Friday, 19 December 2014

On the Easel - landscape #1

Over the last two weeks I have worked on several landscape paintings, and at this point have only finished one - The Chateau de Bourgane Poppies - the subject of my last post. I was really happy with the painting and to have finally finished something.

The Chateau de Bourgane Poppies
The two unfinished works are still staring at me. The first was inspired by a photo I took near my cottage in Ontario showing coniferous trees and their reflections in water - something I love because of the endless possibilities for artistic play.  I began with a red underpainting and then quickly brushed in the large shapes using lots of colour, including black and white, keeping everything loose and painterly.
stage 1
At this stage it looked a little garish, so I began to tone down the colour, pushed the red back, and changed the palette to a cool and subdued one of blues and violets.
stage 2
This is where I stopped. My husband pointed out that the reflection shapes of the trees and sky holes in the water don't line up, so I need to fix that. I like the defined shapes of some of the trees in the water and the way they contrast with the mushy shapes of the trees against the sky. I also like the palette, and layered blue hues of the background trees. As I write this I am beginning to see my next steps........but I need to leave it for now as the countdown to Christmas has begun in my house. I will get back to it and January, so stay tuned. Any thoughts or comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Chateau de Bourgane Poppies, Encore

Chateau de Bourgane Poppies
24" x 24" - acrylic on canvas -$400
I have experimented with this landscape scene several times since my visit to the grounds of this lovely chateau in Provence, last May. While there I painted several abstract versions in watercolour and gouache, but also wanted to paint a larger canvas in acrylic. This is probably the least interpretive version, though I did, as usual take liberties with the intensity of the colour and palette.  Below is a detail of the centre area.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


12" x 12" - acrylic on canvas - $150
I love painting animals.....dogs, cats, cows, sheep, fish (they are not really animals are they).
Nikki is a 6 year old boxer owned by our friends Brian and Pat. I work from photos that I prefer to take myself, and then play with colour. 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Promenade III

                                                Les Bassacs Promenade III
                                         24" x 20" -  acrylic on canvas  -   $350

I painted an earlier version of this scene, inspired by a photo I took in May and by my memories of walking along a light-filled path that overlooked vineyards, in the tiny hamlet of Les Bassacs in the Luberon Valley of Provence. I like using paths and roads that lead the eye and draw the viewer into the landscape. Pathways can symbolize are all kinds of personal journeys - physical, mental, and emotional. What is around the bend? Follow the road and see where it leads. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014


24" x 36" - acrylic on canvas - $400
I am fascinated by how reflections appear in water - and take photos of them, when and wherever I can. Coloratura is a variation on one of these designs, based on essentially a detail from a photo. Moody Blues, seen below, was the first variation based on this same detail. I could see so many more visual possibilities for these flowing abstract shapes, I knew that I would work with this same composition again, using more colour, or a different palette.

The fun thing about this new work is that when you rotate it, it also looks quite interesting......

The title Coloratura is a musical term  'generally used to describe vocal music that is extensively ornamented and calls for ability in a very high register'. I thought it fit here too.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Looking Up

Looking Up
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $400

I started this painting last winter while I was in Florida, and worked on it over a couple of weeks. I spent so much time looking at it that I lost all ability to judge it. So I left it alone - for 6 months - and with new eyes, l have decided that it's finished and I like it!
If it's snowing where you are - think of palm trees against a bright blue sun-filled sky - and feel the warmth. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Colourfield I

Colourfield I
28" x 22" - acrylic on canvas - $300
While I was painting the large water lily painting (see earlier posts!) I worked on this landscape too.
The composition is based on a subject/photo I have used before - but interpreted each time, quite differently. In this painting I simplified the landscape field into a number of connecting horizontal shapes, which became more abstract and defined as they moved forwards and down the picture plane. The colour scheme developed as I painted, but essentially followed the value pattern based on the photo. The background trees and especially the clump you see on the right were the biggest challenge, in terms of colour and differentiating it from the foreground detail, to suggest the illusion of depth and aerial perspective. This was such fun to paint that I can't wait to paint others in this loose, abstract style.