Monday, January 31, 2011

We Have A Winner!

I'm posting this later than I thought I would be, but my computer was acting up tonight! The winner of a 5x7" print is...drumroll...Magic Love Crow! I'll be in touch :-)

The correct answer was the maple leaf. When I tallied up my inventory after Christmas sales and discovered that the maple leaf was my big seller, I was stunned! Usually it has been the purple pansies in the lead, but this past year, not even half of all the purple pansy stuff sold.

It sounds crazy, but every image or product has a lifecycle. Trying to predict that lifecycle is a real art form. And what's popular one year can change for the next. Then there are some images, like the water lilies, that I thought would be popular and they weren't. Tis a mystery!

Thank you so much to all who entered and check back in a few days for the February contest :-)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Appaloosa ACEO

Recently I found one of the first few marker ACEOs I created from 2006. This Appaloosa in profile is an original ACEO or art trading card, not a print. Staedtler art markers have been used to create this leopard Appaloosa on acid free Strathmore paper. Add this original wild and free Appaloosa to your ACEO herd!

-((-------------------------------------Don't Forget!-------------------------------------))-

My 5x7" print contest ends on January 31st. Don't forget to comment to enter!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Lemonade!

As the month winds down, so does my job. Almost another month to go. My previous workplace had waves of layoffs, but I never managed to be laid off. I was almost laid off once though. When I think about how stressful that time was, 2003 seems so far away. My husband was making $7 an hour at AVIS, my teeth were breaking, and we had just bought our house. Annnd hook-ups, bills and repairs were eating away at our savings. We barely qualified for our mortgage and in hindsight didn’t realize how much extra money one really needs when buying a home. It seemed like things would never get better, but then the day came when I realized that things were pretty good.

My husband was actually laid off in 2002. He grieved for his job for years. I felt so bad that there was nothing I could do to help him. Eventually he found another job he could love just as much. I suppose that's the point of this post - there's always something better out there!

When I was younger and woefully inexperienced at the working game, I had a manager who always yelled at me. I didn't realize that I could have filed a hostile workplace complaint. "Christine, this coffee isn't fresh!" "Christine, open the blinds!" Every time I heard my name hollered, I cringed, because I was usually doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Towards the end I was starting my morning in tears as I was the first one to arrive. Now, whenever I read on forums or blogs about people who have a hollering boss, I never hesitate to say "GO! Trust me, a better job is waiting for you!"

This optimism that something better is waiting is what brought my great-great-grandparents from Poland and my father from Greece. It's scary making that leap, but years later, those gut feelings are usually right. I'm trying really hard to stay on the path to being an artist.

My fellow soon to be unemployed co-worker and fellow Etsian BubblegumSass found this great movie called Lemonade. The tagline is "It's not a pink slip. It's a blank page." It is really good and I wish it had been around when my husband was laid off. It's very motivational and diverse in how the people profiled found new self-worth and meaning. If the trailer gives you goosebumps, you know you need to see it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Man, what a silly day! I woke up dizzy at 5am this morning; the chinook loudly left during the night and I half wonder if it gave me vertigo or if it is really an ear infection. I guess time will tell. I tried to go back to bed but I had some horrible dreams, including one where my soul ran away (don't laugh!) and I tried to wake my husband up to help me, but I couldn't because I had no soul! The anti-histamine the doctor prescribed didn't really help until about 10am and by then the morning was getting away from me.

We ended up going to the Crossroads Market, a farmer's market, for lunch. It's an interesting place to go people watch and find "junktiques". Alberta isn't old enough to have old, old things. The stuff you see tends to be things that your grandparents had in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Now and then I find something really interesting, like this little souvenir booklet of Edmonton:

Vintage Edmonton Photo Booklet
(click for larger on Flickr)

Alberta may be a young province, but I'm glad in a way, even if I know I won't find a 200 year old tea set. A lot of our contemporary history is preserved in glorious colour like this booklet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In The Land of White Death

It seems like forever since I have a read a book. Usually I like reading young adult books (they're really good these days!) but I was sidelined yesterday with vertigo that is either an ear infection or was triggered by the abrupt warm winter wind we get called a chinook. The pressure will drop suddenly as temperatures rise and it leaves a lot of people with migraines.

The book was In the Land of White Death: An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic and is basically an almost-forgotten diary by the navigator of the ill-fated Saint Anna, Valerian Albanov.

If you like perilous true adventure stories like Into Thin Air, you'll probably love this book. It is so full of natural suspense. When the St. Anna becomes trapped in Arctic ice, Albanov decides to leave the ship and finds that about half the crew wants to go with him. They fashion sleds and kayaks and start their journey in a blizzard. After many months, only Albanov and one other crew member were rescued. The others succumbed to illness or were lost. I find it truly amazing that he was able to navigate southward using seemingly low-tech tools and a badly drawn map. But even high-tech gear is no match for the fickle force of nature.

