Saturday, 23 December 2017

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Season's Greetings!
It was a winter wonderland in Guelph Ontario this morning, with freshly fallen snow clinging to branches and trees. Always a magical sight.

I will be travelling in south East Asia in January and February, and though I will be missing my studio and acrylics, I hope to do some drawing and watercolour painting on my travels. I hope you will stop by and have a look from time to time. 

Many thanks for reading this blog, and your generous comments 
along the way.

Happy New Year and all the best in 2018

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Night Falls

Night Falls
17.5" x 14" - acrylic on paper - $50
If you saw my previous post you might notice a relation between that recent painting called Day Breaks and this one. Night Falls grew out of the other but is much darker, smaller and was done using a palette knife. I wanted to try to suggest the idea of 'night falling on land', using a dark sky with some mysterious lighter areas. In the beginning I worked with a brush, and added more inktense coloured pencils, but eventually used a palette knife to stop myself from making it all too tight. I think it worked and though it is dark, I quite like the overall effect. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Day Breaks

Day Breaks
36" x 48" - acrylic on canvas - $700
This was one of those paintings that starts out (as most do) as one thing, going in one direction, and then over a week evolves in a good and creatively satisfying way. I did start with an idea for a large, wide 'landscape', with a high horizon line and small sky that was loosely based on a photo, but quickly put aside.

I knew that I would not be comfortable with a lot of undefined foreground space, and that became the challenge. Once the colour palette and general value pattern was in place I decided to abstract the foreground or 'land' space into various sized shapes, suggesting landscape elements. I have been experimenting with this in the last few months and wanted to try it on a larger scale.

However, at some stage it seemed a bit boring - so I got out my Derwent inktense coloured pencils and scribbled- drew all over the painting, then with the canvas on the easel, and in a very controlled way sprayed a light mist of water on those lines and watched the intense colours come alive and drip downwards, mopping up the unwanted bits. That was fun! In the photo below you can see some of the smudged lines, that are more visible and interesting in reality.

The finishing was slow and a challenge because at that point I liked so much of the painting and didn't want to loose the great bits. It has been finished for a few weeks and I have to say I am really happy with this one!

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tree Line

Tree Line
10" x 13" - acrylic on paper - SOLD
This painting was inspired (once again) by one of my photos taken in France last May, specifically the one below, taken near Paimpol in Brittany

I love the trees and the coloured division of the landscape in this photo, and it's potential for interpretation. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Friday, 3 November 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Summer Woods

Summer Woods
30" x 40" - acrylic on canvas - $700
This is actually an updated version of a painting I completed and posted in July. Since then I have been looking at it on and off and finally had to face the fact that there were things that could be improved, so I made some changes - specifically adding more trees in the immediate foreground at the right and adjusting some of the colours in the foliage and sky. Fortunately this does not happen very often, but better to do what you think is best, and I am now much happier with the painting. 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


30" x 40" - acrylic on canvas - $700
This painting has been on and off the easel for at least two months, and finally it's finished. I really wanted to keep the brush strokes loose, mushy and varied while toning down the colour and allowing a more neutral palette to dominate. A bit of a departure for me - it was good to try something new - and I am happy with the result. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Drive By

Drive By
10" x 10" - oil on archival canvas paper - $45

I have been experimenting, in a minimal way, with oil paint. I have generally avoided them because of the solvents and other smelly-toxic substances required in their use. However, I do like the way they smear and move more like butter on a surface, and for that reason used will continue to experiment with them, and keep the windows open. This painting was inspired by views out of the car window, sometimes a blur, as the scenery whizzes by. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Strait of Georgia (near Powell River, British Columbia)

Strait of Georgia
20" x 24" - acrylic on canvas - $400
This painting was inspired by a photo I took while travelling in British Columbia a few years ago. We had taken a ferry from Vancouver Island and crossed the Strait of Georgia to a small town called Powell River, and then drove south sticking as closely to coastal roads as we could. This is a view looking west over the strait just south of the town. 

I started working on this painting last spring and though it only needed a little final tweaking I could never find the time to finish it - until today. Now that the challenge is over and Thanksgiving is past, I am hoping to complete some larger canvases that have been staring at me since the end of summer. Because I usually work on several paintings at once they tend to finish in groups. It never rains but it pours!  

Monday, 9 October 2017


10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $45
Abstract, loose and painterly, with lots of pastel and charcoal lines in and through the acrylic paint. This is based on many scenes and views of trees in woods, bathed in sunlight with a bright blue sky above. 
It's hard not to love a fall day!

