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New Beginnings

What is it about starting something new that makes it so exciting? I don’t know about you, but I love change. I love new beginnings. I think the unknown is far more appealing and exciting than what’s routine and predictable. This personality trait has afforded me some amazing life experiences, like going on exchange in Australia, moving to Ottawa to study engineering, as well as traveling without a set agenda.

On the other hand, this personality trait may also explain why I start paintings ALL THE TIME and then never want to continue/finish them. This is slightly embarrassing, but I think I have at least 10 paintings on the go right now, most of which are just a completed background and not much else. I started some of these at least 6 months ago.

So plan for the summer is to finish them all. I’m not going to get ahead of myself and say that I wont start new ones in the meantime because that would pretty much be self inflicted torture, but as long as those 10 from the last 6 months get completed, I’ll consider it a success.

The one I’m going to show you in this post was started probably in late November 2012 shortly after this painting below.

At the time, I had imagined I would create a whole collection of similar paintings with different instruments. After the acoustic guitar one above, I started this one below, which is an electric guitar. It’s spanned across three 16×20″ canvases (as opposed to three 12×16″ ones like the one above) so it’s significantly bigger. Bigger is better.

Background

After completing the background and adding the guitar, I added the music notes. I kept the lines straight and bold since that’s how I visually interpret the music of an electric guitar versus the soft wavy lines of the acoustic guitar. This makes sense in my head.

48x20" - Electric Guitar - Acrylic on Canvas

48×20″ – Electric Guitar – Acrylic on Canvas

And some zoomed in views of each panel:

Left Panel - 16x20"

Left Panel – 16×20″

Middle Panel - 16x20"

Middle Panel – 16×20″

Right Panel - 16x20"

Right Panel – 16×20″

To give you a better idea of the size, here it is over my bed, which I believe is a Queen size.

I even made my bed for you

I even made my bed for you

And lastly, here is a side view. The painting extends along the edges so it does not need a frame.

Rock On

Rock On

The next one in the collection is going to be of a saxophone. Hopefully I can complete it before this one sells (which will hopefully be soon) and can display them together since I think they’ll look neat as a collection.

Do you like change or do you prefer routine? You already know my answer to this, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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4th Annual Timeraiser London Recap

The 4th annual Timeraiser took place last night in London and it was a huge success! Over 2000 volunteer hours were pledged for the London community in exchange for 16 pieces of art. Also, over $8000 was invested into the careers of local artists, and I am so incredibly grateful to be one of those lucky few.

Setting up the artwork before everyone arrives

Setting up the artwork before everyone arrives

My parents with my painting that was auctioned off for 100 volunteer hours

My parents with my painting that was auctioned off for 100 volunteer hours

From left: Christie, me, Steph, and Richard

From left: Christie, me, Steph, and Richard

From left: Steph, Christie, Amy, and Keegan

From left: Steph, Christie, Amy, and Keegan

From left: me, Steph, Christie, and Amy

From left: me, Steph, Christie, and Amy

Let the bidding begin

Let the bidding begin

For a full list of artists and silent auction winners, you can check out the Timeraiser site. There was also a prize for the best artist of the night, and to see who took home the $500 prize, check out the above link. I’ll give you a huge hint, you’re reading her blog right now… THANK YOU so much to every one who voted for me. I am forever grateful. Hope to see everyone there again next year🙂

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Merry (super belated) Christmas/Happy Birthday

I started this painting back in December and it was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my brother and his girlfriend. A couple of days before Christmas, I knew it wasn’t going to happen so I abandoned it and just bought them something instead. After the holidays, I left to go back to Ottawa, and the canvas stayed behind in London.

Over 4 months later, I’m back in London, and this canvas was staring at me.

Background

Conveniently, it was my brother’s birthday on April 16th, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to finish it up. I had only completed the background back in December so started by drawing some circles. Notice how they’re all so nice and symmetric? Clearly not done freehand. Nope. I used a lampshade, the lid from some body butter, and the lid from a paint container. I’m quite resourceful, no?

More circles

More circles

I added some more circles, and then some streaks throughout the background, and before I knew it, I had a finished painting.

24x36" - Abstract Circles

24×36″ – Abstract Circles

Side View

Side View

If I made this look really easy, then that’s because it was. You should try it! Painting is not as complicated as most people imagine it to be. So next time you need a gift for someone who already has everything, try painting something for them. And if you do, and you feel like e-mailing me a picture, I’d be happy to post it on the blog. [agatasartcorner@hotmail.com]

Here it is hanging it their living room

Here it is hanging in their living room

Go. Paint. NOW. I’m off to do the same. Now that school is donzo, I’ve got plenty of time to dabble with a paint brush or two. I’ve got many many paintings on the go, and I’m really looking forward to blogging more regularly again and sharing my work with you.

