Tag Archives: collaborative project

patterns & paws – even more!

18 Apr

I am bursting with excitement because I get to share more progress photos of my collaborative project with Anika Starmer (@aisforanika). We have been drawing together in a pair of sketchbooks with our imagery centered around her love of patterns & color and mine of paws & animals. If this is the first you have heard of the project, click hereherehere and here to watch the gradual evolution that these two sketchbooks have encountered over the past year. This time I get to share the imagery that I’ve recently added to these bound beauties. I should first start by saying that I hadn’t seen these books in several months, so I’d been itching to work on them. I collected a bit of ephemera and found objects as I waited patiently for Anika’s reply. The images and creativity were well worth the wait (to learn more about her ideas and process you ought to read her recent blog post) and they were so inspiring that I found it impossible to put the project aside. Also, I am a natural born procrastinator, and so with several demanding projects on the front burner, it was only normal that I gravitated to a project that had no deadline. Oh murphy, you & your laws. The first diptych response I created was to a colourful stamped pattern that made me yearn for spring: bright flowers and beautiful birds. It instantly made me think of a beautiful paper napkin that was gifted to me in mail art. Ironically almost all of the colours in the design are in Anika’s pattern and the texture in the birds feathers are made up of blank dots! I used a fun packing tape transfer technique that works great with paper napkins or old book illustrations. (quick DIY: lay clear packing tape down smoothly onto the image, burnish hard with a spoon, soak in cold water, rub the paper off gently until just the ink is left in the adhesive of the tape, stick onto your art surface). Anika’s second diptych reminded me of mountains, but because the triangles were stacked on top of each other, they felt like floating space mountains – an imaginary landscape that made me think of Schim Schimmel’s creations of gorgeous animals laying on the edge of planetary bodies. I had come across this paw print image in a 1968 outdoorsman magazine & the color palette and texture of the earth felt moon-like to me. If we could zoom in on Anika’s floating mountains, we’d see space tigers roaming the surface, leaving their paw prints wherever they go.After that were the two page spreads where we work over top of each other’s drawings. I love when this talented lady creates these incredible all-over grid patterns. They make me feel so warm, like a cottage quilt. The patterning and intricacy is truly remarkable. I didn’t want to mess this page up, as it was already quite full and content in its simplicity and lovely mark making; so since she did patterns, I decided I’d do paws. It instantly felt like a happy marriage. I might also note that the paws have subtle metallic green and purple sparkles within them, which help to highlight the tones that Anika selected.The next three spreads were for me to start, and for Anika to add to later. The first of which was another full two page spread that the both of us would draw on. I started with this grid inspired paint pallet for us both to draw inspiration from. I had recently found these holographic cards in a thrift shop that show humans morphing into animals and vice-versa, so I cropped out feet/paws (from two that had an eagle) into square shapes that matched the grid. I outlined it with one of the colors from the paint pallet and  I drew eagle portraits in larger grid boxes above. I wonder how Anika will interpret and add to these grids and the morphing humans / birds of prey. The next couple of images I’m really proud of: using acrylics, I created beautiful impressionistic field landscapes with wildflowers and summer blue skies as a backdrop for some found ephemera from the same vintage hunting magazine. Although the circles around the ptarmigans are meant to be kill shot references for hunters, I see something different: there is something more ethereal about them to me… more so of an aura or a soul. I get a spiritual energy type of feeling from the circle, not a suggestion of conquest or murder as is originally intended. The circle has always been a peaceful shape in my mind. I predict soft colours and the circular motif to surface in Anika’s response. The final set of images visits the beauty and simplicity of dog paws again. I did some gestural painting with purples and teals, made a beautiful solvent transfer onto rice paper, added it over my wet paint and continued with a few more brushstrokes. Something that I love about these two images is that when the books are together you can almost picture the entire creature! Do you believe we are officially halfway through this collaborative project (can you spot the stitched spine in the last photograph)? I am so proud of where these sketchbooks have gone and what they continue to grow into.  So, what do you think?! Anika and I would love to hear your feedback; don’t be shy, let us know your thoughts below!

