Jessica Sakeskanip contacted me and asked if I would be interested in doing a Portrait session with a twist-- I didn't hesitate and we got working. She pulled together this amazing group of artists to create these beautiful images...Read More
Dark Beauty has been one of the largest sources of inspiration for me as a developing artist. The pages are filled with art that sings to my soul and to so many other artists just like me.
I asked Founder and Editor-in-Chief Topher Adam about his why, how it all started, what Dark Beauty means to him and also, the future of the magazine...Read More
Sara asked me first "What do YOU think about his/her feedback? Do you agree or disagree? How does it make you feel?"
She didn't know that as she was typing that question I was having a bit of a miniature panic attack on the other side of the keyboard...Read More
Building upon yesterday's post, The Dreams of Others, we all have dreams, usually we have more than one, some of these dreams are brought about after exciting conversations with friends, talks with mentors and elders. Some people will give us suggestions or gentle nudges in the right direction-- or is it the right direction?Read More
To daydream. We all do it and we feel the exhilaration of those thoughts: of the dream job, the hidden activist or the secret gift that we wish to share with the world. These dreams are precious, we hold them close, maybe whispering them in late night walks with loved ones, exploring the possibilities of what if...Read More
My passion has always been to sell my photographs as Limited Edition Prints and now, the time has come! My online store is LIVE!
Currently there are two options available:
The first is an Edition of 20 for 8 x 12 inch prints.
The second is an Edition of 15 for 12 x 18 inch prints.
Both are printed on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper. The texture is subtle and to me, the rich colours remind me of velvet. Each print is hand signed and numbered by yours truly.
I know when I opened a print store I wanted each order to be special, unique and a connection between me and the future print owner. So, for each order I am going to share a story with you about the photograph. It might be a secret about the image, a story I came up with to bring the photograph to life or it could be a little truth about myself, a memory of mine that inspired the image.
I hope to share my stories with you all and to inspire you in your own endeavors.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I'll answer them as soon as possible!
All the best,
I never expected to spend my evening on November 1st, walking through a Catholic cemetery during the Hallowtide Triduum-- but there I was, surrounded by candles in the pitch black. The energy was electrifying, the visuals solemn and the conversation inspiring.Read More
A few days ago I arrived home from Europe, ready to throw myself directly into the world of creating. All of the inspiration I accumulated over the past few weeks had lit a fire in the inspiration department of my soul. I took over 20,000 photos of anything that stirred an emotion in me. I toured cities, castles, museums, galleries, memorials and religious buildings. I involved all my senses in the experience. I closed my eyes, listening to the sounds, the smells, allowing myself to fully experience each moment that was offered to me.
I couldn't believe I was in Europe. It felt like a dream, a cloudy dream that I wished for every day and had finally accomplished. Every moment was followed by a feeling of deja vu, I have done this before.
Deja vu, is a French saying, it is defined as "a feeling of having already experienced a present situation". In some cultures it meant you were on the right path in life, possibly a destined path. With each episode of deja vu I stopped and savoured it. Some of those moments I remembered dreaming months before the trip, while others were just a feeling.
They grounded me and in a way they were preparing me for the life changes to come. I never expected a trip to Europe would change my life as much as it did. Nor did I expect to come home and find out that my childhood home was sold two days after my arrival and in less than two months, I was moving.
The past few months have shown me that I need to step out of my comfort zone and trust in exploration. Roll with the punches and get up stronger. Last night I sat in my back yard, the orchard trees turning to crooked shadows in the dark. The deja vu I had experienced on the trip turned and reared its head once more.
I knew this day would arrive. A day where all the comforts I knew were being peeled back, leaving me vulnerable to a new world, one that I could not hide from.
It is time for me to strive for greater goals and to push myself past the known, and into the unknown.
Until next week,
Four days. 17 museums and galleries. 54 postcards and counting...
For the past four days I have been in Vienna, Austria. Every available hour has been spent in museums, palaces and art galleries. I have had the pleasure of experiencing art from Egyptian to Medieval to impressionism and all the way to modern. I stood in front of enormous canvases filled with tiny detailed figures and later that day I was standing in a palace looking at a modern exhibition of warped mirrors.
Vienna has proved to be enlightening on all levels-- Experiencing Klimt, Schiele, Raphael, Manet, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh (again!) and so many others. My eyes were refreshed to the diversity of the word art and I ate up every moment.
One brilliant piece of advice that I have learnt from my dear friend Daryl was that even if you don't enjoy the art you are looking at, take a step back and ask why. What about the artwork creates the emotion of distaste? Or are you numb? Discover why something gives you a negative or blank reaction, explore the art and learn about it. In the process of deciphering the odd shapes in front of you, try and understand the artist's vision. Were they successful? Does the art mean anything to you? Does it have a story? Title? Colour?
Once I slow down and take in every piece of art-- not just my favourites, I learn a valuable lesson. A lesson in communication, in symbols and in styles.
Any reaction is a good reaction. You want people to be stirred up by your art and create a response. Once I reacted to the art, I knew the artist had my attention and it was time to explore their vision.
More posts about my trip will follow! Off to Budapest, Hungary in the morning!
