Friday, September 30, 2011

Rough sketches for book illustrations

This one and the one below are the two that I painted years ago as samples. I'll keep posting my progress!

I began my blog in 2009 and for the first time am truly having a bit of a "small works" painting block. I just want to be painting larger when I paint, and want to spend time drawing. So instead of worrying about it I have just decided to go with it. After all, painting larger is still painting, and I have wanted to hone my drawing chops for a while. Have been neglecting that. All this brings me to today's work. I did a post in January about a children's story I'd written and done a few sample illustrations for. I decided to get down to work and get drawin'!! Here are a few sketches I worked on today. Sorry the one is so pale. Pencil on tracing paper (valuable for multiple re-works).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

ART LOVE: Pollard Birches by Vincent van Gogh

by Vincent van Gogh, 1884, pen-and-ink and graphite heightened with opaque watercolor on wove paper, 151/2 x 213/8. Collection Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

I came across this drawing in the book I got: Vincent van Gogh: A Self-Portrait in Art and Letters edited by H. Anna Suh. This book is large (about 10.5" x 13") and has gorgeous reproductions (although not such a fan of the cover). van Gogh's letters are reproduced in image form and also translated to English. Seeing his original letters - most often with exquisite sketches embedded in them - is a real treat. You almost feel like you're going through his mail, quite personal, and just seeing his path through his artistic struggles - it's so interesting.  Anyway, back to this particular drawing: it stopped me in my tracks and I think I stared at it for a good 5 mintues. To me it's one of the most beautiful sketches in the world. Especially for a tree girl.
p.s. I re-worked my cupcake and the new version is now posted. The height and curve of the stem, along with the cast shadow were not sitting right with me. I feel better now ; )

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chocolate sprinkle cupcake

Back to a small one today. I was feeling the need to paint a cupcake. 'Cause some days you just want to paint cupcakes, yes? Much easier than trying to figure what to do with that tree from yesterday! (btw, thanx for your feedback)
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 flat (includes free shipping worldwide)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Experimentation and wood supports

Today I went at a large canvas that used to be a tree in a snowscape. I'd painted it a few years back and although some people liked it, I felt it was too stiff and modeled and didn't fit in with my other work. I re-worked it numerous times hoping something cool would emerge but...nada. This is what came of it today so it will probably get gessoed over tomorrow. Sometimes after you re-work so much it just feels tired and wrecked. I feel like there is a new painting waiting somewhere in that canvas, ready to come out.
Beneath the pictures are photos of the wood canvas box support I mentioned the other day. Kelley asked me what the heck I was talking about - I think I could have come up with a better description - so here they are : )

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the latest...

So thanks for all your feedback. I've been painting away and this is how it looks presently. After seeing in on the screen I'm thinking I may need to lighten that patch of field on the left, midway. The first thing you want to do is create a good picture. The second concern is if the painting needs work - not to loose the spontaneity, the freshness of the original piece. I find the more I labour over something the quicker I can kill it, you know? So back at it tomorrow - but just a bit.
And thanks to Susan who in a note pointed out to me that she saw 3 similar fields of green to the left. Yup! Hello! I find our eyes are so interesting. I'm all for standing back and squinting and turning a piece upside down and all that jazz...and I DIDN'T EVEN SEE IT! Isn't that weird? Now it's all I can see from that previous post!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Free" and opinions requested!

- detail -
- as it stands now -
- indicating what I need to figure out - 
Post-script: Okay - I had just hit "publish" and then decided to show you what I was trying to figure out. I circled it with black. I think the two dark green shapes are too similar and to fix that up I am deciding whether to lighten/change the colour of the shape in the background or mix up the colours in the 3-section field (also circled). I think they need alterning anyhow... That's the only part of the piece that's bothering me: that 3-section field. Any critiques completely welcome!

Today was very similar to yesterday in that I went back to a clunky piece from spring that I couldn't stand to look at any more, and had at it. It felt good to simplify and just block stuff out.  Actually I'm really digging the part I cropped off for the "detail" shot. Kind of wish that was my painting! But I really do like this one - just needs a few colour tweaks. In real life the sky has more interesting things going on/tonal shifts but somehow it was missed in translation. 
Having a hard time doing my small works this week. Why? Not sure. I just want to work larger. And experiment. Work really large actually...maybe on the weekend. This is painted on the same wood box support as yesterdays. I believe it is 24" square.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New work

acrylic, 24" x 24"
I spent today working on a landscape I'd painted months ago. It was never finished and I was just waiting for a day till I felt I knew what to do with it. It's painted on a wood canvas box and so I've sanded it down a few times, glazed it, and generally just had a great time deconstructing it. I find you can't get too precious about things - if it doesn't feel right, take a swing at it! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some acorns and a bird

