Saturday, December 27, 2014

January 30 in 30 Painting Challenge


Quail
8 x 8
Acrylic

Next week brings in a new year and with that the annual 30 in 30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta!  This is a fabulous project to get the brush moving and creativity flowing.  I've planned ahead a little preparing 8 x 8's this time as I'm finding the 6 x 6's a little too small.  It is interesting though how two extra inches adds considerably more of a challenge to paint in my self imposed limit of 2 hours.  I highly recommend  this project and you can find information about it here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Food Fraud


Free Range
8 x 8
Acrylic

I am feeling a little worried about the state of our food supply after having searched for products that are healthy and made locally, a challenge these days as most of our food comes from elsewhere.  Our government cannot possibly keep up with testing and much of the imported food has been found to be contaminated in one way or another, the importers not concerned as the fines minimal and of no consequence.  On top of that the labelling is woefully inadequate and downright misleading and in fact is a lie in many cases.  Made in Canada or Product of Canada means absolutely nothing.  Read your labels, avoid food products and buy local.  The chicken above was a lucky bird having a huge field to explore and find food.  Not sure whether it is destined for someone's dinner but very beautiful and a joy to paint.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Paint what you know or where you go?


Pismo Sand Dunes
12 x 9
Acrylic 

We have spent several months in the last year or so down in Arizona and California and though there is an amazing diversity of landscape I'm often hesitant to paint something unfamiliar to me.  Maybe it's a little more challenging to paint the unknown.  However growing up on the east coast and west coast I am definitely drawn to the sea and the harsh shorelines.  This is a little study done of the wind whipped trees and shrubs and the struggle to survive above the tideline.  In the evening we would sit up in the dunes to watch the sun set over the Pacific, a perfect end to a beautiful day of beach walking, bird watching and exploring the landscape.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fresh and Organic


Saturday Market
11 x 14
oil on canvas

There is no better way to eat than fresh and organic right from the garden and full of nutrients.  It's been a fabulous summer and I am sad to see the days of the Saturday Market in downtown Penticton come to a close till next year.  I will miss these brightly coloured stalls but was able to get a chance to take my paints and join a few other plein air painters and capture some scenes.  This vendor is Food of the Sun from nearby Cawston, BC.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Smoke in the Valley


The Pond
12 x 16
Oil on Canvas

One day in August I and a student from Vancouver went in search of a scene that wasn't obscured by smoke from the nearby forest fires.  Vistas were obviously out but fortunately there was a pond near our parking spot with a little dock and that was all we needed to have a wonderful morning of painting, birds singing and people strolling by taking a peak at our work.  It turned out to be one of my favorite outings in the summer.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oh What to Paint


Apricot Tree
9 x 12
oil on canvas

On one of our plein air group paint outs I was having trouble settling down and choosing a scene to paint.  Suddenly spotted this tree below us and onto the canvas it flowed.  Enjoyed this one very much. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

French Countryside


La Cote-St-Andre SOLD
9 x 12
acrylic on canvas

Here we are back in France again and what a joy it has been to take walks in the countryside, slowly taking in the views and seeing a possible painting every where I look.  This is a scene on a climb above the little village we are staying in.  La Cote-St-Andre is gorgeous, full of beautiful architecture and quaint shops but the best thing is the Michelin rated restaurant at our Hotel France.  The chef has been preparing the most incredible dinners all week and the best part is they are gluten free.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Zion by Bike


Zion South
16 x 12
oil on canvas paper

Recently returned from a trip south and just had to paint my experience in Zion National Park.  As of April 1 it is closed to cars and the only way in are bus shuttle, cycling or by foot.  We decided to cycle with some friends and what a spectacular ride it was up the canyon.  Much more peaceful than our visit a few weeks previously when the route was crowded with vehicles parked or trying to squeeze by each other.  The colors here are very intense and the lighting very mystical.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Year of the Horse


Running Wild  SOLD
14 x 23
Acrylic on Doorskin

We see this herd every now and then up in the hills to the west usually when we are out running the trails.  My first painting done when I was a small child was of a riding stable with horses being walked and tack being cleaned and since then I have had a love for anything horsey.  I think this is a good year to focus on them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter scenes


