With spring underway, I thought I might switch things up a little and experiment with some canvas paper. There’s something about it that makes me paint a little differently– more sketchy. I’ve got a number of them on the go, but here is the first one. These paper sketches have to be framed as they have no stretcher, but that’s cool. Has anyone tried out Framebridge yet? It seems like a pretty interesting way to frame.
On a slightly less cool note, I want to thank everyone who was super supportive about the copyright infringement situation. I’m relieved that no one else has mentioned seeing these things anywhere else– fingers naively crossed. I will provide an update once I get more information.
Unfortunately, there appears to be another knock off making the rounds. This one is from my painting ‘The Duchess’. As you can see they have copied the figure and the dog, but what makes this knock off so special is that they have also taken the bouquet of flowers from another painting of mine ‘The Runner Up’ and supplemented it for the purse. Two infringements in one!
This knock off was spotted in a large European retail chain called ‘Leroy Merlin’. They have been unresponsive to my request to have it removed from sale. While I figure out what the next step will be, I wanted to let customers know that this is not my painting. From what I can tell this is likely Chinese sweatshop art, just like the last group of infringements in 2013.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m complaining or seeking sympathy, as I have accepted that this is now an unfortunate part of my business— dealing with sweatshop knock offs and the corporations who support this form of ‘art’. However, I wanted to bring attention to this just in case there is confusion. I don’t dumb down my work to have it mass produced. I also really appreciate (and rely on) all my savvy supporters who inform me of potential infringements by snapping a quick photo when they spot something questionable. If it looks like one of mine, but something is a little off (usually simplified backgrounds or no artist credit) please take a photo and let me know. Sometimes it’s the only way I can find out where these copies have ended up.
Lastly—and this is a direct message to retail corporations who sell these ‘paintings’: I register my copyrights with the US Copyright Office and I have successfully enforced my copyrights through legal means in the past and I will continue to do so in the future. Be aware of copyright laws before you purchase art from Chinese art factories who have little to no knowledge or respect for intellectual property laws. If you are selling it, you are liable.
Molly Monocle, oil on canvas, 12″x16″. For sale on etsy.
I really thought I worked through my monocle obsession with my Villainess painting, but clearly that wasn’t the case. I don’t think she’s a lady villain, but I wouldn’t want to cross her in a spelling bee.
My apologies for jamming and cramming a number of recent events into one post, but the month has flown by so quickly and there are a few things I wanted to share. The English version of my first children’s book, Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess was released this month and it can be purchased here or if you would prefer a signed copy, you can purchase one from Fanfare Books in Stratford and they are happy to ship internationally. I was delighted to be asked by the Globe and Mail to be a part of their ‘Drawing With’ video series in which I painted a quick version of Miss Moon. Here’s the link if you would like to see how she is created. And what an experience that was. I’ve never been filmed painting before and I was super nervous. Nevermind talking while painting. Does my voice really sound like that? Ugh.
I also want to mention that I’ve been working on a 2017 wall calendar. I know, I’ve really taken my time doing this. A calendar just seemed so daunting. What if I mess up and get the days of the month wrong and it wreaks havoc on everyone’s social schedule? These things haunt me, which is why I avoided it. So there may be a sticker on the outside of the calendar seeking indemnity from date mistakes etc….buy it for the pictures.
Lastly, I was well chuffed to be featured in Little Thing China’s ‘Girls Love Illustration’ edition. It’s a super cool magazine full of so many striking visuals that it doesn’t matter that I can’t read it. Also, Flow magazine featured some of my images as cool tear out dividers in their recent German edition. The talent being explored and promoted in these international magazines is really inspiring.
Oh and last but not least, that is the brunette version of Extraordinary Chickens on the cover of the San Diego Reader (I’ve had a few emails asking me if it was). It features a story about a front yard farm which makes me want to replicate it, but my front yard is a little bit covered in snow at the moment.
The Etiquette of Blackmail, oil on canvas, 18″x18″. For sale on etsy.
Lets talk blackmail. The first time I ever heard the term, I immediately imagined a sinister black envelope. Probably with red handwriting and maybe a red and black stamp. It scared me. And I think I had good reason to be scared as it seemed to be an epidemic, at least that’s what Hollywood wanted me to believe. I was certain that one day when I was much older, and very rich, and possibly blonde, I would be lounging by the pool, and my cabana boy would present me with a morning Mimosa and the mail, and in that pile of mail, would be the dreaded black envelope. I would be done for.
Yet in real life, it seems blackmail doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, it’s likely not very dramatic. But in the rare event that it were to happen, I believe that there should be an etiquette to it, just as these two ladies are teaching us here. Blackmail served with tea (something strong and smoky like Lapsang) and lots of little cakes and sandwiches with the crusts cut off would really help to make the experience a much more pleasant one.
Lady In Waiting, oil on canvas, 11″x14″. For sale on etsy.
