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Q and A / Paint Haul

Erin Giesbrecht

Hey there!

This week I did a Q and A video that you can check out below. I also got a paint order in, which I was pretty pumped about. I didn't talk about all of my paints in the video, because boring, so I'll talk about them here.

You can watch the video here, or read below. 



First, the Q and A, there's a set of questions going around for YouTubers to answer. I was tagged by The Last Grownup in the Woods, she does educational videos trying to get people to go outside. I think her cause is a really worthy one and I love her videos. 

Onto the questions

1) Why did you start making YouTube videos?

When I was lost, not knowing what to do, I actually watched a tonne of YouTube videos, and I still do. I find it incredibly inspiring to watch people who love what they do. I find that it encourages me to keep looking and exploring my own heart. 

So, I wanted to contribute to that community and help others get inspired. I also wanted to create a wider world around my art, and make it more than just one image on Instagram. 

2) When did you start your channel?

I started my channel last year around January. It's been about a year now and I've really enjoyed it. I like to show you guys how I make what I make and now when I take breaks I have people asking me to make more videos. 

3) What is the story behind your channel name?

Well, this is pretty simple. That's just my name. My channel name used to be Erin Giesbrecht Fine Art, but when I got married I changed my name. I wanted to change because I don't actually like my maiden name, and I really like Dalan's last name. Also, Stagg is just so much easier to spell than Giesbrecht.

4) How long will you be on YouTube for?

Well, I think I'll be on here as long as it keeps being fun. This answer is kind of a cop-out because everyone says it. The truth is, if this becomes a repetitive, labour-intensive work without any enjoyment, I probably won't keep doing it. I like making videos, so once I stop enjoying it, I'll quit. 

However. I'd like to keep things interesting for myself by experimenting with different videos, editing and really just learning about this whole thing more. 

5) Do you make your own thumbnails?

Yepp, I sure do. I use Adobe Spark and it makes the whole process pretty simple. I'll probably keep using them as long as they keep being free.

6) Do you make your own intros/outros?

Yepp, even though they suck. I'd like to make a better version of my intro, though because it's kind of crappy. 

7) What kind of camera do you use?

I use a Canon SX40. 

Well, there we go. Now onto the Paint Haul. I also showed you guys a painting I've been working on. It's very similar to the whale painting I released last week.

I ordered this paint from Kroma Acrylics which is on Granville Island in Vancouver. I fell in love with their store when I was there in January. You can't buy their stuff in stores, which means they keep their prices low, but their quality is high. 

I'm really excited about this because my options are so limited up north and it's nice to get actually good quality paint. It makes such a big difference in what I can actually accomplish. 

I showed you guys Titanium white, Iridescent Gold and Alizarin Crimson in the video. I also picked up a bunch of earth colours. I looooove me some earth colours. I picked up yellow ochre, burnt umber and burnt sienna. Those three are always necessary in my repertoire. 

I also picked up raw titanium and zinc white. Raw titanium doesn't have the bleaching materials in it, so it looks more neutral/parchment coloured. Zinc white is more transparent, so it will have a different effect as well. 

Anyway, I'm off to go experiment with my new haul. I hope you all have a lovely week.


 

Submit some questions for me to answer in an upcoming video. Just comment down below or on the YouTube video. 

Also, if you make YouTube videos, let me know! I'd like to get to know some of you. 

See ya soon,

Erin

 

 

Ways to Fly

Erin Giesbrecht

 

Hey guys,

This is my latest video and it's actually really special to me. This is something that is really close to my heart, even if it might not seem obvious to you now.

This is my latest painting, that I have been painting as part of a series of videos, showing students how to paint intuitively. I've been doing that over on my Patreon page

These paintings are created with a sense of freedom and instinct. When I finish one of my paintings, I'm forced to reflect on them and think about why I painted that specific image.

Whenever I do that, I think of this story...

(watch the video, or read it below)


You all know how I like to tell stories about my art. Well, this is a story about a World War II soldier who suffered from epilepsy, our brains and, I think, its about our intuition.

We all know that the brain has two parts, the right and the left, and we often hear about how "I'm Left brained because I'm creative or some shit  or I'm right brained because blah blah". Really, that's all crap. I don't mean that I am skeptical, I mean science has said it's bullshit. Ages ago some person in the media read an article they didn't understand and just made up this story about being right or left brained that ended up spreading like wildfire.

I'm sure you're wondering what I'm on about. I'm painting something that seemingly has nothing to do with brains. Well, I started this painting as part of my other channel. On that channel, Making Art for the Heart, we are exploring the elements of art and we're following our intuition to create new pieces that really capture part of our souls.

