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Based on the feedback I received from my colour test from my newsletter and social media, I tried a few other colour tests, incorporated a few suggestions, and ultimately selected the "green" scheme. It was the most popular, but what I inclined towards as well. It was very valuable to do a colour test, get feedback, and push the direction of the image further instead of just going with my gut instinct or first idea.

The Reach11"x15". Watercolour. ~2016 A variety of hands of different gender and age, grasping and reaching, as some suggest, for life force from the blood running through the scene. The finger tips on some hands are frost bitten. The colours for the skin tone are taken from the bi flag, but the background is complementary and revitalizing. The artwork is signed in the corner with pencil.

I think it turned out fairly "clean" in terms of technique, even though my mask failed and I had to repaint so much. Maybe that's just how these masks work. Here's a detail for texture:

Painting 11"x15". Watercolour. ~2016" />Painting 11"x15". Watercolour. ~2016" />
Close-up of "The Reach"

I'm not entirely sure what I feel about the artwork, having originally created the pencils in a down-in-the-dumps mood, then bouncing in and out of that state, and going with something the feels more energetic and refreshing for colours in the end. I felt compelled to reuse the same bi-flag colours as I used in my Biphobia piece. Maybe it's just hard to feel anything when I feel completely drained by life, so maybe it will say something more to me later. On the aesthetic level, it feels pretty solid and I feel good about that.

I also managed to completely forget about this piece I did based on my cactus. I kind of go from one piece immediately into the next. I finished this months ago! I really enjoyed creating this "collage". I think it's a great way to observe a subject thoroughly, have little patches of experimentation and texture, and end up with a completed piece instead of random sketches all over a sketchbook.

Christmas Cactus CollageWatercolour on watercolour paper. 12"x17.5". Observational collage of sketches from my christmas cactus. ~2015

The major issue with my current studio situation (or lack there-of) is space. The issue with watercolours is also that they need a frame. I have neither frames nor space to hang and reflect on my own artwork, so they usually just goes straight into my huge black portfolio, where they are flat and safe, and don't see light again ions. I'm making an effort to take out the artwork more often and look at the real thing, instead of the image on the computer - which is hardly the same experience. Looking at my own work is paramount to seeing progress.

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The past few days, I've spent a lot of time rescanning and rephotographing some old artwork. Technology has advanced: I can get 3 or 4 times the resolution and greater sharpness than my original photos. Believe it or not, I had the original Canon Rebel DSLR that is the predecessor to the all the fancy Canon DSLRs people obsess over today. Honestly, that old camera still takes better photos than my cellphone...but, my cellphone is far more portable.

The reason I got into this is because I am being interviewed to be featured in Emboss Magazine, which is an art publication that prints on-demand. I answered tonnes of questions and I'm submitting artwork for print. So, here is some old artwork I polished up.

Urban Country24"x18". Willow charcoal, prisma colour pencil, white watercolour paint on acid free pastel paper. NSCAD Foundation Drawing II Project No. 2 - landscape, where a feature is replaced by popcorn. ~ 2008

The Urban Country piece will be featured in the magazine.

Now, this piece and the pieces below I am looking for a home for. I'm taking bids (reply in comments, send me a message on Facebook, or reply to my newsletter email). Don't be shy - tell me your best offer. I do not expect to sell these at my current prices, so it's a chance to get some original art for less.

A Little Girl's Dream16"x6.5". Watercolour on watercolour paper. ~ 2007

This watercolour is probably the "first" watercolour piece I ever painted. I had no guidance and didn't have a clue what I was doing - I just did what felt right. The river in the image is the river that runs through Lindsay, Ontario - a river which to this day I do not know the name of. I remember I thought of this image one day while walking past it and it was foggy. Price: Your best offer.

3Me24"x18". Oil pastel, acrylic, yarn and string on manilla paper. Representing each of the 3 different people I am. ~ 2007

I love this piece. I loved this piece when I made it and loved it ever since. It was just fun, purely experimental, and purely mixed media. It used to mean a lot to me back when I was a teenager. I was heavily experiencing a whole personality shift and sorting out my emotions back then. If I had the funds, I'd keep it and frame it myself, but as it is - it really needs a good home and a good frame.

Here are some beautiful close-ups of some of the detail in the piece.

Drawing 24"x18". Oil pastel, acrylic, yarn and string on manilla paper. ~2007" />Drawing 24"x18". Oil pastel, acrylic, yarn and string on manilla paper. ~2007" />
Drawing 24"x18". Oil pastel, acrylic, yarn and string on manilla paper. ~2007" />Drawing 24"x18". Oil pastel, acrylic, yarn and string on manilla paper. ~2007" />
Unknown FacesPastels and other mediums, 18"x20", circa 2007. An unfinished piece. Signed, painted white on back.

Last piece I'd like to show has never been seen before *gasp*. It's emotional, and I got emotional. When I made it, I made a declaration it was awful and threw it in my portfolio, but Justin has convinced me it is worth showing to the world. Again, your best offer.

If you'd like to get updates on deals on artwork like this one ahead of anyone else, sign up to my newsletter.

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At this point, I am undecided whether or not I'll keep a separate blog now that I have an Instagram page that literally fills the void and I can talk to people directly through my site, Facebook, or my newsletter (sign up). So, here's my first work-in-progress post. 

I started this drawing when I was feeling really sad. Sadly, most of my inspired ideas come when I am in the worst mood. This was an overwhelming image in my imagination of just thousands of hands grasping and reaching for something, failing, and tearing each other apart. Slowly over the course of many hours, I drew all these hands. By then, my mood lightened up and I saw this in a different light. I didn't use any references for these hands, instead applied what I learned in the rather excellent Drawing Anatomy class at NSCAD. If there's one class you should take as an artist, that's it right there.

So now that my mood, impression, and whole idea of what this drawing was meant to be has changed, I am stuck figuring out what colours I want. I am going to finish this piece in watercolour, probably in the new adaption in style I've been using in my pet portraits; it's 18"x12". Here are my colour pencil tests below, what do you think? (1, 2, 3, 4 - note: the numbers are messed up because I am that numerically challenged...)