Monday, May 31, 2010

Irises and snowballs

Cut flowers from my garden. The snowballs have now finished for another year, the irises have maybe a week left. I'm trying to get as many florals (from the garden) painted as I can. I know in January they will bring me much cheer : )
p.s. the fabric they're sitting on used to be a dress I bought years ago at Value Village. It was too big for me - but it was a hand-sewn garment embroidered with silver thread and I couldn't pass it by. My Mom made a few pillows out of it and I used some scraps for a crazy quilt.
24" x 24" / acrylic on canvas

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Old Growth Cedar

Sunday Post: Sunday's I take the day off and post something from my website. This is a triptych I did of an old-growth cedar. Each canvas is 24" x 30" and it is made to assemble vertically, so that the piece stands 24" x 7'6". It needs a home with a tall wall ; ) This was painted at a woman's home whose property has the best cedar grove! Whenever I enter it the place feels really quite majestic and reverent. The ground feels spongy, the air smells green, all is hushed in the woods... quite magical.
acrylic on canvas

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flowers with lemon

So...the green bottle is gone. And it feels better. I've learned a lot from painting this. Can't wait for the next one! The white flowers are "snowballs" from our snowball bush. I love how they fall. And I just wanted to thank everyone for their encouragement and enthusiasm on my behalf regarding this painting - thanks! Comments really help spur you forward, no? Oh - and by the way - I set this up in my studio and that painting in the background is this one. I wish a lovely weekend for each and everyone of you : )
24" x 30" / acrylic on wood

Work in progress

So here's what I did. I liked it but something wasn't quite right. Finally realized it was the milky green bottle. Just seemed too random. So I decided it had to go. And before I began painting the lantern on the left, I exchanged it too (because it didn't seem right either).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Work in progress

I've begun a large still life, feeling enthusiasm from my workshop (see May 15th post). Right now we have a snowball bush in blossom and the irises have bloomed as well. They look lush and heavy and I was dying to paint them. It took a bit to set-up, but I'm having fun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some enchanted evening

I'm not normally given to poetic titles, but it was a beautiful painting night! Golden, tranquil, a soft breeze rippling now and then... And the bugs weren't even too nasty : ) I was still wearing a t-shirt at 9pm! Summer has arrived. I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out. Everything just seemed to flow.
12" x 24" / acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just some coffee...

I had this painting stored away in case I ever needed a painting as an emergency post. And that is tonight! I was outside painting and didn't come in till it was dark. And I didn't think to photograph my painting when there was still some light left. So, I will post it tomorrow! But for today, just a cup of coffee.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Monday, May 24, 2010

Restoration, and a "dreamy" surprise

Sorry Dreama, I'm sure you've heard it all before but I couldn't resist ; ) Last week I got word that I won this beautiful painting of roses in a pitcher from Dreama Tolle Perry. If you don't already know Dreama's work, please check out her blog. Absolutely beautiful. And if you enter your name to receive her email newsletter, you'll be entered in her monthly draws as well. How great is that?! Thanks Dreama.
Today it is Victoria Day, also know as May 2-4... a long weekend! So I was with my family and not in the studio. I thought it still would be nice to post something so am showing this piece I did a number of years ago called Restoration. It just came over me - almost painted itself. I've wished I could have done more like it but it never happened. A few attempts just felt forced. Maybe one day it'll come again... Happy long weekend!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wallace Mountain, Kluane, Yukon

Sundays I take the day off and post a painting from my website. I posted this on a previous Sunday but it was almost a year ago when I first began my blog, so only a few people would have seen it ; ) This was painted on our trip to the Yukon. We had so much fun. Three weeks of camping and years worth of memories. And I discovered I could paint mountains endlessly. Unfortunately we don't have them around here so I have to wait till another holiday. But I love painting the deep crevices and rolling formations.
20" x 24" / acrylic on canvas

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mason jar

I was working on a piece I did earlier in the week that needed some fixing and completely botched the thing. I finally wiped it down and felt much better. Then I looked around the studio for something to paint and grabbed this mason jar. Turned out much better than the thing I'd been labouring over : )
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birch in setting sun - SOLD

