Monday, December 19, 2011

Where it’s at with the fishes…

I’ve wrestled a few short painting sessions from the clutches of December and this is where the painting is currently at…12 19 

Although this month has been much less intense than the past 3, I’m still finding lots of ways to keep myself busy!  The progress since my last posting on December 9 has been pretty slow.  I’m trying to build the fish up with incremental layers of translucent and transparent glazes to get the appearance of the roiling mass of Koi.  The various colors of the fish and how they appear both above and below the water means much studying of the photos and digging back through my memories from when I took them.  I enjoy this process, but it is extremely slow – I hope you’re not getting bored with this.  One more post and I’ll wrap these guys up…  I promise!

12 12Defining the fish with areas of dark…

12 11Finding more shapes… with translucent glazes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Continuing Koi

Here’s how I spent my hour painting today…

First I printed one of my photos of Koi ponds from our visit to Hakone.  I used that to better inform the previous vague fish shapes and to make decisions about the value pattern that is developing.


Then I painted negatively around these shapes using thalo turquoise and transparent red Iron oxide.  I also painted into a few of the fishes with tinted white…  using the same two colors but adding some indian yellow for the fish bodies.  I’m enjoying this painting.  It’s the type of painting that can be done in small increments which is just what I need right now. 


Still lots to do on this painting but we’re off to look after grandson Parker [21 months] for the evening so his folks [daughter Kim and SIL Kyle] can take in a Christmas Party.  Should be fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chaos in acrylic – 22”x30”

I’ve been enjoying some short sessions painting from chaos this week.  Here’s what this acrylic on 300 lb watercolor paper looks right now…IMG_4826  IMG_4822 

I began with some light washes of orange and blue.  Once dry I wet the paper IMG_4820and dumped a layer of yellow and two reds.  While still wet I used some texturing tools and a brayer to lift some areas.  This made some subtle checkered and leafy textured places.  IMG_4823Some areas were still quite wet and I patted down a garbage bag and left it sit overnight.  Today I pondered the results and it is giving me a feeling of Koi fishes…  I saw plenty of those in Japan and have loads of photos to help me out.  Before I commit to making this about fish, I thought I would add a few general fish shapes.  I made most of the edges soft because I want lots of options tomorrow.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Toku for Matsushima [9”x12”, oil]

On November 3rd, we left Tokyo to spend a few days at “Tak”, a much loved haunt for Candice and Doug’s family.  Tak is a cluster of a few dozen vacation cabins on the south side of Matsushima Bay, Myagi Prefecture… just a bit north of Sendai.  I would have loved to see this area before the Tsunami!  It is hauntingly beautiful, and has a special place in the hearts of many Japanese people. 

Tohu for Matsushima When the tsunami hit March 11, these hundreds [~260] of small islands absorbed most of the damaging power of the waves and thus spared many of the treasures in the shrines and museums in town, not to mention the the threat of injury and death for the residents.  I know nothing of Kanji personally but I googled the Kanji symbol for shelter and found Toku.  This little painting is all about that protection and shelter so I added the Kanji.

I have very fond memories of the time we spent in the north.  We enjoyed spending time with the kids and playing the tourist.  We walked on the beach with the kids and listened to their stories and thoughts from March 11.  I’m so glad the kids weren’t at the cottage then!  The tsunami warning system did its job and saved thousand of lives – very few lives were lost in Shichigahama where we stayed, despite the horrific property damage.  The area called “Tak”, where Candice and Doug have their little cottage, is perched high up on the hill overlooking the ocean.  Only two cottages sustained damage – Candice and Doug’s foundation required major repair and their neighbour had water in the basement.  They got off very, very lightly. 

It was hard to grasp the horror of the tsunami when looking out to sea on those gorgeous November days.  But, when one turned away from the sea there was a surreal, flattened landscape of bare concrete foundations as far as the eye can see.  The trees at the beach are bent and twisted but most will survive…  much like the people of this area who are rebuilding their lives as best they can.  Stoically, steadily, slowly.  I’d like to help in some way. 

