Friday, 24 January 2014

Pelican Pete

Pelican Pete
10" x 10" acrylic on canvas
At some point in the recent past I was on a dock in Florida - where there are always lots of pelicans - and I snapped a number of photos as they stood around waiting for their fish dinner. I really like the simple composition here - featuring a strong diagonal  essentially dividing the canvas between the water and dock, or dark and light value colours. The diagonal is repeated in the shape and direction of the bird's head and long bill, while the bird's body/chest presents a welcome contrast in shape, and relieves the symmetry of the diagonal line.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tulips and Memories of Spring

Memories of Spring
12" x 16"  acrylic on canvas
Tulips have appeared in the grocery stores. Every year I buy them throughout the winter (even when in Florida) as they remind me of spring. They are such great flowers to draw and paint because they change and evolve each day, starting out as tight buds and then opening up into their more wild and extreme state before finally dropping their petals. So - if you need some spring in your life, buy some tulips, or better yet a tulip painting that will remind you of warm sunshine and digging in the garden.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

More Reflections on Water

This is the second abstract painting inspired by reflections on water. I started with a detail from a photo (posted yesterday) I took at a park in Berlin two years ago and then played. As you can see (if comparing) different palette and different brushwork - but the same compositional concern for balance, rhythm, variety and dominance is there.
I quite like this one too and find it visually intriguing the more I look at it - like look at water.

Water Reflection Abstract Two
16" x 16" acrylic in canvas
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Abstracting from Nature - Reflections on Water

Water Reflection Abstract One
16" x 16" acrylic on canvas
I am all jumping all over the place these days in terms of what I am painting - including dogs, people, flowers, landscapes and now abstract works. I have never really been a very linear-minded person, so working exclusively in one mode on one subject over a period of time is not, despite good intentions, really me. What I have found is that after some time (months, years) I have a body of work that can be divided into subsets or series that show a similar painting focus and aesthetic interest. I make no apologies as I enjoy the creative freedom to switch and play with new motifs and ways of interpretation. 

Over the last few days I have been working on two paintings - both of which were inspired by the patterns, shapes and colours of reflections in water. My starting point for each was a small detail from a photo that provided the initial composition structure, and after that it was all about colour, shape, line, value, rhythm, balance, and the pleasure of moving paint around. I am really happy with this first one. As I look at it on my wall, I find it quite  visually satisfying. Unfortunately the photo does not do it full justice, as it's difficult to see the layers of colours, and the yellow, while intense, is more buttery than it may appear here - but you get the idea.

Here is the photo from which the detail came - can you find it?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

10" x 10" acrylic on canvas

This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.
Every once in awhile, usually at Christmas, I buy myself an amaryllis bulb, and then spend several weeks waiting for it to bloom. I have wanted to paint this flower for a long time, but did not want to deal with the space around the long stalk like stem. Solution - ignore the stem and fit the flowers into a square composition. I really like how the colours and the brushstrokes in the flower and the background are broken, and not blended smoothly. It looks very Cezannesque. 

Friday, 10 January 2014

His Siesta

His Siesta
10 x 10" - acrylic on canvas
Here is the companion piece to yesterday's painting post. I think he looks pretty comfortable sitting in the Florida sunshine! Sounds good to me.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Her Siesta

Her Siesta
10" x 10" acrylic on canvas
Haven't we all fallen asleep with our heads back and mouth open? I know I have. She looks so happy and relaxed - and why not - she's on vacation at the beach!  Her husband was asleep in a chair beside her - stay tuned for His Siesta, tomorrow's painting and post!
(Note: Regarding the colours in this painting - I took over 20 photos of this one in various lights, and then worked at tweaking the colours to match the painting - this proved to be more of a challenge than doing the painting! At least you get the idea, but I have to say the colours in the painting are better.)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Very Colourful Coconut Palm

Coconut Palm
24" x 20"  acrylic on canvas  
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.
Below is the photo (actually a detail from a larger one) which inspired this painting. Once again the barkish-vegetation 'stuff' that seems to peel off the trunk at the top of the palm tree, was a challenge, to figure out and then paint. Persistence helped and I was quite happy with how it turned out.

Monday, 6 January 2014

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocounts

Florida Nuts III
16" x 16"  acrylic on canvas
This is for sale - contact me for price if interested.
The most interesting parts of the coconut palm tree are the nuts. I really like the shapes in this composition. Of course the real coconuts are green and the bark of the tree is quite colourless, not to mention the vegetative stuff around the top of the tree that looks like burlap (what is that stuff anyway???). A more expressive palette seemed in order. I am in Florida right now and everywhere I look I see coconuts and palm trees - a lovely alternative to snow.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Painting Poppies

Poppies from My Garden I
6" x 7"  watercolour on watercolour paper  $35

I flipped through a pad of water colour paper the other day and found several drawings that I had never painted.  Having had recent fun with my little box of water colour paints, I switched from playing in my sketchbook to painting these instead. Because the drawing was so precise however, I found myself tightening up as I painted. I am quite happy with the result, and may paint this same image in acrylic. This is based on a photo I took several years ago - of poppies in my garden.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sketchbook Fish

Another little painting from my sketchbook - based on a photo of a fish caught by my husband last year. I love mingling (water) colours together on the paper - an effect that I am not able to get when working with acrylic. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Sketchbook Play

Happy New Year! The last two weeks have been busy - with seasonal festivities, family gatherings, lots of eating, visiting - and so on. It was all lots of fun, but I am ready for a return to more normal living - and that includes easel panting on a daily basis. Despite the busyness of the Christmas season however, I did find some time to 'play in my sketchbook'. I call it play because I use those moments to draw whatever is at hand, or from my imagination, and then paint the sketch - loosely, using a little box of Prang water colours. I don't worry about composition, values, palette or anything - but just enjoy working quickly, mingling colours, having fun. Here are a few of these little sketchbook works.