Weekly news: April 28, 2022

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!

The flowers are here!

The flowers are here!

The flowers are here!

They got snowed on again yesterday, but luckily all the snow was gone this morning, and I was able to go outside and snap these pictures you. I am so excited to see the flowers finally blooming! The hellebores are stunning, and I really hope they will spread around their corner of the garden. The daffodils make us instantly happy, and I also want to propagate them around. Their bright yellow is so warming to our winter-filled hearts. I even saw the tiniest little viola flower! It is so wonderful to have so many flowers pop out finally. Everything seems brighter all of a sudden in the garden, and there are so many things to see and look at, you would need eyes all around the head to see it all!

In the atelier, I’ve been continuing work on my forest flowers painting. It is a lot of fun because I find myself doing a lot of research on how other artists have approached light and shadows, and backgrounds. I am once again learning a lot through this piece. It is so motivating to be constantly searching and learning and finding solutions. Here is a snippet:

That’s it!
Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

L’Atelier

Inspiration

Stop everything you are doing and run to your favourite bookstore or public library to order this book!


Over here for a full review!

Youtube

My partner and I took a stained glass class a few weeks ago. It was so much fun, and I am taking you with us!

A small treat…

The cape: GENIUS!!!



Peonies and fear… and cats!

New in the Portfolio, weekly news

For the last few days, I’ve been working on this peony painting. Peonies are stunning, but they have so many petals! As a painter, they are so intimidating! Anyways, I finished this piece and just added it to my portfolio!

I hope you like it and have a look!

Book Review: Lottie and Walter, by Anna Walker

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

A while back, I shared Florette by Australian illustrator Anna Walker. I loved that book, and so when my friend told me about her latest book, Snap!, I had to see if I could get it through the interlibrary loans. No luck, but I did received a few other books from this illustrator. My favourite of the lot is Lottie and Walter.

I instantly related to the main character of this story. Lottie is scared of the shark living in the pool. When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of deep pools because, of course, they were the homes of monsters, invisible from the surface. Whenever I was in deep pools, I swam as fast I could to reach the ledge and get out. I’m not sure where that fear came from, but reading a story about this felt like a wink to child-me. The main character uses her imagination to her advantage and meets Walter, a very big and friendly walrus who helps her face her fears and jump in the water. The story was very cute and funny, and once again, extremely relatable.

Once again, Anna Walker creates expressive yet minimalist characters that are full of life. Each attitude is instantly recognizable and understood, and is sure to remind the readers of people they know or have encountered. I really admire how her simple style conveys so much emotions and evokes many memories in the readers: it really is incredible! She also takes full advantage of watercolours and their incredible textures, letting them take the center role in her work. Her illustrations always make me feel calmer. I think a big part of this effect is the soothing colour palette she uses: soft colours with reds and oranges as accents.

A very cute and relatable book that is sure to bring back memories of pool side terrors, or reassure younger readers. The strategies offered to cope are also fun and useful. I’m looking forward to discovering other books from this amazing illustrator. In the meantime, I hope you’ll look her up at your local library!

Lottie and Walter, by Anna Walker, Penguin Book Australia


 

Book review: Lottie et Walter, par Anna Walker

(Ce livre est disponible en français! Youpiii!)

Il y a quelque temps, j’ai partagé Florette de l’illustratrice australienne Anna Walker. J’ai adoré ce livre, et lorsque mon amie m’a parlé de son dernier livre, Snap !, je me suis empressée de voir si je pouvais l’obtenir par le biais des prêts interbibliothèques. Pas de chance, mais j’ai reçu quelques autres livres de cette illustratrice. Mon préféré du lot est Lottie et Walter.

Je me suis immédiatement identifiée au personnage principal de cette histoire. Lottie a peur du requin qui vit dans la piscine. Quand j’étais enfant, j’étais terrifiée par les piscines profondes car, bien sûr, elles abritaient des monstres, invisibles depuis la surface. Chaque fois que j’étais dans une piscine profonde, je nageais aussi vite que possible pour atteindre le rebord et sortir. Je ne suis pas sûre de l’origine de cette peur, mais lire une histoire sur ce sujet était comme un clin d’œil à mon enfance. Le personnage principal utilise son imagination à son avantage et rencontre Walter, un très grand et très amical morse qui l’aide à affronter ses peurs et à sauter dans l’eau. L’histoire est très mignonne et amusante, et une fois de plus, extrêmement accessible.

