Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seasons Greetings

Warm wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season! Our Christmas is made up of good food, good visits, shortbread, crackling fires, time to read a good book.
This crabapple tree was still fully loaded when the first snow came and it somehow evoked a spirit of endurance and beauty when I saw it. I painted it for a friend who has all of those qualities in spades!
All the Best

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dog Walk in Fall

12x12 Oil on Board
$320.00 Framed
This scene is along my regular dog walk. It seemed the leaves just danced when I stopped to take the photo. I love this time of year on the prairie, the golds and reds are like jewels amongst the trees.
I am excited to have received my active status in the Federation of Canadian Artists this month. The Federation offers some excellent workshops for members as well as the opportunity to submit for entry in shows. The next show is called Capturing the Canadian Spirit, in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It will run from January 26 - February 28, 2010 at the Granville Island Gallery.
I hope to post more regularly as we are getting to the end of the work to get the studio finished and prep done on a couple of commission paintings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back Road to the Cove

8x6 Oil on Board
I've always felt you can travel with books and I'm coming to believe you can do the same thing with painting. This little painting is from a photo my husband took in Moorea before I knew him and it transported me to a warm, timeless place today while the wind is howling outside my window.
The last coat of mud is going on my new studio as we speak so I will soon be able to step way back from my easel. I can hardly wait!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nuevo Vallarta Yacht Club

Oil on Linen Board

This is a little study of a yacht club in Nuevo Vallarta. I loved the feeling of the palm trees and the heat. We are getting a last little blast of really warm weather and I expect it inspired me to paint the scene.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

S. Cooking Lake Looking East

7x10 Oil on Birch Panel
This is the study I posted at the end of June, with the paint spots removed. Who knew it would be two months before I got to posting it. Anyway, I'm excited to get back to it. We had a very late summer so hopefully we will have a nice fall and lots of painting days left.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Zen of Plein Air Painting

NFS 8x10 Oil on Birch Panel
A bunch of us were at S. Cooking Lake this morning before we head off in different directions for holidays. We had 1 1/2 hr. to get something down so there was excitement in the air. It was a hot morning day so I'd underpainted my panel with hot pink which I find helps as I don't have the white glare to start with. Everything was going swimmingly and although I didn't finish, I felt happy that I could finish it up pretty quickly at home. When we got back to the cars one of the girls asked if she could see mine so I opened my box and the painting fell jam side down onto the leftover piles of paint. I think by that time I was so dazed by the heat and concerned about picking up kids, I couldn't really react. I must have stood there looking like a guppy. I'm sure there is something to be found in this .. perhaps detachment, or funny memories. Well it will be funny a few days from now!
I'm taking my paint box to B.C. so hopefully I'll have some beaches painted when I get back.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Elk Island Summer Solstice Paintout

We had a great time yesterday at our Summer Solstice Paintout at Elk Island. Some of us caught a bit of Bluegrass at Katie's Crossing in Ardrossan

and then off to Elk Island for the evening. We were greeted a few minutes into the park by a big guy

and then ate potluck dinner at the lakeside and planned to paint until dark. Normally that would be about 11:00 but at about 9:30 the weather gods decided to test our mettle with a windstorm.

We finally had to abandon our paintings after being buffetted for about 1/2 hour or so and get back to our cars. Once we had our stuff safe, we decided we had to stay and watch the sunset. We laughed and chatted portrait painting as the sun went down in a spectacular setting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

South Cooking Lake

Ragweed at Bob's Point Study 1
Oil on 7x8 Panel
This little study was done last Wed eve. at a lake near Edmonton called South Cooking Lake. There was a lot to process and I was just glad to come away with some colour information. It was a glorious evening with good company and not a mosquito in site due to the dryness. It seems so unlikely as we had snow into the third week of May but as the land was still frozen, it didn't benefit the soil and the area is now in a state of severe drought.
I was curious about the name South Cooking Lake; apparently Cooking Lake has been a stopping place on the Carlton Trail from Winnipeg to Edmonton since the 1880's. Around the turn of the century, the first homesteaders coming to this district used this trail named by the Cree Indians �O-PI-MI-W-SIOO-SAKYAKN� (Place Where We Cook Lake) or Cooking Lake.

