We went and got married at my parents’ house on the longest day of the year. It was perfect. We are happier than we look in this photo. 
June 21 2014—Photo by Stuart St. AmantFloral crown by Aime Blanchette

We went and got married at my parents’ house on the longest day of the year. It was perfect. We are happier than we look in this photo. 


June 21 2014

Photo by Stuart St. Amant
Floral crown by Aime Blanchette

For Mom

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When I was a kid, up until I left for University, I was on a competitive swim team in my little hometown in Trenton. We were a really small team and many of us were required to attend practice up to ten times per week, two hours in the morning and two hours after school. It’s funny for me to sit here on my couch as I write this, thinking back on that chunk of my life remembering the 4:30am wake ups, thirty-minute commutes to CFB Trenton to jump into a chilly pool by 5:30, engaging in exhausting sets with scary names like “VO2 MAX” and “ENDURANCE III” for two hours before breakfast (and I always remembering it being Winter, because everything is worse in the Winter).  Morning practices were never easy for me, I was always happy with myself after I completed them, but I was grumpy without sleep, and I was still a hormonal teenager on the best of days. My mom, who went back to work when my brother left for University, picked me up after practice every morning at 7:30 am, car idling in the parking-lot, in the cup-holder: a buttered bagel wrapped in tinfoil atop a travel-mug full of hot chocolate waiting to be devoured.

Despite working full-time she volunteered at all the swim-meets, and when they needed someone to act as Meet Manager, she did that. When the Starter was MIA, she’d be the one to declare "Take your marks". She managed the swim team and when it was threatened to be shut down, she fought to keep it open. She organized fundraisers, and worked at the Bingo Hall to raise money for the club, coming home at 10pm reeking of cigarette smoke. She took time off work to drive us to our out-of-town meets, never complained about the cost of our equipment, and when I told her I didn’t think I wanted to swim anymore, she said it was okay. That she wanted me to do whatever it is that made me happy.

When I moved to a town 4-hours away to go to University and would call to tell her how difficult I was finding it, she’d put money in my bank account so I could treat myself.  I think she meant something like ice-cream, but I probably spent it on beer.  When I was barely 19 and I told her I wanted to drop out of University and take a year off school, she helped me figure out my plan of action.  She encouraged me to move back into their home, and hardly ever gave me a hard time for going out every night, drinking their booze, and generally just acting like an entitled brat, even though I most certainly deserved it.

When I told my mom I wanted to focus on art, she bought me an easel, a drafting table and a slew of paints for my new apartment.  She drove me to the art-school orientations, she paid for every post-secondary school application, bought every supply, and when I failed again, though I totally would have deserved it, she didn’t make me feel bad, like she knew the punishment I was giving myself was enough. And when I sold my first painting on my own, she told me she believed I had it in me to work as an artist.

When we got a dog, even though I was pretty sure she thought we were crazy, she drove up that weekend with a bunch of toys and supplies, acting like we’d just had a baby.

Oh, and when we were kids, she did that elf on the shelf thing long before it was all over Pinterest. Ours was named Snowflake, and my mom was so good at hiding him that it lead me to believe in Santa for much longer than I am proud to admit.

—-

For the last week or so, I’ve been trying to figure out a single story to write about for Mother’s Day, and I couldn’t. I was racking my brain, Myrtle Beach trips? Her incessant need to save turtles and frogs off the road? How bummed she was when I was a baby and it seemed like I might not ever like bananas? The absolute, child-like glee she exudes the second her vacation starts? Those are all great stories, but this is my mother. How can I do her justice? I can’t!

Mom, Happy Mothers Day. I just want you to know I’m paying attention. Thank you for letting me screw up and figure things out on my own. Thank you for reminding me to brush my hair. Thank you for always letting me complain.  Thank you for believing me. Thank you for worrying. Thank you for calling. Thank you for always loving me even when I’m an unloveable jerk.

I love you.

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(Source: nervrom.com)

11th May, SundayReblog
Stuff I Like

Recently I received a few emails from fellow artists and art-students who were curious about what products and tools I use, mostly things related to creating texture and specific colours.  A few months ago I discovered (mostly due to a successful grant application for The Braille Project) a couple things that I now use all the time, so I figured I’d put together a quick list of those things as well as well as my most-loved products from the beginning.

HERE WE GO!

1.   Princeton Catalyst Silicone Wedges:Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.03.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-06 at 8.02.06 PM

Until now I’ve been pretty sold on pallet knives, and while I still use them (see below), these have been kind of a game changer for me. I’m pretty sure by now I have this whole set; I thought I’d only use the grey version pictured above (No.1) or the basic white one, but eventually I went and ordered the rest of them because each of textures they produce is so different and, given that I’m working on a project heavily focused on texture & touch, I decided I should give them all a try. Catalyst also produces a more rigid (plastic?) version of these, and I’ve tried a couple of them, but I still prefer the flexibility of the silicone option, and I think that’s why I think I now prefer them to the traditional metal knife. Since in the last year or so I’ve grown more attracted to finger-painting, I’m really enjoying the feeling of control I have using these things with my hand so close to the canvas. With that said, they do offer an option with a wooden handle, if you prefer distance from your canvas. (I actually own this one, but my dog bit a chunk out of it.)

2.   Connoisseur Italian Painting Knife, #64:

I do still use a knife occasionally, and this is the shape of the one I tend to use most. I don’t care at all about brand when it comes to painting-tools (or let’s face it, pretty much anything), but this is the closest I could find to the one I use. The edges make it pretty versatile and the length of it allows it to bend fairly easily.

