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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...)

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I would like to announce that I now have a flat-rate commissioning service set up in my store for ordering pet portraits. It is very quick, easy and safe to use: check out the page, pick the size you want, pay with PayPal (which accepts Visa, Mastercard, Debit, etc. and actually doesn’t require you to make an account), then send me your photos of your pet. All shipping and any other fees, like taxes, are automatically calculated. If you have any questions, special instructions, or concerns, you can contact me through the “Make an enquiry for this product” button or the Contact page on this site. What’s even better is my portraits generally come with a free bonus: I record a time lapse of the creation process and add it to my new YouTube channel.

Store Page | YouTube Channel

I’ve done several portraits so far. Most of my orders come from Reddit – thanks Reddit! They make a great present for any occasion really: wedding, birthday, consolation gift, or Valentine’s Day of course. The customers that got a portrait as a Christmas present this year regarded it as, I quote:

 “very thoughtful”, a “lovely surprise”, and that they “absolutely love it”. 

Pets are family, and a unique painting lasts longer and means more than, let’s face it, that awkward flash photo. 

Why haven’t I offered something like this before? Well, I think I was just being stubborn, to be honest. I didn’t know I could enjoy painting pets so much, and part of was that I saw many uninspiring portraits. It didn’t seem like something I wanted to get into. Instead, I’m finding it’s really emotionally satisfying to connect with the animal in the image and to hear the owner talk full-heartedly about how much they care about their pet and their special qualities. 

 A few questions I’ve answered since I began offering the service: 

What animals can you paint? Any animal! If you have pictures, I have eyes. So far, I’ve mostly received cat portraits…and that’s cool, but I would love to tackle some birds, reptiles, and horses. 
Can you add things into the painting? Of course! It’s like any artwork I do. I’m putting the decade of experience and knowledge I have as an artist into each painting. I regularly use photos, draw from life, and my imagination. 
Do you take orders from the US (or internationally)? Yup! Use my order page and let the shipping auto-calculate. It’s that easy. 

If you have any questions or comments about my pet portraits and the service, you can definitely leave a comment on this post below, too.