Friday, 6 October 2017


11" x 11.5" - acrylic on canvas paper - SOLD
I was was driving along rural roads today and I was noticing the subtlety of the colour in the fields and the vegetation. Normally at this time of year where I live the bright reds, oranges and yellows we associate with autumn are in full force. However, I found the muted reds, yellows, violets and greens just as beautiful and they inspired this painting.  And because it is Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada) I named it that. 
Have a wonderful weekend!
P.S. - the colours in real life are even better than what I was able to capture with my camera lens!

Monday, 2 October 2017

collage time

This is a collage of 25 of my 30 in 30 paintings. I did this on PicMonkey, but could only mange to figure out how to arrange 25 of the small works. 
Will work at it some more and maybe figure it out! Haha!!!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 30 - End of Summer I and II

 End of Summer I
11" x 13" - acrylic, pastel, intense pencil on canvas paper - $30

End of Summer II
16" x 12" - acrylic & ink on watercolour paper - $30
Today is of course the last day of September and the last day of the month long challenge of painting 30 paintings in as many days. I actually completed two today and am still not sure which one will be my final challenge piece. I really like them both. Similar palettes and styles and both inspired by travels in France. It has been fun, and I have very much appreciated those of you who looked, commented and purchased my work. 
Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, 29 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 29 - Cloud Reflections

Cloud Reflections
10" x12" - acrylic on canvas - $35
This is the penultimate day of the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. I had such fun yesterday starting with a black ground and painting with loose brush strokes that I worked the same way with this one The composition is based on a photo I took at our cottage several years ago, on a windless day when there were these great big dramatic clouds reflected on very calm water. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 28 - Farther Afield II

Farther Afield II
16" x 20" - acrylic on canvas - $125
I am always experimenting with different brushstrokes, especially when I have new brushes, and they helped me work a little looser in this landscape. I also started with a black ground, which you can see in places and I think that added some depth to the colour. It's day 28 in the Challenge - yahoo!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 27 - Farther Afield

Farther Afield
8" x 11" - acrylic & ink tense pencil on canvas paper - SOLD
It's now day 27 in the "30 paintings in 30 days" Challenge and the end is in sight. Not that it hasn't been fun, but I am missing painting big canvases, and taking more time with each work. But,  I also think there is a lot to be said for painting quickly and being more bold which always seems easier on smaller surfaces. So it's back to the easel......

Monday, 25 September 2017

Sunday, 24 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 24 - Miss Molly

Miss Molly
11" x 11" - acrylic on canvas paper - NFS
Our beloved black lab Molly passed away in June at the ripe old age of 14.5 years. She was our third lab and though a strong-willed puppy (she never did come when I asked, even politely) she developed into a delightful companion over time. And of course we miss her. I have been wanting to do a senior portrait of her for awhile, and this is it, the 24th painting in the 30 in 30 challenge. As you can imagine it's not for sale, however, it is an example of the pet (mostly dogs and some cats) portraits I do on commission - so if interested in having your pet immortalized - please contact me - I charge $175 for a 12" x 12" on canvas.  
Have a great day!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 23 - Black Drum

Black Drum
10 x 10 - acrylic on canvas - $30
Black drum is a fish that my husband has had some success in catching when in Florida, and when he does I always take photos. In fact I have quite a few. It's Day 23, only 7 more to go.

Friday, 22 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 22 - Broom Field

Broom Field
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas, with a little pastel on top  - $30
Day 22's painting is this one, based on photos I have from Provence, where the broom is extravagant in the spring. It's hard not to like a colourful landscape!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 21 - Northern Scene

Northern Scene
11" x 11" - acrylic and pastel on canvas paper - SOLD
I tried to work the brush marks in this little painting, wanting them to just stand up and be more visible, and then added soft pastel lines on top of that for a little more expression. I really like the result, and have to say that the painting 'in life' is much richer in terms of colour and depth than what the camera (and photographer) was able to capture, unfortunately. 
It's Day 21!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 20 - A Sunny Day

A Sunny Day
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
Another view I have painted before - because I love the curve of the tree! 
This is Day 20!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 19 - Laerg Island

Laerg Island
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $30
This is a view I have loved over many years, usually seen from our little boat as we travel to our cottage by water. The small island has been owned by the same family for over 50 years. I have painted this view before but I think this is the most successful yet.
And it's Day 19 - getting there!

