entering my 30th year”…phooey!). Naturally, a large party to distract me from my mortality needed to be thrown. Margaritas for everyone!

                                           

    - I coordinated a chase vehicle and accommodations for 42 geologists for CSPG’s annual ‘SIFT’ 4-day field trip through the Rocky Mountains, which was fabulous, but not without its problems. Beautiful weather this year, and the students were all go-getters!

    - I travelled to Europe for a two-week Girl’s Vacation for some much needed R&R. It was amazing! Perhaps I will write more about England & Croatia if I can find time.

    I was looking forward to relaxing in June, but it doesn’t look like I will get to slow down anytime soon!

     My focus is now:

    1)      Preparing five paintings for FosterMAK’s weekend art show at Eau Claire Market June 12th-14th (please visit the website for more details! I’m so excited/nervous!),

    2)      Ordering more business cards,

    3)      PAINT! PAINT! PAINT! (gardening while it dries)

    4)      Advertising for Calgary’s RAW Artists show ‘Glimpse’ on July 10th at Standard Nightclub, which I will be participating in! Tickets will be available in limited quantities at the door for $20, BUT you are in luck! You can get advanced tickets for only $15 if you purchase them through my RAW artist profile: click here!

    5)      Physically preparing for a two-nighter backpacking trip through Skoki Loop in Lake Louise, with two other crazy-awesome girlfriends (Am I blessed with friendship, or what!?!!). I will try to not get eaten by bears. Yay!

    Here are a few photos from the past month for your enjoyment :-) 

  • Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

    Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

    I find the world inspiring. I have come across crumpled food wrappers, rusted metal pipes, and horribly gloomy skies and thought "Man, life is beautiful". And it is, so long as you are looking for the beauty in the ordinary. 

  • Landscape Experiment

    Why bother being an artist if you can't experiment? 

    I was a little nervous attempting to create a landscape piece without losing a part of my identity. All of my paintings these past couple years have been VERY abstract, very open to interpretation. I wasn't sure if I was ready to try something different, because I do feel fondly about the abstract art genre. However, this was an opportunity to shake things up a little, while still maintaining an air of abstraction (MOUNTAIN AIR, that is! Hardy har har) 

    These two paintings took a long time to finally figure out a workflow. They had very humble beginnings in my garage last summer (throw back photo below. Fun fact: one landscape didn't survive and ended up becoming Mini Meltz Massacre!), and I was thankful for the space to paint three large canvasses at once. It was also the first time I experiemented with spray paint, and loved it! That's part of the reason why the skyline looks so purdy.

    After several months of work, I'm happy to announce that Alberta Beauty and Alpine Meadow are finished and ready for a new home. It has been fun, but I'm eager to get back to my roots :)  

    Enjoy! 

  • The Power of Social Media

    Create Fate's Facebook Page currently stands at 132 "likes". I'm not a master of social media by any stretch of the imagination, but I am starting to fully realize its power. 

    132 doesn't sound like a lot, but it is.  

    It consists of three Americans, two from California and one from Tennessee! 

    It consists of two Europeans: one from France, one from the UK

    It contains one South American (Argentina)

    It contains one person from Iraq, Egypt, Bangladesh, and one mystery person from a seemingly beautiful, jungle-filled country.

    Lastly, it consists of 122 amazing Canadians, many of whom I am lucky to call close friends. These friends stretch from my West Coast hometown of White Rock, through the beautiful prairies (my new hometown), all the way to theEastern Provinces. My friends, who have taken precious time out of their busy schedules to share my page with their friends who shared it with their friends and opened my artwork up to the world...  

    132 doesn't sound like a lot of "Likes", but it has brought the world to my fingertips. I am grateful. I am awestruck. I am excited to see where this will take me next...

    THANK YOU! 

    This gives me the courage to branch out. My original love affair with Facebook will still burn wild and free, but I am straying for stronger, more handsome social media platforms! To see some embarassingly simple posts, shameless hashtagging and new content: you can now follow me on Instagram and Twitter 

  • Magic Mist & Local Shout-out

    My spray bottle does seem to create magic when I paint. The water seems to melt into the acrylics and soften up the edges, making the paint flow freely and dance on the canvas. I use a lot of water most days...sometimes I want it to be special.

    If I want to transform my boring old tap water into Magic Princess Water, I add a secret ingredient (courtesy of Calgary's own Silk Road Spice Merchant): Rose Water! This stuff smells so heavenly I'm tempted to dab it all over like a perfume. It makes the painting process even more enjoyable.

    *Spritz, sniff! Spritz, sniff!*

    If you've never been to The Silk Road in Inglewood before, I highly recommend a visit. Just go in there and sniff around. They carry five different types of cinnamon, from all over the world! That's just crazy! I challenge you to go inside the store and not buy a thing...pretty sure it's impossible.

