Monday, December 22, 2014

Hawaii Wave Study

I'm starting to get excited about my Hawaii trip and had to try and paint a little guy. Acrylic 10x 20 inches. My first tropical wave in acrylics...ever! I'm looking forward to doing more studies. Although I liked the original photo, I cropped it so I could get up-close and personal in order to observe.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

acrylic ' Mountain Omen', 24 x 24 and 'Athabasca Flow', 20 x 28

 Here are a couple painting I have been working on in between traveling and company. Time to shift my focus now. I will be making another trip to Hawaii in a few weeks and I can't stop thinking about warm weather, plein air and ocean paintings. Winter mountain scenes will be on a short hiatus, as I wrap my head around a new color palette.

Merry Christmas to you and your families and a happy New Year too!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stampede Art Auction

Acrylic 24 x 30.
  Now that I'm feeling better and my Christmas shopping/painting done, I will spend these next two weeks thinking about Stampede. Yep, it's not until July, but entries have to in early. I enjoy participating in the Art Auction but have a hard time deciding what to paint. I will most likely paint 3or 4 , choose one and send the others to the gallery. Last year a close up mountain scene was chosen. Previous years have seen, Elbow Falls, Lake Louise, Tangle Falls and Sunwapta Falls. But there is no guarantee whatever I submit will be accepted. I have been very lucky and feel privileged to have had one or two chosen each year I have applied, considering they receive hundreds of entrants. And last year I was very grateful and honored to have received the 'Artist Choice' award for my entry.

My waterfalls seem quite popular , so the last couple of days I've been working on a couple Athabasca Falls. But I won't decide what to submit until the last minute.
I have painted many versions of this, some very colorful and others more muted, some cool, others warm. This one, although still using vibrant color, I also incorporated variations of greys.  Also below is a small study loosely based on Elbow Falls 16 x 16.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In The Foothills

acrylic 8 x 16 inches
Traveling from Leighton Art Center, I get to see some amazing views, and every time is different. I never tire of that road trip. So if you ever get the chance and have a free day, I encourage you to visit Leighton Center in the Calgary foothills, or just go for a drive through the hills.You can see the city center in the distance and the play of light and shadows in the fields and rolling hills. I love visiting all the cows, horses, sheep, and bison also...but that is for another day. These are two tiny studies of my views returning from the Center. I have also include one of my reference photos and how I enhanced it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

More Little Ones

 I was hoping to have a lot more of these little ones completed, but with company, traveling and now the flu bug, I'm a little under the weather and very behind. Trying very hard not to get too caught up in detail because when I do, these little guys can take as much time as the larger versions. 2 12 x 12's and 16 x8.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

View From Lac Des Arc

acrylic 36 x 60 inches.
Another painting of a mountain I don't know the name of. I tried to download Google earth but was unsuccessful. You can first see it looking towards lac Des Arcs and all the way to Canmore. Again I will include a couple of my photos. If anyone knows the name of this mountain, please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Little 12 x 12's

Working on a few small canvases to give to the gallery before Christmas. These three are 12 x 12 inches. Also, I found a few unfinished canvas as I was cleaning my studio. Some were from demos and some were paintings I need to fix or rework. I really need to reorganize and spring clean so I can get a fresh start in the new year.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lake Louise Rising

 acrylic 36 x 60 inches.
 I knew I wanted to paint a large lake Louise, I just didn't know which season. I had some wonderful summer sunrise references and it was so calm and peaceful when I was there. A present being gently and slowly unwrapped  as the warmth unveiled itself. But I felt there wasn't enough happening in the shadows. The winter had plenty of cool color, crisp ice and contrasting snow but lacked warmth. So, I combined them both. Hope you like it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

View From Vermillion Lakes

View From vermillion Lakes, large acrylic 36 x 60 inches.
Many times while in Banff, I would venture out before dawn to Vermillion lakes to catch the iconic sunrise behind Mt Rundle...along with several professional and amateur photographers. I don`t profess to be a great photographer and I don`t even use a tripod, I just need to document what I see and feel. On this particular day, with all eyes on Rundle, I looked over my shoulder to the right and saw this mountain. Does anyone know its name? 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rocky Mountain Brim

Rocky Mountain Brim, acrylic 24 x 36 inches.
Below are my photo references. The original photo and the enhanced one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Toward The Prize and using photos that are not yours.

Stacey Peterson wrote a great article, a must read, ( her blog) on why you should use your own photos, and for the most part I totally agree with her.When I first started painting, I admit, I was guilty of using other peoples photos, but I did write for permission. As I grew as an artist, I also became a photographer, marketer, hiker and explorer, amongst other things. I spend more time outside than I ever did before, and have become a better painter for it. Everything I 'see' I evaluate as a painting... looking for light, shadows, shapes, mood and atmosphere. I love to experience the sights and sounds and I do believe it adds passion to my work. But I'm not young anymore and cannot do all the hiking, and climbing, etc., that I would like to. I prefer to use my own photos, but on occasion I will use someone else's. I steer away from professional photographers who make a living doing their work, and I like to make a lot of changes. A friend of mine, is an avid hiker and is more than happy to let me use his photos. He goes to places I will only dream of, and when I paint one of his photos, I imagine myself there and what it would feel like. I try to insert as much passion and excitement into the canvas as if I was actually there.

