exhibition opening | maya hayuk

i think i first came across maya hayuk when i was working with sonya on her friendship bracelet section of my make art a part (of your life) e-course. i googled the term, and landed amidst the colourful world of maya - who entitled two of her paintings "friendship bracelet..."

her work has always been in the back of my mind and i'm happy to finally be feature her in my online gallery space - "lowercase."

p.s. visit yesterdays post for something good and a shoppe discount


patience made | send something good!

today is the day! i've been dropping hints for awhile about my newest line of stationery products but i can't believe it's finally time for the release! these special little goodies have been in development for a couple of months - ever since my mother said "i like the something good envelopes, you should do more of that." oh mom - you are so wise.

it was equally fun and frustrating sourcing supplies and making my own graphics. in addition i had to price out new forms of mailing because i really only use letter mail, not parcel. but in the end, i am so pleased with each item! i love the idea of "sending something good" to a friend, family member or loved one. you could do it simply - with envelopes, paper and seals. or you could go all out by packing a gift using tissue paper, parcel paper, twill tape and address labels.

if you would like to send something good - i'll be offering a discount for a limited time - 10% off all something good products with the code SOMETHINGGOOD!! message me for custom orders or multiples.

p.s. don't forget to come back and visit next thursday - gentri lee, kristy and i are announcing an awesome blogger+parcel party. if you know what i'm referring to, and plan to participate - now is the perfect time to snag something good products!


snapshot | key fiasco, wolf/sheep and something good

to learn more about "snapshot" click here.

one | an image i took as i was wrapping a gift for my friend who has a newborn girl. it's a diy i tried inspired by these ones on etsy. i used a beautiful green leaf patterned fabric covered copy of jane austen's "persuasion." a tip for anyone wanting to try this? it's no walk in the park!

two | this week i lost one of my work keys. i can barely explain how my heart leapt in my chest when i realized it. it resulted in a very frustrating weekend but luckily i found it today!

three | i went to an awesome graffiti/underground style art show this past weekend. it featured some of the pieces i snapped last week as they were preparing them for exhibition. i can't wait to share all the photos with you!

four | my husband bought suspenders this week. it's hot. that is all.

five | ahhh more something good products! i am beyond pleased with how the envelopes turned out - totally (typo)graphically delicious!

six | i just really liked this school so i snapped a pic but i included it because as i was taking a pictures - the owner was standing behind me. waiting for me to finish...awkward...

art vs. art | matthew brandt vs. tchmo

alright ladies - put your voting hats on!*

you may remember this post about gabriel dawe and anne lindberg - that was what inspired me to create this new bi-weekly feature "art vs. art." i'm pretty pumped about it, because the more i look for it, the more i find art which is very similar. it's bound to happen right? but the question is...who does it better?

today i have two amazing artists for you. matthew brandt i have featured before, and his art vs. art competitor is tchmo. no last name, like madonna and beyonce. 

matthew brandt takes photographs of scenery/water bodies, and then from what i can gather, he soaks the print in the water which is featured within the image. for example, the very red image below is entitled veil lake ca 5 and the medium is described as "c print soaked in veil lake water." so that's how he gets those cool effects - pretty amazing right?

tchmo is very mysterious. he doesn't say much about his work except "i mash things up." it's anyone's guess as to how - whether it involves a double exposure, or work done in the dark room or photoshop. heck, maybe he is literally mashing together two different images. in fact - for all i know these are paintings not photographs. either way the result is some pretty amazing grainy overlays of colour and image.

but, you can't deny their similarity - so which do you prefer and why??

 all images via the artist's websites

* that's silly - no one really wears hats anymore - much less voting hats!


musings | blog positivity

last week ashley from after nine to five was encouraging other bloggers to participate in blog positivity week. i think this is a wonderful idea - particularly because this is a topic which is very close to my heart. you see - the online world is very important to me. each and every day i feel inspired by the things i find online. i am touched by the words of other bloggers, wooed by their photographs and excited by the links they include. it seems like every link leads me down a new and interesting path...

but here's the the thing. other people don't get this. my family, my non blogger friends and my work colleagues just don't understand. generally when speaking to these people, i feel like blogging is a silly little dalliance. but secretly it feels like so much more than that! it feels exciting and important and i like that.

i've been blogging for over three years now but only became involved in the blogging community last year around this time. it was great because that year the majority of my incredible grad school friends moved away. i went from feeling part of an amazing group of fascinating women - to feeling quite lonely. i still have a few close friends on the island, including my best friend (who i'm pretty sure diligently reads my blog, bless her heart) but i was no longer going out with that group of friends and discovering new galleries and restaurants and events. so i replaced that active discovery with an online version. and although that sounds a little pathetic to some - i'll say it again - other bloggers get it. 

in addition i've met so many amazing people in the blogger community. many of which i consider to be my friends. and i can only hope they feel the same way. so to you blog world - i say thank-you.


snail mail | two surprises

you know what's fun? receiving awesome mail from friends and loved ones! you know what's even more fun?? receiving awesome mail from total strangers. talk about surprise factor! nicole sent me a pen pal letter from fort st. john, bc and it is super cool: there's creepy crawlies all over it! (the collage kind though, so it's safe to handle). even the inside has some fun collage bits and pieces - "snip snip!"

it's my husband's omi's ninety-first birthday this week and so we sent her a little something that we picked up awhile back. she's not technically my omi - but she sure feels like it. imagine the most adorable, tiniest, best humoured austrian women you can - and that's her! her name is...wait for it...rosy winkler! cute eh? so i think she definitely deserves "something good*" don't you?

