Friday, December 30, 2011

Love it, Hate it or Somewhere In Between Pantone's Colour For 2012




You would think that as we, the world and it's inhabitants, sit perched on the what could be a hell of a year, that perhaps the fashion world could have caught that and NOT picked a colour that looks like flames devouring a peach orchard? Honestly, I mean, if the world was in a slumber that needed to be shaken off I could understand it but that is definitely NOT where the world is at these days. Things are boiling over almost everywhere so what we need is a optimistic and/or encouraging colour that could be coupled with some fresh and foundational colours.

Well love it or hate it, it's here for the year. Thank goodness it is coupled with some other colours so one can take it in bits and bites. As an accent colour it's great, as a dominating colour, it's exhausting. And by the way, I hate the colour rust, and this comes close to it, but with more oomph. Reminds me of the time I worked freelance for an advertising agency and the owner was so cheap, rather than laying down self-sealing light green/blue linoleum on our drawing boards (that was what you did back in the days before computers when everything was laid out by hand) he bought some battleship rust-coloured linoleum because it was way cheaper. I sat back in my chair and just said, "No, now way, I can't work all day staring at this!" Finally he relented and went out and got the right stuff. I think the 70's love affair with rust as well as forever set me against anything close to it.

Well no matter where you lie on the love it or leave richter scale on this colour, I wish you a very Happy New Year and may the year coming be peaceful and prosperous for us all, including Ms. Pantone Tangerine!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry or Blue Christmas?

An 8" x 10" water media illustration I did about 16 or so years ago,
using my sweet beagle, Beamer, for reference. 

It's that time of the year again where everywhere we see images of smiling Christmas adverts or tv programs, movies, cook books, you name it. Everywhere we look there's tinsel and mall Christmas music or the sweeter nostalgia of hymns that made mainstream.  Songs like "Silent Night", or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", still bring a small smile to my face, but it's a sweet, sad smile. For me, Christmas is a reminder of loss, of things changed forever, of being forced to recall a time before you knew otherwise yet striving to make the present as good as it can be. Christmas has become to me a kind of blue event. It's something like this:  

When I was young, Christmas was all about fun and presents and hanging out with friends. In my late twenties and early thirties it was about sharing time with family and friends, playing games, giving gifts to make dreams for our loved ones come true. Now, in my late forties, I have come to realize life sometimes cuts those dreams down, people get sick, life changes everything and Christmas becomes an unwelcome reminder of what one's losses have become. BUT there is a present more precious than anything money could buy and that only experience can precipitate, and that is the Compassion that has grown in my heart as a result. 

So, this year, may those of you who are having a less than stellar Christmas because of loss, of pain, of bereavement, of incoming or ongoing poverty, may you be given relief. That is my wish for you, my Christmas wish and if I could materialize that for you in some way, I would. I hope that you know that someone, and there are many more than me, care and are going through a "blue" Christmas too. 


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beginning of Something Beautiful Part Two!

Part two (second painting) in the triptych series "Oak Leaf Glory"
12" x 12" original acrylic on stretched canvas

Here is the second painting in the 3 painting series "Oak Leaf Glory". In this painting I illustrate the changing of the season from the strong life force of green foliage then turning to yellow/gold which shimmers in the fall sunlight. One of the most beautiful images one can behold is to see the sun streaming through a park or forest path and a gentle breeze knocks free some yellow/gold leaves in the prime of their fall colours. You watch them gently flutter through the air to land gently on the ground path before you. Breathtakingly beautiful.

This painting utilizes over 16 different pigments along with iridescents both gold and green. The painting shifts and changes as you walk around it and also as the light changes from day to night. Truly, this is one of the most beautiful images I have ever created. 

This painting series will be made available as both canvas and paper edition giclee reproductions as well as fine art greeting cards. I look forward to the New Year to make these available and to have even more original paintings' images available this way.

The final painting in this series will be finished in the next week. It's about two-thirds of the way there. It, and writing out all my Christmas cards, will be done this week! 



Friday, December 16, 2011

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

First painting in the series "Oak Leaf Glory" 12" x 12" original
acrylic painting on stretched canvas.

This series would look absolutely beautiful in a healing setting of some kind be it in an interior decorator's shop, massage therapy/holistic therapies studio or green eco business. Any where that the healing and vital force of Nature is needed.