And Happy 27th Birthday to my brother Maciek!!!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Timeraiser

Have you ever heard of the Timeraiser?

The Timeraiser is an event that takes place in multiple cities in Canada where throughout the evening, you meet with different volunteer agencies and match your skills to their needs. Once you have made your matches you are eligible to bid on artwork. The twist is rather than bid money, you bid volunteer hours.

That’s right, you bid on artwork by stating the number of hours you will donate to certain volunteer organizations. Like any silent auction, the highest bid wins the piece, and then you have 12 months to complete your pledge.

I attended this fabulous event a few years ago in London since my lovely friend Gillian volunteers with the organization that helped put it together. It was a great night. I made lot’s of great contacts with organizations I’d like to get involved with and bid on some gorgeous artwork (I didn’t win anything…womp womp…)

Now for my super exciting news…

One of my paintings was selected for the silent auction for this years event, taking place on Thursday May 2nd, 2013 in London, ON at The Arts Project, at 203 Dundas Street.

36x16" - Acrylic on 3 12x16" canvases

36×16″ – Acrylic on 3 12×16″ canvases

If you haven’t already, then get your tickets here, as the event usually sells out several weeks in advance.

You can also check out their website to preview all the artwork that will be available that night, as well as get some more information about the volunteer organizations that will be participating.

I hope to see you all there🙂 Oh, and nothing would make me happier than to know that you bid your time on any of the fabulous works of art being auctioned off (especially mine;) )!

Have you bought your tickets yet? What are you waiting for?!

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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TAN Coffee Shop

Hi friends,

I promise, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth. The last couple months have been rather busy with school and life so I haven’t painted much. I have probably 5 or 6 paintings on the go but nothing near completion yet. I will be sure to share them with you once they are done though.

Today I have some other news for you though.

T.A.N. Coffee Shop, which stands for The Alternative Network, is a cute local coffee shop across the street from my apartment in Ottawa, owned and operated by the lovely Erin Cochrane. T.A.N. sells exclusively fair trade and organic, superior grade coffee and tea. The other day, I came across an open call to local artists to come by and showcase their art work. T.A.N. was looking to select a few pieces to decorate their walls for the next few months. I figured I had nothing to lose, so decided to drop by. I also convinced my friend Avery to come by as well with a few of her (AMAZING) paintings.

Avery and her AMAZING painting of a man in Guatemala.

Avery and her AMAZING painting of a man in Guatemala.

P4020132

Best photo-bomb at the lower right corner.

P4020134

Some of the local artists who came out.

P4020136

Another photo-bomb on the right. Just awesome.

P4020137

They had crayons and paper all day so that you could draw while sipping your coffee. Check out some of the art work behind me.

P4020138

Avery with the owner and operator, Erin, showing off some of the beautiful artwork.

P4020139

Another piece of art.

P4020141

And even more art.

In the end, Erin asked to display two of each of mine and Avery’s paintings at T.A.N. for the next few months. We both happily obliged. They should be up within the next few days, at which point I’ll go back and take some pictures to share with you all.

If you’re curious as to which ones they are, and if you’d like to see some other paintings by local artists while enjoying a cup of fair trade organic coffee or tea, I suggest you drop by T.A.N.🙂

To my London friends, I have some exciting news to share with you, so check back soon🙂 :) 

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Let’s Talk Weather

I’ve been putting off writing a post because I didn’t have anything even remotely insightful to say lately. I’m pretty sure the first rule of blog writing is don’t talk about the weather. Nobody cares about the weather! Well too bad, that’s all I got for ya today! And when the weather spikes from -40 to +10 degrees Celsius all within a week, I’d say that rule is asking to be broken. This painting I’m about to share with you seems appropriate for all the rain we’ve been getting, so sit back and enjoy.

If this painting looks familiar, it is because I painted it in parallel with this one so it essentially has the same colour scheme. It is another one of my comfort painting pieces.

I started with a background with a palette knife then drew some guidelines with chalk

I started with a background with a palette knife then drew some guidelines with chalk

Then I started to add some depth to it

Then I started to add some depth to it

Finally, I added a girl with an umbrella and some shadows, and called it a day.