Une fois de plus, Anna Walker crée des personnages expressifs mais minimalistes et pleins de vie. Chaque attitude est immédiatement reconnaissable et compréhensible, et ne manquera pas de rappeler aux lecteurs des personnes qu’ils connaissent ou ont rencontrées. J’admire vraiment la façon dont son style simple transmet tant d’émotions et évoque de nombreux souvenirs chez les lecteurs : c’est vraiment incroyable ! Elle tire également pleinement parti de l’aquarelle et de ses incroyables textures, qu’elle laisse occuper une place centrale dans son travail. Ses illustrations me font toujours me sentir plus calme. Je pense qu’une grande partie de cet effet est dû à la palette de couleurs apaisantes qu’elle utilise : des couleurs douces avec des rouges et des oranges comme accents.

Un livre très mignon et attachant qui rappellera certainement des souvenirs de frayeurs de piscine, ou qui rassurera les jeunes lecteurs. Les stratégies proposées pour s’en sortir sont également amusantes et utiles. J’ai hâte de découvrir d’autres livres de cette étonnante illustratrice. En attendant, j’espère que vous irez la découvrir à votre bibliothèque locale !

Lottie and Walter, by Anna Walker, Penguin Book Australia

Weekly news: April 21, 2022

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!

Can you believe we had snow at the beginning of the week? I still can’t!

The good thing about it being still pretty cold out, is that ****drum roll please**** I finished my sweater, and I can wear it! It was such a long project that I kept putting aside, but I’m so glad it is now finished!

I’m am getting very impatient to see flowers outside, but in the meantime, I am celebrating Spring with a new forest flowers painting. I’m just at the beginning of it, so there is not much to share. For this one, I am tackling my fear of backgrounds and trying something new (again). I hope it turns out beautiful!

Outside of the atelier, I’ve been thinking a lot about…the atelier. Etsy has increased their fees, Patreon, my work on the blog, making enough sales have all been on my mind. I’ve seen other artists add a tip jar to their Etsy shop, and I thought that was a good idea. So, there is now a tip jar in my shop. It always feels a bit icky talking about and asking for money, but I want to continue to create quality and free content (the book reviews and this newsletter for example!). This still means that I spend time and put work into creating these free pages. The tip jar is there in case you have a desire and financial capacity to support my work. Of course, this is totally up to you, and I hope you will not feel like you have to! The fact that you are reading this makes me already so happy. Moving on!

I am also putting up a class on creativity, and I have been writing some more these past few weeks. I try to write for a 2 hours or so every few days, and I am almost done with the text part of the class. I cannot wait to get into the filming/photography part of this project! I’m still looking at many more weeks of work, but it is slowly taking shape. I’ll keep you posted on that project as well!

Finally, if you didn’t eat your weight in chocolate over the long weekend and are still craving something sweet, these crunchy peanut butter chocolates are amazing! Beware, they tend to disappear instantly!

That’s it!
Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

L’Atelier

Inspiration

This is such a beautiful book!

Over here for a full review!

A small treat…

It’s so fun to discover myths and stories. I really like the illustration style of this video. I hope you will like it too!



Book Review: Once Upon a Line, by Wallace Edwards

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

I’m not going to lie, this is another book I completely judged by its cover! I mean, this cat space explorer is just too much. I really didn’t know what I was going into with this, but this book is such a fun one! Let me introduce to you Once Upon a Line by Wallace Edwards (I couldn’t find his website, but that’s a link to some of his gallery exhibits).

I loved the introduction to this book: Found in an attic is a collection of paintings by Great-Uncle George, all started with the same simple line from a magical pen. The readers are invited to complete the stories from the pictures and to try and find that “ordinary line” in each one. How fun and clever! The challenge of finding the same line throughout each pictures really forces one to observe each page in detail, and there are so many details to observe! As each painting is quirky and comical, it is impossible not to wonder and want to know what their stories are. The one sentence prompts given are just enough to get started and are sure to generate buckets of ideas and laughter. The idea behind the book is so interesting and sheer fun!

To go along with this wonderful ideas are the incredible illustrations. Each one is filled with imagination, absurdity, humour and skill. It was so fun to see so many animals in absurd situations! They are infused with life and movement as well as with personality. I really enjoyed how creative each painting is: from moose conductors to fishing pigs, there are no situations too bizarre or too nonsensical for this book. I love how each page is its own story and how, as the reader, it is irresistible to try and create a story to go with it. To make everything work, these images are painted with so much skill. Relying so much on imagination and invented circumstances, the great painting skills keep everything clear and accessible. It is truly inspiring to see an artist paint with so much imagination and structure.