* you too can send something good beginning march thirtieth - see you then!


sunday seller | tokketok

i've seen stationery by tokketok around the web and i just had to post about it. while the goodies are a little pricy, the contrast of gold lettering against bright and cheery cardstock is enough to win me over. the online store is a teeny one - but you can tell the creator took a long time to perfect each and every product before it was ready to be advertised and sold. plus happy notes remind me of warm fuzzies* and what could be better than a little note that is meant just to make someone happy?

* i'll tell you more about those some other time...

slide school | arnolfini wedding portrait

slide school is a bi-weekly education session (with myself ;) in which i attempt to remember bits and pieces i learned about specific artworks in my university art history classes. i get to peek at my notes, but not online.

art history was pretty intense. first of all - when i was in university, the internet - while certainly popular - was not nearly what it is today (labyrinth-like rabbit hole of unending information). there was about two websites with images of the works we studied in class (and only the paintings that were very well known). many of the images were not even in our textbooks. we got to see the slide once for about 10 minutes in the classroom and then we had to ingrain it into our brains. i should point out that powerpont did in fact exist at this time but our professors were far too old and set in their ways to use it. so when the time came for an exam, i would print off grainy versions of what i had seen in class (and cross my heart and hope that the colours weren't wrong and the image wasn't backwards*), or i would draw a cartoon version of the piece from memory on index cards. on the back we wrote the title, artist, date, medium, art historical period and at least three facts about the piece. bonus points for location of the artwork nowadays. i would walk up and down the dorm room halls and flip those index cards like a madwomen. just looking at them, i could tell you the exact dates of about fifty different artworks at any given time. people thought me bizarre - but it was what we were expected to do! 

all that being said i should remember stuff right? the things i remember are so random and unspecific - chagall used gouache, gauguin lived on an island, manet never used black...umm.... oh gosh - this is going to be embarrassing isn't it? can i start with an easy one?

*if you are doing some sort of school project and ended up here, please note i cannot guarantee that any of this information below is even remotely accurate!

title | never actually given a title. referred to as "arnolfini wedding portrait"
artist | jan van eyck
date | uh...gosh um...1567?**
medium | oil
art historical period | gothic? byzantine? ***
three facts | okay - this i remember. the dog symbolizes fertility, as do the shoes and the fruit i think. she looks pregnant but she's not actually (wouldn't that be scandalous!), the artist is reflected in the mirror i believe, and the little circles around the mirror are stations of the cross. in my notes i've written that it's a good example of a work with "clear lines" - whatever that means...

* this happened all the time in those early internet days. things got scanned or photographed and ended up as a reflection of what they actually were.
** i looked it up after writing this post - it's actually 1434. a century off isn't so bad is it? i guess i was thinking "15th" century?
*** somewhat accurate because those styles were happening at this time but this particular work falls into the early italian renaissance.


patience made | confetti and a sneak peek

in december i sent out lovely little turquoise invites to a dinner party at the gallery i work at. inside the envelopes i stuffed a little handful of these paper birds. they seemed to be a hit so i thought i would put together some packs for my shoppe! anything that makes mail more fun right?

in addition, i've included two sneak peeks of my new product line. i can't tell you how freakin' excited i am about this new line. it comes part and parcel (tee hee) with a giant postal project so keep your eyes peeled for the release! trust me - you're not going to want to miss out... (new product line release: march 30.12. postal project announcement: april 5.12)

snapshot | something good, energetic art & modesty screenshots

when jon and i are out, we often turn to each other, gesture with the direction of our head and whisper "snapshot! snapshot!" this means there is something that has gotten us excited but we can't talk about it unless said person or situation is out of earshot. the goal is to take in everything about the person or area so that you can relate when the time comes to discuss said event. sometimes it's just about plain old gossip, other times it's important.

these weekly snapshots will be things that have inspired me throughout the week, or gotten me excited in some way.

one | this was my first attempt on the first piece in my new product line - it's had to be altered since then but i've learned that when one avenue doesn't work (stupid ink!) another, better one may pop up - and i'm very excited about this mistake in particular!

two | this is the second test product in my new line (due to be released on march thirtieth!). it takes a lot of time but i'm learning a lot about patterning so it's fun - and very satisfying when it's done!