Waiting Out the Storm
12 x 9
Oil on Canvas Paper

On a walk last week I found this flicker tucked into a berry laden tree sheltered from some very strong and cold winds.  He blended in so well and the colors were gorgeous so I just had to paint him. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Whistler in September


Whistler 
11 x 14
oil on canvas board

Last September I took a workshop in Whistler through the Federation of Canadian Artists.  It was a fantastic week with not only 4 instructors but many professional artists participating in some of the activities.  The weather overall was excellent but for the day I was scheduled to go up the mountain.  Windy and cloudy I was only able to catch momentary glimpses of the surrounding mountain peaks but  here is a scene I caught where the clouds opened up for about 15 minutes allowing me to get a study done and to be able to paint the above week from my photos and study.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 30 of 30


Inuksuk
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

The finale and none too soon.  Although there are great benefits to the discipline of painting daily there can be many drawbacks and some sort of balance must be found.  Having said that I truly enjoyed this final day of painting in the company of my much missed artist friends sharing stories and creations all the while working on this last piece, an inuksuk found at the top of McIntyre Bluff over looking the town of Oliver.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 29 of 30


Storm over Vaseau sketch
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

One of the things I like the most about the Okanagan is the volatile weather and the dramatic skies.  Many times I have pulled over and jumped out of the car with my camera to get some reference material to paint from. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 28 of 30


Out to Pasture
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Love old machinery and found this specimen at my favourite lunch and produce stop Covert Farms in Oliver.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 27 of 30


Up in the Bluffs
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

High above Skaha Lake and above the famous climbing bluffs is one of my favourite areas to trail run.  Some new growth amongst remnants of a long ago forest fire but the meadows still provide vistas of the mountains beyond and sometimes the lake below.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 26 of 30



Desert Colors
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

The golden hour adds magic to the already beautiful colors in the desert just north of Joshua Tree, California.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 25 of 30


The Pond
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Another scene crying for a bigger format, this pond and pine tree will be a future project.  Situated along the shores of Skaha Lake it guards the entrance way to trails offering endless lake views and some wildlife if one is lucky. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 24 of 30


Flooded
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

The weather is beautiful so I'm not sure why there is so much evidence of flooding around unless it's the result of the dense layers of fog that seem to drift around. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 23 of 30


North Vaseau
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Here is a view of Vaseau looking north with some fall colours and the 'golden hour' lighting.  One of my favourite birding locations.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 22 of 30


Vaseau
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Painted this one in my car while ferrying over to Vancouver Island.  Tough to get good straight horizon lines with the vibrations from the engines and no sadly it is not a plein air of my view but from a photo on my Ipad.  Could have had a view if I was 2 cars forward or 2 cars back.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 21 of 30


Mont Blanc study
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

My first trip to France involved cycling in the Alps where spectacular views of Mont Blanc could be seen.  Beautiful alpine villages with as many goats and cows in the streets as people.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 20 of 30


Malbork Castle
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Poland is an amazing country full of beautiful architecture but what I remember the most is the 13th century castle Malbork, the largest castle in the world.  The design in astounding in that it has heated floors, secret passageways from kitchen to dining halls for transport of food and bathroom facilities that are removed from the living space and act as escape routes.  It is enormous and I can now see how a city can thrive within the walls.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 19 of 30


Maui Church
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

If you dare to travel this road you will be rewarded by rare and beautiful sights including this quaint little church.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 18 of 30


Mountain Lake
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

A  beautiful BC lake, enjoyed painting this one.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 17 of 30


Australia Shoreline study
6 x 6 
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

A much photographed cove featured gorgeous rock formations and the oh so sandy beaches of east coast Australia.  We spent several weeks exploring the coast from Sydney up to Noosa north of Brisbane most of it swimming and playing in the waves.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 16 of 30


Canazei, Dolomites
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Another one of my top 10 places to go and I must return - the Italian Dolomites.  We cycled point to point in 2012 through the Alps and Dolomites in Italy and they were jaw dropping beautiful, spectacular and worth a revisit to paint and hike. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 15 of 30


Kam II
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

One of my favourite places apparently had some nasty weather and a huge waterspout yesterday.  But since I can't be there right now I decided to paint it as I remember it with soft breezes and glorious sunshine.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 14 of 30