Girl with the Red Umbrella - 12x16" Acrylic on Canvas

Girl with the Red Umbrella – 12×16″ Acrylic on Canvas

Side View

Side View

Zoomed in view of the girl with the red umbrella

Zoomed in view of the girl with the red umbrella

I had to swap my rain boots for my winter boots yesterday, although I think the temperatures are dipping down again today so maybe I’ll just skate to school…

So how did you like reading about the weather? Or do you just skim through and look at the pictures so it doesn’t really matter what I write about anyways? Either way, thanks for stopping by🙂 Hope you’re staying dry!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Comfort Painting

We’ve all heard of comfort food. You know, the food that is easily made, tastes delicious, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Food that is good for the soul.

So what do I mean by comfort painting? On those days when I just want to sit back and relax and not worry about a thing, I usually engage in what I like to call comfort painting. That is, painting without thinking. There is no end product in mind, just paint going on a canvas step by step. Similar to comfort food, it is simple, enjoyable, and just makes me feel good.

At any given point, I usually have at least 2 or 3 paintings on the go. These are usually the non-comfort painting type. Their culinary equivalent would be that intricate recipe with 100 ingredients that takes 4 hours to prepare and leaves a huge mess in the kitchen. Enjoyable, but only on those days when you really feel like it. Lately, I’ve had no desire to continue tackling those, but I’ve engaged in quite a bit of comfort painting.

Step 1 - paint the background using a palette knife

Step 1 – paint the background using a palette knife

Step 2 - Add some of the foreground

Step 2 – Add some of the foreground

Step 3 - Continue building the foreground

Step 3 – Continue building the foreground

Finished Painting - Acrylic on three 12x16" canvases - Total size 36x16"

Finished Painting – Acrylic on three 12×16″ canvases – Total size 36×16″

Zoomed in Section

Zoomed in Section

Displayed in my room over my bed

Displayed in my room over my bed

I realize these paintings aren’t as interesting to look at as the non-comfort painting type, but while the thermometer is sitting at -39oC (that’s -38F for you American readers out there), I really can’t be bothered to do anything that requires thinking. So as the temperature rises, so will my painting creativity. Fingers crossed that happens soon. Ottawa, I’m over the cold. Let’s move on.

Hope you are all staying warm if you happen to be experiencing this lovely arctic-like weather.

What is your favorite comfort activity on such days? Or comfort food? As I’ve already mentioned, I enjoy comfort-painting, especially if it is paired with something warm and delicious from my crock-pot.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh Claude, you are so bright

Have you heard of Claude Monet? I sure hope so. If not, go Google him NOW. Trust me, he’s worth knowing. One of the greatest artists to ever exist. He’s not only brilliant in his painting, but also in his words.

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.” – Claude Monet

I love this quote. Mainly because I can totally relate to it. I often don’t understand my own art. I don’t know why I did it, or what I was thinking as I did it, because truthfully, I wasn’t thinking and I just did it. Sometimes people want to discuss my art with me, and they attribute much more symbolism and meaning to it than I ever did. It’s actually quite impressive what others can come up with.

The Original Painting, that I did a few months ago

BEFORE: The original painting, that I did a few months ago

 

On that note, here is a painting I re-did over the holidays. Why? I have no idea. It just didn’t look “right” to me the way it was so I “fixed” it.

The "fixed" painting.

AFTER: The “fixed” painting.

So no need to discuss this one, just love.

When you go to art galleries, do you feel the need to discuss the paintings there and try to guess what the artist was thinking when he/she painted the piece? I’m the first one to admit, that I rarely do this and I am terrible at it when I try. I prefer walking around quietly and simply enjoying the paintings that are either pleasing to the eye or cause me to stop and wonder what is going on. I usually feel like a fake artist because I have nothing insightful to say. This stems from the fact that my own paintings rarely have some deep hidden meaning. Although I will admit, there are ones that do, and I will share those with you on this blog, however, that painting above…I just wanted it to be pleasing to the eye. I didn’t think about it, I just painted it.

Also, which one do you prefer? The before, or the after?

Happy Wednesday everyone.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Creativity – Nature versus Nurture?

I come from two very artistically creative parents. My dad is very talented with woodwork; he not only designed, but also built, just about every piece of furniture in my parent’s house, including the kitchen and all the bathrooms.

My mom on the other hand can knit and sew like it’s no one’s business! She grew up making a lot of her own clothes (by necessity more so than by choice) and still makes us curtains, throw pillows, and Halloween costumes, among other things. She openly does not enjoy doing these things, but she does them anyways and we love her for it!

