Category Archives: collaborations

Learning curves


I am taking a 5-week ecourse taught by Lilla Rogers called Make Art That Sells. I am grateful to have had the Nanaimo Arts Council award me with their annual Achievement Award which helped pay for this awesome and eye-opening course.

I am currently in week 4 working in the wall art industry and really enjoying myself because this is the realm I really feel drawn to. I struggled a little bit with the weeks which I expected to enjoy (like childrens books and bolt fabric) but this week is feeling really wonderful.

The above photo is my attempt at designing some paisley plates for the home decor assignment. This was the week I realized I need to educate myself more in the world of photoshop and illustrator if I want to continue to present myself professionally.

A lot of my classmates are professional illustrators and designers so this week, focused on wall art and painting, it’s been a challenge for a few people. I spontaneously wrote up a fun little list of things I do to keep art making and painting (especially abstract or intuitive art) fresh, fun and exciting and shared this list in the private class facebook group in case it was of benefit to others’. Here it is below. Maybe you can benefit from it also. Much love!

Hi Everyone
Here are some techniques I wanted to share with you… I call it “fresh eyes”…
when I work on my canvases I can spend HOURS cramped up in a tiny space working on a spot close-up until my head spins, my eyes blur and sometimes I even lose sight of the direction I am headed in on a particular piece…
Here are some of the things I do to create “fresh eyes” for my work, all very very valuable for me, please add yours below too!

-I will force myself to stand only when I paint (as a change from sitting)
-I will walk away and refuse to look at the piece I am working on for a certain period of time. an hour, a day, a week…etc
-I look at my piece in a mirror.
-I look at my piece upsidedown
-I look at my piece sideways
-I force myself to back up and look at my canvas from at least 20 feet away
-I blur my eyes and try to not focus on the canvas surface…this is a great way to see the tonal values in a painting when painting representational too.
-Just like Lilla’s suggestion, I also work on multiple pieces at once. If I get frustrated or stuck on a piece I move onto another one or start a new project just for fun. This keeps the pressure off.
-I follow where my eyes go in the canvas (old design school trick) watch where my eyes go…does it create a “story” for my eyes? a fun journey? or does it leave me wanting more (or less?)

Once I have had time away from my piece, I will look at it with fresh eyes and I really tune into my initial responses of the piece. Does my heart jump with bliss and love at it? How do I feel about it and what could I do to make my heart skip a beat over it?? (sometimes it’s more flowers etc or an element that I really love)
thanks everyone. sending lots of wonderful creative wishes come true this week.

The middle bit sounds almost Suess-like..hahaha! Enjoy!


Leave a comment

Filed under collaborations, tanisalexis news

You’re invited!

You’re invited!, originally uploaded by tanisalexis.

I have the honour and pleasure of exhibiting my mixed media works from my ‘we shall live here’ series on the walls of the Plum Gallery in the Port Moody Arts Centre!

They’re hanging out there right now! I haven’t seen them yet, but I will be at the gallery this Saturday as part of the annual Artswalk. Come by and say hello! And if you can’t make it, the Opening Reception for the show is Thurs, April 21st from 6-8 pm.

My work will be alongside a good friend & colleague of mine, Amanda Maxwell, she makes really beautiful jewelry with surprising results. Our work is both based on the concept of home, and it should prove to be quite interesting to see our work come together .

Hope to see you there! xo

1 Comment

Filed under Art Events, collaborations, tanisalexis news


a little good news for you all, dear readers. I am doing an occasional guest blog spot over at the fab rikrak studio blog

it is a fun little spot that features about 10 or so of my current favourite things. swing on by and check out the first (click the fun icon above) and enter for your chance to win a $75.00 giveaway from my shop!
Thanks for the love friends. XO!

1 Comment

Filed under Art Events, collaborations, giveaway, tanisalexis news

….and the winner is…

without further ado, the winner of our tomate d’ epingles graffiti necklace giveaway is:

alexkeller!!! see her great blog here:

I was hoping that more people would post their comments to enter the giveaway, but then again the upside to so few entries is more chances to win.

we used to generate the results.

I will be contacting Alex shortly with the good news but in the meantime I would love to extend thanks to each of you for your interest and send my best wishes your way.

Enjoy the days, friends!!

1 Comment

Filed under collaborations, giveaway

keepin’ some faith -or- “Your Garden Homestead”

a photo I took last November.

not much to look at, but this photo passed my mind when I started thinking about dreams.

I’ve got the future on my mind lately. sometimes I can do that…become completely lost in my hopes and dreams for the future, and believe me, as an only child with a HUGE imagination, I’ve acquired quite the hefty list of things I’d like to do while I’m here on planet earth.

one most prevalent thought -one that lulls me into a deep, delirious & sweet sleep when I hit the pillow at night- is the thought of having a piece of land to call home. Not a massive piece of land mind you, but a special, sweetly-sized parcel of green where we can build things with our hands, create solid foundations and things that grow.

Manifest all sorts of self-sufficient projects and ideas.

I grew up in a unique community, like none other, in co-operative housing. I know democratic meetings, I know co-op clean-up days, I know pot-lucks, I know block parties and community values! lol! I learned as I grew that co-operative housing can really work for a group of people with different lifestyles. It can work to keep a community running smoothly and efficiently. It keeps people united with a common goal of decent living. I dream of having a small ‘co-operative’ of my own the most flexible of terms, of course.

I have numerous friends that are currently locked out of the possibility of owning their own land or home. Like many others, they’ve been locked out of many areas of this country because of prices. While we bump along the current economic times, one ‘pro’ to the loss and drop of finances, could possibly be that prices on land and homes drop too. We keep our fingers crossed that perhaps a door of opportunity opens for us. But in the meantime why not utilize the concept of a co-operative?

a group of people come together with their hard-earned resources and share the cost of a location for all of them to live. splitting the cost you are now invested in not only your own piece of ownership. (if that’s your thing) but you have also invested in the beginning of a small community. Depending on the peoples preferences and values one could create something that involves everyone or create something more scaled back for privacy. either way, you get what you put into it.

chores, duties & responsibilties are all split up fairly amongst the “members” of the community. any benefits from your labour and hardwork in this community gets redistributed amongst the membership.

one for all, and all for one.

It might sound like it, but it’s also not thinking that far out of the box either. I’m not saying this is an ideal, I’m not saying this is utopia, but it is something that I think could be excercised more. Don’t you?

building and sharing, giving and recieving, . what a thrill!!!

here’s to it, everyone! whattya say? see you on the lands – it’d be grand to have you there!

1 Comment

Filed under collaborations