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.  

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Near Ardmair On the West Coast Road (Scotland)

Near Ardmair On the West Coast Road   SOLD
16" x 20" - acrylic on canvas -  $150

This is the first canvas painting inspired by my recent trip to Scotland.  It's based on a one of the zillion photos I took as we drove north on the west coast after leaving Skye. The view features the fishing village of Ardmair, 3 miles north of Ullapool in Wester Ross, in the North West Highlands of Scotland. It lies on the shore of Loch Kanaird and the peak of Ben Mor Coigach is behind it. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Lollipop Trees

Lollipop Trees 
  10" x 20"  -  acrylic on canvas  - SOLD
This little painting is based on a detail from another painting I did in May (or June?). I particularly liked the top part of that painting and the orange trees set against the blue sky. As this one evolved it became more whimsical....and the trees reminded me of lollipops. 

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Lab Named Skye

12" x 12"  -  acrylic on canvas

This is Skye, my sister's black lab. I had intended to give this painting to her as a surprise gift for her birthday in May - but it was not finished at that point, and rather than rush it,  I decided to get back to it in the summer when I had more time.  I was having a bit of trouble deciding on the background, when I realized the obvious - a Skye landscape of course, as she is named for the misty Isle, and I have just returned from that part of the world and it is fresh in my brain.  So here is Skye on Skye.  

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Lochinver Abstract

Lochinver Abstract
20" x 26"  - acrylic on paper - nfs

"The port of Lochinver is the largest settlement on the west coast of Scotland north of Ullapool. The main road north runs well inland here, and a visit involves a ten mile each way detour along the A837. It's well worth it."  The settlement was situated around the curved water-front of the loch, called Loch Inver. As it is so far north and it was late June, it did not get really dark until quite late in the evening (11 pm-ish?) and my memory is of the lights twinkling on the loch, as seen from the window of our B&B.  And that is what I tried to capture in this painting. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Skye Drive - variations using different media and tools

In an attempt to get back 'into painting' I created these are small studies based on one of my photos from the Isle of Skye. In the first two I experimented with different palettes and applied the paint with a knife, creating sharp and blurred edges and dragging the paint across the paper, building up some interesting texture.  The last variation was done with inks, charcoal, and some watered down acrylic. I always find it interesting how the paints or media, tools and surface (in all 3 cases heavy archival bristol board paper) can really affect the final work, and its mood.

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Scottish Landscape

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, 
To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live.  
Hans Christian Anderson

I spent the last week of June travelling in Scotland, a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. It was a short and fast trip in which we covered 1200 miles in 7 days, starting outside of Glasgow, travelling north and west to Skye, then up along the western coast to the northern coast and then down through the middle to Inverness, and finally Edinburgh. We stayed off the busy roads (safer too as we were on the wrong side!) and revelled in the grandeur of the coastal and highland landscape. My camera was a poor tool to record what I saw, but we were moving fast, saying 'we'll come back someday', and spend more time. 
I am now sifting through my hundreds of photos trying to figure out how to respond and interpret what I saw in paint, using line, shape and colour. What the photos can't convey is the incredible sense of space from so many vistas. Sounds like a challenge, doesn't it. 
 In the meantime, here are some more photos.....enjoy!