This is the first painting of the triptych "Oak Leaf Glory". I hope to have all three panels completed before this Christmas as I am almost finished the final painting (shades of gold and brown and bronze leaves). I will post them up on my Etsy shop and here as soon as they are done. I see them framed in black or gold frames. They truly look gorgeous! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Painting SOLD!


While I was away visiting my Mom in another province this original oil painting of mine sold from my Etsy store. It's an ACEO-sized painting with a gorgeous walnut stain over bronze/gold gilding pure wood frame. It was one of my favourite small fine art pieces. The woman who bought it did so as a Christmas gift for her parents. Isn't that just so sweet?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Making of Beautiful Glowing Luminous Leaf Paintings...

Here I am in my new studio doing the painstaking method of creating those magical, luminescent leaf paintings that are beginning to have a following. They look fantastic when they're done and here's how I make them. 

A nice over-the-shoulder view of me at work. I am about 
mid-way at this point.

Wide shot to give you an idea of my set up. There is another 
palette behind me, and a hair dryer. Tunes are on my computer 
(out of sight) and headphones are to keep the neighbours 
happy at night.
First, I should tell you WHY I make these paintings. It's because the longer I am alive the more I realize just how beautiful and wonderful the power, the life of Nature is. I just have to pay homage to that and to trees especially as I feel I have taken them for granted - especially when I was young. Maybe this is something that just comes with age or, perhaps, an ever-deepening awareness of things.

I have 4 palettes on the go (with one behind me out of view in this picture). All the paints you see are just a part of my acrylic supplies, and they are all professional grade (cha-ching). Aside from natural disasters (like a roving pack of wild monkeys ripping them apart) my paintings will far outlive me.

It first starts off as a visual in my mind's eye. I then sketch it out here using water color pencil crayons (Staedtler aquarelle brand which I got 20 years ago and I can't find any longer). The pigment is well saturated and gives me a pretty good idea how the final colors will look via acrylics.

A little thumbnail sketch to materialize my visualization and use
as a guide to execute the final paintings.

Note the first painting at the top of the photo 
(all green symbolizing the oak tree in the strength and glory of 
it's summer magnificence!) Also note the small sketch 
beside it.  I will actually refer to both throughout the painting 
series to make sure I am followingthe initial vision
that I worked out.
The process for these leaf paintings is to use the leaves as reference, as printing objects and as stencils. Layer after layer of color is put down, using the leaf to apply it and/or the leaf to mask out an area and color is painted around it. I have used dozens of layers of transparent and translucent color along with the initial layer of more opaque paint. This gives a deep luminosity to the finished piece. I also work with shimmering iridescent paints (in this piece both green and gold) and this adds to that luminosity and brilliance. The paintings literally GLOW and shift as you walk around them. 

Here I have several oak leaves down (to act as
stencils and masks) and am preparing another
for printing. I am applying a mix of raw sienna
and raw umber with a touch of quinacridone gold
onto the leaf with a very soft brush. 
The process for these leaf paintings is to use the leaves as reference, as printing objects and as stencils. Layer after layer of color is put down, using the leaf to apply it and/or the leaf to mask out an area and color is painted around it. I have used dozens of layers of transparent and translucent color along with the initial layer of more opaque paint. 

Here I am applying the paint-coated leaf over
the bottom and side oak leaf as to "print" it's
form over the other oak leaves that are laid
down as stencils or masks.

And again, I press the painted leaf down.

And now over here to the right, another leaf print.

And over and over and over again, I "print" the leaves. 
This creates the deep luminescence as well as a
lovely illusion of depth in the piece.

Just over half way finished this painting still has a ways 
to go but it is taking shape nicely!
I usually use a hair dryer to speed up the process but can work around the piece in a continual loop if you will, being careful not to smudge areas still wet. Sometimes though I have to just let the piece air dry. And the leaves are kept in containers of water to preserve and clean them. This painting (that at this point is about 3/5's done) has taken over 8 hours to get to this point. When finished it will have taken about 12-13 hours. 



And here is the finished work, a 12" x 12" original acrylic nature semi-abstract, post-post modern expressionistic gem of a painting. It just GLOWS. I love it, and I know it will sell and I know I will miss it just like I miss the last leaf triptych series I did (the maple leaf triptych).

So stay tuned for the last in the series and then the whole set together. I get the feeling it is going to take our breath away. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Glory of the Mighty Green Oak

"Green Oak Glory" 12" x 12" original acrylic on stretched canvas.
Click here to purchase.

