Friday, October 30, 2015

Christmas In The Country

Leighton Center's 'Christmas In The Country', November 7-15/2015, is their popular annual fundraiser and art sale. This non-profit organization nestled in the beautiful foothills of Calgary boasts a vibrant and open space for creativity, connects you to art, history, and landscape. To learn more about the Centre and directions please visit their Website

'Christmas In The Country', features over 100 local artists each offering up to 15 unframed art works for you to flip through. From abstract to realism, a variety of mediums, from professionals to armatures, there will something for everyone.

I will be offering 15 small works including landscape, figurative and animals. I will be volunteering Sat afternoon Nov 7 and hope to see you there. Here are a few samples of the small paintings I will be offering.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Small Equines

Leighton Centre's Christmas In The Country is an event I haven't participated in for a few years. I thought I would enter a couple of Equines in a looser style. I'm quite happy with these two. 11 x 14 and 12 x 12, yet to ne named.

The 11 x 14, is a complete overhaul of a previous equine I had done a few years back. I can't believe how much better it is now...such a transformation. I might even keep the title of 'Gentle Nudge'.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

To Face or Not to Face


My husband doesn't like my figure drawings/paintings. That's totally fine. It took him a long time to appreciated my landscapes also. However, he is so very supportive of my work and my career even if he isn't an 'art' person as he puts it. When I first started bringing home stuff from my live model sessions, he would comment, "Where are the faces?' or "I guess you don't know who to draw faces." I tried to explain I was drawing figures and shapes, not a person. I wanted to create mystery and have the viewer insert their own idea of who it represents.

His comment got me I know how to draw faces? I tried a couple small face paintings of family members and totally bombed! I was being to literal, too tight, too picky, too realistic, too everything and I spent hours on these little paintings. This is not how I wanted to paint. What happened to me wanting to experiment with more abstract work? Maybe I couldn't paint faces after all. I decided to study other artists whose worked I liked and admired. ( Michael Maczuga, Ingrid Christensen, Scott Burdick, Nancy Guzik, and fellow acrylic painter Chantel Barber, just to name a few). I wanted a more painterly, loose and free feel to my faces, and of course working in acrylics makes it even more difficult.

I gave up on my family members thinking I was trying too hard to achieve a likeness which was not my goal. I found some free stock models, used a larger brush, decided to paint faster and not make any lines...only shapes. I know my proportions are a  little off but painting this way allows for more freedom from painting within the lines. I have a long long way to go but I am beginning to see the light. A lot more modeling sessions and studying for me. But I am not giving up on my faceless paintings either, sorry husband.

I thought I'd share a couple of faces and faceless paintings I have been working on.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Revisit

Some of you may disagree but, I felt this painting needed a revisit. Simplify, Simplfy Sinplify! And add some mystery. This was a small painting (12 x 12) with way too much information. All that busyness from the bicycles was distracting. And too many details and hard edges on the foreground figure. I also toned down the color and made more use of the greys. Now with less detail, more mystery, softer edges and larger dominate shapes, it is a more unified painting. (Although, now as I write this, I can see it still needs a few minor adjustments.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015


While exploring figurative work is fun and refreshing, it is also very challenging as I continue to try and find my voice in this genre. Mostly, I draw and paint 'figures' not 'people', so I have been leaving out the faces. I prefer the viewer to fill in the missing pieces so they can identify more with the work and not concentrate on the face of a particular person. Down the road I may tackle portraits. However, in this particular piece I blurred the face, but found it lacking. Because it was not so much abstracted, I felt it needed a face. I like it much better be the judge. small 20 x 10 acrylic. I call this 'Tapestry', because it reminds me of a little girl who is trying on her new tapping shoes for her Tap dancing lessons.

The challenge here was to create softness and keeping the brush strokes loose, difficult with acrylics but made a little easier by adding texture to the surface and lots of glazes. I'm curious to see what you think.