"I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets."
~Hamlin Garland

6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My darling clementine - SOLD

Pretty happy with this one! Tried to use fewer brush strokes, look at the colour of those strokes and not go over and over and "blend" (just lay the right colour/value down first off). This one feels good to me.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / SOLD

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scope & soap, and 2nd attempt

I tried yesterday's set-up again with oil. Not really working for me ; ) Parts I like but..whatever. Then I did a set-up in the bathroom. The greens in the mouthwash looked really interesting. I couldn't quite mix the green I was after but it was a fun quick study.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Monday, May 17, 2010

This won't be easy...

not that I thought it would be! A first attempt to do a different kind of still life here at home. I wanted to work a bit differently than usual but was home with a sick child so I used what I had on hand. My initial sketch was good and at one point I really liked what was going on in the painting. I kind of lost it along the way though. It's okay - it'll be a process. Was studying a lot of modern painters today - thinking about abstraction. Another journey.
8" x 10" / acrylic on canvas / $75

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Still life at Laurie's

So this was what I accomplished at Laurie's workshop today. I really wanted more time - there are things I didn't get to and will work on/fix up next week, primarily work on the floor. I painted on a new surface for me: clear-gessoed wood. This was interesting and your brush strokes show a bit more. A little odd at first but I was liking it as time progressed. I posted two close-ups of my favourite bits. Something Laurie said, which echoes what Carol Marine said, is that it can take a LONG time to set-up a still life. But not to take a short-cut. I now have this drilled in my head and will go forth accordingly : )
acrylic on wood

Workshop with Laurie Wonfor Nolan

To die for, right? This was Laurie's demo.
Today I had my spark renewed. I signed up for a one-day workshop with Laurie Wonfor Nolan, an extraordinary painter (and I don't throw that word around lightly). She brought a joyful feeling out in me and all I want to do is hole up in a studio and paint for days on end!! New stuff! Fresh! The workshop was titled: taking the "still" out of still life. And she does : ) A key thing that jumped out at me was how she handled her initial sketch - treating it more as a quick gesture drawing as you would for life drawing. And she kept that loose flow throughout her whole painting, from beginning to end.
Laurie works in acrylic. I use acrylic for my larger plein air work but have worked in oils for my still life since fall. After doing a still life in acrylic today I really want to jump back to it and experiment with it for a while. I may not have what I need for Monday yet, but I will take a few shopping trips and hopefully be up and running for the end of the week. And perhaps I can work how I'm visualizing in oils as well - I'm going to have to play around and see. I really want to play with colour and pattern and planes. And paint with joy. Do I sound trite? Not my intention. Just excited and feeling like a new door has been unlocked.

p.s. If you have an opportunity to take a workshop from Laurie, DO IT! On top of all the stuff I learned, she serves REALLY good coffee and snacks. Like - the *good* stuff. And she's got one hell of a studio. Thanks Laurie : )

Friday, May 14, 2010

Disconnect switches

Trying to branch out with subject matter. I think that was the advice Rick was trying to give me (great painter by the way - you should check him out). Anyway - I have access to a machine shop and had thought of painting in there before but hadn't until today. There are a million things waiting to be painted in that place. This was a quick first attempt. I realized I need to be a lot more careful with my perspective and values (namely in the shadows). But I have to say it was good to have a change of scenery. I'll be back later next week.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $75

Thursday, May 13, 2010


As in the sound when the cork flies off : ) A bit of a struggle today. There are a few things I'd like to fix on this one...
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Garden tulips

Rather showy with their ruby stripes! These are those big, full, bell tulips. Love 'em.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alstroemeria - SOLD

A stem of alstroemeria in a shot glass. These were richly-coloured and fun to paint. I took a picture at the blocking in stage just to show process. I enjoy seeing the path of other people's work so thought I might start showing some stages in mine. Happy Tuesday.
6" x 8" / oil on archival panel / SOLD