traveling sketchbook from Italy

28 Dec

Valeria Poropat (@valeriadraws) is a pen pal of mine from Rome, Italy. When she had the idea of sending around a small accordion book for all of her pen pals to draw in, I was super excited to participate. The book recently showed up in a mail art package last week from Lisa Grabenstetter (@magneticcrow). Creating my panel for this collaborative project has been a great way to ease back into studio-mode after the big trade show and a week of lazy holidays. The only ‘guideline’ for this book was that it’s title was: from here, to there and back again. I of course needed to include animals in my work and since this is a mail-based project organized by a penpal, I immediately thought of both birds and lettermail and their common migratory nature. Because they both travel from “here to there and back again,” birds and snail mail ephemera were the perfect inspiration for my contribution. To create this piece, I used a combination of graphite, pencil crayon, found objects, collage, relief printing and my vintage typewriter. There were five artists that had already added to the accordion book before me, and there are still several more artists who have yet to make their mark on this book (including Jeannine Saylor (@saylor_made) who is the lucky lady I am sending this to next)! Above is what the collaboration looks like so far… I hope Valeria is thrilled with the progress, and I am excited to see how this project evolves further!

patterns & paws

14 Jun

I made friends with Anika Starmer on twitter over half a year ago now… She is a lovely designer/artist/friend who is supportive, encouraging and a total sweetheart. When it comes to creating, she is fascinated with pattern, line & color and her love of these elements is easy to understand if you take a peek at her funky creations on her blog. We have been trading mail art for several months, but I wanted to push it to a new level… so I created a collaborative project we could both work on, that could be then sent back and forth through the postal system. Essentially the premise is based on the fact that Anika is fascinated with textile, motifs and design while I’m obsessed with animals, texture and anatomy… with our two main focuses in mind, the collaborative and postal bound project patterns & paws was born.

The project utilizes two blank moleskine cahiers and I have already created the front and back cover designs and marked them as volume 1 / volume 2. The way the project works is Anika will make imagery on the left-hand pages, I’ll draw on the right-hand pages and then there will be some 2 page spreads featuring our imagery colliding: thus creating a book full of vertical diptychs (two images, one piece) and horizontal mixed images (2-page spread) of patterns and paws.  Why are we working on two at the same time??? So that when the project sadly comes to a close, we each get to keep a volume (no need to fight over ONE sketchbook).Each time both books get sent, a minimum of 6 new drawings must be made in each sketchbook: 2 images in response to the images drawn by the other artist on the opposite page, 2 new drawings opposite blank pages for the other artist to respond to and finally 2 images over 2 page spreads that include both of our drawings working together (again one started by me and one started by anika). This way whenever either Anika or I recieve the sketchbook, we get to finish or create diptychs by drawing something inspired by/in correspondence to the opposite image. Then we also get to create cohesive images by sketching together on both left and right pages to create horizontal images with our styles intermingling. There are no rules on what mediums to use… Make sense? My first page in both books were drawn in pencil and feature two different ground squirrels (one of which is the pesky marmot who has been chewing at my car). The second page in both sketchbooks, is a black gocco screenprint of dog paws. Anika will be the first to start a two-page horizontal spread that we will both contribute to.She finally found the fat stamp plastered envelope that contained the sketchbooks just yesterday, after what feels like weeks of anticipation (especially because it was returned to me demanding 22 cents more postage, UGH). Along for the ride were my two zines that I owed her, a paint palette sticker and my fairly sloppy project explanation note.  I have A LOT of collaborative projects on the go, and it is exciting! My good friend and mentor Carney Oudendag and I began altering an accordion book, which I recently blogged about here. I am currently binding two books for an upcoming project with Justice Bicycle that we will launch in August when she visits for her “artist residency” at my print studio. I am halfway through my pages on Jessica Mack’s Traveling Journal  and will be posting my contribution to this collaborative effort next week when I send it off to Jeannine Saylor. And at some point when I find some time amongst all of this summer madness, I really ought to resurrect an old altered book collaboration that Marcus Jackson and I started a few years ago, (it become forgotten amongst our ACAD projects during our studies a few years ago). So make sure you check back to learn more about some of these yet-to-be-detailed collaborative projects or to see how the ones that have already been chronicled, evolve and transform.