Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Painting Exercises

It's been months since I've picked up a brush to do some oil painting. I've primed several small canvases and I'm going to fool about and do a couple of still lifes and colour exercises to get myself reacquainted with mixing colours with different solvents.

It's been much too long since I've done painting from life and I'm kind of jonesing for it at this point. My studio is closed for the holiday and I have the opportunity so I'm going to seize it.

I'll be posting my colour practices up here in a few days.

1 hour study in oil paint
December 2011


Painted a few studies of this tea pot and random things in December which has since had the canvases repurposed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not Even A Car Crash... maybe a tank.

This is a TED talk video featuring Klaus Stadlmann presenting his itty-bitty 3d printer. The printer itself is rather small and what it prints is measured in microns which opens many doors.
It's worth watching.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PMC - Coppery Clay - Firing

My attempt at a pmc-copper clay firing was dismal. I placed the pieces in the instructed contained and covered said pieces in activated carbon and sent up my kiln(electric with a control) and ventured off to attempt some pressing matters outside the studio. Smoke. A lot of smoke. The poor ladies in the studio had to open all the studio doors and deal with the smell. To boot the pieces were only partially successful, while they now feel like metal they are dull and rough looking. Not the desired result. Any further experiments I do with the pmc-copper clay will be done when the studio is barren so as to not smoke out my compatriots.

comes of that.

Other News: My porcelain canvas substrates have arrived, with some free seconds to play about with! I've decided to get a couple of my artsy friends to play with one or two as well so we shall see what

IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE... after I killed it once, maybe twice.

It lives! It only took forever. After a couple failed attempts at making my rather large, heavy and monstrous upside down positive I now have my rather large, heavy, cellulose fiber and plaster mold from which it shall give birth to more vase babies.

This vessel mold shall be the starting point from which I shall further the design of my cloud vessels from my previous academic year. These pieces shall be slip cast in cone 7-10 porcelain. I'm expecting some slumping with the high firing temperature and a fairly translucent porcelain as a result. The slumping I'm hoping will add a soften, more gestural feel to my pieces making them look a bit more round and natural.

CNC and Me

Recently I was offered the chance to make use of my schools new CNC machine. I've designed a bowl that can be cut out by the machine to near perfection and from there I can mold it up and make many casts. This experience is rather exciting for me because it opens up a lot of design and making possibilities. It will allow me and others to take things farther than what we could, make things a bit sharper, a bit more symmetric and closer to the idea we had in mind. At least it hast he possibility of doing that for me.

To get the design from point A (my head) to point C (the CNC machine) it must first venture to point B (solid works). A kind faculty member, Stephen Hugo-Seinader, has offered to draw it up in Solid Works. Yay!

Design Hope

My little three sided cuddle cups have been toasted to a creamy, white and besides some rather minor tweaks in the design they are rather nice to drink from. The shape and feel are nice, the torque in the design help further for comfort in holding the piece. My major complaint, which is minor, is that in taking the last two small sips you can get some drips.

These three sided cups are part of a collaborative piece, previously mentioned I believe, with Kamal Fox, a furniture designer. The cuddle cups are to be nested into a wooden tray with the idea that it is for the individual. The tray and cup set is designed with the tea drinking bookworm in mind.

Another tidbit about our collaboration is that this piece has been accepted into the annual Design Hope event to help raise awareness about homelessness.

Check out their good deeds

Monday, November 28, 2011

Remembering the Basics

It's been an age since I last stepped into a life drawing studio but it was rather lovely to get into it again. This depicts the progression through my first session in a couple of years. All the way from 'How do I use conte again?' to 'Right, I love mid-tones'.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In my little studio space I have 6 sets of three sided cuddle cups, creamers, sugars and cuddle cup saucers just snuggling together awaiting their time to be fired. Soon, my pretties, soon. After that a bath in some clear glaze and another toasting!

