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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…

     

  • 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. 

  • 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!  

  • FosterMAK is partnering with Brookfield Residential!

    Exciting news! 

    FosterMAK has partnered with Brookfield Residential to bring some original local artwork to the walls of their latest display homes!

    I’m elated to announce that TWO of my abstract paintings have been chosen for their newest Riverstone Community spec home: Tiger Eye and The Sum is > The Parts

    These paintings will be on display in this brand new home from February 19th to June.

    The opening reception and art show will be held the weekend of March 4-6th. Come by on Friday evening (March 4th) to mingle, see some lovely Brookfield home designs and some fabulous local artwork from the FosterMAK artists. Stay tuned for more details!

    I have always had the opinion that art is at its finest when displayed inside a home, so I am honored to participate in this style of “gallery”!  

    Calgary, you are awesome.

  • 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.  

  • 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!   

  • 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"

  • 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!

  • Commission Complete!

    Commission Complete!

    The latest gigantic commission painting 'Easy Come, Easy Go' was hung up in its new space, and it looks GREAT! I'm so happy with how the orange and yellows coordinate with the Ottoman. I swear, this isn't an advertisement from an interior design magazine (although perhaps it should be?)

    Would you be interested in a custom-made painting to complement your home? If so, check out this blog post: Taylor-Made

  • $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. 

  • Globetrotter’s Farewell

    Globetrotter’s Farewell

    The backstory:

    It was my first Fearless Abstract Painting Course with Samantha DaSilva in May 2013, and I was a bundle of nerves. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, only that I craved new art skills and respected the body of work that my new instructor had created. I followed her shopping instructions (poorly) and ended up bringing several tubes of professional grade acrylic paint (expensive!), an ink roller (wrong!) and only one slim canvas (not gallery stretched) to my first class at Chinook Learning Center. As I rolled the blue paint over the canvas my plastic ink roller squeaked relentlessly, bumping over the wooden canvas frame and distracting the other students. Samantha instructed us to spray it with water to help the paint spread, and the new blob of white acrylic paint moved across the slick surface like a slug...not blending, not flowing--Not exactly what I had in mind! I was embarrassed, but determined to keep going.

    Fast forward a few weeks later and Globetrotter eventually emerged into something beautiful. Despite the surprises and frustrations, trials and errors, I saw it through and had a lot of fun! I sometimes struggle to make time for myself and do the things that I want to do. I’m always busy with volunteering or obligations of some sort, always planning and anticipating. It gets exhausting at times, but I can’t seem to break that habit. Painting forced me to slow down, take a breather, and just enjoy the moment!

    Globetrotter was a tough painting to sell for sentimental reasons. It was my first “fearless abstract”. Its beauty gave me confidence, which encouraged me to create a website and turn my hobby into something a bit more serious. It is my cover image for my Create Fate business cards. It reminded me that it’s okay to experiment and make mistakes, and so long as you are willing to work on them, it will eventually become a thing of beauty. It keeps me humble.

    I am so happy that Globetrotter sold to Dante, a dear friend of mine! It is going to live up to its name as she’s moving to Colorado in one month, and said she wants it to grace her walls in her new apartment. I wouldn’t have sold it to anyone but her, and I’ve always loved seeing my art find new homes…especially when I know the painting is loved by their new collector as much as they’re loved by me.             

  • Bolo Tie is going to be on TV!

    Global News Calgary is covering a segment on the GLIMPSE showcase tomorrow morning, and I’m proud to announce: one of my original abstract paintings will be featured on TV! This painting was inspired by my Grandpa's turquoise and leather Bolo Tie that I remember from when I was a just a wee cowgirl. I remember square dancing with him in my pink boots, watching him fill up jugs of OJ and vodka for the crazy rodeo clowns at 7AM, and feeding leftover pancakes to friendly prairie dogs. I figure this is an appropriate painting to show during Stampede week, as it's a homage to him. I hope he'd be proud of who I have become. 

    Our RAW Calgary art director, Lizzie Carr, has done an amazing job advertising this event around town despite living in Edmonton; She is one organized woman! Lizzie, thank you for your dedication and hard work to make this event possible. Tomorrow is going to be amazing!

    In a nutshell: GLIMPSE will feature >60 local RAW Artists, and will showcase all different artistic mediums for 12 hours straight (11AM-11PM, Friday July 10th @ Standard Nightclub -- next door to the Palomino). For those of you who bought pre-sale tickets through me, you should be registered on an electronic guestlist. For the wonderful procrastinators in my life, tickets are $20 at the door (cheaper than any of the Stampede tents, I might add…). For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about…WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING?! You need to come see this and feel the ENERGY!   

