Thursday, 19 October 2017

Serious Work

colour sketch on paper
Having decided that I will take this painting job seriously; I am reading, researching and listening to information on how to do this, whenever I get a spare moment.  While I paint I love to listen to Podcasts and one of THE BEST podcasts I have come across for artists is the Savvy Painter.  Antrese Wood, who is also a very good artist, hosts weekly podcasts with some superb and interesting artists  / artsy people and they discuss all things arty.  LISTEN to it, it's great!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Not the most attractive thing

Today I did a lot of 'un-fun' things in order to prep for more paintings.  I had to shop for art supplies - I am not a keen shopper.  Then I GAC'd and Gessoed lots of hardboard panels in preparation for a series I am tackling.  Then I had to complete a self-portrait as homework for tonight's class.  Self portraits are hard and in this one I looked pissed off but it is because I am concentrating on trying to draw myself properly, which wasn't easy.  Oh well.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

On a spree...

I am in the process of completing my very last University art class in order to obtain my Fine Arts Certificate.  It is Figure Drawing - we mostly draw from the live (nude) model and have a couple of drawing assignments each week to hand in.  Below is a bit of homework I tackled today, a copy of a an old master drawing.  I also dabbed at a small 8x10 and a larger oil painting I am tackling.  Both were not dry enough from my last painting session so I kind of started making a mess and had to give up.  I seem to have a ton of ideas lately and am on a painting spree of sorts.  Hope this lasts!!
my sketch of old master drawing - p 149 Charles Bargue

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Road Trip Inspiration

I had the opportunity to do a very short road trip with one of my sons, as he was off school this week.  We had 3 days and drove to Fernie, BC.  We snapped photos enroute - me for inspiration and painting material and my son, just because he is a talented, aspiring photographer.

Fernie, BC

I saw this fabulously coloured camper van in the parking lot in Black Diamond? I think it was.  I decided to do a warm up painting this morning with it.  It was a tad more technical than what I imagined - so I spent more time than I wanted to on it.  However I think it is worth saving to do a future painting from, with more thought about the background.

Friday, 6 October 2017

What is art?

Starting to add some colour

As an 'emerging' artist I am always interested in learning new things and trying to improve my art.  I was looking up a residency program in Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan when I came across the following:

"Have you always wanted the intensity of a day or 2 (or 3) in a large earthen hole with one other person?
In the Hole is a short-term residency located in an earthen hole on Treaty 6 territory in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Each resident will spend 6 hours each day in this hole as a participant in this residency. Residents can come for one day up to a maximum of 3 consecutive days. There will be one person at a time at the Residency.Have you always wanted the intensity of a day or 2 (or 3) in a large earthen hole with one other person?"
You can check it out yourself by clicking residency in a hole.  I admit I did laugh, thinking that this was a joke and I pictured a camera being set up to take pictures of whatever unsuspecting sucker came along who actually took it seriously.  Trying not to judge.
Anyhow..back to the ongoing struggle.  I am working on the larger version now of my smaller study of Cypress Hills.  Trying to use lots more paint and make it more 'impressionist' in style.  I found the beautiful paintings of Erin Hanson to inspire me.  We shall see if this larger one turns out.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Get Organized

Oil sketch for larger painting
I am enjoying the oil sketch I am doing in the hopes of tackling it on a larger scale.  I often find when I am doing a 'sketch' I am very relaxed, loose and enjoying just slapping down some paint.  These paintings not surprisingly usually turn out much better than the second more laboured painting.  Think I would learn from this.

I was trying to do another painting and was struggling with finding the colours I wanted. So...  I finally got sick of digging through the pile of oil paint, went out to the garage for organizing inspiration and found this tackle box that is not being used, because it was too big to be practical to haul out into the woods.  It now holds all my oil paints and needed oil paraphernalia.  I think I love it.

My beautifully organized tackle box with a yellow, red, blue and green drawer; a swatch of each colour painted on thick board and labelled.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Colour issues

Painting in progress 9x 12 on gesso board
Working on a view up near one of the teahouses at Lake Louise.  Stopping for a while as the blue and orange mountain are bugging me.  I am taking a break with more famous Canadian's which I will post once I am done.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What's up with that?

I often feel like I never get enough time to paint. I still prioritize other things like housework, community commitments, etc before art.  I think because art doesn't feel like work, I feel guilty working on it when there are 'other' things that need doing.  However every good practising artist I have met says you have to treat it like a job - 9 - 5:00 pm and paint if you want to actually get serious about it.  I am hoping to take that advice and get serious.

Since my last post, I have kept busy on lots of projects. As a board member of our community league I planned and helped carry out a Canada 150 celebration - 500 people showed up and it was almost a full time job in the week or two leading up to it.  I also created a couple of giant puzzles for Art in our Park and ran an interactive painting project for the crowds.  That was fun and went really well too.  Here are the puzzles, one was after Lemoine Fitzgerald's The Harvester and the other after Emily Carr's Haida Totems:

Fitzgerald - The Harvester

Emily Carr - Haida Totems

I am also taking a Figure Drawing night class.  Below is my attempt at a self portrait.  I can't post much else from this class as it is mostly nude figures we are sketching.  Figure drawing REALLY helps improve the ol' drawing skills.
self portrait - sketch on paper

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Progression of a Painting

zaanse schans Holland


Painting in progress - 8'x10' oil on birch panel

I have returned from a lovely holiday, now filled with inspiration to paint some of the beautiful places we visited. I still have to tackle some Canada 150 paintings but right now I am inspired by windmills, so I had to paint them.

Thursday, 4 May 2017


8x10 oil on gesso paper

Talk about suffering for one's art - I had to eat all of this poutine after I photographed it.  Wow, I did suffer later, but it was delicious.  Poutine is another very Canadian thing, but ironically I bought it at NewYork Fry's. What's with that...  Anyhoooo... poutine is VERY challenging to paint.  It is one big mess of greasy delicious, fries, gravy and cheese curds.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Nanaimo Squares - MMM Canada

Nanaimo Squares
This was a quick 1.5 hr painting.  Nanaimo Squares are very Canadian and a Christmas favourite - especially my Mom's homemade ones.  I am falling behind due to work and taking a couple days off, so I am going to have to get 2 paintings a day started.  Below is the family recipe - missing some detail - I tend to cook the base over a low heat for a few minutes because of the egg in it and I usually 1/2 the icing part because I can't hack an 1/2 inch of frosting on my squares.  Enjoy!