The entire time I was painting this, I was intending the giraffe to be actually stealing the pearls. Then everything changed when I realized that a giraffe would probably be quite helpful with dressing. Excellent with hats, zippers, scarves, necklaces, so she got promoted from thief to personal assistant.
The Northern Christmas Llama Was Elusive But Generous In Nature, oil on canvas, 8″x10″. SOLD.
To be honest, I don’t really know if this is really a llama, never mind a proper ‘Northern Christmas Llama’. I was studying quite a few pictures of llamas before I started painting this and I was left very disorientated and confused. Physically, they don’t make any sense, and each llama is very different from the next. I doubt two are the same. And what is the difference between a llama and an alpaca? All I know is that I want one now, just so I can study it further and possibly cuddle it. But, do they bite is my only worry.
And speaking of biters, I really thought this week we were going to lose Daisy (our 20 year old cat). First off, I want to mention that I did not name her. Not that I have a problem with the name Daisy, but it never suited her. She appeared on John’s doorstep sixteen years ago, a stray, and quite pregnant. John and his ex took her in, and someone named her Daisy. But, she’s really more of a Joan, or a Betty, or a Jean, or maybe even an Eliza. She’s more of a dame than a flower. We took her to the vet with a bladder infection and she basically came back with a terrible cold. I didn’t know that cats could get colds- at least the kind with snorting congestion. It was terrible to watch, not to mention listen to. She stopped eating, stopped sleeping and sat in an uncomfortable crouch position and looked like she wanted to end it. Then the vet shot her up with steroids and she’s moved on to her 55th cat life. In fact, she’s happily eating leftover brisket as I type this.
So in a very long winded way, this is also an explanation as to why there isn’t another Miss Moon Christmas painting yet. I’ve been so busy being a nursemaid which included force feeding stinky fishy cat food through a syringe, only to have it expelled back onto me, as well as bouts of cat mind reading, trying to suss out whether or not she wanted to continue on in this world or not. Fortunately for us, we have her for a little longer.
The Peppermint Family Christmas Balloon Ride, oil on canvas, 12″x16″. For sale on etsy.
This is what happens when you let the Peppermint family run amok. There is so much that is wrong with this picture (and possibly wrong with the Peppermint family) but they always seem to get away with it, likely because it’s considered to be only a little harmless festive fun. But is it really? Once again, we find them littering. And this time, they are littering big time. No longer are they tossing candy canes out of car windows, but they are dropping candy canes and other heavy objects from quite a height. Imagine that you live in this pretty miscellaneous European town and you are just sitting in the park enjoying a hot beverage when you get clunked in the head by a gingerbread man. That would put me off Christmas, and possibly parks, for quite a while. I think the Peppermint family needs to rethink their gift giving strategy and take it down a notch.
Also, does Mr. Peppermint have two wives? No, that redhead is just his sister, Miss Moon (no, she’s not really Miss Moon).
It’s that time of year again! We have put the shop on vacation to prepare for our annual Black Friday Sale! Enter the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout to receive 20% off your order. Please remember that the code has to be entered in the coupon code box (not the message to seller box) in order to receive the discount.
This year the sale runs from Friday Nov 27 at 9:00am and will end on Sunday at 11:00pm.
I thought I would share a few photos of what consumed our lives for the entire summer. Seriously, I have no clue how I produced a single painting, as my mind was completely focused on windows, floors, and soft furnishings. Our house was originally built around 1868 and is technically a Victorian style bungalow, and although it’s full of charm and character, it was very small. So small that when we transferred our mortgage to our new bank they had to follow some sort of special procedure to ensure that we weren’t mortgaging a shed. No kidding.
Our main source of inspiration came from a Hooked On Houses profile on THIS HOUSE. Sigh. That ceiling. It’s really all about the ceiling. Here in chilly southern Ontario, you don’t see a lot of ceilings like that, possibly because they tend not to be winterized? Clinging to that vital piece of inspiration we contacted Build, who happily rose to the challenge of creating a space that both fit into the style of our existing cottage, but also gave a great big nod to our inspiration cottage. We are so happy with the result.
So aside from the ceiling, here are a few design sources if you are interested. Oh and one more thing, our ‘before’ wasn’t really that bad. They had already pulled off the white siding, giving it that ‘fresh shack’ look.
A Miss Moon Christmas. Lesson Four: Festive Reindeer Antlers Are Meant For Wearing, Not For Chewing. Oil on canvas, 12″x16″.
To celebrate the first snowfall of the year here in Southern Ontario, I thought I would release the next Miss Moon Christmas painting. This lesson is an important one for all those chewers out there. I’m talking to you Mr. Finnegan Elliott Woodward, whom we thought had passed through the chewing phase years ago only to recently discover evidence to the contrary: freshly nibbled corners of a Christmas card.