Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grape Reflections
6 x 6
oil on doorskin
I've been wanting to paint grapes to go along with the vineyard theme that I thought I'd focus on this summer and as usual I can't make it simple and want to be different so I laid the grapes down on a mirror, spilled some wine over them and presented myself with the additional challenge of multi reflections. Had the usual battle with the brain insisting on knowing how a grape should look versus what I was actually seeing in the composition. Once I went with trusting what I saw the paint went down faster and the shapes started to make sense.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

20 x 16
oil on canvas
This is a painting I started last summer. I was fascinated by starkness and the stately structure of the branches of these trees and was trying to re-create the drama. I had started by putting down layer on layer of bright color for an underpainting but was soon starting to flounder and was not sure where to go next. I have this inner battle whereby my love of abstract bright color is smothered by the sensible part of my brain which tries to sway me more towards the realistic. I think it's a left brain right brain dilemma. My daughter saved me when she came along and declared she loved it just the way it was so now it hangs on her living room wall.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

8 x 8
oil on canvas
I live in Canada's only desert which has become somewhat of a mini Napa Valley and the wine industry is booming here. One of the signs of a good wine are the 'legs' that run down the glass after swirling. I found this project a little frustrating changing colors many times till the paint wouldn't stick anymore and I'd have to wipe off areas. Next time I'll spend more time thinking about my color choices before I start to paint.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little House in Kits
8 x 10
oil on masonite

I'll admit it - I'm cheap... comes from growing up in the tiny 2 bedroom home above with 6 people and no money. I cherished every little thing I owned and wasted nothing. I'd put out tiny little dabs of paint and by the time I mixed the color I wanted the brush would be dry and I'd have to start again squeezing more little dabs out of my tubes. Afraid to ruin an expensive canvas it would sit white and glaring, taunting and daring me to start. When I recently started to paint again I discovered many professional artists were using doorskin which is a thin wood veneer found in 4ft x 8ft sheets at the local lumber yard. Prime it, gesso it and cut to it any size. I found the freedom to paint with abandon, fearlessly experimenting and so what if the painting wasn't a success. My 6 inch x 6 inch pieces cost less than 25 cents each. The painting above is one of the few I did on Masonite before I found the doorskin. Used a different technique on this one. Did the values in acrylic and then glazed with oil.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Loyal Companion
8 x 6
oil on doorskin
Okay - I spent more time trying to photograph this than it took to paint...Of course I could have spent more time painting it but I'm trying a new approach on these challenges of Karin Jurick's whereby I'm developing and executing a plan, learning what works and what doesn't and then moving on. I really enjoyed the flow of fabric, curves of the body and the connection between the woman and the dog and by not pressuring myself to come up with a good product I enjoyed the process more.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Village Stroll
16 x 16
oil on canvas
This is a little streetscene painted from a photo I took while on holiday in France last fall. I discovered I had a great deal of reference material when I blew up my photos and could see all kinds of action in the background that wasn't apparent from a little 4 x 6 image. It was nice to work on a bigger piece but this project has taken me over a week and finally after picking away this afternoon I could hear the Painting Police shouting firmly "Move away from the easel ! Now!" So - out to the garden I go...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Last week I was amazed to find I was nominated for a Lemonade Award by Liz Holm. Thanks so much Liz - I am so honored and overwhelmed. I used to be an ironman triathlete with a desire to paint and now I'm an artist with an exercise addiction so the last few days have been spent out on my bicycle in the beautiful spring weather instead of painting or blogging so now that I'm thoroughly stiff and sore I'll finish my current painting - get it posted and then work on nominating 7 more artists. To be continued....