Saturday, 25 May 2019

Squaring Off

Squaring Off
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $65.
I painted this a couple of months ago but had a hard time getting the shape just below the 'sky' the right colour. In my recent frenzy of finishing paintings that were almost done, I took another stab at it and finally the wee problem was resolved.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Playing With Blocks

Playing With Blocks
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $450
In the winter of 2018 I was taking a 'Master Class' in Sarasota Florida and was experimenting with de-constructing the landscape into shapes of colour (think Richard Diebenkorn).  I eventually painted the work below, hung it in my house and this winter it sold to friends. 

In April I started a landscape that was very loosely based on a photo reference and the following progress shots show how it developed into the final painting. 
I really liked the potential in the beginning........

but by this point I hated everything about it! What to do....????
with nothing to loose.....I decided to abstract it by breaking the composition down into large rectangular  shapes using a soft white pastel to draw the lines... .
..then I began to see the potential (again) and kept painting, re-defining those shapes through colour and gradation.
Of course the work grew tighter as I painted but I liked the shapes so much that I went with it.  Eventually I added the tiny pieces of collage paper, which are more visible in the the detail below. The idea was to suggest that these colour shapes are lifting up and off the canvas.  
Have to say that I love the finished painting and am really excited about exploring these ideas further.....hope you like it too! 

Friday, 10 May 2019

Wild Garden & Escarpment

Wild Garden
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $400
    This painting is about abstracting forms and using a more muted
(for me) palette.  In this painting I wanted to portray a garden-like field by breaking up the foreground area into abstracted shapes reminiscent of plants and behind that - trees, a lake and distant hills. I was really happy with the composition as it developed and eventually the palette and the overall dominant muted green hue. 

I actually started this work in 2017, however, it languished until this week for a number of reasons, both technical/artistic and timing. I have been on a bit of a 'studio cleaning up binge' lately, finishing a number of works in a similar 'almost done' situation and after an hour at the easel resolved some minor issues in this painting. It's done -  yeah! - and I am really happy with it.  

I have to say it looks fabulous next to another painting I did, started and completed two years ago, called Escarpment.
I now realize/see that I never posted it on this blog, so here it is...
30" x 40" - acrylic on canvas -$600
Again I abstracted the vegetation and trees, and used a palette with an overall dominant muted colour - blue-violet.
More finished works to come soon.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Inner Garden

Inner Garden
24" x 24" - acrylic on canvas - $375
This painting was inspired by the photo below, which apparently I took on June 4th 2017, while in France - though the view could certainly be anywhere in Canada, in June! I liked the arrangement of lights and darks in the photo and wanted to paint a really abstracted view of the scene. 
A couple of process shots follow. By the last photo I decided the light/white area at the right had to go, in spite of the photo. So it did, and I finished the painting. I loved working on this painting and the ultimate freedom it allowed me to move away from reality. Can't wait to start another and see what happens!

detail from finished painting

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Listen to the Trees

Listen to the Trees
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
    This painting was inspired by an earlier one in which the individual brush strokes played a major role in the suggestion of form. Painting using this kind of brush work is a process of layering separate strokes of colour, and hoping that something emerges! 
    Two of the process photos are below and give you some idea of the way in which the painting evolved. The final colour scheme was a bit unusual for me (so much green) but what I really like are the 'neutral greys' or the light grey-greens. Unfortunately some of the subtlety and richness of the colours and palette (even the greys) are lost in the photo.   

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Going Up

Going Up   $125
16" x 12" - mixed media: acrylic and collage papers on canvas 
Another imagined landscape, created through layers of paint and beautiful washi textured collage papers.  I love the rich warm palette in this one and the varied surface texture suggested by the papers that seem to be woven in and out of the paint.  

Monday, 1 April 2019

Tropical Vibe on the South Shore

Tropical Vibe on the South Shore
24" x 36" - acrylic on canvas - $450
Like most painters,  I constantly use a variety of brushes -  small and large ones, square shaped and round ones, all in various sizes. In some recent paintings I have been experimenting with building up layers of colour and form with squarish brush strokes using a 'bright' brush. I like the overall chunky look of these strokes and the way they contribute to abstract quality of the composition. 
This composition is a riff on an earlier one, but using a very different, colourful, high key palette. Lots of intense colour, colour galore in fact!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Lotus Land - another diptych

Lotus Land
Diptych 12" x 24" - acrylic & collage papers on canvas - $125

I think the title and the highly expressive 'candy colour' palette together suggest an imagined place "where people need only think about enjoying themselves, not about work or achieving anything". 
I admit that I did not start out with this title or visual idea. As with the previous diptychs I had no photo or specific place but simply began by drawing horizontal abstract shapes and lines across the two canvases with the highest line becoming the defacto horizon. I then added some beautiful mottled turquoise blue collage paper, and the blue-green-yellow analogous colour palette was then established, to which I eventually added pink. 
The landform shapes and planes resolved themselves slowly, and for a time I worried that there was not enough value contrast, but decided that was fine in view of the varied textural painting surface. There is lots to look at in these two little canvases, and from a distance the colour palette is not one that can be ignored.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Uphill Climb

Uphill Climb
12" x 16" - acrylic and collage on canvas - $100
An abstracted landscape with Asian 'washi' papers.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Mirage (diptych)

diptych 8" x 16" (each panel 8"x8") acrylic & mixed media on canvas  $125

I seem to be on a roll with these small format abstracted landscapes painted across two or three canvases. In this latest diptych I used mostly acrylic paint, but also added some beautiful Japanese decorative washi papers and inks. I love how the design and the warm palette of reds, oranges, yellows and magenta came together. Cheers!

