Thursday, 1 September 2016

Rockwood - Another Variation on a Landscape Theme

Rockwood Variation
10" x 20" - acrylic on canvas  - $175
This post is about finding on-going inspiration in one photo reference. I took the original photo (below) last fall and have returned to it several times over the last year, each time considering how to re-create the landscape using a different 'format' (i.e. canvas dimensions), knowing that I would also play with colour and the other elements. Each time I started by cropping the original photo, looking for compelling compositions. 

One particular compositional format that I wanted to try was a 'very wide horizontal' as seen in Rockwood Variation. The challenge in painting on a relatively small canvas was to not go crazy on detail but try and keep the brush marks distinct and chunky, which also meant not over-working it. And I think I did that - yeah!  

The first painting inspired by this photo/composition was Arcadia Abstract (below). I am also working on another variation using a a much larger, vertically oriented canvas, and hope to post that one very soon.  

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Nova Scotia South Shore

Nova Scotia South Shore
16" x 16" - acrylic on canvas - $150
Trees, water, shoreline are the quintessential Canadian landscape elements that continue to inspire painters, myself included. This work is based on a detail from a photo I took last summer while driving along the South Shore of Nova Scotia. I was in the province visiting good friends and family and enjoying the sights of Canada's Ocean Playground. It's always a challenge to work from a photo reference as they never provide as much clear detail as you can see when in front of the scene. But that also allows for a level of freedom to create, and I guess that's what I like. 


Thursday, 25 August 2016

And now for something completely different.....

20" x 24"  - acrylic on canvas

I needed a break from painting landscapes! So I trolled through my collection of animal photos and found this gorgeous fellow. I love painting (unshorn) sheep because of their big fluffy bodies and the opportunities they suggest for expressive painting. And the horns are so fabulous. 


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Sand Dunes on the Iles de la Madeleines

Sand Dunes on the Iles de la Madeleine
20" x 24" - acrylic on canvas - $250
At the end of July, I painted a landscape by layering acrylic washes on a primed white canvas, allowing the colours to intermingle with each other, much like painting a 'wet into wet' watercolour. It is a process involving restraint and patience waiting for paint and canvas to dry between layers. But, it's also lots of fun and I really like the painterly effects and spontaneous quality of the finished work and of course the strength of the acrylic colours. 

The painting above represents my second experiment with this technique. The subject is based on a photo of sand dunes I took while visiting the Iles de la Madeleine last August. I love the complementary colour scheme and lately find myself drawn to pinks and reds, and of course green. And if you are wondering where the water is - it's just over the pink band at the top. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Looking Out the Car Window

Looking Out the Car Window
24" x 30"  - acrylic on canvas - $400
Like many of my paintings,  this one is inspired by the scene in a photo I took, from the passenger car window, 
on my drive to our cottage last May.

Despite often 'talking' about wanting to paint in a 'looser' style, I like to abstract nature and reality through shape and colour, and in so doing finish up with paintings that often look like this new work, which is similar in style to the ones below, painted last winter.


Friday, 29 July 2016

Shoreline Blues - a Daily Paintworks "Pick of the Day" on DPW-FB

Shoreline Blues
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $400

In between drawing and painting views of Scotland (inspired by photos from a recent trip there) I have also been painting views inspired by my present location, at a cottage on a beautiful lake in Haliburton County, in northern 'cottage-country' Ontario. This painting is based on a photo I took from a canoe. 
I worked on this painting after Highland Landscape and used a similar wet-into-wet-acrylic-wash technique to apply the paint and build up layers of colour as you can see in these progress photos. 

At this point I began to add more opaque colours and though it  appears less 'transparent' than Highland Landscape, some of that spontaneity has been maintained. I have been thinking about this particular scene and composition for a long time and am happy to have finally painted it (done!) and i am really happy with this way it turned out. I love the graphic nature of the composition, the abstracted reflection shapes, and the analogous colour palette. 

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Highland Landscape

Highland Landscape
20" x 24"  -  acrylic on canvas  - $250

I LOVE this painting! It is based on a small study I did a few weeks ago after visiting Scotland and posted here. I really wanted to paint that view again, but this time on canvas and using acrylic washes as opposed to opaque acrylic painting. 
To do this I started with a simple line sketch on a white primed canvas, and then 'painted' by loading my brush with the selected Liquitex soft body paint colour mixed with just enough water to make it runny, essentially painting 'wet into wet'. The beauty of using acrylic washes (rather than water colour washes) was that once the paint/canvas dried, the colours and marks were permanent, and remained undisturbed by additional washes of colour. I then added  more paint and coloured washes and the 'drips' became part of the overall composition.
Artistic license prevailed in the choice of colours and palette.The real Scottish landscape colours I saw were more what might be called 'jewel-toned' - a varied range of light and dark coloured blues, purple, and greens.