Sunday, July 28, 2013

Finishing touches

Just spent a wonderful weekend rekindling old friendships with our friend's Mary & Mark.  They live near Hamilton, Ontario.  Mary inspires me with her great party hosting skills! We were invited to join their annual spaghetti dinner, and met lots of lovely people who are good friends of theirs and we shared the meal delightfully under some awnings and by candlelight in their backyard.  The weather was perfect! Stupidly I forgot to take pictures of the outdoor setup, but here's one of the flowers, and other supplies all ready to be moved out onto the large dining table under the stars.  On Saturday we took in a pub meal and the beautiful quaint town of Niagara on the Lake, and that is ALWAYS a joy.

When I got home today i put the finishing touches on my chair for the Breast Cancer Action Furniture Revival Art Auction.  I finished it in the palest blue with orange, yellow and cornflower blue accents.  I decided to give it a name, "Cottage Dreams" which I painted on the edge of the seat under the main image.  The back features gradated colours of sky and water.  I was going to add some fish motif's but thought it would be overkill.  The quote 'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' by Leonardo DaVinci always come to my mind when I am unsure about adding embellishments...and usually the simple idea wins.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SCA 45th exhibition...I'm in!

Here's the official announcement of the Society of Canadian Artists 45th exhibit, which my painting, 'Colours of Evening' was accepted into.  The show's in Montreal.  Although I'm unable to make if for the official opening reception, I am thinking of taking the train in to Montreal perhaps on Aug 19 for an over-nighter... take in a few galleries, and at the same time see the SCA show.  If there is a pal out there who'd like to go along, share a room...just send me an email. It's always more of an adventure with a friend!

Aug 14/13 - Aug 25/13 SCA 45th Open Annual National Exhibition & Competition Location: Tudor Hall, 5th floor Ogilvys 1307 St. Catherine Street, W. Montreal

Best in Show $1000, 2nd place $750, 5 additional Awards of Merit of $500 each
Official Opening and Reception - Aug 17th 2013 12noon – 3pm
Tudor Hall Hours (5th Floor)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10am to 6pm 
Thursday, Friday 10am to 9pm 
Saturday 10am to 5pm 
Sunday noon to 5pm

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Breast Cancer Action Kingston furniture revival art auction

A few weeks ago I met a volunteer and cancer survivor, Mary, who asked if I would consider working on a donated piece of furniture for a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Action Kingston.  They would supply the furniture's easy to say yes own mother passed away from a recurred breast cancer in 1992. I was in! 

Last weekend my friend Sherry Pringle invited us to her beautiful cottage in the Thousand Islands, and while there I was thinking about this project, and wondering what to was obvious from my surroundings, that a cottage theme set in the Thousand Islands would make a great subject for the theme of the piece...I mean who cant use a funky little folk art handpainted chair for their cottage?  After all ...the whole idea is to make it appealing so folks might bid on it; hence raising the desired funds for the cause.

Yesterday I painted the main part on the seat.  I plan to collage a map of the islands on part of the back, and the rest will be finished in a pale blue paint with some funky coloured bits on the spindles.  I'll post again when its fully finished. Quite a pleasure doing this:)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Starlight # 2

oil on canvas - 24" x 24"
Starlight # 2 is a larger version of a smaller study(8x8 wood panel) done a few months ago. This one is on canvas; consequently there's a number of differences from the original study.  Brushwork behaves differently on canvas than wood panel.  Colours blend more. There is more scope for mood.  I like how on the larger version, you get to 'look around' more...wonder about what's hiding in the shadows...oh - look...some fireflies are playing there.  
This one is definately one for the dreamscape file folder!  

I'm not completely sure that I will call it Starlight # 2.  Sounds kind of boring.  I'd like something more original; but definitely want to avoid whimsical overtones in the title, because it already is so blatantly that....don't want to push it completely over the edge. 

This weekend is the ' Fantasy in the Forest' art show. Jamie Brick runs this 2 day show; this year featuring 22 artists, and taking place in a new woodland setting not far from Perth Road Village.  The forecast is for clouds on Saturday but sun on Sunday.  I'm in this show for the first time this year and plan to bring mostly my dreamscapes , mini painted blocks and handmade items from my Gallery at the Porch Door.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Late Summer

Late Summer - oil on canvas - 24x24 inches
Working with so much green is a challenge. Green is a tricky colour to get right in nature.  The breeze blowing the first of the leaves about the yard suggested late summer, so....I used lots of orange in the greens too.  The subject is loosely based on our yard.

Monday, July 8, 2013

birdyhouse and great weekend

 This is the birdhouse that Holly chose for me from an artisan at Art Among The Ruins.   I love's hard to see in the vid, but it has such whimsey, twigs and branches attached to it, and the colourful stains on the wood allow the woodgrain to be seen nicely too.  I loved the different styles of them that she made.  Holly bought a blue one for herself.

We just finished  a  lovely summer weekend full of family and fun.  My daughter Holly and I, left Dave and Jeff to install a new front door at their house on Saturday morning while she and I set off to look for a wedding dress! 

She is getting married next July, and being an organized sort of person, now was as good a time as any to begin the search.  She found one! And it's so lovely, she's delighted and so am I...we didn't expect it would be so easy!  

After the door was in and secured, we enjoyed a marvelous smoked bbq before setting out for an evening of fun and frolic at Ottawa Blues Fest, and that was a treat.  The Dixie Chicks were headlining that night; Dave and Jeff love their music.  I liked the tunes and the electric fiddle especially:)
me at the Dixie Chicks at Ottawa Blues fest

I slept in on Sunday, and woke up to find Holly and Jeff cleaning and detailing Dave's truck! oh my goodness... can you get any more generous than that?  

Sunday afternoon we met up with Dave's sisters and brothers families for a summer get-together, which was so wonderful to catch up with some of the gang. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Poppies - 2 1/2" x 3"  oil on wood blocks
Hovering skies of rainclouds today, I'm kind of hoping they open up for a while and water my garden! I did go around and water it late yesterday afternoon, but a good soak would help...I mean...if it's going to hover and be cloudy...might as well do the deed!  heh.
We're off to take in Ottawa Blues Fest on Saturday with Holly and Jeff, which I'm looking forward to; there's a whole line-up of performers at least a mile long. The Dixie Chicks play while we're there, funny, as I didn't think they did blues...but guess we'll find out.  Dave and Jeff love their music so all good!
I've been doing some flowers on the mini blocks...poppies, yesterday.  A little change from the landscapes... building my inventory for a couple of weekend artisan fairs; these little guys are popular at them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

getting going

From time to time my painting goes through periods where I just feel stuck...same old subjects, no real inspiration driving my work.  It's hard to get going again when i go through periods like that.  So June went by and I didn't work on any larger paintings at all...just fiddled around painting the minis , which is fun, but can also be a diversion in a way.  Chatting with an artist friend about this, we agreed that the best way to beat it is to stop procrastinating, and just begin painting. Sometimes easier said than done. But yesterday morning, I did just that, stopped procrastinating and began... it feels good, so we'll see where it goes from here.

I read a quote by Jasper Johns recently. It goes something like this: " to be an artist you have to be willing to give up everything; especially the desire to be a good artist".