Thursday, February 28, 2013

Update on Women Recreated Project

I just returned from Halifax ,Nova Scotia this afternoon! Had a lovely 3 nights with my darlin' Rachel...she's my middle daughter. It was so great to see her, and really great to miss the wicked snow storm that brought Ontario a fresh blanket of the white stuff while i was away. In NS it was sunny and milder, that's my shadow taking the pic and Rachie walking her dog Asha in the sunshine. 

I just received an email today showing the finished image for the Women Recreated Mosaic Project that I took part in for Queens University. It is sort of nice to see how it is coming along.  I think this is the finished image, but it sort of looks like a few of the squares are still unfinished.  Perhaps they didn't get 100% participation for the project. My image is 5 rows down and 5 across.
It was sort of a fun participation project, although i found it challenging to stick to the theme, colours and basic design layout of my assigned square while at the same time interpreting it in my own style of art-making. 

For me, I find it a valuable experience taking part in local art projects that have a purpose of raising awareness or somehow otherwise benefiting the community. Next month I have volunteered to participate in another community arts related project...The Red Door Art Project...which raises funds for Gilda's club which is a cancer support centre. I will be collaborating with musician Emily Fennell.  Very much looking forward to meeting her and to having some fun with the project.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Part of the process

Getting myself somewhat organized is a bit of a balancing act for me. I dont know about you, but if I let things get too cluttered in my studio i just cant seem to focus at all.  A happy medium between tidy and untidy seems to work best. 
This morning, after receiving a reject letter for an art show I applied for; instead of throwing it out in frustration, i decided to create some files.(yes real files in a drawer...not on the computer!)
I figure after a few years I will likely aquire a optimistic self thinks that instead of being a negative thing this could actually benefit me positively.  In the same way that I get a certain satisfaction out of crossing things off of a 'to do list', I figure that in time I will look back at this file and see it as a testament to the things I attempted and perservered with,not the rejection that it represents today.
In the meantime I cant wait to paint some more beach-houses...that's the little blocks up there on the shelf waiting. I usually use a 'quick-dry white' plus a tint colour for the painting ground, but I didn't have any 'quick-dry white' i used regular 'titanium white' instead. not a good idea.  The thick ground(applied with a palette knife) is taking just FOREVER to dry...another lesson learned! 
I'm off to Halifax this Monday for a few 'girly' nights with my middle daughter Rachel. woohoo! excited.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Starlight oil painting

Starlight - oil on wood - 8 x 8 inches
Was it last night or the night before? ... I was floating in the hot-tub, the stars above me were so  incredibly bright. I noticed that around each was a halo of lilac, pink and gold.

I had begun two paintings both featuring night skies a few weeks ago, but they were languishing. I hadn't been able to connect the sky to the very dark earth below.  But...after studying those stars whilst in the tub i thought: 'why not play up the halos around the stars in my night sky and find a way to somehow connect them to the landscape using similar tones? So this is what happened here. The effect turned out rather jolly ...and(ahem!, this was a surprise...) a little like Van Gogh's 'Starry Starry Night'!   I'll bet he too, studied the halos around the stars one bright night many moons ago. 

The blue I used for the sky was "Indian Blue" which is a blue i inherited from a friends old paint box when she moved.  I've not used it before. It is very intense, but has good power for a night sky.  I'm happy because it turned a very static solemn painting into one of celebration and movement.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wineries Tour

Wineries Tour - oil on Canvas - 30 x 24"
'Wineries Tour'  is the product of painting through the filter of  my recollections.  The memories are from a county wine tour we went on in September.  It's a side-step away from what i usually do...but who wants to be usual?  It's been quite interesting working in this way, and I'm sure I will experiment with other abstract work when i get the notion.  I've been interested in abstracts for a while. Fun to see what evolves.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Still life stage and chooks

Dave made me a great still life stage last month!  The design is very similar to the one designed by Carole and David Marine, available here.  Dave had difficulty finding the furniture grade pvc that was suggested, and so used plumbing piping, but it was not as easy to work with, he had to modify it a bit.  I am just delighted! It is quite large and will fit large bouquet's or smaller items. At the moment i like it draped in white(I'm using old table cloths and pillowcases) but i will likely try other fabric draping options. It's opened up a whole new world of still life to me.  I never did much of it before, as i preferred landscapes, but it is a great option for subjects in the studio and i know i will enjoy the ease of setting up a still life and being able to control the light source(always a problem before when i would set a plant in the window and the light would change as i painted).

chooks - oil on wood - 4 x 4 inches each
I didn't use the stage for these 'chooks'. They are an experiment in pushing impasto effects. Impasto is a word for thicker paint.  I've been wanting to create thicker passages in my work, so I thought i'd give it a try here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

beach houses

beach houses - oil on distressed wood - each are 2.5 x 3 inches
Day-dreaming of holidays; painting these teeny tiny beach houses on unfinished wood blocks are the next best thing to being there for me.  I like painting on wood, i prefer it to canvas...but maybe not over linen...i love linen. Linen has a smoother weave than canvas; my brush glides easily on it.  It's why i like painting on wood too, I guess; less drag on the brush. 