This is what brings me to the right brain vs left brain discussion. The true part of that rumour is that each half of your brain is responsible for different things. For instance, your left hemisphere is responsible for language. But did you know that your right brain controls your left side and vice versa? Wiggle your right fingers and right toes at the same time. That's the left half of your brain. Now wiggle your left fingers and toes, that's your right brain. Both halves of your brain communicate using a 'wire' called the corpus callosum, which joins the two halves.

Here I'm adding some grass to the painting. I really want you to feel like the forest has depth, so you can let yourself fall into the painting.

Anyway, back to my story. During World War II a man named William Jenkins was hit in the head with the butt of a German officer's rifle and years later had still been suffering seizures. In that time, we whenwe were first learning about brains, we discovered that if we cut the 'wire' between left and right brain, we could treat epilepsy.

I know, what does this have to do with painting? Keep your knickers on.

Those epilepsy patients found their suffering relieved by splitting their brains  but some noticed some strange things happening instead. For instance, William would go to pick out his clothes for the morning and while the right hand reached for one shirt, his left hand disagreed and picked another shirt.

I'm not even pulling your leg. This is a real study. You can watch someone else's video on this, click the card in the corner. I've also linked to some other articles in the description.

You see, his left brain was seeing a different image than his right brain, and they were not in agreement as to which shirt was the right one to wear because the two sides of the brain couldn't communicate with each other.  In fact, the two sides disagreed quite a lot.

It didn't stop with the shirts. If he was shown a picture to his left side, he would not be able to reply verbally as to what he saw. Because his left side, controlled by his right brain, does not have the ability to speak. That is controlled by the left brain.

A teenage boy who also had a split brain was asked to name his girlfriend, but only on his left side. So the right side, unable to speak, spelled out her name with Scrabble tiles.

What? How is this possible? Is this a horror story? No, I promise I have a point.

You see, whenever I do these intuitive paintings, I find something new out about myself, and I now have a hypothesis as to why.

Not only could the two sides of the brain operate so differently, when asked for their favourite colour, they could reply with two different responses.

When they asked the left side to pick something up like a rubik's cube, and then asked it why it's holding the cube the right brain could not reply as to why. But, the left brain seeing the cube would instead make up a story, like, "I've always wanted to learn how to solve one of these." The left brain, helpfully fills in the story.

They found that the silent right brain, seemed to have it's own intelligence? consciousness? something?

It's kind of mind-blowing.  It suggests the possibility of there being two separate personalities inside the same skull.

Why did you paint that whale, Erin? I don't know? Because whales are awesome? Because I've always wanted to paint one?

What does this even mean? Who am I? Am I right brain or left brain? Well, you're both. You're two halves working together to create a completely unique person.

Whenever I paint like this, I try to empty my mind and let things just happen. I pick colours by feelings, I paint with impulses. I let my mind run free to see patterns and new ideas that I'd never come up with otherwise. I listen to my heart and trust what it says.

After I've finished my painting and I'm about to tell someone about it, or post it on Facebook, I ask myself 'why did I paint this? 'What does this mean and why are there whales floating in a forest with fish?

I find my left brain, more than happy to fill in the pieces for me.   

The jewel-like colours always make me think of riches, rare and precious gems. The light creates a really magical feel.  Meanwhile, unlikely creatures fly in an unlikely place. This is a unique world. In this world, not only can you fly but you can fly in more than one way. Would you like to be swift and agile like a swallow, or succumb to the peaceful soft pulse of the jellyfish. The whale, looks like it should sink to the ground under the weight of its size and the fact that it is gold. Yet it soars with the sparrows.  Even the sea weed, unbound by the natural laws of gravity can dance like the Northern Lights across the forest floor.

The placement of the creatures has a natural flow to it, as if you can feel the current carrying them along.

You feel like you could step in there, and float with everyone else and get swept away by the magic of the world.

I want to step inside.

I want to be swept away with magic.

I want to fly in a million different ways.

What other animals could we encounter in this world? Are all of the whales golden? How big is the forest?

I wonder if it isn't my right brain, finally able to speak that picks up the paint brush and creates a magical world for my left brain to enjoy. When I say I am listening to my heart, am I actually just listening to this silent and quirky part of my brain?

Either way, each time I paint something like this, I feel like I discover something new.

 

Original                                    Prints

 

Getting out of the Studio: Winterfest 2017

Erin Giesbrecht

This week I decided to get out of the studio. I was also kind of forced to, by my sister. She wanted to bake a cake for my birthday in secret, so she told me to leave the house. What a great sister.

