Thursday, January 23, 2014

Masked Bandit (oil, 6"x6")

I have a raft of reasons for my nearly 3 month break from blogging. Well, okay, some are reasons and some are excuses. Three come to mind.... a 3 week visit to Japan over Christmas (yay!), bronchitis, and the winter blahs. 'Nuff said. The good news is that I've still been enjoying some painting time. However, I need the quasi-accountability that I find when I'm blogging. It makes me more productive. So, here goes...

I often find myself glancing out my kitchen window looking for birds. Have I mentioned I love birds? Anyway, huge flocks of cedar waxwings have been swooping in an out of my neighbours backyard, loving on their fruit tree leftovers. Enjoy!



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bow Lake Beauty (oil on panel, 9"x12")

I set up reminders for all the FCA jury deadlines earlier this year. Last week my phone began to remind me daily of the impending cut-off for the Small, Smaller, and Smallest exhibit (works up to 164 square inches). Those reminders were beginning to get on my nerves :-).

On Thursday I decided to take off my hand brace and see how it withstood a painting session. I limited myself to short sessions and long breaks with ice and heat for my hand. Habits gather rust. Planning a painting is much easier when you're doing it regularly. Finding a subject was the biggest challenge. I have a huge collection of reference photos but nothing new felt right. I selected these trees along Bow Lake because I've painted this view before (Here). Having the mood and plan in my head was half the battle. This ensured I didn't spend a bunch of my time planning...I could just dive in and paint.

My hand cooperated reasonably well. It's a bit shaky and small, repetitive movements are a challenge. But, we made it through and I'm pretty happy with the result. Whether Bow Lake Beauty is accepted into the show or not, I really enjoyed painting again! Have a great weekend!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mr Stellar's Jay

Georg Wilhelm Stellar, a German naturalist, named half a dozen species on his 1741 voyage. Of those, only Stellar's Jay continues to thrive. The alpine area around Lake Tahoe is one of the places in Western North America where these birds thrive. They're ostentious, outgoing, and noisy birds. They beg for picnickers' lunch regularly. It's been fun hanging out with them these last six days in the lovely Tahoe basin. Cheers!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sand Harbor watercolour sketch

We visited Sand Harbor State Park on the Nevada (east) side of Lake Tahoe yesterday afternoon and I did this little watercolour sitting on a rock looking out onto a gorgeous beach. Ron spent his time wandering the pathways with the camera. It was a very quiet and relaxing time together. Ahhhhh, vacation!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day's End (9"x12", oil)

This quick sketch is the result of cleaning my oil palette in preparation for our California trip. Oil paint doesn't last forever on a palette and unfortunately, my hand hasn't been cooperating with my plans. Today I painted through the pain. This image was meant to feel relaxed, like an evening after a hot lake day. Everything felt great as I painted...except my right hand, which complained bitterly. I can't get over how much of daily life involves my dominant hand! Amazing!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Movement in Mixed Media

It's been a very busy summer at our house. I've been taking a break from painting due in part to summer activities, and most recently, a very sore right hand. It's funny how important my right hand is to my creative processes! This past few days I've been slowly building up layers on a 24"x36" canvas using my left hand and rags. I slosh on some paint, move it about, and wipe it off in places. Between layers I consider the principles and elements of design. But both the painting and the planning feel all wrong and I think it has to do with using my left hand so much. Argh! Hopefully I'll be right as rain soon. If not, I hope that at least i'll hear soon that using the hand won't cause any damage despite the pain.

Anyhow, after I collaged some highly textured Japanese papers onto my canvas i began to add paint. The images below show some of the stages of development this canvas has gone through. The surface is quite rough and these images don't show that aspect.

Tomorrow I'll post my plans for finishing this piece. Cheers!




Thursday, July 18, 2013

Repurposed Birdbaths

My granddaughter Vicki has been here visiting since July 4. We decided to collect some garage sale stuff and repurpose it into birdbaths. Here they are at the end of our project... It was lots of fun.





Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Athabasca Falls (oil, 16"x20")

Athabasca Falls, in Alberta's Jasper National Park, is stunning all the time. But when we visited in June last year it was thundering even harder than usual after more than a week of steady rain. Awesome doesn't begin to describe the power. I've taken a shot at painting it this week. I'll have one more session to settle a few details but it is close to done. Cheers!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rocky Bloom (oil, 8"x10")

On the rocks along Sheep River, near the falls, these tiny lavender flowers go about their blooming business as they are designed to do by their creator. They do this despite their rocky perch and sandy soil and despite the likelihood that no one will sing their praises. They do this for the audience of one, their creator who does all things well.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seriously Tiffany (oil, 8x10)

Hopefully, some of you will recognize some of the features of my nieceTiffany Matson's in this painting. What a might struggle I've had with this one! There are so many tiny things that make each of us individuals, not the least being animation. Tiffany, in real life, is a much more animated person - she doesn't hold her cards tightly at all. At least that's been my experience. This shows the more serious side of her, pensive, etc. This is based on a photo I took when she modelled for the portrait portion of the Zhaoming Wu workshop several weeks ago. Unfortunately, I had to leave soon after we began so I painted from the photos at home, without the help and coaching of Zhaoming Wu and my fellow painters. I'm fairly happy with the result, although I have barely scratched the surface of what can be learned about painting portraits. I've left it to dry for now but I may play with warming up the colours before calling it finished. It was so much fun!