What a fun book! I enjoyed each page so much, and I can only imagine how fun it would be to read this with a friend or child, sharing not only the beautiful book but so many stories. This is the kind of book to have on hand for low days, as any of its page is sure to bring you a smile. What a pleasure! I hope you will pick it up!

Once Upon a Line, Wallace Edwards, Pajama Press


 

Book review: Once Upon a Line par Wallace Edwards

(Ce livre n’est pas encore disponible en français, au moment de l’écriture de ce billet. Cependant, il en vaut la peine même seulement pour regarder les magnifiques illustrations! D’autres livres du même illustrateur ont eux été traduits.)

Je ne vais pas mentir, c’est un autre livre que j’ai complètement jugé par sa couverture ! Je veux dire, ce chat explorateur de l’espace est juste trop génial. Je ne savais pas vraiment dans quoi je m’embarquais avec ce livre, mais il est tellement amusant ! Laissez-moi vous présenter Once Upon a Line de Wallace Edwards (je n’ai pas pu trouver son site Web, mais voici un lien vers certaines de ses expositions en galerie).

J’ai adoré l’introduction de ce livre : Trouvée dans un grenier, une collection de peintures du grand-oncle George, toutes commencées par le même simple trait d’un stylo magique. Les lecteurs sont invités à compléter les histoires à partir des images et à essayer de trouver ce “trait ordinaire” dans chacune d’elles. Comme c’est amusant et astucieux ! Le défi de trouver la même ligne dans toutes les images oblige vraiment à observer chaque page en détail, et il y a tant de détails à observer ! Comme chaque peinture est excentrique et comique, il est impossible de ne pas se demander et de ne pas vouloir connaître leur histoire. Les suggestions d’une seule phrase sont juste suffisantes pour commencer et sont sûres de générer des tonnes d’idées et de rires. L’idée qui se cache derrière ce livre est très intéressante et très amusante !

Ces idées merveilleuses sont accompagnées d’illustrations incroyables. Chacune est remplie d’imagination, d’absurdité, d’humour et de talent. C’était tellement amusant de voir tant d’animaux dans des situations absurdes ! Ils sont pleins de vie et de mouvement, ainsi que de personnalité. J’ai vraiment apprécié la créativité de chaque tableau : des chefs d’orchestre orignal aux cochons pêcheurs, aucune situation n’est trop bizarre ou trop absurde pour ce livre. J’aime la façon dont chaque page est sa propre histoire et comment, en tant que lecteur, il est irrésistible d’essayer de créer une histoire pour aller avec. Pour que tout fonctionne, ces images sont peintes avec beaucoup de doigté. En s’appuyant sur l’imagination et les circonstances inventées, la grande maîtrise de la peinture permet de garder le tout clair et accessible. Il est vraiment inspirant de voir un artiste peindre avec autant d’imagination et de structure.

Quel livre amusant ! J’ai tellement apprécié chaque page, et je ne peux qu’imaginer à quel point il serait amusant de le lire avec un ami ou un enfant, en partageant non seulement ce beau livre mais aussi tant d’histoires. C’est le genre de livre à avoir sous la main pour les jours gris, car n’importe laquelle de ses pages vous apportera à coup sûr un sourire. Quel plaisir ! J’espère que vous le lirez !

Once Upon a Line, Wallace Edwards, Pajama Press

I made something fun!

New in the Portfolio

We just received a ton of snow, which made completing this project this week even more special and (already) nostalgic for summer. This summer, I spent a lot of time in the garden and made a nature journal that I now turned into an accordion book.

The process of making this was so fun, and I hope you’ll visit my portfolio for more details and pictures!

Take care,
Anne

Weekly news: April 14, 2022

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!

After spending a lot of time thinking, planning, and organizing, I’m finally back at the creative table: I have officially started work on a very special product I’d like to launch this Fall. It’s crazy to be thinking about October already when there aren’t any flowers or leaves out yet, but I want to have enough time to create something unique and beautiful. Also, because it is something new, I want to give myself enough time for prototyping and redirecting if things don’t work out. I’ll let you know more once I have some tangible things to share. 

I have also been experimenting with different drawing styles and revisiting the basis of drawing with a lot of sketching. I’ve never had a drawing class presenting specific drawing techniques, so when the illustrator Julia Bausenhardt launched her Sketching Fundamentals class, I signed up. It is so nice to learn new tips and to give myself some time to draw and practice. Here is one of the exercises from this week’s teachings: I gave myself 30 seconds to look at each picture and then 30 seconds to draw from memory. I chose shoes because I never draw shoes… and it was so hard! It was very funny because it felt like the object would instantly disappear from my mind once the picture was gone. It was a really fun exercise, and I think I’ll try it again sometime.

