art crawl | amy friend

i wish amy was my friend!!* because if i had a friend who was such an amazing artist i'm willing to bet some of that amazing talent would rub off on me. i've chosen two series from amy friend's portfolio to share with you today. the first, "daré alla lucé," is a number of vintage images in which the artist has pricked holes, allowing light to shine through. they are mesmerizing, and somewhat magical. the second set of images entitled "soon this space will be too small," features nightgowns belonging to her immigrant grandmother immersed in water. the works are slightly eerie but i also find them to be quite calming.

what art inspires you? be it photography, paintings, drawings, graphic design or fashion - post about an artist and link up below!

*i should really know better than to make jokes/puns about other people's last names! do you know how many times i've heard "kaitlyn! have some patience!"?

april highlights | lots of bad but also something good

a photo i snapped near the ocean during our anniversary-mini-vacay up island

well - i'm quite certain i've never been so happy to see one month change to the next! april had some serious ups and downs - heavy on the downs. i'm hoping may will bring the freshness of spring and new beginnings. that's corny - which is totally not my style but i'm hoping for it none the less.

just because april was a bummer in my personal life doesn't mean there wasn't some super fun projects, great blog posts, and inspiring art on the isavirtue blog! highlights include:

one | at the beginning of april i released my "something good" line of stationery and packing materials.

two | along with gentri lee and kristy g, we launched the "send something good" project and one hundred and sixty five bloggers signed up to secretly send a parcel to another blogger!

three | in art vs. art i compared the works of erica lawlor schmidt and alexis anne mackenzie. schmidt won by a landslide - do you agree?

four | i made some wedding invitations for a family member and loved them!

five | i pondered the trials and successes of my first year of marriage.

six | i fell deeply, madly in love with ann marshall.

seven | i received new business cards as well as something from a secret admirer in the mail!

eight | i got ironic with bar codes.

**stay tuned this week as i'll be releasing more information about sponsoring isavirtue!**

snail mail | new mail art packets

i spent yesterday putting together these mail art packets. i snipped some amazing images from some of my favourite coffee table books - including exhibition catalogues, a marilyn monroe biography, a retrospective of the impressionists and victorian themed wedding text. i've always loved these books in their entirety but the images are so great i would rather share them with you! i've also include some pretty paper scraps, vintage music sheets, die cuts, stickers and string. learn more about the mail art challenge or buy one for only 3.00 here.


sunday sins | craft supplies

wow. for the past two weeks i've been trying not to whine, complain or gossip about work. i don't consider myself a lover of gossip...and i find complainers bring me down. but of all the sunday sins - this has been the hardest thus far. i think that's because it's just "talking." when it's chocolate you're trying to avoid, you are making a conscious decision not to pick it up and put it in your mouth. but talking is so ingrained - it's completely second nature and it therefore doesn't feel like something naughty. i did terribly - but i encourage you all to try this one. you'll discover just how much you do it, and how hard it is to stop!

image via pinterest, source unknown

i've had a number of people ask me if my sunday sins project has been helpful. i think that it has. even if i don't do very well at avoiding a particular vice, it creates a huge sense of awareness for it. and the upside is i'm not bingeing on whatever i've avoided after the two weeks are over.

every two weeks i look at my list to choose which vice is next. which means i always have the others in the back of my mind. so i think i've already been doing this one a little bit - avoiding buying useless craft supplies which have no purpose. for the next two weeks i will avoid buying useless craft supplies. the key term is useless - because if i need something in particular for a custom order, it's allowed.


exhibition opening | ann marshall

ann marshall is on the list. my "one day when i'm rich i will buy a piece from this artist and this artist and this artist list." it's actually not that long, and only the ones that make my heart beat quick are on it - like annabelle marquis and m.a.tateishi. in terms of ann marshall's art, i want a self portrait done in photography, pastel and paper collage. i've never ever wanted a self portrait of myself so that's kind of a big deal!

for now, i honour these artists in the best way i know how. and so miss. marshall is features in the latest lowercase gallery exhibition. yes, i wrote about marshall's work here but i couldn't stop thinking about her...

p.s. just a reminder that the first tues of the month is an art crawl on isavirtue. i would Love for you to participate by sharing your favourite artist of any kind on your blog - and linking up here!


patience made | barcodes

i have to tell you - i'm kind of obsessed with this new image! barcodes! i have this feeling people won't enjoy it as much as i do though. i think i like the irony that a barcode is something which can be found on most products - but it's not something we consider to be part of the item's aesthetic. but i've taken the image and positioned it as the main graphic - and the only graphic on these stationery pieces:


snapshot | pink goodies, the ocean & the l word

one | this was the end of the parcel paper roll - how cool is that? it reminds me of the pink stripes you see when receipt rolls run out. it was the perfect paper to wrap my cousin's wedding invitations in!

two | my new business cards arrived! i posted about the mini moos on monday but i love the new rounded corner full business cards!

three | i'm in love - again! this is a detail of a beautiful piece by annabelle marquis. i'm absolutely writhing with delight over these shades of pink!

four | the rogers video rental store near us is closing* so i snagged five seasons of one of my favourite shows - the l word. i already had a season at home but couldn't remember which one so i bought the ones they had available and crossed my fingers hoping that they wouldn't overlap. they didn't - i now have all six seasons!**

five | i bought some beautiful dresses from dorothy perkins uk. i love all of them but this is one i snapped a photo of last week.

six | this is a photo of the ocean near where jon and i stayed for our one year wedding anniversary. the waves were so wild that day! i'm always amazed at the power of the ocean.

