Tuesday, 31 January 2017

30 in 30: Collage of 30 Paintings

Congrats to all 1233 artists across North America who participated in this challenge. I think I became better at fussing less - there was never enough time. I will try to keep posting small works, but for now will turn back to some of my larger half-finished canvases that are asking for attention.  Many thanks for those who looked and those who commented - Cheers!

Monday, 30 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 30 - Scottish Landscape

Scottish Landscape
9" x 11" - acrylic on paper - SOLD
When I visited Scotland last June, one of the things that struck me were the rich and varied blues, purples and greens I saw in the landscape. This painting is based on several photos I took, but is more a memory of those colour sensations. And finally, this is painting #30 of the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. Done. Phew!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 29 - Yellow Field

Yellow Field
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $50
This painting is based on a photo I took last October, on our drive home from the cottage, north of Toronto. I particularly liked the composition with its verticals and varying horizontal divisions of fore, middle and background space, all of which seemed to make for good compositional elements.
 In fact I have tried to paint this several times, but did not like any of the results until today. Maybe third time lucky, or a better palette choice, or painting with the palette knife allowed me to achieve the texture that I couldn't seem to get with the brush. Anyway, here is #29 in the 30 in 30 challenge. One more to go..... 

Saturday, 28 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 28 - Fields Near Home

Fields Near Home
6" x 7.5" - watercolour & gouache on paper - $30
This is painting #28 in the 30 in 30 challenge. I am resorting to tried and true subject matter, and still having fun.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 26 - A Special Relationship

A Special Relationship
18" x 18.5"  - acrylic on canvas paper - sold
I was recently given a photo depicting a young woman who works at an elephant sanctuary in Asia and it provided the source for this painting, #26 in the 30 in 30 day challenge. As the hat was such a dominant shape in the photo I had to make it interesting in the painting, and did so by breaking it down into smaller abstract shapes, echoed in the elephant's trunk. I am very happy with how the painting turned out, combining both abstract qualities, and more realistic ones - except for the palette of course! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 25 - Red Earth/Yellow Trees

Red Earth/Yellow Trees
12" x 16" - acrylic on canvas - sold
I am riffing on a design/composition inspired by a photo I took of a (man-made) lake near where I live, and have already painted twice. I did make some changes though - in size and format, and by painting with a palette knife, rather than the brush - which created a lot of yummy (that's an art word!) surface texture. The is Day #25, and another one for the 30 in 30 challenge. Only five more to go....

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 24 - Autumn

Haliburton Highlands Autumn
8" x 9.5" -  watercolour & acrylic on canva paper - $30
For day # 24 in the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge I am posting this one inspired by a photo I took last October while 'up north' in Ontario.  

Monday, 23 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 23 - The Model II

The Model II
17" x 10" - watercolour & intense pencils on paper - $30
This is the second figure drawing I recently did in an open life studio session, which today, 'coloured' with watercolour washes. Once upon a time I drew as 'realistically' as I could, and modelled or toned the drawings to look 3-dimensional - the way one learns in art school - but - for a long time now I haven't found that way of drawing or rendering the figure very satisfying, preferring instead to simplify or exaggerate and see what might happen creatively. It has to be fun. This is day number 23 in the 30 in 30 challenge. 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

30 in 30: day 22 - The Model

The Model
 11" x 17" - marker & acrylic paint on Canva paper - $30.
Last Friday I spent several hours in an open life drawing session and managed to get a few drawings on the heavy paper (designed for acrylic paint) I have been working on lately, that I thought had some potential for further work as paintings. Below is the drawing I did in the studio, rendered in 'washable marker', that blurs when water is added. When I began to paint it today, I didn't really have a plan other than being loose, painterly and bold.  
It was a fun one and it's #22 in the 30 in 30 challenge.......

Saturday, 21 January 2017

30 in 30: day 21 - Luberon Valley

Luberon Valley 
24" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $450
I started this painting in December, and once again, really liked my 'start' (see below). The scene was inspired by my time spent in the Luberon Valley in the south of France, but is really a composite of elements that make up that wonderful landscape.
After adding lines and creating shapes with a white paint marker, I began to slow down. The lower half needed more definition  and I wanted to eliminate the way lines and colour seemed to create a pin-wheel effect in the centre.  So I began to give the middle ground more physical structure.....
Decided the area on the horizon line was too big, and broke it down, then added some weightier trees in the lower foreground.

I left it alone at this point, and just returned to it this past week, making final colour adjustments. I have looked at it long and hard for a few days now, and feel it is finally done, and I am happy with it.  And it Day 21's painting in the 30 in 30 challenge. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 20 - A Fish Named Chuck

A Fish Named Chuck
8" x 12" - acrylic on canvas - nfs
My husband fishes and often brings home something that we eat. 
This painting is based on one of those fish - a black sea bass - seen below. 

