Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Art = Nature

I have a theory. Tell me if it's true. I believe art and nature are the same and cannot exist without the other. Nature is an art in itself, creating perfect colour palettes and harmonious shapes. Within all its organic-ness is perfection. How can nature be wrong? It holds an endless supply of lines and patterns. Nature is a terrific source for artists to "draw" from.

My inspiration has always derived from the world I see around me. While going through my photos from Vietnam, I noticed this connection for other artists as well. A figure drawing class in the middle of (what seemed) an abandoned garden. A monk who found eternal youth and happiness from painting thousands of mountain scrolls. A boy who used large leaves as his paint palette. A Canadian example, the iconic style of The Group of Seven. The documentary Painted Land, shows how they loved the natural landscape and spent their lives painting it. It's hard to know which they loved more—painting or being in nature?

Homes and Gardens: 
Look who popped up at the Home and Garden Show!

My little garden-in-a-vase integrating with the Gold Bird Mural.
A sweet bunny adds fun decor to a hydrangea garden.
Beautifully designed metal palm trees by Designer Palms
and they have coconut lights!
Sculpture Gardens at the McMichael Gallery. 

My friend Juli Lyons and I enjoyed a Spring afternoon photographing.
We walked among welcoming sculptures that seemed to
blend perfectly into the landscape.
A jar containing a Haiku poem hangs from each of the sculptures.
6 of The Group of Seven artists lay to rest here,
in a protective circle of rocks.
Check out my available nature-based artwork...

Art, Artists and Nature in Vietnam: 
Surprise Appearances in Gardens.

Mountains of mountain paintings made by a monk
(Dalat, Vietnam).
Nhat paints my portrait (Saigon, Vietnam). 
Mr. Thuc, the monk artist, looks much younger than his 65 years. 
Leaves used as a paint palette (Luang Prabang, Laos). 
Carving in the back garden of a restaurant run by an artist
(Kon Tum, Vietnam). 
This figure drawing class was completely hidden in the massive gardens of the Forbidden Purple City (Hue, Vietnam).

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Vitamin Sea

"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul." —Robert Wyland

I just had an incredible break. For an entire week, I began each morning, with sunglasses on, and looked out onto a bright, beautiful view.

The air was so warm and the water so blue—it made me feel invigorated, alive and refreshed. The perfect escape from the cold—and... it was here, in Toronto!

No need to step on a plane to warm up those winter blues. Sweet Olenka's new shop on Queen West makes a fantastic selection of ice cream and chocolate, best eaten by the sunny beach mural!

The mural was painted onto a piece of fabric that hangs in front of a wall-sized light box. When backlit, the colours from the translucent fabric paint, illuminated the whole shop. 

The lights emitted heat, that felt like rays of sunshine on my face. I couldn't help but feel warm and cheery all day. 

Oh, and the couple of truffle breaks may have contributed to that feeling as well :) 

Would you like your own mural? Email me for your custom quote, or check out more murals on my website.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

In Love with Contrast

Whenever I go to the AGO, this painting always catches my eye. The precision in detail, the mysteriousness of the mist, and the illumination from the moon.

The faces are aglow, despite it being the middle of the night. Dark shadows in the foreground, fade into a bright light in the background. A calm atmosphere softened, from all the gradating tones between black and white. The dark underside of the boat against the light on the woman's front, gives the illusion that she's levitating. A triad of bright points, creates the perfect composition...

All of these qualities achieved, through the use of—contrast.

"Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon—it is the very heart of painting." —Josef Albers
Black and White

The greatest contrast of all—black and white. I saw a greenhouse filled with orchids in Bogor, Indonesia. This branch in particular stood out, the bright petals highlighted against a dark background. I decided to paint these orchids in regular house paint, to see how photo-realistic I could go with my murals. What do you think?! Email to purchase this painting—or get it painted on your wall...

