Thursday, March 28, 2013

family weekend

Easter weekend is a big deal around here since the inaugeration of the Easter Classic last year.   
What is the Easter Classic you ask?  It's a bolo tournament(backyard game) and we play for a cup.  This year all of my daughters plus partners and inlaws will be here to help us celebrate! I'm excited.  Consequently I've been putting my creative energies into prepping for lots of company coming, so takin a break from painting this week.    
Exciting news is Jeff proposed to Holly last night!  woohoo!!!  So when the gang all arrive this weekend there no doubt will be a lot of celebrating going down.  I hope you have a Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

red door update

Finito! Emily and I finished our contribution to the Red Door Art Project last week.  I tweaked it a bit yesterday after I got home from Ottawa and viewed it with fresh eyes...this is now the final's awaiting Emily's signature..I added mine to the bottom portion last night. You probably cant tell in the photo, but there is a lot of metallic bronze and silver paint used; for example the piano keys are silver(not white, like they look here) and have a nice reflective does the twinkling stars in the night sky. We probably should come up with a name for the door...haven't quite solidified that yet...any suggestions?  Hopefully we will turn over the door this week to the Gilda's club office.  I'm not sure how many doors will be in the auction, but I cant wait to see what the other celebrities and local artists come up with. It was a fun experience doing this.

It was also fun being 'vendor for a day' at the Ottawa hospital on Friday, at one of the hospital auxilliary tables.

Holly was just great, helping me load, unload and set up my display, and she promoted my efforts to all her co-workers... I am so lucky to have my amazing daughter in my cheering section!  

My friend AEmilia visited me and brought lunch...deliscious dahl soup and naan bread; that's her in the piccy with me. She is good at sales! wowzie she can work it. heh heh. Thank you AEmilia! My 2 tables were set up outside the hospital gift shop. I enjoyed the experience ...I sold some small paintings and gifts. It gave me a good idea of what to prepare for if I do it another time..perhaps one day in early December, before Christmas. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

vendor for a day

I'll be at the Ottawa Civic Hospital on Friday, March 22nd.  I have 2 tables to display  small paintings and gift items.  I"ll be in the main floor area, near the gift shops.  I thought it'd be a great way to show a different circle of people what I do, and market my smaller art items.  It's an initiative by the hospital auxilliary,  and in addition I'll get to see my daughter Holly and my friend AEmilia who is going to bring us lunch.  fun times.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

getting started

Emily Fennell - the polka dot master
Today we got started painting our door!  We are combining themes of interest that represent both of us, music for Emily, art for me.  The music and art is piping out of chimneys and windows, over the rooftops, and under the night sky of a funky little heritage town:) We have a general idea what we want, but the paint and the application of it is giving us surprises we hadn't expected to encounter, like transluscent colours when we need opaque, etc etc.  I'm sure we will make decisions as we progress that we hadn't originally planned...but that's the fun of it. That's Emily applying a polka-dot border, and below making music:)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Red Door Art Project beginnings...

Tomorrow Emily and I are getting together to work on our Red Door Art Project.  We already met 2 weeks ago to brainstorm ideas and we have a few design sketches figured out to work from. The designs are cartoon like in the sketches, but I want to encourage freedom in application. I think it would be nice to be as expressive as possible. 

polka dots?
Originally we thought about doing a thin checkerboard border to grab the eye...but I'm starting to feel that might be too constrained; so I've been thinking perhaps of trying polka dots instead...I will chat about it with Emily tomorrow when we get painting. We are planning a palette of warm tones, red, orange, purple etc. The door is all ready for us on the easle now.  The back and sides are bright red, and we are going to keep that consisitency in the front borders too.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


While out shopping on the weekend, I ran into a lovely friend and previous student of mine who asked me if I would teach again anytime soon.  It's the second request I've had quite recently.  I answered: "I'm thinking about starting again in September".  She said "or maybe the spring?".  I do understand the request, the urgency.  In it I recognise the same desire to begin something ...joining a class or a group of painters is one of the best motivations for setting yourself on the mission of making time for your painting in your otherwise busy life.  

I considered it again...I went home and seriously looked at the calender and wondered how I might fit it in this spring, but alas... with a 2 week holiday away in April... it just doesn't leave much time. There's my porch gallery to get ready for summer visitors (I open it May 1st)...also....spring gardening consumes quite a chunk of time. And I do love gardening.

So the fall it will have to be...This year, instead of teaching classes in town, I will run them from my home studio. It will be a lot less hassle than trucking equipment back and forth to class. Doing it from my own home studio will mean less students(max of 4) but a more comfortable pace for me.  It will be an 'open' class, in that students can work in their medium of choice; instruction will be individual.

Friday, March 8, 2013

beach huts and a project

Beach Huts - oil on weathered wood - 2.5 x 3 "inches
I do seem a little obsessed with painting these little beachy blocks, but they are giving me a certain pleasure. Less of a time commitment for sure than working on something larger, and I can sit while I paint them.  They satisfy the desire to "create something beautiful everyday" as Deanne Fitzpatrick says.   I feel like I'll never run out of subjects for them much scope has the sea!

Yesterday morning Emily Fennel came over and we put our heads together to collaborate ideas for The Red Door Art Project, something we're working on for a Gilda's Club fundraiser. It was a delightful meeting, she's such a sweet gal, we threw out ideas, gelled some too. Painting a door is different than creating a painting. Basically we want something fun and fabulous that reflects both of our style... is original, but beautiful too; because the purpose is to have someone bid on it at auction. What was easy, was that we had similar visions, pretty much agreeing on what we did and didn't like. Now that we have a concept it's going to be up to me to design it. Emily is going to paint it with me after that.  Looking forward to seeing it come to life...stay tuned, i'll post pictures as we go.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March on...

March!  Yes...I love this holds such promise.  The spring equinox is on March 20th.  That is also my Holly's birthday. I watched a program on tv last night which explained about the ancient Mayan civilization creating a temple who's architecture lights up in the form of a snake when the suns rays are cast upon it on March 20th.  The temple is in Chichin Itza. 
I am marching along with my beachy house blocks. I'm having heaps of fun with them. Something about the sea...makes me feel like i'm on holidays.  Speaking of holidays...I'm excited because in April, we are heading to Florida...hmmm...more beach resources. ha .

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

beachy blocks

Three more beach blocks from yesterday. They are tiny, so I'm using small brushes, nothing bigger than 1/2 inch angled, and as small as 3/0 for some of the work.  Tiny brushes never wear very well for me...seems i'm always replacing them...their tips get all bent out of shape. I am taping off the edges of these blocks with painters tape. This allows me to stay loose, because the biggest issue about painting small is the tendency to paint tight. i dont want that. I start each one from a reference, but quickly let it speak to me; changing the shapes, and colours ...I'm after the feeling not the detail.  
I'm listening to Life of Pi on audio book while i painting.  I saw the movie a number of weeks ago.  Then I really wanted to read the book, but knew i wouldn't have time, so audio is the solution for me.  It's well written, enlightening, deep and such an unusual story...really enjoying it.