In the painting I turned him around, put him back in the sea, and made him much more colourful. This is painting number 20 for the 30 in 30 challenge. Cheers.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 19 - Briar

12" x 12" - acrylic on canvas
Briar is a handsome fellow, a cross between a chow and a basset hound, with the colouring of the former and the stature of the latter. There were a few challenges with this pet portrait: getting the dog to pose and have his picture taken, then finding the best balance between orange, red and reddish brown, and then deciding on the background. Sometimes I just go with what is actually in the photo, and sometimes I just make it whimsical. This one is a bit of both.Though I have worked on this painting on and off for about 2 weeks it was finished today, so it's the day 19 offering in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 18 - Maison a la Campagne

La Maison a La Campagne
8" x 10" - acrylic on Canvas paper 
The French title (country house) for this little painting is meant to connect it to 'place', in this case Provence. It is based on a photo I took while there in September. Below is the photo and a more abstract version I did en plein air, though it doesn't look like traditional plein air. This was a fun one to do, and is the 18th of the 30 to paint this month for the 30 in 30 Challenge. 
More tomorrow!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 17 - Nova Scotia Shoreline

Nova Scotia Shoreline
13" x 18" - acrylic & pastel on Canva paper  - SOLD

This abstract is based on a photo I took a year ago while driving on the south shore of Nova Scotia, somewhere south of Lunenburg.....
I have been working on a larger version of this scene, on canvas, but it remains incomplete. For fun I decided to try abstracting the view and the result is above, day 17's offering in the 30 in 30 challenge.

Monday, 16 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 16 - Model

Day 16 - Model
7.5" x 7"  - marker, watercolour & acrylic on paper - $30
I don't have a lot to say about this one - it was actually a little last minute as I had the drawing (from a previous open life studio session) to which I added some watercolour washes and opaque acrylic to liven it up. I spent most of the day painting other things - a dog portrait, a small landscape on paper and a large landscape on canvas - all of which are almost done. 
Where does the time go?????

Sunday, 15 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 15 - Summertime Memory

Summertime Memory
6" x 8"  - watercolour, gouache & charcoal on watercolour paper - $30
Trees, rocks and sky in summer, rendered in brilliant colour,  a good antidote for the winter greys. This little watercolour is day 15's offering in the 30 in 30 challenge. Getting there, day by day.....

Saturday, 14 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 14 "Fake Lake"

Fake Lake
10" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $75
I posted an earlier water colour version of this subject a few days ago, and wondered at the time what it would be like in acrylic. A good reason to do another version. I started by sketching the shapes onto the canvas using an 'ink tense' pencil, and then used a wet brush to smear and blur the lines. In this way I stop myself from being too tight and also tone (and mess up) the canvas a little. As I worked I continued to use different coloured ink tense pencils, wetting some of the lines and leaving others. I have been painting with this red-orange-yellow-pink palette a lot lately, and I am really enjoying the colours and results. 
The subject is based on a photo I took of a small man-made lake near where in live in Ontario, and it has been affectionately called by many in the town Fake Lake, hence the title. This is painting number 14 in as many days. 
Looking forward to the end of the month!

Friday, 13 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 13 - Sunny Days

Sunny Days
7.5" x 7" - acrylic on paper - $30
I am having so much fun painting closely cropped faces! This one is all about   a restricted palette, and allowing the darkest value areas (hair) to merge into the adjacent darkest value areas (background foliage) - yet when seen as a whole, the figure emerges. This is number 13 in the 30 paintings in 30 days.....almost half way there!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Red Head (day twelve)
7.5" x 8" - acrylic on paper - $30.
This is today's contribution to the 30 in 30 day challenge. It is based on a drawing from an open 
life studio session I did a few years ago.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

30 in 30: Day 11 - Something Fishy

Something Fishy (Day 11)
8" x 8" - acrylic & charcoal on paper - $30
This is today's offering for the 30 in 30 challenge. My husband has often been quite successful in bringing home 'dinner' after an afternoon on the water, and these mackerel did prove tasty. Of course I took photos at the time and this small painting is based on one of those.  Good fun.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Ten Sheep

Day Ten Sheep
7"5" x 8.5" - acrylic on canva paper - $30
In order to come up with yet another daily painting subject, I have been combing through my 29,000+ photo collection and came up with this one today. I felt he needed a bit more colour however, and this is the result. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Nine Girl

Day Nine Girl
7" x 9.5"  - acrylic & charcoal on Canvas paper - $30
Needing something to paint this afternoon, I re-discovered a drawing, and it became day nine's painting in the 30 in 30 challenge. I really like cropping heads and faces, and then simplifying the shapes surrounding the face into abstract ones, and finishing it with a non-naturalistic palette. Lots of fun.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Eight - Nightfall II

Nightfall II
24" x 24" - acrylic on canvas - $400
I decided to try a larger version of a small abstract that I posted on Friday and this is the result. I made a few changes to the composition but basically maintained the darkness and palette. Trying to capture the spirit of one smallish image onto a larger canvas usually does not work for me, but I think this one did. Anyway, it's today's effort in the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. This is exhausting!  

