Monday, February 23, 2015

return of the long lost gallery rental

'Drifting' - oil on canvas - 24 x 36
Today the nicest lady called me up and explained that she had been renting one of my paintings when the Agnes Etherington Art Rental and Sales Gallery closed down last summer.  There hadn't been any provision for paintings that were currently out on rental when the gallery closed (as we artists were led to believe) and I have been trying to find out where these paintings were for the past few months but to no avail.  Turns out this nice lady was trying also to give it back, but didn't know where to turn since the gallery closed down.  It's heart-warming to know that good people were trying to get it back to me, and today she tracked me down, and delivered it to my door.  Bless her.   'Drifting' is home.  I'm happy to have it back.  When I look at it I remember the  meditation and the work that went into it, it's kind of like seeing an old friend  after a long while.

I'm off to New York city this week with my friend AEmilia.  We are going to some galleries and to do a little retail therapy, maybe see a show too.  I'm looking forward to the change of pace.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday Valentine

work in progress -oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Love and flowers. It's Valentines day! Dave and I shovelled snow together. heh. yep so romantic. 
I've been working on this large-ish roses bouquet painting.  I'm kind of liking the ambiguity in the unresolved parts, so I'm leaving it alone for now. I'm at the point when I cant really see it anymore anyway.  I just noticed the photo is showing some glare. I will have to get a better picture for my files, but this will do for this post. 
While I've been painting today I started listening to the audio book by Oscar Wilde, 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'.  I've not listened to much by Oscar Wilde before. I can see why he's considered a 'classics' writer.  Very overflowing literary style, but the kind of sentences that make you want to stop the tape and conjure up the 'image' described in words before you go on to listen to the next bit.  So far I'm enjoying's about an artist and his portrait painting.  I really love books about artists.  I'm also reading a book from the library titled: "I've Always Loved You" by Robin Oliveira,  hint:  it's also about artists! surprise!  My friend Barbara Muir put me on to that one because she wrote about it in her blog. Thank you Barbara!

Friday, February 13, 2015

dancing light

work in progress
oil on canvas - 30 x 30inch
In an effort to capture the winter light effects I dabbed postage stamp sized areas of lighter tone on top of the basic shapes i had created in the composition. It was a joy and a meditation mixing the neutral tints, then applying them next to one another.  It's a good method for adding life to an otherwise flat shape. A tool employed by many of the impressionists as we all know, but useful non the less.  When it dries I will apply a glaze or scumble over some of the yellow green foliage to knock it back a little, as right now I'm finding it screaming at me.  Some lighter more muted tones over top of the dried glaze as well as on the flowers will (I hope) resolve it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

kick start

start on the left, work in progress on right
I've been wanting to get back to painting some of my bike path theme again.  Last October I spent a couple of hours in city park photographing the light through the trees and passers by on bicycle and  foot. Of course it was all a rather undercover affair, didn't want anyone thinking I was photographing them...but it's quite easy these days, with camera phones. Half the time the people that you might be photographing are themselves absorbed in their own media devices, like the number of people I observed that day walking through the park oblivious to nature around them.  I've been thinking about these resource photos over the past few months, but couldn't decide on exactly how to get started.  
Fairfield Porter - The Dog at the Door
This week I've spent some idle hours enjoying the works of Fairfield Porter(American artist 1907-1975).  I love the simple treatment of shapes in his work, and his uncanny ability to capture the colour of light and shade in these simple shapes.  His landscapes, figures and still life all share a peaceful quality among the interesting compositions. I think it was looking at his work that inspired me this morning to make a start on a new painting.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Flowers in the Rain

Flowers in the Rain - oil on panel - 9x12
Holed up in the studio this afternoon listening to an audio book and attempting to paint the atmosphere of a rainy day. Oh rain would be so nice right about now! heh heh.  
I have simplified many of the shapes and reworked the background over and over until feeling satisfied with the overall neutrality of it. Kinda fun.  
Dave and I had a great game of crokinole this evening, and schlepped back a couple of martinis each!!! he beat the pants off me, he always does, but I never give up trying. Good fun on a snowy snowy Saturday evening.

Friday, February 6, 2015

bouncing around

Lake Study - oil on panel - 9 x 12
"The wonderful thing about Tigger" begins the children's song.  *Tigger*.  That's sometimes who I feel like!  I bounce around a lot, from subject matter to subject matter, one day it's this and another day it's that.  At least I know that the reason for it , is that it's all in an effort to be at the easel with  a degree of passion.  
At the end of this week,  after working loose and free on larger canvas's all week, today I'm doing small panel studies, adding and altering in a dialogue, of coming to the point. When it's satisfying, the dialogue of painting can be like a good chat with a friend; when  in the doing of it something begins to sparkle that you hadn't considered before. It's always sort of fun to see where things might lead and be open to unplanned directions.
This panel kind of reminds me of a song that we once sang around the campfire at girl guide camp...I forget the name of it, but some of the words went "blue lake and rocky shore, i will return once more". ...o yes and there was something about a beaver in there as well...very Canadian. ha ha.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snowed in and painting

Well there isn't much else to be done but paint this storm after the next has kept me snowed in. I went to the grocery store on Sunday, and ran into a friend, who said "I almost stopped in on you this week, but I couldn't get in your driveway;you were all snowed in".  Yup.  I did get out there and give it my best moves... 3 times in fact, but still only managed to clear footpaths to the doors. I wasn't worried. If I really had needed to get out I could have put the truck into 4wheel and driven through the snow. But it was a good keep on a roll in my studio.  The larger canvas's are getting a workout as I'm trying loose and free and floral.  Kinda fun, and the theme of flowers is keeping the winter blahs at bay. Here's a lineup of some works in progress on the wall today.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Light

Winter Light - Amaryllis
oil on canvas - 24 x 36 inch
Winter light is what I notice at this time of year. Each day it lengthens, stretches out daylight to longer days. It's cool light reflecting the snow and sky; ah... but in the morning, it unfolds warmly through my kitchen window languishing across whatever's in it's path. I, of course put things in it's watch it's effect. In January it was an amaryllis, now a pot of tulips. I love the shadows cast by them, I almost love them more than the plants ...I like to observe the colours of light that blend to create them.  In painting them I am discovering a gazillion ways to mix neutrals, how to lay them in thinly, scrape them, let them drip, thicken them with medium, spread them on with spatulas, move them around with rags and fingers(in latex gloves of course!). Such fun. slippy, creamy, runny mudpies of neutrals. Winter Light has become a theme on my canvas's this month.
And here's McDuff, finally done! He took a glaze and some over-painting to complete him, so he's been waiting on the shelf for quite a while to dry in between stages.