Lights at Night

Peeking through. From painted colours behind silhouetted plants, to bulbs contained within their shades, to tiny pinholes in a suitcase. No matter how large or small, contrast is everywhere! Where have you seen it lately? Check out murals at pamlostracco.com...

Shadows from Light

Inspiration from 10 Years Ago. Whether drawing or taking a photograph, the condition of light is key. With light, there is shadow, and the two interplay with each other in varying tones. Other factors can be the time of day, the weather, the quantity, or the source of light. Both this sketch and photo were taken at midday, when shadows have the greatest contrast. Follow my current Beach Mural on Instagram...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Abstract: As Soft as Sky

I remember returning from my 1-year trip, and going on an art-rampage to "discover my style". I experimented with different materials, discovered new techniques, and created piles of work. Now, as I look back on these pieces, I realize that the experimental process never ended. Being an artist has not been about having a identifiable style, but instead, the continuous act of creating, making and doing.

Finding inspiration right outside my window. 

Recently, a client asked me to make art unrelated to any work I've done before. And so I've entered another phase of searching for specific paints and playing in different styles. I'm beginning to break free from the idea of needing to conform to a particular style. Instead, I'm relishing in the process, exploring and feeling free from not setting my own limitations. Like the sky, creativity goes on for infinity. 

Drawing thumbnails for composition.
Colour mixing to match the decor.

My client wished for a special momento for her upcoming milestone birthday. Her vision was a calming abstract of soft, horizontal shapes, to match her living area. I was excited but had never painted anything like it before. So I researched different brushes and paint mediums, practiced mixing and blending, and gave myself an excuse to visit the AGO exhibit to analyze how Turner painted his skies! 

Analyzing Turner's skies. 
Blending the final piece.

The result: She loves it and said it's exactly what she wanted! Happy 30th Katrina! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Sale!

Save up to 33% on everything in my Etsy Shop!

Looking for something little and lovely for that special friend? Treat them to a one-of-a-kind watercolour drawing or a silky soft Art Scarf.

Here's a few other gift ideas:

Flying Birds Photograph, $19 (reg. $29)

Vintage Wallpaper Notebooks, $12 (reg. $18)

Mini Pinecones Watercolour Drawing, $39 (reg. $49)

Migrating Monarchs Art Scarf, $149 (reg. $169)

Picton Boats Collage, $19 (reg. $29)

Find more cards, notebooks, drawings, photos, etchings, collages and artwork, here on Etsy. 

Or if you're in Toronto, feel free to stop by and see them in person! Write to me here to set a time. 

Happy gifting and have a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Kensington Market

A new mural is going up in Kensington Market! 

I've spent the last week painting this 13-foot wall and will be adding the finishing touches tomorrow. Tomorrow also happens to be Pedestrian Sunday, so come on by, grab a coffee and wander the fun and colourful streets.

Then come on over to The Embassy, say hi and maybe shoot a selfie under some palm trees!

The Embassy
223 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
12-7 pm (Pedestrian Sunday)
9-5 pm (I'll be painting)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NEW! Moveable Murals

Another mural is complete and on it's way to BC!

Moveable Murals are an exciting new option, especially for those who live outside the Toronto area. They can travel TO you or WITH you, where ever you may go!

They're completely customized—to fit perfectly onto your wall and match the colour of your decor. You get to be involved every step of the way and watch the process evolve into a finished mural.

Here's how it works:

1. First, we talk about your room and the design you're looking for. I have a selection of pre-designed murals or I can draw something uniquely new.

2. We work together to select the best paint colours.

3. A scaled line-drawing is created to illustrate how the mural will look on your wall.

4. The design is drawn onto the canvas and the painting begins.

5. Secondary colours are carefully mixed to get the perfect gradient.

6. Sit back and watch the progress evolve on Instagram!

7. The mural is completed with a signature, then bubble-wrapped and boxed for shipping.

8. I bid the mural a safe journey and then send it directly to you.

Would you like your very own Moveable Mural?
If so, just say hello!
Or, get my free Art Letter delivered straight to your inbox :)