You know how they say if you have to explain a joke it isn't funny? Well, if you have to point out what a painting get the idea! lol I received this elegant little cement bird sculpture from my son today and I absolutely love it! The head is nestled in and you can really "feel" it. I tired to paint it but...hmm. I figured I'd better post a photo of said sculpture.
I had enough time to do a quickie of some acorns my kids picked up on the weekend. This was just loose and bold and very fast. I squinted and got down some values and quick shapes. Fun though!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making mini's

When I first began this blog I occassionally painted mini paintings. Really mini canvasses on stretcher frames: 2.25" x 3.25". When I began painting on Raymar's archival canvas boards (after a workshop with Carol Marine) I made a complete switch. Fast forward to last weekend at the Handmade Market. I've been thinking for a while that it would be nice to offer an item for sale that wasn't as costly as my paintings...but what? Last Christmas I made about 30 handmade cards that were reproductions from a few of my paintings but because I'm a stickler about keeping things original and not making prints/giclees etc... I thought I'd better nix the card idea as well. 
Then, on Saturday, something a jeweller said to me flipped a switch and I realized I could make a number of original mini-paintings to offer for sale! This may be just what I need for people who linger at my table, liking my art, but are looking for a smaller price point. And it will still be completely original art! So today I raided the kitchen for subject matter and did a number of these mini canvasses. I'm going to work on these between now and the Christmas market and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted!

Scenes from Eat.Drink.Paint at The Good Earth!

 Gathering in the morning to talk art!
 Ahh! A nice, LARGE canvas!!!
Nice day at the office, eh?
The gang minus two (who unfortunately had to leave before the end-of-the-day photo!)

Friday was another great day : ) I was blown away with the quality of the work - and especially proud of the brave souls who came with no prior experience and just dove in! Some sketched, some painted, all took in the beauty of their surroundings and enjoyed the day : ) I've posted a few of the photos here but you can check out my Facebook page (Eat Drink Paint) to see the rest. Thank you to those who came out (and extra hugs to my father and sister who signed on for the day). I enjoyed hanging out with all of you and learning/painting/experiencing together - oh yes - and I would be remiss if I didn't mention eating and drinking together too! (wait - that sounds bad - it was just one glass of

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Uh oh...

I went to the book shop to buy Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, and I came home books! In case you can't read the titles I got books on Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams, Maurice Sendak and two on Vincent van Gogh (dreamy sigh). Now I can't wait to curl up and begin reading. How lucky to have that kind of reading for work!
It was a busy weekend - the market was great and I've got lots of pictures from the plein air class on Friday. I will post them tomorrow. Lots of fun. 
p.s. I did end up finding Alias Grace at the second book store. And it was the only book I walked out with ; ) 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beamsville field

Today I was out painting at The Good Earth prepping for my class tomorrow. Fall has arrived, baby! Whoa, was it fresh!  And a little windy. And I loved every minute. The hot, humid air is gone and it's time to pull out the fuzzy socks and hot drinks. This painting is acrylic, 11" x 14".

HandMade Market this Friday and Saturday at 13th Street Winery!

Tomorrow the HandMade Market begins at 13th Street Winery. It runs for 2 days: Friday from 3-9pm and Saturday from 11-5pm. Admission is free and all are WELCOME! There will be a delicious fall-inspired $5 menu, wine, chocolates, natural bath and body products, concrete castings and garden art, hand-sewn bags, designer clothing, jewellery, and of course - original small works by yours truly ; ) All my daily paintings will be on sale for a flat $75 and I will also have a few copies of my book ($25) available! What a LOVELY way to spend a fall weekend!
Tomorrow I will also be having a plein air class at The Good Earth and I can't wait! It's always a lovely way to spend a day. Since the class goes till 4:00 and I am supposed to be at the Market for 3:00, my awesome husband has offered to set-up my table and man my booth for me till I get there! Thanks honey!
13th Street Winery is located at 1776 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Garden garlic - SOLD

Not from my garden, 'cause I don't have one of those ; ) But I bought a bunch of them at a stand and we used them for making our dill pickles a few weeks back. Making pickles is suprisingly easy but can feel overwhelming. That's why they're best done with people you like hanging out with ; ) We stuffed our jars with lots of chili peppers, dill and garlic.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (includes free shipping)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carving II

He's baaaack! This is the bust I painted here. I just love this cheap little find I picked up for a buck. I sense a series coming on... 
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (free shipping included) 

Paintings up!

The Framing and Art Centre has hung some of my larger plein air paintings along with a number of my framed daily pieces. Thank you! Speaking of my larger works, my new website will be up and running soon - hopefully a week or so. I'll be sure to announce it when it's complete!

