Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's a Wrap!

Hello on this last day of December, 2013!  It is snowing a fog outside my window, but I have already finished the errands I needed this morning before it began full force, and now I am happy to be snug indoors, making soup.  
Reflecting on 2013, I have heaps to be thankful for!  Love and health of course are at the top of the list. In art, one of the best things I ever did was to make the decision to make more time for my art. I quit my job at the frame shop 3 years ago now, and since then I have been growing my little art business slowly and steadily, and at the same time growing my art with each painting.  The final month of this year has really been a boom and I couldn't be more delighted!
Janet with Rome Nights I and II
Yesterday morning I stopped at the house of my friend Janet as she was so excited and wanted to show me where she hung up her two new paintings Rome Nights and Rome Nights II.  I hadn't remembered that Janet had lived in Rome a number of years ago for 4 months.  So when her husband Dave gave her a gift box under the Christmas tree with a coupon allowing her to pick out a 'Sally Chupick original'  on Christmas morning, she started checking out my website and identified strongly with the Rome Nights paintings.  
Personally I couldn't be happier for them to reside with my dear friend Janet.  Those paintings are special to me..they were painted to record and evoke the mood and atmosphere experienced in the sultry Italian evenings dining and wandering in the old city cafe's and piazza's, and at the same time I purposely tilted the perspectives to give them more personality...the thing that pleases me so much is that Janet understands their quirkiness and enjoys them.  But then, that's Janet too.  He broke the mold after He created her.  She's so special!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bright Winter Moon

Bright Winter Moon - oil on wood - 12 x 16
Hello there! It's great to be back online again. Our internet was 'knocked out' for 5 days while we experienced the effects of an ice storm that moved through our area a few days before Christmas... a very small sacrifice compared to the thousands of households that were without power (in Toronto) and still are.  It will be a memorable holiday season for many, memorably miserable for some.  I worked on this little painting last week, but was unable to post it after we lost our signal. I had first thought I would paint snow falling, but then decided the moon was more of the star(little celestial joke) in this case....so added the cat as a bridge,  linking the house and the moon.  I got the idea from Miss Puss(my daughters cat) who was visiting us during the holidays.

Friday, December 20, 2013

'that' feeling

I got it on Wednesday...that feeling...the magic moment.  heh heh.  Trimming our little tree,  listening to Christmas carolls...that feeling came into the room and lingered,  my heart("that was two sizes too small") grew larger and I felt Christmas. joyful. thankful. blessed. all those things.  Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Market

December Market - 9 x 12 - oil on gessobord panel
Chilly last night... but with my studio radiator cranked up I was cozy working on this little painting. Lots of wreaths and greenery for sale at the market in December.  I have subdued the green in the sky to give more of a frosty feel. It was fun painting with the light tints, sort of like adding frosting to a cake.
I was supposed to go to Ottawa last night, but am going today instead. Better to drive during daylight and not in snow squalls, which was the weather in Ottawa last night.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Halifax trip and mini block sale Ebay

Maria, Sally & Rachel relaxing on the couch

Back from Nova Scotia on Monday! Had a good visit with daughter Rachel and Matt. Lots of chats and one on ones, made it feel completely Christmasy even though early. 
We had clear weather for a wander around Halifax on Saturday and walking the dog on Sunday.  I cant believe what a quick trip it is by air, considering it's next to the Atlantic. My plane left Halifax at 10 am, and I landed in Ottawa, then drove to Kingston...I was at home and sipping a cappucino in my own little house by 2:30pm, and I didn't speed at all!
Tonight I'm heading to Ottawa to be Nurse Sally for a week, then back home again on the 17th to get ready for our Christmas.  Doesn't leave a lot of time for painting, but I'm dabbling in the studio in between.

ON SALE  now on Ebay,  Two of my seasonal mini-block oil paintings are on sale at 20% off the regular retail price. These two are newly listed.