I just received the Precious Metal Clay (PMC) I ordered a while back in the mail. I'm interested in what I can do with it and how I can incorporate it as design elements. I ordered the copper to mess about with since it seems to be the most economical for the money. PMC seems to be primarily used by crafty people and hobby jewelers but somehow I doubt a ring of copper is a good thing(turns your skin green) and I'm going to see what else I can make from it.

I ordered some large Porcelain Canvas Subtrates(PCS) at about the same time and I'm hoping that they'll be arriving some time this week. Robin Hopper brought a test tile with him showing that you can, against logic seemingly, use crystalline glaze on them successfully. PCS are nifty little canvases and I'm glad to be able to dabble with them. Check out the site -> (They also sell Keraflex).
My 'Blue Girl' is in the site gallery as long as many lovely examples of their versatility as a drawing/painting surface by other ceramicists.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Whale Bones

I'm working on a project that I've entitled 'Leviathan'. At present I'm trying to figure out the structure and skin work of a clay blue way that will be mounted so that it stands about a foot from the wall.

Here are its beginnings (white paper clay)

Robin Hopper Workshop

Robin Hopper is visiting the Sheridan Ceramics Studio. He's actually already arrived! Robin's going to be giving us a three day workshop, Saturday thru Monday, and our studio has been bustling about in preparation for his anticipated visit.

I made up a few of his slips which was actually kind of fun. They're so rich when you're making them that you get the sense that they're some kind of velvety death icing.

Many shows, many books, many ventures and much knowledge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cristina Cordova

One of my favourite ceramicists is Cristina Cordova. I think her work is not only gorgeous, and enviably skillful but its also very good at drawing the viewer in and keeping you. I'm very drawn to Cordova's pieces for emotional connectivity, technical ability and and illustrative qualities.

Seek her out, know her work.

Vestigios, my favourite Cordova piece.

Making a Positive to make a Negative

This is the beginnings of a rather large stoneware version of the base to my revised cloud vases. This foot tall hump isn't even a third of its destined height. Once I've completed this piece I'll be making a plaster mold from it. It's going to be heavy. Wish me luck.

A Month of Animals

I need practice. Practice makes better and with that in mind I've been giving my self the task of assigning myself a subject to study and sketch to advance my drawing repertoire. October is a month of animals ie aardvarks, cobras, leopards and a funny little creature I was told of called a pangolin.

Sketches are of aardvarks and cobras

Kathleen's Studio Space

The autumn has started and so has my work on my vases, cuddle cups and all the rest. I'm working in porcelain this year and I'm loving its durability in its raw stage. I'm finding it much easier to work with porcelain slabs rather than stoneware. I have my own little burrow in our ceramics department this year, as it is my third and final year in the program, it's located in the lower level of our studio and there's lots of natural light down there. Also, few people in the afternoons.

These photos are of my studio space and three sided slab cups/sugar bowls I'm fiddling with as part of a collaboration with Kamal Fox(A furniture designer).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just because I can...

I've been pondering an illustration project for myself and as I have a love of portrait art and a love of music that hits you where you pretend doesn't exist a plan is born. On the docket is Adele the lovely who brings back all kinds of emotions with her passion, also, Ryan Guldemond of Mother Mother whose lyrics often speak to the darker and ever present side of myself and manages to brain wash me to being in the moment with the song.

My first round of sketches to figure out what I'll be including in the background and the styling.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cold Feet

I sat with my feet in the hot water of the tub last night and sketched my surroundings and my phone, which I snap all these photos with. It was a pleasant mix hot water and the slightly odd lyrics of Mother Mother.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I sat accompanying a friend of mine in the woodshop and sketched the busy interior. It was a pleasant mid spring afternoon for me. I like the smell of sawdust (although its an irritant). I hope to have more afternoons in this fashion.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Me Learn Painter

I'm finding Corel Painter to be more and more of a useful program for not only working on scan images but also for doing sketches for paintings. I really appreciate how much easier the palette is to work with in this program but there are some functions from photoshop that would be invaluable.

