Thursday, December 20, 2012

Impatient to paint but...

Note to self: Moving, Christmas, and painting, don't seem to go together. Painting has been coming in last on a very long list, thus no blog posts lately. However, I have made a bit of progress imagining my new painting space. It's a very large basement room. One priority for this space is a coffee/contemplation corner...a place to sit and think, imagine, and meditate. I've repurposed a bookcase that was left by the previous owners to give myself some extra shelves and I've got my storage into place. Emptying boxes of supplies, books, reference photos, etc is the next step...before painting. But first, I'm planning on having a very merry Christmas and I wish you and yours the very same! Cheers!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Pink (oil, 6"x6")

In today's painting session, I focused on pink almost exclusively. I've heard that pink is calming and I could use an island or two of calm right now. Between planning for our move, waiting for insurance quotes for basement damage, and sorting through belongings, I haven't had the energy and/or time to paint. When I say I focused... I mean it! I had to take my addled brain and my idle hands to my messed up art room (that's where the water damage is) and force them to focus on painting. It did me a world of good and I don't mind the result either. Cheers!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Royal rework (oil, 12"x12")

My oil version of "Royal" has been languishing in my studio awaiting some attention. I gave I a very few minutes to it today to see whether I could make a difference. I like it better with these few changes. What do you think?
Here's the original version...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bloomin ( oil, 8"x8")

We've had a wonderfully warm summer and apparently the flowers LOVE all the heat! Have a wonderful summer day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lily Cheer (oil, 8"x10")

Just a little bouquet from our yard to brighten up the house. I love both the bright yellow lilies contrasting with the dark red/green foliage and the green of the antique jar I put them in. I'm loving painting still life right now. Good thing because I haven't got enough time and/or energy to be painting outside much this year. Cheers!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Out to Sea (oil, 6"x6")

Just across the sandbar is the open sea... Somewhere. I've been tinting a few of these little 6"x6" deep canvasses when I've had landscape friendly paint left on my palette. This canvas suggested a cloudy scene and this came from that suggestion. Cheers!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Monday (oil, 8"x10")

Monday was always the day for laundry where I grew up. How about you? Have a great day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Garden Pot (oil, 6"x6")

This painting has been a long time in developing. It started out with an allover blue layer which was allowed to dry. Then, each time I painted, I used what I scraped off of my palette on this canvas. The goal today was to resolve this one. I love the texture in this little guy. Cheers!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Evening Farewell [oil, 8”x10”]

Evening Farewell

This is a gorgeous time of year when the sun sets in the northwest and we have the softest evening light.  The swells are gentle and the sun sparkles before it slips behind the surrounding hills.  I took the reference photo for this painting in August 2010 when Ron and I visited Chuck and Elaine’s lake home in Sorrento, BC.  What a gorgeous, special place it is!  Wonderful memories to cherish forever.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Geranium Red (oil, 8"x10")

This week, despite fantastic weather, I've been painting inside. I am trying out a couple of new tools on my iPad. First, I took a photo of my still life setup with my iPad and opened it in an ap called Value Viewer. I made the image black and white and played with the program until I felt I had a decent value pattern. Then I formatted the image to my 8"x10" size, added grid lines, and sketched the outline on my panel. Finally, I painted.

This is the black and white image I was sketching from. I think this will be a helpful tool for studying subjects. It has a notan feature as well, which I found useful for confirming relative lightness and darkness of portions of my subject and simplification. I like the way the flower turned out in this and it was a lot of fun to paint. I do want to work on my drawing skills though... This bowl is not quite the right shape. Cheers!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Columbine (oil, 8"x10")

Here's a little plein air painting I did with my friend and mentor Sharon Williams a couple of weeks ago in her garden. I was struggling on this particular day due to having had dry brushes for several weeks. One of the most important things I've learned as an artist is this: keep your brushes wet if you want to learn! I really want to learn, therefore it's critical that I get painting again and stay painting regularly. Right now I'm working out how I can carve time for this out of a busy life... A few minutes at a time.