Here are a few photos we took in Myagi prefecture:

tsunami damage walkabout (2) 

Walkabout to introduce Grandma and Grandpa to the area

living on the old foundation

Living on the old foundation!

beach view from the cliffs of Tak

Beach view from the Tak cliff

 cottage view - the water made it this high

Beach view from cottage deck – note the damaged Tsunami warning siren just below the trees.  The water rose to the base of these trees.

 cottage and shed

Cottage and the shed that floated 15 feet from it’s previous home.collecting

Kiera and Kalista hunting for treasures near the beachlots of cleanup done lately

22 huge bags of debris awaiting pickup for recycle and garbagegreat cruise boat

Matsushima Bay – cruise boat and oyster farm

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

City Rain [9”x12”, oil]

Shibuya motion

I’ve been home from Japan now for just about 2 weeks.  I’ve had no previous experience with jet lag and I must say…  I’m not a fan!!!  I also brought home a lovely cough so I’ve spent this past week lazing around in the house recovering.  I’m finally back to painting and I’ve got lots of ideas and material to paint from – so exciting!

One of the spectacular sights we visited in Tokyo was Shibuya crossing.  Unbelievable numbers of people crossing each light – even in the rain!  This painting is roughly based on my memories and photos from our night there.  Cheers!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maui Big [oil, 8”x10”]

maui big (2)

This fall I’ve got a busy agenda of travel and visits.  First up was Maui for a week with the ladies of my family.  We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed snorkeling every day but the last.  During this trip, I spent a lazy afternoon on Big Beach just south of Makena.  I’d hoped to snorkel for one last time but the red flags were up due to shore break.  So, we just soaked up the sun on the beach.  About 20 minutes of that is plenty for me.  So I took off for a little beach walk and decided to climb the rocks between Big Beach and “little beach”.  I was rewarded with this view back down the south shore of Maui – gorgeous!  It was SO worth the climb!

This painting was a struggle technically.  First of all, I’m not really painting what I’m most familiar with – I’m a landlubber.  Secondly, the people are essential to the perspective and I struggled with them, scraping them off twice.  Thirdly, my paint spent 2 weeks in the freezer between paintings and although it was fresh enough, I fought to get to the fresh paint under the skins…  just a learning curve thing for me.  Today I scraped my plein air box and set up a larger palette that completely seals.  That will help combat the skinning issue. 

Kristian, my 11 year old grandson, is here from Ontario for a 2 week visit.  We’re having lots of fun.  Grandpa has had a few days off of work so he’s taken him on several outings.  I’ve set up an area for him in my painting room and we’ve been puttering in there together.  He loves to draw and paint…  I think this science fiction looking guy is so fun!  He’ll be heading sci fi arthome October 24th.  The falling day I fly to Tokyo to spend some time with my daughter Candice and her family.  I’m excited to meet Kole, the newest little member of the Potter family.  Cheers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baker from Bowness [oil, 9”x12”]

Baker from Bowness

What beautiful weather we are having right now in Calgary!  It’s perfect for plein air painting.  This is the view from Bowness Park looking across the Bow River towards Baker Park.  The light was amazing – it illuminated the tips of the yellow trees and cast beautiful shadows across the ground.  It’s kind of weird that I stood right beside the Bow River yet and it doesn’t show up in the painting but this is the scene that captured my imagination.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

‘Wing Me [oil, 6”x6”]


I painted this from a photo of Kai [my 2 year old grandson] from this summer…  swinging.  He loves swinging.  At Moose Lake family camp this summer he was either swinging or begging, “wing me, wing me, wing me” until mommy was way past done with it, haha.  It was fairly entertaining for Grandma but less so for Candice at 7 months pregnant.  Ah, the life of a Grandma – SO much fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunshine Waterfall [oil, 12”x12”]

waterfall sm

It’s a beautiful day here in Calgary, but I didn’t feel up to the preparation and carting that painting on location requires.  I opted to paint indoors and went just a little bit larger canvas than I use outside.  It was fun to have the space to use slightly larger brushes.