I've been waiting for an order of small wood supports to arrive.  Getting impatient, I had some unfinished wood blocks in the studio.  Looking at their texture reminded me of weathered wood. ...Perhaps 'beach houses' could be a theme?  Perhaps a 'distressed'  border around each? ... i think i feel a collection...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Positively primroses

Primrose 1- oil on wood - 4x4"

 Okay... so I broke down and swung into Neils Flowers on my way home from town last week. I wanted to see spring flowers...especially smell them. I just love to step into their greenhouse at this time of year, like entering a new world full of perfect balance...moisture, growth and renewal. I couldn't resist buying 2 gorgeous primroses.  They remind me of England. When we lived in Camberley, Surrey they were always plentiful in January, in the shops and in the gardens.  The yellow ones have the most devine scent!  They are the ones that also grow wild, so they are more true to the original genesis of primrose.   
Primrose 2- oil on wood - 4x4"

Wash Day - oil on gessobord - 12" x 9"
Then I played around with this painting 'Wash Day'.  I developed it from a plein air that i had lying around from our Vermont excursion; one that's been hanging about ever since. With it's angry clouds (that was during Hurricane Sandy that I painted the clouds) brooding, there was an ominous feeling to it, but it seemed vacant. i added the limestone house first, then later the laundry. I might still add a figure... under the long-underwear on the line...but I'm having a hard time deciding if it needs it...any ideas?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gallery Cafe Season launching exhibition

2013 Season Exhibition
Sally Chupick 
Frankie Lemonde-Meunier 
Vera Donefer
at Mill Street Cafe Gallery

me and some of my works at  the gallery cafe
4400 Mill Street, Sydenham, Ontario, Canada
Ph: 613-376-1533
Feb 14th - Dec 30th  
The Mill Street Gallery Cafe opens the 2013 season with lunches Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30 to 2:30pm. On display are paintings by Sally Chupick, Vera Donefer and vibrant mixed media works by Frankie Lemonde-Meunier. 
613 376 1533. 4400 Mill Street, Sydenham, ON.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

learning and a surprise

Throughout this week I've been experimenting with acrylics some more.  These 2 are on small wood supports, only 6x6 inches. The idea was to skip a photo resource to paint from; instead pulling subject matter from my minds eye and imagination and go at it in a playful sort of way... i wanted to fool around and get used to the 'feel' of the medium. I didn't really care about having anything to say...basically illustrations to learn technique.  
What's with the sailboats you might ask? hmmm... I really have no idea! I was listening to a program on Thursday night on tvo called 'Art of Germany' (a great show!)and the narrator described the sailboats in Casper Friedrich's art as symbolising 'life's great journey'. heh heh. not quite sure that's the case here! heh.

Something's still gurgling away in my mind on another theme i've been working on though; it's to do with the 'County Tour' theme that I've been working on in my larger oil paintings.  I decided to start an interpretive painting to get to the bottom of it. The only thing that seemed fitting to try and work it out was to work in an abstract manner. And that was a surprise even for me!  So far, I'm liking where it's heading, you can see it hanging on the white-washed doors in my studio. I'll post again when I complete it.

abstract 'County Tour' painting in progress ~ 30 x 24 inches

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gerberra's oil paintings

2 years ago when I quit my job at the framing shop, I wondered if I might partly regret it. I enjoyed the interaction with customers and staff; keeping in the loop about the ongoing local arts scene, friendships etc. Going from an art-related job to running a seasonal small business from my home and secluding myself out in the country to paint, could become a recipe for loneliness. 
Gerberras - oil on wood supports - 4 x 4 inches, each

Time has shown me otherwise.  I cannot believe how the time has flown by since then.  Not one day do i ever wish i still had the job!  These days my job takes more self dicipline...such as showing up at the easle when I'm not in the mood, doing the books when i'd rather paint, marketing etc. But it is hugely more satisfying.  Now, I stay in the loop when I want to. Good friends and art clients stay in touch.

And I read more. That's something I had stopped doing for a long time.  This week I've been reading an art book that is widely well known, but i had never got around to reading before. It's a most fascinating read: 
 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' by Betty Edwards.