Weekly news: December 22, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

Last week, I told you that I had had a few hiccups with my painting. Well, it is done, complete, finito! I’m so glad and relieved! I had a lot of fun painting the wonderfully beautiful Delonix regia flowers. The trouble came when it was time for me to add a background: too light at first, then too dark, I just couldn’t figure it out… and since I’m working “analog-ly”, it was a bit scary to think that I might need to throw away more than 35 hours of work just for the background.

In the end, I lifted a lot of the paint, and I think it works. I actually considered cutting the background or using acrylic paint to cover up. However in the end, I’m quite happy with the result. It adds texture, and I learned a lot during this slightly painful process.

You can see the complete piece and process pictures in my portfolio over here.

To give myself a break from precise botanical painting, and because the first tiger was so relaxing to paint, I decided to do another piece for the Lunar New Year. This time, I wanted to celebrate my Vietnamese heritage and researched traditional Vietnamese dresses, the áo dài. If you have five minutes to spare, I suggest googling those dresses. Modern designers are creating the most amazing dresses! I went for a more traditional style, and it was a lot of fun to imagine these two tigers roaming the busy streets of Vietnam.

I learned my lesson from the Delonix regia painting however and added the background digitally. You can see the finished result in my portfolio over here.

Finally, I wanted to thank you all for sharing another year with me. I had a lot of joy from creating paintings, drawings and products for you, and I’m excited to continue to do so next year. The newsletter will take a short break and come back on January 12, 2022.

I’m wishing you a relaxing holiday season with bubbles of time just for you, your favourite book or activity. I hope we can all start 2022 feeling hopeful and inspired. 🎉🎉🎉

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

My favourite book of all year, perfect to end the book reviews of 2021!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

A small treat…

If you need a little bit of cheer and relaxation during the holidays, I suggest visiting the “Stories” section of Roeselien Raimond website. She is a wonderful wildlife photographer and has a special knack for taking the most wonderful fox pictures.



Book review: Poucette par Marco Mazzoni

Book Reviews

(Over here in English!)

Oh là là, ce livre est un vrai trésor! Marco Mazzoni est un artiste italien qui utilise les crayons de couleur de façon simplement magique. Dans cette magnifique version du conte d’Andersen, Poucette, on est emporté dans un univers de couleurs et de fleurs.

Poucette est l’une de mes histoires préférées. J’adorais le dessin-animé de 1994 lorsque j’étais petite, même si les enlèvement successifs ainsi que les mariages forcés de la petite Poucette me faisaient un peu peur. C’est avec un plaisir renouvelé que j’ai déniché cette merveilleuse version à la bibliothèque. Les illustrations de Marco Mazzoni sont simplement sublimes! L’utilisation des couleurs est presque kaléidoscopique et donne un effect diffus et une impression de légèreté à chaque page. La multitude de fleurs quant à elle nous emporte dans un univers incroyable et parfois un peu inquiétant, comme si, tout comme Poucette, on y était emporté malgré soi. Finalement, les personnages animaliers un peu glauques de l’histoire sont merveilleusement dépeints. J’adore la façon dont les illustrations ne sont pas simplement une représentation graphique de l’histoire mais plutôt une série d’impressions diaphanes que l’histoire inspire aux lecteurs. C’est un travail extraordinaire où la beauté et l’épouvantable se marient avec grâce, faisant un parfait écho au conte d’Andersen.

J’espère vraiment que vous pourrez dénicher ce magnifique livre. L’univers créé par l’artiste est tout simplement incroyable et merveilleux. Chaque page est un chef d’œuvre à regarder encore et encore. Ce livre saura plaire à tous les amateurs de conte classique et piquer la curiosité de tous les lecteurs!

Poucette, Marco Mazzoni, Albin Michel

Mignolina, Marco Mazzoni, Rizzoli (version Italienne)


 

Book review: Thumbelina, by Marco Mazzoni

(This book is not yet published in English, but the illustrations alone make it worthwhile, no matter which language you read!)

Oh my, this book is a real treasure! Marco Mazzoni is an Italian artist who uses colored pencils in a simply magical way. In this beautiful version of Andersen’s fairy tale, Thumbelina, we are carried away in a world of colors and flowers.

