what's kate up to?


Virtual Art Residency in Japan – 日本でのバーチャルアートレジデンシー


Two weeks ago, my partner Seán and I embarked on a journey to Japan! ....kind of!

shiitake siblings

To explain: we had been planning for an October trip to Japan, but since that isn't possible right now, we decided to “go to Japan” in the ways that we can while staying put in Victoria. (Here's the full idea in sweet blog-post form: https://write.as/hummingcrow/ittekimasu)

During our virtual residency, we've been making a habit of creating little art pieces daily, which has been fun. These Shiitake Siblings (しいたけ兄弟) are my latest digital art thing, inspired by some extremely cute shiitakes I got from the farmers' market to add to my Japanese cooking experiments.

I'll be posting this on the creativity-oriented Japanese social networking site note to accompany the rest of the art we've shared so far. Take a look at some of the things we've been up to on our note page: https://note.com/hummingcrow !

Doodle doodle dumpkin

Hiya! Hope you're keeping well.

I was just scanning in some of the past two months of doodles from the “margins” of my printer-paper notes (I quote “margins” because they actually tend to be the most dominant thing on the page, ha) and thought to share some of them.

Some of these were doodled while I was listening to a podcast about adult ADHD/ADD (something I'm eagerly learning how to manage in my life, as I've recently discovered that I'm not alone in my neurology!); others while listening to music to try to calm my nerves; others while in a meeting; and some while digesting a meal.

See the rest of the doodles & read more writings on the original Patreon post.


Digital Painting Practice – Flowers and Oak Leaf

Hi friends! Hope you're keeping well.

Here are two more digital painting experiments:

Red-flowering currant

Garry oak leaf

The red-flowering currant is a beautiful native plant in BC; a favourite of hummingbirds and other pollinators in the spring. I worked with one of our photos from the garden, and layered some simple line-work on top. Then I chose five key colours from the flowers to work with and coloured it in in a sub-layer, locating the darks and lights.

Full story & process pictures on the original Patreon post.


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.

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