  • Organized Chaos

    Organized Chaos

    Today was my semi-annual studio cleanup day. There comes a point when too much cat hair floats into the wet paint, when I struggle to find room to move around the canvasses, and when I continuously ask myself 'Where did I put that tube of paint...? Where did my coffee go? Is my cell phone in here?!?' 

    I am a little embarrassed to post these photos...I work in a pig sty. But hey, sometimes when you are being creative there is no time to put things in their rightful place. My studio is a direct reflection of my mind when I'm painting: organized chaos! 

  • Artistic Resolutions 2015

    First off, a recap and review of last year's resolutions:

    #1. Use my "freebie Fridays" twice per month to promote my artwork (blogging, posting photos, etc.)  I did NOT honour this one. My "freebie Fridays" usually consisted of housework and chores so Shane and I could relax and enjoy our weekends...Perhaps I should consider blogging as a chore and add it to my 'To Do List'? Ha.

    #2. Take at least two art workshops. I did this! I took Fearless Painting Level II with Samantha DaSilva, Acrylic Painting technical workshop with Shiela Kernan in Banff, and even did a private tutorial for art marketing. A+ for meeeeeeeee! 

    #3. Find a location to publicly display my paintings. I did this! Thanks to the fabulous owner of Rewind Consignment Clothing, five of my paintings are currently on display. This was likely my proudest moment of 2014!

    #4. Set up a mailing list for CreateFate.ca I think I did this? But I haven't tested it yet. C-!

    #5. Network, network, network I had lots of opportunities to foster new relationships, but I lacked the courage to follow through with any of them. I have the confidence to speak with friends about my artistic endeavors, but not with strangers. This will continue to be a priority for 2015... 

    Overall, I feel like 2014 was a fantastic year for learning and expanding my vision! I temporarily expanded my studio into the garage in the summer which allowed me to work on three HUGE canvasses at once, donated a painting to a Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraiser, tried out for Calgary Timeraiser, got five paintings displayed in a trendy downtown boutique, played with spray paint, and participated in my very first art show...and if it weren't for this blog, I would have forgotten about most of it! 

    2015 holds a lot of promise, and I have already been busy marketing my new work. I hope to spread good news about this soon. 

    My Artistic Resolutions for 2015 are:

    #1. Blog about SOMETHING once/month. Even if it's just a photograph or inspirational quote. At the year's end, I will be thankful that I kept track of my progress.

    #2. Display paintings in TWO new public spaces. Aim high!  

    #3. Showcase my paintings in some sort of show/market to practice speaking about my art to potential buyers (SCARY! I HAVE TO PRETEND LIKE I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!)

    #4. Experiment with new textural mediums, techniques, and styles. Don't be afraid to try something new.

    #5. Network, network, network...again...

    Wish me luck! All the best to you in the New Year :)

    Taylor   

  • Patience is a virtue...one that I do not possess!

    PACING  (a poem by anxious Taylor)

    Little painting, 

    Waiting...waiting...

    What will you become? 

    You are in the realm 

    of the unknown...

    When will you say you're 'done'? 

    These are some of my resuts from an afternoon of painting, wrapped in plastic. Who knows what it will look like when the sheet is peeled back...

    In my humble opinion, the most difficult part of being an artist is practicing the art of PATIENCE and knowing when to step away! 

  • Day of Mourning

    Day of Mourning

    This news hit me hard. I was really looking forward to showcasing my paintings at this event...but, like the email suggests, there is always next year. 

    I am grateful for:

    1) The courage to submit an application

    2) The newfound drive to seek more exposure

    3) The opportunity to try again in the future

    4) Wine :)

  • The Waiting Game

    It's March 9th. One day after the closing of the judging panel decision (or so I thought). I haven't heard back from TimeRaiser about whether my artwork has been accepted into this year's program or not. I'm pacing around the house, obsessively checking my email inbox, pulling out my hair with anxiety...and then I read this:

    "Thank you for submitting your application to the Calgary Timeraiser. Your work will be reviewed by our volunteer art jury. All applications will be notified in April."

    April! How the fuck did I mix up THAT with March 8th!?

    April is so far away...

    *cue Jeopardy music*

  • Pain and Suffrage

    Pain and Suffrage

    This is what happens when you wish for "more time".

    I've been so busy these days that sitting down and typing a blog entry feels like the LAST thing in the world I should be doing. There are always dishes to wash, meals to be made, documentaries to watch, cats to pet, toilets to clean...

    Perhaps Sunday was a lesson in disguise!