Winter Cabin mini-block oil painting
click here

Winter Cabin 2 mini-block painting
click here

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Make art, be happy

I was downtown just before lunch today and passed by our market square, Kingston has a lovely one. There is a public skating rink just behind city hall, and there were some lunch hour skaters gliding about. just dreamy.  one gal was even gliding around the rink chatting away on her mobile phone...o to be so sure footed!   The square is also a subject on my easel at the moment...the early morning light of a winter market day.  You can see the beginnings of it in the picture, I'm  figuring out tones, and even though I have an initial idea, you never know it might morph into another idea as I progress. 
I like that about oil painting...the ability to change direction if and when I feel like it.  Inspiration is best when it sneaks up on you and surprises you with an idea you may not have thought of.  There is a little quote by artist Robert Genn taped to my easel which I love...it inspires me, reminding me of process:  "Take your brush here and there like a bee in an alpine meadow. Watch the greater image materialize.  You need that thing over there to tell you what to do about that thing over here."
Concurrently, I have a nocturne on the go too...will post both when done.  It certainly feels good to get back in the saddle after a busy month of everything but painting!  Yesterday was so mild it was the perfect day to string up the outdoor lights and I've been baking quite a bit too. tra la la la la; la la la la!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Art Swaps and yay for December.

December is here...the season of lights!  I am so glad of it. Glad for friendship, and glad for sharing.  Sharing art and swaperoo's with artist pals!  

Did a fun swap with 2 pals recently and now I'm the lucky recipient of this darling little glass dove, and this beautiful encaustic painting!  Lucky, lucky me.
Below is a picture of some of my art in the Upstairs Gallery at The Blue House in Brighton, ON. It's a lovely airy space, and I was happy with the way the work looked when it was all hung up. My show runs from Dec 1 - Dec 28.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

solo show at The Blue House, Brighton

You're invited!  This Sunday, December 1st is a wine and cheese opening reception(4-6pm) for a show of my works in Brighton, Ontario at The Blue House, where I am the featured artist for the month of December. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to show my work in a new venue, and such a pretty one too!  
The Blue House is a marvelous gift shop on the main street in Brighton.  There will be about 25 paintings of mine in Upstairs Gallery.  If you're in the vicinity it would be wonderful to see you there at the wine and cheese opening! 

RSVP: thebluehousebrighton@gmail.com 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

balancing empty space with detail

I've recently made big changes to a painting that I initially thought I had completed a couple of weeks ago.   Took a big brush and some thick opaque paint and wiped out a whole for-ground that I had spent at least 2 weeks 'getting right'.  Turns out I didn't.  The problem was just 'way too much stuff', so that there was no where for the 'eye to rest'.  It was more a cutesy illustration than a painting really... actually made me uneasy just looking at it.  I kept feeling like if I could just get rid of the 'stuff' on the left side I'd be happier with it...cloud cover? Could that balance some of the detail with a little empty space?  Well, you can see the changes I've made so far...feeling better already:)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Colours

The Colour's - oil on wood - 6x6
I've painted so many of our  town's nooks and cranny's over the years, and I love doing so, but I've quite neglected one of Kingston's landmark heritage sites; Old Fort Henry.  Today's painting(left) is one of a little group attempting to change that. It's not that I haven't wanted to paint it, but it's position on the landscape eludes me; it's like a tiger hiding in long grass.  
'Gateway' - the fort is up on the hill on the left here
'Sunset at Fort Henry' - watercolour

From above it presents itself as a grey architectural barricade, which is what it's meant to be after all...but from that angle it doesn't really give one a feel of what it's all about.  An aerial view tends to have the whole landscape as subject and not really the fort itself as focus, as you can see in these 2 other images from past paintings.  

When I paint, I'm most interested in how I feel about a subject.  So this week I have set myself a task of painting a group of little paintings that tries to do just that.  It's a bit of a challenge because although I love painting old stones and light, a Victorian era military fortress  presents it's own challenges...formality for one!  Things like weaponry and uniforms are not arbitrary subjects; yet my goal is to remain true to simple design and painterly application, not getting too caught up in the details.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday at the show

We had a great day today at the Thousand Islands Art show and sale!  The sun shone, people came out...and the little quaint cottage that used to be a piggery (yes...I did say piggery!) was just bustling. I'm too tired to write much else, but here's a couple of piccys from today.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thousand Islands Art Show and Sale Nov 16, 17

