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  • 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  

  • Art at the Market! Symons Valley Ranch Art Show

    Art at the Market! Symons Valley Ranch Art Show

    FosterMAK is proud to be a sponsor and a participant of the first Art At The Market Show at Symons Valley Ranch! This is a free event and will take place April 23 and 24. Showcasing up to 30 different local artists with live art, appies and wine for purchase and a silent auction benefiting the Alberta Children’s Hospital. April 23 from 10am to 5pm and April 24 from 10am to 3pm.

    Find more details about this free event here!

  • Elevation Gallery - One White Wall Exhibit w/ the FosterMAK artists!

    Two weeks after we welcomed our adorable daughter into the world, we took our family on a mini-roadtrip out to Canmore to see FosterMAK's Ascension project at Elevation Gallery. Although you can clearly see the bags under my eyes and coffee in hand, it was a treat to get out of the house and enjoy the One White Wall Exhibit. The fresh mountain air and warm sunshine felt divine, too!

    I feel honoured to be part of this project -- it is my first art gallery representation! All of the FosterMAK‬ ‪‎artists created such beautiful and different pieces for this project. Stacey's SOLD painting is next to mine (Grassi Gold), and it's a beauty! Someone is a very lucky buyer. 

    Congratulations to all the artists on a job well done. 

  • 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

  • FosterMAK's Holiday Discount for first time buyers!

    Stacey Walyuchow, curator and owner of FosterMAK's online gallery, is offering a special holiday discount for first time buyers. I am pleased to participate in this limited-time offer (view my artwork here)! Read Stacey's memo for more information:

    They say it's the most wonderful time of the year...Well it certainly can be for the lucky recipient of original art this holiday season!

    FosterMAK.com has hundreds of pieces of original art in a variety of mediums, to suit a variety of budgets. Please take some time look at some gorgeous art and photography all produced by local Calgary artists and photographers.

    Purchasing art and starting your own collection can be easy, accessible and incredibly enjoyable this holiday season! For the month of December, FosterMAK is pleased to offer 15% off your first purchase of original art through the online gallery AND free shipping within Calgary! Payment plans are an option, too.

    This is not a sale and won't happen often as I am not a huge believer in discounting original art. This is an opportunity to start your collection of original art by local artists. This is my gift to you in hopes of making original art in your life a reality!

    As always, I encourage you to shop local and enjoy local art in your home and office. If you have any questions about starting your collection or what will 'go' with your home (I have a whole lot to say about that), then please send me a note and let's set up a time to chat! Is there a piece you would love to see in person? I will arrange that no problem and we will be implementing a return policy that gives you your money back less shipping, within 5 days of delivery.  I want you to be happy and properly in love with your new original!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

    Stacey

    xo

  • Got Wood?...Experimenting with Birch Panels!

    I was eager to get started on my FosterMAK painting for Elevation Gallery’s One White Wall Project and needed to find a 12”x 12” gallery canvas to get started. Inglewood Art Supplies was sold out of their stretched canvasses in that particular size, so I picked out a different style of support: Birch Panels!

    Panels are new to me. Unlike stretched canvas, they have a rigid, unforgiving surface. If I was working with inks or transparent mediums, I would be able to see the grain of the wood beneath my painting (very cool). Given that I use a decent amount of water in my normal painting process, I was concerned about the wood warping…

    The solution: a few coats of Gesso primer (I only have white gesso, but it is also commonly available in clear or black)! The primer would eliminate the wood grain from showing through, but it would seal the panel from any moisture-related issues. The edges were not sanded down well, so eliminating the splintery bits was an additional step. Once I did that, it was “smooth sailing” ;)

    Surprisingly, panels are more affordable than I imagined they would be: $11.26 each, versus $11.76 for a canvas of the same size. Inglewood art supplies is a great place to shop because they give 20% discounts with every bundle you purchase (3 or 6 per bundle, depending on the size of your support)…taking advantage of this everyday discount is a dangerous game to play if your studio has limited space!  (*ahem*)  

    Time to add some texture to these flat surfaces and infuse it with some COLOUR!

    I’m curious to see how this project goes, and if wood panels will become part of my regular inventory. Panels may be preferable to large stretched canvasses (by large I mean >3ftx3ft), because their rigidity won’t lead to sagging. When working on canvas, I have to be careful that I don’t inundate the painting with too much water or fluid acrylics…the heavy load causes stretching, and the fluids can pool in the middle and create unwanted visual effects.

