what's kate up to?


Digital Painting Practice – Robins & Bird Bath

Hi! Hope you've been keeping well.

I've been doing some experimenting with digitally drawing over some of Seán's and my photos of birds, plants and other objects around the garden lately. It's in preparation for some new exciting (and currently secret) projects :)

I was a bit conflicted about the drawing-over-photos idea at first, because it felt a bit like cheating. But then I was convinced that it's actually just a good way to find another use for our plethora of photos...

Full story & more illustrations on the original Patreon post.

New Website: Behind the Scenes

A couple of months ago I made a new website thing using write.as and customizing it with a coding-language called CSS (kinda like HTML) with the help of this great webzine among many other helpful walk-throughs, and my ever-patient partner Seán. It was fun to learn how to take my paper ideas & art into the digital zone and tinker with it there. I wanted it to have a tactile feeling about it:

site sketches Some of the brainstorm-sketches, paintings and paper cutouts

kr painting col test sheet The homepage self-portrait I did in watercolours, next to the colour-testing sheet—I always enjoy the look of it at the end!

Full story & more process photos on the original Patreon post.

Rooftop Flicker Band: First Tablet Drawings

Hey folks, here's a peek at some new stuff! fiddler flicker

Seán and I invested in a drawing tablet a couple weeks ago, and I've been enjoying playing around with it so far! I'm using it with Krita, an awesome, free and open source digital painting program.

To learn the program and experiment with all the different brushes, I decided to draw a northern flicker playing a guitar (cleverly dubbed by my mum as a “flicker picker”). For reference, I used a photograph of a flicker gulping water at our bird bath: eyes closed, head tilted up, as if singing.

flicker picker

Full story, process pictures, and more flickers on the original Patreon post.

Hummingbird Puppet


A hummingbird puppet has been on my mental “to-make” list for a while, but wasn't the highest priority until I was invited to participate in Seán's virtual “puppet soirée & sing-along” birthday gathering — the perfect opportunity!

This was my first attempt at needle-felting a puppet, and it turned out to be quite a nice medium for the smaller-scale female Anna's hummer.

A description of the process, along with more pictures and a video of the (literal) humming-bird in action can all be found on my Patreon. :)

Robin Sing-along

Earlier this month, listening back to this piano tune, I thought it would be interesting to hear how it sounded accompanied by one of my field recordings of birdsong. I dragged in the bird track and layered it over the tune.

wingy · Robin Sing-along
Cue sonic serendipity: listening to the two tracks simultaneously, the robin's chuckling calls happened to exactly match the tempo and rhythm of the piano's five-and-seven-note phrases. How about that?!

Full story on the original Patreon post.

Avocado-pit Birds and Such

avo-pit birds

While making sushi the other day, I opened up an avocado to reveal the pit, which suddenly triggered an old dusty memory of something I had seen somewhere— a puppet-maker who carved avocado pits to create the heads of his figures. So, I started saving the pits and did some research to find that, indeed, avocado-pit-carving is a thing.

Full story & more photos on my Patreon page.

Rubbermaid Planter

A couple weeks ago we ran short of places to plant our more-numerous-than-originally-intended vegetable starts. So, we had to get creative...

painting planter

Full story & more photos on my Patreon page.

Easter '20 ~ Pysanky and Batik: Experiments


Back when I lived in Halifax several years ago, my neighbours would invite their friends over every Easter to eat snacks and make pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter-eggs. I loved this tradition, and missed it so much that I bought myself a kit last year at the cute Ukrainian Cultural Centre gift shop. This time, after making my pysanky, I decided to use the materials while they were still out and improvise making some batik squares, which has a similar process.

batik square eyes

Full details of the process & lots more photos on the original Patreon post!

Flicker Tango

I wrote this ditty a couple years ago as a procrastination technique, to avoid working on an art commission. Funny how one art form can sometimes feel like work, while another feels like play:

wingy · Flicker Tango – 2020 – 03 – 24
Full story on the original Patreon post.

Dark-eyed Juncos ABC

Earlier this month, the Metchosin Art Pod and the Rocky Point Bird Observatory put a call out inviting local artists and bird-lovers to collaborate on their new “Arty Bird Card” project. One side of each card will have an artists' representation of one of the 35 most commonly observed birds in the area, and the flip-side will have identification notes and facts about the bird. Here's the one we* submitted:

juncos abc

*My partner Seán painted the background :)

Update: you can now get your hands on your very own pack of 36 local artist-made bird cards here!

Full story & process photos on the original Patreon post.

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