* don't even get me started on video rentals vs. watching movies online + the lack of availability of movies!
** jon pointed out later that it wasn't exactly kismet as i probably bought the second season from the same store...hence why it wasn't available for sale on this day...


art vs. art | ana albera vs. kris atomic

i have long loved the illustrations of kris atomic - i often pop over to her portfolio to familiarize myself with her new work and simply for a little shot of happiness and humour. so when i came across the work of ana albero on the art cake, i couldn't but notice a similarity.

at first i couldn't pinpoint exactly what it is that made the work of these two artists so similar. i think it's the whimsical and charming nature of the women they draw. but also the bright colours, the somewhat forlorn expressions and the tiny features (eyes, nose, lips).

as always in 'art vs. art' - which do you prefer and why?

musings | resume

despite the dust settling, and jon and i making some recent decisions regarding where to live (victoria, same condo), my life still feels so unsettled. i am thankful for these two months where i get to work mon-sat 12-5. but i don't know what will happen after that, or when to start looking for another job. i was also lucky to be able to hire a good friend of mine - and it's a relief to know that she can split those shifts with me if i do find another position.

and yet, i still feel slightly hopeless. but as i was updating my resume this morning, i couldn't help but feel a little bit proud of my accomplishments. i think it's great that up until this past year, i've always held an arts job and a serving job. but i don't have to put the serving jobs on my resume because there are no gaps of time in which i was without a job in my chosen field. and i've already used this descriptor, but trust me when i say that i know how lucky that is!

i guess that's why i'm so befuddled by my current predicament. because i thought i was past the part of my life in which i would need to serve food in order to get by. or work a retail job selling clothing to pre-teens. is it so bad to want to keep the momentum of my resume going? to want to work in the field i am passionate about? to continue my career?

i know what you're thinking... "get in line lady, so do the rest of us!"


snail mail | a whole lot of mail & a mystery!

i was so excited when my moo cards arrived in the mail. i ran out of mini's to mail out with my shoppe orders so in the meantime i've been using these. my cards used to be black with product images on one side - and black is a colour (ahem, shade) which will always be dear to me but i'm feeling lighter and more uplifted with these white/pink cards. thank-you to savannah from maiedae who created this lovely design for my blog and shoppe

a lovely letter from my friend shawna back in ontario. she has a penchant for purple!

i finished off the mother's day envelopes by tucking these simple cards i made inside and adding floral postage to the remaining two. 

i was totally delighted to receive this artsy klimpt card in the mail. a lot of you left some really nice and supportive comments on this post. but miss holly here wrote me a good old fashioned letter and gave me some advice based on her own recent experiences. i was so touched!

this is my art themed response to holly's note card - i cut up pages from canadian art auction catalogues and made a little booklet, in which i wrote my response to her.

here's a fun game - i truly recommend that you try it! cut open the end of an envelope while on the bus (yes, i do keep scissors in my purse). then, yank the card out really hard so that you throw paper confetti on all of the other riders! surprise - happy anniversary! jokes - thanks alex! 

an old friend sent me one of those funny lottery chain mail letters - remember them? send this ticket back to such and such person, and then send out six more to your friends. in two weeks you'll have thirty six lottery tickets and maybe you'll get rich! well - i'm not expecting a thing in return but i respect this old school snail mail fun so i'm sending these off today!

and now it's time for...a mystery! i received this amazing fold out set of post cards in the mail last week. there is no return address so i have no idea who it is from and i am going crazy! we know it's likely from the united kingdom because of the postage but other than that i am at a loss! if you are my secret sender - tell me please!*

* really i suppose anyone could take credit at this point!


exhibition | annabelle marquis at west end

i waited a whole six days to see this exhibition because i was working all week. you'll see from this post and this post and this post that i am obsessed with annabelle marquis' artwork. and this exhibition at the west end gallery in victoria did not disappoint! in fact - i'm embarrassed to say that i want another piece. and for just a second, i kind of wanted one of these pieces instead of the one i have! eek! but it's not my fault ladies! annabelle is using all of these beautiful pinks and reds - the key to my heart.

i've been trying to write more descriptively about the artwork i post. you know - put my expensive degree to work and such. but when it comes to annabelle - the only thing i can describe is feelings. the way her work makes my soul sing. the way my arms seem to reach out of their own accord to literally try and hug the artwork! i feel in awe amidst this astounding beauty...


slide school | helen frankenthaler

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. for more details about slide school - visit this post.

i just love this picture of helen - it kind of makes me have a girl crush/want to be IN that space!

*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 | no flippin clue.
artist | i'll be honest - i remembered her but not her full name (i knew she had a crazy long last name) so i googled "helen flood paintings" to find an image it worked!
date | 1950?
medium | i'm always a little befuddled by what gestural artists use as a medium - i'm going to guess watered down acrylics?
art historical period | abstract expressionism?
three facts | i'll be honest and i say that i don't remember too much. specifically what i remember about her was that it was rare for a woman to be doing that type of painting within that period. almost all of her peers (including jackson pollock, also a gestural painter) were male. she poured a lot of her paintings - a technique which involves a lot of space and the use of the whole body. i guess that's why i think of her work as "floods." i'm going to include a quote now from an article i let myself read after i filled out this quiz! i love the way she puts this:

"for my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—'well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that'—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me ... though i think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one ... [that] looks as if it were born in a minute." (from frankenthaler by barbara rose, p. 85)

title | "causeway"
artist | helen frankenthaler
date | i can't find the exact date but it says she was active from the early 1950's onward.*
medium | wiki says: 'her work has the effect of watercolours, though she painted in oils.'
art historical period | correct!

*the lovely esther from paragraph cove has updated me on this piece. it's anaquatint print from an edition of 100. printed in 2001.