Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Play - oil on board - 30x30
Having a stretch of time without deadlines and commitments has been fun for experimenting with different ideas and process. I've been fooling around a bit with mixed media...getting the idea down quickly in acrylic, then switching into oils for surface quality and a texture(which you cant see in this photo).  The goal I had in mind was to keep the marks fresh, airy and spontaneous; like a child's outlook on the world.
As far as subjects go, I used to do many paintings of children in watercolor while my children were growing up.  At that time, and as a young mother it was important to me to bear witness to the little moments of discovery that only children make you notice. I haven't painted children for a long, long time, but recently a visit with my grandaughter whet my appetite to give the subject another go in oils. It was fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Himalayan Blues

Himalayan Blues - oil on wood - 40x20" - $900
Himalayan blue reminds me of Diana, my father's beloved partner who passed away in 2013.  Diana was a professional ballerina in her first career, which took her on many excursions in exotic places in the world. 

In her memoirs which she wrote a few years before she died, I was captivated by one of the stories she told of when her dance group's tour took them from Darjeeling, into Nepal.  
One night a guide for the group offered to arrange for them to see Mt Everest at dawn.  Diana was eager, but was the only dancer from the group who went along with some other tourists.  Arising at 3am  to begin the journey, she was taken from her hotel by small bus, then by donkey up the mountain trails in the dark of the early morning. She couldn't see anything in the pitch black but was looking forward to the majestic experience of viewing the largest mountain in the world crest at dawn above the Himalaya's.
They arrived at the designated viewing spot just as dawn was breaking.  She described it as one of the most memorable moments of her life, but alas, not only for the majesty of the moment.  As dawn broke, light filled the space around her, and she became suddenly aware of the treacherous mountain path they had traveled on for this privilege.  The trip down was death defying frightening, on a rocky 5 ft wide path with a sheer drop off the mountain on one side edge!  
You can see why this story made an impression on me.

When I began this painting, it started as a non representational exploration process working into a gessoed wood surface with watercolors and oils.  Later it morphed into a field of Himalayan blue poppies somewhere during the process and I decided to just go with it.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Donating and karma

Morning Garden - SOLD!
I was asked to donate a painting to the United Way Fare for Friends a couple of weeks ago, and right away I said yes.   
I like being able to participate in community causes in my own way.   More often than not it works out that it is good for business. This morning was one of those days!  

The person who collected the painting for the United Way event, came to pick it up and then fell in love with another painting: Morning Garden, and purchased it!  Yay!  Well that was a totally pleasant surprise.  
Bright Winter Moon - DONATED to United Way charity event
I guess it's true, 'the more you give the more you get'. 
And here is the painting that I donated:  Bright Winter Moon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer read for fellow painters

 Picked up this book I got from the library yesterday, and am really enjoying reading it. Thought I'd pass that along for any other painters looking for a thought provoking summer read.  The conversations are wide ranging on painting, photography, art philosophy, and in general about how we really see. 
Garden Seat - oil on canvas - 24x48"
I finished this painting yesterday, quite happy with the feeling of it, and it will bring back fond memories of June when the clematis blooms in my 'memory'  arbour; named for the loved ones who are featured there on hand painted ceramic tiles.( I didn't put them in the painting, as they are covered up when the clematis is in full bloom...but it's a lovely sunny spot to sit and enjoy a morning coffee in the garden.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

oh ya... instagram !

two of my recent 'quilt' paintings in the studio
oh no you didn't, I hear you say. oh yes I did.
Holly signed me up for an Instagram account last time we were together, but it was just this week I actually got around to using it. Like any new gadget, it takes a little exploring to figure out how to work it, but actually, it's pretty darn easy! One thing I hadn't realized is how enjoyable I would find it for accessing art...lots of it, randomly,  from artists all over the globe!   That is just fun!

I've been working on a group of paintings in the studio over the past few weeks, a couple of large ones with quilts in the garden, and a smaller one too, which I cant show yet. I  prefer painting the large size, because it allows freedom to play with the fabric patterns on the quilts. The smaller size is presenting challenges, but I think I'll find my way.