I used a photo reference in black and white taken at the Sunshine Meadows paint-out 3 years ago.  It was miserable up on the meadow that June day – we had all kinds of active weather including sleet, tiny hail bits, rain, and lots of wind.  When I’d had enough of that and my fingers were too stiff to paint, I gathered my gear and retreated to the cafeteria to visit with my painting buddies.  This little waterfall is immediately behind the cafeteria/lift building and we took lots of photos of it once we were warmed up.  I changed the lighting to make it more dramatic and painted it on a red ground which gives this cold subject a warmer feel.  Cheers!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Busy Art day…

me and rudiger ranchMe with Rudiger Ranch before the opening… Honorable mention

Today was a fun art day.  I was up early [lousy bed, another story] putting the final touches on the framing for my paintings.  I had a circuit of errands to run before dropping my painting off for the hanging committee at 2:30. 

We had to be back to the special evening wine and cheese for artists & sponsors by 6pm.  After mixing and visiting while we went through the show, we got to the exciting part.  Scholarships were presented to students from the U of A and U of C.  Ron and I spoke with the young lady that won from the U of A and her parents…  they were VERY excited and it’s nice to think that our group can provide these special $1,000 scholarships to these young people for their education.

Most FCA shows have prizes for the bride [1st] and bridesmaids [2nd & 3rd] and “flower girls” [honorable mentions] and are selected by the jury at our Canadian office in Vancouver.  Generally they are hung with the paintings and artists find out they’ve won a prize when they see the ribbon or somebody congratulates them.  Since this was the 30th Anniversary of the Calgary Chapter, prizes were presented during the program.  I was fortunate to receive an honorable mention [yay for flower girls!] for my painting “Rudiger Ranch” and gift certificates from both Art Supplies Direct and Atlantis Fine Framing Studio [thank you!].  Prizes are NOT why I paint but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this type of recognition is pretty exciting for me!  It’s nice to know that jurors see something of value in my work.  It’s all part of the package…  and it’s fun.  Okay, enough tooting my own horn.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Royal Oil [oil, 12”x12”]

royal oil

Monday felt like a good day to paint but my fatigued brain was void of fresh new ideas…  I retreated to my comfort zone, pulled out one of my fav watercolors, and painted it in oil.  Wow, what a challenge.  It sometimes feels foreign to do the darks first and lights last rather than save my whites/lights until last, as in watercolor.  It was also a big challenge to get splatters in oil – there must be a trick to that.  I may end up going back into this and adding a few more highlights before I call it finished [even tho I signed it :( ]. I suspect some opaque lights in the purple flowers might be cool but I’m thinking it over.  Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the painting in process and my source painting “Royalty”.  Cheers!

royal wip2Yellow ground laid and subject sketched in… royal WIPPart way through…  still needing the highlights.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Closing In [oil, 8”x6”]

closing in A storm is just rolling into the picture and obscuring most of the sun.  There’s a dark heaviness in the air but the sun is so valiantly shining through. 

I painted for the first part of this with a palette knife…  but I find the paint goes on so thickly and unevenly.  I think it could be a fun way to paint but I should get a lesson in how to do it right first :)  After a while I grabbed my brushes and finished up in my comfort zone. 

