Tag Archives: portrait

Library Exhibit

I’m excited to say that Devin, Ashley, and myself all have art up this month! For the month of November, our work will be on display in the program room of the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library in Toronto. Here are a few shots of our pieces in the space:

To see more of our work, check out our portfolios.

-Sarah

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Art at Blackbird Bistro

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to install a pile of art at Blackbird Bistro in Toronto, including these two recently revamped pieces:

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My work will be exhibited in Blackbird for the month of September. All pieces on display are for sale (if something catches your eye, let me know at syvarnam@gmail.com). My apologies for the following cellphone gallery–I left my real camera at home. 😦

In related art news, my work, Devin’s, and Ashley’s will all be up in a Toronto Public Library branch in November. More details soon.

-Sarah

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A New Painting from Ashley Pleasant

Ashley has more work for us today. This painting’s subject should be familiar from an older piece we featured in our first post about Ashley Pleasant’s work.

Portrait by Ashley Pleasant

Portrait by Ashley Pleasant

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“Roses III” Painting

There’s finally a third painting for the “Roses” series! This one even has (most) of a body. Devin and did some painting this weekend while watching Doctor Who, and this was the result.  She was inspired a little by Play Dead Cult, and then everything got away from me and the roses took over.

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There are a few places where I think things ended up a little cluttered, but overall I’m pretty happy with this piece for now. She went through a lot of changes over the last two days. Here are some process shots:

You know your style is a bit odd when you find yourself thinking, “Ya know, I think I might paint them with bodies for a while.”

-Sarah

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Immaculate Selfie Gallery Show Opening

wpid-selfie.jpgLast night was the opening night for the Immaculate Selfie show at the Black Cat Gallery in Toronto. Curated by Devan Patel of Project Gallery, the exhibition is a celebration and interrogation of the internet age’s fascination with the self portrait in its new form, the selfie. The selfies adorning the tiny gallery’s walls ranged from photographs to oil paintings–there were even some fingerprints.

Guests were encouraged to take selfies with the art on display, and the mirrors on the ceiling intensified the sense of self-reflexivity. Oh, and the art was pretty great (I’m not just saying that because my work was included; there were some really clever interpretations of the theme as well as some beautiful portraits).

Here are more photos from the night:

For more information about the series my selfie is from (the idea is slightly more complex than me slathering paint on my face, though that was admittedly a lot of fun), check out this blog post from February: https://appleofmyoddeye.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/portrait-photopainting-series-by-sarah-y-varnam/

-Sarah

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“Portrait” Photo/Painting Series by Sarah Y. Varnam

"Portrait" Series II - Sarah Y. Varnam

“Portrait” Series II – Sarah Y. Varnam

When people see one of my paintings, they often ask, “Is it a self portrait?” It usually isn’t in the strictest sense, but I don’t know that I could say that any of my portraits are truly not. While aesthetics and more general themes have started to temper the chaotic, raw motivation behind my really early work (what I’m doing now is, in the grand scheme of things, still early work), there is still a lot of me in my paintings. I rarely paint a portrait thinking of myself as the subject, but feelings and features sneak in.

With this in mind, and inspired by the recent inclusion on our website of Sean G. Marjoram’s photography portfolio, I decided to shoot a photo series that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks. The concept for the series is partially inspired by Flora Borsi’s series “The Real Life Models”. The idea was pretty simple: since my paintings have a lot of me in them, I wanted to show how much of them is in me (so to speak). My dyed hair, the makeup I wear (when I, rarely, bother to wear any), the clothes I choose, the piercings, the tattoo ideas I have–all 0f these are ways of entering physically the artistic world I inhabit when I pick up a paintbrush.

I wanted to do this more concretely, so I went through my face paints and my most dramatic makeup, picked up my camera, and packed them all for a trip to my dad’s washroom. Laughable as this sounds, there is one wall in his bathroom that has, I swear, almost studio-quality lighting compared to anywhere in my apartment.

And then I did my best to turn myself into a painting.

"Portrait" Series I - Sarah Y. Varnam

“Portrait” Series I – Sarah Y. Varnam

I didn’t copy any particular piece (I’ve tried that before unsuccessfully). I did take cues from certain pieces, most notably those from the “Telling Tales” and “All Mad Here” series, as well as some personal pieces that aren’t up on my portfolio page. The results are strange hybrids. In a way, they are still “just” self portraits; in another sense, they aren’t of me at all. I wasn’t thinking so much of photographing myself as photographing the paintings overlaid over me-as-canvas. The expressions in the photos are more those of my paintings than ones I wear in everyday life. They are posed; they possess composed intent.

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. There are angles I wish I’d thought of, colours I wish I’d included, and I’m sure I’ll edit them again at some point, but for now I think I’ve accomplished what I meant to do. And here, without further ado, is the full series:

Goodnight,
Sarah

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More Art from a New Member! “Beyond 1” by Ashley Pleasant

Here is another painting from one of our new members. We love the colours.

"Beyond 1" - Ash Pleasant

“Beyond 1” – Ash Pleasant

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The Next Piece in the “Roses” Painting Series

The second piece in my “Roses” series is now complete! “Roses II” uses much warmer colours and had the benefit of my discovery of paint markers to make the thin lines a little smoother. I also used fineliner (and, of course, acrylic). Here it is with “Roses I”:

“Roses II” is, of course, the painting from this post. It’s certainly come a long way (though her big, deer-like eyes may be just as creepy as the empty sockets were!). I’m still waiting on Devin to finish the landscape from that post so I can show you guys. The colours in it are gorgeous.
Have a good day!

Sarah

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“Roses I”, Sarah Y. Varnam, a Painting Several Years in the Making

"Roses I" - Sarah Y. Varnam

“Roses I” – Sarah Y. Varnam

This piece is the first in a new painting series. While it’s really come together over the last couple of months, I started it years ago. As a result, I’m quite attached to it (will only be selling prints of it for now). The second one should be up within the week!

-Sarah

P.S. This piece and several other pieces are up on our Zazzle shop as poster prints, buttons, and more! We’ve added several new products lately.

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Introducing a New Artist to Apple of my Odd Eye

We’re excited to announce that another artist, Ashley Pleasant, has joined Apple of my Odd Eye. Click here to view her portfolio. We look forward to working with her! She’ll be joining us for The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Circus Sideshow 2014 on Sunday, March 30.

"Untitled 1" - Ash Pleasant

“Untitled 1” – Ash Pleasant

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