Last year I entered a call for submission for street banners to be created for the Lakeshore Village BIA.
The call for submission was facilitated by STEPS Public Art that created a public art program called ‘I HeART Main Street’ as a way to re-energize main streets across Canada after decline in business and revenue due to covid lockdowns. ‘I HeART Main Street’ is presented in partnership with RBC Royal Bank and the City of Toronto, and generously supported by Canada Healthy Communities Initiative funded by the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council.
I was lucky enough to be one of four artists to be chosen by the Lakeshore Village BIA to create brand new work that reflected the BIA’s close proximity to Lake Ontario.
I was happy to see that the Lakeshore Village BIA reused the banners for a second year and were remounted along Lakeshore Boulevard during the summer of 2022!
One of the personal upsides to being in a lockdown during this global pandemic, is that I have more time to paint! I created a whole new series, thanks to being forced to stay at home.
While I am fortunate enough to have secure housing and food and a very stable family unit, the pandemic lockdowns were still emotionally stressful. These extra stressors took a toll on society as whole and globally we found ourselves facing unrest and clashes on many social issues.
I decided to host a fundraiser where 30% of all sales of my new series would be donated to 3 organizations. I also decided to personally match 30% of the donation amount, so that I could double the amount of funds that would be donated to:
2017 was actually my 2nd attempt at Inktober (a 31 day drawing challenge started by illustrator Jake Parker) but my first time actually being able to successfully complete it.
Here are some things I learned from completing a 30 day challenge:
1. Have accountability
I made my challenge public by announcing it and posting all my posts on Instagram. Knowing that I made my intention public, held me accountable for actually sticking to the challenge and having to showcase something every day!
2. Have all your tools and materials ready
Attempting to draw everyday takes a lot of time and when the tip of my one brush pens started to split, I’d to go out to grab another one. During any other time, heading to the art store to buy a pen would be a fun excursion, but when you are scrambling to find time to finish a drawing and running on very little sleep, anything that diverts time from actually making art is a huge waste of time. So stock on up art supplies and materials before hand!
3. Pre-brainstorm Ideas
Try to have as many concepts and ideas ready to go before the challenge starts. When I was in the midst of Inktober, so much of my time everyday was spent thinking about what to draw. Thankfully there were a handful of daily prompt lists that I could peruse and look for something that interested me. If I had, however, my own list of concepts, more time could have been spent on the execution of each drawing and probably more sleep time, too!
Interestingly, Fran Meneses (aka Frannerd) just posted a video discussing tips for successfully completing 30 day challenges. Some of our ideas overlap!
Despite getting sick while attempting this challenge, I went in just wanting to draw every day with no expectations of what I wanted to get out of it. So while my number one goal was just to finish the challenge, I came out of it with a whole new painting style and series! Inktober was a hard but definitely invaluable experience, that I’d love to try again one day.
I created 3 new pieces for a group show at Graven Feather. We were given 3 birch rounds to create whatever we wanted with. So I wanted to explore my Parched Flora series on vellum and mounted my vellum paintings onto wood. Working with vellum was a very different experience compared to the regular watercolour paper that I usually use. And despite some struggles with getting used to the texture, I’m quite happy with the results!
Unfortunately I won’t be in town for the opening reception on November 6th 7-10 pm 2014, but I can’t wait to see the other artists’ round artwork when I return. Hope you can check out the show, too!
The show is on from November 6 – 29th, 2014. Graven Feather
906 Queen Street West, M6J 1G9
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12-7 pm
I had such a great time at my show reception, I can’t believe it’s been a month since it happened! So many of my friends came out. I wish I had taken time to take more photos, but a few of the people who came out I hadn’t seen in years and I was too busy catching up to be bothered with lugging my camera around.
I wish I could properly express my gratitude to everybody who took time out to come see my show, at the reception and through out the month. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. For the first time ever, I also sold my art! My art clients were all friends, but the prospect of having my paintings hanging on a wall that isn’t my own is so thrilling!
A big huge thank you to Denise, Joe, Noriko, Mike, Elynn, Alyson, Liz, Ferzin and AD for your support!! I’m slowly scanning in all the new paintings, but please visit the Parched Flora portfolio pages to see my new work. I am also so grateful for the Exhibition Assistance grant that I received through the Ontario Arts Council. I was approved in the nick of time and was able to use the grant to purchase all the frames for my paintings. Without it, this exhibit would have been a pitiful sight.
I’m so excited to announce my new show: Parched Flora
It will be on for the month of February 2014 at the Northern District Library in the 2nd floor atrium area.
The show is available for viewing anytime the library is open:
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
I will be hosting a reception close to the end of my show. If you find yourself in the Yonge & Eglinton area, please come by and say hi!
Parched Flora Almost Closing Reception
Sunday, February 23, 2014 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd)
I hope you have a chance to see my new work!