November 29, 2018

ElleSee Paints: Self-Portraits for a Year



One day this Summer I had a rather strange opportunity to see inside the house of one of the board members for my work. She went to art school and even worked at one of our art galleries. The walls of her house are covered in various types of art, and she told me the stories about a few of that I had interest in and where they came from. 

One of the paintings she told me about was part of a project that she had done in art school. The instructor had them do a self-portrait and each week they had to paint over their portrait from the week before with a new self-portrait. This was to teach the students not to become attached to their artwork. She and a friend of hers exchanged portraits at the end of the term, and that was one of the paintings that I was looking at.

I thought it was a fascinating idea, and decided to do a painting of myself every month for my 35th year, starting in October. While I'm sure a lot of the portraits that were being done in that class were in the styles of the painters that they were learning about, I decided to tackle the concept myself (without all of the education). I am an amateur painter, at best, but I'm curious to see how the portraits differ from month to month, and what might influence my work. 

The image you see here is my October painting. I just completed my November painting today. You can find it here on Instagram.




November 25, 2018

Behind the Art: I Mustache You...



This card was inspired by a friend who used this phrase as the beginning of a sentence for all of her Grade One students to come up with an ending for, and then she created a bulletin board out of all of them. I can't tell you now what it was for as I don't remember that far back sometimes, but I do remember thinking it was a cute idea (and a great pun) and would make an excellent card. 

Since I made it into a card several years ago, I have had some people order them to use them as a way to ask friends to be groomsmen in their wedding parties. I love the ideas that you come up with for taking my work to the next level!

November 06, 2018

What We Love: Fall 2018



I purchased these adorable mittens that were a collaboration between Something from Nothing and Boolah Baguette. Something from Nothing makes mittens using old sweaters and fabrics, and Boolah Baguette makes the most adorable dolls and stuffed toys -- I've talked about her before here and here -- and together they made these darling mitts that have been keeping my hands warm during the last couple of months.



My son and I are obsessed with this song. The chill beat just gets in your body and you either feel like moving along, or sit there feeling the vibes. I love it! And I love the message too.



I have recently been falling in love with a lot of art that has simply clean lines with pops of colour, and the work of Lela Harris as Doodle Love fits in nicely with my obsession. I love how a few lines can convey a story so easily.



November 03, 2018

The Shop: Empathy Cards



Earlier this year, I made a birthday card for a friend that is not a fan of physical contact. We had a good laugh over it, but it wasn't until a conversation that I had with a visitor at my table during a spring market that I realised it could be a legitimate thing that some people might appreciate. 

I had just made some new sympathy cards (that haven't been released into the shop yet) and the visitor mentioned that she did not like the way sympathy cards are worded. She said that when her dad died, people would say things like "It's going to be okay" or "Feel better, soon" and all she felt was anger and sadness. She got tired of people giving her these cards that didn't acknowledge those feelings -- just a little band-aid on her emotions. It got me thinking, and I decided that I really wanted to recognise those emotions.

I started with the "it's okay to feel..." card. It is a phrase that I use with the children that I work with, because it really is okay to feel sad or angry...it's what you do with those emotions (ie. hitting people vs. finding a space for yourself). It initially ended with something like "just know that I'm here for you", but I decided that the card isn't about the person sending it. It's about the person receiving it, and it wasn't fair to add that little bit at the end. I mean, if the person sending it wants to add that little bit inside the card, they can. You know your friends and family better than I do.

I created the Christmas card about a month ago while a friend has been going through a rough patch after the loss of someone very close to her. The first anniversary is around the holidays, and I wanted to support the fact that -- although I love the season very much myself -- there are a lot of people out there that don't feel the same way as me because of loss, bad memories, etc. I had also intended to add something else at the bottom, but it felt too peppy, and like "yeah, it sucks, but cheer up, yo!" Again, that's not my place, and every card is blank to add an extra bit of sentiment if you wish.

Do you remember that scene in Inside Out when Bing Bong was sad and Joy was just trying to pump him up, but he continued crying until Sadness sat down and recognised his feelings and made him feel it was okay to be sad? Not everyone needs a little pep-talk after going through the emotionally draining things that life throws our way. Sometimes people just need someone to recognise how they might be feeling and feel their presence while they're sad. It's my hope that these cards will do a little bit of that.




October 27, 2018

ElleSee Paints: Purple Birches



Earlier this year I started getting back into painting (after I did some work on this painting that's been bothering me for a while -- update to come). I started small with a 10"x10" piece, but had so much fun that I quickly moved up in size when I purchase this 30"x40" canvas. 

It took me quite a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it. But I was inspired by some artwork I saw in a home decor store, and soon started painting these purple hued birches (birch trees are my favourite tree). Since I completed this painting, I have bought another canvas and have already started another project that I'll share more about next month.

You can see some of the other stages that the painting went through in the photos below. I shared a lot of the progress on Instagram if you're interested in seeing more.

I really enjoyed experimenting with the paint and mixing the different colours for the leaves. It's fascinating how art starts in one direction, but can end up somewhere else that you never intended.





October 22, 2018

Behind the Art: Hair Raising



This little guy is one of the first drawings that I made for the shop before I started adding more details into the animals that I was drawing. 

It came from the idea of a little porcupine finding a balloon and wanting to keep it, but that is something quite difficult given the nature of what is all over a porcupine. It seems to have worked out in the end because there was some static electricity involved and the balloon just sort of attached itself to the porcupine.

 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_09.jpg