Saturday, May 25, 2013

new Events category on my website

my website - 'Events' added on left nav bar
A new category has been added to my website...EVENTS!  I thought this would be a good way of letting clients know of what art shows and other events I'm participating in.  It will also come in handy for notifying folks about classes / workshops.  Don't know why I didn't think of adding it before...but there you go!  It's up now and I'll update it frequently as I book things. Here's the link to my Events page.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

That Blue - Lapis Lazuli

April Love by ER Hughes
When I was a teenager I saw the work of  Edward Robert Hughes in a gallery; I was smitten.  It was this painting, 'April Love'.  At the time I thought he was one of the pre-raphaelite painters.  I remember telling my mother about the beautiful painting I had seen in the gallery that day when I got home.  When I mentioned the pre-raphaelite's she immediately knew which painting i was talking about. Speaking to the dreamer and romantic within me, I was utterly captivated...beautiful young women with flowing hair and robes painted with a heightened reality, set in nature.  What teenage girl wouldn't love them? 

Midsummers Eve by Hughes
Later I found out that Hughes was not actually one of the  pre-raphaelite group. That surprised me. He was not even a contemporary in his time.  Like John William Waterhouse who was also heavily influenced by the pre-raphaelite style...both continued painting in this (at the time) 'old fashioned' the late Victorian, and well into the Edwardian eras.

When I was in college I purchased a few posters to decorate my room.  One of them was 'Midsummer's Eve'.  My friend Jane Stamps  always sent a Christmas card with an angel on it every year, it was 'Night With Her Train of Stars' by Hughes.  I still have that card, though my dear friend Jane is no longer with us. She's gone to join her angels.

Hughes used a lot of Lapus Lazuli in his paintings, that gorgeous iconic blue which has been treasured by artists over the centuries. 
Night With Her Train of Stars by Edward Robert Hughes
Lapis Lazuli- Italian Renaissance  art
Lapis Lazuli is a rock that mostly consists of the mineral Lazurite.   Ground into pigments throughout antiquity; it was prized as it was a relatively rare semi-precious stone... these days, it is the synthetic version, French Ultramarine Blue, that has largely replaced Lapis Lazuli on most painters palettes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kingston's 'Art After Dark' - May 23rd.

On Thursday evening Downtown Kingston will host Art After Dark...a soiree of galleries, shops and artists studios hosting art exhibitions, music and refreshments  from 7-pm to 10pm!  It's a fun evening of gallery hopping in mild spring weather...hope the rain holds off.  I will be showing some works and hanging out at Kingston Frameworks, but I will also pop out to visit other exhibitions/receptions for some of the evening.  Two of my artist friends, Sarah Hunter and Bonnie Brooks will be featured artists at Gallery Raymond's exhibit. I'm looking forward to seeing some of their new work there.  
I've been working on more of my tiny wood block paintings...this time some farms...the simple life.  Life has been pretty simple this past went on the fritz.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

summer campus

I lived close to Queens university when I was a student at St. Lawrence college back in the 70's.  The architecture of many of the older buildings is lovely...not so much the new buildings which are mostly steel and glass. Grant hall is an older has an Italian influence going on.
I enjoy's my most fun part of a painting...lots of liberties with this one... but i rather like the vortex sensation.  Dorothy, are we still in Kansas?  It definately has movement...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Rose bed

Last weekend was mothers day, and when Holly and Jeff arrived for a visit they brought me a beautiful potted Mister Lincoln rose! lovely.  I cant tell you how much I love roses, but i haven't had a great deal of success with any in the spots where I have put them before.  I know now that is because they were in places that were either too windy, or too shady.  I have spent the past 4 days since the weekend thinking about where to plant this new rose... then I remembered....