All the best,
Berlin. I was introduced through a forest of thin trees, behind the industrial ghost towns and graffiti. Though it was not until the train tracks were raised above the city streets, giving me my first true introduction of the diversity and history Berlin had to offer. With the Zoo and Tiergarten below, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church appeared from behind the modern hotels, a reminder of her troubled past. It set the mood for my time in the capital of Germany.
Throughout the next 5 days, Berlin slowly showed me her world. Her history, her nature, her good sides, and her bad. I wandered through the Museumsinsel, becoming more educated on the many forms of art that she had collected, discovered, created and displayed to the public. The beautiful sculptures and large paintings sent me reeling in creative inspiration and it was also on Museumsinsel that I was introduced to Nefertiti. The simple but graceful bust that still has left an emotional impression on me.
In the centre of Berlin, I walked slowly through the "Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe." The rectangular columns surrounding me, allowing glimpses down the rows but also leaving a world hidden behind the next corner. The memorial encompassed a feeling of loss and of memory, enveloping all my senses as I wandered through the rows. It was when I heard distant laughter, discovering children running through the rows, playing hide and seek... Their smiling faces disappearing behind the cold grey steles, that was when the full effect of the memorial hit me.
In the evening light, I walked back to the hotel through the Tiergarten, remembering the day, the joy, education, the troubled past, the story Berlin showed-- it was just an introduction. An introduction of the city but also of an idea.
I have an idea, I hinted at it a few weeks ago but now, seeing all this art, the history and stories... It has stirred something in me. The glimpse of memories and emotions, the past thick in the air, the hidden stories behind the doors of the crypts. Moments forgotten or lost, those moments are something that intrigue me. Not the moment itself, but the feeling they illicit within.
More posts to come and the photographs of my trip will appear in September when I return from my long trip through this amazing continent.
All the best,
Yesterday morning I stumbled off a coach bus at 5am. I had gone from London to Amsterdam, the night was long and uncomfortable and I dragged myself to my only goal in Amsterdam-- The Van Gogh Museum.
As I walked into the first room I was introduced to Vincent van Gogh, his humble beginning into art officially started at the age of 27.
I moved from painting to painting, calmly focusing on each work. I wandered through the rooms, his Dutch years, the Paris years... The way his colours went from dark muddy and muted into the bright and colourful pigments everyone knows today.
I stood in front of my favourite painting Almond blossom, with a new perspective on the artist I admired. Vincent had 10 years to paint all the works that we enjoy today.
He threw himself into the love of discovery, experimentation and inspiration. He tried different techniques with his tools- moody thick ladden dark paints and light draftsman style thin layers that almost look like pointilism in watercolour. He tried out colour combinations and light sources. Every piece of artwork shows progress and development from the last. You can see his haste and his frustration. His joy and his discovery.
At the end of the exhibition was a timeline of his life, between people who rushed through to the bookshop I slowly read the words that summed up his life as an artist.
It felt to abrupt and too short. Ten years of ardious work summed up into a measly little timeline, one that highlighted his times with Gauguin and his admissions to mental hospitals.
When I read the words "Vincent shot himself in the chest" I felt my tears on my cheeks. The work he had done felt like a scratch into the true existance of the character we know as Vincent van Gogh. This was just an introduction into a deep, intense being and my respect and admiration grew as I viewed his last works, slowly abosrbing them. I left silent, hoping to remember that feeling of pure passion forever. Another loss of a dear friend I never met, oh I wish I had.
Vincent van Gogh has reaffirmed to me that experimentation and passion should always be in your work. He showed me that I should follow my heart and do what feels right. It is only day 2 on my trek thru the mainland of Europe and I am already inspired to create new work and to push myself to new heights that I never even imagined.
All the best,
On Tuesday evening, I will be at the Vancouver International Airport, heading back to Europe. A place that I promised to myself that I would return-- and for longer.
It was 6 years ago that I went to Germany, Italy and Greece. Back then I was fully invested in my graphite and pencil art. I went there to be inspired by the architecture, the art and the history that I so loved. I had brought with me a trusty point and shoot camera to take reference images for future paintings and drawings. I was determined to document every moment while I was there. And I did. 1500+ images later and I was back in Canada.
When I saw my family waiting for me at airport arrivals, it was my Dad who just looked at me and knew that I had left my heart back in Europe. I did. I felt like I got a taste of a place that had so many hidden mysteries left for me to discover.
During that trip, I realized that photography was more than just a way to document my travel experiences, it was an art form as well. The statues changed as I moved around them, the angle that I shot the cathedrals made them come alive. I became obsessed with telling a story through those images. I realized the mystery of the camera, the power of creating images starting with just click of a button and the infinite possibilities photography had to bring my ideas to light.
I continued to create pencil art but slowly, my heart was drawn to the curious object of the camera. I went out and started taking photographs, self portraits and eventually I started asking friends. Before going to Europe I would have told you that photography was not an interest of mine, I saw no future in it for me. Without Europe, I wouldn't have discovered an art form that I feel at home with.
Now, I am returning to Europe to have a longer conversation with her and the art that inspired me so much. It is a trip to not only document more inspiration, but a trip of soul searching-- a creative soul searching. I want to see how these experiences will influence my future work, the plans I have laid out. The next 38 days will be a roller coaster of love, of art, of inspiration and of endless possibilities.
I am looking forward to sharing my journey with you!
All the best,