Just completed this week, the first in my new series of "leaf" paintings. You might remember last year's paintings, a tryptch (3 canvases; green, gold and red) painting series based on our national flag symbol - the stunning maple leaf. This year, I was inspired by the oak tree and it's leaves. What a magnificent creation the oak tree is! I happened upon this one gorgeous, huge oak tree and chose from it's shed leaves that carpeted the grass. I don't like to pick the leaves off the trees (as they need them for their survival) but once they shed them, than I pick the ones that inspire me to do so. That is why these paintings are a fall occurrence and not a spring or summer one. I don't want to benefit from harming the trees. I want to pay homage to them, celebrate them. Without them (trees) we'd all be done for, wouldn't we?

I use the leaves as both reference material AND as a form to be used to actually "print" on the canvas as well as using them as stencils. For this painting I used about 8 different forms of green and an iridescent green that makes the painting shimmer and shift as you walk around it, as well as cadmium yellow light, zinc white, and titanium white. I layer upon layer the prints, stencils, glazes. It's a time consuming process but the results are way worth it, wouldn't you say?

So here is this year's beginning homage - to the oak tree and it's caribou antler leaves. I always think of Bullwinkle when I see them (yes, I'm an ancient). There is another "green" oak painting just about finished and it will be the first in the series of three paintings (one green, one green to gold and the last will be a glowing ochre) to show the oak in all it's glorious stages of life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Piece of the Rockies in Acrylic

"Mountain Forest Stream" 5" x 6" acrylic original
on canvas board.
Click
here to purchase.

I have wanted to do an image like this for a long time. Back to the days (now almost twenty years ago) when I use to spend time in Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise. I just loved these easy hikes into the mountains, seeing the streams fast flowing by. I wanted to create that refreshing energy in just the right composition, colour palette and light determination. Here it is, an original 5" x 6" acrylic on canvas board titled "Mountain Forest Stream". I really like the colour values and notes I struck here as you can see the light is brightest at the mouth of the stream where it is coming from the top and moving to the right out of our line of sight. The stream then comes to us and then veers away left and it is more in the reflected light area of the little canyon, if you will. I love the colour of the water, a deep pristine azure blue that has always captivated me. It's like a flowing gem stone. 


Also this piece has blurred the line between an acrylic/oil. I wanted to lose the harsh edginess that acrylics can be accused of and through subtle value changes create a softer, impressionistic/realistic look but keeping it on the dreamy side. That is what I was going for and I think, with this piece, I have accomplished that. So if you are like me, now far away from the Rockies and God knows when you'll be back, you can take a piece of it home with you forever in this little painting. Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

You Use Everything...


Sometimes, when you are shifting gears in your life, you wonder if you are doing the right thing. Well, here is one small example to illustrate how in making a change you actually incorporate all your life experience up to that point.

I just moved recently and needed to revise my business card. It's taken a few years of working on and off on the software program I use but now can navigate it not too badly. With that, I designed this card (phone and address not my real ones but I use it here for illustrative purposes). I use to be a graphic designer, illustrator and art director and I feel really fortunate that I can use the skills that I honed over those years working in that capacity to come up with this card that incorporates my fine art painting AND my graphic design skills. Even though I can no longer work in those capacities I can take all I learned and now use them for myself. I know other fine artists struggle with the commercial art, if you will, aspects of self-promotion. I am fortunate in that I understand that area and so, for me, it's not completely foreign territory.

No matter where you are, if you have made a decision (or were forced) to abandon a career or trade, you may not see it now, but all that you have learned will help you in wherever you go and whatever you do now and in the future.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

To Cut Through Procrastination

8 3/4" x 5 3/4" oil on canvas panel titled "Black Knife"

Here is the first painting done out of my new studio. I wanted something simple to do yet something that had some meaning. I can't help it, I just can't create an image or idea that I don't care about or doesn't mean anything to me.

I chose the large black-handled knife that was originally my Mom's. It said to me, "Cut through your procrastination, your inertia and blockages to creativity." So that was the image I needed to paint. I chose the green background as it gives it a slightly unnerving quality. I wanted to explore that.

What images could you use to cut through your own personal blockages, inertia or procrastination?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cat Approved New Artist's Studio!


"Oh my godzes, I LUVS this!!!". The cat runs past me into
the studio, jumping up on the window and giving it
lots of love.

Walking into the new and much improved
gallery facing north west with more towers
of boxes.

