Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter cheer

This is a kalanchoe in my studio. My husband bought it for me a year ago when it was in bloom and then it sat rather neglected the rest of the year. It went through long periods where it didn't get watered : ( And then suddenly last week it had buds...and blooms! Had to capture this, it doesn't happen often!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pictures from Donna Bothen, Kim Rempel show: Mingled Pieces: a duet

Today was the reception for a show I had with quilter Donna Bothen. We called it Mingled Pieces: a duet (thanks Donna for coming up with that title!). I met Donna a few years back and loved her quilts and passion for her art. And we finally did a show together : ) The day we had to set-up we brought a bunch of pieces from our studios and laid them out on the floor and just believed we could somehow pull a coherent show from it. And it worked! We decided it was best to arrange the pieces around the room according to colour and as it happened, our pieces flowed together. So these are a few of the pairings we had on the walls. 

Dishes for cocoa - SOLD

My favourite pot. This time starring in a painting about the dishes used for making a good cup of cocoa.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $75

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Arrangement in blue and gold

These carnations are the small variety and heavily scented. I love carnations. I remember my parents had them planted in the front yard and the scent was heady and spicy, like cloves. In this day, when the scent is bred out of so many flowers to increase their longevity, I appreciate these small gems even more.
Hey - when I was just checking out something about flowers online, I found a piece from The Wall Street Journal that said not to store flowers by produce (presumably talking about retailers here) because apples for example, emit a hormone that damages blooms. I also read that scientists have isolated 13 genes that determine flowers fragrances. This article talks about "designing scents" and apparently last summer the market was introduced to petunias that smell like roses. Oh my.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $75

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spider Mum - SOLD

Back in the studio at last! My sick patient is on the mend. So...a spider mum from class last week. I just looked up their meaning and got a few surprises, one being in the U.S. they are also known as "Football Mums" because they appear so frequently in homecoming corsages. Who knew? If you talked about a "Football Mum" in Canada I think the florist would be completely confused and maybe just give you a giant globe mum? Any florists out there who can give us the scoop? 
I always used to associate mums with funerals and disliked them for that reason, but now I've come to appreciate them. And especially spider mums. I find them quite beautiful in their structure and wonderfully showy. Apparently in the States they also convey "elope with me" (romantic!) and are said to impart a bohemian style to wedding bouquets. But, in Europe they represent death and are placed in funeral arrangements. Well, we are part of the Commonwealth but I thought that was a universally North American thing. Again, anyone know? I also learned that they (well, chrysanthemums) are the national flower of Japan and are celebrated at their "Festival of Happiness". Perhaps my favourite fact was that NASA states they are toxin removers: they are reported to remove 61% of formaldehyde in their environment.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Monday, January 24, 2011

Illustrations for a children's book

Today I'm home with a sick one : ( I didn't get to the studio to paint so I thought I'd pull something out of my old files that I hadn't shown before. YEARS ago (17 - hard to believe) I wrote a children's story and did some sample illustrations in hope of getting it published. Alas, there were no takers. All these years later though, with the advent of companies like Blurb, it is now feasible to print it myself. I think I'll have to make it a goal to do the rest of the illustrations and just go for it. Tammy Hext did a charming book last year. I ordered it and it's great : ) 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pics from The Good Earth "Eat Drink Paint" night!

Those folks at The Good Earth crack me up. This is their status update on FB today: Eat. Drink. Paint. What do you get when you take 9 strangers, one artist, a plethora of painting supplies, beautiful cheeses and a glass of the Good Wine? A rollicking good time! Musicians, a baker, a septic tank inspector and more. No experience but plenty of simmering talent! Pics to follow!
Yes, it was a lot of fun. I've included a bunch of pictures to give you the feel of the night, but you may want to check out their pics on FB. Karen had her camera and was snapping away, and she takes pretty artful shots : ) Note: the instructor (me!) may look a bit flushed (from the wine or the roaring fire - my lips are sealed : )

 The spread they put out: wine, crostini, gorgeous cheeses, spiced nuts and honeycomb!
 Some of the still life set-up. I LOVE spider mums!
 The group! They were so much fun. Came as strangers, left as friends : )
 In the zone
Ta-da! I was so impressed! Nine great pieces from nine spirited, creative souls. Thanks for making my first experience such a delight! The next class is February 9, 11:30am-2:30pm. You can click here for further information.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Icy blues - SOLD

Tonight I head to The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. to teach a class! There will be wine, cheese, a roaring fire and new friends to meet. What's not to love? This is the first time I've done something like this and I think it's going to be a great night : ) We're focusing on painting "icy" things - January things... so I am bringing white flowers, some silver and glass. And because that's pretty complicated stuff I'll also bring some apples! Wait - apples aren't that easy either! But hey, this class is for fun, experimenting, and unleashing our creativity!!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Thursday, January 20, 2011

MEN: 4

I've been working from photos but I want a live model! I need to see all the skin and recessions and protrusions and COLOUR in life!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $75

Bruno Capolongo Invitational

A picture from the Bruno Capolongo Invitational held at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts this past weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Okay, I'm already starting to feel a little more "at home". In these two portraits you might notice they're the same pose and attire. I looked at a black and white photo and just...expanded from there. I'm not going to say who's photo I printed off as it does not look anything like the man yet (although one of my kids exclaimed: Is that...? And was right?!) but I will revisit this one! I'm going to have to take a lot of care with his facial proportions, and when I nail it, I'll let you know (or I won't need to - you'll be able to figure it out! lol) All the same I quite like the portrait!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Monday, January 17, 2011

MEN: 1

It's been way too long since I painted portraits and I'm beginning to crave it. So this week I am going to start with a series: Men. This is going to be experimental. There are a lot of different techniques I want to try: monochrome, palette knife, loose, colourful, abstract... the list goes on. 
Most painters reading this blog will be familiar with Karin Jurick. I deeply admire her work. One interesting project she's been working on is painting 100 mugshots. She's on #89. Fantastic!!!
Anyway, I look forward to some new subject matter. I won't be doing one long interrupted series, rather plan to be sprinkling them throughout. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Painting class THIS Friday at The Good Earth!