We headed down 5th street, it was a nice warm day, only 1 degree. As we walked along historic George street, the oldest street in Prince George we got a little peak at the Crossroads microbrewery.  I'm very excited to see it open, hopefully soon. I love microbreweries and I'm stoked to have one close to us.

We walked into the Winter Carnival at the triangular intersection of 7th and George. The Carnival was put on by Downtown PG. Prince George has been trying to revitalizing the downtown for awhile now and this is a great effort to bring the community together and add vibrancy to this northern city.

When we arrived at the Winter Carnival, we were met by food trucks, a relative rarity here in the north but one of my favourite ways of getting food, especially poutine.

We saw kids getting pictures with Mr. PG, the mascot for the city while people grabbed a bite from the food trucks.

Down another one of the roads, we jammed out to some tunes put on by a local DJ while booths set up to donate to charity cooked s'mores. They had little camp fires for you to roast your s'mores on and you could get a whole variety of different s'mores.

One of the booths I peeked into had two different s'mores. Set out on the table were a whole collection of s'mores, which were a genius combination of brownies with marshmallows on top. There were also some ready-to-eat marshmallows, dipped in chocolate and nuts. 

Another booth even had maple syrup and ice cream. Only Canadians eat ice cream in the winter and then slather it in maple syrup.

People were throwing snowballs at their family members and there was a field filled with colour. I called these the unicorn killing fields. I have no idea what happened here, but the rainbow-coloured snow looked both happy and destructive.

We came across a Canfor mascot, an anthropomorphicized piece of lumber then passed over to an area where a kid's snow playland was built. There were tunnels covered in snow for families to play in and it had a really sweet ice slide that I was pretty jealous of.

After that we moved over to the area where skiiers and snowboarders were hanging out and trying out tricks. They were jumping onto rails and landing and sometimes not landing some pretty sweet moves. 

Afterwards we moved over to the snow-covered lawn in front of City Hall and saw a cool snow sculpture being created. It featured a maple-leaf, a moose and a beaver and I was in love with the Canadian-ness of it all. 

It seemed like City Hall was the center for art. The lawn featured not just the snow sculpture, but also a neat ice throne that you could take photos on, while Journey blasted in the background.Then we moved on to a set of sculptures created by David Jacob Harder. The pieces were a collective a comment on the impact humans have on nature.

The first piece featured cross-section cut from a tree, otherwise known as a cookie, and linked them together in an igloo-like encapsulation of the tree. 

It made me think of the suffocating way that we surround natural spaces. Igloos also provide warm homes in cold climates. I thought about how we are warming nature and thought of the choking effect that would have on a tree in the summer. 

The second piece was a sculpture of 3 cookies, frozen into a block of snow. The impermanence of the sculpture was very beautiful. Perhaps it was a comment, the human-built sculpture is fragile and certainly will not last once it heats up in the sun. 

We then moved on to this next piece, which we were lucky enough to hear him talk about his work. The third piece was a table-like collection of blocks of ice. On it were cookie quarters. These quarters reminded me of woodsheds, filled with lumber that had been quartered. There were ditches carved out in the ice that reminded me of rivers. 

When he talked about the sculptures he said this, "This is all part of one tree, the same as that piece over there and this piece over there and this is all part of one tree. It was about 60 or 70 years old and I found it in the bush where someone had cut it down, even though it was green."

He talked about his third sculpture he said, "Later on in the day, after the heat gets in here, you'll be able to see the rings. You'll see a nice little imprint. Once they've been in there for awhile, they'll actually show that pattern."I picked up a block and saw the vague imprint of rings on the ice. 

Then we moved on to another section of the carnival and passed some kids playing road hockey with some local professional hockey players from the Cougars. Then watched a train that was ferrying little passengers around a loop, to the delight of its passengers.

 

After we made our rounds, we went over to the Black Clover to eat some food and play some darts where Dalan won some, and then I won some.

It was pretty intense competition to be the first person to be victory, but I pulled it off.

It was a good day hanging out with Dalan, checking out some new stuff in our city. I loved seeing different art, whether it was the tree sculptures or the unicorn killing fields or just playing darts.

I hope you had a good family day. I'll see you next week for a speed painting that I'm really excited to show you. Ciao!!

 

Pebbles

Erin Giesbrecht

 

What is it about rocks, that we love so much?

You know the feeling, when you're walking along a beach and a bright colour in the sand grabs your attention. You bend over to pluck this bright colour from the ground and for a moment, you stand and hold this smooth pebble in your hand. You turn it over, examining it from all sides while flecks of colour captivate your eye. The cracks spreading through this perfect piece of art make it all the more beautiful.