Walking a little further into the room and look who
already beat me in? See her past the boxes on 

the window. Northern windows for my studio.
Can you say YES!


She jumps up on the window and gives it lots of love.


She checks out the north view.


"I be so happy."


"Let's never leave".

And that's about it for now. The beginning of what I hope will be the beginning of a brilliant, new, prosperous adventure. And what did you say Tiffe? Oh, and squirrels, lots of squirrels to inhabit the tree just outside the window.

Stay tuned, as soon as I get my studio all up and at 'em I'll post more photos of it in action. This place truly feels nurturing. Such a huge difference from my former apartment. I won't have to fight my space to create and that feels like a luxury.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Quick, Get It Down!

"Crescent Moon Sunset" 10" x 10" oil painting on stretched canvas
Purchase Here

So the other night I am busy packing away for my move happening in a few days and I look out my west-facing balcony and see the most beautiful summer crescent moon emerging. I MUST get it down! I quickly realize though that I have packed all my canvas panels. Damn! Okay, stretched canvas it is and the smallest I have is a 10"x 10". I quickly get busy and clear a space amongst boxes, packing tape and growing disorder for my palette and canvas to barely fit in and quickly work the paint as I look up and down from the quickly fading scene before my eyes. 

So here is the final product. I don't know if it was the time pressure (to capture this image before it quickly faded) or what but I quickly got it down and it retains all the energy, freshness and vitality of that original image outside my west-facing balcony. I just love the moon in all it's appearances, but especially summer moons with those dark mysterious thread clouds blowing nearby.

There is not much I will miss about my current apartment. I am grateful for it though but one thing I will sorely miss is the gorgeous sunsets and moon appearances that being this high up and in this direction has brought me. Just for that, I have been incredibly blessed.




Monday, August 22, 2011

Never Open an Umbrella Indoors and Other Superstitions Defied!

Cute and curious and not afraid of no umbrella!
This week I put together a "Daily Paintworks Challenge" to the online community of daily working artists that I belong to. The subject? Superstitions. OooooOooo. I did one of my favourites, opening up an umbrella indoors and to boot, had the cat sit under it. Actually being the curious critter she is she came right up to it and sat underneath it giving it a good sniff over. I decided not to make her all black but I was tempted.  So I took the shots, selected the one you see above, and then did the painting from it. 

"Superstitious Shelter" 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
Click to Purchase
You can see I changed a few things, like taking out the red table which was too distracting from the red umbrella and modifying the background. I also punched up the value differences to bring attention to the cat underneath and in the middle of the umbrella. I wanted to image to have that drama and pop value but without being garish. I loved the rich flooring and the reflections I was able to pull. 

I am quite happy with this little oil indoor still life. One of my favourites!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nothing Says Summer Like Dutch Dream's Ice cream!


Some lucky Torontonians cooling off with some Dutch Dreams ice cream. 

I decided the other day to finally get out and get some reference shots of my Toronto neighbourhood and lucky me, the Dutch Dreams ice cream shop is down and around the corner. THIS is THE ice cream shop in Toronto. It is city-wide renowned and it's literally in my backyard. I am so lucky I am allergic to dairy (and have steel willpower on this) or I'd be getting my latest apparel at the local tent and awning shop.

Just enjoy this little splash of colour and summer and look forward to some small format paintings based on it. I mean, it's got a four foot sunday and creepy Dutch carhop at the entrance, not to mention the gnomes sprinkled on the side of the walls and other dairy paraphernalia. It really is something to behold and people line up down the block on a hot weekend summer's night. Ahhhhhh, summer.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Magnificent Mushroom!

"Magnificent Mushroom" 5" x 7" oil painting
on canvas hard panel
Click to Bid

I just had to paint a mushroom. Just had to. It had to be one of those mythical orange tops - the ones that fairies rest and play under. So here it is, my homage to that most glorious fungi! I finally was able to use one of the canvas panel hardboards that I hand made a while back. I love the weight and feel of it.

So enjoy this one. It makes me smile and laugh when I look at it. It just feels good and reminds me of those great hikes I use to take decades ago back in Prince Albert National Park. This painting would look great in a little study, a corner nook somewhere with a desk and lamp or even in the kitchen. Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fantastical Sunflower

"Leo Sunflower" a lion of a little oil painting - 6" x 6" on canvas panel
Click to Purchase
I went out the other night and took reams of photos in the neighbourhood. I came across some lovely sunflowers and black-eyed susans and they were the inspiration for this painting. I tried to do realism but it was like a horse wanting to gallop that was barred behind the barn door. I finally just had to let it out and just paint this image the way IT wanted to be born, not how I wanted it to be born. It can be a really frustrating process, this tug o' war. Once I relinquished, I just felt it "flow".