Two years ago my friend Mary came for a visit and we went for a walk around the garden sussing out the best spot for roses to thrive in my garden.  At that time, we determined that the only really good spot (that gets good sun and protected from the wind) was an extension of the current perrennial bed out by the picket fence.  I meant to create a rose bed there last year, but somehow I just never got around to it! 
Then my friend Sylvia told me about how to use newspapers to suffocate the grass, adding layers of mulch, manure and soil to fertilize and create a good base for a new bed.You can read about the method here.  ...Perfect! I have a big pile of manure brought from a visit to a friends farm 2 weeks ago, and heaps of mulch leftover from the fallen tree branches from the last storm.  So I set to work this morning just as the rain began...perfect weather for planting.  Two hours is my new rose bed! Thrive on Mister Lincoln...thrive on! I love painting roses.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Lots of sail training takes place on the lake in Kingston.  I love watching sailboats. Such a great symbol for freedom. We once knew a family who packed up their 2 kids(aged 8 & 10) and their golden lab and went on a year long sail from Montreal (leaving via the St.Lawrence seaway)and down the east coast of North America to the Caribbean. I was amazed.  I couldn't imagine 2 kids and a dog in a car for more than 2 hours, let alone in a tossing and heaving small sailboat.  But I was impressed.  I get seasick really easily so sailing doesn't appeal for me!  But I love watching them from shore.

Monday, May 13, 2013

farmstead oil painting

Working on some small paintings in the studio today, getting into the swing and rhythm of painting again after having a break of a couple of weeks.  It feels good ...and luscious...and meditative.  This farmstead emerged; there's lots of them like this on roads around South Frontenac. That's the county in which I live. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

studio spring cleaning

I haven't painted since i returned from holiday. Various reasons.  I hope to get that going again soon. Special time communing with paint and canvas is the thing that nourishes my spirit. Like a meditation I feel refreshed and peaceful after a good painting session. I thought I was going to paint yesterday, but I dont know if it was the weather, or me...I was too tired to tap into any creative energy at all.   Instead I decided to do some less taxing but more mundane things like cleaning out my drawers in my studio and re-organizing supplies; getting them off the surfaces they have been cluttering for months which has resulted in less and less real workspace. 
The top drawer is paint...Couldn't believe how much paint I actually own, once i organized it! Some are trial tubes of colours I experimented with, then abandoned...others I've inherited from artists now deceased...and others are the regular palette that i find myself reaching for again and again.  I've grouped all into shallow boxes of primaries, neutrals and earth colours. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

spring - yay!

A good start at the Gallery at the Porch Door this week...visitors and some sales...all good.  Just before closing yesterday afternoon i snapped this piccy; the forsythia and daffs are in bloom out by the sign.
I picked up this  large iris watercolour painting that I had been showing at the hospital in Ottawa; nice to have it up on the wall again in my gallery. It's been a long time since I did a large watercolour like that.  I did think i was going to be doing one for a client this spring, but after back and forth communication we've decided that an oil painting will suit the subject better.  I'm looking forward to beginning it; it's of a BEAUTIFUL property in Australia.
on the farm

Fab weekend...great weather, plus we met Holly & Jeff at a friends farm in Maxville.  Sandy needed some helpers getting the hay bailed and stacked in the barn, so who better to help than a bunch of unsuspecting cityslickers like us? ha ha.  but it WAS fun. We enjoyed an outdoor picnic at lunch and celebrated Jeff's 36th birthday too, and as a special birthday present for Jeff's the Leafs won their playoff game that night!

Friday, May 3, 2013

ready for all kinds of weather...

So I've been sussing out pop-up canopy tents for the past month or two...trying to decide what kind I want to buy.  I want a white one for various summer shows...white is best as it allows lots of daylight on the paintings. 
When we were in Florida last week I saw one at Home Depot at $100 less than what Home Depot in Canada was selling the EXACT same one for.  I dont get that. It doesn't seem fair at all.  I was going to buy it and bring it home but didn't want to be encumbered with lugging it through the airport.  
While in Costco this morning guess what I came across?!  A fabulous pop-up canopy tent for a reasonable price too. It's a Caravan brand, which is a good one. I was smitten.  When I got home, I talked to Dave on the phone and told him of my discovery.  I planned to go back next week and get one, but when he arrived home from work today guess what he was carrying in the door?! surprise!  We set it up in the driveway just to be sure of how quickly and easily it would go up, and it's a breeze! I'm so delighted.