Usually diary formats bore me, but it's because they can be so contrived. Albanov has a real talent as a writer and is incredibly honest in his frustrations and joy. The weather changes so quickly that as soon as you are relieved that they were able to shoot seals for dinner, you feel crushed as two of the men make off with equipment and supplies the others needed. He spares no detail in describing just how harsh the lives of the crew had become, as well as how harsh life was on the boat that rescued them. It was suffering as well and anything that could be fed to the boiler, including the masts, panelling and decks were sacrificed. The diary is such a vivid portrait, and if it had not happened to Albanov in real life, I don't think anyone else could have invented it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get Your Eyes Checked!

The past week was extra cray. I was scared out of my wits last week when I visited the optometrist. I was shocked that it had been four years since I last saw her and since I got my glasses. I’m far sighted. When I look at pictures I drew or painted before I got my glasses, you can see a definitely fuzzy quality to them.

For some time I have had a thing on my eye which seemed harmless. The optometrist gave me a horrible fright when she suggested that the spot might be my retina detaching. All I could think about afterwards was “I’m going blind!” which is the worst fear for any extremely visual person. I hoped and prayed and friends prayed for me as well. I went for an OCT scan, which stands for optical coherence tomography. I really thought it would be a big deal like going to the dentist, but I was embarrassed at how big a baby I was.

Both eyes were dilated and essentially all I had to do was stare at a green star while red flashed in background. Each eye took about 5 minutes, but the dilation lasted about four hours. I got the results right away, which turned out to be good news! The thing in my eye is just a floater. Whew! So my message today is - get those eyes checked! You can’t put a price on your vision.

-((-------------------------------------Don't Forget!-------------------------------------))-

My 5x7" print contest ends on January 31st. Don't forget to comment to enter!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Year Five Contest!

I didn't realize until I was filing some old paperwork that Purple Pony Art is five years old this year. August, to be specific. Such an anniversary calls for a contest, no? How about a contest every month? Yes? If that sounds good, read on!

Over the years I have had a hard time controlling inventory, so I went super nerdy and barcoded everything. With a few clicks, I could figure out what sold and what hadn't, and it told me some surprising things about popularity.

Can you guess which of the three images below was my best selling image of 2010? Please leave your answer in the comments. On January 31st at 6pm MTN, I'll pick a winner from all the correct entries.

Was the most popular image...

the maple leaf, taken in 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta?

these purple pansies, taken in 2006 in Radium, British Columbia?

or this pair of water lilies, taken in 2010 in Niagara Falls, Ontario?


1. One entry per person; one guess per entry
2. If the winner cannot be contacted, another winner will be chosen
3. Print will be sent postage paid anywhere in the world
4. Entries must be made on this blog post only

Remember to leave your answer in the comments section and good luck!

If you have any questions, please email me at And please tell your friends as well!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

John, Nude Drawings (Work Safe)

I went back to school on Thursday and I was really excited. My week was off to a crappy start and I didn't know that drawing was the ultimate cure! I haven't drawn much since the summer, sad to say, so the results were pretty surprising, even with the flaws. I can't wait to see how good I'll be in four months. Our model was John, a senior gentleman who is a fabulous model. I have pondered signing up for being a model ($16.50 an hour!) and apparently the hardest thing is not getting your clothes off. It's staying still for extended periods of time.

My teacher is local artist Chris Cran and he seems a jolly sort. He was very friendly and we drew for six hours, three hours at a time. It looks like everyone in the class is pretty talented and this was a good way for him to assess where everyone was at. I really enjoy going around the classroom because everyone's take is so different. I'm going to bring better paper next time. I regret that all I have are cell phone pictures, but I plan on taking these and making them into larger drawings. BTW, I will only ever post work safe nudes to my feeds, so don't worry :-).

Click for larger

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Muffin Supervises

My Muffin! He never hesitates to tell me what he thinks I should really be blogging about!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, January 3, 2011

Weaving Up A Storm!

I can’t help the pun. “Dangerous weather” was the class theme for our weaving project. We started around the beginning of November and it literally took a month to finish an 8x10” piece. Weaving can be deceiving - as soon as you make progress, the wool packs down and you have to keep at it. It was very challenging because the copper pipe looms were awkward and after a while it became easier to just sit down on the floor and weave. A few other classmates did tornadoes and they all turned out pretty cool! A tornado is probably the most dangerous weather you can find on the prairies, although a good snowstorm is plenty scary. I lived in Edmonton when the 1987 tornado came through town. It sure wasn't a little wind funnel :S

The nice thing about this class was that we got to sample a bit of everything. Weaving was definitely my favourite. I really love being able to use a variety of colours, and the surface can be embellished with beads and embroidery as well. There’s a lot of potential and I’m thinking I may get an inexpensive table top loom to see how much farther I can go. Jane gave us a handout on mounting small tapestries and I have yet to decide how I will mount mine. So much schoolwork often just ends up in a portfolio that it should get up on the walls!