Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In the studio + an elegant explanation

acrylic on stretched canvas / 11"x14"
This is perhaps the most elegant, succinct quote on appreciating/understanding abstract painting I've ever come across. This is an excerpt from Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art by Iris Nowell (published by Douglas & McIntyre). Nowell states:
Crucially for me, I learned that appreciating Abstract Expressionist art begins with surrender, by allowing a painting to possess you. Once this occurs, you stop looking for symbols or messages or meanings and experience instead rhythm, energy, power, grace.
She says more, which is also quite wonderful, but for today I'll leave it at that : )

Monday, March 25, 2013

My work today

Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was. ~Jackson Pollock
I read this quote today and I just  it.
acrylic on canvas / 10"x12"

Friday, March 22, 2013


Acrylic Abstract Painting Workshop
Saturday, April 13th, 10am-4pm • $55
We’ll start the day with a demo, look at various Abstract Painters and explore techniques. The afternoon will be devoted to your final piece. Please bring your own painting supplies, easel and lunch. Coffee/tea + sweets provided. Microwave and fridge are available.
Location: Kim’s studio at 4860 Union Rd, Beamsville, ON
Please email Kim to register:
Let’s paint!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New work + new class

This is a piece I began some time ago but finished off today. It is acrylic, 18x24.
Just to let you know, I'm holding an abstract painting class Saturday, April 13 at my studio. I'm excited about it - details will follow shortly!
I also wanted to promote a fundraiser for the Grimsby Public Art Gallery. Saturday, April 6th at 7pm they will be holding their annual Silent and Live Auction. The theme is Artists in Wonderland. There will be live music, hors d'oeuvres, door prizes and speaking from experience, it is a lot of fun! Something different for a night. It is a FANTASTIC place to purchase art at a really good deal. You'd be amazed : ) I will have this painting there to bid on, "Bella Lake, Muskoka" although unfortunately this year I can't attend. So...don't delay - call the gallery and order some tickets!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monster Quilt - DONE!

Three years ago (!) on my blog I posted pictures of these monsters I was stitching to be sewn into a quilt as a keepsake. They were made from drawings my kids did on paper with marker over the course of 2008. Finally....the quilt is now done and hanging. I am so happy! Plus, they don't draw like that anymore so it's a great memory of a stage in their lives.
I have three people I want to thank for help in this project. The first is Iris. It was at her house where I first saw an embroidered picture she had done from one of her children's drawings (who is now a man). It utterly charmed me and it was her work that inspired the whole project! Then I have to thank Donna who taught me how to stitch (and who before that told me: Sure I could make a crazy quilt (which I made before I began this project) even though I didn't know how to sew or own a sewing machine! She also took all these finished squares and sewed the muslin trim around them. Then I have to thank Mary for taking it back to Alberta with her and sewing on the trim, tabs and backing. It was now ready to hang! My husband put it up on the weekend and I am so glad it's finally done.
For the quilt squares I tried to stay as close to their drawings as I could. I really wanted to be true to their visions of their monsters. So for example where they outlined things in orange, and coloured in purple, I found threads and fabrics to portray that. There were some drawings that they made in pen and I asked them what they had envisioned for those and then used my own judgement. I also embroidered their initials beside their monsters so that years down the road we could remember whose was whose.

Monday, March 18, 2013

New work

A few people have asked about my process on these - whether it's mapped out beforehand or primarily intuitive. It's pretty much intuitive. I start out with a lot of colours on the canvas, which don't necessarily make sense with each other or even indicate how the finished piece will look. Then I grab my charcoal and begin drawing a few random shapes and lines - quite free flow and calligraphic. And then it is a series of layer upon layer, scratching, washes, and more drawing. A large percentage of the time it scares me as I'm pretty sure I've lost any colour sense or composition completely! But then I step back and look for larger shapes and then begin the process of unifying.
By the way, I am teaching a class on abstract painting this Saturday in Niagara-on-the-Lake. If anyone is interested mesage me for details!
acrylic / 12" x 12" on gallery wrapped canvas

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New work

So this is the one (with a detail immediately below) that last looked like this (two images down). Progression. And I am done! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Here's what I've been working on the last couple of days. Above it's on my wall, below, just the image.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New work

I am still working on the piece I posted Monday. It's getting there...
This is a piece I finished last week. Thanks to Allison who told me to STOP. : )
acrylic / 12" x 12"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Work in progress

So this is the latest abstract painting in my "In the City" series. It is still a work in progress. Parts of it are working. I'm liking what's going on in the very bottom right corner and in the 4th quadrant in general, but the whole still needs work/much thought.
I got hit with a nasty cold + fever but am on the mend - except for the cough, which seems to have worsened - but I'm working on it. Thanks for the tips by the way. I am already a big ginger tea drinker and I'm trying all the other tricks too. On a positive note, spring is definitely in the air! Birds are chirping, snow has melted and temperatures are above zero. Happy March.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Escarpment painting progress

Didn't get as far as I'd wanted to today. I came down with a nasty cough/throat thing (if you could hear me  on a roll you'd want to disinfect your screen). But it's starting to take shape.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Park (In the City series)

Here is the latest painting in my "In the City" series. It is 16x20, acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

What's on the easel today...

This is a new piece I've started - a painting of a section of the Niagara Escarpment. It's another large one - 24x30 and acrylic. I've seen pictures of artists in warmer climes plein air painting this week and I look forward to getting out there soon! I used to do plein air in winter but I've wimped out this year. Spring is coming!