No reference, just fiddling.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Toronto Beach

I went into the big city for a job last week and on my way back I was sitting on the streetcar and when I moved my feet I noticed it was unusually gritty. Looking down I found, to my pleasant surprise, someone had desired a white, and sparkling sandy beach aboard the car. It was strange but a nice ode to the summer.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My last year of ceramics is coming up shortly and I've been attempting to visualize my sculptural project. My project will be using examples of real life leviathans because of their long existences on our planet and they shall have the visual wear that the world creates. I'm going to attempt them in a white body clay (likely porcelain) and try to have it electroplated in sections to show the collecting of pollution and change like barnacles growing slowly.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Terrace Princess

Reality isn't near the dreams we conjure up. A sad princess sits in a dream terrace pondering her existence and what to do to move strongly forward.

A quick sketch in watercolour from my sketchbook I did as a study for an oil painting I'm working on.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life Drawing

These are some life drawings I did a couple months back and just came across again while I was reviewing my sketchbook. I tried to pay especial attention to more than just the figure to make more of a whole image. These are likely done in 2b to 4b which is what I generally sketch with. These are the work of around an hour or so each. I believe the costumed woman is about an hour and a half while the golfing gentleman is around 45 minutes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Learning

Just some more playing with painter to see what comes from it. This is photo reference from a shot of my sister. I called it quits for the night when my computer went wonky on me, again.

Note: This is a really basic block in with me mashing keys to see which ones are hot keys.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wake up and Corel

This is a warm up I did while teaching myself Corel Painter yesterday. So far it seems the most effective(maybe just fun) way to find the hot keys is to push every button on my keyboard.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Corel Painter

Hello! I just downloaded the trial version of corel painter so expect to see a couple of experiments up here in the next few weeks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mini Moleskins

While I was flipping through some of my old sketchbooks the other day I stumbled across an old sketch that I had wanted to make into a cover for one of my mini moleskins. I grabbed my little water colour palette and whipped it up as a warm up to a further day of creativity (I had to do some writing). Here's the new and the old that it originally went with. The princess is the new and the cowboy is the old.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zombie Prompt 002

The second zombie prompt being the word 'middle.' A quick and dirty image.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pink Princess Painting Session 3

I got to have a third sitting. Its just now starting to come together a bit so I"m hoping for one to two more sittings in this pose. Two would be ideal, three would be heaven.

Zombie Prompt Project

Prompt 001: Beginnings

Another drawing companion and myself are doing prompts each work to get our creativity going again. Our theme is zombies and we're working off a word prompt list. Here goes.

I was thinking about eggs. I think I spent about an hour on both the sketches and the colour quickie.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pink Princess Painting Session 2

Just an update on the pink princess painting. I decided to falsify the background in the name of artistic license. This dress is going to be a doozee to paint.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Real Sports

I went out to Real Sports in Toronto to watch the basketball game (Miami vs. Dallas) and I did a quick sketch while I waited for my friends to arrive. The bar has interesting light features. The fixture is made out of the plastic ends of hockey sticks built up like a pine cone with a core colour contrasting against the black of the plastic. Fun to doodle.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


These are a few experiments I've been toying with. I'm working with prefired porcelain substrates. The focus is to find out what can be done with them. Porcelain substrates are new to the art side of ceramics.

I managed to transfer over a couple of quick sketches by means of a simple photocopy and a quick firing (cone 06). I'm looking forward to doing more experiments with these in the near future.

Pink Princess Painting Session

My roommate, Lauren Rowlands, and I were lucky enough to have our friend Kristi sit for us this summer afternoon. We wanted to do something a bit more fun than normal clothes so she dressed up in a puffy pink dress I have just sitting around.

This is the first session for the painting that took about 2.5 hours. It's been a couple of months since I've had the chance to oil paint and it took me longer than desired to remember how to get the complex colours in a persons skin.