I've always loved collecting rocks, even as a child. I would make my mom carry a pail to hold all my rocks in. After the pail got full, she would start tossing rocks out as I gave her new ones. I just couldn't get enough. It's not that I wanted to lay in a bed of rocks, or anything. It's just that they're all so different.

That rock I just picked up might have been red, but that was a reddy-orange and this one is a reddy-purple! This one is a volcanic rock, filled with holes and pits, and that other one is smooth.  They're totally different!

Even as I grew up, I still carried that fascination with rocks. I would walked along the beach and collect them when I was camping with my family. I still remember sitting in a stream with my boyfriend, now husband, as we were going through the rocks to find one special enough to take home. I found a few. When we got home, I put them in the fish tank, so I could see them all wet , shiny and colourful.

You see, it's no accident that we have incredible rocks here in BC. When I was in university, I studied rocks for awhile and one of the first things they show you is a map of Canada. Now, if you look at a map of bedrock of the rest of Canada, it's pretty boring, pretty much all the same colour. Then, when you get to BC, it looks like a rainbow exploded all over our province. It turns out that BC is actually a bunch of former Pacific islands squished onto the edge of the Canadian shield. Mix that up with some volcanoes, and all of a sudden you have a recipe for a land where Erin can find a rock for every colour of the rainbow.

So, all of that added up to me, walking along a street in Vancouver, and a bright bit of colour caught my attention.

It was raining, and this rock garden filled with colourful, rounded pebbles brought me back to my childhood. If I had a pail to fill with rocks, I'm sure it would have been overflowing, each pebble was just so unique. Instead, I settled for a picture and continued on my journey.

When I came back home and posted this picture on social media and asked you all to vote, you chose these pebbles.

I cropped a little part of a large picture of rocks, and started painting them. I was true to each of the rocks in the picture. I tried my best to capture their character, colour, shape and smoothness. I even added some acrylic medium to make them a bit shiny. My favourite rocks have to be this green one with the gold lines running through it, this pink one in the corner and this blue one here. Of course, I actually love them all.

This painting is called "Pebbles". I painted it with acrylic paint on a stretched canvas 16 inches by  20 inches in size.

Author Unknown

Erin Giesbrecht

 

I walked along the sea wall on a relatively warm winter's morning. a  cold spell had just lifted from the streets of Vancouver, leaving piles of snow melting on the sidewalks for pedestrians to dodge. All of the snow from the seawall had been lifted thanks to the warming effect of the Pacific Ocean.

I live inland, far away from the ocean, so as I approached the water the familiar sound of sea gulls lifted my heart despite the cloudy day.

I passed the docks tethering the sea planes waiting to carry passengers into the sky. Their bright blue and yellow stripes added some much needed colour to the gray day.

I passed a man fishing for "anything he could catch, after all, it's the ocean. I wondered what he could actually catch, a star fish? Would the fish even be safe to eat?

I kept strolling along, mesmerized by the soft, quiet movement of the water, trying to remember exactly what it looked like. Of course, I'd forget almost as swiftly as the water's persistent movement would continue to challenge my understanding. So, I settled with taking a picture with my phone.

I came across a bottle floating and I thought back to this article I read about a man who had found 83 messages in bottles. He had made it his hobby to try and see where these messages came from. He had even managed to meet one couple who launched a message on their wedding day.

The bottle was floating away from the shore, so I quickly abandoned any hope of retrieving it to check for a message.

Then, I spotted something inside. It looked like an actual message! A woman was passing by and I pointed it out, excitedly. She didn't seem as interested as she glanced and kept walking.

There was no way for me to get the bottle without also getting completely soaked, so I took some photos and continued on my way. Seeing that bottle got me excited, added some pep in my step and for awhile it felt like the sun was out, even though it just started raining.

I quickly put a photo on Instagram and was content, even if the mystery was never solved. I continued on my journey along Coal Harbor, with my heart full of excitement.

Later that night I sat in my hotel, satisfied after a nice dinner and put my feet up. I was sitting with my art supplies spread across the table, with my mind wandering around. I thought of that man who tracked down the original writers of the message and I wondered if maybe the person who sent it was like me, a lover of social media. Perhaps they also  put a picture online. So, I surfed Instagram for the hashtag I used, #messageinabottle.

Once you wade through the sea of cheesy message in a bottle stock photos, irrelevant quotes and photos of albums by the Police, you just might get lucky enough to find this photo. A few hours after I passed by, a couple of people took advantage of the lowering tide to retrieve the bottle.

