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!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The challenges of painting figures

This painting is my most successful one from the Zhaoming Wu workshop last week. Unfortunately, I failed to notice the looseness of the canvass until the stretcher bars began showing through. Fortunately, the learnings are just as valid whether or not the paintings turn out :). Cheers!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Arts Without Borders Juried Show

I've just delivered these three paintings to the Barr Colony Heritage Cultural Centre here in Lloydminster. They will be included in the Arts Without Borders Fine Art Show June 5-21. I'm looking forward to attending several other art events between now and June 14, including the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts where I will enjoy networking with some fellow artists and arts supporters, watch a quick draw competition, and receive awards for both "Remember Me" (3rd place in floral category) and "Lift My Eyes" (1st place in contemporary category). It should be lots of fun!



Monday, May 27, 2013

Zhaoming Wu Workshop

Today was my first day at Zhaoming Wu's workshop hosted by FCA Calgary. Zhaoming painted for the morning and then coached us throughout the afternoon. It was fun but exhausting ;). I had a great seat for his morning demo and he is masterful and magical to watch. Makes it look SO easy. NOT. Here's the beginning of my painting from this afternoon's pose. I concentrated on the early stages and will probably finish up later from my reference photos, although they make a poor substitute for a live model!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Home Time (6"x6", oil)

Just fun little sketch done on an overcast, gloomy spring day recently. I had fun starting this off completely abstract and then found this red booted person. I'm really looking forward to studying under Zhaoming Wu May 25-30 in Calgary. He is an amazing artist and a very experienced teacher - it should be a great week! Click on his name above to look at his work.

Happy Friday!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Floral sketch, watercolour WIP

My mom and dad sent me a beautiful tulip bouquet for my birthday. They were mostly ruffled pink tulip variety and I took some photos of them at their prime to use as painting reference. What caught my attention for this watercolour sketch was the purple spotted freesia. Anyhow, here's a pic of my work in progress so far.

Happy Monday :)



Friday, May 10, 2013

By Any Other Name (oil on canvas, 6"x6")

Funny story about this little painting: As usual, I handed over my iPad and asked Ron what he thought about this painting. He looked hard and long and looked confused. I laughed and asked him what was confusing and he says "what is it?" Wow! Is it just me or does this look like a rose? Of course once I spelled it out he could see it but it kind of made me wonder, haha. Still, I like it. Happy Friday!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Hakone Fall (WIP, oil, 16x20)

I reoiled this painting from March and attempted to salvage it, or, if that's not doable, to at least learn something from it. Some artists say they struggle with yellows, others greens. Sure, I've had my moments with those colors but RED objects in a landscape just baffle me. I feel that i need to deepen and cool the values of the bottoms of the leaf clumps. What, pray tell, am I doing wrong? Any suggestions most welcome. I love autumn and just have to sort this out. In any case, I do like it better now than I did on my first post March 1st. I will have to adjust the shadows on the pathway eventuallyand, apparently, further dull the colors of the background areas behind the trees. Wish me luck!

This is what it looked like March 1st:


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Believe In Summer (16x20, acrylic)

Today I feel the need to state my firm belief in summer. Usually on the first of May one doesn't have to have such faith without sight. There have been signs of spring though - full days of warm and virtually all our snow was gone before it began again on Sunday night. Sigh, it's been a long winter!
Okay, now that I got that outta my system I'll say this; the colours in this bright, happy summery painting have done me a world of good over this past few days of snow and cold. Hopefully we've seen the last of it for a while:-). Ciao!



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Circling Promise with Prayer (11x14, acrylic)

I may be finished with this one. I think it's got pretty good flow, it feels right, and I must stop and let it percolate for a few days. What do you think?


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Summery start

In this start, I am working with a triad of colours: quinacridome red, hansa yellow, and thalo blue. I'm liking it as a bright, summery colour scheme. Time will tell if I can pull it off so stay tuned for updates on progress over the next week. Happy weekend!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Acrylic WIP, 11x14

I'm working on a canvas that I stretched myself this time. It's an interesting surface - the golden gesso has a lot of grab and a bit more absorbency than other canvasses I've used. I am really enjoying it and I can see a lot of potential for exploration.

In general, here are the steps for these "from chaos" paintings:

  • Texture - drizzle tar gel, scrape through masks, stamp various acrylic mediums to make an interesting surface. Dry.
  • Transparent glazes - I select 3-5 colors that I've learned will work well together (IMHO) and paint several layers on my textured surface. First layer is diluted with water and typically quite loose. The tar gel and other textures absorbs the paint differently and act as natural barriers as the colours run, making for some interesting patterns. The second and subsequent layers are mixed with glazing fluid and are somewhat thicker fluid. These layers are mental doodling to push and pull the shapes that emerge on the canvas. I'm thinking about composition at this stage.

Next step for this painting...

  • Translucent and/or opaques - near the end of a painting, the acrylics can be mixed with white. The sky is the limit here... no, seriously! If I need to lighten an area and I feel a transparent would look best, I paint the area white and once dry I glaze over it transparently. Or, if I'm looking for an opaque, I blend the pigment with white. Transluscents are beautiful too... Very thin mixes of white and color can cover an area with a beautiful veil of color.

And now it's time to paint.... Have a great day!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Remember Me (24"x24", mixed media on canvas)

Remember Me roses are so beautiful, and what a name! I believe this one is complete. It's been fun!

Happy Monday!