Monday, May 10, 2010

Country house in spring - SOLD

This is the completed painting from last Friday. I made a number of value changes as well as brought the front lawn off the panel. Cropped it. Stronger, I think.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blossoms at Green Lane - SOLD

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
~Tenneva Jordan

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love you.
acrylic on canvas / SOLD

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blueberry danish

I went to the bakery and picked up some breakfast treats this morning. I had a cinnamon bun and coffee but had to buy a danish just to paint. That blueberry filling looked too tempting : )
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Work in progress, and I've been tagged

This is VERY MUCH a work in progress. I'm liking the composition but the values need a lot of revision: the sky will be lightened, the tree line darkened and the house corrected. A few more trees may be added. It's a house down the street from us and the tree in the front yard has the most graceful shape.
As for being tagged: Crystal Cook - watercolourist extraordinaire (and apparently a writer to boot - I have to check out her other blog) tagged me with this questionnaire. Here it goes.

Where were you five years ago?
1. here : )
2. painting intermittently and taking classes
3. staying home with the kids (still had 1 home full days and another 1/2)
4. loving it and my life

Where would you like to be five years from now?
1. I’d like to be a painter’s painter
2. I’d like to earn some money from my painting (is shooting for over $2,000/year too much too ask? lol)
3. a bit buff? ha!
4. waking up with my husband, a coffee and baugette in France
5. enjoying my (much older!) kids, husband, family and friends

What is/was on your to do list today?
1. hauling kids everywhere : )
2. grocery shopping
3. coffee with my sister (and bonus visit with nephew)
4. a daily painting
5. house cleaning

What five snacks do you enjoy?
1. popcorn (made in a pot on the stove!)
2. brownies
3. homemade hot cocoa with a bit of cinnamon
4. chips and salsa with a cold beer
5. red wine and cheese

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
Well of course I would HELP people, donate, do lots of good in the world (like Crystal), but the following answers are purely selfish, just for fun : )
1. have a house in Europe with a courtyard
2. have an original vanGogh of my choosing
3. hire a maid
4. travel to Spain to see Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces
5. live in a quirky, old (but retrofitted) home, with one heck of a library and private yard

Fun huh? Now, in the true spirit of all good things bloggy, I tag the following people, who then post the same Q and A on their blog, linking back to me and then tagging more people if they want. NO PRESSURE but it’s fun if you have time :) I decided to tag a few blogs that aren't as well known in my art-circle to spread things out a bit. p.s. If you want to participate, the more the merrier! No worries about not being tagged. Just join in : )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring evening

This is an acrylic painting I did last week in my plein air class - not the balmy night - the night my fingers froze ; ). It felt good to be back outside painting though.
18" x 24" / acrylic on stretched canvas

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Evening Chestnut in bloom - SOLD

This is the second piece I did last night in the balmy spring evening. Ever since I saw A.J. Casson's piece, Early Summer, Norval, 1928 and Lawren Harris's piece Chestnut Tree, House, Barrie, I have been wanting to capture a chestnut tree in bloom. Harris and Casson were members of the iconic Canadian band of painters, the Group of Seven who were AWESOME!

I painted a lot today but mostly on a commission piece. When it gets to the client-approved stage I will share it here : )

6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

View from Olympic Drive - SOLD

I went out plein air painting this evening and it was beautiful weather - all the more pleasant.
6" x 8" / oil on archival panel / $75

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kiss the sky

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
~Jimi Hendrix

Big, open blue skies this afternoon. I had my panel clamped to me easel and all was good. Then when I was carrying my painting indoors a gust of wind blew it from my hand onto my shirt and then onto the ground. It landed half propped on my boot, half on the concrete face down. I picked it up and turned it over with dread and... the spill had actually improved it! lol
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Moonlit dance

This girl has lots of fun and spirit but initially is a little shy. She's surveying the crowd and has just spotted the one she *really* wants to dance with.
I'm having a lot of fun with these portraits - creating imaginary stories of moments in their lives... This one was done on a black ground. Something I've seen others do but hadn't yet tried. I painted paynes gray (oil) on the panel and let it dry a couple of days. It was still tacky when I began painting. Kind of a weird sensation.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $75