Friday, December 19, 2014

Year end hearts

Merci I do like to post thanks every time I reach a hearts milestone - or rather, reach a round number of favorites. Recently things from secret minouette places reached 2600! Since 2014 is nearing a close, I thought I would take the opportunity to everyone who has added my art to their favorites list including the 2607 Etsy shop admirers, 945 Etsy followers, 1115 twitter followers, 663 Facebook fans, and 3652 pinterest followers and of course each and every one of you who follow the blog! I really do have an obsession with appreciate the hearts and follows! Yesterday, I succumbed to the peer pressure and signed up for Instagram. So thanks also the the 68 people who followed the.minouette there too! I don't know what I'm doing there... but feel free to follow if you instagram (apparently, a verb).

Chinese Zodiac in Good Health

minouetteGoodHealthmag_20141217_0001About a month ago, I was contacted about licensing my series of Chinese zodiac linocuts for publication in one, and the a second German language magazine. In the end, they only appeared in the second of the two: Good Health magazine. Despite the English title, the magazine, the magazine is all in German. It looks like an interesting mix: women's lifestyle mag, complete with health articles of a rather scientific bent, and other odd things, like well, a large Chinese zodiac spread. I love the illustrations where they've opted for art rather than photos. In addition to my linocuts, they've used the paper quilling anatomical illustrations of Sarah Yakawonis. They asked if they could add colour and they also have rearranged a few prints to suit their layout. It's hard to scan and show illustrations which straddle the gutter but let me show you what they printed!
Not my goat - but all the Chinese characters come from my prints!
Rat, Ox and Tiger
Rabbit, Dragon and Snake
Horse and Sheep
Sheep and Monkey
Rooster, Dog and Pig

Friday, December 12, 2014

One of a Kind Show

Cutest artist's assistant at the OOAK

Things from secret minouette places booth at the OOAK
So, it's been a the better part of a week now, and I think I've recovered from my first One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale. I did the last 6 days of the show, from December 2 to 7th. It was quite the experience and I learned a lot. There are very long days, from the first Tuesday, where vendors can set up their booths starting at 4 am for a 10 am start, then work through till 9 pm. The Thursday ran 10 am through 11 pm, though the other days ended at 9 pm (or 6 pm for the final Sunday... though that of course was followed by taking everything down... a long and arduous proceedure).

It was really interesting to be on the other side. I've only previously been a customer at the OOAK. I found the visitors were a bit different from other shows. They knew the regulars and often asked if I was a new vendor. I've never been asked about my education so frequently. They also wanted to know where I'm from, as many vendors travel great distances.

The bees, the maps of provinces and territories (surprisingly, Saskatchewan in particular, followed, less surprisingly, by Nova Scotia) and the raccoons were most popular. I was amazed that people only recognized the shape of Manitoba when it was placed between prints of Alberta and Ontario (as I hadn't framed Saskatchewan, the "easy to draw, hard to spell" rectangular province).

I got a lot of compliments and possitive feedback. People did appreciate the humour. It was fun to hear "High five!" frequently as people passed. One of the things I most appreciated was when people recognized the scientist portraits. People would like to see hedgehogs, an exultation of larks, a murder of crows, Mendel, coatis (!), flies, and any number of weird and wonderful creatures.

I was also really thrilled to see my raccoon as the image to represent the OOAK in the Globe and Mail's 5 Things for the weekend!

I did resign to do the show again next year so I build on what I've learned.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Etsy Holiday Pop-Up

You'll find things from secret minouette places at the Etsy Holiday Pop-Up market at Huntclub, a gallery in Little Italy!

Stop by and check out this curated collection of local handmakers' ware and shop Etsy offline.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Caroline Herschel at EAST

Ele Willoughby's linocut print of astronomer Caroline Herschel representing us at the EAST group show! Visit us at #359 on this year's tour!

Check out my portrait of Caroline Herschel, representing Art.Science.Gallery in the EAST Austin Studio Tour!

In other news, it's all OOAK prep frenzy here. RJH has made oak, maple and pine frames. I'm becoming pretty good at cutting mats (an aquired skill, let me tell you) and packaging and pricing of prints continues apace!