A few months back, I came across a pattern on Pinterest for a very cute, girly, ruffly, apron. I e-mailed it to my mom, knowing she could easily make it. I never heard back so I assumed she simply didn’t want to make it. Understandable, since I am well aware of how much she dislikes sewing. My heart just about melted when I opened this on Christmas Eve (yes, we open presents on Christmas Eve here, not Christmas morning…).

Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.

Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.

I was beyond excited! I mean, how cute is it! And it’s purple too. Bonus. I think it’s too cute to wear cooking and risk getting dirty, so right now it is hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

She also made this one that was initially going to be a gift for someone else, but she didn’t think it looked good enough to gift, so she kept it for herself instead.

Here's my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. Just kidding.

Here’s my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. […sarcasm]

Pretty talented, no?! I will eventually show you some of the incredible things she has knit me over the years too.

Since I know how much my mom dislikes sewing (and cooking!) and yet she put in all that effort for Christmas, I gladly did another painting for her when she requested it. This one was for my parent’s bedroom, to hang over their bed. Like I’ve mentioned before in this post, my mom likes much different paintings than me. Knowing this, she was very clear what she wanted me to paint for her. Based on her instructions, this is what I came up with.

The finished product on five 10x30" canvases

The finished product on five 10×30″ canvases

Panel 1

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 2

Panel 3

Panel 3

Panel 4

Panel 4

Panel 5

Panel 5

The painting hung up in their bedroom.

The painting hung up in their bedroom.

Now back to the title of this post, do you believe that artistic creativity stems from our nature or nurture? I believe that nature has a lot to do with it. Before I could even understand the difference between the two, I know that I liked to create things. Because of this, I was always doing just that. This innate desire caused me to practice this skill over the years, which I am sure helped improve my creativity, however, had I not had that initial interest ingrained in me, I don’t think I would have ever practiced in the first place. So basically, our nature will often predict what we nurture.

On the other hand, I think if I didn’t have this interest and my parents tried to force me to do artistic things growing up, I would have only resented it. For example, I tried karate and I absolutely hated it. I’m athletic enough that I believe I could have gotten decent at it if I stayed in it, but I don’t think I ever would have grown to actually enjoy it and intrinsically want to pursue it.

What do you think on the nature versus nurture debate? What is something you always knew you enjoyed doing and thus pursued (or didn’t enjoy but did anyways) growing up?

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Merry Christmas Mom

Happy Monday friends!

Thank you to everyone who commented on the last post, whether on here or by text, Facebook, or e-mail. I absolutely love hearing your feedback.

If today is your first day back to work or school after a long break, than I wish you all the best. I head back to classes today, although lucky me, I only have one (Mechanical Vibration Analysis… sounds riveting, doesn’t it?!) since labs and tutorials don’t start until next week. This is also my last full semester of classes at the University of Ottawa so I’m excited to get it going and finally be one step closer to graduating.

As excited as I am to be back in Ottawa, I miss these people. - Family on Christmas Eve 2012

As excited as I am to be back in Ottawa, I miss these people. – Family on Christmas Eve 2012

Now back to Christmas gifts.

My mom and I have very different taste in art and decorating. She loves flowers (poppies specifically) and abstract art, whereas I pretty much like everything but those two things. However, when it comes to gifts, you have to know your audience, right? Right.

So for one of her Christmas presents, I combined those two things. She wanted something that could hang in their dining room, so I took a quick look at the color scheme there to make sure it would all match, and came out with these paintings.

The finished paintings. Acrylic on six 8x10" canvases.

The finished paintings. Acrylic on six 8×10″ canvases.

I realize there are no poppies in these paintings, but if you’ve seen their Living Room, you would know why. That avenue has already been entirely exhausted! There is no more room for poppies in that house!

1 2 3 4 5 6

The paintings hung in the dining room. They kind of match the place mats.

The paintings hung in the dining room. They even kind of match the place mats.

I have one more Christmas gift posting coming up for you guys in a few days, and then finally moving on to paintings of 2013. I’m pretty excited for the new year. I’ve got some great ideas for new paintings. Since I’ve been painting so much lately, my confidence has grown tremendously and I feel comfortable trying new things. Check back often to see what I come up with😉

Also, if you like reading my blog and don’t want to miss posts since I blog on an irregular schedule, you can subscribe to my blog by e-mail. Scroll to the end of the panel on the right, and under the last tab, Follow Blog via Email, just click the Follow button and you will never miss a post.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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