So here it is. It's not what I had in mind but it really pleasantly surprised me. Gallop on muse, gallop on!

Friday, August 12, 2011

What is True?

Sarah Kay on presentation on TED

I found this today at the allthingshealing.com site and Ms. Kay blew me away. I have turned a poetic phrase or two but she took me places my mind truly delighted in. Any artist will be riveted, healed and inspired by her words. Amazing, amazing talent, this young woman. Listen to her here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NEW! "A Way Out" 8" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel

Even in the swirling darkness there are portals to peaceful blue skies.
SOLD


These are the dark clouds of summer, specifically those big, beautiful swirling towers of clouds that develop over the prairies. Awe-inspiring and sometimes, terrifying. I just love them. This painting is taken from some shots I took after a huge prairie summer storm. It really resonated with me. It's like life. Times where are hell has broken lose, it's important to know that just like in a storm, blue sky is still there. Peaceful blue sky and there is always a way to it. That's what that little break in the clouds is, the portal to peace. Sometimes you have to go through one heck of a storm before you find your way out. That is what this painting symbolizes to me. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

BAM! Sexy-Cute Red Little Shoes

"Sexy Little Red Heels" 6" x 6" oil on canvas panel
Click to Purchase
I saw these and thought what cute, sexy little red high-heeled shoes and I'd never wear them. First off, cause I'd twist my ankle and secondly because shoes like this need a whole ensemble ($$$). And red shoes just scream for notice and I am a more laid back kind of gal. So, unless I needed to click my heels to find my home after being relocated by a tornado, I don't think I'd ever don these. However, I think they are so cute and attention getting I gave them front row and centre in this painting. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Painting Favourite Coffee Cups and Raising Funds for Alzheimer's Art Auction

"My Blue Cup" 5" x 6" Oil on panel - part of the proceeds going to
Alzheimer's research
Click to Purchase
This weeks DPW painting challenge was to paint your favourite cup. Well, mine just happens to be this blue one, partly because it IS my favourite and partly because I have broken all the ones I like. So I did this painting last night. I wanted to add some excitement to it and placed the blue mug on a yellow drying dish cloth. I love the brilliance of the yellow against the cobalt blue of the mug. Makes me think of blue birds of happiness set against sunflower fields happily simmering under the summer sun. 

Also, it reminded me of a notice I got from the Alzheimer's society a while back about doing some fundraising by hosting a coffee break (one can do it at their place of work, or in their apartment block, or health club, wherever). Here's the link for more info http://www.alz.org/join_the_cause_coffee_break.asp
So, when I got this challenge it reminded me of that and since I can't host anything I thought at least I can donate something to the cause. 

Again, I liked this challenge this week. We'll see what next week brings!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Turning Black and White into Colour Without Photoshop!

This was the challenge, to turn the black and white photo on the left
back into colour using your artistic skills. Yikes!
As you can see I altered the photo to strengthen the composition,
take out the distractions. The top right is the eye entry point (I got rid of
the dangling blind cords) and decided I really wanted the plant
to be the focus. I added more room to the left side of the
paintings, so we could see the left side of the glass decanter and
to properly frame the subjects within in the frame. Also I changed
the position of the lock from the centre of the window to the side,
that way, the elements balanced themselves better in the frame.
"On My Windowsill" 4" x 6" oil on canvas panel
buy this painting here
As part of the DPW artist community I have been looking into their painting challenges and decided to take up the latest challenge of taking a supplied black and white image and then turning that image into colour. Much to my surprise it was actually fun! I'd always wanted to do this but never seemed to give it the time. Not until the challenge that is : )

So here is my colour solution. You had to ascribe the right colour values to the corresponding grey scale of values in the original photo. The colour I utilized was basically a blue/green and orange - so I believe that is a split complementary coupled with mother colour theory. My palette was ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, cadmium lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, and titanium white. 

Oddly the terra cotta planter was what attracted me. Guess I wasn't a crow or raven in another life (glittery, sparkly things attract those feathered critters, as people have found all kinds of bobbles and bright things in their nests). Probably just a mud thrower (pottery gal). Love pottery, and terra cotta has a special place in my heart. 