Ragweed at Bob's Point Study2
6x8 Oil on (Linen) Panel

We had such fun last week and yet felt it was a lot to take in so we decided to go back to the same place again. I have to keep reminding myself that although this is the second summer we've painted outside, it's probably less than a dozen times in total. I can say that I enjoy it more each time and really that's the important thing.

This weekend we are going to Katie's Crossing to listen to some music and then painting at Elk Island until the sun goes down which will be verrrry late because it's the Solstice. Hopefully it won't make the buffalo edgy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mactaggart Sanctuary Paintout

Oil on Linen Board
This is such a wonderful place and it was truly a surprise to me. I didn't go with high expectations. We took the boys one day when we first moved here but it was snowing heavily and the trails weren't great. Then in subsequent years, there was a lot of construction on the road leading to it so it just fell off our radar. I'll return happily next time.
There were quite a few people celebrating the return of spring with a brisk hike. They were very interested in us strange folk painting away but they were respectful as well. I believe the Sanctuary part of the name is meant for the birds but it was equally wonderful for us humans. There was a painting scene in every direction you turned, the challenge was settling on something.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Salisbury Geese

8x10 Oil on Linen Board
This pair of geese greeted me outside Salisbury Greenhouse when I was there a few weeks ago. I watched them for a few minutes until this fellow gave me the distinct impression he'd like me to give his partner some space. The lady in the store told me they are resident at the greenhouse and they mate for life. It made me think about new beginnings and all kinds of sappy stuff. And yes for my coast friends, I haven't forgotten they're a beach menace but we don't have so many here so it's easy to forget.
This was in our brief spring interlude before we were vaulted back into winter for awhile. They say it will warm up sometime in 2009!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blueberry Fields Forever

6x8 Oil on Board

This is a scene in Pitt Meadows B.C. in early Feb. , a bit of a contrast to the snow scene I posted the other day which was taken about a month earlier. There are acres and acres of blueberry fields and a walking path along the dyke so the walkers get to enjoy it. It's hard to believe how close you are to a big city, there are kilometres of walking paths along the dyke and it's all very peaceful.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Will It Ever Stop?

Oil on 8x8" Board

A friend once noticed that people talk a lot about what matters to them. So if you live in a city where the housing prices are challenging, people talk all about their rates and lengths. If you live in a city where the weather is a challenge, there's a lot of chatter about that. Well, this year on the West Coast, talk of the weather trumped all else. It brought the city to a standstill more than once. This little painting is from a photo Mom took and sent when she ran out of words.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring has sprung

Necessity being the mother of invention; this little painting covers the old front door bell. We had to change our door bell last year but people weren't seeing the new one so I covered the old one with this little painting. Worked like a charm!

A sure sign of Spring in Edmonton is when the jackrabbits coats turn brown. This is the first time I've seen our resident "bunny" with it's spring coat. A week ago it was pure white, 'course a week ago, we still had snow. A couple of days ago Faye Christian Phillips posted a little painting of the bunny in her yard and she inspired me as always.
It is just lovely and I can hardly wait to get outside to paint and garden.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ligularia Othello Sketch

Happy Easter weekend!!! And happy springtime. Last weekend we still had almost two feet of snow in the backyard and I was chipping glaciers out of the culdesac so that I still had some suspension in my van. This Sat. we did Sketchcrawl and had a great day. We'll be there again this summer. Thanks to Terry Elrod and Cindy Revell for organizing it. There are more cities participating every quarter. If you're interested check it out. It was a glorious day, 18c by the afternoon. I feel like a little kid, yippee, spring is here!

It's been a very busy month, I was shocked to come back and see that it was nearly a month since my last post. Lots of work marketing, studio rearranging and work on a commission painting but not far enough along to post it.