    I will display eight paintings at my booth and will be present for the whole 12 hours (minus lunch and dinner breaks). If I’m not at my booth, you can find me LIVE PAINTING outside --EEEK!

    25% of my sales from tomorrow’s GLIMPSE showcase will be donated to the Children’s Hospital Art Program. Some of the kids will be there selling their creations for charity, too! 

    SEE YOU TOMORROW.

    Need more info? Check out the GLIMPSE Facebook Event Page: here

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 :-) 

  • 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! 

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Photography Gripes

    Photography Gripes

    Some of my favourite paintings have a lot of texture to them. The ridges and valleys of different textural mediums can manipulate the paint in various ways, creating some interesting features. Such beauty is difficult to capture through the lens of a camera, and it's a real shame. How can I explain this disappointment to you? Here are the steps:

    1) After several days (or weeks...sometimes months...) of numerous colour washes, texturizing, colour lifting, canvas manipulation, paint splatters and powder dustings to get the composition juuuuust right, you decide it looks fabulous and apply your signature (yay!)

    2) You apply 4-5 coats of varnish, with drying time in between. This preserves the paint for longevity, evens out the tone and reflective properties of certain areas, and makes the colours pop. 

    3) You lavish the painting in love and compliments ("GAWD, you look good! You are going to be the prettiest painting on the wall, aren't you?? Yes you are!"), name it, date it, sign the back, and apply hanging wire. It's finally FINISHED! And like a proud parent, you're ready to send your baby out into the world feeling confident it will steal the hearts of everyone who sees it. 

    4) You photograph your painting in all its glory, and it sucks. It just fucking sucks! There are hot spots from the glossy varnish, the colours aren't quite right (yet when you try to edit them in Photoshop you just make the situation worse), and all of that beautiful texture on the canvas looks flat as fuck. All of your hard work and confidence just kissed you goodbye and exited out the back door...

    5) You begrudgingly post the 'representative' photo on your website and pretend you are happy with it. When in reality, you keep quiet like it's your dirty little secret...you KNOW those photos suck, but you shouldn't admit that to your audience. (Thankfully, I don't believe in censorship, so there you go. LET THE TRUTH BE KNOWN!)

    So, as you can see, I get a little frustrated when it comes to showcasing the final product. If you like one of my paintings but aren't 100% sure about it, please come see it in person. It's so much better in person! 

    Copper Porphyry (shown above) has a lot of juicy details, but the photo does not do it justice. Thankfully, I took a few close-ups to highlight some of these stand out features! (These photos suck too, but when you can't give quality you might as well give quantity...)

    Enjoy :)

  • One Classy Baby

    One Classy Baby

    When my pregnant friend asked me for a commission piece for her baby's new room, I was thrilled! Armed with four blank canvasses and a mosaic teddy bear for colour inspiration, I quickly got to work (her due date is early March! Hard deadlines are the best kind of motivation). It was the first time I had worked on a set of paintings before, and I quite enjoyed the process! Bouncing from canvas to canvas was good fun, and I could leave one layer alone to dry while I moved on to the next (something I have always struggled with). 

    As I have recently learned, newborns don't comprehend shapes and figures very well...but they find colour contrasts very attractive. Hopefully the wee babe will find comfort gazing into the light and dark shades of these pieces (and will give Mommy something nice to stare at during 4 AM feedings!). 

    This set is titled "New Beginnings", for obvious reasons. 

    Love, 

    Auntie Tay

    Xoxoxo

  • 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! 

  • New Partnership: Rewind Clothing

    This summer has been wonderful. I have been busy with the flower garden, wine tasting in BC, and many great nights out with my globe-trotting friends who were kind enough to visit our humble abode in cowtown! I have been all play and no work…well, almost no work…

    I was determined to reach one of my goals: to get my artwork on DISPLAY! I felt bad for my paintings, leaning against my studio walls and not getting the attention they deserved. They needed to be SEEN, and staying under my roof was not supporting this dream.  

    After some fishing around and a few broken promises, a dark-haired angel answered my prayers and opened up her walls to me. She runs a beautiful consignment clothing boutique DOWNTOWN, with a vaulted ceiling, a brick accent wall, and lots of colorful items to complement my latest paintings…it was an ideal setup! In addition, she has generously offered her space commission-free (which means more $ will go to charity). I am so grateful for this opportunity!

    Five of my paintings are hanging proudly on the walls of her boutique. I paid them a visit the other day and accidently (*ahem!*) bought a few new outfits…I could have easily spent another hour pouring through the racks of goodies, but had to cut myself off once a lineup for the dressing rooms began to form!

    If you are ever in the mood for a unique shopping experience (for clothing or art), do yourself a favor and check out Rewind Clothing on MacLeod and 10th Ave SE!  

  • 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! 

  • 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.