This was a rewarding experience. Glad I took the time to do it. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NEW! Moon Ascending Blue Mountain

Click to Buy
After the control of execution of yesterday's painting, "Summer Moon Over Venice", I just had to bust out and the result is," Moon Ascending Blue Mountain". It's on a bigger panel (6" x 6") and the subject matter lends itself to a more rugged application. I don't know if you can tell, but I have always admired Inuit art, and also if you have heard of him, Nicholas Roerich (you can learn more about him here http://www.roerich.org/wwp.html). He was part of the Theosophist's movement and spent many years in Tibet doing these amazing paintings. All gouache on cardboard/canvas, if you can believe that!

Himalayas. Morning. 1937
Tempera on canvas - 44 x 78 cm
artist Nicholas Roerich

I so love this painting that I will probably do a larger one on stretched canvas. Maybe a 10" x 10" or 12" x 12". It would look fantastic on a 24" x 24" but that's better done in my new studio in September. I love the yin and yang of my painting, the rugged masculine if you will, mountains with the yin (feminine) moon ascending behind them on a light magenta/lavender night sky. It's a nicely balanced and strong piece. Did I mention I loved it? Lol!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Moon Over Venice - Beauty Meets Discipline

Click to Purchase

This painting was not finished in an hour. Oh no. More like 5 hours. Yes, this little 5"x 6" oil painting took over 5 hours. Why? Attention to detail my friend, attention to detail. That and finding it face down in the palette - mysteriously it had toppled over, over night, and did a perfect face plant in my wet paint palette that laid right underneath it. I just laughed. I wiped it off and went back to work.

Alla prima painting (wet on wet) oil painting requires cleaning your brushes constantly to keep the colour true. Because this is a small painting and there was so much detail that made for slow going, but the results are are very much worth it. This was also a good exercise in subtle color values. There wasn't a lot of high drama in this painting to get your attention so it really needed to be well designed, and a good understanding of colour values and their placement had to be implemented. My colour palette consisted of ultramarine blue, cad yellow light, raw umber, cassel earth, a smidge of viridian and burnt sienna and of course, titanium white.

So here it is. I just LOVE the peacefulness of it. The barely rippling water, the full moon over the Venetian architecture with blue-tarped gondolas swaying back and forth gently on the surface of the water. THAT is what kept me working on this painting. If I didn't love the subject matter, then when I found it face down in wet paint that would have been a wrap. If you love what you are doing, what you are working on or for, that can carry you through some tough or tedious times my friends.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

NEW Art Auction! An Attack of the Cutes!

Click to purchase from my Etsy store

Okay I've hat an attack of the cutes lately. I admit it. The result? This extremely cute little 5"x7" oil painting titled "I Bring You Daisies Two". Yes, this rabbit is a distant relative of Yoda - see the ear family resemblance? Painted from life, I set up this little still life and I guess there still is a little girl inside of me that can appreciate the cute, the kind, the sweet. 

Perfect for a shower or child's first birthday gift or for that little girl (or boy) that still resides within your friends, family, or yourself. I'm lucky - even after I sell this piece, I at least get to have the image to output as cards or a print for myself. That's the side benefits of being an artist and loving what you do, literally.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

NEW! APAD challenge "A Bit of Begonia" on Auction Now!

Click to Bid!
The painting challenge was to do a painting of Nature, working on location, using only the colours ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light or medium, cadmium red, and use only white in the cools (for shadows or distant foliage, hills, etc.), use only 3 brush sizes, only soft edges, paint from dark to light, saving the small brush to do just highlights, complete the painting in an hour. I think that was it. Well I managed to do all the parameters except not using white in the flower itself. There was just no way I was going to butcher this lovely, delicate, salmon/pink/cream yellow begonia with just cad yellow and red. It would have looked hideous!
I didn't have much to select from as most of my balcony flowers were burned, dried up and dropped off due to that prolonged heat wave we had but surprisingly the begonias kept going strong. I am really happy with how this little dittie turned out. Nothing like a challenge to get the creative juices flowing - either that or the fear of complete failure! Hah!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Art Auction - Prime Time Cherries!

