Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bear Love

Time for some bears...been awhile since I painted these fellows. Technique is a little different from my landscape paintings. First I do a detailed drawing on a white canvas. I then use palette knives to apply thick heavy clear gel ( I'm basically sculpting the fur). I let that completely dry and then tone the canvas with red iron oxide and wipe off the excess. ( so that the drawing still shows through). I'm now ready to paint using brushes! I start with the detailed eyes ( so I don't lose them when I paint all the darks with a large brush). I paint my darkest darks and work lighter in layers eventually using a very soft dry brush to bring out the textures.

'Bear Alert', acrylic 24 x 30 and 'Blue Beary' 36 x 24

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winters Glimmer

'Winters Glimmer', acrylic 24 x 36

While flipping through all my references, trying to decide what to paint for the Stampede Art Auction, I came across my Griffith Woods photos and suddenly had the urge to revisit a previous study based on these. It's not exactly a 'western' theme, but I wasn't about to let my sudden urge go unanswered. I find it important to paint what you desire, what sparks your interest or inspires you at that moment. The passion, freshness and spontaneity comes through in the painting. Stampede Art Auction will have to wait...I still have a few weeks.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Highway Magic

Nothing like a cold to slow you down. In between coughing and sneezing, I managed to complete a painting...only took me 4 days. 'Highway Magic', acrylic 30 x 40 inches*UPDATE I don't like the sunlit snow and clump of trees hitting smack dab in the middle. To fix this I am going to stretch the canvas to 30 x 30 inches*

I'm showing my reference photos, the original and one I enhanced and cropped. It was a dreary day and I liked the atmosphere and mood but it needed some punch and more light.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What a Mess And Empty Tubes

I don't just use palette knives, but you'd think I only use brushes by looking at my messy work area. I just can't/ won't take the time to clean my brush after every use...I just grab a new one. Just like in my kitchen, as I whiz around I grab clean utensils instead of finding the one I just used. I don't worry about saving paint and I use a paper palette because it's efficient, ( although probably not the most economical ), I can just tear it off and throw it away. Sometimes I have three paper palettes going at the same time on different tables.Same with my rags and towels, they end up everywhere. The reason being is, I don't like to interrupt my rhythm, especially if I'm in the zone. When I take a break, I'll clean up the rags and organize my paint tubes again. I don't fully clean or wash my brushes until the painting it done, when I get it all nice and clean to begin my next painting. You really wouldn't want to see my walls or floors...I'm a very messy person.

Now what to do with all my empty paint tubes? This is probably a year and a half's worth. Would anybody like to have them? Maybe for a school project or some sort of sculpture. They definitely need to be recycled and not just thrown away. I should get rid of some of my brushes as well...turning into a little hoarder, lol.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Commission Finished

The client wanted three 18 x 18 based on three painting I had previously done. I know I said no more commissions until the new year, but I think these came together quite nicely.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Red It Is

As an artist, fear is my worse I had to go for it. Red it is. I think I like it better. Just a few refinements, live with it for awhile and then I'm done. I do need to photograph it better though.

Should I Make My Bushes Red

I've struggled today with my decision making, and in doing so have changed my colors several times. Cool or warm, cool or warm. I'm at a point now where I'm so tempted to change all my bushes to red. Sooooo tempted.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Middle Stage WIP

Working more on my diptych this afternoon. Finished the back rocks and falls ( will still need some detail later...maybe), Changed the sky color. Added the middle ground trees and foliage ( need to let it dry so I can add more and refine.

Beginning Stages

I am starting a large diptych. 5ft x 5ft total. Referenced from one of my favorite falls, Tangle. ( top view ). These beginning stages are fast and furious.

image 1)
 I don't always tape out my paintings, but for this large size, I wanted a fairly accurate  but simple drawing.

image 2 &3
I premixed some greyish colors for my rocks in the back. I mixed them with a little heavy gel to extend, add texture and prolong the drying time.

image 3&4
Time for my large palette knife...or so I thought. I guess I got so excited about painting this big boy I forgot a couple of things. First I forgot to remove the tape. I also forgot to tone my canvas. I really don't like painting on white and always end up going back and covering all my white holes. No problem, the foreground is where I wanted it most anyway.

image 5 &6

I toned the bottom of my canvas with  transparent red iron oxide and varied it with phthalo blue . I also roughed in some mid ground rocks, the top trees and sky ( all of which will probably change as I go on). At this point I have been working for about 2 hours. I like to have the canvas covered before I hone in on any details.

I will wait for the paint to dry, finish the background, add some large trees and bushes and start on the foreground. This stage I will work a little slower. stay tuned.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Radiate Above

Acrylic 48 x 36

Driving in your car though the mountains, you always see the small cliffs of rocks on the side of the road. Some natural and some blown away to make room for a highway. I love the rock patterns, the snow, the small surprise waterfalls, and sometimes a sheep or two.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Highway Stretch

My gallery wanted some big paintings from me and I'm happy to oblige ( most have sold I pleased to say). All my mountain scenes have gone, so I thought I'd try another using a long format. 30 x 60 inches, I stretched out my drawing a bit to fit the canvas. I thought it would be an easy undertaking but I developed a few problems. How to keep my right focal point and yet connect both sides of the long painting. I wanted to avoid it looking like two paintings stuck together ( maybe I should have done a diptych ). I'm not sure I achieved this, so I'll put it away for awhile and bring it back out with fresh eyes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ode To Tom Thomson

acrylic 24 x 36

Tom Thomson has always been a huge favorite of mine and a big influence, as well as the group of seven. ( I still consider him part of that group). some people have compared a few of my paintings to the group of seven. ( obviously an over statement, but very flattering nonetheless. ) I particularly like his Northern River paintings. I had an old painting which needed fixing or painted over. I tried to fix it but I wasn't happy, so I decided to paint over it with Tom Thomson twist in mind and having some of the old paint showing through. I used his Northern River series as reference.