Thumbelina is one of my favorite stories. I loved the 1994 cartoon when I was a child, even though the successive kidnappings and forced marriages of little Thumbelina scared me a bit. It is with renewed pleasure that I found this wonderful version at the library. The illustrations by Marco Mazzoni are simply sublime! The use of colors is almost kaleidoscopic and gives a diffuse effect and a feeling of lightness to each page. As for the multitude of flowers, they take us into an incredible and sometimes disturbing universe, as if, just like Thumbelina, we were carried away in spite of ourselves. Finally, the slightly creepy animal characters of the story are wonderfully portrayed. I love how the illustrations are not simply a graphic representation of the story but rather a series of diaphanous impressions that the story inspires to the readers. It’s an extraordinary piece of work where the beautiful and the gruesome blend gracefully, in a perfect echo of Andersen’s tale.

I really hope you can find this beautiful book. The universe created by the artist is simply incredible and wonderful. Each page is a masterpiece to be looked at again and again. This book will appeal to all fans of classic tales and will capture the curiosity of all readers!

Poucette, Marco Mazzoni, Albin Michel (French version)

Mignolina, Marco Mazzoni, Rizzoli (Italian version)

Weekly news: December 15, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, things have been a bit (a lot) chaotic. We’ve had some power outages and unexpected repairs. In the atelier, I’m almost done with my large painting, but I’ve ran straight into a metaphorical wall with it yesterday… flat on my face, at full speed. Nothing is irreparable (I very much hope so…), but still quite disheartening. In any case, I’m trying very hard not to panic, and I’ll keep you updated once I wrap my head around a solution.

Aside from panicking over my painting, I’ve been busy sending out your orders. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful that I get to be a part of your holiday season and your lives in this way. I’m always so happy when I wrap your items. Thank you so much! 🙏🙏🙏

As for the holidays, I’ll be writing the last newsletter of the year next week. I hope you are all coping well with the end of the year, and that the holiday prep is not stressing you too much.

Until next week,

Take care! 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Based on a true story, this book is everything you need!

Head over to the blog for a complete re

L’Atelier

A small treat…

These all look so tasty! Perfect as last minute gifts and to add to your pantry, I’ll give those a try for sure over the holidays. I’m not a big fan of coffee, so I’ll add extra cocoa instead, but these mix all sound so delicious!



Weekly news: December 8, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, I took a small break from my big format painting, and painted a tiger. I wanted to have something ready for the Lunar New Year early as it will fall at the very beginning of February. Next Year will be the year of the Tiger. It was very fun researching these beautiful animals (and to recognize some of our cats attitudes in the pictures!). Now that I painted one tiger, I want to paint more! I thought the stripes would be difficult and tedious, but they were a lot of fun actually. Tigers are so beautiful, what a pleasure to paint!

You can see more pictures of this project in my portfolio!

Until next week,

Take care! 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Geneviève Godbout once again! If you like Anne of Green Gables, you’ll enjoy this book!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

A small treat…

Last week, I shared with you my November vlog where I made some kimchi. I felt pretty proud of myself for exceptionally making a big batch: 3 cabbages! Well, this is a whole other level of kimchi!!! It looks like such a fun day spent working as a family.

If you are not particularly interested in kimchi making, this is a channel I really enjoy. Her content is so soothing!



Weekly news: December 1st, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

This week, I’ve been investigating ways to reduce the carbon footprint of my shop. It’s been interesting looking at different packaging options, and I think I’ll try a few when my stocks of supply run out.

I’m also busy painting my second big format painting. I don’t want to say too much until it is done, but I’m enjoying the process a lot!

I’ve also worked on editing November’s vlog, and you’ll find the link for it below 🙂 I’m sharing my kimchi recipe. I’ve been a bit lazy about cooking this last few days, so kimchi pancakes have been a great option. So delicious and simple!

In other news, our cat has discovered the fact that my desk lamp heats up. She found a new spot for her naps. There she is as I’m writing this 😅

Until next week,

Take care! 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

All is softness, a little album by a Canadian illustrator.

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

Youtube

This month we make kimchi!!!

A small treat…

I while back, I shared with you Lotus Silk made in Vietnam. Here’s another fiber alternative. It is so interesting how so many unexpected materials can become fabric! Plus, that loom, how impressive? (⊙.⊙(☉̃ₒ☉)⊙.⊙)



Weekly news: November 24, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

Last weekend, I visited my painting in its new home, and it was such a pleasure to see it beautifully framed! It makes me so happy to see my work presented like this.

In the atelier, I’m starting work on another big format. I shared with you the beginning of the study, and I completed that. I used to not see the value of studies, but it is quite interesting to be able to practise a subject in this low-pressure way. It was very helpful in helping me identify the possible difficulties and things to watch out for. It was also a great way to practise mixing colours and noting down interesting mixes. Now that I’m starting to paint the “real thing”, I’m more confident of where I’m going. It’s still very much nerve wracking, but we have begun ladies and gentlemen!