Oh, and if you are in a German-speaking European nation, look out for my Chinese Zodiac prints in both Happinez and Good Health magazines this December!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Data as art: X Marks the Spot

Niels Bohr portrait 4
Hayley Gillespie at Art.Science.Gallery in Austin noticed that some of my prints submitted for previous shows would also fit for their latest: X Marks the Spot. She describes the show thus:

Quantitative or categorical, discrete or continuous, dependent or independent, variables allow scientists to measure and describe properties of the world around us. They are common to every scientific discipline and assume a wide range of possible values. With gravity and humor, precision and abstraction, record-keeping and experimentation, variables are made visible through the works of eight contemporary artists.

So, from October 25 to November 23, 2014, you can find my portraits of Niels Bohr, Caroline Herschel and Florence Nightingale, on exhibit. The show features eight artists, many of whom are 'data artists' and the images online look fascinating.

Caroline HerschelIt's particularly interesting to me, since I haven't really thought of my work as illustrating data or variables, per se, so much as illustrating the scientists themselves, since their work is integral to a full portrait. I believe mine are the only portraits and other works are more abstract, less figurative.

Each of these portraits does actually, now that I think about it, contain some precise representations of variable data. Niels Bohr's portrait contains the Balmer series of spectral lines given off by excited hydrogen gas. Caroline Herschel's portrait contains her own diagrams of the night sky and her observation of one of the several comets she discovered (hence, a mapping of position over time). Florence Nightingale's portrait shows her own statistical investigation of the causes of mortality amongst British troops during the Crimean War, shown plotted as a polar area diagram – her own statistical and data visualization innovation, sometimes called a Nightingale Rose Diagram.

Florence Nightingale portraitThe other artists involved in the show have taken data -both their own personal life data, they have gathered themselves and freely available datasets and created artworks where they have developped their own methodologies for representing the data. They are working with everything from an artist's own personal experience of cancer care, the weather (where storms themselves are involved in the mark making), using algorithms to turn winds into drawing, to the instances where H.G. Wells specifies colour in his novels!

One of the artists involved had been turning her own data into art - things like walks she takes, daily activities and nightly EEG sleep data - and then recognized that she is doing something algorithmically which could be translated into a phone app which would allow anyone to make art from their own daily lives. If you're in Austin, check out the artist's talk by Laurie Frick on November 8. She'll explain her process and her smartphone app FRICKBits, and how you can use it to make art of your daily life too. How cool is that?! The app is for iPhone, and I have an Android, so I might have to ask RJH if I can play with his phone.

In other news, if you happen to be in Europe and read German, check out the Christmas/New Year issue of Happinez magazine, which will be featuring my Chinese Zodiac series!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

OOAK Prep - Multimedia


My next big adventure is the Christmas One of a Kind Show! I have a piece in the upcoming 'X Marks the Spot' show at Art.Science.Gallery and I need to complete my 'In the Round' artworks for the Graven Feather show, but the big thing on the horizon is OOAK. RJH has been building parts of my booth. We're planning hard walls on which I can hang framed artwork, with an overhead lighting system affixed to it, and some hopefully simple flooring. He's also planning to build me frames for my artwork. I've been researching where I can get glass, and we've ordered a proper mat cutter and we hope to have this scheme underway shortly.


Right now, I want to stock up. I've been making more of my multimedia series: unicorns, ships and balloons. Soon I'll move on to two-headed turtles! I've also been printing second editions of popular prints. I'm almost out of poppies so I made a new edition with thicker scarlet kozo paper. I want to list it before Remembrance Day.


On the home front it's been a challenging week. When I was doing laundry, soapy water started flooring up from the basement floor drain. It turns out that the roots from the neighbour's tree have crushed our clay drain pipe underneath our front lawn. While the water appeared soapy it had gone down the drain until it couldn't proceed and then came back - which means it had been where our sewage goes. This needs an immediate and expensive fix. I also did some emergency gardening as I suspect plumbers might destroy my garden if I didn't transplant any fragile plants before they did up and replace the pipe. Meanwhile, I think the baby must be getting another tooth because it's been some pretty sleepless nights. I'm not always sure when I can get some studio time; he's not much of a napper, and if I try to work after he goes to bed the cat stages a vocal protest*, which risks waking him up (and another sleepless night). So, I am now trying to make art when there is a quieter moment during the day and working at the computer after baby's bedtime, whilst keeping our cantankerous elder cat company.

So it's 8:40 pm and I'm going to bed. G'night!

*she makes this cry which would be useful if you were producing sound effects for horror movies, which means "I'm bored and lonely, come downstaits". It's horrible.