Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To make up for all those words in the last post ...

After reading all the words in my last post, you deserve a break (you did read them, didn't you?), here are some pics from around my neighbourhood ...
In case you can't read the tag: "FREE  FREE", just in case one "FREE" is not enough.
I speak to the trees, and the trees, well, they try to pick up girls ...
'Nuff said, I think.
What to do with the *rest* of the bag of marshsmallows when you've eaten enough.
One of the cheeriest bumper stickers I've ever seen.
You're probably tired after all that clicking ... this way to the iced tea. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

You never know just where you'll go ...

I've been meaning to get back to the blog for awhile now. I mean, life keeps happening, and I keep saying to myself: Oh, I should blog about that. And then I don't. I get busy or do something else entirely and the moment passes. But I really really should put this stuff out there ... so here goes:

Way back a couple of weeks ago ... on my birthday, actually, Papergirl Vancouver rode out on their bikes and gave away hundreds of pieces of artwork, mine included. I DID actually manage to blog about it here and here. And I even managed to blog about the Papergirl exhibit launch here. But something else came out of my Papergirl experience, something kinda cool that I didn't even know existed until I was contacted.

Here's what happened ... at the Papergirl exhibit launch I got into a great little conversation with Jeanette. We walked around a bit together and showed each other the stuff we liked, and (without seeming too cocky) I'd have to say she really liked the collage I'd done, and I'd happened to bring a couple of extra prints along (just in case - you never know!) so I gave her one.

Now the funny thing is (and I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels like this) but I usually feel that what I've done is Not So Special. Oh, I like it fine, and I'm pretty happy when other people like it, but when other people Really Really Like It, I'm always a bit mystified. This topic came up at our art retreat, and I was finally able to find the words to describe why some of us are so hard on ourselves when it comes to our art ... basically, it boils down to: Other people see what we've done, while we see what we weren't able to do. For others, it's like we've made something out of nothing (where DO you get your ideas!?), but we see all the places where we "fudged" the process trying to get whatever it was in our heads onto the page, and even though we might *like* the result, it might not be exactly what we were hoping, so we doubt ourselves.

Anyway, big big thanks to Jeanette, who very kindly passed my info on to Jason at Illustrated Vancouver, who kindly asked me if he could add my artwork to his ongoing project to collect 1000 pieces of artwork featuring Vancouver. His collection is quite amazing, and even though I've only lived in Vancouver for 25 years, I know (and love) so many of the places featured in the pieces he's selected and I'm thrilled to be included. Also, now that I'm following his site regularly, I'm thrilled to see that not only is one of the blogs I regularly follow (Design Sponge) having a book launch October 1st in Vancouver, but they're holding it at Anthropologie (wait!? we have an Anthropologie store and I didn't know it!? Man .. I have *got* to get out more!). Just so you don't think I'm a design snob ... my favourite part of Design Sponge is where people post little cards saying what they love about their house, and the department I'm planning to hit at Anthropologie is the book section (of course!). So, all in all, double thanks to Jason for all that.

From the moment I saw the Papergirl Vancouver poster hanging in a store window in my neighbourhood just a few short days before their deadline, I knew I wanted to contribute something so they would be around next year. I knew exactly what I wanted to make, and how I was going to make it. And (luckily) I left the next day for my art retreat where I knew I would have the time and materials to pull it off. Their deadline was the day after I got back so I quickly had it scanned and printed, and then couriered to their office (I would have loved to deliver it in person, but I had to work!). The whole process from discovery to creation to delivery seemed magical in some way. Maybe magical isn't the right word ... but I felt like I was tuned in to something ... a flow ... a connection ... a pulse, yeah, that's more like it ... like there's a river of energy in the world all the time, and for some reason, for the duration of the project, I could feel it, and let it guide me. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pretty down to earth, if-you-want-something-done-give-it-to-the-busy-person, here-let-me-organize-that-for-you kind of person, so having such a great result and having my artwork acknowledged that little bit further than I was ever expecting is pretty darn cool. Thanks again to Papergirl Vancouver, Jeanette, Jason and my ever-encouraging art retreat compadres (you know who you are!).

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Catching up with Papergirl Vancouver

One of the many wonderful pieces donated to the event.
Thought I'd post a few pics from the Papergirl Vancouver launch event on August 23. The exhibition space at the Roundhouse Community Center was filled with donated artwork hanging from clotheslines ~ a simple, beautiful solution when you've got hundreds of pieces of all sizes to hang. This exhibition, which was up for the week, was the only way to see all the artworks in one place before they were rolled and distributed by papergirls on bicycles along some undisclosed route in Vancouver. There was some speculation that the street names spelled out in tape on the floor below the clotheslines hinted at the route that might be followed, but later information proved this not to be the case.

A feast of fabulousness hanging above us ...
The artwork was fabulous and diverse, as one might expect considering the sheer number of contributors and without any particular theme. As a "collect the whole set" kind of person, it was maddening ... "oh, I like this one! Oooh, that one's good!", knowing all the while I'd never actually get my hands on any of them, since the odds of being in the right place at the right time were astronomically small.

I attended the event with Lelainia, who'd also contributed some of her artwork, and she'd bravely agreed to say a few words to the assembled crowd on the experience from a participant's point of view. One of the cool things I noticed was how much *love* there was in the room. I may not be an expert on art show vibes, but this one was humming with excitement ... people were talking to each other, showing each other their "favourites" and shyly and/or proudly pointing out their own contributions. I expect a lot of people in attendance were the artists who'd contributed, but still ... it was a joy to hang out in such a positive, supportive atmosphere and groove on the creativity and generosity of all the people who made it happen.

There are plenty more pics at their blog, so go have a look. I'm sending out BIG THANKS to everyone at Papergirl Vancouver for a massively successful inaugural show. You did good!