Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kelly and Chris Lanktree - 1st Wedding Anniversary

Kelly and Chris Lanktree
8" x 10"
Graphite on 100lb Strathmore Bristol Vellum

This is the commissioned piece I had been working on. It was a gift for Kelly and Chris's first wedding anniversary, also known and the Paper Anniversary, it was a perfect choice of a gift. I heard from the client that Kelly and Chris loved the piece. (It is always nice to get feedback from clients).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tree Peony (VSD0908 & EDM#76)

Tree Peony
5" x 7"
Graphite on Strathmore Bristol Vellum
February 2009

I did not get a chance to do the Virtural Sketch Date (VSD) in September 2008. The tree peony was that month's challenge. It was generously provided by Sharon.

I really liked the image and so I decided to do it now.

Call me the Queen of Multi-Tasking! This is also going to be my Every Day Matters (EDM) submission for #76 (draw some flowers). And, I am making this a gift for some dear friends of ours.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last Piece of Birthday Cake

This is a quick sketch of the last piece of my birthday cake, minutes before being eaten. This was done in my small Moleskine sketchbook with pencil and Koh-I-Nor woodless coloured pencils.

EDM # 169 (draw a piece of cake), # 195 (draw a fork) and # 209 (draw a shadow)

My friend, Angela Fisher, just started her own blog. She is an amazing artist. Please go check out her new blog and her website.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ana's 47th Birthday

Today was my 47th birthday. In the photo above, you see me with the gift my husband and son gave me, a 132 count Prismacolor set of coloured pencils, with Ann Kullberg's painting on the front of the tin. I was absolutely thrilled to get this.

This morning my friend, Laura, and her mother, Beverley, called and sang Happy Birthday to me. That was so nice. I also got a call from my Godmother Laurinda and my Aunt Olimpia (both in St. Catharines, Ontario), a call from my mother, and a brief visit from my brother, Emilio (the computer genius).

My friend, Jill Hammond, came by at noon today, and spent the day with me. She brought me a lovely ceramic cockatiel statuette. I have to still photograph it and will upload it at another date. It is beautiful. We had a great visit. It had been a long while since we had a face to face visit. She is the beautiful red-head that I did a portrait of earlier. She is concerned that she has put on some weight, but I think she looks more beautiful than ever. The weight suits her and makes her sensuous and curvy.

Anthony and our son treated me to supper at Under the Volcano, a local Mexican dining establishment. The food was wonderful, as always. I am still way too full. I had my yearly margarita too. Yum

When we arrived home, we had some strawberry Boston cream cake, coffee, and opening of gift.

All in all, it was a wonderful birthday. Click on picture below to see more photos.

Ana's 47th Birthday

I have also finished a black and white commissioned portrait for a 1st anniversary. I will not be able to post it until after the gift is received by the recipients because I do not want to spoil the surprise. I will share it here as soon as they get it. I am working on a portrait of a little boy next, plus I have some other ideas to do, and Jill has asked me to do a portrait for a friend of hers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Day In The Arts

I just subscribed to this wonderful new art magazine: A Day In The Arts. The first issue is fantastic and very interesting. It is well written and well designed. I know I am going to enjoy getting this daily magazine. It will be both informative and inspirational. What a great way to get your daily dose of art!

I copied the following from the home page:
The FREE daily art magazine.

For many, the art world can be a very intimidating place, filled with musty art museums, high-end art galleries and modern art that they can't seem to grasp the meaning of. For others, it is filled with great masterpieces that inspire the imagination and bring color and joy to their lives.

We want to make the exciting world of art accessible to all. We want you to enjoy the art, the theory, the practice and the history in a way that you never have before. Come join us on our daily journey through the arts. You'll examine classic works as well as contemporary art. You'll learn about the old masters and meet the modern and up and coming artists as well. Together we will review new books and materials and seek out the latest exhibits. Join us each day. The journey won't cost you anything but a few moments of your time. Your reward will be great.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Gift Baskets by Design & Flowering Tea

A flowering tea, or blooming tea, is a small bundle of dried tea leaves and flowers bound together into a ball. When steeped, the bundle expands and unfurls in a process that emulates a blooming flower. Flowering teas are fragrant, aromatic teas that do not tend to get bitter with extended steeping. Flowering teas are often prepared in a transparent vessel for easy viewing. I didn't have a nice transparent tea-pot so I used a 4 cup measure so that we could see the beauty of the flowering tea. It was the only transparent thing I had big enough to make tea in. My husband, Anthony, and I spent the evening enjoying this tea while watching Laurence of Arabia followed by Casablanca.

For the last several years I have been driving by Gift Baskets by Design, on Wharncliffe Road, almost daily on the way downtown or back home. I have often wondered how a storefront could be supported by gift baskets alone. Today, I had the pleasure of going inside and meeting with Angie Wilson (owner) and Bonita Stevenson (associate).

First, let me tell you, all my preconceived ideas were dashed on the spot. The nondescript exterior belies the beauty of the interior. The interior was not only tastefully decorated, but warm and inviting. The fragrance upon entering is heavenly. There was so much to see that my eyes kept wandering over the displays, seats, tables, and teas...oh the teas!

