Saturday, 18 June 2016

One Fine Day, Indeed

One Fine Day
36" x 36"  -  acrylic on canvas  - $600
I have several - well actually 4 - paintings in various stages of completion - and this is the first to reach that stage. Yeah! I will be travelling to and around Scotland in the next week, so needed to clear some things off my easel before I go.  I am quite happy with how this painting came together and am very happy with the fact that I am continuing to keep brushwork and forms 'loose', and here, less geometric - which feels perfect for suggesting spring flowers in a field.   Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


30" x 24"  - acrylic & collage papers on canvas - $ 400
I can't really say where this came 'from', other than my imagination and the work I have been doing lately which has involved high horizon lines and abstracted shapes to suggest the 'land' below. When I began this painting I knew that I wanted to work with less colour (a challenge for me) and lots of neutral greys, which is how I began.


detail of top of painting

As I painted I began to add some cream, grey, black and printed Japanese collage papers which provided some interesting texture. And of course some colour did get mixed into my greys. I am really happy with the finished painting and must say that the computer screen does not do it justice - it really is quite stunning when you see the varied quality of the surface and different layers or strata. The top of the painting with the blue sky and orange trees glows literally with light.  Cheers!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Study in Pink: the Ecstasy and the Agony

Study in Pink
mixed media: watercolour, gouache, pastel - 8" x 10"
I am continuing to explore painting in a looser abstract way and wanted to post another work that I started at the same time as Terra Firma.  It was inspired by the study above which I love. I had recently purchased some large canvases (36"x48", and 48"x60") and was eager to paint big, so opted for the 36 x48 and started out this way.....
It felt like a good 'start' and after about 2 hours I had this (2). It was a good time to stop and just look at it over the next few days, and consider next steps.

I really liked the painting at this point and probably should have left it alone, or at least done less when I finally returned to it.  However I started painting, tinkering, painting and refining - and then it was finished - but over worked and boring. (I forgot to take a photo of it at this stage)  I turned the canvas to the wall and waited until I was ready to be bold again.   Finally. after a few days, I thought what the heck, and with a purple acrylic paint marker in hand I began to draw on the canvas surface defining abstract shapes in the lower foreground and at the horizon line, while paying attention to the few areas I still liked.  Then I changed the colour of the middle ground using a very light greenish grey neutral that really looked great beside the pinks and reds.  Essentially I was adding in some large colour areas.


So here is what I have now (5) - but, it's not done yet! Though there are are more areas that I like, I still think some radical thinking and painting should/will happen. The composite needs work. It's hanging over my living room sofa and every morning, with coffee in hand  I contemplate what to do next. Any thoughts? - I would love to hear them! To be continued.....
5 - current state

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Terra Firma - a new direction

Terra Firma
36" x 48"  - acrylic on canvas  - $1150
A few weeks ago while I was at my cottage and trapped inside by the black flies, I did some quick watercolour landscapes. Once home and with access to all my painting materials and some larger canvases, I used two of these studies as starting points for this new painting. Some paintings come together quite fast, and this was one of them. After painting for several hours I realized that I should start another one in order to not over-work this canvas. So I did and as I continued to work on Terra Firma over the next few days, I was able to maintain what I liked - the stylistic energy, created by the brush marks, varied shapes and dramatic value contrast.  I have to say that I am quite excited with what feels like a new direction for me - and will have more to show like this in the newt few weeks - so stay tuned!


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Memories of Les Bassacs - Croagne Path encore

Path to Croagne 
48" x 48"  -  acrylic on canvas  -  $1100
A year ago I was painting in the Luberon Valley with Arts in Provence. It was my third painting experience there in four years and it just gets better and better each time. I recently finished this large canvas featuring the path that leads from the house to Croagne in the hills nearby. I have done several paintings of this particular view, but this is the first using a square format. I am really happy with the sense of energy that the strong brushstrokes, light and spiralling composition suggest.  

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Weekend Studies, Painting Play

I am at my cottage for the weekend - a 'long' holiday weekend (Victoria Day) and though the weather has been mostly sunny and pleasant, it has not been conducive to outdoor pursuits because that kind of weather in this part of the world brings out the dreaded, biting, black fly.  So - I have spent some time indoors playing with images and visual ideas using some markers and a limited palette of gouache paints (it's all I have with me).  In no particular order, here are the resulting studies that may become larger, acrylic paintings on canvas. Time will tell.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Haliburton Marshland, Evening'

Haliburton Marshland, Evening
24" x 48"  - acrylic on canvas  - $700

It's funny how some images stay with you. The inspiration for this landscape was a photo I took many years ago from the window of my car as we sped along a two lane road towards our cottage in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario. I have used this landscape as a starting point for several paintings, basically varying the format (canvas shape) and palette. What I really like about this work is how I painted the lower foreground 'land' forms - with very deliberate strokes of colour that suggest long grasses, but are much more interesting and dynamic. 
We are heading to our cottage in Haliburton this weekend for what we Canadians call the'Victoria Day' holiday weekend (celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria), and the unofficial start of cottage life and summer!!!!  Be safe and enjoy it wherever you are.