Cheekytree at the Arts Market

I’m happy to announce that my work is now available for sale at the Arts Market – Toronto’s year round market for local artists, designers and craftspeople.

The Arts Market is located in the east end of Toronto in the popular Leslieville neighborhood. Artist Daniel Cohen operates the market and he has created a very special retail space for artist entrepreneurs like myself to showcase and sell our work to the public.

There are currently 50 artist vendors at the market and it’s jam packed from floor to ceiling with a diverse mix of unique, hand-made and locally produced items including fine art, designer clothing & accessories, greeting cards, upcycled products, and even a few retro and vintage finds.

Unique. Hand-Made. Local.

My shop is currently stocked with an assortment of canvases from my new Tree of Life series, as well as my eco-friendly, digitally printed 100% silk scarves and Mantra Squares.

Please come and visit my Cheekytree shop at the Arts Market. Why not make an event of it?  Begin the day with brunch and explore all the great independently owned shops in the unique Leslieville neighborhood. And start your holiday shopping early.

Arts Market 

1114 Queen St. East, Toronto

Store Hours Open:

Wed – Fri 12-6

Sat & Sun 11-6

Sneak Peek: Tree of Life series

Tree of Life #4 by Lila Cheekytree

I’m very excited to share this sneak peek of my new fine art series that will be available for sale at two Toronto shops later this month (more info to come).

The Tree of Life series are fine art prints that have been custom digitally printed on 100% silk fabric and then mounted on gallery canvas stretchers. Each image has a limited edition of 50 prints.

I really love working on this series because the process allows me to combine my drawing, pattern design and photography and to play with small changes to create unlimited variety. My goal is to create beautiful images that at first glance seem quite simple, yet upon closer inspection reveal small details intended to delight.

DePave Paradise

Today is National Tree Day so I thought I’d share some good news I just received this morning from LEAF an amazing not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest

LEAF will be celebrating National Tree Day by removing paving stones that are currently causing damage at the base of four large honey locust trees and replacing them with soil and native plants.

This project is happening right in my own neighbourhood at the Southwest corner of Pacific Avenue and Dundas Avenue West in the Junction, Toronto.

Local landscaping company Green Gardeners will be salvaging and reusing the bricks and gravel that are removed and the Junction BIA will be watering and maintaining the site.

For more information, check out the province-wide Depave Paradise initiative led by Green Communities Canada or you can listen to Jessica Piskorowski. one of the coordinators of “De-pave Junction” on CBC Metro Morning.

Evan Penny: A Must-See Show

Engaged, absorbed, AMAZED; these are the words that describe my personal experience of the larger-than-life art of Canadian sculptor Evan Penny, whose exhibition Re-Figured just opened in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Evan Penny’s hyper realistic, painstakingly crafted figures are composed of layers of colour pigmented silicone, hair, fabric and resin.

His sculptures are amazingly realistic yet at the same time highly artificial as Penny skews, stretches and alters the human form in severe and sometimes unsettling ways.

An entire room in the exhibit is devoted to Penny’s labour intensive process. These sculptures are hand-made. In the exhibition film, Penny mentions that one of the works in the exhibit (the portrait of Libby Faux not shown here) took 400 hours to complete.

If you live in the Toronto area I highly encourage you to see this must-see show at the Art Gallery of Ontario (September 20, 2012 – January 6, 2013). I promise you can’t stand in front of this larger-than-life sculpture and not say “Wow!” at least once. It’s awe-inspiring.

CMichelon’s Abstract Curves

“Brazilian women are sexy, strong, independent … they don’t care about being trendy, they care about looking good, fashionable, polished.” — Clarice Michelon

I recently had the pleasure of designing a custom fabric for Toronto-based Brazilian-born designer Clarice Michelon.

Born in Rio Grande do Sul, Clarice started her studies in fashion in Sao Paulo and graduated in fine arts in the South of Brazil. After several years working as a designer for companies, among them Levi’s, she decided to challenge herself and move to Canada.

Clarice asked me to design a fabric for her new Spring / Summer 2013 collection that was recently featured at an eco-fashion show with renowned fashion designer Baby Steinberg.

Spring / Summer 2013 collection by CMichelon. Textile design (top) by Lila Cheekytree.

The fashion show was part of Expressions of Brazil a three-day festival showcasing the diversity of Brazilian culture through an eclectic mix of arts and culture held at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.

Patchwork, knit and crochet are combined with sharp tailoring in Michelon’s latest collection – inspired by a universe of curves and shapes found in the modernist architecture of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The softness of the fine fabrics (cottons, silks, linen) contradicts with the structured abstracted edges of her dresses and tops.

Spring / Summer 2013 collection by CMichelon. Textile design (pants) by Lila Cheekytree.

Click here to see more images from the fashion show.

For more information about CMichelon or to place an order please click here.

P.S. You can purchase the same eco-friendly digitally printed custom fabric I designed for CMichelon in my Cheekytree shop on Spoonflower.

art = a happy heart

Last night I had a ridiculously good time at the opening night preview party of The Artist Project (March 1-4) an exciting juried art show featuring original works from over 200 independent Canadian and International contemporary artists. If you live in Toronto I highly encourage you to see the show before it closes on Sunday.

Here’s a peek of just a few of my favourite artists:

Image © Tara Krebs

Image © Cori Lee Marvin

Image © Jennifer Wigmore

Image © Amanda Burk

Image © Casey Roberts

Image © Graham French

Art makes my world a better place.

More Kindness

On Saturday, January 21st around 10:30pm I was shivering cold waiting for the Spadina streetcar to arrive. I had been standing at the King street platform in the center of the road for just a few minutes when a young man in his early twenties wearing jeans and a gray hoodie loudly knocked on the platform’s acrylic glass wall behind me.  I turned around a little startled and he said: “The streetcar isn’t running tonight. You’ll have to take the bus. I’ve been waiting for over 20 minutes and nobody told me.”

“Thanks for letting me know!” I gratefully replied as the bus pulled up. We both rushed across the street and made it just inside the doors before it pulled away.

That stranger’s small act of kindness left a BIG IMPACT on me. He not only saved me a lot of time waiting outside in the cold, he reaffirmed my belief that the world is a friendly place as long as we each do our part to make it that way.

Please take a moment to watch this uplifting video on Kindness created by the Smart Bubble Society and New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Enjoy and be kind!