And, to my surprise, there is a lot more than just gift baskets inside the shop. There are all kinds of wonderful gifts and gift ideas. I cannot even start to list them all. Angie also has a whole selection of wonderful and exotic teas. You can purchase them by the ounce. That is where I got the flowering tea. I had heard about this tea but had not come across it in my daily travels.

Angie and Bonita were saying that they hope to open a tea house in the future. However, for now you can go in person (or order online or by phone) to get these wonderful teas. Another thing you can do, is have them supply a variety of teas for your special evenings, book club meetings, spa night, or whenever you are having a group of people over for an occasion.

It was a pure delight to go in today. I wish I had made the effort to go inside sooner. If you live in the London, Ontario area you must drop in and check out this wonderful gem on Wharncliffe Road.

Gift Baskets by Design
315 Wharncliffe Rd South
London, Ontario

There is free parking in the rear
They deliver.

When I came home this afternoon and showed Anthony the tea, he was very excited about it. He had heard some women at work talking about this tea. He had wanted to try it too. He is enjoying it as much as I am. It is deliciously mild and relaxing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Artwork Coming Soon...

Clip Art from MSN

I know many people are waiting patiently for me to post some new artwork. Currently, I am in the process of working on three commissioned pieces, two are for anniversaries and one for a baptismal. I cannot post these until after the recipients receive them, as they are surprise gifts.

My favourite framer, Vince Tedesco, of London Picture Framing (1041 Gainsborough , London, ON 519-473-7557), called me yesterday and said he had recommended me for another commissioned portrait. So, if the person calls me up, I will have a one more commissioned piece to work on. I love doing commissions, but quite often, I cannot post them until after the recipient receives them.

Hopefully I can get a few smaller pieces done in the mean time to post here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Rainbow

Your rainbow is intensely shaded indigo, blue, and gray.

What is says about you: You are a tranquil person. You appreciate tradition and wisdom that comes with age. You depend on modern technology and may feel uncomfortable without it. Friends count on you for being honest and insightful.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Several EDM Challenges

Most Monday nights, for the last little while, I meet with my friend Patti Murphy at Williams Coffee Pub for a coffee. Patti comes into my end of London (Ontario) from Lucan (Ontario) on Monday nights so that her son can attend a soccer practice at a local high school. It is great seeing her once a week.

Last night I arrived a bit early so entertained myself by drawing in my new moleskine sketchbook. I drew what was in front of me on the table. The sketchbook is 3½" x 5½" so this is a pretty small drawing. Since so many things were incorporated in this drawing, I decided to use this as a submission to several EDM (Everyday Matters) challenges (listed above). The above sketch took about an hour to do. I started it while I waited for Patti and finished it later, at home (added the shading). That is a lipstick stain on my mug.

You can see the bleed through from the first page (the pen & ink) that I did. Although I liked the way the ink laid down, I did not like the bleed through. The graphite worked very well and smoothly.

Tools used on above sketch:
  • Moleskine sketchbook
  • 2B Mechanical pencil
  • Kneaded eraser

Monday, February 2, 2009

The 4th Annual Juried Miniature Show

I have two pieces entered in this show. If you click on the above image it will take you to the site, where you can see the images online. Mine is the Tobias Cat and the Parrot.

EDM#205 & TAD#2

This image is doing triple duty. It is my EDM#205 (Everyday Matters) assignment, it is my post for TAD#2 (Thing-a-Day), and it is my inaugural drawing in my new Moleskine sketchbook.

This was a quick and dirty sketch that took me about 15 minutes to complete. It is just a basic line sketch done in pen & ink. I wanted something to start off my new sketchbook. My sketchbook is 3.5in x 5.5in so this is not a very big image.

Do I like the moleskine? Well, yes. I like the slickness of the page and how the ink went on smoothly. I was a little disappointed that the ink bled through the page a little bit. However, it was not too bad and I can work around it.

This sketchbook is mainly going to be used as a traveling sketchbook since it fits nicely into my pocket or small purse. I like having a sketchbook with me at all times for when the mood hits me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Date with My Sweetie

I used this photo for Thing-A-Day 2009. I had all intentions of creating something artistic today, however, it did not turn out that way. So, I added the above photo from my date with my Sweetie. It was our first "Date" of 2009.

The best part of my day was that My Sweetie, Anthony, and I had a lovely “date”. We went to Chapters (a Canadian bookstore chain, similar to Barnes and Noble) and had a great time. We had a latte and cookie each at Starbucks. Anthony picked up a book on birds (Audubon's Masterpieces: 150 Prints from the Birds of America) and he got me a pocket sized moleskine sketchbook that I can carry around in my purse or pocket.

We saw someone that looked exactly like Ron James, the Canadian comedian, walking around Chapters. I said we should go ask him if he is Ron James, but we were afraid to intrude (if it was him) or embarrass ourselves (if he was not). I told my husband I would ask, but I did not see him again. It turns out IT WAS HIM! I checked his performance dates online and he is in London Ontario today and tomorrow! Ugh. I wish we had said hello and told him how much we enjoy his work.

I am very excited about my new moleskine sketchbook. I can barely wait to start using it. I had filled up my last pocket sized sketchbook and needed one to carry around.