Today was our anniversary and Easter dinner but I had to go out and do a quick sketch. The snow has melted and the perennials are just beautiful. I was so glad I didn't have time to cut the Ligularia before fall. When it's winter in Edmonton, it certainly is, but it turns quickly, with daylight lasting well into the evening.

I also wanted to pass along two links that I think you will enjoy. One is Lianne Faulder's blog Eat My Words Lianne is an award winning journalist and she had some great book recommendations for Peter Brown recently. The other is a link to a two part interview with Chloe Albert on the Tony King program on CKUA. Besides CBC, Chloe's album Dedicated State is my favorite music to paint to. She recently won Emerging Artist of the Year and will be at Folkfest this summer.
I think of Easter as a time of Hope and that's certainly what I felt in my garden today!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cuter Than Himself

10x10 Oil on Board
This little fellow made me laugh out loud as we were passing him in the dog park. He didn't seem at all surprised that I would want to take his picture. With every painting I have a feeling like an internal spark that makes me decide I have to paint it and when I can hold that feeling long enough to get it on canvas it's such pleasure. Pure fun!
An author, Denis Dutton, was interviewed on CBC this morning about his book The Art Instinct. He maintains it's no coincidence that we want to paint certain types of scenes or topics, they are imbedded in our psyche. I think if falls into the same category as kids and animals being cuter than themselves. It keeps people smiling at them. I hear about the best books on CBC!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stuffed Ducky

8x8 Oil on Board
About once a week a group of friends get together to paint for a few hours. In the summer we paint outside but in the winter in Edmonton it's usually inside. We paint from life whenever possible and treat the paintings as exercise and learning along with a dose of laughter and serendipity.
My little colour studies, in protest of the cold temperatures, seem to have sparked an interest in a little children's series. This wee duck is one of a few stuffed things I would haul out every spring when the boys were little and this year painting them seemed like fun.
I got my new issue of Canadian Brushstrokes online magazine the other day and thought I would pass the word. This is a great magazine and the subscription is free, what more could we ask for in these times! Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Puerto Vallarta Marina

8x10 Oil on Gallery Canvas
This painting was done from a photo taken from our villa while on vacation in Nuevo Vallarta. It was a totally still, very hot day that reminded me of days when we were kids that seemed to go on forever. We heard that our -35 temps are finished for this year so maybe I'll get wistful about snow again. I would like to paint a picture of the little snow hill that my son works at before they close.

Today we did an exercise that was meant to be monochromatic. Not sure how I did with that part of it but will try it again another time.

Conch Shell Exercise

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plaid Bunny

This was actually last week's exercise but I was working on plums. I think I painted this little guy yesterday in self defense. We're back to very cold weather here and I'm ready for some spring. I do plan to get back to posting actual paintings but right now I have windows for the exercises and then a larger painting. I hope this bunny puts a apring in your step and a smile on your face!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chinese Teapot and Orange

6x6 oil on board

This little painting is a birthday card for a friend. It's another of the exercises paintings that must be done in under 2 hours so the fabric looks a bit like snow. So many things to think about at once!

A number of painters having been considering recently, what puts them into the creative space. It reminded me that our parents would coerce us to tidy our rooms by saying "A tidy room is a tidy mind." I don't know if they invented that but I know that if I make my bed and tidy the dishes before I start the day, it helps. Or if I'm stuck and I clean a drawer, it can work.
These days I feel inspired by bright colours, I'll be thrilled to have flowers in the garden again.

Now I'm back to practising plums for a larger commission. Have a wonderful creative day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little J.