So on that note, I'd like to thank Andrew for letting use his photo for this painting. Toward Borgeau Lake and Harvey Pass in Banff National Park.

Watercolor vs Acrylics

The FCA Calgary Chapter had a watercolor workshop with Rex Beanland this past weekend. Since my plans to paint in Whistler fell through, and since I'll be doing a lot of sketching from here on in, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to learn something about this medium. I'm a complete newbie! I thought, 'how difficult could this be?', but I sure had my eyes opened. It was a lot more difficult than I suspected, and certainly very challenging. I have a new found respect for watercolor artists. Back in my studio, with my confidence suitably shattered, I sought to seek comfort in my acrylics, but I will be venturing into the unknown again in the near future. ( I'm too embrassed to even show you what I painted)

Rex is good watercolorist and a wonderfully patient teacher. To see more of his work checkout his blog link

So...back to my mountains and my comfort zone to try an d rebuild some self esteem.

This is a large 4 x 5 referenced from a smaller painting and photo based on part of the Rundle Mountain Range between Canmore and Banff. Still some details left to do

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rocky Mountain Vista

'Rocky Mountain Vista', acrylic, large 48 x 72 inches.
Having only painted one larger canvas before, I was eager to to get started on this one, and I have mountains on my mind. This one being a vista but the other larger canvases I have, will be mountain portraits. Again this was referenced from photos taken from the passenger side of a moving vehicle. I have includes my original reference photos without the enhancements. The photos are never what I see, but I have learned to remember what I felt and what I saw so I know what to look for.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Tranquility

Acrylic 36 x 24
This painting was both challenging and fun to do. Like most of my painting when I'm unsure about my initial approach,  I push away my fear and bulldoze ahead, applying paint and covering the canvas very quickly. This time however I stopped half way through, feeling that it needed something more. I laid the canvas flat and proceeded to add pouring medium in bottles of various colors and tar gel creating more texture. when dry I scumbled various transparent and opaque  colors. At this point I knew I would be doing a lot of negative painting, but I was fine with that, after working so feverishly it would be nice to slow down and relax. It's hard to see all the texture in the image. ( and for some strange reason, it won't let me change the image file...the blue is way too saturated).  I have included my reference photos taken near Bragg Creek.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Autumn Evening On Fish Creek

Acrylic 9 x 12 inches
A small study for a larger painting, based on my recent walk along Fish Creek in the Evening just before sunset. A glorious evening.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Commission Piece

This is a 36 x 60 commissioned piece based on my Painting 'Serendipity', 24 x 30. I though this was going to be a huge challenge, not just because of the orientation and size difference, but that 'Serendipity' was painted over another painting and had tons of layers, texture and glazes. I didn't remember how I did any of it, as it was a very intuitive painting that went through a lot of changes and had no reference. I thought the best way was to very quickly dive right in, lay down as much texture and paint as I could, cover the canvas and not think of it as a commission. I waited for layers to dry and added more...repeating this process over and over. I added the trees last and then did the negative painting to complete the piece. What the Client was most drawn to were the golds and greys as well as the Group Of Seven 'feel'. I think I accomplished that...hope they like it!
Original painting:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Highway To Canmore

acrylic 20 x 40 "View From The Rocks"
Yesterdays effort was based on a photo taken from the passenger car window on the way to Canmore ( just like many of my moving photos). I'm doing a demo for Mountain Galleries in Whistler this weekend and thought I'd practice my mountains. I'm still not sure what I'll paint and will probably decide the day of. We leave today. I don't paint until Sunday so I'll have plenty of time to get inspired and take photos in between my gondola/summit  hikes and ziplineing.

I'm including my reference photo both original and enhanced.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Alberta Bound

acrylic, 24 x 12
Another 'Sky' Painting. I'm not using the palette knife as much in these little ones, but I'm thinking with larger ones I will need to.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Glow Through The Clouds

acrylic 24 x 30
I had intended this to be a 'sky' painting but it ended up being more about the mountain. I was only going to have a bit or bits of the mountain peeking through. Maybe the next one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Passing Storm

acrylic 24 x 12
In keeping with my 'sky' paintings, here is a study referenced from a photo I took a week or so ago. Love Alberta sky's after a storm. I live close to the foothills near 22 x, and rushed out to grab some shots. I was a little late but did manage to snag a few.

Since Kay was so generous in allowing artists to paint her photo, I thought I'd do the same. I will attach the original  enhanced photo and if any artist would like to paint it please feel free. I'm not sure how this will work, but I think you can upload your images to my Facebook page which this post is linked to.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Moonrise and Sunset

Acrylic 24 x 12 inches
My Facebook friend Kay Schneider, link posted a photo she took of a moonrise and sunset. A lovely photo! She had an idea since so many people/artists were commenting, that it might be fun if we all painted it and shared the results. Would be fun to see the different creative treatments. We've had some wonderful sky's lately, here in Alberta, and I have been seriously thinking about painting some. So this challenge came at a perfect time. I don't do 'sky' paintings so I'm definitely out of my comfort zone.
Kay's photo

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Athabasca Shimmers

acrylic 36 x 24 inches
I worked hard on this one and I'm quite pleased with it. I deviated quite a bit from the photo but not so much as you can't tell which waterfall this is. There was quite a bit of foliage on top, bottom and sides of the photo but I finally chose not to show too much, as I really liked what was happening with the water, and felt it would be too distracting.