Click to Purchase!
Okay, after doing the first painting I was hooked and just needed to do a bigger and badder, even more tantalizing trio of cherries. This one reminds of me of them now being ready for the spotlight, for the big stage, they're ready for Prime Time! I love the painterly way they came out with a slight illustrative style to it yet still strong and forthright. These cherries are definitely larger than life!
Titled "Show Time!" this latest oil painting is 5" x 7" and done on gessoed canvas board. I envision framed in deep wood walnut frame that has a bronze or gold-leafed underpainting showing through or very modern with a white matt and either a silver, warm silver or white gold metal frame. Either way it would look dynamite!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Join My Facebook Fan/Collector Page - Win a Painting!

That's right, join me at my artist's face book fan/collector page and when I finish my 100th APAD (a painting a day) painting I will draw, at random, a name from my 'likers' and that person will receive an contemporary, original oil painting, by myself, valued anywhere from $35 to $100! Yep, that's right. I'm doing it to celebrate my artistic rebirth and also to show how much I appreciate my supporters. So if you haven't joined my facebook page yet, there's no time like the present!

Sumptuous Cherries in Oils

Click here to Bid!
Okay, who DOESN'T think cherries are beautiful, sensual reflective red/wine/burgundy orbs of pure deliciousness? I just had to do a little oil painting (and I think there might be a few more in the works) to pay them homage. This one is titled "We Cherries Three" a 2 7/8" x 4 7/8" oil painting on canvas board. They were listed just today for auction so don't miss a great price opportunity!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Hillside Daisies!

Straight from the playful imagination,
my 5" x 7" oil painting on canvas board titled
"Happy Hillside Daisies"!

Okay, I'm having an attack of the cute and happy. I don't know where it comes from. I just have to let it come out or it bugs me forever. So here it is - daisies, living, breathing and joyful to be alive. They dot a very happy green hillside that rolls out to a sweet, warm, dreamy horizon. Where ever this place is, there is only joy and happiness. Nothing else could stand it! Lol!

Friday, July 22, 2011

What's Great About a Heat Wave?

Well, the heat wave continues and the one thing that makes it great? I can't really do anything but indoor stuff so there's no pull to go out and enjoy the great weather when you would get heat stroke in minutes if you did.

Working on some new paintings and will post them asap which might not be too long considering that this heat isn't going anywhere soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back on Track and Another One Hour Oil Painting!

"Nobleton Daisies" 5" x 7" oil on canvas panel
The dust is settling and I got back in the saddle to do more APAD (a painting a day) one hour oil paintings. I felt in the mood for daisies so pulled up some reference shots and put down what you see here. I must say, it's not what I thought I'd do, it's not what I wanted to do, but I had to stay true to what the painting wanted to be. So here it is. One of my friends was very taken by it and said "You HAVE to do that as a large painting!" "Funny," I said "Forty minutes into it I hated it and was going to chuck it aside, but, I knew I had to follow through and just be true to what that painting wanted to be, not what I wanted it to be". In the end, I am glad I did.

So here it is, for you daisy lovers out there. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Painter Found a New Apartment!

It's been confirmed. I have a new apartment. Now I can stop the whirlwind tour of where-the-heck-am-I-going-to-live and put myself and my home back together again and maybe, just maybe, get out a painting today. Hmmm, maybe an illustration of the dark abyss of possible homelessness I was imagining. Just when you think you have some ground under your feet - Whoosh!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Painter Interrupted

If you have come by to see the latest oil painting and it's not here it's because I am out looking for a new place to live. Yep, just got the notice the other day that the company that owns the building is redoing ALL almost 200 balconies. That means jackhammering every day all day long for over a year. The landlord denies it will be noisy. The landlord is, well, adrift from reality.

So as soon as I can I will be back at it. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for keeping tabs on me. I will be back!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Queen of Serious

"The Queen of Serious" 5" x 7" oil panel painting

Now THIS was a challenge. I have done a lot of portraiture in my day BUT usually I have several days to a few weeks to complete them in. Today - 60 minutes. My GOD! I have never moved so fast on a portrait before and to be honest, I took one hour and twenty minutes. If I didn't take the extra twenty minutes her title would have been "The Queen of Zombies". 

All in all I like her! Man, it was an amazing trip painting so fast! It is not my style but I will say it makes me much better in seeing and I like the work better. The color is fresh and the brush strokes are fast and alive! Even though the person is intense and dramatic looking, the background approach lightens the mood and makes her have a slightly light-hearteded mischievous side. 

What to do next? Check back tomorrow to find out.