Farm in the Kootenays sketch
6 x 6 
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

A quick sketch today, a scene that I'm fond of and will paint larger.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 13 of 30


Horse study
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Well I have given up on this one but will try again sometime as I like the composition.  Maybe it would work better with oils as I find acrylics frustrating in the blending and nailing the value department.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 12 of 30


Longing for Freedom
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas

Today started off with a fabulous 10 k run up in the hills with a great group of fellow trail runners and one of the highlights was coming across several wild horses.  I tried to get a snapshot of them with my phone but will have to head out there sometime with a real camera.  In the meantime I've painted this poor fellow stuck behind a wire fence. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11 of 30


High Water  SOLD
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

Heading south on a birding drive I came across the most remarkable scene - the valley floor was flooded and a herd of horses was out looking for exposed grasses to graze on.  The backdrop was stunning with layers of foothills and mountains.  Some day I will paint the whole scene.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 10 of 30


Subtle Moves
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

I love the deep rich colors of this horse with a coat so well groomed that the sky reflects off it.  The rider gives subtle shifts in weight, a slight squeeze or maybe a nudge, barely perceptible but the horse in partnership moves accordingly.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 9 of 30


Calm and Collected
6 x 6 
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

This fine horse is being ridden by a friend of mine using a dressage manoeuvre called collection.  It is a thing of beauty watching the rider control the horse's centre of gravity so that the weight is carried more on the hind legs, the body shortens and the head is held high.  We used to think of it as a form of bodybuilding back when I was doing a little jumping and dressage.  A pleasure to paint especially in the good company of my plein air group who thankfully decided to paint indoors today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 8 of 30 Equine


Double Up Bareback
6 x 6
Acrylic on Canvas Paper

This image is painted from a borrowed photo, the photo itself being amazing and I can't do it justice.   Somehow the boots didn't look right and it took a while before I finally realized that there are two riders.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7


Mourning Dove
6 x 6
Acrylic on canvas paper

This past week of scanning through hundreds of photos from my birding outings has made me long to get out there again and share their world.  When one can watch a bird up close through a telephoto lens a whole new world opens up and these creatures take on personalities and social or life and death dramas can occur before your eyes.  Much more to paint on this subject but tomorrow I'm moving on and I think it will be equine themed.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 6


Yellow Rumped Warbler  SOLD
6 x 6
Acrylic on canvas paper

After yesterday's crow this warbler was a joy to paint.  I do love color.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 5 of the 30 day Challenge


Crow Study
6 x 6 
acrylic on canvas paper

A very busy day today and having precious little time to paint what better a subject than a black crow.  Easy right, just black, white and all the values in between.  Easier said than done but done it is.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4 30 Day Challenge


Golden Crowned
6 x 6
acrylic on canvas paper

Here we go - a view of the topside of the Golden Crowned Kinglet showing off his colors.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3 More Birds


Kinglet
6 x 6
acrylic on canvas paper

The Golden Crowned Kinglet is such an exquisite little bird and such a joy to watch flitting about the forest in search of food.  The golden crown when visible is really striking so I'll make sure it shows on my next attempt at portraying this gem.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 2 of the 30 day challenge


Rough Legged Hawk
6 x 6 
acrylic on canvas paper

Well this painting was a struggle.  Didn't feel like painting a bird today but toiled away and learned a few things as I went so all was not lost.  I think with these guys one has to decide between realistic fine detail with a tiny brush or somewhat abstract with big strokes.  There is just too much going on with the feathers and subtle shadows.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Singing in The New Year


Bewick's Wren
6 x 6
acrylic on canvas paper

This is Day 1 and the start of Leslie Saeta's 30 day Challenge for 2014.  Last year I found a vast improvement in all things involved with completing a 6 x 6 painting due to the fact that painting for 30 days in a row forced me to be organized, helped to simplify the process and made me realize that just sitting down and getting started got me over the hurdle of what to paint, how to paint it and all those other creative blocks that pop up and stall the effort.  This little wren was sitting in a bush across the street from me and was singing up a storm so I thought it appropriate for the start of the New Year.