Saturday, October 30, 2010

Delivery Day

Racehorse Creek acrylic 8"x 10"

... is the last painting for the Christmas in the Country collection. And here it is all prettily packaged and boxed, as per the Leighton Centre's instructions. I deliver this afternoon, and it's a beautiful day for a drive in the country!

The day is off to a stellar start. I released Electric Aspens yesterday; it was taken home on approval. This morning I received the phone call announcing that it won't be coming back!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Psychedelic Iris

Psychedelic Iris acrylic 14" x 11"

I know I'm beginning to flag when I have to repaint something that usually comes with ease and is a great deal of fun. Sometimes I fall prey to not leaving well enough alone. After the flower was finished I played with the background some more. Big mistake. When you overwork something you can kill it. I did. The background became nearly the same value as the flower, affording no contrast. Redeeming it at this stage was no easy feat. I had to mask out the iris and re-gesso the background before trying again. Personally, I'm a little sick of this painting right now. It needs some time out. Or maybe it's me who does? But, beckoning, on the easel, is another half baked painting ...

Heightened Colour

As this painting binge reaches its zenith the colours I am inclined to use heighten. I think this keeps me on/in my game.

Electric Aspens acrylic 12" x 9"

When the autumn colours were at their peak Bill and I spent an afternoon on the Burton Ranch, west of town. At the base of blazing hills, we rambled in Honey Coulee, over fields of swathed oats, down by the creek and into aspen groves, including the one above. It was an unforgettable, crisp, blue and yellow day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another One

Glowing Magnolias acrylic 12" x 9"

With a sponge I dabbed gesso on the panel to give it a pebbly finish which receives layers of glazed or rubbed on colour very nicely. The result is a lovely textured, variegated effect like a stippled, plastered wall. I used metallic copper paint sparingly and I employed one of my rubber stamps to create the flourishes.

Meanwhile Libyans are vacationing in Italy. Sigh!

Adam and Laura in front of The Coliseum, Rome

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Number Eleven

Balls of Fire acrylic 14" x 11"

All summer, these geraniums graced a half whiskey barrel beneath our front porch. October 15th the frost got them, but not before I did some photography.

I enjoyed playing with glazes here; treating the acrylics like watercolours to begin with, employing flooding and pooling of colour and the obvious splattering. Although it isn't terribly noticeable in the photo, when I glazed the background with Iridescent Pearl it gave the piece an antiqued look. Oh, I love the iridescent and metallic colours, but I do go easy with them (when I am brave enough to use them) to avoid having my paintings look tacky. I draw the line at glitter!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Countdown to Delivery

I'm going for the maximum, 15 paintings for Christmas in the Country. You may remember this landscape. May 17th, Liz and I were plein air painting at The Banff Springs Golf Course; she facing one way, me the other. Yesterday I "tweaked" (cleaned up and refined) this painting. It's number 9 in the collection.

Shoulder of Tunnel Mountain oil 8" x 10"

Moving right a long, I laced into finishing #10 ...

Hot Pink Lily oil 8" x 10"

And since delivery of art is this coming Saturday; no more oils ... they have to be dry so as they can be put into 'Crystal Clear' bags. And so, suddenly I have become an acrylic painter! Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Taking it to the Campsite!

The extended, unseasonably warm weather continues to amaze us. With temperatures in the high teens this past week we decided to take the R-Pod out for one last trip of the year. On October 20, at Beauvais Lake, we were greeted with naked trees but there were no other campers in sight. These are special times when we can get away alone, without Internet, phone or TV.

While Bill went fishing, I found it warm enough to paint outside on the first day (when we forgot to photograph me) but a bit too chilly to work outdoors on the second day, so I set up on the dinette ...