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Leighton View [8”x10, oil]

Leighton View

Last Saturday I wandered out to Leighton Centre to do some plein air painting.  It’s nice out there on the weekend as there are a number of other artists painting and other folks visiting the gallery and schoolhouse.  It certainly makes me feel less nervous about the cougars that have been seen prowling around in that area lately!!!  Anyway, this is a bit of the vast, panoramic view from the Centre…  if you live near Calgary but have never visited the Leighton Centre, you are missing out!!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Gems [8”x10”, oil]

summer gems

I picked these fleurs in my garden and set them up as a little still life today.  It feels great to be painting again.  I’m still quite busy and many things in life are up in the air…  but painting helps keep my perspective and focus.  I’m thankful for the things it brings into my life!  Cheers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting ready for another show…

I returned home from an awesome trip to Cuba on Monday.  I made some quick adjustments to “The Ride” and “Beach Buds” yesterday and included them in my jury submission for the FCA’s Absolutely Art show May 12.  I felt the skin tones were too light and cool in my first postings [links above].  I like them better now.  What do you think?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Ride [oil, 9”x12”]

The Ride

Summer routines are wonderful to look back at and forward to…  One of the great things about spending time at Moose Lake Gospel Camp is the waterfront activities.  The kids love ALL of it but having a generous boat owner willing to pull them on the tube is a highlight.  In this painting I’ve tried to capture the joy of the ride. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First to Bloom [oil, 9”x12”]

First to Bloom

Ron brought me these lovely spring-time tulips last week.  They were all tightly closed at first and then one pink and white opened before all the others… 

 IMG_5132 IMG_5133

Here’s a photo of the tulips and my original rough sketch.  It was fun to get back into the studio even if just for a few hours.  I’ve missed it as life has been pretty busy lately.  Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Punta de Mita Dreaming [oil, 16”x20”]


Since yesterday’s earthquake I’ve had Mexico on my mind.  Since skies are one of my favourite subjects to paint, I used a photo taken at a hilltop restaurant in Bucerias as the basis for this painting.  It was such a dreamy, warm, contented evening of dining and relaxing with friends, Stu and Maureen.  The landmass on the lower right is Punta de Mita.  Cheers!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tokyo Beach Buds [oil, 9”x12”]

Tokyo Beach Buds

The two little people on the left are my grandkids, Kalista (6), and Kai (3).  The gal on the right is a new friend the kids made on Decks Beach near Tokyo Teleport.  This is an amazing area in Tokyo Bay…  man made islands with fun things for families to do and connections via ferries, boats and trains.  We had so much fun.  Cheers!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hakone Autumn [oil, 16”x20”]

Hakone Museum Grounds

This is the first time I’ve attempted to paint a fall landscape from our trip to Japan last November.  The colors are intimidating blends of the brilliant compliments…  green maple leaves morph from green to red and many leaves retain some of each.  Yet it doesn’t make mud like it would on a painter’s palette!  Creation is amazing that way…

I’m not through with this yet but it has to dry before I can finish off the final few strokes.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

MY NEW PAINTING – Cameron Bird’s “Chisel Peak”

I’m so excited to have my new Cameron Bird painting installed…  Artym Gallery dropped it off last Monday and it looks wonderful in the spot I chose for it.  See what you think…

Chisel Peak by C Bird

Cameron paints in a very chunky, direct style that simplifies without losing sight of the subject. I love it! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

East of the Rockies [oil, 9”x12”]

East of the Rockies

I joined my friend Sharon on Tuesday afternoon for some “car painting”.  It was my first experience with plein air from the back of a car and it was fun!  I pretty much reworked this entire painting when I got home though…  and I like it better now.  I was feeling the farming aspect of this scene – the grain bins and the rows left over after last fall’s harvest.  The idea of that is coming through better now.  However, I’m struggling with the “less is more” concept of plein air.  I need to be more selective and simplify more…  that apparently takes years to learn, not just a mere few months.  Cheers!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maui Big [oil, (8”x10”]

Big Beach on Maui

I’ve reworked this painting recently… After my October 15th post, I realized that I messed on up on the size of the people and therefore the beach wasn’t reading “BIG” at all. I think I missed the value on the water and the wet sand on the first go too.  I think I like it better now…  I wish I was there! Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Western Glow [oil, 11”x14”]

Western Glow

When God blesses us with a sunset here in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, it is spectacular! I painted this today from a photo I took last summer.  The sun sets far in the north in the summer and the view from the balcony of our Crestmont home was an amazing place to watch the magic – I miss that balcony now.  We don’t have the same view, but it’s a very short walk to another great sunset viewing spot here in Tuscany [Calgary NW].  These blue mountains are beautifully draped in snow right now – it’s another type of gorgeous.  Cheers!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring’s Hidden Gems