Outside the atelier, I’ve been devouring the book “The Coyote Road, Trickster Tales”, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling. It is an anthology of stories featuring a trickster character. The Trickster is such an important archetype in stories and is present in all cultures. It is really interesting to discover new stories and authors, and so far each story is better than the previous one. I have to admit that I picked this book up because it is decorated by Charles Vess, one of my favourite illustrator, but it has been living up to its cover perfectly!

That’s it!
Until next week,

Take care 🧡🧡🧡

L’Atelier

Inspiration

A treat of a book!

Over here for a full review!

A small treat…

How??? Incredible!



Book Review: Trees by Tony Johnston and Tiffany Bozic

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

I’ve had this book on my list for months, and it is finally available through the inter-library loans! I will never stop mooning over this library service. It felt like such a treat to receive Trees, by Tony Johntson and illustrated by Tiffany Bozic. Tree lovers, this one is for you!

The illustrations in this book! Each double page is a different universe featuring an incredibly painted tree. What I loved most was the different perspectives in which these trees were painted. It gave the impression of being in various spaces, almost like moving around the trees. The diversity of scenes was incredible: from night scenes, to foggy forest to bright sunny moments, this books captures so many different types of trees in so many settings. The painting technique is also incredible. It was also very interesting to know that Tiffany Bozic paints on wood panels. In many pieces, the wood grain and lines gives an additional texture to the painting. Everything about these images is incredible: the colours are vivid, the compositions are fascinating and the execution is flawless. I had to visit this artist’s portfolio and it is stunning! Her work is so inspiring, beautiful and curiosity-triggering.

Complementing these amazing paintings, the text is beautiful. Sharing her love for trees, the author sings their beauty and irreplaceable roles. Looking at trees in how they interact with the environment in such a lyrical way fills the readers with awe and inspiration. It is difficult to resist the urge to go out and look at trees once this book has been read. It was really nice to meet a kindred spirit through this book. The book also has a list of suggested readings and ressources for the readers to continue their exploration of trees.

This book is a real gem! The illustrations are incredible and the text is sure to inspire naturalists of all ages to learn more about trees. Readers of all ages are sure to have a good time exploring each page of this stunning volume. I hope you will pick it up!

Trees, by Tony Johnston and Tiffany Bozic, Simon & Schuster


 

Book review: Trees by Tony Johnston and Tiffany Bozic

(Ce livre n’est pas encore disponible en français, au moment de l’écriture de ce billet. Cependant, il en vaut la peine même seulement pour regarder les magnifiques illustrations!)

J’avais ce livre sur ma liste depuis des mois, et il est enfin disponible grâce aux prêts inter-bibliothèques ! Je ne cesserai jamais de me réjouir de ce service de bibliothèque. C’était un tel plaisir de recevoir Trees, de Tony Johntson et illustré par Tiffany Bozic. Amoureux des arbres, celui-ci est pour vous !

Les illustrations de ce livre ! Chaque double page est un univers différent mettant en scène un arbre incroyablement peint. Ce que j’ai le plus aimé, ce sont les différentes perspectives dans lesquelles ces arbres sont peints. Cela donnait l’impression d’être dans différents espaces, presque de se déplacer autour des arbres. La diversité des scènes est incroyable : des scènes nocturnes aux forêts brumeuses en passant par des moments ensoleillés, ce livre capture tant de types d’arbres différents dans tant de contextes. La technique de peinture est également incroyable. Il était également très intéressant de savoir que Tiffany Bozic peint sur des panneaux de bois. Dans de nombreuses pièces, le grain et les lignes du bois donnent une texture supplémentaire à la peinture. Tout dans ces images est incroyable : les couleurs sont vives, les compositions sont fascinantes et l’exécution est impeccable. Je me devais de visiter le portfolio de cette artiste et il est époustouflant ! Son travail est tellement inspirant, beau et suscite la curiosité.

En complément de ces étonnantes peintures, le texte est magnifique. Partageant son amour pour les arbres, l’auteur chante leur beauté et leur rôle irremplaçable. Regarder les arbres et la façon dont ils interagissent avec l’environnement d’une manière aussi lyrique remplit les lecteurs d’admiration et d’inspiration. Il est difficile de résister à l’envie de sortir et de regarder les arbres après avoir lu ce livre. Le livre contient également une liste de lectures et de ressources suggérées pour permettre aux lecteurs de poursuivre leur exploration des arbres.