Oil 8x8 Deep Canvas
This little girl inspires the people around her to be serenely happy.
She is a gentle little soul who always has a smile on her face and I
never tire of painting her.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Paradise Village Yacht Club

8x10 Oil on Linen Board
$250.00 Framed
I felt compelled to paint this scene from a watercolour sketch that I'd done in Mexico a few years ago. I wonder if there is any connection to the wickedly cold days we've been getting again. It makes me want to go back SOON!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hydrangea and Friends

Oil on Board-framed
During the Christmas break, a few friends were talking about doing a painting a day and I loved the thought but wondered if it would be feasible. I gave myself permission to paint whatever caught my fancy and it's been interesting to see what is popping up. This reminds me of a friend in Vancouver who loves zinnias and hydrangeas as much as I do. So far, it has been a nice rythym but there are no large paintings on the go at the moment.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Study in Pink

Oil on 10" sq. deep canvas

I only had the time for a study yesterday so pulled out this deep canvas from the cupboard. It had some doodly lines on it from some previous thing that reminded me of petals and that seemed reason enough to paint a flower. I was thinking about my niece while I was painting it and before I knew it, the painting was done. Great serendipity!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Portrait Exercises

Exercise 16X20 Canvas Paper

This quick study and the one below were both done in 1 1/2 hr. I discovered this week that there is a consistency to when I start to lose concentration and begin to fiddle. That probably explains why I'm rarely happy with what I do in a workshop setting. It's likely even earlier with distractions. What I like about this one is that I feel I captured her look. She always has a big smile. And I like that I let myself just scumble on the fur trim. What I will work on is getting a better first layer of skin tone(better puddles) and check for proportion. Her smile is a little wider.

Exercise 16X20 Canvas Pad

This was the first of the two studies. I realized I got her skin tones really dark. Also the shape of her arm overall is pretty close but I shadowed it more like an adult arm. tones and shadow next time.

Jamaica Mystery Bird

16 x 20 Canvas Pad
This month I have committed myself to painting an exercise or study every day so practise is taking precedence over painting finished paintings. I remember a few years ago reading Craig Nelson's book 60 Minutes to Better Painting and thinking it was impossible. Now I think it is essential. I'm determined to keep at it and although it's only been a few weeks, I'm seeing improvements. For one thing, I am seeing a difference in how I approach the easel. I'm taking notes after each one about what I did right and what I need to focus on next time. I'm lucky to have some wonderful friends who give great critiques but I was wanting to develop that skill further myself.
If anyone is able to recognize this bird from my painting I'd love to know. He seemed to be such a character with his long neck(longer than I have it) and cocked head.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Teapot/Orange Exercise

On Wed. mornings I do a timed exercise with a group of painters. We were introduced to the idea by a Calgary painter named Doug Swinton I love the spontaneity in his paintings. The point is to use a large brush and lots of paint on largish canvas with a 2 hour time limit. The more I do it, the happier it makes me. There is a lot of freedom working with large brushes and the large pools of paint. This one is the 6th one. I did this at home over the holiday and it seemed finished at this point (1hr20min)so I signed it.
Love that sunshine streaming through the window at -30 deg.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Brian Ryder Exercises

This is one of the paintings I did over the holiday. It is one of the exercises from Brian Ryder's DVD which I received for Christmas. The scenery in this DVD is spectacular, especially for a prairie girl who grew up on the coast. I will post others as I go along.
This New Year seems like a time of gratitude and enjoying all that we have. Opportunity to paint, good friends, so much! We've had such cold weather but beautiful sunshine to paint with.
Please check out the link of one of my very good painting friends, Cindy Revell. I love her work!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Curlew in Balboa

6 X 8 NFS-study
Oil on Board
This wonderful bird was basking in the sun in Balboa and I just had to paint him today. The sun was shining on his beak and it was the brightest magenta. There seems to be a recurring theme of sunshine in Laguna happening in my paintings, likely because of the -25C temps we've had for awhile in Edmonton. Thankfully, with beautiful clear skies for walking and skiing.
I was delighted today to see that Karen Appleton had linked my blog to hers. She is one of my favorite painters and a wise soul. I won't give it away but check it out and see for yourself.
I hope that you all have a wonderful year in 2009 and the warmth of family and friends today to start it off!