Friday, February 26, 2010

heart manipulation

I drew this to illustrate a to-be-published short story about a morgue worker who becomes enamoured with a dead girl. I felt his "love" was at least partly based on her incapacity for speech (as her lips were sewn up). Being dead, she couldn't have an inherent personality. This is different from his obnoxious wife. Personally, I prefer my love loud and alive, so it's a good thing I have Bryan. Speaking of which, here is Bryan's awesome manipulation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Dead Sea, Israel, 2007

Vancouver, Canada, 2007

Jeju Island, South Korea, 2008

 Myrtle Beach, USA 2004

 Thornhill (home), 2007

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the most profound...

Bryan thought it would be interesting to see someone else's artistic representation of his poetry. He gave me this quote illustrate:  "The most profound achievement of the twentieth century is that you can now live your entire life without ever touching another person." First I thought about a man alone in his apartment connected to the world only via technology. He's sitting on a couch looking at the viewer wide-eyed, hunched over with his hands together in his lap. But such an image would lack context, so I thought of millions of such people each in his or her own little box, like animals stacked in cages. One guy would drive the delivery truck around town, delivering the necessary tangibles to the people in their boxes.  

I thought about people on the subway hunching their shoulders inwards so as not to touch the people sitting next to them. I thought about a boy and girl passing each other on the street and their iPod wires happen to get tangled up; they're frustrated with the inconvenience of human connection. 

I thought about a series of computers connected by tangled wires, but touch is personal even when its virtual, and depersonalized through technology. So I drew the above sketch. It's not that people aren't connecting, it's that we allow something to mediate that connection. It's often technology that we come physically into contact with in order to connect with other people.

Monday, February 15, 2010

hooray notebook

I made this notebook for Bryan for Valentine's Day. The front was supposed to say "hooray for the future" which is his motto/blog name but there wasn't enough room on the cover. I think hooray is sufficient. When I hear the phrase, I always think about clouds and a rainbow so that's what I made. Isn't is cute?! It's made out of a cut up wine bottle bag, stuffing, and yarn; the paper inside was some extra I tore out of a notebook that I had bought in Thailand and made into a photo album. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

documenting 7 years of visual obsession

It's obvious that as a society we are trying to understand love, a phenomenon deemed central to the meaning of "human." Some people write novels about love; some philosophize about it; some study it scientifically. I do all of those things but primarily I collect, interpret, and create images. First I sought to represent the connectivity of minds through the intertwining, merging, or melding of bodies. Like this:

Just try to untangle them in your mind. There's power in the solidness of the formation they've created. The following was my FIRST attempt at such a representation:

By creating images, I wanted to create a kind of love. I wanted my love to be genderless and universal, but the darker figure turned out to be more feminine and the lighter figure masculine. I wanted my love to be equal. But with the two figures indistinguishable from one another, the image didn't look good; it looked confusing. I kept wanting to define each body separately (by shading one differently).

Love seemed doomed to be two separate people, rather than one joined entity. And the shading created an element of race that was entirely unintentional. This was my first sketch I considered successful, even though it didn't solve my artistic or philosophical problems.

I had an artistic epiphany when I realized that my lovers didn't have to be touching. They are two separate entities drawn together by something else.

I later satirized my own representation of love. I thought love might be a farce. What is this mysterious force that draws us together but the language (words or otherwise) that comes out of one person and consequently makes the other feel something.

As entirely separate entities with faulty mechanisms of communication, aren't we doomed to misunderstanding?

The Lovers by Rene Magritte, 1928

As beautiful and simple as real love might be, the complexities of interaction still make relationships difficult if not impossible to maintain. Without a proper use for love, why bother having it?

Especially with the pain of separation that must ultimately occur.

Giving up on representing love for awhile, I tried drawing related human interactions. Desire for inclusion:

We cannot help the fact that we need each other to survive and even more, to propagate. We create social structures to bind us.


But in the end, we have to decide which hand we would most like to hold, and maybe it doesn't matter which one.


Most of us, if we are human, come back to that basic human desire to love and be loved. We try and try.

And as with most human endeavors, perhaps occasionally we succeed. Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

mad gift wrapping skills

I was at an environmentally friendly gift wrapping shop thinking I could make my boyfriend's birthday present look all shmancy. Then I realized that the most environmentally friendly way to wrap a gift would be to use paper I already had. Duh. So I used the soulpepper theatre guide and a page out of a Monet picture book as my wrapping paper. Then I cleverly made a flower decoration for the top by ripping out strips of paper.

I thought my flowers looked pretty decent until I found these and later this. I tried.

Monday, February 8, 2010

origami box making semi-fail

green roofs

In Japan, I came across the ACROS building and thought it was an excellent way to reconcile technology with nature. With trees running all the way up one side of the building, it goes far beyond the rooftop garden idea. The other side just looks like a glass building, but the green side merges with the greenery of the park and becomes part of the landscape. As it slants upwards, its like a human-made mountain. Imagine how awesome our city would be if all its buildings supported a forest for a roof. Let there be green roofs!

ACROS Fukuoka Building, Japan

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

O'born artists

When I saw O'born Contemporary's website, I thought child pornography might be making a comeback in the art world. Then I read that Edith Maybin placed her 5 year old daughter's head on her own body. It makes for very confusing imagery; also if you were concerned about the suggestive nature of the photos, I'm not sure you'd actually be comforted by the knowledge that they were photoshopped.

Edith Maybin

If fakeness is Maybin's excuse for the suggestive nature of her photos, I'm not sure what Jess Roberts' excuse is.

Jess Roberts

Monday, February 1, 2010

converse extension

A new take on footed pajamas. I'm a little surprised this hasn't been mass produced and sold at Stitches to punky teenagers. I would have worn it, back in the day.

Converse Extension by Daryl van Wouw, Virtual Shoe Museum