Spring on the prairies is heralded by the crocus, purple/blue and feathery, opening with the cool spring sun.  I wanted to keep this feathery and wispy with the focus on the crocus blooms.  They last such a short time that they must be enjoyed in situ and quickly.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rock Isle Lake Thaw [oil, 16”x20”]

This painting has been reworked since I posted it on February 18th.  Taking a more critical look at this made me realize that I had lost the value pattern [see the previous post for the red and black version] that I was going for.  Those of you that have been up to Sunshine Meadows know that there are many spots to view this lake from.  To get back to my original value pattern and simplify, I replaced a section of the foreground with water.  I also warmed up the bottom of the sky just a bit, showed some warmer and lighter sections on the mountain above the isle, and added more of a bank on the isle.  I hope you like it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Gloaming at Sheep River Falls [oil, 24”x24”]

I’ve been preparing for the FCA Spring show and the CCPS juried show, which are both coming up on March 10 here in Calgary.  I will have 4 paintings in the CCPS show at Heritage Park and, hopefully, a few at the FCA “All Things Spring” show in Edgemont .  More to come on this later. 

Yesterday I did some more work on this painting and it’s off to the FCA jury now.  I’m getting the feeling that I was looking for in this painting now; the sense of late light across the foothills behind just hitting the tips of the trees and the bright sky still reflecting lightly on the river and rocks.  This spring day was beautiful!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Gloaming at Sheep River Falls WIP [oil, 24”x24”]

sheep river prelim

I’ve been working on this painting for the past couple of days.  I began it just like the last two and I think this subject is perfect for that method because of it’s distinct areas of lights and darks.  Subjects with lots of patterns of darks and lights would be much more difficult to pull off. 

I find it very useful to post my paintings as work in progress…  it forces me to do some of the critical thinking that may have gone by the wayside as I listen to music and push paint around.  In this case I think the larger shapes are holding together alright.  But, I’m struggling mightily with the trees that are overlapping on the left – one is on the foreground bank and the other is across the falls and below.  I’m pretty sure the far tree is going to be cut down tomorrow…  I’m mulling it’s fate over this evening :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rock Isle Lake Thaw [oil, 16”x20”]

 Rock Isle Lake ThawThis is the second painting done using a method demonstrated by Rick Berg last at my CCPS meeting.  The steps differ from the usual way I paint in oils in several respects.  For those that are interested in those steps, here they are in short:

IMG_7029This is a photo of Rock Isle Lake on Sunshine Meadows.  It’s gorgeous!  This was an early June day and we had 3 seasons in 5 hours – fall, winter, and spring.  I have another photo from a slightly lower and wider angle that I photoshopped [adjust, threshold] to convert to simple black and white shapes.  I had a board previously painted red and I sketched these large shapes onto it, first with pencil and then outlined with a black Sharpie. 

I then painted these shapes with black acrylic gesso.  Once that was dry I glazed the entire surface with acrylic Transparent Red Iron Oxide [Golden’s].   IMG_5034Then I got out my oil paints and worked in the lighter colors for sky, water, and the highlighted rock shapes.   RIL thawI left the greens and finishing the rocks until the last stage.  At this point I found I was painting as I normally do…  but I got a bit stuck on the reflections.  I found a YouTube video that helped quite a bit.  I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out and I think I’m finally beginning to paint with a particular style of my own.  It’s the largest oil painting I’ve done.  Once this is dry I may go back into it and up the contrast in the sky just a bit.  Enjoy!Rock Isle Lake Thaw

Monday, February 6, 2012

Elbow River Jam 2 [oil, 11”x14”]

Elbow River Jam Last fall I joined the Calgary Community Painters Society.  Our Wednesday meeting last week featured a 90 minute demo by Rick Berg.  He has a unique method for establishing his areas of dark and he shared it with us.  This painting was developed with that method.  In my next post I will spell out the steps.  Check out Rick’s work and the CCPS websites if you are looking for some eye candy.  Cheers!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sheep River Sideshow [acrylic, 9”x12”]

waterfall I built up lots of texture on this panel before beginning to paint this landscape.  I blocked in the darkest areas by squinting and then applying the darkest values onto the board loosely and vaguely.  Today I began to apply the middle colors and I’ve got a lot more of that to do as well as establishing the areas of waterfall.  Honestly, I’m getting way too detailed on this and I’ve got to let go of that or else it’s going to be way too tight.  Pushing the pause button for now…  cheers!