Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Favorites of 2009

Favorite book

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry
by Leanne Shapton
(So great - will write more about it in 2010)

Favorite Book on Design (3 way tie!)

Paul Rand by Steven Heller
Make it Bigger by Paula Scher
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

Favorite scene in a movie

Hannah Schmidt (Kate Winslet) learning to read in The Reader. Heartbreaking.
(It's only in the extra scenes on DVD. Was edited out in the film. Scandalous.)

Favourite CD

Patrick Watson's Wooden Arms
Especially the songs: Big Bird in a small Cage, Man like You and Wooden Arms.
Beautiful.This CD was my fall soundtrack. Thanks Anders.

Favorite paint colour
Benjamin Moore Chelsea Grey

Happy New Year Dear Readers and Everyone!

Photographer Janet Kimber

My friend Janet Kimber is a wonderful photographer.
Her client list includes Canadian House and Home, Gardening Life, Corbis-Zefa and a whole bunch of other folks. I have included two of her gorgeous home decor shots above. I think they have a beautiful softness and serenity to them. (And note the grey paint colour!) Check out more of her work here.

Creative Morning with Michael Bierut... Sigh

If I could be anywhere on January 15th....
This is where I'd like to be.

As is well known in the blogosphere Tina Roth Eisenberg's swiss miss blog brought together an enormous group of design enthusiasts online. By organizing these Creative Mornings once a month she has now transformed this group into a real live 3D community of people that get together to discuss ideas, get inspired and eat bagels! I think it's a really wonderful idea -- and makes me think Toronto should replicate it here. hint. hint.

ps. Have already written about Michael Bierut - great designer, great writer, very funny guy. Read more about him here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Filling the Well: Design matters Podcast with Maria Kalman

After a couple weeks of eating, drinking and being merry it's time to fill the well.
Tonight did some painting while listening to a great Design Matters interview with the wonderous Maria Kalman. She talks alot about her creative process and feelings about illustrating vs. writing.
Really loved the fact that when she has an art opening she asks people to bring in some "light sewing" to be done (by her!) as she likes having something to do with her hands at all times. My kind of gal.
ps. You can subscribe to Design Matters in iTunes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Inspiration: Reading One Book a Week for a Year

Designer and writer Michael Surtees has a wonderful blog called Design Notes. This week he posted a great interview with fellow creative guy Inaki Escudero who fulfilled his goal of reading a book a week for a year. Inspired to perhaps try such a thing himself Michael interviewed him to find out more about how he accomplished the readings and why.

ps. One of Escudero's fave picks Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organization is definitely on my list for 2010. Clay is a frequent guest on Spark and is always enlightening+ entertaining.

via swiss miss.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Press: Style at Home Magazine

The February issue of Style at Home magazine contains a piece on the mural which I created for Hollace Cluny. Thank you to Associate Design editor Brett Walther.
ps. The magazine also features a bunch of really great decorating articles + some cozy soup recipes from Style at Home's new food editor Donna Hay. yum.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cozy Winter sketch

t shirt - made me smile

Found in guy's tshirt shop on Queen West.
As swiss miss would say - made me smile.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sister Corita and Her Rules

At the studio on Tuesday my fantastic studio mate Jeff Garcia introduced me to the wonderful printmaker Sister Corita. She was a really happenin' nun who silk screened her way to pop culture status during the Vietnam war. Saul Bass was a fan. These are some of her rules which she hung in the classroom.
I love love Rule 7 and 8.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Big Scissors print framed in Black

This is the living room of my lovely interior design friend Kim. In the past I've framed the scissors in a natural frame but in a setting that has a lot of black accents (like Kim's bench and painted floors) I think the black frame gives it a nice graphic punch.
(ps. Note the mag on the bench: UK's Living Etc - a great design mag!)
This print is available framed at Hollace Cluny at 1070 Yonge St in Toronto.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Collage Christmas card

I recently went for brunch at Mildred Pierce restaurant and was quite taken with their menu. I really loved the "old timey" ochre wallpaper they used - it had a great Victorian/Edward Gorey feel to it. Inspired I stole one - i mean asked if I could take one home with me. I then scanned the wallpaper and then cut out different shaped little ornaments out of it and voila - Christmas card.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Paper Cut outs: Rob Ryan + Starbucks campaign

I think the lacey paper cut illustrations of UK based illustrator Rob Ryan are wonderous. (Clearly others do as well as he has recently collaborated with designer Paul Smith and the Rug company amongst many others!) Above are a few of his images including some shots from his new book This is for you. I find both his words and images incredibly charming.
When Starbucks' beautiful Christmas campaign was unveiled a few weeks ago -with the red cut out letters and wonderful type - I couldn't help wondering if the art director was very influenced by Rob Ryan's work.
Does any reader out there know who worked on the Starbucks campaign?
If so please let me know. I'm very curious.

The New Math

New math is a website run by Craig Damrauer.
Since illustrators constantly need to be thinking metaphorically and coming up with ways of visualizing concepts - it's a good place to go for inspiration. ps. He sells tshirts too. I love the "Please recycle - signed Mother Nature" on his packaging.
Very cute.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Inspiration: Flea markets

I found these dolls at the 77th Street Sunday Flea & Green Market during a recent NYC trip. There is something quite quirky wonderful about them. Love her peacock feather outfit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Work: Brooks Brothers Silk screen Print

Close up

Here's a photo of my new Brooks Brothers suit print.
It's printed on Maidstone 100% rag paper and measures 26" X 39" and makes a fine Christmas gift.
See earlier posts for pics of the whole inky process.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Inspiration: Bev Hisey

I'm still in a very nesty space these days.
Love this Moroccan rug by Bev Hisey. The yellow is so juicy.

Press: Breakfast Television

Today the lovely Samantha Pynn (Host of Pure Design on HGTV) featured some of my prints on a segment of Breakfast Television on CITY TV. Samantha is also a contributor to Style at Home magazine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inspiration: 1950s fabrics

The cover is Lucienne Day's Small Hours 1953

Cover is Lucienne Day's Perpetua 1953

Lucienne Day's famous Calyx
love the texture within the 'fat tulip' shapes

A textile by Terence Conran and David Whitehead 1950

I am working on a project involving patterns right now so am pouring over two of my fave books for pattern inspiration:
Fifties Furnishing Fabric
and V&A Pattern: The Fifties

both part of the Victorian and Albert collection of books.
I love the abstract flat forms, spindley lines and blobby bits in these 1950s designs.Its clear many of the designers were influenced by modern painters such as Paul Klee and Joan Miro.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back in the studio

Mixing the ochre green (Yellow + blue + titch of red)

Inking the screen.
Putting the ink on with the spatula always reminds me of putting icing on a cake. yum.

Pulling the print

And lift... Ta da!

The green layer

The final result with ochre and black passes added on top.

Wrist Watch Wednesday: A very special Rolex Oyster Everest

Ok so my Wrist Watch Wednesday segment has been somewhat neglected (understatement) but today Scott Williamson wrote to me with a great story regarding this very special watch owned by his dad Donald Williamson.
60 years ago his father was the very first brave soul to step in during the SS Noronic fire, one of the worst disasters in the history of Toronto.
For his bravery he was awarded this beautiful Rolex watch which has a wonderful inscription on the back. Scott has recently restored it and wears in proudly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creativity according to Andy Spade

This is a quote from an interview between Andy Spade and Glenn O'Brien from Interview magazine.
Je comprend.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Press: Globe and Mail

Today's Globe and Mail features an article on the mural I created for Hollace Cluny.
It's in the Style section page L6 written by Danny Sinopoli.
Here is a snap shot of the online version of the article.