January 28, 2014

Many Years Ago

It's funny to see evidence of our creations as a young person--hilarious actually! Recently, my mom showed me a Farm Word Book I illustrated in Kindergarden. This is going WAY back to a time when every character I drew had to include a belly button--obviously!

An impressive attempt at a tractor and 3D barn (don't you think?!)

I even remember holding the crayons in my hand, struggling to translate an image of these animals from my 5-year old memory. Even though they were familiar to me, there was no Google Images or farm animals in my backyard to use as reference. Although, my parents were raising a few rabbits at the time which probably explains the "very good" comment from Mrs. Williams on the rabbit page.

Mickey Mouse rabbit and 4-legged chicks

Fast forward 30-plus years and I'm flipping through this book, laughing with tears rolling down my cheeks. I can confidently proclaim that my artistic skills have improved--I hope you agree too! However, ladybug-looking pigs and 4-legged chicks aside, one thing remains constant...

Ladybug pig and house-shaped cow

That is--I still love drawing animals. Perhaps, it means I just never grew up! Regardless, I've had fun opportunities to relish in many animal-inspired creations: From Fish Colouring Books to Fisher Price Learning Books to Jump Math Workbooks to my latest, Art Scarves... and I'm sure there will be many more to come!

Apple-eating horse (of course)

Do you have any childhood treasures that shows something of who you are today? Please share a picture or comment below!

January 08, 2014

Ice Land

Almost like Japanese trees covered with cherry blossoms.
Branches fused to a sign.

Now that we've completed our first week of 2014 (and having survived the coldest week for a long time!), it seems appropriate to reminisce Toronto's pre-Christmas ice storm. Fortunately, I didn't lose power but knew many who did. Especially my friends and family in Brampton (my hometown) where the ice is still holding on.

Icicles hanging from the porch.
Like icy ET fingers!

Two days after the city practically shut down, the coating of ice on everything had disappeared. However, along the evening drive to my parent's, we saw black pockets of the city still without power. Continuing North everything became icier again until we arrived into a completely different world.

A perfect winter wonderland.

Low branches that are normally 30 feet high.

Every single branch, berry, telephone wire and blade of grass was incased in an inch of transparent ice. The car lights naturally decorated tree-lined streets like Christmas trees. The trees looked fascinating; each one had taken on a unique personality while becoming frozen in an unusual configuration while being bent with the wind.

Red berries.

Ice-coated grass.

Usually the ice was unbearably heavy which curved the branches downwards into huge arcs. Many had completely snapped off leaving tall shards pointing towards the sky. The pine branches draped so low that they became fused to the ground.

Droopy tree by the pond.

A couple days later, it looked even more unreal in Caledon. Another storm had covered the layers of ice with another layer of snow! The skies were blue and the sun started to weaken the ice's hold on the branches. Every little breeze instigated a chorus of crackling sounds followed with a sprinkling of snow clumps. A warning not to photograph too long below the dense clusters of trees! 

The Lockness Monster!

My parent's hedge--frozen solid.

Lately I've been feeling the urge to travel again. It ended up that this annual trip back home eased that need (just a little) by turning into an adventure in itself. Exploring familiar territory that no longer looked familiar was like being in another country... perhaps like Iceland?! 

Click here to explore more other-worldly Ice Land photos on Flickr!