Monday, January 25, 2016

new year, new prices...

Having injured my wrist last week, I'm pulling out of the 30 in 30 painting challenge. I need time to heal without overuse of my right arm. so no painting or knitting for me... feeling rather limited on creativity, but all is not lost, as I'm reading some good art books.
Also, I've wanted to tackle updating my website for months, so I've been able to do that. I finally got around to deleting a huge amount of old work that was sold.   With the new year it was also time to revisit pricing on my works.  I haven't updated my pricing list in several years, and I was quite aware that it was not in line with other comparable work.  I have my reasons why I have kept my pricing relatively low, it's worked well for me.   BUT I have now made changes that I feel is right.  I price my work by united inches(height plus width) rather than by square inches.   Works over 24 united inches I show in galleries.  Works under 24 united inches I wont be showing in galleries anymore...that is because I consider them sketches.
I was in Ottawa on Friday and saw the Monet exhibition at the National Gallery.  I also spent a great deal of time in the European and American galleries, which I haven't visited much in the past, and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.  Such inspiration!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

30 in 30 challenge day 21

Softly Into Spring - oil on wood - 8 x 8 inch
There's no obvious sunshine in this oil sketch, but the arrangement of organic shapes attracted me to give it a whirl. The Sunny Ways theme is carried in the feeling of hope and promise that thinking about spring always makes me feel. Selected from my resource photos that I took at the Ottawa Tulip Festival.  As I was working on only a small 8x8 it wasn't possible to focus on the flowers themselves, but rather an the overall design and atmosphere. 
Keeping up with the 30 in 30 challenge has proved difficult for me with time away from home this month. However, even if I cant do the lot, I'm feeling good that at least I've cracked on and pushed myself to paint small and often at the times when I can.  This painting is for day 21 of the challenge, but for me it is actually only my 16th little painting in the group. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

short hiatus from 30 in 30

Peggy's Cove in Winter
Just back from Halifax where we spent some marvelous few days with Rachel, Matt & little Ella.  Needless to say I didn't paint anything for the 30 in 30 challenge while there. I didn't paint at all!
Life was full of other fun stuff, like pulling Ella in the snow in her sled(happy girl!), playing with playdoh, colouring, dancing and singing with the Wiggles, having snacks together etc etc. you get the picture. Such fun!

But today I did get into the studio and finish up a large-ish (36x30 inch)commission I've had on the go for the past month. Feels good to complete it.  I cant show you the whole thing, but here's a little snippet of the flagpole with part of the's a property commission, a rural farm property set among the trees on a hill.  Lots of green in this one... the challenge was enlivening it with a variety of warm and cool greens of contrasting values, keeping the summer sun shining.  I'm happy with the way it turned out; I think the client will be too.

I had signed up for Art Among the Ruins this year, one of my fav outdoor art events; but decided to pull out of it as it will likely coincide with the timing of moving house this year. Darn. I'm sad to miss it, but hope to participate next year.
Chickadee's - oil on wood - 4x4 inches


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Evening Glow

Declining Years - oil on canvas - 24 x 28
I was using the palette knife on this one as well as rags, brushes, my fingers, a squirt's getting a little muddy, but I kind of am liking the ethereal quality to it... today I am embracing the uncertainty and leaving it be, at least until it speaks to me again, if it ever does.  This one is the 3rd in a series of rose themed paintings I started early in October.  
While I was painting it I was thinking about age and beauty.  The warm glazing added an 'evening glow' or  'vintage' esthetic to this piece.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lakeside Theatre

Lakeside Theatre - oil on panel - 9x12 inch
Today's oil sketch is the Thousand Islands Playhouse.  Although it's not an obvious contender to the 'Sunny Ways' theme I have going, I felt it had some relation to it in that the sun is fading in the sky and the evening holds a little excitement about what might be going on at the local waterfront theatre.  I wanted to capture the feeling of warmth and festivity, although I haven't actually added any people into the scene yet. Perhaps I will after this part dries a bit. I think a small 'gathering crowd' might be in order to give focus to the evening atmosphere.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunny Ways - The Steps

