This recently completed portrait is of Kali, a well-loved paint mare.
Please feel free to get in-touch if you would like to commission a portrait of your own!
It has literally been years since I've done any sort of drawing in Adobe Illustrator, but having to create some precise and scalable artwork brought me back to the program, which is fairly apt given the subject matter! Much like time travel, I had the opportunity to learn and then re-learn some new and old tricks while I drew this image by hand within the software. It was a hard-fought battle, but I'm happy with the linework that I was able to achieve. As you can likely guess, there will be some Dr.Who themed artwork rolling out in the near future!
Back by popular demand, the Fox In The Snow archival-quality giclée print is now available in various custom sizes, as well as being fully framed and ready to display in a variety of framing styles and colours!
Customized selections for both print sizes and framing choices may be made at the Crosstown Graffic Shop.
I came up with the original concept for this design many, many years ago. It sat on the back shelf of my brain, just biding it's time until I felt motivated enough to put it down on paper. All of it is drawn by hand using pen & ink, except for the typography, which I built in Adobe Illustrator to fit with the hand-drawn Art Nouveau scrollwork.
On the topic of motivation, I've opened up a Society6 shop, where you can satisfy your urge for retail therapy and support an independent artist all at the same time! At the Crosstown Graffic Shop you'll find the Absinthe Minded artwork featured in this post available as an archival quality giclée print, framed artwork, canvas prints, mens & women's fitted T-shirts and tank tops, back-or-front printed hoodies, tote bags, and even as a stylish throw pillow!
I will be continuing to add to the shop as I get more of my work online. I have been selectively curating the items that I feel best compliment my artwork and designs as I post them, but if there is ever an item you'd like to see available in any of my designs, please feel free to suggest it, and I'll work something up for you.
I recently had to bid farewell to my dear sweet schnauzer companion of 10 years. Pogo was a best friend, and my familiar, always a source of entertainment and inspiration. She gave me so much all throughout our time together, that when she was diagnosed with lymphoma in early May of this year, I put aside all other projects other than caring for her and spending time together, which is part of the reason things have been so quiet here on the Crosstown Graffic front.
Although I scribbled many sketches of Pogo over our lifetime together, this was the first one I ever made of her, and it remains my all-time favourite. Pogo was only a few months old at the time, and had the usual combination of razor-sharp puppy-teeth coupled with a lack of impulse control. I drew it in a matter of minutes, as a caution to incoming party guests, and posted it on the wall at the top of the stairs so everyone would see it as they came up. I think this quick, off-the-cuff sketch captures Pogo's mischievous yet loving spirit in perfect balance:
I do believe that losses of this sort can bring us gifts if we are open to receiving them. In this case, giving pause to my creative endeavours has allowed me to re-asses how my artwork fits into my life, and what I would like to achieve by it. The truth is that before this past year, I hadn't been exploring my creativity much outside of my work in animation. Working in a field that is as demanding as the animation industry seemed to drain a lot of the creative energy I would have invested into my personal work. Surprisingly, that fact that I now have the room and energy to devote to my own creations unbound by client demands has left me with some questions to ponder and the need to reflect. Breaking out of a mould I have been operating in for the past 15 or so years has been more difficult than I would have expected. I have more thoughts to share on that, but will save them for another time. Suffice to say, you may expect more frequent updates here at Crosstown Graffic Worldwide Headquarters from here on in.
Thanks for all the good times and perspective you taught me, Pogo Puppy. I'll never stop loving you, nor stop longing for your presence in my life. I love you dearly and forever, my sweet 'n' sassy Beauty Grrrl. ♥
This mandala was created to celebrate the union of a couple who were recently married.
The colour palette for the mandala was chosen to feature the favourite colours of both the bride and groom, and the mandala was further personalized by the inscription of their initials and the date of their union in hand-applied copper leaf at the center. I very much enjoyed creating a personalized gift that celebrated their partnership, and am very pleased with how the colours worked with the copper. As can be seen in the image below, the copper outlines play with the light beautifully, giving the piece a very different feel dependent on how it is lit when displayed. Although it's not visible in either of these photos, the 1.5" edges of the wooden canvas were also gilded in copper which was left unvarnished so as to develop a patina over time, while the actual painted surface has been varnished so that the copper outlines will remain bright and shiny.
Marriage or Union Mandalas are available as custom commissions should you wish to present a couple with an artwork which celebrates the union of their love. Colour choices are fully customizable, and metal leafing will complement the colours selected. Please get in touch should you wish to have a mandala created as a tribute to love eternal!
Graphite pencil portrait of the Standardbred racehorse, Hogies Cam.
Hogies Cam was the winningest Stardardbred racehorse in North America in the 2008 harness racing season. Hogie retired from the racetrack to Twin Orchard Farm in Southampton, MA. Hogie was dearly loved by his family, and by all who worked with him in the Equiprana lesson program.
I have recently started to explore zhiné meditation. Unlike the samatha mediation that I normally practice, zhiné meditation involves focusing on an object of concentration. This mandala is my interpretation of the traditional zhiné object of concentration:
Zhiné meditation - which is also know as calm abiding meditation or Tibetan dream yoga - differs from samatha meditation in that rather than concentrating on the breath or other internal sensations such as body-scanning, the practitioner focuses on an physical object outside of themselves. Traditionally, zhiné meditation is practiced by focusing on the figure of the Tibetan letter A, which is enclosed within five concentric coloured circles of indigo, blue, green, red, yellow, and white.
The purpose of focusing on a physical object that is outside the body is to develop stability during the perception of external objects. This practice will allow one to clearly perceive objects in a dream, and lead to increased states of lucidity in both waking life and when dreaming. The ultimate goal of zhiné meditation is to allow for the practitioner to be lucid upon death, at the moment when the soul exits the physical body.
The Zhiné Meditation Mandala is painted in acrylic, which I applied as a glaze in order to build up the colour while allowing the wood grain to show through. The Tibetan letter A at the center and all the outlines are gilded by hand using pure silver leaf. The painting is finished with several coats of clear varnish to protect the painting and gilding.
I have found the practice of working with these intricate and repeating patterns to be a meditation itself, and am looking forward to continuing the exploration of these sacred forms. It is my hope that the peace and presence that enfolds me while creating these works of art is also experienced by those who view them.
Just wanted to share a photo of Fox In The Snow after I had it framed:
I decided to go with a heavy 2 inch frame and 3 inches of matting. I had the print bordered with a black matte, and then added a spacer between the white and black matte to create a shadowbox effect. The entire piece measures 21" x 16".
I think this print would look just as lovely with a thinner frame and matting. I had also looked at framing with a polished wood frame that was the copper-y colour of a red fox's coat, but once we went with the heavier matting, I found that the black frame suited my tastes better. Working with a professional framer gave me a lot of options - I had never thought to use a spacer between the two different coloured mattes before!
I hope everyone has fun selecting the frame and matting options for their artwork. Feel free to share photos of your print once you have it framed, I'd love to see what creative touches folks come up with!
I am pleased to announce that prints of Fox In The Snow are now available for purchase!
Originally inspired by a red fox's early morning visit to our yard last January, this illustration was drawn by hand to resemble a wood-cut print.
Ready for framing, this gallery-quality giclée artwork is printed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Each print is custom trimmed with 1" border for framing, and is available in a variety of sizes and framing options at the Crosstown Graffic shop.