Thursday, April 30, 2015

Love, Friends and a Springy Flingy

Mini blocks -oil on wood - 2.5 x 3.5 inch
Mini block paintings were on my agenda yesterday; I got going on some rural scenes. I LOVE painting these tiny pastoral mini's, I get such a peaceful feeling while immersed in their creation.  They're  fun to have on hand at my art shows, even quite popular.  I think it's the price point, but cant argue with economics:)

Went for coffee with some art pals yesterday. One of them, Roz Bechtel, has an exhibition on at Windmills restaurant, so really wanted to see it. Impressed.  Roz paints the sea and everything about it; she's a maritime girl, in her blood.  She and her husband have a home in  PEI, she'll be near the coast she loves this summer.  I'm hoping to get a chance to join her there at some point, I'd love to paint again in PEI for a few days.  Maybe combine it with a visit to see my daughter & grandaughter ... I'm gonna ask the universe to arrange it!  2 of Roz's small paintings are in my porch gallery this summer, next to my beach hut's watercolours... a little bit of the seaside for the porch.

ROOTY TOOT TOOTY!!! SPRING ART SHOW on May 23 & 24th weekend!!! This is a fairly new one; in it's 2nd year, with a really gorgeous setting.  
It's at an old mill just off highway 15 at Lower Brewers Locks.  The mill belongs to Randal and Darlene Doner, both local artists.  Randal's famous metal work garden sculpture is featured throughout the lawns and property, where folks can wander and enjoy the gardens by the river. Would be great to see you there!  10-4 Sat & Sun.

Monday, April 27, 2015

piggery gallery

oil on canvas - 18 x 24"
I am happy to be meeting Jaana of the Piggery Gallery on Thursday afternoon, and will be taking her a few pieces of my art to hang there.  It is a country gallery north of Newburgh. I will take some pictures when I am there and probably post an update about it.

Meanwhile today I will be giving a private lesson from 9am-4pm, so have a full day.  I really enjoy this person who I will be teaching, so I am feeling like it is going to be a fun day.  A big  bunch of orange tulips and white freesia's is awaiting in the studio, hopefully we can work some magic with it on canvas.

Worked in another non-representational process again on Saturday, and this is the result.  I'm quite enjoying the freedom.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Primroses - oil on panel - 6x8"
click here to purchase

I'm doing a sun dance this weekend.  OMG, we had SNOW this morning, ugh. SO over it!

So, I had a moment on the way to yoga on Thursday morning. Driving along, thinking about living in the moment...what it really means; suddenly a shift in my perspective occurred, it felt profound.  I know we all get these moments from time to time. It's good they occur randomly and infrequently because it makes it more special.  I like when that happens. What it felt like was that the big picture was no longer down the road and in the future, but  all around me, right here, right now. I was hyper aware of it.  Quite wondrous really.

I resolved this week to be mindful of as many moments as possible, notice and  acknowledge them. It's actually quite a challenge.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

studio work

30 x 36" oil on canvas
click here to purchase
And now for a change.  A little non representation today.  The studio got an overhall last night, I sorted through all the stuff in my vertical storage(i had crammed a whole lot of non art stuff in there too)  Sorting into piles of keep and dont keep.  A lot of old work, let's face it there is a ton of stuff we artists build up that has served it's purpose as a learning experience in life, and serves no further purpse now.  Hopefully wind speeds will settle down today, and we can have a bonfire to get ride of the 'no further uses' pile.  Yesterday it was super windy, so hopefully today will be better.

I'm NOT complaining...we are so fortunate to have sunshine this weekend and temps that are a little more seasonal!  The garden is calling me.  Today I will get at my roses and uncover them from their winter hibernation nest of leaves.  Yesterday a daffodil bloomed in my garden, that is something to celebrate...the first one!  yay!

Friday, April 17, 2015

pyjamas in the studio

I've been fighting the dreaded "What will I paint?" since I finished my 30x30 canvas last week. In the studio in my pyjamas, I scrolled through my resource material. 
With no more excuses left in my head; hell, it doesn't matter...I just want to paint! 
heh... that last sentence sounds like it could be a Bob Dylan refrain. 

So, with gentle studio music(harp) on the cd player, timid strokes began..yikes, feelin' rusty.  Keep going.  Warming up, stretching the strokes, hmmm the flow is happening.  hey, feelin' better.  
When I got to number 3 I'm feelin' like my old self again, skipping along, and getting into the vibe of it.   It might have been the Ashley MacIsaac fiddle that my cd player had switched to, or maybe the jig I was doin' at the same time?!?  Anyhow I'm havin fun, and yay, I am painting again.

So this is what I was listening to.  It's an oldie, but it's one of my fav's.

Monday, April 13, 2015

building ideas from photo reference

oil on canvas - 30x30 " - $800
click here to purchase
This painting developed in a rather tonalist manner. I wanted an atmosphere of tranquility even though there is activity(with the rider).  The light falling through the canopy of trees is the main idea...dappled light falling on form. The form just happens to be a lawn, trees, a figure riding, and some houses on the street. Looking at it now, I realize I've made the light a little too cool in the forground, I'll likely tweak that tomorrow.

I took my resource photo(below) last fall, in City park near old Sydenham old stones neighbourhood in downtown Kingston. There's always lots of students passing through on their way to and from the university. It's a busy place. I added architecture to create a sense of the place.  I enjoy taking liberty with photo resources.  That's the whole fun of it all!  Changing shapes and forms to suit my sensibility.

my photo reference
Abstract design and colour relationships are at the heart of what I'm doing, and that keeps me interested while I'm painting. Detail is skimpy for a reason. I want a sense of anonymity with the figure. (perhaps it is someone you might know, or maybe not)  Atmosphere is key.

I resolved the painting this morning, which was a good had been in the studio and gone through various stages of completion over a couple of weeks! Sometimes it just DOES take more time. Good thing I enjoy the process.  Afterwards in the afternoon I went for tea and to check out my friend Bonnie Brook's new work! (wonderful!) what a great afternoon of art pals and art chat!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

the dreaded artist statement is your friend

work in progress-  oil - 30 x 30"
I think most artists agonize over writing artist statements for body's of work or for entries to shows or exhibitions. I know I do. It's not easy translating art into words, but it's kind of essential that we learn to do this.  Did you know that an artist statement is actually your friend?   Yes!  It's on your your corner...tooting your explanations of your work to those that take an interest when you're not around to do it!  

Personally I hate confusing 'art speak', and always appreciate reading an artists statement that is written in simple language so anyone can understand. That can sometimes be hard for us artists! We get excited about and  caught up in our own technical interests and ideas about how we make our art, so much so that we forget the simple(but 'ultimately sophisticated') edit.  I know I have written tons of statements over the years to go with my art. Tons of boring yadda yadda yadda waxing poetic about my art philosophy etc.  Who really cares? no one that's who! ha ha.  I'm learning as I go on. 

As my art changes so do my statements.  Here's my most recent attempt. We'll see how long it lasts. heh. heh.

"Recent themes in my work acknowledge personal freedoms and joys found in the activity of everyday life.  The freedom of cycling along, the joy of quiet solitude, the delight of a holiday. With these ideas in mind, I merge the pictorial with the emotional. I love the meditative process of working in oils."

I had to laugh when I viewed this satirical youtube by visual artist Charlotte Young.  Hope you get a laugh or two.