The Sketchbook Project lands at the Gladstone Hotel in T.O.

The Sketchbook Project information cards I picked up – Love that brown cardboard

Have you ever told your friends that you want to go somewhere (like an art show) and then when it gets closer to the date you’ve somehow decided it will take way more energy than you have to get there and make it happen? Well…that is what happened to me last week.

 Back of the cards – Much more colourful

The Story

Heather and Debs and I had planned to head to the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, Ontario (months ago!) to catch the last day of the 2012 Sketchbook Project Tour that originated from the Brooklyn Art Library in New York. We had discussed the adventure at Doll Meeting and sealed the deal. So, a few days before the show I was talking to Heather on the phone and she asked if we were still going and I found myself hemming and hawing about it. We would have to take the GO train (for those of you who aren’t Canadian, it is a cross between a subway and a passenger train that travels the same track outside and primarily takes commuters to the city centre for work) and it was a long way with lots of potential walking. Bottom line…I was feeling whiney (which I usually don’t). Needless to say, Heather talked me back into it and we were on again for Sunday’s adventure. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and despite the stifling summer heat, a good time was had by all.

How did we get there??

We took the Go Train in the morning and all met up at a stop about halfway there, where Heather’s amazing husband picked us up and drove us right to the front door of the  Gladstone Hotel. There was a lot of construction in the downtown core and he felt we would get there faster if we drove. Gotta Love Larry! He was right! We arrived downtown around 1pm.

While we stood outside of the beautiful refurbished hotel, we decided that because the show didn’t start until 2pm that we had some time to grab lunch. We walked down Queen Street until we came across the Drake Hotel that was offering a brunch. So brunch it was! Heather and Debs got some choice food pics that I will have to add later. Personal food shots are so “trending” right now.

The Gladstone Hotel – Toronto, Ontario

Brunch was yummy. You can tell because they look extremely happy. Well…it may have had just a little something to do with the company as well. We have such a “gas” when we are together. Heather had Blueberry Pancakes, Debs had the standard brekkie and I had the eggs Bennie. YUMBA MAGUMBA. Don’t ask me what that means…I have said it since I was a kid..

Heather and Debs at the Drake Hotel for brunch – Toronto

There was amazing art installations at the Drake Hotel like this one that looked like hanging sea vegetables. (oops! this picture disappeared so had to repost)

And this freaky one…It looked as if it was a real man…with no body

Man sculpture – Drake Hotel

We didn’t just eat and run. We found it necessary to leisurely wander in and out of all the trendy curio and furniture shops all the way back because of the heat. It was so hot I thought I would melt. We also stopped in to see what Woolfitt’s art store had to offer. We won’t say what we came out with *wink*.

Woolfitt’s Art Supplies

What did we do when we got back?

When we got back to the Gladstone we climbed the stairs with anticipation to see what it would be like in the mobile library. When we first came in we signed up and obtained a library card. Once we had the card we were told we could begin to line up to “take out” sketchbooks from the library. They had such a great system all set up on two huge Macs. You could choose your topic, colour, and even individual artists if you knew of anyone from another city who had entered a sketchbook into the tour. I think we were able to see twenty random sketchbooks. One of the ones I was really impressed with was Marie Otero you can see her sketchbook here to see why I liked it. I wrote her a quick email to let her know I thought hers was great. I hope someone does the same for me when I send mine in next year.

In this picture Debs is signing in her last sketchbook at closing time. You can see the set up with the library shelves and Macs and line markers set off to one side. It had a lot of ambiance being in the old Hotel.

One last tidbit of fun

The Sketchbook Project was sponsored by Prismacolour markers and pencil crayons and therefore there was a couple of art stations where you could colour and write a post card to someone in the next city. When you completed your postcard and put it in and envelope for “mailing” the staff/curators would hand you one from another city. How cool is that!!!! Here is the one I made. I can hardly wait to see who gets it!

Heather G’s postcard

Here is Heather B. and Debs in the thick of creating.

Heather’s Postcard

I have one question…What’s with that half-naked lady in the background : )

All in all we had a fantastic girls day out. I would do it again in a heart beat. However, if it was an outing with these two amazing creative and stylish gals…I WOULD GO ANYWHERE!!


Heather Dreams in Technicolour

4″ x 6″ is a Challenging Challenge

Heather Dreams in Technicolour by Heather Gailey May 2012

I decided to join the Arthouse Coop site because of the exciting mini projects they have all the time. Over the winter they send emails about what is happening and you either join up or not depending if it is something you are interested in or not. You have to be quick though because if you snooze you lose out. They only set 1000 to 2000 spots for each project and they can be gone as fast as RUSH concert tickets being released through Ticket Master.

Explanation of the 4″ x 6″ project in the words of  Arthouse Coop                                      (reprinted from the website)

“There’s no better feeling here at Art House HQ than the arrival of the mail — each day brings us a slew of inspiring artwork from all over the map. The 4 x 6 Exchange is designed to share that thrill by creating an art swap on a global scale. Sign up for the project and mail us a 4” x 6” artwork and a USPS self-addressed, stamped envelope. We’ll exchange your work with another artist’s submission and surprise both of you with the results! Keep your eyes on your mailbox…”

How it works

When you have completed your artwork you send it off to the Brooklyn Archives in New York and when they get everyone’s art they throw it all in a big green garbage bag and mix it up good! (no they don’t do that really) Just had a funny picture enter into my mind..just had to share it. Then they turn around and send you a secret little piece of art back. It is very magical. The name of my piece was Heather Dreams in Technicolour. On the back of my picture I wrote a note and requested that the artist that received my picture send me an email to let me know where it landed. I have done many swaps with people all over the world and it is so exciting when you get to find out where your art is living.

What did I get??

Well! I got an email and a photo of the artist holding my piece. I was so happy!! Her name is Meredith and she lives in Los Angeles. Here is the picture she sent me. .

What secret little piece of art nubbin did I get back in the mail??

I received a tiny perfect postcard style piece of art in the mail from Maureen in Boston. She used watercolour paint for the background on heavy watercolour paper and then added the owl as a collage element. The wonderful thing is that it is really an anything goes art swap.

 I am VERY interested in swaps if anyone wants to arrange one with me. Just get my info from the contact information tab and let’s talk swap!!