Island View - 6x8 oil on panel
Wow, I have a big load to pack in the truck tomorrow! Setting up for the Thousand Islands Arts Show and Sale in Rockport. Just past the intersection between the Thousand Islands Parkway and Buell's Point Road, is Old River Road...a short way along there is a quaint old house called LARUE HOUSE(247 Old River Road).  I will be one of 4 artists showing at LaRue House. There are 3 other locations that the show also takes place at.Check out the brochure/map link above for directions. The show is on from 11am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

In Toronto yesterday for a quick trip; met my Jane for lunch before she began work; lovely! Jane is an associate producer at CBC; when she's in the edit suites her day often begins late and ends late too. Yesterday was one of those days. I wish I had gotten a picture of the two of us, but i didn't think of it! darn.  however I did snap the giant reindeer at the Eaton Centre later on.  Aren't they cool? There was several of them, and a giant green tree of lights too.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Remember them

Remember - oil on wood - 8x8 inches
The poppies this year near my fence were quite spectacular, and I had wanted to paint them, but at that time never got around to it.  With Remembrance day coming up I thought it might be a good time to give it a go...with the addition of a lark sparrow singing.  This monday on the 11th, Dave and I will head to Remembrance day ceremonies, we have missed going in the past few years.
Saturday from 10am-2pm I will participate in an artisan fair at Edith Rankin Memorial United Church on Bath Road, which I'm sure will be enjoyable. I'll be selling small paintings and cards.  Then on Sunday, I'll be at Gallery Perth for a vernisage (2-4pm) for their new show A Change of Art. I'm looking forward to meeting and chatting with the artists there.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Maritime Morning

Maritime Morning - oil on canvas - 24x18 inches

Painting the early morning sunshine glinting across the harbour, I'm fiddling my 'welcome jig' to this sweet city by the sea.
I made lots of changes to my initial composition, listening to feelings about it as it progressed.  I had initially included the Bluenose, but I didn't like the way it was sailing out of the harbour, so I turned it around and had it sailing into the harbour...but then I felt it was not at home...after all, the Bluenose's berth is actually in Lunenburg, so I painted it out completely.  I was happier with the space provided once it was gone.  I had fun developing the docks and the buildings, I didn't pay much attention to what is actually there...it's not literal, but I dont care. It makes me think of Halifax, and that's what I was after.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pushing past stuck

For me the most exciting part of starting a new painting, is the proverbial 'wind beneath my wings'.  That is where I get swept up in the enthusiasm for the idea, working out the design and swiping on those first flourishing gestures in thin oil paint  for the 'block in', laying out my palette with juicy fresh colour.  Sometimes I zoom along and establish most of the painting at this stage, other times with more complicated subjects I let the design percolate and go back to it several times at different intervals moving it forward bit by bit.  If the time lapsed between sessions is great I can easily lose the passion for it.  I look at the painting at it's half-way (ugly)stage and wonder where the joy went.  I feel stuck.
How can I get that feeling back?
What I have found works for me is to put the painting on the easle, push my swivel (easy)chair back about 10 feet and study the painting from that distance.  Then I write a list.  At the top of the list I write down what the painting is "about" to me...the main idea behind it. That keeps me clear on what it is I want to convey.  My work is not conceptual, but I have my own reasons for the paintings I undertake. Underneath the main idea, I list different areas of the painting that need attention, and my plan for resolving these areas.  Sometimes the list is really long,  other times it's just a few tweaks.  It's rather methodical.  It dashes the notion of the free spirited, devil may care, risk-taking artist who dives in and paints with gusto from start to finish. heh heh. nope. That's not me.
Pushing past stuck is pretty straight forward. Time and perserverance are usually what see me through.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Church alerts on the road to Charlottetown

Road Trip, PEI - oil on panel, 12x16 inches
While in Prince Edward Island, I started this painting after a road trip we took to Charlottetown... then it sat on the shelf for 6 weeks.  I may get a tweaking, yet. Can you feel my delight in that bucholic landscape? Sometimes it's difficult not to let my imagination take over completely, but I do work at grounding my thoughts as best I can with the principles of 'light on form'.  
In PEI, there are a lot of churches dotting the landscape.  As we drove along, Susan would spot them first and call out: " Church alert! "  Some were well worth a slow down to view the particular architectural features; many were quite unique.

