Check out the canvas I painted inspired by the acacia trees and zebras I saw on my Maasai Mara safari. Such a gorgeous landscape!
It’s Saturday morning and I should be at zumba. I’m not because my zumba class is canceled, forever. This makes me sad but gives me the opportunity to work on my blog and listen to one of my all time favourite podcasts, The JV Club. Not as physically stimulating at zumba, but an equally productive way to spend a Saturday morning.
In April I started (and completed) a painting of my brother and I kayaking on the Caribbean Sea. Inspired by my mom’s photo (above) I pulled out my paints and captured this moment of sibling love. This may be one of the best things I’ve created – I’m so happy with this painting!
This handmade card from my dear friend Deanne makes me equally happy. I may have mentioned, more than once, how much I loved my trip to the Dominican and how I loved my time by the ocean. I can only presume this sweet card was created after sharing my travels with Deanne . This is one of the prettiest handmade cards I have received (sorry mom). Such a nice surprise!
p.s. – Deanne, the timing of your card couldn’t have been better. Thanks so much friend.
On a wall of my childhood bedroom is a framed description of the meaning and origin of my name. This description states, “a fondness for the ocean will emerge”. For this particular Brianna, this is an understatement. I love water, especially the warm, emerald waters of the Caribbean Sea. In high school I was a lifeguard. In a past life, I must have been a mermaid.
This February my wonderful parents took my brother and I on a family vacation to the Dominican Republic. It was amazing, my favourite part was spending time near, in, or on the ocean. I’ve been missing sunshine and turquoise waves, constantly daydreaming about warm waters and warmer beaches.
My mom took some fantastic photos of my brother and I kayaking along the coast. These photos are the inspiration of an ocean hued painting I started working on last weekend.
Inspired by my mom’s photos and Pantone’s 2010 Colour of the Year I decided to pull out my brushes and attempt to capture the waves of the Caribbean Sea on canvas.
I’m not sure what the final product will look like – but I’m excited to turn idle daydreaming into something creative. I started out using an old credit card to spread paint around an old canvas (top images) and layered blues and greens on top of my original painting (bottom images). I’m not sure if I’ll try to replicate my mom’s photos or do something more abstract. Either way – it is nice to be painting again.
Murals are fascinating.
I love the culture behind street murals and graffiti. Murals belong to the do it yourself creatives; there are no rules, no galleries, no elitism, no curating authority. Murals are accessible. They are for the people. They make ordinary and dull public spaces interesting, challenging, and often, beautiful. They can help us reevaluate the way we use and see urban spaces.
Murals and graffiti also challenge the controversial question: Is this art?
NYC Mural: near the New Museum of Art
NYC Mural: near The Highline
Since my urban vacation I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the arts. I sit and daydream about artists, musicians, actors, stage designers, dancers, photographers. These people are so intriguing. They dedicate their lives to a cause, to learning, to refining their practice. This requires so much thought and patience. There is so much uncertainty to dedicating your life to the arts.
Montreal Mural: near Old Montreal
In Montreal I met up with a friend from high school. He is an incredibly talented pianist. He studied piano during his undergrad and masters. I imagine he will continue his studies and complete his doctorate. Whenever I see him he asks about my artwork, which is sweet, but also embarrassing. He is a professional pianist and I barely pursue the arts in my free time. I never really know how to respond.
I enjoyed university and am happy with my chosen profession (communications). I enjoy, and am good at, coordinating communications, marketing, and events. I don’t know if I could have survived a career in the arts. I enjoy routine. I enjoy my expansive shoe collection. I would make a terrible starving artist.
When I told my friend I am a communications coordinator I was met with a blank stare. I sighed. It is hard to describe what I do. I explained to him I am a stage manager for business people. He nodded and smiled. Apparently this is a good job description (at least for people who know what stage management is).
NYC Installation (not a mural but still very cool public art!): The High Line Zoo.