    Cheers to trying something new!   

  • Do it for the wine!

    Dear Diary…

    I mean, Dear Blog Readers…

    Thank you for your patience with me. I realize it has been a long time since posting ANYTHING to my website, but I haven’t forgotten about you! (Although to be perfectly honest, if it weren’t for my monthly website fee, I just might have…the Canadian exchange rate is KILLING me right now!!!)

    Although things have been quiet on the frontlines, there is a lot of activity brewing behind the scenes.

    FosterMAK’s Fall/Winter Art Show, happening on Oct 23rd and 24th is next week already! There will be some fabulous art displayed in a great new venue, with many of the talented FosterMAK artists participating. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the new artists and schmoozing. I have been told that wine may be served…if the original artwork isn’t a good enough reason to get your butt out the door, do it for the wine! THE WINE, PEOPLE!

    I will be present on both Friday and Saturday, so please drop by when it’s most convenient and say hello. I would love to see you there! 

    Another VERY exciting project coming up next Spring is the chance to show one of my paintings in Elevation Gallery’s  ‘One White Wall Exhibit’ in Canmore! I am reserving my creative juices to paint something super, and nothing motivates me quite like a hard deadline. I am eagerly awaiting further instructions on the final canvas size and colour palette to work with. I can’t wait to get started!

    As always, thank you for the continued support and for cheering me on!

    See you next weekend!

  • June FosterMAK Art Show - A success!

    June FosterMAK Art Show - A success!

    This past weekend's FosterMAK Art Show was a success! It was amazing to see the creative swell of artistic works throughout the GIANT space we filled...I am honoured to be considered good enough to swim in that talent pool! Here are a few shots from this weekend: 

    Moi, day two. 

    "Apprehension" by James Lisweed (one of my faves on the FosterMAK website)

    Cool B&W's by the strong and smiley type, Edie Vlooswyk

    Our violinist, rocking some sweet loafers! 

    Pretty and colourful abstracts by Kyla Alty

    That SNOWY OWL print! Just gorgeous! Photography by Anat Gat (who wins the gold star for sales tactics this weekend. She's a pusher! Haha) 

    My event photographers :) 

    Next show: GLIMPSE by RAW Artists Calgary on Friday, July 10th @ Standard Nightclub, 11AM-11PM. For more details and to purchase discounted $15 tickets through my profile, please click here

  • Seeing is Believing

    Seeing is Believing

    Sometimes it's difficult to see a photo of a painting online and envision it in your space. Thankfully, FosterMAK is here to help! Here are some examples from my artist portfolio page to compare sizes and styles in different settings. 

    ...You are welcome.

     

    Check out all the other talented Calgary artists and become a collector today!

  • Momentous Occasion!

    Back in February, I ambiguously posted on my Create Fate Facebook page: “Big things are happening”. Something awesome was in the works, but I was afraid to reveal too much in case plans went South (as plans often do). Well, I am happy to say that the stars have aligned and the fates are with me: BIG THINGS ARE OFFICIALLY HAPPENING!  

    My friends, allow me to introduce you to FosterMAK, a local online gallery supporting Calgary artists (surprisingly, the first of its kind!). When I heard about this concept, I immediately jumped onto the waitlist, hoping my portfolio would be worthy of being showcased alongside 30 other YYC artists. To my surprise and delight, my work was accepted, and I have been adopted into the FosterMAK family!

    Stacey Walyuchow is the brains (and beauty) behind the operation. She has a passion for the arts and has always wanted to run her own gallery, with a twist. Her dreams turned into reality in late 2014, when she took the plunge and began enlisting talent for her website, which currently hosts 39 diverse local artists. She truly wants to inspire the next generation of collectors, and encourages people to “buy local” and foster the rewarding experience of owning original artwork. In addition to managing and promoting her website, Stacey also organizes regular art shows and is building contracts with various establishments around Calgary to showcase FosterMAK artwork on a rotating basis (she is a busy bee! Check out her "About" writeup below.)

    Stacey and I clicked instantly, and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of the FosterMAK community. 

    Let the good times roll!

    -Taylor