Blog

Category

Currently showing posts tagged painting

  • 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…

     

  • Painting Donation: HomeFront Calgary

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

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

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

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

    Love, 

    Taylor

  • 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 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"

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Second Life

    Second Life

    Painting is not simply an additive process. There are situations that require smearing, wiping, and lifting of paint to achieve a certain effect. I was taught to use paper towels as the ‘go-to tool’ for this method, but have always been plagued with guilt over the waste this creates. I have even gone so far as to keep the soiled paper towels and let them dry, only to attempt to re-use them until no more paint/water could possibly be absorbed. And then I will finally dispose of them.

    I am aware that painting could not (easily) become a waste-free process, but I try to minimize my impact whenever possible. This has become a mild case of hoarding: collecting old tissue paper from birthdays/Christmas, bubble wrap, packing sponges…Shane’s old pajama pants…

    The Story:

    Shane’s PJ pants were threadbare, with rips along the side hems where the pocket linings could spill out into the world and expose a small patch of flesh. When he wore them, he looked like he sprung out of an episode of the Trailer Park Boys (minus the beer belly). I could feel my face scrunch up in disbelief when I stared at his pocket linings, and playfully (aggressively) tried to grab them and rip apart the seams so he would be forced to replace them, but Shane knew. He would sprint away just out of my reach, laughing as he retreated to the basement with coffee in hand. It was infuriating!

    The pants had been in a longterm relationship with Shane long before I entered the picture, and that was nearly 5 years ago. I don’t want to know how old they really are. They were dangerously close to disintegrating each time he washed them, and when he would don them around the house I would always cry out in horror: “When are you going to get rid of those things?!”

    So when he made the decision last weekend to finally replace the leg rags, I was ecstatic. His old PJ pants laid in a heap on the floor, begging to be tossed into the garbage. But not before I had my way with them!

    I didn’t think it was possible to make these pants look any worse, but when I’m through with them, they won’t be recognizable anymore.

    REVENGE SHALL BE MINE!  

  • 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 :)

  • 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! 

  • 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! 

  • Painting donation for #RTCC

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

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