3.   This set of brushes:

My mom got me this set for Christmas last year, and now, anytime I need a brush, I use one of these. I really hate spending money on brushes because I’m super lazy and hate cleaning up after myself, and even though these aren’t expensive I’d probably still wake up crying if I forgot to clean one after I used it. I use the smallest two the most often, but lately I’m enjoying the spatter brush (which is a bit of a luxury since you can create a similar effect with a normal paintbrush, but hey). The bristles on all the brushes hold firm and are great for applying super-saturated paint or dry-brush techniques, which is what I resort to most often.

4.   Wooden Tongue Depressors:

tongue

Yes, seriously. I can’t stress enough how much easier my life became once I invested in a bunch of these to use for scooping paint out of containers. In the past— because my friends worked at coffee-shops and would steal me supplies— I used those really skinny coffee stir sticks, but they are so brittle and I’d more often find myself using ten or twelve to fashion something strong enough to hold the weight of acrylic, and because I’m insanely messy and moronically lazy when I paint, I’d leave them in piles around the studio. The tongue depressors can be used over and over, given that they’re sturdy and can stand to be wiped clean, or (if you’re lazy like me) left out to dry.

I also occasionally use these things to smear paint on my canvas if I want a square, dry-brushed look.

5.   Super Heavy Gloss Acrylic Gel Medium:

Gel medium is something I discovered early on when I realized I loved creating peaks and thick, obvious textures and generally just extending the life of my paint, if nothing else. Even though gesso is an actual primer, I tend to think of gel medium as one too; using a good one allows the paint to take on its quality, and transforming its own texture. I now use a variety of them (most recently a good pouring medium), but I always come back to the super heavy gel gloss medium. I don’t know what it is about ultra-glossy paintings, but I can’t get enough. Most of the time, I feel like they just look better. The colours seem so much more vibrant, which is what I’m going for most of the time.

6.   Fluorescent pink acrylic paint, obviously:

pink

I mostly use Amsterdam Acrylic paints, because they have a wide variety available at my local art store, and while I like to buy in bulk, sometimes they have such specific colours and only offer them in 250mL tubes and I begrudgingly end up buying five or six of them because I CAN’T QUITE FIND THAT COLOUR anywhere else. That said, I couldn’t find a link to the one I use, so LIQUITEX AGAIN.  I always like to mix my colours at least a little bit to avoid that just-out-of-the-tube look that can sometimes take away from an otherwise nice composition, and lately I’ve been mixing the above fluorescent pink with a bit of red to give it a deeper hue. I also like to mix it with some lemon yellow to create that delicious tangerine orange found in paintings like these.

That said, my love affair with prussian blue, and seafoam green shows no signs of waning.

—-
I’ll probably kick myself after I hit “publish” once I realize I forgot something, but oh well. Going forward, I’d like to buy myself a step-ladder for those really tall paintings, as well as new easel, but the one I have hasn’t completely broken yet so I’m having a hard time justifying that purchase just yet.

I’d seriously love to know what you guys are using. Any awesome painting tools or products out there that I should know about?

6th April, SundayReblog
The Braille Project: Faye Harnest and Devon Sioui! | Echolocation ↘

thebrailleproject:

"Often we want the words, the paint colors, and the paint textures to echo each other, but one thing we’re doing that I really like is juxtaposing images with text that contradicts it. In the painting “Confused with Gray,” we labeled colors with the wrong words: over a blue area, we’ve brailled the word “white,” and on a white area, we’ve brailled the word “blue.” Paying attention to what that disconnect produces can be interesting." 

The always-incredible Echolocation asked us some questions and featured us on their site! We talk about our objectives and process with the Braille Project and Faye discusses her ongoing relationship with braille.

Echolocation’s blog features an interview with a writer or visual artist every week. 
Check it out here

Echolocation highlights The Braille Project on their weekly artist feature

4th March, TuesdayReblog
Straight to the Cotton Coated Colour Pad~44” x 58” acrylic on canvasDevon E. SiouiFrom Painting For Peripherals, 2014

Straight to the Cotton Coated Colour Pad
~44” x 58” acrylic on canvas
Devon E. Sioui

From Painting For Peripherals, 2014

Singing As I Paint (Ignoring Inner Dialogue)~33” x 33” acrylic on canvasDevon E. SiouiFrom Painting For Peripherals, 2014

Singing As I Paint (Ignoring Inner Dialogue)
~33” x 33” acrylic on canvas
Devon E. Sioui

From Painting For Peripherals, 2014

This giant-dick-painting is about to… Change.

This giant-dick-painting is about to… Change.

The StudioI talk a lot about my studio but I haven’t really shared any photos of my new space. Our loft is…View Post

The Studio

I talk a lot about my studio but I haven’t really shared any photos of my new space. Our loft is…

View Post

thebrailleproject:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

thebrailleproject:

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Bird Cherry Imitatress18” x 24” acrylic on canvas2014
Devon E. Sioui

Bird Cherry Imitatress
18” x 24” acrylic on canvas
2014

Devon E. Sioui


Mourning Mountains (On a Milk Sea)~36” x 55” acrylic on canvas2014
Devon E. Sioui

The very first three paintings of 2014 are now up on the website! It appears I’m still very into red and blue variations.

Mourning Mountains (On a Milk Sea)
~36” x 55” acrylic on canvas
2014

Devon E. Sioui

The very first three paintings of 2014 are now up on the website! It appears I’m still very into red and blue variations.

sstphoto:

Average day at Good Intentions Studio 
Toronto’s old coffin factory

Dec. 2011

Miss you, old studio. 

29th January, WednesdayReblog
Horsies

Horsies

PRIMARY NUMBER TWO16” x 20” acrylic on canvas2013Devon E. Sioui

PRIMARY NUMBER TWO
16” x 20” acrylic on canvas
2013

Devon E. Sioui


The New Studio Facing East, 2013

The New Studio Facing East, 2013