Tag Archives: the wise owl

a colossal surprise

6 Oct

My wonderful friend Rachel Betts-Wilmott from ACAD BFA days shared the best thing with me last night! Since I have yet to upgrade to a smart phone (for fear of taking the financial plunge) I’m still not on the instagram train; luckily my friends keep their eyes peeled for incredible gems like this: Yes, that is my submission to the Art House Co-op‘s Limited Edition Sketchbook Project, The Wise Owl, with over 720 likes!!!! Incredible. After doing a little research and tweeting some questions this way and that, I pieced together the mystery and continued to feel flattered: @Colossal is the person who shot this instagram photo, and is none other than Christopher Jobson, the author of the massively popular Art & Visual Ingenuity Website: COLOSSAL. Art House has Christopher visiting New York to curate a brand new show from their archive of over 22,000 (and still growing!) sketchbooks. They asked him to hand select 1,000 books for this special project called A Landmark & A Mission. Here Christopher explains “With generous support from Ugg Australia’s Creative Council the Sketchbook Project is building a custom-crafted trailer that will contain 1,000 sketchbooks I’ve selected around the theme ‘A Landmark & A Mission’ for inclusion in this first-ever mobile sketchbook library. In early November we’ll drive around the U.S. with stops in Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor, and Cleveland to share hundreds of artists work with you. It’s like art meets libraries meets road trip.” He indeed confirmed with me on twitter that my piece is being included in this small handful of selected sketchbooks. I am not only thrilled to have my work tour, have more people see it, and have another line on the CV, but to have someone who blogs daily about art & design, select my work for a special exhibition and to also say to me “Amazing work. Was showing it to everyone who came in yesterday… I just about fell out of my chair when I unfolded it” is beyond flattering! What a wonderful surprise to start the weekend off right.

the wise owl – limited edition sketchbook

19 May

It’s been over two weeks since I completed and sent in my Art House Co-op Limited Edition Sketchbook Project. Can’t believe I haven’t been able to share it on the blog yet… the spring is flying by so fast! For those of you who don’t know about Art House Co-op, or two of their previous projects that I participated in, then you may want to check out these links here or you can view or purchase my zines of them here. They are a fantastic organization that puts together great international collaborative projects. This most recent endeavour was a spin on their classic yearly project, except this time there was a limited amount of participants (only 5000) hence the name, “Limited Edition.” The L.E. project will be publishing a book about this special twist of the classic collaborative exhibition. The bound volume promises to feature at least one spread from each of the 5000 artists’ sketchbooks. I am looking forward to getting my copy, reading through all of the creativity, and attempting to spot both my submission as well as some friends’ entires. The theme I selected for my book was “Pictures & Descriptions,” simply because it was open ended and thus would allow me the opportunity to create pretty much anything when my idea or inspiration hit me. When I finally sat down and focused on the project, the theme influenced my intentions for the book far more than I had originally intended for it to. Of course I was going to draw animals, as I always do, but first I had to think about my direction for the book. As I pondered on the idea of “Pictures & Descriptions” the notion of a dictionary just kept coming back to me: simple illustrations with eloquent details about entities, actions and adjectives. The dictionary notion distilled further into thoughts about knowledge, book smarts, and wisdom. Naturally I thought of the owl: a symbol of insight, wisdom, intensity, spirituality and knowledge. As my ideas filtered further, I selected one word from each letter of that alphabet that related to the owl. The final thing I might add, before sharing my results, is that I didn’t approach my book traditionally… I created one large scale piece that folds down into the cover. The piece was made on a thick rag paper called magnani, and the entire image was done in graphite (even all of the dictionary descriptions are handwritten in pencil). Essentially my intention was to have a beautiful portrait of a wise owl spreading his impressive wings, while all of these dictionary pages that describe him, float up and surround him. Intrigued yet? Below is my sketchbook’s journey, including some progress & detail shots as well as final full view photos: And finally, here is my limited edition sketchbook in video form: As always, I very much appreciate your thoughts, reactions & feedback, so don’t be too shy to leave a comment, I would love to know what you think of the wise owl.