Shout out to my art blogging friends – would love to have some tips on how to photograph thickly painted surfaces like this.  It’s nigh on to impossible to get the color without the glare from the peaks!  Please message me if you have ideas…  thanks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wisps Over K-Country [oil, 6”x8”]

Wisps over K Country

This is the view from a pathway beside Allen Bill Pond looking towards Kananaskis Country. I love clouds, and painting clouds…  these are cirrus or mare’s tails.  Their feathery appearance makes them looks like they’re dancing across the sky.  Our weather continues to be gorgeous here, although the wind is up today.  It’s been perfect weather for harvesting this September – much needed due to a late, wet spring.  Cheers!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Elbow Elbow [oil, 8”x10”]

Elbow Elbow

I rebelled against my indoor, moving in activities Thursday and went painting with some friends.  We intended to paint Elbow Falls but the rangers had closed the park up while they assess bear activity.  According to some other hikers, the closure due to the bears has been going on since last Saturday.  So, we stopped just a bit earlier at Allen Bill Pond and took up places along the Elbow River.  I decided to paint a beautiful spot just a bit up the path where I could seen the elbow of the Elbow. 

It was great to get outside again!  Plein air painting is so much fun and it’s multiplied when shared with friends.  It was nice to see Sharon Williams, Ingrid Christensen, Jan Chalupnicek, and Linda Wilder again.  Check out their blogs/websites for some really great art.


Monday, August 8, 2011

A 30 Year Journey in Art – Sept 17-18, 2011

I’m excited – I just got jury results back for the upcoming Federation of Canadian Artists 30th Anniversary show and 4 of my 5 entries were accepted!  These are the first oil paintings I’ve submitted for jury so I’m thrilled that they met the high standards of the FCA jurors at our head office in Vancouver.  I’ll have more coming on this in future posts.

Here’s the invitation to the 30 year celebration show…  with my painting “Lift My Eyes” on the far right.  It was a fun surprise to see that on the invitation card! 30 year invitation-1 copy

Here are the 4 paintings I will have in the show:

Today’s Picks [oil, 8”x10”]


Foothills Float [oil, 9”x12”] – previously named Scrapescape… Quist,Cheryl,FoothillsFloat

Mari Mari [oil, 12”x9”]   Quist,Cheryl,MariMari,9x12,

Rudiger Ranch [oil, 9”x12”] Quist,Cheryl,RudigerRanch,9

Have a great day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Passing along a challenge…

The closest I got to art today was reading Liz Wiltzen’s blog.  I wanted to share this link to her blog post where she discusses painted value studies…  and posts a challenge – 50 studies in 30 days!  I’ll take a whack at this challenge after I get moved.  Hope you enjoy it!

I believe I mentioned that we’ve had our house for sale…  well, we got an good offer with a short possession date of August 24th.  This sent us into serious house-hunting mode and we were blessed to find a bungalow that will suit us very well.  Good-bye 2-storey!  I loved everything about this house but my knees hated it!  I was keen to find a house that gave me some move in ready studio space – and we did!  I’ll have more space there than I did here and I can’t wait to get in and settled!  As a result of the move, posts will be few and far between for a few weeks.  It pains me to set my paints aside but it can’t be helped…  Cheers!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Simple Honeymoon [6”x8”, oil on panel]

I spent last week on Franchere Bay near Bonneville, Alberta.  My two daughters and 4 of my grandchildren attended Moose Lake Gospel Family Camp there.  It was a lovely week – just one rainy day.  We had mainly sunny skies but it was cooler than normal except for Monday when I decided I had to paint “the honeymoon cabin”.  This 7’x14’ log cabin was built by A.D. & Ruth Marshall in the early years – the first to be built on the current site.  It was quickly dubbed “the honeymoon cabin” as A.D. and Ruth had been recently wed.  Can you imagine being thankful – VERY thankful – for a 7’x14’ log cabin?????  Puts our whining into perspective, doesn’t it?

The challenge with this painting was to get a “likeness” without painting all of the wonkiness in the structure as it has settled over the years.  That wouldn’t be believable…  I liked how the light was hitting the west wall and the roof mid afternoon and that’s what I tried to capture. 

