Friday, September 25, 2015

Painting the same image

While doing a demo for the Cochrane Art group , I decide to paint a painting similar to one I had done before. I understand this is a common practice for many instructors. It is easier to talk, and more relaxing to be able to explain techniques, choices, etc., when you are comfortable with your painting. However, in my demonstration with a palette knife and using gels, it is impossible for me to finish a painting in the allotted time. So I started a new canvas and went as far as I could, half completing the painting. It need several hours to dry, so like those cooking shows, I magically produced another similar half completed dry painting to continue with my demo.

The question posed to me was, 'Do you or clients have a problem with producing the same paintings over and over again?' Good question. First, with my technique none of my painting are ever identical. Second, when I have a commission based on a previous painting, which happens a lot, I explain that I will only use the original as an inspiration, not to copy. Thirdly, very often I will do a smaller study of the same scene and if I still feel the need to explore the subject I will paint a few, but in different sizes and orientation. And lastly as in my demo, since I was using the same size canvas I decide to make one warm and one cool.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cochrane demo

While demonstrating one of my mountain scenes, for the Cochrane Art group, I found myself with some extra time. So I pulled out a painting I had planned to make better by adding a few things here and there. But after a few flopped attempts I scrapped it all off and proceeded to paint over the whole canvas using a lot of bright colors very abstractly. Eventually I had an idea where I wanted to go with it. I promised I would finish it and post it on my blog. So here it is. I also made a little video clip to show the process ( However, I didn't do any color corrections on the stills, so they are a little off). I hope you can open the clip.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Adding Some Punch

Acrylic 11 x 14. This little guy was hanging around my studio for quite sometime. I liked it, but it wasn't quite right. Something was missing or wrong. I like trusting my gut. Today, a light blub went off, I realized the foreground branch really wasn't saying too much, what was the reason for it and was it important to the painting?  I decided to make it my focal area and give it some 'punch', or pizzazz. I like it much better now.and I'm ready to part with him.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Early Autumn Afternoon, Jasper National Park

It was a beautiful misty drive through Jasper National Park with the sun peaking through the clouds and the autumn color in the foreground. The mountains were so majestic and looming. Acrylic 22 x 28

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Through The Haze Study

I was working on a landscape painting to be completed at a demo I'm doing for an art group in Cochrane on Tuesday, and I had mixed too much paint. So I grabbed a 11 x 14 canvas to use up the rest of the paint. This little painting emerged in less than an hour...gotta love it when that happens!

This will be my study for a larger and longer orientation painting.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Live Model Painting part two

Calgary Figure Drawing group hosted a 3 hour long live model session. What a treat to have only one pose all night! I definitely will attend this one on Thursdays regularly. Check out their Facebook group page if you are interested. Link. I did a reference sketch first in case I needed to do some touch ups in my studio. Now that I see it online, I realize I was a little tighter than I would have liked.

Don't worry, I'm not going to show every little sketch and painting I do. This will be it for awhile. It's just exciting to venture into this new subject matter and try out various techniques. I hope to develop a quality body of figurative work over the next year or so.

I still love my landscapes though and will be switching back and forth.

Below is a detail of the painting ( click to see larger )

Live Model Painting

Tuesday night was live model drop in Drawing/painting at Swintons. It was very busy with 21 artists. I managed a lot of sketches but was more excited to paint. But, the only long pose was the last one and it was only 25 minutes. I'm normally a fast painter but I was even more so that night. I was quite happy with the results and only did some minor tweaking when I got in my studio which was difficult without the model and light source. Here is my 25 minute painting( 25 x 22 inches) and a couple of my favorite sketches, and a detail close up.( click on it to see larger view )

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Johnstons Canyon

acrylic 30 x 30.
I went on a week glamping trip with three painting buddies a few months ago, to do some plein air painting and hiking. My knees were bad so I didn't do much hiking and it was raining so I didn't do much plein air. But we did paint in and around our cabin. However, these two paintings are not them. I started these shortly after in my studio and just got around to finishing them. Both from the same reference. A little tighter than I would have like and very hard to see the texture through the photographs.

Figure Sketching

It's time to get back into some figuring drawing with a live model. When to the Calgary School of Art ( Cactus Art) last night for their first drop in session of the season. Only two of us plus the model...kind of nice having all that space. So heads up all you interested figure drawers, every Monday night from 6-9 at the Calgary School of Art, here is the link

I'm a little rusty at this but I plan to go regular to hone in my skills. Tonight ( Tuesdays) is Swintons drop in and Thursday is Calgary Figure Drawing  see link

These are all quick sketches with graphite, conte, and watercolor marker. The watercolor marker I had never used before and really enjoyed using it with a wet brush. eventually with longer poses I hope to use paint. Again quick sketches, so please excuse the wobbly anatomy as many of the proportions are off.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Abstract Figure

Acrylic on Paper, 30 x 22 inches.

I just finished an abstracted figurative workshop with the amazing Brian Smith ( web site ). Brian is a very considerate and knowledgeable instructor, and his teaching skills are superb! I would highly recommend him.

I needed a little break from my landscapes and have been wanting to explore some figurative work for quite some time. I found this workshop very refreshing and confirmed my desire to venture deeper into this genre. I loved working with a live model! So much to learn and so excited to get started. I just have to figure out how to manage my time and my creative brain: maybe one week week figure. Discipline, Organization and Passion!

Here are the results of a few of the exercises from the workshop. I won't go into any details of the'll just have to take one of his classes to find out.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Cool Fish Creek

acrylic 18 x 36

Here is another from the 'brush series' at Fish Creek. Using the same photo reference ( as seen in the previous post), I wanted to explore a more cooler setting and a different orientation.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Glitter On The Creek

acrylic 30 x 30,
 How very satisfying this was to paint. Without being too literal, you can still get the sense of the scene AND I got to play. Not sure I'm completely done with this but happy so far. I have posted my reference photo ( enhanced and cropped) along with yesterdays WIP and this morning's effort.