Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Christmas Birdhouse

It's always nice to be ahead of the holidays! With the way it's snowing outside, it might as well be Christmas again here in Calgary :-) This picture was languishing on my desk for a while - it was just one of those pictures that needed a half hour's worth of work to complete. It took a lot of effort to do this, since it's always more exciting to start something new :-) Click for larger.

Christmas Birdhouse

PanPastel and Colored Pencil ::: 7x9" ::: April 28, 2010

Christine Bennett
Purple Pony Art

Monday, April 26, 2010

Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo

Another CCEE has come and gone, and this year was definitely the busiest. I remember when my husband and I (two certifiable geeks!) went to the first one in 2005 or 2006 and thought the line up was too long and the place too packed. It started out in the Big Four building at the Stampede grounds and now it seems like the exhibit hall in the BMO Centre is too small! This is an exhibit space that holds a lot of tradeshows, but there was barely any elbow room. We sometimes found ourselves standing in line without any idea of what we were standing in line for!

Saturday was about as much as we could handle. This year was a record-breaker for attendance and we certainly felt it as we shuffled along. I had extra water, trail mix, my camera and a good pair of walking shoes, which was sorely needed by the time we pooped out around 3:30. We dithered about going back for another look around the exhibits and finally decided to go home. Good thing we did, I suppose - rain soon turned to snow.

I'm so glad for the CCEE. It's an event that Calgarians turn out for in droves and it's fun to see so many fans of science fiction and fantasy movies, video games, cartoons, and comics. There is a lot of local talent and I enjoy talking to the different artists, who are only too happy to share about their work or process. I like seeing vintage toys myself. The dedication and devotion that the CCEE staff bring to the event shows in the top special guests it attracts - this year Leonard Nimoy, Brent Spiner and Malcolm MacDowell were among those who people sought a glimpse or autograph from.

Here's to next year!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Surefire Weight Loss Guaranteed!

Lest y'all think my blog was hacked, it's still me, Christine! But I did lose in a single day and here's my secret - the Garbage Good Guys! The truck showed up this morning and the nice young man tossed our mountain of styrofoam, the old barbecue, leftovers from the building of the garage, bags of garbage (our local pick up only seems to take two), an old office chair, a broken power shovel that my husband couldn't fix and other...well, garbage!

It was so good to see it all go, although I wish there was a way to recycle styrofoam residentially. Usually we're pretty good about reusing, recycling and repairing, but some things just had to go. The styrofoam alone took up the same space as two hallway closets, and now I can use that for other things, like art supplies ;-)

Tomorrow is garbage day and I can't wait for our blue cart to be emptied. The blue carts are 65 gallons at least, and when you have a lot of boxes to break down, fills up fast.

I started on a ninth box for the Salvation Army as well. I really want to live with less and live with the things that are more important to me instead, like my husband, my family, my art and my Muffin :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What's An ACEO?

I realized that I'm always talking about ACEOs, but I also realized that it must just seem like another Internet acronym to a lot of people! Most of my friends here (*waves*) love ACEOs just as much as I do, so I'll try to demystify them.

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. Like their sibling the Artist Trading Card, or ATC, they are sized 2.5x3.5" and may be made out of any media. The difference between the two is that ACEOs are sold, while ATCs are traded. Artist Trading Cards came about in the 1990s as part of the mail art movement; I personally discovered them in 2003 when I went to the art college for my first drawing class.

While artists happily trade cards, some people just like to collect them or feel that they might not have any artistic talent to create cards for trade. Personally I love getting cards from people of all artistic ability!

I like to make my art available as prints or originals. If some originals don't sell, I trade them :-) I buy ACEOs too - it's fun to fill up an album or collect a theme, kind of like collecting stamps but more fun.

If you want to learn more about ACEOs or ATCs, there are lots of places on the web! Wikipedia has a nice little list to get started discovering them. And of course, you can also check out the talented ACEO artists of ACEtsy as well!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's a Purple Pony!

I need a little sign that says "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" because then it would remind me to do more productive things when our wacky weather is behaving nicely! For instance, I should have taken a photo of this ACEO outdoors on Saturday when I had the chance.

I drew it a few weeks ago at an artist trading card get together graciously hosted by Studio Todorovic at Art Central. Originally it was going to be one horse, but I didn't have an eraser, so I thought I would just go ahead and make it two horses in tandem. I used Copic markers for whole card. This line of markers is just wonderful to use, unlike Prismacolors. The nibs are replaceable and they have no odour.

The original card is for sale on Etsy - I do believe it's the first new thing I have listed in a long time!

Purple Pony ACEO

Monday, April 5, 2010

Belated Blogging

Wow, this is overdue! My husband and I went on a spontaneous road trip around Alberta this long weekend and it was so good to get out of town! Actually, this was his first chance at a vacation since the fall - an empty position at work meant that he couldn't take too much time off. It was well deserved :-)

Thanks to Pam's help a looong time ago, I finally added both awards that Marlene has given me! The most recent one is the Sunshine Award.

~Here are the Sunshine Award Guidelines~
1) Please thank the person who gave the award to you. (check!)
2) Copy the award and place it in your blog. (check!)
3) Link back to the person who nominated you. (check!)
4) Name 6 things that no one would really know, about yourself. (check!)
5) Nominate your Sunshine Award bloggers and post links to their blogs. (check!)
6) Leave a comment on each of those blogs letting them know you have nominated them for the Sunshine award. (almost checked!)

Crazy Haberdasher - I love her collection of sewing stuff
Cassie - Angel and Spot
Crafted by Lindy - our energetic Etsy Alberta team leader!
Angela - LemurKat, a prolific ACEO artist
Pat - Images Through An Open Window
Carole - another great photographer!

It's so hard to choose just six, but I wanted to pick people who haven't won the award before :-)

Here are the six things you probably don't know about me:

1. My first camera was an Olympus Mini that I bought with almost all my earnings from working as a food runner at Klondike Days. It was a lot of money for a teenager :-D

2. My first budgie was a hen named Charlie. She was the only hen I ever had. Her middle name was Suzanna :-D

3. I'm a southpaw! And I frequently get left and right mixed up.

4. Collecting toys is a hobby I wish I had more room for :-D I always feel a bit embarrassed about how much I love toys too.

5. I'm an early bird - 7am is sleeping in for me.

6. I love, love, love tea. There is nothing I like better in the morning than milky black tea and some cookies :-)