Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kyoto Street Scene (oil, 6"x6")

I spent so much time on this little painting, relative to its size! One thing about painting a small street scene that seems counterintuitive is the importance of details. Too much detail is impossible with my brushes (1/2" here)'but too little detail doesn't tell the story. That said, the most critical factor in this painting is the light. It was a fun afternoon project for a stormy spring equinox day. I hope it's warmer where you are... Calgary, I already know you're basking in spring sun - lucky!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Kiyosumi Garden (oil, 16"x20")

I've done a bit of rework on this painting (previous post here) and I think the bridge shape and the colours are working better for me. I've also concluded that my paintings must be taken upstairs into natural light for proper photos... Which means I need better lighting in my basement studio - I'm still getting used to the new setup.
Enjoy your day!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nijo Castle Donjon WIP ( oil, 11"x14")

When we visited the Nijo castle (Unesco world heritage site since 1994) in Kyoto, Japan last November the weather was gloomy and wet. With 4 kids in tow (one having a full on meltdown) we were hustling to get inside the castle by the 4 pm cutoff. The castle itself is amazing but I would have loved some photos of all those 17th century murals and gold work. The guides are HARD-CORE about the no camera rule though!

The nightingale floors in the castle are pretty cool. They squeak and make whispery noises by design, allowing guards to protect their masters in feudal Japan.

This painting features the castle donjon, or central keep stone walls. The 5 storey keep itself burned to the ground in 1750. I painted this because I have fond memories of my visit there, a lesson in determination...Doug (my son-in-law) rushed around Kyoto and made sure we got to see this castle. He was initially inhibited by pouring rain and grumpy kids. But it was worth it... We toured the castle in the rain and by the time we got to the gardens the rain had eased up. Suddenly the ancient stones glowed in the light, and the grumpy kid turned up happy. Japan is a fascinating, patient place. I love it!



Friday, March 15, 2013!!!

I've finally done it - my website is up and running! I'm not waiting to perfect everything before inviting all of you to have a look. Please click on over to And let me know what you think - thank you!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Collage today...

I'm working on a 24"x36" canvas today. I've given it several layers of acrylic paint and yesterday I drew up the North American and European coasts. Today I've been designing with national geographic "paint", aka collage. Here's how North America is looking right now... I'm having fun!



Friday, March 1, 2013

Hakone Fall (oil, 16x20)

This is my latest project as it stands today. The autumn colors were spectacular when I visited Hakone in the fall of 2011. It is a struggle to capture even the tiniest portion of how I felt walking amongst the maple trees and the uber-groomed shrubs lining this pathway. The reflected sky is everywhere on the topmost leaves, giving them a pinkish hue. I'd welcome your suggestions and or comments if you have any! Happy March - spring is just around the corner :-)