    I was over at my Aunt's place to watch the Oscars on Sunday night (noting that I needed hang that commissioned painting in her hallway...), and goofing around with my adorable 'nephew'. I was clad in my fur stole and all my Grandma's gifted jewellry (C'mon...do you think ALL the great fashion statements happen in Hollywood? PAH-LEEZ!), and I was acting as a "blast victim". Jevyn was jumping on cushions strewn about the floor, and when he jumped onto the big purple one in front of me I LURCHED back in my chair and pretended to be blown to smitherines. In hindsight it sounds rather gruesome, but Jevyn was giggling so hard I couldn't resist and played along! Well, after a few blasts, one would think I was auditioning for an Oscar myself...my fur stole was rocking, my hair was everywhere, my eyes were rolling around all disoriented each time Jevyn jumped on that purple cushion (laughing hysterically!)...it wasn't until Monday morning I started to question my antics. 

    My shoulders were on FIRE!!! 

    One chiropractic appointment, one RMT massage, several hot baths and muscle relaxants later...here I am: Blogging for my long lost website!

    Moral of the story: be careful what you wish for! 

    ANYWAYS, the real reason I'm writing is to make an announcement about an art submission I made to a progam called TimeRaiser. My dear friend, Megan, informed me of this great organization that buys local artwork for auction purposes. What is being auctioned, you ask? Your time. 

    How cool is that?! You get connected to a great cause, bid your "hours" on beautiful pieces of artwork, and once your volunteer obligations have been fulfuilled you get to take your new art home! The artwork is not donated, it is bought outright. AND, while the volunteer hours are being served, the artwork is displayed in the various corporate sponsor offices around the city! Talk about a double-whammy of awesome: money and exposure? SIGN.ME.UP! 

    I submitted five paintings which will be reviewed and voted on by a panel of judges. I will be informed by the end of the week if any (or all?!) have been selected. If my artwork IS selected, I will:

    a) Pop a bottle of bubbly and do my happy dance (if my spine allows me to do so)

    b) Donate 25% of my profits to my "charity pool"

    c) Tell EVERYONE to come out to this event and show their support for all the local artists and charities involved (May 8th...save the date!)

    STAY TUNED (and limber) MY FRIENDS! 

    For more information about TimeRaiser, please check out their Website

  • Artistic Resolutions 2014

    In many ways, last year was a write-off.

    2013 was a year filled with death, unemployment, stressssss, and disappointments...but between our struggles, there were a few positive standouts: Shane and I bought a beautiful house in a fantastic neighborhood, and I gained the working space to feverously pursue my painting hobby. Furthermore, I stuck with my goal to print business cards and set up a professional website to showcase my creations. Yay, me! 

    Goals are good things to have. They push us to be better and not take our precious time for granted. They create milestones to reflect upon and be proud of. They challenge us.

    For these reasons, I always welcome the birth of a New Year. I typically have a hefty list of resolutions to follow (with little success...!), and I thought it may be wise to separate out some artistic resolutions for this upcoming year...

    #1. Use my "freebie Fridays" twice per month to promote my artwork (blogging, posting photos, etc.)

    #2. Take at least two art workshops (Keep it FRESH, yo)

    #3. Find a location to publicly display my paintings (coffee shop? Retail store?...ART GALLERY!?!? Okay, let's not get too carried away...)   

    #4. Set up a mailing list for CreateFate.ca

    #5. Network, network, network

     

    HOLD ME TO THEM. Happy New Year, people! 

  • 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)

  • Create Fate Photoshoot: Behind the Scenes

    I dabble in the world of self-help literature, and many of these books have lectured on how to achieve success in business. Of all the little tips and tricks, one of the most important identities for the modern entrepreneur is your brand. How can I brand my artwork? What image do I want to convey to my consumers? 

    Well, because this is my first attempt at reaching out to the world and expressing myself artistically, I have a gut feeling that my paintings will evolve over time…perhaps they will become something completely different from today! Because of that, I wanted to keep my home page extremely minimalistic with a black and white photograph (You can’t mess with a classic!).    

    Second, although I would like my artwork to be taken seriously, I am typically a lighthearted person. I highly respect professionals who can maintain a sense of humor amid their brilliance. Creating art should be fun, free-flowing and natural, so I chose a photo to represent my natural, silly self.

    Another lesson from my readings: don’t be afraid to ASK FOR HELP when you need it! This photoshoot could not have happened without the expertise and dedication of my photographer boyfriend, Shane Berezowski. He listened to my ideas, was inspired by the Salvador Dali images I had selected for him to work with, and made the magic happen through various flashes and colour-balancing acts. I am over-the-moon pleased with the final product, and feel like it will represent my brand for years to come.