July 3, 2011

WE HAVE MOVED!!! 

We are starting a little floral studio in Toronto - BOTANY {floral studio}. I'll keep this blog up, but I'm switching over my postings to BOTANY's blog ... Like BOTANY on facebook to receive amazing weekly coupons ... xo



But here's a final post ...

Inspiration: still lifes and botanical drawings from the following two blogs ...

2. Scientific Illustration


{Illustration by Ernst Haekel via Scientific Illustration}


{Illustration by Charles Harper via Scientific Illustration}


{Illustration by M. Pagaut & P. Vigier via Scientific Illustration}


{Illustration by M. Pagaut & P. Vigier via Scientific Illustration}


{Illustration by Jacob Marrel via Still Life Quick Heart}


{Illustration by Filippo Arena via Still Life Quick Heart}


{Painting by Edzard Dietz via Still Life Quick Heart}


{Painting by Anneke van Brussel via Still Life Quick Heart}


{Painting by Vernon Ward via Still Life Quick Heart}


{Painting by Simon Verelst via Still Life Quick Heart}

May 29, 2011

Prints from my Vanitas and Vanitas II series are now showing at Cafe Koi, which is located at 1011 1st street SW Calgary, AB

The showing runs from May 31 to June 25


Here is my artist statement for the show ...

In a way, my work is a polished descendant of the “face-down-on-the-photocopier” self portraits most of us have enjoyed. Using a scanner is really just a non-traditional form of photography. With this technique you can achieve incredible detail that quickly drops into beautiful shadows. The colour and shadows create an ethereal-type aesthetic, which is uncanny in its resemblance to 16th and17th century Dutch paintings of Memento Mori. I didn’t directly choose this technique for the project; it was more of a happy accident. It was the aesthetics of this technical process that influenced my exploration of these themes, and not vice versa. I think this creative process is rare in art making, especially with new media.

A type of Memento Mori, Vanitas paintings from the 16th and 17th century were often characterized by a combination of enticing still-life objects such as fruit and flowers, along with reminders of the transient nature of life such as skulls and hourglasses. This juxtaposition was meant to point out the ultimate shortcomings of worldly pleasures.

For this series, I asked women to participate and to include items in their portraits, as a sort of still-life defining who they are. Through their pictured memories, their favourite mementos, or the pleasing petals surrounding them, I intended for these portraits to reflect a personal story of Vanitas for each individual woman. The sensual use of hair in this series is what ties them together, and creates a kind of surreal texture to the work. The Vanitas themes remain present reminding the viewer that vanity is futile. Despite their foreboding qualities, the images remain undeniably beautiful and hint at a sexual tension. Blushing flower petals rustling open and tousled hair could be simultaneously interpreted as either qualities of the Vanitas theme or lusty indulgences.

This series has made me view not only death, but vanity differently, and bizarrely how both are so interconnected. It takes a personal unarming to show these self-portraits, especially in large format. There is no hiding or concealing in these portraits, they are hyper-realistic, so signs of aging and blemishes are on full display. These portraits show impurities, but done so in a graceful and whimsical manner.

May 28, 2011

Inspiration: soft romantic blooms {peonies, hydrangeas and roses}

Wedding season is upon us and I love this! Here are some photographs of wedding flowers I worked on yesterday ...



May 21, 2011

I am busily preparing for my show at Cafe Koi. My artwork will be showing from May 31 to June 25 ...
I have sent my images to the printers. They are being printed in very large format, the smallest measures approximately 4 x 2 feet ... The images I selected are all from this series - Vanitas II

If you're interested in knowing how I do the portraits and the meaning and inspiration behind my work, here is an interview I did with The Daily Undertaker on this series.

Hope you have a chance to see my work on display.

Leaving you with the latest addition I made to my botany series, it's a Tree Peony ...

May 15, 2011

I went to the Glenbow museum today to see the Karsh exhibit, but was pleasantly surprised to stumble across one of my favourite artists - Canadian artist Tony Scherman's paintings were also on display at the museum. I know his work well, as I studied his technique as the basis for one of my final pieces {sharbat gula} in art school. He works in encaustic and I love his loose brush strokes. Here are a few shots I snapped of his work today ...



May 14, 2011

Inspiration: floral and window displays ...