People in suits have replaced actors in sweatpants. Maybe my career isn’t as far from my high school aspirations as I once thought.
I have been thinking about painting a canvas since February when I first met my handsom Henry. I’ve been mindlessly browsing blogs and pinterest for inspiration. There has been a lot of “creative research” but not much action. I needed a deadline; I included starting and finishing a painting on my summer to-do list.
I bought myself a canvas and some paints a couple of weeks ago. This Friday evening I had no plans and spontaneously opened a bottle of chardonnay, put on my Osheaga playlist, prepared my canvas, and pulled out my paints. I didn’t have an end product in mind; I just started slapping painting onto the canvas (literally). I haven’t painted a canvas since high school. It felt sooo good to paint with no agenda. I thought that I would be frustrated with the process but it was actually quite liberating. Yes – I can still do this!
I will admit; this painting is a little generic. You can probably buy something similar at Ikea or Winners. But I love the bright, vibrant, sunset colours, I love the geometric shapes, and I love the fact that I made it.
There is no critical theory or feminist message hidden within the layers of paint and nail polish. This painting is a combination of Henry’s empty walls, tasty chardonnay, Florence + The Machine, Feist, MGMT, and a girl trying to rediscover her inner artist.
P.S. – Coral Sunset is also the name of these gorgeous peonies. How perfect and girlie!?
Some good friends of mine recently bought a house together and I wanted to give them a fabulous gift to celebrate this momentous occasion. I had no idea what to give them. Luckily the weekend before their housewarming party I found some fabulous prints by artist Jill Bliss at Luna + Hill in Saskatoon. These prints are bright, charming, and will last much longer than the cheese and crackers I originally planned to give the happy homeowners.
Jill’s prints are gorgeous, whimsical, bold, organic, honest. I immediately knew a Jill Bliss print belonged in my friends’ new home. I purchased two prints of onion, beet, carrot; one for the new homeowners and one for me and Henry (my apartment).
I love Jill’s work and think she is an incredibly thoughtful artist. Here is a little blurb on her creative process:
in my mind, “people, plants and animals” or “art, craft and design” are not so different from one another. i believe that everything and everyone are interconnected and similar—it’s just a matter of each functioning with a different set of materials, and at varying speeds and scales. i hope to call attention to these ideas in my work, and to celebrate the small overlooked details that showcase these interconnections and samenesses.
Check out these Jill Bliss lovelies!
Jill shares, “all of my creative output finds its inspiration in the intricate details of the natural world, while exploring the colors of humanity. my deceptively simple, nature-inspired style stems from a childhood romping through northern california orchards, and then going to art school in new york and san francisco.”
I decided to hang my copy of onion, beet, carrot in my living room next to my clock and vintage wall art from my dad.
It is really lovely to display artwork that very beautifully depicts the intricate and fascinating details of the natural world.
It is a beautiful thing when you can incorporate a little bit of nature or nature-inspired artwork into the places you call home.
I have to admit, every day Henry feels more and more like home.
Saturday afternoon I invited some friends over for a birthday crafternoon. We made potato stamps, drank sangria, and ate tasty, lemony birthday cake. It was the perfect way to spend a sunshine-filled Saturday afternoon.
Thank you to everyone who made this afternoon extra special for me. I’m such a lucky girl!
For some DIY potato stamp projects and inspiration check out last week’s post on Potato Stamp Artwork.
Carving potato stamps.
My favourite part: getting messy.
I believe a little wine always helps the creative process.
My lovely friends and their colourful stamps. Everyone had the same materials but all the prints are completely unique.
Time for cake! Thank you so much for the pretty and delicious cake Vanessa!
Love the bright colours and bold prints.
Some retro inspired green prints and the end of another successful crafternoon.
I’m really pleased with how my triangle potato stamps turned out! These prints look great in Henry’s little breakfast nook.
This was a super simple DIY project. The finished product is bold, graphic, modern. Who knew potato stamps could be so chic?