It is a joy to see public art all over the place: on buildings, billboards, under bridges and on utility boxes. I was fortunate to be chosen to create art for a condominium hoarding in mid-town Toronto. Altree Developments, in collaboration with the STEPS Initiative, commissioned me to design four panels of art that were enlarged to fit a construction site. Scaled to ninety feet wide and duplicated to double the width, the exhibit occupies an entire city block and is the largest assignment of my career! My aim was to reflect a tapestry of natural beauty, both wild and tame, amidst the humming rhythm of an urban community. It was a most enjoyable challenge and a pleasure to contribute to my local neighbourhood.
I Love Folktales!
It was a great pleasure to illustrate the story, The Tiger Son, for the January 2019 issue of Cricket Magazine. Over the years I have created art depicting many folktales, myths and legends from around the world. This tale by Sue Cowing is the re-telling of a Chinese folktale about a tiger who accepts responsibility for an old woman whose son he has eaten. My art is hand-carved linocut with digital colour.
Fun and Game!
I was commissioned by Spin Master Games to create 41 faux tarot cards for the game, “Trust Me, I’m Psychic.” I had a great time being “weirdly symbolic” and was fortunate to have all the references I needed close at hand. I’m a huge fan of tarot art and have a collection of decks that provided inspiration for the game cards. The deadline was tight so I had to keep things moving. Once the roughs were approved, I carved each card at about 9″ x 12,” then printed, scanned and colored them in Photoshop. I couldn’t think of a more perfect assignment for me!
Second Story Press commissioned me to illustrate the cover of A Cage Without Bars, a middle grade historical novel by Toronto author, Anne Dublin. It tells the tragic story of enslaved Spanish Jewish children on the island of Sao Tome in 1492. An inspiring read for all ages!
Interview with author, Aimee Reid
Aimee Reid, author of the enchanting picture book, Mama’s Day with Little Gray, interviewed me for her blog about children’s books. Check it out and read her other fascinating interviews with children’s authors and illustrators.
The Buskers are Coming!
I have had the pleasure of creating art for the Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival for several years. It is one of my favourite assignments and this year was no exception. It is worth the drive to Waterloo, Ontario to catch a bunch of awesome street performers working their magic from August 24 – 27!
The making of a linocut illustration
An interest in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France propelled me to explore the lives of influential women from the period. I developed an interest in the fascinating life of Josephine Bonaparte and have written and illustrated a graphic novel about her journey from a plantation in Martinique, through the Terror to become Empress of France. The rough dummy is complete and a few pieces of final art, including this scene of a Victims’ Ball. Legend has it that after the Terror victims gathered to dance wildly as a release from the horrors they had experienced under the Jacobins. Women and men sheared their hair at the nape of the neck where the guillotine blade would have fallen. Women purportedly wore red chokers for the same reason. The historical accuracy of these accounts is contentious but it makes for an interesting story.
Franciscan Media commissioned me to illustrate the story, Forgotten Women of the New Testament, for St. Anthony Messenger magazine. I love this business because I learn something new everyday! I am a big fan of medieval art and enjoy illustrating saints and religious icons. My linocut technique seems a good fit for these kinds of stories and I am inspired by historical accounts of intrepid women who pushed through societal limitations to change the world.