October 01, 2017

About packaging, pottery and paints...

I am finally back to working in my studio, my first official task was packing up a painting for shipping to a new collector which made getting back to work extra special :)

It is funny how it always seems to take at least 3-4 months to get back into things after moving. I am still trying to find the right balance between studying for my Japanese classes, exploring Japanese culture and techniques and spending time in my studio. But with a group exhibition here in Nagoya coming up in November getting back to creating art is high on the to do list. Especially since I know that finding al the right materials and services is going to require some extra time and patience for the first couple of pieces.

Thanks to my amazing hubby I've been able to find quite a few good art supply stores, I'm still having difficulty finding some of the supplies I'm used to working with but between these stores and the internet I should be able to find most things. I am very excited to try some Japanese brands as well, I bought some acrylics the other day that I am eager to try!

Another thing thats high on my to do list is trying out as many Japanese art techniques as possible, I've already done some calligraphy and I have another class coming up later this month. A couple of weeks ago I got to get my hands dirty behind a classic Japanese pottery wheel and I can confirm that they do indeed turn in the opposite direction. I am also looking into trying out Yamato-e painting and I'm looking forward to finding a Sumie class.

And of course I  have done lots of exploring with my camera so as has become sort of a habit, I will leave you with some more of Japans awesome :)

September 19, 2017

About boxed, balance and beautiful things

Tigger enjoying some sunshine in the tatami room before the house was taken over by 388 boxes...

Wow, I didn't realize it had been this long since my last post! We have been slowly adjusting to life here in Nagoya. Two weeks ago our boat shipment arrived, this meant that our tiny Japanese home was flooded with 388 boxes delivered in four separate trucks by 12 impeccably dressed Japanese movers. I have to say that I was really impressed with the movers here in Japan, there were exactly on time, covered every single surface in the house with bubble wrap and blankets, were really polite and courteous and they handled out things with great care and efficiency, oh and they were finished at 2pm! The minimal effort and carelessness of the movers we dealt with in Montréal was seriously sad and almost laughable in comparison.

For a little while the house was a little full, 388 boxed can be a bit overwhelming in a Japanese home, but after two weeks of hard work everything has found its place and our home feels like home again :) Both my studio and office are up and running, I'm actually typing this blogpost sitting behind my own desk in my own desk chair! If you had seen this room a week ago you would understand why that feels like a huge accomplishment ;)

 Hubby built me some lovely new shelves to hold my paints <3

In between all the boxed and the craziness I did get to enjoy some Japanese culture. A couple of weeks ago I attended an awesome pottery demonstration by this amazing Japanese pottery artist, his name is Kato Heroshige and his family has been making pottery for hundreds of years. 

Last week I finally had a chance to try my hand at some Japanese Calligraphy which was quite challenging. I learned how to write the word 'Artist' in Kanji. Japanese calligraphy is all about balance and harmony, every stroke of the brush needs to be just so. Usually I'm quite comfortable with a brush in my hands but here I'm really starting from scratch, I even have to relearn how to hold the damn thing :D It was tons of fun though! I met some awesome new people and I love working with ink so I'll definitely be taking additional classes!

I'm also still working hard at learning the Japanese language, which is a slow and difficult process but I can now sort of kind of order something at a restaurant which feels like a huge accomplishment. 

I'm slowly getting into a new rhythm of life here in Japan and I definitely want to return to my studio soon although I do have a few technical things to figure out before I can start creating again.

I will leave you with some more Japanese awesome...

 Yes, this sign actually says "Welcome to in the woods hair myth Ricky" 

August 07, 2017

Konnichiwa from Nagoya!


I have been  living in Nagoya, Japan for about a month and a half now and it is awesome! The people are super polite and friendly, everything is neat and clean, the food is amazing and there's art everywhere! I've been walking around with my camera exploring my new city and come across so many little statues and art installations, they're just everywhere in his city.

It is the height of summer right now so both temperatures and humidity are skyrocketing but that doesn't keep the Japanese from partying. The summer seating is filled with all kinds of local festivals, so far we've seen Geisha dances, 5 m tall paper lanterns that were carried by a single person, boats decorated with hundreds of paper lanterns, many different floats and huge fireworks shows (as in 2 hours long!) I will attach some pictures and video's to the bottom of this post.