Any of you Moose Lakers out there – this painting is currently in the canteen at camp.  A silent auction is underway this week to raise money for camp.  Bid ‘er up boys and girls!  It’s all for a good cause.  The grins on the kids’ faces when they arrive at camp and the closeness one feels to God while there are two very good reasons for supporting Moose Lake Gospel Camp.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bilingual Sweets [oil on canvas, 6”x6”]


I noticed something funny after I finished painting yesterday…  altho the text isn’t key to the painting, I was surprised to see “raisin” on my “spoonful of sugar”!  Of course this would only happen in Canada where the same candy is labelled in both french and english.  So today I put the grape/raisin candies together like good little Canadians and this little painting is the result.  Hope you like it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spoonful of Sugar [oil on canvas, 6”x6”]

spoonful of sugar

I’ve been playing hooky from my blog, and painting, since Monday.  Some very pressing matters needed attending to…  like selling my house and getting paperwork in order to buy a new one.  In a few minutes I’m off to have another look at several houses we are in limbo on.  More on that later.

This afternoon I treated myself to 2 hours of painting and spent some more time with my candy.  I loved the purple of the grapes reflecting into the spoon.  Cheers!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

D”eye”et Candy [oil on canvas, 6”x6”]

deyeit candy

I bought these colorful little candies specially for painting.  I love all the color and the little light bits reflecting off the wrappers.  Just plain fun to paint!  I’m watching what I eat these days and these little guys are *definitely* not on my diet.  I think they’re just as much fun to look at anyway, right?  Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Compliments [oil on canvas, 6”x6”]


I’ve always loved oranges and blue.  This little guy marries the two up.  Sometimes the simplest things are so fun to paint.  Happy weekend!

Rudiger’s Ranch [oil on board, 9”x12”]

rudiger ranch

I vowed that I would paint plein air Thursday if the weather held.  Well, it was touch and go.  I decided on go…  but I didn’t go too far.  This is literally a “hop, skip and a jump” from my house.  I live in the furthest most development in Calgary, Crestmont.  The bottom of this painting runs along the western boundary fence for the city of Calgary.  It’s about 400 yards from my house…  but it’s quite a climb to get this view.  Also, it’s a great week to paint a ranch as the Calgary Stampede is in full swing – YEEHAW! 

I was intrigued by the fence/brush line on the right side of the painting so I made sure I included it.  I love the color of Silverberry/Wolf Willow shrubs and they grow everywhere nearby – they can be small trees or just a tiny shoot.  They add a great texture to our landscape.

The clouds were threatening but in the end I didn’t get soaked – although the folks to the north definitely did.  During the course of my painting session the clouds were flying by at an incredible pace.  I decided to sketch them in quickly and then do the land.  However, by the time I had the land forms in I liked the shadow patterns that didn’t match my clouds – and so it goes.  I changed the clouds… several times.  This is pretty much how it felt out there today.  I had to collapse my umbrella when the wind came up – some pretty serious gusts this afternoon.  Despite that, I saw 5 light planes willing to  take off from Springbank Airport this aft – unwise to say the least IMO. 

I had some company even on the topmost road in Crestmont today.  I’m beginning to enjoy stopping to chat with the passersby.  That’s amazing to me because I was terrified of the “watchers” at the beginning of this process in May.  They love looking at what I’m doing and are always kind.  Cheers!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tucking In [oil on board, 10”x8”]

Tucking In

For some reason I really enjoy painting fruit.  These little key limes are being minded by their sour old grauntie lemon and it’s time to head for bed.  The littlest guy isn’t entirely sure he wants to go.  Anybody want to vote on whether I should go check myself in to the nuthouse?  Anybody?  Private message me with your concerns ;-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today’s Picks [8”x10”, oil on board]

Today's Picks

In my little front garden the chives and the Lady’s Mantle are blooming side by side – a wonderful confusion of red-violet and lime green.  I selected a few of the stems – yes, I realize 5 chives would have been more “right”…  but I felt a bit rebellious as I selected these and made four work [I think].  The squat little marquise shaped vase was a bit of a scary shape to paint.  I just blocked out all “vase” thoughts and looked at the light and dark patterns.  I did my best to capture the biggest ones and I think it’s working. 

