Monday, 19 September 2016

A Look Within // acrylic on canvas board

This is one of those paintings I'm not really certain why I created, but I do love it. It's not really meant to make a statement about plucking your eyebrows (lol), but rather to just exist as it is. It's just the image of a girl (myself), looking at herself while performing a rather unimportant, yet oddly personal ritual. It's just a fragment of daily life that shows how even the shortest moments alone should be cherished and appreciated, especially considering the importance of one's social surroundings. For me, painting this weird little thing was really a way to reflect on myself, my ambitions, and the people in my life. 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Gooey Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

After extensive experimentation, I can confidently affirm that these are some of the best chocolate chip cookies you can possibly get your hands on: dense and gooey dough covered in a crunchy crust, perfect texture and taste... plus they're much healthier than egg/butter cookies as they're totally vegan! My friend Sara, severely allergic to milk and eggs, has become my number 1 supplier of tips and recipes during my transition, but I must admit that she got this recipe from me and now makes them nearly every week! 

Ingredients    Makes approximately 20 medium cookies
-2 1/2 cups of flour
-1/2 tea spoon of baking soda
-a pinch of salt
-1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
-2 tea spoons of vanilla extract
-1/2 a cup of plain apple sauce  (or any other egg replacer)
-1 cup of vegan butter (Earth Balance...) or coconut oil (softened). Vegan butter's definitely best though. 
-150-200 grams of dark chocolate chunks (I love Enjoy Life's pre-cut chunks, but you can also use dairy-free chocolate chips or a cut up chocolate bar)

Mix flour, baking soda and salt, then in a separate bowl mix all ingredients except the chocolate. Stir until smooth, then combine both mixes and add the chocolate. Bake at 300°F for 22-25 minutes or until golden, yet still very gooey, as they harden after being baked. 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

A Week in Curaçao

Curaçao - A small island about 30 miles off Venezuela you've probably never heard about. And yes, that's where the famous blue liqueur is made (and yes, I did have the pleasure of visiting the factory).

I'd never heard the word "Curaçao" until a few weeks ago, when it was announced we'd be travelling to the island for one week. And so, I grabbed my camera and set it to manual, trying again to learn how to take decent pictures! One of the many charms of visiting somewhere of which you have no prior knowledge is that every experience is a discovery -- every meal, every encounter, every walk in the street... I didn't know what to expect, but I could not have been more impressed!

Shete Bokas National Park 


Floating Market -- every day, in dowtown Willemstad, a line of boats opens shop and Venezuelan vendors sell their fragrant, colourful delicious fruits to passing locals and tourists.

Downtown Willemstad - portraits

Christoffel Park -- a little hike


By the Sea


Sunday, 3 January 2016

L'Été no.2: La Playita

The second painting I made following my summer getaway in PEC is this one of my cousin Pauline, as she elegantly sat in the shade, protected from the hard hitting sun. Her skin's as light and freckly as mine, if not more. She was in full hippy mode, with the scarf she bought off the streets of New York from a cheap illegal vendor wrapped round her curly auburn hair, her bathing suit undone to avoid tan lines, her colourful blankets and the thin cigarette smoking away between her bony fingers (at least she protected herself from skin cancer, right?). The picture from which this painting was inspired is one of my favourites. I think it sums up an ideal summer day for me: a calm, peaceful day spent with people I love but hardly ever see (they live in France), by Lake Ontario, frolicking in the water, eating chips out of the bag and reading in the shade.
As I write this, the maple tree outside the large bay windows in my room is covered with a thin layer of snow. A glass-like layer of ice envelops the dainty branches. My heater's broken and my toes are rubbing against each-other under the thick blankets on my bed to keep warm. Yet I just finished La Playita, named after my friend Claudia's comment on the original picture I posted of this scene on Instagram (really deep meaning there, I know), and I feel as if it's thirty degrees and sunny outside.


Monday, 28 December 2015

L'Été no.1: Maman

I worked with oils for the first time on this painting of my mother, standing in the door of the little cabin I shared with my brother and cousin in Prince Edward County this summer. My mother is one of those people who give out a positive aura. You can feel her warm presence within your bones when she stands still in the same room as you. I aspire to be like that, to make people feel comfortable just by smiling and being my own happy self. I used a photograph to make this painting, which I'm discovering is my favourite way to work. I've never been very good at abstraction, but perhaps someday I'll be able to work from my mind. For now, since live models aren't really available to me unless I sign up for an art class, I like working from concrete photographs. Here, my mother is tall and proud, yet humble. I find her elegant and dignified, radiant. I tried to work on shadows because the original photo really plays on light. I'm afraid I made her head gigantic, but that means I have something to improve on next time (among may others!). 


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Kimi Portraits 5/12/2015

A dog is a man's best friend, they say. Well my best friend apparently hates me, if that's the case. But that's all right, I love him anyway. Kimi's also my favourite pillow (that is, when he agrees to cuddle), my most adorable walking partner and my best model. As any normal human would, I spent my time having a photoshoot with my dog the other day, and I love some of the pictures of him!