Monday, September 12, 2011

PB & J

A classic! I saw this jar of red currant jam in the fridge and it needed to be painted.
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Market grapes - SOLD

So named because that's how my kids differentiate local grapes from grocery store imports. These are the ones we buy now at the local fruit stands. There's always an enthusiastic call of "Market Grapes!" when they first see them. How are they different? Very small - and a sweet, tangy flavour..delicious!
Upcoming events: Friday will be the next plein air painting day at The Good Earth. Our theme is "The Noble Grape". It's going to be a great day!
Friday and Saturday I will be at the Fall Handmade Market being held at 13th Street Winery. You can find pictures of the winery and the different vendors by clicking the link. 13th Street Winery is not actually located on 13th Street ('cause they like to be tricky like It is located at 1776 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines. Stop on by! All my daily paintings will be on sale for $75.

6"x6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coffee tumble

This one had some challenges: ellipses, curves, foreshortening, metal, ceramic and glass. A good workout!
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / $100 (includes free shipping worldwide)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hot stuff - SOLD

I really enjoy the variety of colour in these peppers. It's all about careful observation. Go with the colour you see, not what you assume it should be. After painting these on Monday with a bit of an electric vibe I decided to lay them on white and and let the peppers be the soul star of the show.
6"x6" / oil on archival panel / SOLD

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Announcing my new book!

Kim Rempel ~ small works by Kim Rempel | Make Your Own Book

I've been hard at work compiling my first book of small works and now 
it is ready to share! Inside you'll find many of my favourite pieces since
 I began daily painting in the summer of 2009. I created this book 
through and am very happy with the result ; )
*update since original post* I've had a few people inquire 
as to what type of book this is: an e-book, paper etc... It is 
a 54 page, softcover, full-colour book. Books can be ordered directly 
from Blurb. They print it, take your payment and ship it to your address. 
The best way to view is to click on the book icon 
on the sidebar of my blog, or to go to and enter my name in 
the search window. I had a lot of fun putting it together and I hope you 
enjoy it! Hey - you may want to make one of your own!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Four little hotties - SOLD

I woke up this morning to the sad news that I'm sure everyone has heard by now: Carol Marine's house was destroyed by a wildfire over the weekend. My heart goes out to them as they begin to process what that now means : ( The only positive thing I can say is that her family is safe,  thank goodness. I'm pretty far removed from Texas and don't know if other familes have been as fortunate in that regard. Here's hoping. I took a class from Carol in 2009 and she was generous, funny and genuine. We're all thinking of you and your family Carol ((hugs)). If you'd like to send them a donation, card or paintings props, I know Kathy Cousart posted information on Facebook. 
Okay - well, aside from that...this morning I painted these peppers from my sister-in-law's garden. In fact we minced one of these last night on top of our nachos. Yum! These are going to keep our tongues tingling this winter ; )
And a special thank you for the shout-out from Diane Hoeptner today on her blog post: Mull it over Monday. Thanks. I find your blog interesting and your work is beautiful. You rock ; )
And while I'm on shout-outs - here's one to my friend just because she never fails to inspire me right when I need it: one word and you'll know who I'm talking about: Huzzah! (yes, that's you Crystal Cook ; )
6" x 6" / oil on archival panel / SOLD

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Studio work

Detail of new oil painting, 12"x24"
Above: oil painting worked up in studio from previous acrylic plein air painting (shown below)
Summer Light, acrylic, 12" x 24"

I'm trying something new. Often you hear about artists doing field studies and then working up their paintings in a studio environment. When I'm plein air painting I use acrylics. Well, early this summer I painted a piece that I really loved and wondered what it would look like worked up in oil (which is what I normally use for my daily paintings). So I got a new canvas and looking at the old piece, re-imagined it in oil. I've shown both here. I don't know if you can see it in this size reproduction but the acrylic has much more "ground" poking through. And more brushy and translucent layers. Does the oil capture the spontaneity of the original acrylic? I'm leaning to the acrylic piece as the winner here but maybe it's because I've looked at it longer and have grown more attached. Maybe the oil is more polished? Thoughts? What are your experiences in this type of thing? You can see the acrylic painting in a larger format here. Happy holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ART LOVE: Cape Cod Afternoon by Edward Hopper

Image © 2006 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

When I think of Hopper I think of Nighthawks (below) which he painted in 1942 however when I was browsing images of his work this afternoon I came across this one (above) and it really caught my eye. This was painted in 1936 and is in the collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art (if you'd like to read what they wrote about the painting, click here). I thought the composition was beautiful. The surface of the walls is spectacular. I especially quite like the handling of the building in the foreground. The bits of sky poking through the porch posts and tree on the right is delicious. And that triangle of light hitting the corner of the dormer midway in the painting is beautifully seen! It is 34"x50".

I went looking through a lot of his paintings today and this