Saturday, 18 March 2017

Learning curve

So part of learning to be an artist is copying the Masters to see their process and learn more.  I did a copy of 'The Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Vermeer a few years back in one of my classes.  It was a great way to figure out all the layers and colours and process that Vermeer may have used.
My pale imitation of the original

I am still struggling to find a style that will work for me, but I find I am drawn to impressionist style paintings done in bright colours (landscapes, people or still life). Artists like Mary Cassat, Sorrolla, Monet, Cezanne or Van Gogh.
Present day artists that are favourites include Mike SvobKarin JurickKari DukeSteve Coffey, Robert genn and most recently added Angus Wilson.  I have taken workshops with Mike Svob and unfortunately missed my one chance at a workshop with Robert Genn who has since passed away.  I attempted a painting similar to one by Steve Coffey (past post).  Below is my attempt to pull off an Angus Wilson painting.  I found one of the most pleasing parts of the painting are the slightly skewed lines coming in and interrupting the painting.  It seems to make the whole picture.  I feel motivated to try something like that in my own style of landscape or portrait to see how that works.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Thinking of spring

Thinking of spring today, as the snow flies again.  I keep trying different versions from some photos of our pond.  This is oil on black gesso canvas.  It needs something 'abstracty' in there, just not sure what.  Nice colours but feel kind of ...meh about it right now.  Oh well... next.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Back to the blog

And so it begins...again.  I have been busy, working since September, teaching outreach art classes in elementary schools for the Art Gallery of St. Albert.  They have tons of great classes for kids and adults, check it out by clicking here.  I have also been working on some paintings and some pottery when I have time.  Below are some of my attempts at both.

Completed painting 48x20 acrylic on canvas

Small soya sauce pot for your sushi set
My pre-fired 'chicken bowl'.  This is a batter bowl, taken from the pages of a ceramic artist magazine, it reminded me of a chicken so I decorated it appropriately
The inside.  Unfortunately, as I am new to this gig, I used a yellow underglaze on red clay.  It looked good enough when it was in the greenware phase, but when I did the final glaze and firing the yellow almost disappeared and the bowl came out a sickly greenish red tinge.  Back to the drawing board!!
Oil painting started from a photo I took on the Skyline trail in Jasper Alberta (below).  Still working on it as I am trying to make it less blah and pop in some bright colours here and there.

In order to update my son's room he chose a graphic of a skier and I made it into a large mural for his wall.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

abstract landscape?

48x52 acrylic on canvas

So this was my first stab at a large scale abstract landscape painting. I started off with a general design idea, from some photos I had near the Milk River in Alberta.  Abstract is much harder to do well than you might think it is.  Colour and design become super important, and currently I haven't got the colours right, with green always being a hard colour to get a handle on.  I think I will try a new layer of paint and see what happens! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Variety - spicing up life

 I have had a fair bit of variety in the art life lately.  I am enjoying my pottery class and am working on a large platter / tapas dishes at home.  I had a number of paintings framed and have hung them around the house.   I am so glad I found a local frame shop that I really like - Kamena Gallery - highly recommend them.  Prior to this I was ordering ready made frames from a place in Kelowna, but that was a bit tricky as I had to do the finishing myself which didn't always look totally professional. The two pieces below are paintings I completed and had framed.
Hot Spring Island
Framed - Oil on Canvas 12x24

Prairie Sky
24x40 Oil on Canvas
I have a smaller oil painting on the go and am about to attack a large scale abstract landscape painting.  The planning phase has been fairly long - choosing a design, colours and knowing that it is supposed to end up being 3 long narrow paintings (triptych), ensuring I lay it out just right.  I am anxious to see what happens but it should be fun!
Planning a large abstract 48x56

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Eggstremly Slow Painting

The start

My set up still life

half-way done

So I am not posting this one on the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, simply because it is not finished.  I was painting painfully slow today, interruptions occurring.  

I am trying to paint this on a piece of what I thought was gessoed paper with oil paints.  The way the paper is sucking up the paint I think it may not be fully gessoed.  I have fallen in love with the toast and the egg yolk, but the plate is my enemy right now.  I will try to finish this tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 January 2016


Quick oil painting on wood panel.  Not thrilled with this one, as I was focusing on the sky and didn't think enough about design.  Also, using my iPhone to photograph all my work is not the best method - I used a red / green for the trees and the little cabins in this painting were shades of brown / red - it all looks black in the photo.  One for the fire pit, ah well.

It is day 23 and I am about 13 paintings behind on the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge!  Not sure if I will be able to catch up unless I go all crazy next week and ignore children and home and FOCUS!!!!