Speaking of bucholic landscapes...I just got back from a few days in Victoria, and my oh my, the colour there at this time of year is spectacular; golden autumn light creeps into every nook and cranny of the landscape, both rural and urban.  I didn't sketch while there, but did take a few pics of the trees. Of course the pictures don't do them justice at all, as my photography skills lack the ability to capture the brilliance.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

last class today!...hello BC!

Six weeks has flown by. My 'Time to Paint' thursday classes wrap today. It's been  an enjoyable adventure, teaching from the studio. I will definatly run it again during a winter session, although as yet I'm not too sure of the dates.  I'll post them on my website when I confirm that.
The only thing about running a teaching session, is that I find that I seem to paint less myself during the time the session runs for. I'm not quite sure why that is, because I'm only teaching 1 day a week, but it seems that all 'other stuff' gets scheduled in on the other days! life! ha ha ha.  Here's my set up for my demo today, which I hope to keep to 10 min each for the watercolour version and the oil. wish me luck! ha ha.
I'm off to Victoria BC tomorrow morning for a quick trip with the inlaws.  Really looking forward to a few days away with Dave and catching up with the west coast contingent! 
I'm posting progress on my Halifax harbour painting, I'm dying to get at it and finish, hopefully when I get back from BC.! At least I wont have any worries about it being too wet to work on! ha.

Monday, October 21, 2013

birthday bambino

...what else about me does Google know?
Switched on the computer this morning and Google was there as usual, but different...I have to admit, it's just a little creepy, I'm sure it's all meant to be very friendly, but it makes one wonder...what else do they know? Hovering over the image I received a little message: 'Happy Birthday Sally!' ...cute... but it sort of creeped me out.
I am completely spoiled!  Dave bought me an ipad for my birthday! I was at Holly's on the weekend, and we were using their ipad to chat with my daughter Rachel via 'facetime'.  He said my face was 'priceless'  ...it's what gave him the idea. I am totally delighted!!  So nifty! Looking forward to giving it lots of use...and it is a white. I like white.

Friday was road trip day. Bonnie and I delivered new paintings to Gallery Perth.  Sarah came too, and then we did lunch afterwards. Always a pleasure, time with artist gal pals.  A very agreeable jaunt...autumn leaves glorious above the Canadian shield rocks as we drove through the Westport area.  Gallery Perth will be launching their new show A Change of Art on November 10th with an opening reception between 2-5pm.  I have 4 pieces in the show!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quick post before classes

Autumn in the Islands 1 and 2 - oil on wood
Good morning! Cup of tea by my side, thought I'd while away the time before my class starts this morning with a little blog update. Yesterday I got cracking and did the prep needed for today, (it's all about atmospheric perspective today)so it feels relaxing to not be rushing around this morning. 
Weren't we just blessed with fantastic weather for our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend!?  We spent nearly the whole time out of doors, and gosh it was lovely! I was lucky this year, only did some veggies and bought the bird, but Jeff cooked the turkey in his outdoor deep fryer this year...it was delish! and quite the event too. 
Winter Cabins 1 and 2 - oil on wood
I didn't get much time to work on my Halifax harbour painting, though I did get a little...but not ready just yet to post it...so thought I'd show you some more mini blocks which I've been doing to prepare stock for November shows.
Winter in the Islands - oil on wood - 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
My dad's partner Diana passed away, and the funeral is this weekend.  Sad that he will not have her in his life anymore for company, but she is in a better place.  She was not well for the last number of months.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Kingston Prize time again!

This afternoon Sarah Hunter and I volunteered to sit at the door for the Kingston Prize 2013 exhibit in Gananoque.  