My daughter and son-in-law [Kim and Kyle] are off to the Calgary Stampede for the evening, leaving our grandson, Parker, with Grandma and Grandpa for the evening.  This will be the first 24 hour + period of separation for mommy and Parker.  Hope it goes well…  have a great day all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bold and Beautiful [6”x6”, oil on canvas]

bold and beautiful

Much of my energy lately has been focused on preparing for other folks to see my house.  Ugh!  I bought some sunflowers at Costco last week in preparation for one of these showings.  I just grabbed this little guy one evening and sketched him up quickly.  He’s nice and bright and cheerful, just what I need around here!  Cheers!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eternal [60”x40”, acrylic on canvas]

eternalThis is a piece I’ve been working on and off since March.  Previous posts on this painting were March 18, March 19, March 21, April 28, and April 29th.  Feel free to click through those to see more of the steps and techniques used on this one.

It’s tough to explain the meaning behind a painting – it should speak for itself, right?  But I will say that creating this one has been instrumental in my grieving process since the death of my brother Chuck last fall.  This painting began as a simple 1”x1.5” pattern clipped from a magazine.  Over time the swirls and shapes evolved into symbols of the continuing process of holding on, and letting go of a loved one taken too soon.  The larger, lighter swirl transects the piece from bottom to top, leaving the picture plane and then re-entering it only to exit top right - permanently.  Other bands hold on to the lighter band infinitely, forever. 

The many letters are the prayers, both ours and the folks that have held us up to God over these past 9+ months.  Thank you for those.  Please continue.

Lastly, I’m comforted by 2 Corinthians 5:1 which gives me the hope of visiting Chuck in his new, eternal home sometime in the future.  “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

eternal - detail

I conclude with my niece Jenelle’s very creative poem, Final Checklist [sic]:

Charlie Foxtrot Golf Lemma Alpha, we have taxied out to runway 1-9-2-0 and are holding short until clearance has been granted
Departure is from Springbank Airport with a landing into Heaven at approximately 1:48pm, Friday September 24th 2010.
As always, Jesus will be flying as pilot in command and I will be sitting in co-pilot position
We will be flying at unlimited altitude and beyond perfect weather has been cleared for the flight
Our load is light today as we have left guilt, pain, and sorrow on the ground in order to leave enough room for ample blessings to join us on-board.
Daily inspection has been completed, there are no snags; this flight will go exactly as planned.
Seat-belts have been fastened and we are now prepared for the most amazing flight of our lives.

Roger that:
CFGLA, you are cleared for immediate takeoff…

And now that I’ve got puddles of salty water all over me, I must hie off, change my shirt and retreat into my studio/sanctuary…  blessings to you and yours,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Budded Out [oil canvas, 6”x6”]

Budded-Out-webFriday morning I began painting this opening rosebud and the rose petals from it’s sister.  This was the last bit of painting we did during the Carol Marine workshop.  I finished this one at home last week. 

We spent Friday afternoon listening to Carol’s views about some of the art-related things like taking and editing photos of art, blogging about art, and marketing.  Marketing is a fact of life for most artists – if you want to paint tomorrow, you’ve got to sell today.  If not, you’re pretty soon going to run out of both money and storage.  This definitely applies to me.  So, I was keening interested in Friday’s “ways and means” discussion.  Of course one of my key goals with marketing is not being eaten alive by it – I want to paint, not market.  Lots to think about for sure.

That afternoon Carol talked about making it easy for folks to find you on the ‘net.  She suggested that both first and last name should be consistently included in an artist’s web presence, thus you are reading this post from my new blog  This wasn’t something I considered In 2008 when I set my blog up as “cherylsdailyblog”.  I’ve spent some time over the last week backing up my old blog, importing all previous entries, and setting up this new blog.  What sounds like a formidable task was really incredibly simple! 

And so concludes my monologue on this wonderful week.  It’s been a trip down memory lane and a great refresher.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it too.  Cheers!