The following floral displays are by Ken Marten, who works at McQueens in the UK ...

I especially love bleeding hearts and I hope they make their way into wedding bouquets this season ...


I love these inside designs of all single-type flowers and grouping of glass globes ...

My favourite type of hydrangea, called 'fall' hydrangea for when it's in season, looks rustic with lots of antique colours ...

This is an amazing terrarium ... I love the scale ...

Orrery (rejected design) by Ken Marten
{Orrery (rejected design) by Ken Marten}

I really like this window display, it's a temporary design, but clever how he suspended the forsythia with their own water bags, it makes the design even better this way ...


Another inspiring window display, this time from writer Pia Jane Bijkerk to promote her book ...

May 13, 2011

Inspiration : Flowers

Florals are everywhere in design and the arts & crafts right now, re-inspiring florists and crafters alike, and even retail designers, like this enormous paper flower is hanging in Calgary's Anthropologie ...

{photograph courtesy of Blair Marie}


Some of my favourite flower sayings:

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~Chinese Proverb

With daffodils mad footnotes for the spring,
And asters purple asterisks for autumn -
~Conrad Aiken, Preludes for Memnon, 1930

God loved the flowers and invented soil. Man loved the flowers and invented vases. ~Variation of a saying by Jacques Deval (God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages.)

I really love my job, being surrounded and creating with beautiful flowers everyday, so much of what surrounds me inspires and shapes my own arts & crafts, like a back and forth dance between the two ...


May 10, 2011

I have this beautiful, yet unusual flower at home right now ... Jatropha, it reminds me of coral ...

May 8, 2011

In mythology, rose meaning is associated with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love who was often depicted adorned with roses around her head, feet and or neck. The most common interpretation is that the rose symbolizes an immortal love or a union that will never fade.

Here are some photographs I recently took of roses, they are so moody and muted in colour {click on images to enlarge} If you would like to see more, they are a part of my heirlooms set ...



May 5, 2011


Here is some new work for my botany series ... I am trying to get things ready for my show in June. I love these roses, it looks as if they are blushing ... they are the largest, most stunning roses I have seen ...

April 29, 2011

HAPPY SPRING! Here are some fun links ...

First, this amazing shop in San Francisco Bell'occhio

Favourite florists of the week - Christine Noelle's simple and stunning shop and Ariella Chezar

Pipo Doll makes these adorable cards

Eloise Corr Danch's video tutorial of giant paper poppy flowers

{spring banner by Pam - Happy to be creating}

April 24, 2011

Spring has finally arrived, I saw the first signs of it this weekend ... the crocuses are sprouting ... and lots of puddles, which were enjoyed by this little guy - he has the bumps, bruises and scrapes to show for finally being able to play and explore outdoors!

{photograph courtesy of Blair Marie}

I tried a craft project, found in this month's Martha Stewart magazine ... I improvised a little and used brightly coloured retro material to make these three pin on flowers ...

April 22, 2011

I added more work to my botany series, this time tulips ... Here are a few that I finished working on this evening ...


April 19, 2011

Love this Spring/Summer 2011 Marimekko fashion show at what looks to be a flower auction ...

April 11, 2011

Inspired by the work of Rebecca Thuss, Eloise Corr Danch, Sophie Cuvelier and Zoe Bradley ... I created these paper flowers ... First, I painted with water colour to create an uneven effect for the flowers, then I cut and pieced, looped and fastened parts of the flowers together ...




April 9, 2011

I love this project 'Hearts on Vivian' ... members of the community were invited to loop and tie yarn, creating these bright and colourful hearts on a rather drab chain link fence ...


{Hearts on Vivian - photographs courtesy of Outdoor Knit}

I also love this window display of miniature houses aglow for the little winter market...

{photograph courtesy of little winter market}

I am really excited that winter is drawing to an end, and we are getting the first glimpses of spring, time to get the spade out and plan the new garden ... my most favourite thing about springtime! Here is some gardening inspiration ...

Quirky garden blogs - gardening in heels and terri planty. Shown below are just a few of the unique ideas featured on their blogs ...

{San Francisco's Alamo Square Shoe Garden - photograph via Glue and Glitter}

{Flora Grubb Gardens}

{Set of three vintage garden markers by emerald + ella}