I'm working on a collection of small paintings for CHRISTMAS in the COUNTRY at The Leighton Centre, 15km southwest of Calgary ... November 6th & 7th. For more information:

The annual event was started by Barbara Leighton herself, over 30 years ago. This year there will be 84 artists and artisans! Each painter is permitted to bring up to 15 paintings, unframed and priced to sell. This painting, finished while "camping", will be included:

Bouquet of Sunshine oil 8" x 10"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Avery Turns Two

October 16th, 2010 ... Avery celebrated her 2nd birthday in fine style. The party started at Southland Leisure Centre's wave pool. It wasn't her first time there. She loves the "wado" and "sliding" into it. Another dad in the kiddie pool said "She isn't shy, is she?". Ummm, NO! For the most part she is fearless and will talk to anybody ... and talk she can!

Gramps and Avery having too much fun!

A party at her house followed with presents and "cup capes" ...

To see more of the festivities please click here:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get Back on the Horse

The frustration and time spent on the mini pumpkin, two days ago, challenged me to get right back on the horse. So, yesterday I went to my room, coaxed two little 6x6s out of myself and now I feel much better!

Crab Apples and Pitcher oil 6" x 6" unframed $100.

Seckel Pear and Crab Apples oil 6" x 6" unframed $100.

I think I've had my fill of painting crab apples!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn Influenced

My computer is choked. It's got too many photographs stored in it, so I've been editing and copying them to CDs. Always knew I'd paint this orange, so when I found the image (from our time in Palm Springs, last March) I did. Although it it is not an autumn fruit, the colours certainly suggest fall.

Orange Sunshine oil 8" x 10" framed $600.

I'm still scoring crab apples from a tree down the street. These are a smaller variety, more orangey-red and yellow than the mostly cherry red larger ones. Yesterday, I selected the mini pumpkin from my basket of gourds. For some reason painting it was epic. Who would have thought an orange, globe-like shape like this would be problematic? The orange of the day before wasn't. Some days paintings just don't flow off the brush. I struggled with it for hours and was completely exhausted when I finally got it to look like this ...

Mini Pumpkin and Crab Apples oil 6" x 6" unframed $100.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I've been dressing the dining room table ever since the girls stopped letting me dress them! When art is your game it gets carried over into all aspects of living. They tell me I make a great apple pie and that the pumpkin pie isn't too shabby either. I certainly resonate to the warm colours of autumn.

For the feast this year, we were just four, plus Avery. The weather is still so remarkably warm that we were able to be outside a great deal. Although we had some frost in September, there hasn't been any since and this has given the annuals a chance to revive. My half barrels are still thriving and that's pretty much unheard of in these parts!

Here's a link to more photos of our weekend ...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time to Resume Daily Painting

I'm not terribly faithful to the daily part, but now that the hectic summer is behind us and autumn has arrived I'm leaning towards spending more time in the studio; affectionately known as The Anne Frank Room. Check it out here:

Walking down the street the other day I noticed the crab apple trees are laden with fruit and thought they'd be a nice compliment to any still life. So I clipped a branch and here is what I have came up with ...

Peach and Crab Apples oil 6" x 6"

Pear and Crab Apples oil 6" x 6"

I thanked the peach for being of use in two ways as I sliced it to have with our yogurt and granola this morning. It's seems a bit cannibalistic to eat your subjects. Both paintings are spoken for.

PS It is a glorious autumn which shows no sign of giving way to foul weather, so I'm compelled to get out in it ... you know, make hay while the sun shines! Click here for photos:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Playing with Acrylics

At the Gabriola workshop, many teachers and students were working in acrylics. They inspired me to get mine out and play around with them. Their quick drying time is certainly a plus.

On the way home, from the west coast, we stopped for a night in Kelowna. One reason was to buy some frames from the brothers Fidler at their pristine establishment: I have been dealing with Jim and Dave for nearly two decades and can only give them with a glowing recommendation for their products and service. The second reason was to seek out and photograph ripened grapes in vineyards. The weather was very rainy; very un-Okanagan like. However just when we needed the sun to come out it did; for a half hour both afternoons providing me with this ...

Kelowna Grapes acrylic 12" x 9" framed $700.

In Quebec, it appears as though day lilies grow like weeds. Tall stands of them line gardens and streets. I'm always on the lookout for dramatic lighting and found this specimen in Montreal ...

Day Lily acrylic 9" x 12" framed $700.