Saturday, 7 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Seven

Day Seven 
20" x 30" - acrylic on canvas - $400
This is today's painting, number seven in the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. I will admit, however, that I have been working on this for a few weeks and today made the last change, for better or for worse. The composition was inspired by one of the photos I took on my Scottish road trip last June, though at this point I can't tell which one as I have simplified the composition so much that the specific landscape elements have all but disappeared. Oh well. Below are two earlier stages. 

This was stage one which I lived with until earlier this week. I wasn't totally sure about all the red and the black, but I did quite like the top third of the painting.  Here is a detail....

 In stage two above, I toned down the red (to a muddy burgundy), eliminated the black and painted that area over with a toned down grey-green.  I also changed the sky, and the colouring of the top of the hill.  After a considering this version over the last few days I decided to paint over over the grey-green with a toned down blue-violet, and I think it's now finished. I will rename it as soon as I can figure out where in Scotland it, in some small way reflects. 
If you have any thoughts about what I should or should not have done, I would love to hear them! Cheers!

Friday, 6 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Six - Nightfall

Day Six - Nightfall
9" x 9" - acrylic and pencil on paper - $30

A visual riff on Day Four's composition (see that here). Trying to be loose and pushing the tree shapes to their abstract limit. Would love to try this on a big canvas......

Thursday, 5 January 2017

30 on 30:: day five

Day Five - Lakeside
6" x 7" - water colour - $30
More watercolour play - inspired by a photo of Guelph Lake from a photo taken a few years ago.  

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Four - Woodland

20" x 24" - acrylic on canvas -  $400
This painting was inspired by the photo below, which I took last October. 
At that time I used it as a basis for a painting I titled Autumn Colours. 
I really liked the photo and my first painting, but wanted to do another version, abstracting the subject further and using a different palette. The DPW challenge this week was to work with complementary colours, something I tend to do anyway, so I chose a blue and orange palette, and started working on it yesterday. I finished it today and have to say I am really pleased with the result. And it is my fourth painting in the 30 in 30 challenge.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

30 in 30: Day Three

Day Three
5" x 8" - watercolour and gauche on paper 

For today's painting I went back to 'comfortable' subject matter and painted this from a photo I took in 2012 on a trip driving along the west coast of British Columbia. I started in watercolour and then added the opaques in order to vary the values. I wanted to keep it simple and spontaneous looking. Cheers! 

Monday, 2 January 2017

30 in 30 - Day Two

Day Two
9" x 12"  -  watercolour & acrylic on archival watercolour paper - $30

In thinking about today's painting for the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge, I thought that one of the abstracted figure drawings that I did in an open studio class a few years ago might provide possible inspiration. 

I started painting the shapes with water colour, trying to create a strong contrasting value pattern. As more of the figure was completed I liked the result less and less. Out came the acrylic paint in order to get rid of those fussy little paint by number shapes I had worked so hard to fill in. I also eliminated colours, toned down others, and darkened the overall palette. I still wasn't exactly thrilled, but I did like those 3 graphic shapes up in the top left corner - they reminded me of letters and signage. The next and final step was somewhat accidental - smudging some of those brush strokes outside the lines, which (in confession) I did in frustration. However, I lost of liked the effect and decided to leave the work alone for a few hours.  When I came back to it later in the day, I still quite liked the contrast between the controlled shapes of colour with their hard line edges and the mushy messy colour areas. I really like the graphic-poster quality of the work, and the fact that I did something different.  Day Two is done - yeah! 

Sunday, 1 January 2017

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day One

Day One 
7.5" x 7" - watercolour - $30.

I came across Leslie Saeta's blog recently and saw that she often challenged her artist-readers to paint 30 paintings in 30 days, and the next one was to start on New Year's Day - today! I spent several days thinking about how I would approach this endeavour, considering size, surface, media, and theme. I also didn't want to spend the whole day working on a smallish painting as I would never get back to completing some large canvases that have been incubating far too long, thus painting with watercolour on paper seemed the best way to go. Here is today's effort. Cheers!