three | this week i popped into a gallery i've been avoiding for awhile. the gallery also happens to be a tattoo parlour and despite having three tattoos - i've never really felt at home in that type of place. but wow. some of the artwork was absolutely amazing. it has so much energy and the graphics are insane!

four | this is an adorable piece of artwork (with i'm guessing, an ode to japan) that i snapped at a gallery i watch over during events.

five | i had such fun with savannah from maie dae graphics doing my new blog and etsy shoppe design. i just loved it every time she sent me a draft - like this one, for my shoppe!

six | this was my first contributor post on the online arts journal escape into life - so i just had to screen shot it!


art | agnes-cecile

these aqueous images by agnes-cecile are futuristic, edgy and also, they scare me. granted, i can't even watch dawn of the dead and prefer to leave the lights on while i fall asleep - but they're pretty creepy right? in some areas the paint moves organically, in others it forms into a chrysalis and yet there are runs and splatters that hint at on-purpose-accidents... (my favourite kind!)

post script: be sure to stop by an awesome new site that i'm contributing to. launched by the dedicated and effervescent donaville herrick - dearest nature


new design | isavirtue

ahhh,  springtime - it's so pleasant isn't it? hope is in the air and the warmer weather makes it feel like anything is possible. what a coincidence - that's my new outlook on life!

and in order to feel renewed and invigorated and ready for anything, i needed a light and happy online workspace. a bit of spring cleaning* if you will. enter savannah wallace from maie dae graphics! i told her i wanted something artsy, romantic, modern and clean - and low and behold - that's exactly what she gave me :) thank-you so much savannah - i'm feeling very refreshed!

as a favour, if you are a reader but not a follower, i would love if you join this site through google friend connect. i'm looking forward to taking sponsors soon, but would prefer to be at three hundred gfc friends first! if sponsoring isavirtue is something you might be interested in** - shoot me an email.

see the post below for the new calendar of events on isavirtue - i hope to see you all participating in the next art crawl and checking in on saturdays to see the latest gallery exhibition.

there's lots of exciting things happening for me right now too. i'm now a contributor at online art journal escape into life, a writer and contributor at dearest nature and i'm working stealthily on two somewhat related fun projects - one for my shop (it'll be "something good" i promise!***) and the other is a postal project with gentri lee. in real life, i'm gearing up for the victoria emerging art awards at my gallery!

* my stationery shoppe also got a little make-over, as did my twitter.
** entourage?? anyone??
*** that's a hint!

calendar of events | isavirtue blog

mondays | snail mail and mail art galore! i'll post photos of fun letters, postcards and packages that i receive in the mail.

tuesday | the first tuesday of every month will offer you the opportunity to link up and join the isavirtue art crawl! discover new art in varying forms of media each month.

tuesdays | tuesdays will feature musings and thoughts from yours truly with a focus on life, love and the challenges they both hold.

wednesdays | every other wednesday will deliver awesome art straight to you, from me. a very contemporary focus.

wednesdays | every other wednesday will be an art vs. art match-up. two similar artists will be pitted against each other and you get to decide which you prefer best!

thursdays | thursdays is a selection of photos from things that have excited me or inspired me through-out the week.

fridays | fridays will include shoppe updates, images of my latest products and my side projects and crafting adventures.

saturdays | every other saturday it's time to go back to school! i'll post an image that i first saw on a slide (do you know what that is??) back in university and try to remember everything i can about it. i'm allowed to peek at my notes from class though.

saturdays | every other saturday i will announce a new exhibition in the lowercase gallery. you can scroll sideways and feel like you're in a real gallery from the comfort of your own home!

sundays | every other sunday i will feature awesome online sellers and handcraft artists that have struck my fancy. you may want to hide your pocketbook...

sundays | every other sunday until november 2012 i will let you know which unacceptable vice i am giving up for two weeks - sos!

snail mail | postcards

what a week for my mail box! i received a postcard from barcelona, the uk and alberta. all were very special in their own way but perhaps the most unique and shocking was the black and white one, created by a very old friend. this was her way of telling me she's preggers again! clever huh?*

*i think i have the ultrasound upside down, my bad! what can i say - i don't know how these things work...


anniversary | seven years

although our wedding anniversary is next month, this is the date that will always count for me - march eighteenth. it was on this day in two thousand and five that jon and i began our relationship. i wore a green sweater and he was over an hour late. but somehow, (despite the fact that i never wear green, and i hate tardiness) we made it work. that's because we have a kind of obsessive love. i think for us it was never really an option as to whether we would get together, it was more about when. (we met four years earlier, when i was about fifteen). 

after seven years we are still completely obsessed with one another. we are constantly touching and hugging and calling each other ridiculous pet names like schmoo and snoof. like any real couple, we have quarrels (and to clarify, he is the one with patience, not i) but we deal with it because there's no other option but to be together. i think whoever took the above picture best captures how this amazing man makes me feel - so thank-you jon - for seven of the best years of my life.*

* so far.