Until next week,

Take care! 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Yes, another great book illustrated by Isabelle Arseneault!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

The sketchbook is available in the shop! I made it a digital product because I couldn’t decide on what kind of paper to print. I thought some of you would prefer thicker paper for markers, while others might enjoy specialty paper like watercolour paper. So, as a digital download, you can decide for yourself and print it in the comfort of your own home! The booklet is 14 pages, and the price is very competitive compared to my single coloring pages which are usually sold at 3$ each. In any case, I hope you’ll go take a look!

A small treat…

Wow! There is so much to see! This photographer filmed plankton under a microscope. You can find pictures on his website, and this shorter film. The diversity is just incredible!



Just In: Vietnamese Fruit Market Tiger!

New in the Portfolio, weekly news

Something new has arrived to my portfolio! I had so much fun painting this piece. I hope you will visit my portfolio to see some process pictures 🙂

If you like this piece and would like to support my work as an independent artist, it is available in my online shop as a card and print.


Weekly news: November 17, 2021

weekly news

(This is a newsletter I sent out. If you’d like to receive fresh news every week, sign up here! The full newsletter contains surprises and is delivered once a week to your mailbox. Et elle est également en français!)

I hope you are all doing well!

I finished my new colour booklet! It was so much fun working on these pages. I discovered and created new patterns that were so enjoyable to draw. I particularly enjoyed the starfish!

I’ve included only patterns inspired by nature, and it was very soothing work. I hope you’ll have fun discovering these pages and that they will bring you as much relaxation and tranquility as they did me.

I’m also starting work on a new painting featuring the beautiful Delonix regia tree. To get more familiar with it, I worked on a little study. The flower is quite something isn’t?

Until next week,

Take care! 🧡🧡🧡

Inspiration

Such a cute and adorable book!

Head over to the blog for a complete review!

L’Atelier

The sketchbook is available in the shop! I made it a digital product because I couldn’t decide on what kind of paper to print. I thought some of you would prefer thicker paper for markers, while others might enjoy specialty paper like watercolour paper. So, as a digital download, you can decide for yourself and print it in the comfort of your own home! The booklet is 14 pages, and the price is very competitive compared to my single coloring pages which are usually sold at 3$ each. In any case, I hope you’ll go take a look!

A small treat…

Yes, another soothing song in Korean. What can I say?
(✿◠‿◠) This one makes me want to grab my favourite sweater and head to the beach… never mind that snow is here and the beach kilometres away!



Book review: The Fairy Garden, by Georgia Buckthorn and Isabella Mazzanti

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

I am so excited to share this book with you because I love it so much! Everything about this book makes me happy: The Fairy Garden by Georgia Buckthorn and illustrated by Isabella Mazzanti is such a treat of a book! If you like gardening and care about living creatures, including fairies, this book is for you!

First of all, WOW! All the colours! All the flowers! All the textures! This book is so lush and rich. There are so many things to look at in each page. The illustration work is simply stunning. I really enjoyed the outlining of the images: some elements were outlined using different colouring pencils while others were more free and without outline. The use of colour for these lines gave a really vibrant feel, while having some free-form object sprinkled in some spontaneity. But the use of colour does not stop at outlining. Each page jumps at you with rich hues and tones. The end result is not garish or overwhelming: because the colour palette presents many purples and warm tones, it envelopes you and creates a sense of cohesion throughout the book. Another thing I enjoyed about these illustrations was the use of texture. The illustrations being made with colouring pencils, the grain of each line is so rich, and the illustrator used the textures wonderfully. I am very partial to colouring pencils and their unique feel, and this book is a wonderful example of how beautifully they can be used. Finally, I loved how rich each composition is: so many details have been added to each page that there is always something to discover. I love how chaotic some of the images feel. It really makes for a fun and entertaining read. The variety of objects in each picture is also so interesting.

Now to the story! Mimi is a little gardener who is determined to have fairies move into her garden. She cuts, cleans, measures, plans and rules over her garden. The fairies have a clearer idea of what it is they need to thrive, and Mimi will discover how to be a kinder and more flexible gardener in order to please her magical friends. The book is an invitation to consider our gardening practices and what it means to be working with nature instead of against it. By including fairies, the author appeals to the readers’ sense of magic and wonder: what a clever way to present environmental issues! One thing I particularly loved about this book was Mimi and her strong personality. She is determined, patient and hardworking but also compassionate, humble and kind. I thought she was a refreshing character! I could imagine my childhood self wanting to be just like her as I was reading the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am sure you will too! For gardeners of all ages, Mimi will be a great example and role-model, and she is sure to make you want to grab your hat and gardening gloves and run outside. It was such a pleasure to see a child character so engaged with her environment and so motivated to have a positive and beautiful impact on it. If all of that is not enough, the illustrations are sweet and beautiful and so richly coloured that they are sure to take you on the most wonderful reading adventure.

