Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Getting to Know Geraniums Pt. 2

HB pencil & paper...hanging out with a geranium and a begonia yesterday.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Here are some images from a personal project I was working on the the winter...I had it in mind to put together a large series of images to be printed on a tea towel altogether, using the amazing fabric-printing resource Spoonflower. I may yet finish this project, but I am excited about a new fabric-design project I've begun very recently. For now, here are some little images of things!
Mostly watercolor, little bit of digital here and there.
black walnut bough
globe artichoke

sugar snap pea

 the now-obsolete Canadian penny!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cat, Skunk, WAR!

I was asked in the early spring of this year by a good friend of mine--who also happens to be a very talented musician, currently studying Electroacoustics--to make a little album cover for his latest upcoming demo/ EP. (Here is his soundcloud - check it out!!)

This friend wanted the cover to feature a "dystopian" scene based on an interesting part of Montreal he has frequented, full of crumbling, smoking, noisy factories; cement and graffiti, abandoned buildings and buildings with unkown or mysterious purposes; and of course some plywood shacks (or "jamspaces") and old factory lofts where some or all of this music was inspired and composed.

I decided the scene was fairly dystopian enough without my adding anything to it, so I just drew the scene directly from a photograph of this area, thinking also it was appropriate because of this place's significance to the music.

Based on the CD sleeves we wanted to use, I decided that printing using lino blocks and ink would be the easiest (though perhaps not the fastest) way to go about it, and set about making it happen.

First I scanned the drawing, colored it digitally to break it into simple colors and forms--making it easier to create a linocut--then printed it out backwards, traced it onto my lino (two colors, two blocks for the cover image; then one for the words on the back, and another for the title), carved the lino blocks, and printed them. I am pretty happy with the results, though of course each cover is unique, as each one is printed by hand...therefore some are better than others! Here are some images from the process.

original sketch
 digital rendering


two-color 5" square EP cover!
front & back

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Morning Glories...Again!

Good Morning! is a reiteration/ re-vamp of an info/ illustration I did last Spring for fun...(and to use for sharing knowledge!)

(Here's one of the morning glories that bloomed on our porch!)

Monday, 13 May 2013

COMPOSTING: Greens and Browns

Last Spring I volunteered to do a series of spot illustrations for 'Rooftops Montreal' which exists under the umbrella organization called 'Alternatives'. The project was to create a number of free, instructive, illustrated pages on various topics to do with gardening for beginners. It ranged from what tools to use to how to plant seeds, to specific plant care to what to put in your compost. I believe there were going to be ten sheets in all. Alternatives interns, who were also Horticulture students, came up with the concepts and text for the sheets (all in French), and I provided the artwork. A few of the sheets (or, "fiches horticoles") were made, but the project has either been scrapped or put on hold for the time being. You can see a few of them here.

Just for fun, and also to make something I know I will use, I decided to put together two sheets - using some of the illustrations I made for that above mentioned project - on what to put in your compost, and what NOT to put in your compost!

Of course these are very very basic...composting really is a science and there is so much one can know about it if one were so inclined to "dig in" to the subject, so to speak :)

Essentially compost is made up of organic matter that breaks down into a fertile substance which can be added to soil to greatly improve plant health and growth. Organic matter which is good for making compost is classified, generally, as being either "brown" or "green".

Green compostables are sources of organic nitrogen, because they are things which are high in nitrogen or protein to begin with. Greens decompose quickly, producing heat and generally speeding up the compost breakdown.

Brown compost items are classified as organic materials that are high in carbon, or carbohydrates, and when they break down become a source of organic carbon. The carbon-giving materials keep the nitrogen from the green matter from evaporating or leaching away, and also absorb the mal-odours produced by the green matter. Browns are the main source of energy and food for most soil organisms, and are essential for making good humus.

As I've said in my little chart, you want a ratio of about 25 - 30 parts brown/ carbon to one part green/ nitrogen. You can see in the "What to Put in Your Compost" sheet what is what by the colored dot beside each item.

You can tell which is which (if you're not sure) by putting some water on the item/ matter in question, and if, in a few days, that item has begun to reek, you can assume it is a "green". If not, then it is a "brown".

Anyway, I just kind of threw these together as a fun little experiment...the digital type and lines are not ideal, but what the "hay" I'm sure they will come in useful, and can always be revisited!

Plant Drawing

Just playing around with ball point pen and a little still life. (Though whether or not plants count as "still life" is debatable....!)

Mother's Day

A little something I painted for my mom for Mother's day.

A few little recent sketches