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.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thursday classes

values study
Last Thursday I began teaching my 'Time to Paint' classes.  I was delighted to welcome each of the members who arrived; some were new to me and others I've met or taught before.  Both the morning and afternoon sessions consist of members who have differing levels of ability, but I didn't feel that was a problem. 

watercolour - Farm Sky
I began with a discussion on values with 2 short demos in transparent and opaque mediums; there was a 3 value study exercise, then each moved on to a painting of their chosen subject matter.  The purpose of the exercise was to help separate tones/values in the minds eye, and apply it when least that's the theory.  Learning to see this way and applying it are often a life long pursuit for many painters. 
oil - Farm Sky

Tomorrow's Thursday classes will center around colour theory, and I'm hoping to do a 1/2 hour watercolour demo with it. There isn't time to demo both mediums in one session, and still allow plenty of time for members to paint,  (after all that's what it's all about!)  so I've decided that each week I'll change my medium for demos.  Next week I'll work in an opaque medium. 

Teaching from my own home studio has a lot of advantages for me, the main one is that I do not have to pack up and lug my equipment back and forth to a classroom setting!  I'm lovin that. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Saturday jurying

John Climenhage
The Belleville Artists Association had asked me a few months back to be a member of the jury for their annual fall show, and I accepted with pleasure. This past Saturday was the day, along with Peterborough artist John Climenhage
Being part of a jury is both interesting and exciting.  It's interesting because it gives me a great opportunity to ask myself what contributes to good art, while all the while making me sit up and take notice of each artists individual journey.  It's exciting because it's a privilege to get to view each members best efforts before the show opens.  
If I had any apprehensions at all going in, it was only that I had not yet met the other juror, and I hoped if our views conflicted, we would still be able to work effectively to reach agreement.  I needn't have worried.  As John said..." the works speak for themselves". 
another one from the cliff...PEI
The Belleville Artists Association members that I met during my visit were a very professional and delightful group. A light lunch was enjoyed with the BAA volunteers before the session started to welcome and familiarize us before we got to the task at hand.  It was a long process, and I was very tired afterwards, but I did feel good about which works were chosen for the awards. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

cottage studio on the cliff

cottage at Cape Wolfe, PEI
 This is our cottage that we rented for the week in PEI.  You can see how cl!!ose it is to the cliff.  When we were down at the wharf buying some fish from the fishing boats, one of the fishermen was chatting to Susan, and when he heard which cottage we were staying in, he said: "What, you mean that cottage hasn't fallen into the sea yet?" ha ha ha!  It is pretty close to the edge, about only 6 feet away actually.  
These little plein air studies were done on the deck, which is covered in some parts, which was a good thing because the rain and fog rolls in quickly when it has a mind to; which is often.   I used the palette knife quite a bit in these studies.   The sand in PEI is very oxide to be precise...its because of the iron in the soil...which happens to be very good for growing potatoes, the islands primary crop.  The red sand mixes with the sea water near shore creating unusual colours in the water.
I have to say I've come away from this trip discovering something new about my painting practice...and that is, I get less of a thrill out of recording what's in front of me as I do from inventing.  O yes, I love the sound of the birds and the wind and sun in my nostrils, that's the part of plein air I love, but does is really satisfy my desire to create...?  not as much. I love painting in the studio, when I have time to consider  inventing my own colours, forms and ideas. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunset after a day of rain...

After a full day painting indoors because of pouring rain on our first day of our PEI painting adventure, we started to feel a slight touch of cabin fever. We all agreed the best cure would be a little jaunt out to experience a PEI lobster dinner!
Sunset After Rain, Cape Wolfe, PEI - oil on panel 16"X12"
Sally, Sherry, Lorraine, Susan
The west coast of the island is remote, but spectacular, and as we crested a hill we were greeted by such a vista, I thought I was in Ireland for a minute, or somewhere equally as green and gorgeous!  The sun came out chasing away the rain clouds, the red cliffs and beaches stretched into a golden evening sunset.  I was so struck by the magic that the setting sun created on the light of the landscape, and the next day painted from memory, what was in my mind's eye.  The Wind and Reef restaurant at the most northerly tip of the island, was where we ended up, and we enjoyed a fabulous meal that capped off our first day perfectly!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Prince Edward Island roadie

watercolour 30 x 22" sold
oil on canvas 40" x 30"  sold
Road trip!  Woohoo!!   Prince Edward Island is one of the prettiest corners of Canada, so I didn't really have to think about it much back in June when my friend Sherry suggested a painting trip there in September.  We're renting a cottage at Cape the western end of the island overlooking the top end of the Northumberland Strait.  Hoping for good outdoor painting weather, but actually we dont really will just be awesome to have a whole week to concentrate on painting whatever moves us.  Here's two commissions I've recently oil and one watercolour.