Thursday, 14 March 2019


24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
I am so happy with how this painting turned out. I love the palette, the brushstrokes and the abstraction of form. It's based on a photo I took a few years ago of 'some trees in a clearing', that was not particularly striking or unusual but did offer compositional possibilities. The painting went through several stages with some thinking time between. Regeneration, the process of renewal, restoration and growth. For all living things, including us.  
Sounds good to me.  

Monday, 11 March 2019


(Diptych 12" x 24", each panel 12"x12")

acrylic on canvas - SOLD
I am REALLY having fun painting 'imagined abstracted landscapes' across several canvases and then presented as a diptych or triptych. They have provided some welcome relief while painting larger works, and I think (or at least hope) that the smaller works will inform my larger paintings in a positive way. Time will tell I suppose. The title is really in reference to the hill shapes, or 'high lands'.  I have been to Scotland but have only seen photos of the purple heather on those hills, so there is a little creative imagining here. There's lots of great colour (think spring -it's coming) on these two small canvases and textural marks that enliven the surface too. While I try my best to ensure the colour you see in the paintings here is accurate, the paintings are much better in life. For instance the vermillion/orange on the right panel is a touch deeper and really beautiful. Have a great day!

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

My Winter Needs Colour, What About Yours?

My Winter Needs Colour, What About Yours?
Triptych 24" x 10" (each panel 8"x10")          
 acrylic on canvas -  SOLD
I have made several attempts recently, to paint across three small canvases, with each canvas working as a single composition and when put together as a triptych, forming a larger work.  I worked both non-objectively and representationally though fairly abstracted. While I felt that many of these small paintings worked individually, it was a challenge to have all 3 canvases work together successfully.  However, the triptych above does work in this regard and I am very happy with the result. The landscape composition is 'imagined' and the intense palette is in reaction to the white of a northern winter. There is lots of variety in the treatment of the surface with flat opaque colour areas, transparent colour areas, scumbling, scraping, and ink marks. 




Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Heart Strings

Heart Strings 
24" x 18" - acrylic on canvas - $150
Following my recent experience with painting in a 'non-representational' way, I wanted to try to work larger. This is the final result after many weeks of going back and forth and trying not to stress about where it was going or how I felt. I started by just drawing lines and shapes with a black paint marker and then adding colour and then letting it sit, and thinking about what to do with the bits I didn't like. I am glad that I kept going because I love the finished painting, and love looking at it. Though it doesn't look like what I 'normally' paint I think that is just fine. I truly believe in the need to grow, experiment, change and take risks in art making, despite the set-backs that may arise. It's so much more fun that way. Cheers!

Below are some process pics......

Friday, 22 February 2019

Hot Flash

Hot Flash
12" x 12" - acrylic on canvas - $65
This is the second panel of what I thought was going to be a landscape triptych, but is now a stand alone work. I settled on this composition and colour scheme quite quickly and really liked the mass of trees and tree canopy, suggested through lots of blacks lines, more easily seen in the detail below.... 
 And I have to add here that it was difficult adjust the reds, oranges and pinks in the photo of this painting. I did my best to get something that was accurate, but I have to say, that the actual painting in life, is much better!

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Turning Up the Heat

Turning Up the Heat
12" x 12" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
Last week I decided to work on a triptych and 'create' a landscape, rather than base it on any particular place. My initial loose and crazy drawing across all three panels was exciting as was the colour scheme - reds, pink, oranges and yellows. At different points, parts of each panel were great, but as I continued to paint (overpaint) one of them became more problematic. (Note that I am not even showing these panels!) Eventually, I saw that the three compositions did not work together, and one was a write-off. This is one of the two, now individual paintings, I completed and am pretty happy with. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Landscape Syncopation

Landscape Syncopation
24" x 20" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
This work was inspired by the photo below, taken several summers ago at a friend's cottage in Ontario. 
Since then I have made several attempt to interpret it, but none really felt right. Until recently. In the first process shots below (left) I basically had a composition and some colour down, but I didn't want to stay so literal. In the second photo (right) I was trying to abstract the trees more, and chunk up the colour/value shapes of the sky, land, and water and connect them with the trees. 

The more I painted and enlarged the colour/value shapes I became happier and excited, adding more linear black lines and repetitive smaller geometric shapes within the larger ones. It became a process of obliterating but leaving traces of what had been there. I loved what I was seeing emerge. My challenge of course was to not over-work the surface and I think I succeeded. 

When finished it reminded me of Piet Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie Woogie" from 1942-43, hanging in MOMA in NYC. The gallery's label explains that Mondrian "was fascinated by jazz and  boogie woogie music in particular", which was known for its syncopated rhythms

"In musicsyncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected, making part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. More simply, syncopation is "a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm......Syncopation can also occur when a strong harmony is placed on a weak beat....".  

I think syncopation appears in my painting through the repetitive and rhythmic arrangement of small and large geometric shapes that together form the landscape elements, but also seem to move or hover on the surface, and act like small abstract compositions within the larger one. 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Nova Scotia South Shore

Nova Scotia South Shore
30" x 40" - (mostly) acrylic on canvas - $600
This has been kicking around my studio since 2016. The year before that I spent a couple of weeks in the Maritimes including Nova Scotia. As we drove along the South Shore (of the Atlantic, south of Halifax, near Lunenburg) I snapped this photo, liking the composition and seeing 'painting possibilities'.
A year later I finally got around to working with it and started this way...

....but then the painting languished, against a wall, though I am not sure why. A year later in 2017, I changed the palette entirely.  And in the interim between then and now I painted an abstracted version of it.
Recently, I picked it up again and decided to finish it 'once and for all'. I felt it just really needed some more variation in the colour values and blue hues and that's what I did. NOW I am very happy with it: love the palette, loose brushwork, and addition of pastel and ink linear marks. Some details are below. Thanks for looking!