The Steps - oil on panel - 9x12
The sunshine wasn't on these steps in my photo reference. I made it up, which was fun.  I'm happy with the way it turned out, because I was a little nervous about doing it. I sort of feel that steps and doorways can have a feeling of 'promise', or at least they do when the sun spills across them. I've been told that a proposal happened on these steps, which to me was all the more reason to create a mood of hope and optimism.  I've been happily married for 38 years, so I'm a believer in one story, one love, one dream.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Corner Steps

Corner Steps - oil on panel - 5 x 7 inch
This oil sketch is from the same place as my previous post, but a different angle.  I even used the same palette colours, but because I had a different ground colour on the panel, it has given quite a different light effect, less of a golden light than the previous one. The ground for this one was an ugly shade of naples yellow from Pabeo.  I've never really liked working with Pabeo paints, but have a few in my paint box that I'm trying to use up.  I also struggled with the cerelean blue I was using,  which is a cheap DeSerres brand.  I wont be buying any more of it.  I really love nothing better than Winsor & Newton cerelean blue, it's the creamiest one on the market and the best in my opinion.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Late Summer Afternoon

Late Summer Afternoon- oil on panel- 6x8 inch
Almost didn't think I was going to have time to paint one today, but found some time after dinner.  A totally enjoyable paint listening to (and singing along to!)  Australian folk tunes while immersing myself in the light and shadows falling on these steps. 
Driving through this village (Newburg) in the late afternoon last summer,  the light was just so delicious that I actually pulled over, stopped the car just to drink it in.  Snapped a couple of pics on my phone to remember it by.  That was the inspiration for tonight's subject.  Definately a candidate for my 'Sunny Ways' theme.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

spring pastoral

SUNNY WAYS - spring pastoral - 6 x 8 - oil on panel
Mostly palette knife for this small oil sketch. Couldn't resist painting these little gaffers with their mumma. What interests me is the way their wooly coats reflect the fresh spring greens of the meadow. That was the fun bit.

If you want to see the others in the 30 in 30 challenge click here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tea with milk

Tea with Milk - oil on panel - 7 x 5 inches
While making myself a cuppa yesterday afternoon, I noticed the light shining through the milk bottle creating fascinating patterns on my little teapot.  Thought it would be a good subject for day #5 of the 30 in 30 challenge.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sunkissed Kitchen

Sunkissed Kitchen - oil on panel - 6x8 inch
I paid close attention to which neutrals were warm or cool in this study. I began with a fairly limited palette of zingy colours(mostly opaques) and painted over a bright cadmium yellow ground.  The straight lines always give me a little grief, so I used the upside down observation method to paint perspective and get it reasonably accurate. After I had done over half of the tones in the painting upside down, I turned it all right side up again and carried on.  
The photo reference for this was taken last spring, accounting for the warm quality to the light.  

It's quite unlike that today in my kitchen;  that warmth would be very welcome right about now, it was -18 'C outside this morning! Winter has definately arrived!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lakeside Stroll

Lakeside Stroll - oil on panel - 6x8 inch
A stroll by the lake one bright crisp afternoon in early spring seemed to fit the 'Sunny Ways' theme I'm working on in this 30 in 30 challenge.  Click to see other entries in this challenge, there are hundreds!
This little painting is inspired by a snap I took of my daughter Rachel with her dog Asha.  I worked from a black and white photo and tried a blue/orange split complimentary palette.

I like to paint the 30/30 challenge paintings first thing in the morning if I my jammie's while my energy is fresh.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Summer Campus

Summer Campus - oil on panel - 9 x 12 inch 
Something traditional feeling about old stone buildings and big shade being cocooned by history and a very solid energy.  That's the sensation I recall feeling when I stood here on the Queen's campus.  Actually I wasn't so much interested in where exactly it is , so much as the feeling of the place. I painted the early stages of this upside down, so that I could keep some sort of order in the structural shapes peeking out from the more organic ones.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sunny Ways

November Morning - oil on panel - 5 x 7 inch
'Sunny Ways' (inspired by our new liberal government here in Canada) is also the theme I've chosen for my 30 in 30 challenge which I'm starting this month.  I like the theme because, well, I love the positivity behind it and somehow translating sunny things into paintings just really rocks my boat.

There's always something hopeful about a bright winter morning, this landscape is from Gananoque in November, where I stopped to admire the view of the morning sun on the river from the parking lot behind the Playhouse.