Julia Breckenreid
Objects Have Stories
"Animal In Aspic" locket within the poster, painted by Anita Kunz - poster design by Julia Breckenreid.
Here's the recent show I've pulled together, "Objects Have Stories". The work by the illustrators listed will be shown at MADE in Toronto for the month of December, with an opening on Friday, November 28th from 7 to 10pm.
All items are one of a kind. 
"Illustrators tell stories as no one else can, and Julia Breckenreid has assembled twenty-two top-tier Canadian illustrators to do just that. This award winning roster has created one or more original objects for you to peruse and consider."
Links to artist bios:

Carey Sookocheff 


The Spurways
I feel like I'm getting into a groove that I like. If you've been following my sporadic posts here, you'll have seen that I've been working on portraits, singular and families
I look at the work in the way that I would any other job, but I get the added pleasure of art direction as well. It's a challenge, which is exactly what I need as I get bored pretty quickly. This kind of work allows me to be elastic. I look at the person, or the family, and assess what I think they're all about. I look at their lives, what they're interested in, what they collect, what they wear, what they say - and consider it as I would any manuscript from an editorial job. 
I'm not a fine artist. I'm not a contemporary realism portraitist. I'm an illustrator and I can't stop thinking or creating in the way that I do. So I'm making it work in the way I know how.
I've been posting process of some of the paintings as I go along on Instagram (I am an Instagram junkie) and Facebook, which people seem to really enjoy... I worry about it on certain days, is it helping or harming my process or how people view the end result... But in the end I do think it allows people to see that it isn't a magical process. It is work. 
Anyway, let me get to the portrait at hand - The Spurway Family - Tim, Nathalie, Lili and Iris. This painting is a bit of acrylic, but mostly oil, on wood. 16 x 20"
Tim is a programmer/hacker and kind of a Renaissance type of guy. Grew up in rural Manitoba, lived in San Francisco then New York for a while and a former punk and record producer. He can do anything. He's obsessive in his interests, chiefly food, drink and playing the bass with his band on Friday nights. He's quiet, and to watch him cook is a delight. He sets his surface with ingredients in such way that can only be seen as artistic. It's the process he loves, the result of his actions, the joy of those who get to have what he creates. He is a perfectionist. A laid back dad. 
Nathalie is French, raised just outside of Paris. She is a force! An intellectual, never shy to voice her opinion, never one to back down in debate. She is a passionate teacher, a fiece mother, has style all her own. She rarely wears makeup and she is stunning. She is also sweet, caring, soft. You see it in the way she speaks with her children, or in the pride that comes through when she talks of her students. She likes small things, she is not flamboyant. 
Together, she and Tim make a pretty interesting couple - her fire to his water. They travel a lot. Unconventional. Romantic.
Their daughters, Lili and Iris, are beautiful as children are. Lili is an obsessive reader, a dreamer. Iris is a firecracker - wild, dramatic - and shy, if that can be believed. I can see Nathalie coming through in Lili's face... Iris's face (that I painted) is kind of hilarious considering that it isn't typical. But I was trying to think of longevity here. There are a million photos that can attest to her many moods.
I'm going to leave interpreting the painting I did up to your imaginations... Everything is there for a purpose.
My apologies for an lack of quality in the photos - I rely on my S3 phone, for now anyway!
Illustrated Portraits of Families: Thom, Evelyn and Michele

"A strawberry moon, blueberry sky

Polka dot stars shining on high..."

Illustrated Family Portraits: Clover
I like to let things grow. I've said it in earlier posts - I like the conversation the painting and I have, the back and forth. I do get bored, with a rote way of working.
Have a look below at some of the changes that the portrait above went through until I felt it was finished...
A small little study of Clover at a much younger age than she is now...
Starting to play and figure things out...
Fine, but now she sort of looks like a cousin of mine, which sometimes happens to me - people I know making appearances...
The last round of playing with her mouth, which as you can see, did not make the cut.
Recent Articles

Editorial Work (18)

Families (8)

Characters from Books (15)

Objects (3)

Painting (2)

Sketches (13)
Links to Articles
Breckenreid is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!