Ce livre est un véritable bijou ! Les illustrations sont incroyables et le texte ne manquera pas d’inciter les naturalistes de tous âges à en apprendre davantage sur les arbres. Tous les lecteurs passeront certainement un bon moment à explorer chaque page de ce superbe volume. J’espère que vous le lirez !

Trees, by Tony Johnston and Tiffany Bozic, Simon & Schuster

Another Portfolio Update!

New in the Portfolio

2023 will be the year of the Cat and I’ve added a few pieces to celebrate 🙂


I hope you will visit my portfolio for more details!

And as always, these are available in my shop. Thank you for supporting my work as an independent artist!

Book Review: Chester, by Ayano Imai

Book Reviews

(Par ici en Français!)

My local library is under construction, which means that is has relocated to a church basement. I feel like I’ve spent so much time in church basements looking at books, and it continues! Even if the space is limited and that most books are in boxes, there are a few out and ready to be borrowed. One of them is Chester written by Ayano Imai.

I was immediately drawn to the simple and cozy poetry of the illustrations. Everything in this book is soothing! The feel of each image is nostalgic. This effect is created in part by the muted colours and slightly distressed textures. However what is really incredible is how imaginative this book’s universe is. The absurd details mixed with the easily recognizable ones make for a dreamlike world that is truly unique and inspiring. Adding to all of this, the dog main character is adorable and has big feelings that all readers can relate to. I really love books that are a bit absurd and call on the imagination of the reader. This one truly delivered.

Complementing the incredible illustrations, the story is simple but effective and touching. Belonging, family and home are some of the themes that are explored in this story. I think readers of all ages will find something that can apply to their own experience. Reflection on responsibility and care are also present making this a richer book than what first appears. It is so impressive when so much is put in an elegant and simple story.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very relaxing to explore the illustrations and to look at all the details that made it full of imagination and absurdity. I really hope you will look for it at your library. I couldn’t find a website for the author-illustrator Ayano Imai, but I know I will look for more of her books because her work is simply magical.

Chester, by Ayano Imai, Minedition


 

Book review: Chester par Ayano Imai

(Ce livre est disponible en français: youpiii! )

Ma bibliothèque locale est en construction, ce qui signifie que les livres ont déménagé dans un sous-sol d’église. J’ai l’impression d’avoir passé tellement de temps dans les sous-sols d’église à regarder des livres, et ça continue ! Même si l’espace est limité et que la plupart des livres sont dans des boîtes, il y en a quelques-uns qui sont sortis et prêts à être empruntés. L’un d’eux est Chester, écrit par Ayano Imai.

J’ai tout de suite été attirée par la poésie simple et chaleureuse des illustrations. Tout dans ce livre est apaisant ! La sensation de chaque image est nostalgique. Cet effet est créé en partie par les couleurs sourdes et les textures légèrement vieillies. Mais ce qui est vraiment incroyable, c’est l’imagination de cet univers. Les détails absurdes mélangés à ceux qui sont facilement reconnaissables créent un monde onirique qui est vraiment unique et inspirant. En plus de tout cela, le personnage principal, un chien, est adorable et a de grands sentiments auxquels tous les lecteurs peuvent s’identifier. J’aime beaucoup les livres qui sont un peu absurdes et qui font appel à l’imagination du lecteur. Celui-ci est vraiment à la hauteur.

Complétant les incroyables illustrations, l’histoire est simple mais efficace et touchante. L’appartenance, la famille et le foyer sont quelques-uns des thèmes qui sont explorés dans cette histoire. Je pense que les lecteurs de tous âges trouveront quelque chose qui pourra s’appliquer à leur propre expérience. La réflexion sur la responsabilité et les soins est également présente, ce qui rend ce livre plus riche qu’il n’y paraît. C’est impressionnant quand tant de choses sont mises en place dans une histoire simple et élégante.

J’ai vraiment apprécié ce livre. C’était très reposant d’explorer les illustrations et de regarder tous les détails qui le rendent plein d’imagination et d’absurdité. J’espère vraiment que vous le chercherez dans votre bibliothèque. Je n’ai pas trouvé de site Web pour la dessinatrice-auteure Ayano Imai, mais je sais que je chercherai d’autres de ses livres car son travail est tout simplement magique.

Chester, par Ayano Imai, Minedition