Monday, 18 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 18 - Olive Blues

Olive Blues
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

When in doubt, paint olive trees, my current go-to subject of choice. It used to be pears, and before that it was tulips. Then there were the sheep......
Anyway, another day, another painting, the 18th to be exact in the Challenge!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 17 - Holly Hock Garden

Holly Hock Garden
11" x 14" - acrylic & ink tense colour pencil on canvas paper - $30

Day 17's effort in the 30 in 30 challenge is riffing on yesterday's theme of flowers, and specifically holly hocks. A lighter, high key interpretation of the subject, using different media. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 16 - Magic Carpet

Magic Carpet
16" x 20" - acrylic on wood panel - SOLD
I have wanted to paint a garden of holly hocks for some time. I love the way their stems stand up straight and tall, with the flowers and buds forming in vertical rows. That is how this composition and painting started out, with some very stylized flower heads in vertical rows, looking like holly hocks, drawn on a black ground (for some added colour depth). 
 As for the title, well that's just what it feels like to me - a carpet of flowers. It's day 16 in the Challenge.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, 15 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 15 - Landscape Shapes

Landscape Shapes
11" x 11" - acrylic on paper - SOLD
This was a fun one to paint. It started out in a fairly basic way, inspired by one of my photos, and then it looked too boring, so I began to work intuitively, adding and extending lines and shapes, breaking areas down into smaller shapes, flattening perspective, eliminating reality, and pushing expressive colour. Maybe I will try a larger one like this sometime. 
It's Day 15 in the 30 in 30 challenge, half way there! 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 14 - Where the Wild Grasses Grow

Where the Wild Grasses Grow
12" x 9" - acrylic on wood panel - $30
The subject for this painting was inspired by a photo I took in France, in May. I took great liberties with it, and the result is the day 14 offering in the Challenge. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 13 - Shoreline Simplified

Shoreline Simplified
12" x 10" - acrylic on canavas paper - $30
It's day 13 in the Challenge. And I am starting to feel the feel the challenge.  Deciding what to paint is the biggest decision. We will see what happens tomorrow. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 12 - CrossSection

11" x 13" - acrylic on archival canvas paper - $30
Some days you have to work, ie. paint, fast and sometimes the magic happens. That's what I felt after finishing this one - number 12 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. 

Monday, 11 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 11 - Paysage Vert

Paysage Vert
12" x 9" - acrylic on wood panel - SOLD
This painting was inspired by a detail from a photo I took in Brittany in May - hence the French title meaning Green Landscape. I loved the shape of the distant trees and that strip of green yellow, and the variety of grasses and vegetation in the foreground and focused on those elements in the painting.
This is day 11 in the 30 in 30 challenge, and I have to say it's going well and I'm having fun. I loved working on this little one and flinging paint, carefully, and am really pleased with the final effect. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

30 in 30 - day 10 - Hot Day

Hot Day
11" x 14" - acrylic on archival canvas paper - $30
It has been a relatively cool summer where I have been for the last few months and I was feeling in need of some heat - visual heat that is - and that called for a hot palette of pinks, magenta, yellows, and turquoise. 

It's already day 10 in the 30 in 30 challenge! Twenty in 20 more to go.

(Please note: the colours here are mostly accurate, but the colours in the painting who you see it are 'cleaner', and nicer!)

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Friday, 8 September 2017

30 in 30 days - Day 8 - Apricot Orchard

Apricot Orchard
9" x 12" - acrylic on wood panel - SOLD
It's day 8 in the challenge - and I am back to trees, at least for now - mind you I don't think I have actually left them yet. Hmm, maybe tomorrow. 
Anyway, this is based on a photo I took in France, in May, near the Falaise de Lioux. I actually sat under this apricot tree and painted the scene opposite - you can see what I men here.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 7 - Top of the Hill

Top of the Hill
9" x 12" - acrylic on wood panel - SOLD
The challenge continues, and so does the painting fun! I am having more fun with this whole thing than I did in January, and am giving myself permission to try some things that I never seem to have time for.
The actual painting is dark in value, but what is difficult to see here are the transparent layers of rich colour in the lighter pink-purple hill area - which is really quite lovely, if I do say so myself. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day 6 - Red Field

Red Field
8" x 8" - acrylic on canvas paper - SOLD
It's day six in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, and here is what I have to show for it. I will admit that I have used this composition before, nonetheless, this one is using a different palette......lots of reds, and magentas....think autumn. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day Five - Lake Trees

Lake Trees
12" x 12" - acrylic on wood panel - $30
Here is day five's painting in the Challenge
A more tempered colour palette and natural treatment of the scene, 
for a change. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day Four - By the River

By the River
11" x 14" - acrylic on canvas paper - SOLD
This is day four's painting in the 30 in 30 challenge. It started out looking a little more realistic but then some 'fixing, editing and changing" became necessary, and this stylized, over-the-top colour was the result. Good fun on a rainy overcast Labour Day Monday. Hope the sun is shining where you are! Cheerio.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

30 in 30 - Day Three - Olive Intensity

Olive Intensity
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD
More trees for the challenge
In Provence lavender fields grow next to olive groves, so I combined the colours of each, increased the intensity and voila - day 3 is done.