Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Small paintings continued.....Key West

Key West
8" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $45 (includes shipping)

I had such fun painting the previous small non-objective (i.e. no discernible subject matter intended) paintings I thought that I would try to keep that groove going.

Always one to push myself, I decided to work on 3 canvases arranged as a triptych, drawing the first lines and shapes over all to connect them, and then began to paint that way too. At stage 1 I loved them....


However, I quickly realized that I had created an abstract aerial-styled landscape and then I began to see all sorts of (stylized and abstracted symbolic) objects, which then began to interfere with painting in a more intuitive way. As more paint went on, I felt more restricted by the subject and my initial excitement disappeared. Ho hum



By stage 3, I only liked the far right panel and put the others aside. This one I called 'Key West' because that's what it makes me think of. More abstract than non-objective, but that's ok. It might be my favourite so far. Really love the arrangement of elements (colour, texture, shape and line) in this one and I hope you do too.  Have a good one!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

New Year, New Directions

Like many at the start of a new year, I thought about setting some art goals for 2019 and decided to try to (sometimes) work outside of my comfort zone (now that I have it back after 6 months of very limited painting due to arm and shoulder injuries, LOL). For me, that means different subject matter (figures, still life), using more (mixed) media, working smaller, working more abstractly and (of course looser) and once again taking a stab at non-representational painting.

Hot Sauce
8" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $35
Over the years I have experimented with non-representational painting, defined (in it's simplest form) as art without any recognizable subject matter.   These attempts have usually led to frustration and impatience with myself and even greater respect for the work and talent of many non-representational painters, artists like Krista Harris and Dorothy Ganek (take a look at their work and you will understand what I mean!).  I have often thought how fabulous it would be to watch them work, layering their canvases with lines, shapes and colours and then losing those elements in their quest to create what I think are quite sublime paintings. How do they do it I wondered as I whited out another canvas. Sigh.
Balancing Act
8" x 10" - acrylic on  canvas - $35
One of the things you learn, the more you paint, is that you have to keep painting. Working is the one rule that must be followed. (See the irreverent art critic for New York Magazine Jerry Saltz, and his list of 33 Rules for Being an Artist). Stopping too early and giving up because 'it's' not working is a learned (failing) behaviour in art (and in life). I don't give up on representational painting, so why do that with non-representational art, something that looks easy (hah!). 
Inch by Inch
8" x 10" - acrylic on  canvas - $35
So, I turned off the inner-critic and tried to work 'intuitively' (wondering at the same time what that means exactly) on 3 small 8x10 canvases, sporadically over a couple of weeks. Having no subject felt like floundering in very deep water, until you realize that you really do know how to swim. Once I stopped worrying about what I was doing I began to enjoy the process, taking a break when I felt stuck. Over many days I kept layering, obliterating, adding, and I realized that I liked what I saw developing on the surface! There were definitely 'ah hah' moments as I added and eliminated, played with texture and paint application. And then they were done. Wow.

I am really happy with these little paintings and despite their size I find each quite compelling. I hope you do too. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Oppede Soleil - theme and variation

Oppede Soleil
18" x 24" - acrylic on canvas - $400

I have said  this before.....I love working with a subject and interpreting it in different ways. In the last two months I have returned to a photo reference and subject that I am fond of and that evoke good memories of shared painting experiences. This is the photo of the olive grove below the Provence village of Oppede-le-Vieux....

September 2016

I have worked on this painting on and off  over the last 3 weeks. 
Here is an early photo and later one, as it evolved....

and a detail from the finished work

and two recent variations.....

ok, think that's out of my system for awhile!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Tapestry Garden, with Hollyhocks

Tapestry Garden
20" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $400

It has been a long time since I have painted any flowers. At one pointed I painted lots of tulips, singly or in small groupings. I loved how they looked once they were open in the latter stages of their short but expressive lives.

This new painting may be a brief foray into that subject realm, or may usher in a renewed interest. Whatever, the subject, a detail from a larger flower garden with hollyhocks, called to me and I decided to respond. I didn't exaggerate the palette or shape of the flowers and leaves but this time just enjoyed painting a semi naturalistic version of a slice-of-life-detail  from a hollyhock garden. 

Have a wonderful weekend.


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Blue ZigZag - fun fun fun

Blue ZigZag
acrylic on paper - 11" x 11" - $65
Sometimes I 'design' my landscape composition, but more often than not I base it on something that exists. In this case I started with a photo I took in Shenandoah National Park when travelling through Virginia in late October. 

It's not much to look at, is it?

However I liked that one lone tree in the centre  and when I cropped it down and saw the the zig zag arrangement of the road in front I knew I had a design to work with, and then had lots of painterly fun!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Pink Olive Trees

Pink Olive Trees
15" x 19" - acrylic on paper - SOLD

I seem to be in a pink phase these days. It's just such a happy colour and harmonizes so well with blues and greens, not to mention purple, yellow and orange - all the colours I love. The scene is based on a photo from the Provence village of Oppede-le-Vieux - and the olive grove situated at the base of the village walls. Fun to paint, and full of colour on a December day!

Saturday, 24 November 2018

12" x 12" - acrylic on canvas - $125

I have painted this scene several times before, always different in some way. I wanted to try it again (think comfort food/comfort painting) but restrict the palette to mostly blues. Of course I had to have some fun with the water reflections and those colours.