They posted photos of their heroic retrieval, as well as the message they found inside. The message they found said, "love is a meeting of two souls, accepting the dark and the light within each other, bound by the courage to grow through struggle into bliss."

The author of this poem, like the writer of the note, remain unknown.

The title of the painting is Author Unknown. I painted this with acrylic paint on a stretched canvas 12" by 12" in size.

 

How to Make a LOVE protest sign.

Erin Giesbrecht

I've always been really fascinated by the Beatles and that period of time in the 60s and 70s when people really started protesting. I've had a hard time imagining a world wherein I'd be so compelled to speak out and actually get out of my house with a bunch of other strangers and stand in a street. When I was a kid, I imagined a time when I would actually care enough when the problems would be important enough, and I worried about what that future would actually look like. 
 

Well, now I no longer have to wonder. We are in that future. We are in jeopardy of letting those deep values fall away and succumb to hate and fear. I believe that humankind is a hopeful species, one that celebrates differences and cherishes basic tenants of love and kindness. So, I let my voice be heard. 

Tonight I stood with other strangers in a street with a sign. 

Now, I want to take a second and say, I don't want to talk about the recent events. I don't want to argue and fight. I want to make my voice of peace and love heard over the recent fear and hate that has been poisoning our world. 

I don't think I'm alone in being more comfortable at home than at a protest. I don't think I'm alone in feeling strange about making signs. I know I'm not alone in having to learn how to be an activist. 

I also know for sure I wasn't the only one in my city to realize that I needed to step up and make my support and love known for my fellow humans. 

Tonight I made my first sign, this is how you can make your own. 

Step 1: First, I took a canvas, just a blank canvas. You can use a board painted white or even cardboard. However, I happen to have a tonne of canvases at my disposal. Also, I wanted it to be reusable. 

Step 2: Then, I used painter's tape to tape out the letters L, V and E. I didn't tape out O because how are you supposed to tape out a circle. I didn't want to fight with tape. You see, I hurt my dominant wrist the other day. So I can't paint like normal. In fact, I'm typing this with one hand.  So I had to find some hacks, luckily that means it will be simple enough for anyone to do.



Step 3: After I taped off the letters, I started finger painting with my left hand. I used bright yellow to make an O, then added the rest of the colours of the rainbow, painting over the tape. I wanted the colours to be the spectrum of the rainbow. So, I blended the yellow into orange, the orange into red, red into purple and finally purple into blue.

Step 4: After everything was coloured the way I wanted it, I peeled the tape off (actually, I had my family help me.  

All we need is love ❤❤❤ #love #lovetrumpshate

A video posted by Erin Stagg Art (Giesbrecht) (@erinstaggart) on

That's it! Super simple!

The tape left the letters white and even gave them a rough effect on the outside, which I like. I finger-painted it and had my sister help me with a brush, but you don't need to do that. I also added fingerprints around the O and mixed some colour around, just for fun. 

2017-01-30 18.36.42.jpg


There are so many different ways to do this. You can spend a lot of time on it, adding details like henna patterns. You can do it in one colour, or put actual rainbows behind it. Add a maple leaf for an O, write other messages in the letters, add handprints, fingerprints and more! 

Traditionally it's the artists who speak up and create protest pieces in the form of music, sculpture, painting and more. So, spread some love around. Use this to go and spread your message of love at a protest or event that you think could use some love. 


What the world needs now is love, sweet love. 

Photos from tonight: Jan 30, 2017

New Year, New Look!

Erin Giesbrecht

Hey everyone! I've updated my website and I am so excited to show you all. It's still easy to navigate and you'll find the same classic info as well as some new material. 

Last year was a fantastic year for art. Erin exhibited at 11 different events, launched a YouTube channel, created two entirely new collections, she started Wine and Painting Parties, and her work went international. 

The new year will bring growth, change and new opportunities. I welcome them with open arms and decided to start with a shiny new website. 

Here's a link to some of the old favourites. 

Original Art

Fine Art Prints

Painting Parties

New Features on the website include the Look Book! This is where you can check out some of my favourite pieces from last year. 

You can also check out the Featured Videos section to the right of this blog. In 2016 I started making YouTube videos including timelapses of my painting process. Take a peek behind the curtain

Finally, I added a Badass People List from my Patreon! These are people who have with great generosity, pledged to donate to my Patreon campaign. Patreon helps me bring regular videos to you and you can get some pretty sweet perks that you can't get anywhere elsel! Check it out and consider becoming a Patron today. 

Well, that's all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed my mini website tour and you find it easy to use. If you have any comments, make sure to leave them below!

With love from my studio,

Erin