Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Interview with Artist & Illustrator Brandy Masch

Last week I had the opportunity to hangout with artist and illustrator Brandy Masch at her Vancouver studio. What a treat!

When I first visited Brandy's website and saw her art - especially the Living City paintings - I felt transported back into Horton's World from the Dr. Zeus books - especially the most recent movie and book Horton Hears a Who. It would be so fun to be a little person and climb into her multi dimensional worlds and explore. I mentioned this to Brandy and s he smiled and said she absolutely l loved Dr. Zeus books when she was a kid! Of these world’s she creates, Brandy says that she’s an

intuitive painter. The images build themselves, there is not pre- set image. “I don’t use sketch books so much as just work on the piece and see where it takes me.”

Her work was recently featured in V-rag magazine- the art issue along with an interview write up. She has been approached by Simply Red about doing an

album cover and gets commissions and sales via twitter followers, her facebook fan page, as well as local shows such as The Drift and Artist in Our Midst – both annual art show events in Vancouver.

Brandy earned a BFA from Emily Carr University, specializing in printmaking and drawing – lithography. She fell in love with animation and illustration during the four year degreeprogram. And found her love of being an illustrator through the process of doing her BA. The support, encouragement, and guidance from her teachers continue to help me to this day.

It's always so fun and humbling to visit other artist's studios, this one with no exception. What struck me immediately was how organized Brandy is with her art supplies and overall set up. Everything labeled and in its place, easy to find when she needs it. I was immediately inspired myself to make some organizational changes inspired by Brandy's studio set up.

Brandy is a beautiful woman, passionate artist, and easy to be with. Here are some neat little facts about her….

Rock of support: My husband, Curtis, 100%

Favourite colour: changes regularly, green and blues lately. orange

Favourite paints: holbein gouach and Golden liquid acrylics – Golden , FW and liquitex acrylic inks.

Favourite tool: Windsor and Newton 00 round synthetic brush

Favourite soap: Master’s brush cleaner

Favourite artist: the low brow art and pop surrealists, Sean Tan, Julie Moristate, Travis Lui

Role model & inspiration: My Mom, very supportive.

We also talked about challenges, inspirations and goals. Here are hers, in that order.

Deb: Brandy, what do you think your greatest challenge is?

Brandy: Being shy and asking for what I want. Reaching out to people.

Deb: what inspires and feeds you and your art?

Brandy: Surfing the internet, chilling out, looking at other artist’s work, looking around the city, taking photos of things that inspire me. People watching in crowds.

Going for a walk in the forest.

Deb: What are some of your goals as a professional artist and illustrator?

Brandy: My goals include primarily and foremost to make a living from my artwork, specifically having my work in magazines, illustrations for children’s books, and doing creative things such as teaching art to kids. I want to make a living off what I do, do that I don’t need another job.

Brandy, Thank you for letting us see inside your work space and sharing your passion with us! Wishing your dream comes true.

Tristan, thank you for taking this photo of us!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Homemade Valentines Cards

Make your sweetheart something special this year - simple home made, hand made, valentines cards. With thought care and love your sweetie knows you spent the time on them. No commercial bling bling! Just love, care and your creativity. :)

What you need:

Coloured & textured papers of all types - hand made stained tissue and other papers, pre- purchased scrap booking papers, decorative papers, doily's, sheets of music all work nicely.

Glue - I like golden regular gel, you could use Elmer's glue or YES glue too.

Palette knife or foam brush - to apply the glue.

Sheet of plastic - use it to place over the image when its glued and put a book or something heavy over top

Blank gift cards (you can buy bulk packs at Michaels really cheap) or even a little 5 x 7 Artist Trading Cards work well for something unique! - glue the papers on these in your own way.

Stamps with words such as 'love you' and so on, can also make a nice addition to your card art.

Paint pens - a fun way to write your little love note.

Glitter glue or sparkles - always fun additions to embelish any creation.

Ruthie and I had fun making a big old mess on the floor, cutting pasting and designing our own
little creations. I got super inspired and made a little one for each child in her grade one class.

Works well if you glue your images down and then cover them with that sheet of plastic and put a book or something on top over night.

Have Fun. Happy Valentines Day.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Blending acrylics to create a smooth gradient look

This photo is a section of an in process 36 x 36 x 1 1/2" painting I'm currently working on in the studio. I liked the shot so I thought I'd share it. The Finished piece will be posted on this blog and at www.debchaney.com some unknown date in the future.
(c) Deb Chaney 2010.

I received an Email question from a fellow artist who wrote me wondering about creating smooth gradients using acrylics.

This question is definitely worthy of a short video. It is my hope that before the end of this year I will have the video camera set up on a tripod in the studio and be able to film a short on how to do this so you can see it for yourself. For now, here's her question and my answer....

"Hi Deb!

How are you? Hope you are having a great week.

I am currently working on an acrylic painting with a warm orange background. Starting with warm red from the top, fading down to a warm orange on the bottom, I am wanting to create a smooth gradient look.

I'm having a lot of trouble achieving this with acrylics. I'm getting many streaks and lines. The colours are not blending perfectly to a solid gradient look.

Would you be willing to offer any suggestions or any tips or tricks to achieve this look and combat the streaks? Perhaps the paint didn't stay wet enough for long to blend properly. I've painted many coats and nearly used up my entire orange tube ! LOL"

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for writing.

My first question for you would be - Are you using heavy body or liquid acryics?

You mentioned using a tube, so I'm guessing you're using the full body acrylics (toothpaste consistency).
If so, my recommendation is that you use a gel medium - like Golden soft or regular gel - in that area where the two colours merge. The medium could help to blend the two colours together seemlessly, like you desire, and could be used in lieu of water.

The next question I would ask you is what kind of brush you are using for blending the colours?

I have a lot of success using a very soft bristle flat head brush to blend colours. Back and forth, back and forth lots of times, more than would be intuitive, to blend the two colours with the medium and create that gradient you want without streaks or lines.

Lastly, I am wondering if your're working flat or if the substrate you're painting on is up on an easle? It's so much easier to blend gradients when you're working flat on a table. Then if you want to add water it's not going to drip down and disturb the layers below.

If I made the incorrect assumption
about the paint consistency you're using and you are using liquid acrylics (I love the Golden liquid acrylics myself), they blend beautifully and you can also uses a fluid medium in between two colours, same technique as described above.

Hope this helps. Comments are welcome.

Have another question? info@debchaney.com

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Fantastic Artist Date: Granville Island Market Vancouver

Fantastic Artist Date: Granville Island Market Vancouver

As artists we must take time to re-energize, nurture ourselves, go on artists dates – by ourselves - and fill that inner well. Iff you live here in Vancouver or are visiting because of the 2010 winter olympics, I highly recommend an afternoon on Granville Island.

See new things, smell new smells, hear new music, enjoy the beauty in every day things…Granville Island Public Market is the perfect place to do this. A culmination of international food, crafts, art, music, ice cream, chocolate, entertainment….An artists delight.

Here are some photos from my recent visit there….

(PS Lyza Loo...when you come to visit I will drop you off here! This is right by where I work!)