I've no idea what the legalities of this is or how ethical, but I don't consider it a copy. I do think it has more 'Wilder' written all over it, and nowhere near as good and elegant as his,but it was fun to do.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

After The Storm

acrylic 24 x 30 inches. I started this painting a long time ago at a Brian Ateyo workshop. It sat against my studio wall waiting for me to do something with it. I wasn't sure whether to fix it or paint over it. Finally, today, it screamed at me to fix it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Winter Wonderland

acrylic 36 x 36 inches

Going Home

Here are a couple from last years walk around Griffith Woods...I'm pretty sure now, after the floods that it doesn't look like these anymore. I will go back in the spring and see.

This is the first time I've added animals to my landscapes, but I loved the photo I took, with the contrast of the geese against the snow. acrylic 24 x 24

The other little one 10 x 20, I like, but for a small painting, I got a little fussy and tight.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Winter Palette

While drinking my morning tea and browsing the internet, I made my decision on what I was going to paint this morning. But as usual I changed my mind...again. An artists' and womans' prerogative I suppose. Most times I don't make up my mind until I actually have the canvas in front of me and even then, sometimes I'll change it up half way through. This morning I happened across work by Tibor Nagy, one of my favorite artists and it jogged my memory of another artist I hadn't visited for awhile ....Lynn Boggess. ( link ) His website was not updated and I wondered what work he had produced in the last 5 years, so I visited all his galleries. I am so greatly inspired by his work and how he welds his palette knife. One of these days I will get brave enough to try buttery and luscious. This piece I briskly did this morning, was inspired by him. 'Winter Jumble' acrylic 20 x 24 inches

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Winter Snow Patterns

I just finished a couple of small snowscape studies...seems fitting at the moment. I'm going to paint more small studies, trying to figure out which ones will look good in  large formats.
These two are 20 x 20 inches and 12 x 24

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In The Midst Of Red

'In The Midst Of Red'. large acrylic 36 x 60.

I took a small break and now I want to do a little experimenting. I watched a video of Ontario artist Linda Kemp ( love her work ) and was quite intrigued with her method. I wanted to try and incorporate some of her techniques into my work and see what would transpire.

I used an older painting of horses, which I had hanging my wall for a number of years and the family was getting tired of. I also had promised my daughter a large painting for her home and seeing as she prefers more abstracted work I thought this would work.  With no commitments in mind, and fully intending on playing outside my box...I took a large brush, some white gesso and slathered it over the horses muzzle.

I had no idea how this was going to turn out, but I did have a reference photo I was somewhat following. I still think it is recognizable as my work and I'll play with it some more, but...the gallery may get this one after all. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Take A Stand

acrylic 24 x 24

Another moving highway view I had started a while back and just finished.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Foothills Art Club Demo

I drove out to Cochrane last week to do a demo for the Foothills Art Club. I think I have painted enough Echo Creek, although they are all a little different and great for demo purposes, to show the palette knife technique and still have a painting almost finished within and hour. Here are the two finished pieces from that demo.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


 This painting ended up being a real challenge and full of surprises, but I like  the outcome. I loved the mountain in my cropped reference photo but thought it needed more defined trees ( shapes ) on the bottom and maybe some reflective water, so I chose another reference photo. The mountains came together quite quickly but when I added the autumn trees and water, something was not right. I changed the color of the trees, the back hills and still it wasn't working for me. I made the trees larger and eliminated the water...nope that didn't work either. I brought back the water and took away the trees.  At this point, before I added the trees again, it finally dawned on me. I had too much going on in the painting and needed to simplify. I had accumulated a lot of texture and layers from scrapping and such and was really liking the effect ... I managed to make trees without painting them! Time to simplify. I still needed to connect the top and the bottom. Just a couple of autumn trees did the trick and I was happy with the mood.

Here are the two enhanced reference photos and my painting ,acrylic 15 x 30 inches

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Highway Photos


'Catching The Light' acrylic 24 x 28.

Literally, I was trying to catch the light along the highway mountains from a moving vehicle. My husband always just wants to get where he is going. It's always " Sorry honey, there is no where to stop." or " Sorry honey, you didn't give me enough notice." Ha-ha. I'm sure many of you have experienced the same thing. That's why I like to go out on my own and spend the day shooting photos, but even then, I always miss some good ones.

I've included my original photo as well as the cropped/straightened photo.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Finished Paintings from Swinton's Demo

I have now completed the three paintings I was working on during my Demo at Swinton's Art Supplies.  I promised I would post them on my blog so here it goes:

 Demo 1

Wanting to show my palette knife techniques, I chose a 16 x 40 canvas, a reference photo, and a completed painting I had done a few days earlier of a creek scene in Banff. I got as far as I could and had to let the paint dry before adding the foreground in my studio.

Demo 2

I had half completed this painting at home and I still needed to show how I did the foreground trees. I refined them in the studio. ( acrylic 15 x 30)

Demo 3

I had under an hour to paint a mountain scene from scratch. I wasn't prepared with a reference photo so luckily I had my I Pad with me and used a painting I had done a few months ago. I spent more time refining this then I did at the demo and, I was afraid I was going to lose the freshness. Acrylic 20 x 24)