The Fairy Garden by Georgia Buckthorn and Isabella Mazzanti, Ivy Kids Books


 

Book review: Le Jardin de Fées, par Georgia Buckthorn et Isabella Mazzanti

(Ce livre est sorti il n’y a que quelques semaines et n’a pas encore été traduit en français. Croisons les doigts pour une traduction rapide!)

Je suis vraiment enthousiaste de pouvoir partager ce livre avec vous car je l’adore absolument ! Tout ce qui concerne ce livre me rend heureuse : Le jardin de fées de Georgia Buckthorn et illustré par Isabella Mazzanti est un vrai régal ! Si vous aimez le jardinage et que vous vous souciez des créatures vivantes, y compris les fées, ce livre est pour vous !

Tout d’abord, WOW ! Toutes ces couleurs ! Toutes ces fleurs ! Toutes ces textures ! Ce livre est si exubérant et riche. Il y a tellement de choses à regarder dans chaque page. Le travail d’illustration est tout simplement époustouflant. J’ai vraiment apprécié le tracé des images : certains éléments ont été tracés à l’aide de différents crayons de couleur tandis que d’autres étaient plus libres et sans tracé. L’utilisation de la couleur pour ces lignes crée une sensation vraiment vibrante, tandis que l’utilisation de quelques objets de forme libre saupoudre un peu de spontanéité. Mais l’utilisation de la couleur ne s’arrête pas aux contours. Chaque page vous saute aux yeux avec des teintes et des tons riches. Le résultat final n’est pas criard ou écrasant : comme la palette de couleurs présente beaucoup de violets et de tons chauds, elle vous enveloppe et crée un sentiment de cohésion tout au long du livre. Une autre chose que j’ai appréciée dans ces illustrations est l’utilisation de la texture. Les illustrations ayant été réalisées avec des crayons de couleur, le grain de chaque ligne est si riche, et l’illustratrice a utilisé ces textures à merveille. J’ai un faible pour les crayons de couleur et leur caractère unique, et ce livre est un merveilleux exemple de la façon dont ils peuvent être utilisés. Enfin, j’ai adoré la richesse de chaque composition : tant de détails ont été ajoutés à chaque page qu’il y a toujours quelque chose à découvrir. J’aime l’aspect chaotique de certaines images. Cela rend vraiment la lecture amusante et divertissante. La variété des objets dans chaque illustration est également très intéressante.

Passons maintenant à l’histoire ! Mimi est une petite jardinière qui est bien décidée à faire venir des fées dans son jardin. Elle coupe, nettoie, mesure, planifie et règne sur son jardin. Les fées ont une idée plus claire de ce dont elles ont besoin pour s’épanouir, et Mimi va découvrir comment être une jardinière plus douce et plus ouverte afin de satisfaire ses amies magiques. Ce livre est une invitation à réfléchir à nos pratiques de jardinage et à ce que cela signifie de travailler avec la nature plutôt que contre elle. En faisant intervenir des fées, l’auteure fait appel au sens de la magie et de l’émerveillement des lecteurs : quelle façon intelligente de présenter les questions environnementales ! Ce que j’ai particulièrement aimé dans ce livre, c’est Mimi et sa forte personnalité. Elle est déterminée, patiente et travailleuse, mais aussi compatissante, humble et gentille. J’ai trouvé que c’était un personnage rafraîchissant ! En lisant ce livre, je pouvais m’imaginer enfant voulant être comme elle.

J’ai beaucoup apprécié ce livre, et je suis sûre que vous le ferez aussi ! Pour les jardiniers de tous âges, Mimi sera un excellent exemple et un modèle, et elle vous donnera certainement envie de prendre votre chapeau et vos gants de jardinage et de courir dehors. C’était un tel plaisir de voir un personnage enfantin si engagé dans son environnement et si motivé à avoir un impact positif et beau sur celui-ci. Et si tout cela ne suffit pas, les illustrations sont douces, belles et si richement colorées qu’elles ne manqueront pas de vous entraîner dans la plus belle des aventures de lecture.

The Fairy Garden by Georgia Buckthorn and Isabella Mazzanti, Ivy Kids Books