This is ALWAYS a spectacular show, and really worth a drive out to see it.  We are so lucky to host this amazing national portrait competition in a town so close to Kingston.  It's open to anybody who wants to enter and lots do...I think this year there were about 400 entries from across Canada!  30 finalists from these entries are chosen for the exhibition, and they all compete for the $20,000 prize.  There are also two honourable mention prizes worth $2000 each, and a peoples choice prize of $1000.  The prizes are awarded at the end of the show.
detail of Sarah Sniderman's 'Algonquin Bride'

I was impressed.  Some spoke to me more than others.  I loved Sarah Sniderhan's 'Algonquin Bride' for it's quiet contemplative dialogue of subject and setting; a self portrait in an iconic Canadian landscape. 

Momcilo Simic's - 'Twelve'
Sarah loved Momcilo Simic's 'Twelve', an exquisite example of contemporary Canadian portraiture, painted with the technical excellence of an old master...one could almost mistake that face for a Holbein, Ingres or Vermeer.
Marina Dieul's - 'Bacchante 3'

I loved Marina Dieul's 'Bacchante 3' .  A contemporary trempe l'oeil masterpiece,  featuring a mythological child(Marina's daughter is the model) peeking out of a burled wood tunnel at what one can only guess is a strange new world.  Will she venture forth, or will she stay in her cocoon?...the viewer wonders...
Denis Nadeau's - Saltimbanka - le doute
A Klimt-like harlequin portrait twinkles from it's corner...why there is gold glitter in that paint! But it is not tacky as one might expect irridescent paint to be; it sings!  Denis Nadeau from Drummondville Quebec has beautifully orchestrated dramatic harmony between the harlequin's costume and her background.

I could go on...there were so many portraits that I thought, amazing.  You can view the 30 finalists online, but it doesn't do them justice.  You really HAVE to see them in their glory...glowing and spotlit in their dramatic temporary home in the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque.  The show is open everyday except Mondays from 12 noon to 8pm until October 20th.  Go see it! You wont be disappointed!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

changing seasons

cottage minis series - oil on wood - 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch
September sure flew by, October seems to be doing the same!  I am painting the mini blocks again, although not the beach-house series,  cottage themes with autumn and winter in mind. I am going to be participating in the Thousand Islands Art Show and Sale on Nov 16 and 17th,, and a few community shows in November too.  These mini blocks are quite popular at the shows, likely to do with the small size and price point, but it's been fun painting them again. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Painting in my sleep

start of Halifax harbour - oil on canvas - 24 x 18"
Perculating ideas for some new paintings this last week has found me combing over my resource material and doing lots of thumbnail sketches. I was finding it difficult to zero in on exactly how I wanted to approach it.  I guess I knew that I didn't want an impressionistic literal harbour view. I think what I was after was 'the feeling' of this glorious harbour.  So last night I went to bed with my head swimming with possibilities.  I think I painted all night in my dreams!  This morning I began blocking it in on the canvas, and I'm happy with where it's heading so far.
I couldn't care less about accuracy; rather, I'm looking for iconic structures, things that make it memorable and unique.  So perspective gets shifted to include things that I feel are important... definately both bridges, pier 21, signal hill, ships and ferry's, St. Georges Island with the lighthouse...oh...ahem...and the Radisson! ha ha!(my daughter Rachel is sales manager there!)  So...how to cram it all in and convince the viewer that they are looking at Halifax, when co-ordinates dont line up?....well, possibly it will work if I show it to them viewed through my Sallyscope ;-)  heh heh.  update to come...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Humming along

Things are humming along in my 'Time to Paint' classes. Yesterday we focused on colour theory a bit, and I gave a watercolour demo before the gang began their own paintings...Brenda, from the afternoon class took this picture, but also seemed to think my shoes needed a picture too!!...heh heh...funny girl. 

Kathleen, one of our class members from the morning session brought a yummy apple crisp freshly made and still warm, we shared it during coffee break, which was a special treat, and the afternoon class was very happy to share what was left for their break too!

Dunes - oil on panel - 8"x 6"
Here's another little plein air painting I did from the dunes and sand near the beach when I was in PEI mid September. 
I love September, it's  full of new changes to experience.  When my girls were growing up, the 'back to school' season always charged my batteries to begin my own new learning curve by signing up for classes of some sort or another.  This year, visiting PEI to paint, and starting teaching from my studio, were my 'new experiences' that have brought a happy change to my life.  O yes indeedy... I'm grateful.