Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hitting the ground running.

Good morning!

One more day until I celebrate Canada's birthday. I am heading to our nation's capital, Ottawa, for some royal watching. My goal is to be able to add Kate Middleton as a friend on my facebook by the time I come home on Sunday. Perhaps I'm aiming high.... I'd be satisfied if she'd "like" my fan page.

Reeling it back to illustration, I can share with you some work that I did in the spring. I was asked to paint running shoes for various promotions by the fine folks at the CIBC Run For the Cure. I was totally honoured to participate in this project, as I have participated in this run a few times and I am a big supporter of the cause. There are three different scenarios. As far as I know this is the first one. It was printed various times in the Globe and Mail this week. I'm keeping my eye out for the other two and will share them with you once I see them.
Here are some shots of the actual shoe. It was definitely a challenge to paint on the bumpy plains of a true running shoe, but the more I painted the easier it got. You've just got to go with the ups and downs and not fight them. 
Have a great Canada Day, fellow Canadians!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beautiful things.

To preface, I am home today with a terrible face rash. I don't know where it came from, but it's itchy, painful, and make's me look like an ogre's bride. Not too happy about the rash. Anyway, to make myself feel better, I wanted to write about some pretty stuff that I've seen lately that definitely turns my swollen red frown upside down.

First thing is courtesy of an old college friend, Gosia. She makes the world a cuter place and for that I am one of her biggest fans. She's an illustrator, but over the past few years she has turned into a fabulous sculptor as well, and makes these gorgeous nymph like characters (opposite of ogre, might I say) that would melt your heart. This weekend, as my rash lay just under my skin, ready to ravage my face, I went to see an exhibit that featured one of Gosia's sculptures. 

Amazing, no?
Copyright Gosia 2011

The second thing that I discovered last week  was an online store FULL of beautiful things. It's Fishs Eddy! Fishs Eddy is a housewares store that is located in New York City originally and carries not only those classic kitchenware pieces, but a lot of graphically touched pieces that make me want to start painting plates. 

Well, just watch this video and you'll see what I mean.

It literally gives me heart palpitations to watch this. I can tell you where I will be going the net time I'm in NYC! Anyway, they are currently carrying a collection of Charley Harper dinnerware.  

Charley Harper is on my top five list of the BEST illustrators EVER. He passed in 2007, leaving behind a world of beautiful nature inspired artwork. 
Copyright Charley Harper
The graphic and geometric way that he approached his art is a constant inspiration for my own work. His colours are vibrant his composition is incredible. His work is totally classic and timeless.

Wow! It's funny, but even now after writing this post my face feels a little less on fire. I think I'll try to keep up the good feeling by NOT looking in the mirror today and creating some beauty of my own in my sketchbook. 

Have a pretty little day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

That warm, fuzzy feeling.

Yes, the warm weather has arrived. Some may say it's muggy, but it really does give me a fuzzy wuzzy feeling inside. I was clearly meant to be born south of the equator. Cold weather and me are oil and vinegar. I love every sweaty minute of the summer and am looking forward to three solid months of it. 

June has brought more than just a sun tan for me. I am June's artist of the month at Three in a Box! You can check out my profile here. I know that I've mentioned the fine folks at Three in a Box before, but just as a refresher, they are my artist representatives. There are three reps here in Toronto and one across the pond in London, UK. I enjoy having representatives. It's nice to know that there is always someone that has your back and that believes in your work. They do good work and I am honoured to be their artist pick for June.

Now on to the work that comes through Three in a Box. I can now share with you the latest illustration project that has just gone into publication. I completed 5 spot illustrations for the magazine Canadian Underwriter.  For these spots I used a slightly different technique than usual. I played with opacity of the fills to create a slightly watercolour, softer feel while still using my ink line work. 
Copyright Claire Manning
Copyright Claire Manning
You can see the rest on my website and on the Canadian Underwriter website. They were a great client to work with. It's been a while since I've done business themed work and it was nice to get into it again. I'm happy with the way that they all turned out. 

I spent my day yesterday running errands (so I could be in the sun) and sanding old frames to refinish them. I have lots of little tasks to do, and, as long as the sun is shining, I will do as many of them outside as I can.