Looking for something fun to spice up a cold January night? There are still a few openings for: Icy World of Winter this Friday evening! Join me for a 3-hour art class at The Good Earth where good food and good wine will help fuel your creativity! 

Designed for all skill levels and experience, guests will create a small oil painting while grazing on delicious food and sipping The Good Wine. No pressure! Doesn't it sound like fun? : ))
Cost is $55 + HST per person (cost includes art supplies). 6-9pm. Pre-registration is required, space is limited to 12 participants per class.  Call 905-563-6333 for more information or to register! 
The Good Earth is located at 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville, Ontario.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A couple more sketches

These are my favourites from my sketchbook. In fact, it was the first one that helped formulate my painting for International Women's Celebrate!
Do any of you know the blog Urban Sketchers? It's the BEST! In fact this morning there are some fabulous sketches from Belgium and a sketch of a car in East Germany that blows me away. You've really got to check them out if you don't already follow. Also, tonight is the opening of the Bruno Capolongo Invitational at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. 5:30-8pm. Looking forward to it!

Friday, January 14, 2011


~blind contour portraits~
~crossed legs~
Today and tomorrow I'm posting something a little different. I took part in the Sketchbook Project and my theme was "Make mine a double". So what I did was themed spreads - i.e. the subjects for the left and right sides were the same. Unfortunately I have an embarrassing confession: there were only 5 sketches that were good enough to share!  I really let time get away on me and had to scramble at the end, madly drawing to fill pages. NOT. GOOD. I wanted to complete it and send it in because I definitely want to take part next year. And I will create a sensitive, thoughtful book that I can proudly show : ) I did realize how much I'd missed sketching!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Friendship - SOLD

Next in the series: a yellow rose. I began this one as I had the other three but it went south - I lost my value range. Argh! Second time: same thing. The third time I picked up the palette knife and tried very quickly to block in the values. For each attempt I had been squinting and very conscious of value and colour shifts, but for some reason this one threw me on my backside ; )
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wisdom - SOLD

Another in my flower series. This is a dwarf iris. I picked up a small bouquet of them at the grocery store. For a few bucks they sure bring an infusion of spring to our home. These three would look good as a series...just saying! : ) When I looked up the meaning of irises, a number were given depending on colour. This ones denotes wisdom and compliments. I love irises. They are the first flower I clearly remember being enchanted by when I was a kid. 
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Remembrance - SOLD

I love painting flowers and have painted carnations a couple of times before but this one gave me the toughest struggle. BUT, by the time I cleaned up my brushes I had learned something new regarding colour. Previously when I've tried to get bright pinks I have used combinations of magenta, cad yellow and orange. I still couldn't get the brightness! >: After a lot of playing around today I decided to go in with pure cad red and voila - it gave me the look I'd been searching for.
I think there's something romantic about choosing flowers for the meanings behind them. It seems very Victorian and almost like a secret language, although I confess it's not the way I buy. I looked up the meaning of pink carnations and it said: a pink carnation exclaims "I'll always remember you". Pink echoes thoughts of perfect happiness and thankfulness.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Monday, January 10, 2011

Petals - SOLD

Well, the holiday has finally wrapped up and it's time to get back into the routine : ) I cast about for a good half hour trying to figure out what to paint, started, wiped off said start... but then it came together. Happy January!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / SOLD

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Impetus" International Women Celebrate!

The holidays have really been great - a lot of time relaxing with my family and friends but it has taken a toll on my usual work schedule ; ) So today I thought I'd post my offering for International Women Celebrate!, a show celebrating the centenary of International Women's Day at AyrSpace in Ayr, Ontario. The story behind this painting is that I started thinking about how International Women's Day began. And then wondering how all great social movements begin. It occurred to me that most likely things started in kitchens: people being pissed off over a cup of coffee. A hundred years later people are still gathering over tea and coffee discussing, celebrating and arguing issues of the day.
24" x 24" / oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Summer dreamin'

There is a bunch of snow softly falling outside. It's really quite pretty, but being January my mind went to the tropics anyway : ) Aqua water, white sand, ahh...
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)


I'm happy to announce that I will be part of the Bruno Capolongo Invitational at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts. A selection of my shoe paintings will be shown. Opening reception is Saturday, January 15, 5:30-8pm.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rough and tumble

"Rough" because, saw yesterdays ; ) and "tumble" because of that bottle in the back. So I wiped out a chunk of it this afternoon and really concentrated on getting it right. Phew! Glad that one's done ; )
I have to make this one short and sweet as Canada is in the finals against Russia in the World Junior Hockey Championship being televised as I write! Go Canada!! (Truth be told, I'm really not into hockey except during the Olympics, the Stanley Cup and now these championships ; )

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

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

30 minute study

Oh dear...I know there are mixed feelings about posting something that isn't up to snuff, but I have decided to post this study because a) it turned into a study when I had to stop at the 30 minute mark, b) I missed so many posts over the holidays that guilt was taking over and c) everything is a learning experience, oui?
So what did I learn?
a) Well...NOT TO RUSH! (I knew that) b) get the perspective right from the very beginning so that you don't muck over a piece countless times trying to correct it, and so that if you have to stop prematurely, the "bones" will be correct (Really, I knew that too).