All our stuff is still on a boat, it's a long way from Montréal to Nagoya, so my new studio space is quite empty right now. If everything goes according to plan everything should arrive by the end of September and I can't wait! There's so much inspiration here in Japan!

But, while I'm waiting for my easel and paints to arrive I'm not idly sitting by. I'm doing tons of exploring and collecting many, many photographs of the amazing architecture and quirky urban icons here in Japan and I've started my Japanese classes, which is quite challenging and time consuming. It is definitely going to take some time to get a grip on this complicated language. I'm totally aware that I'm never going to fluent but since the majority of Japanese people do not speak a word of English, anything I learn is going to be helpful. Knowing the kanji for beef, pork and chicken is already saving me tons of time in the local supermarket :)

I'll try to write some more regular updates on this blog but adjusting to a new country and culture can be time consuming and exhausting so it might take some time for me to get back to my regular schedule of weekly blog posts. In the mean time you can stay up to date on my adventures here in Japan by following me on Facebook and Instagram, where I post more regularly.



May 16, 2017

Studio Sale May 27th 2017

Time is flying here in Montréal! Only 4 more weeks before I am packing up my studio for my big move to Nagoya, Japan! I am so excited for this new adventure!

But before I leave this beautiful city behind I am inviting you to come visit my studio here on l'ile Bizard on May 27th from noon to 6pm for a very special studio sale!

There will be a wide variety of original artwork, sketches, prints, cards and books available with discounts up to 75%!

If you like my work this would be the perfect opportunity to add a piece to your collection!

This very special sale will be held on Saturday May 27 from 12-6pm in my studio on l'île Bizard (exact address will be posted on the Facebook event page on May 25th).

For questions please contact me by email.

April 11, 2017

Two amazing solo exhibitions!

Last weekend was a little crazy and a lot awesome! On Friday we celebrated the opening of my solo exhibition 'Departure' at Viva Vida Art Gallery. This is a retrospective show of works created during my time here in Montréal and with so many pieces going up it was a bit of a scramble to get ready, but we made it and it looks awesome!

Because the exhibition features over 50 pieces from 8 different bodies of work I was a little worried about how the show would look. But, although it is quite overwhelming with so many pieces, I think it still looks cohesive and I am very happy with the result! If you didn't get a chance to join us for the opening this past Friday, the exhibition will run until April 20th. Viva Vida Art Gallery is located on 278-2 Lakeshore in Pointe Claire, it's definitely worth a look if you're in the area!

After an awesome opening night on Friday I had to get up bright and early to hop on a train to Toronto for the opening of my solo exhibition 'Cities Through My Eyes'! When I arrived at Latitude 44 Gallery I was blown away at how amazing the exhibition looked. This is such a beautiful space, it really compliments the work.

This exhibition features my most recent works so it was very interesting to see the difference between both shows. If you didn't get a chance to join us for the opening celebrations this Saturday, this exhibition will run until April 28th. Latitude 44 Gallery is located on 2900 Dundas st. West in Toronto. If you're in the neighbourhood it's definitely worth to go check out this wonderful space!

I will also be giving an artist talk at Viva Vida Art Gallery on Thursday April 20th from 7-8:30pm, this event will be free to attend. I will be talking about my inspiration and techniques and about how my work has evolved over the year. Surrounded by so many diverse pieces from different bodies of work, this is definitely going to be an interesting evening!

April 05, 2017

It's almost time!

Mark your calendars because this Friday (April 7th) and this Saturday (April 8th) we will celebrate the opening of my two upcoming solo exhibitions, I really hope to see you all there!

On Friday evening from 7-10pm everyone is invited to join us at Viva Vida Art Gallery (278 Lakeshore in Pointe Claire) to celebrate the opening of 'Departure' my final solo exhibition in Montréal!

On Saturday afternoon from 4-7pm everyone is invited to join us at Latitude 44 Gallery (2900 Dundas St. West in Toronto) to celebrate the opening of 'Cities Through My Eyes' a solo exhibition of my most recent work. Here's a little sneak peek!

The Suburban Newspaper wrote a very nice article about 'Departure'.