Sky – Study 1 8″ x 10″
Last week a friend and I were chatting about the importance of experimenting with our art and technique. Of course it’s much easier to keep painting things that have worked in the past – which is what I tend do do. So I decided that maybe it was time to leave my comfort zone.
There are a lot of things I don’t know how to paint but I usually just dive in, with varying results. But I am intimidated by painting skies. I avoid them whenever possible. They make me freeze up and I don’t know how to do them. So this is the first of a couple of sky paintings. I hope I learn something.
This is the first of two paintings I’m working on that prominently feature a yield sign. As I’ve worked on these I have been thinking and wondering – what is it about the yield signs? Why do I feel compelled to paint them?? I love the splash of red, but it’s more than that. I am not drawn to stop signs in quite the same way. I do, however, have the same attraction to power lines and light poles – they make a painting more interesting somehow.
Yield sign #2 should be completed next week.
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Lupines, Jericho Park 10" x 8"
I had a bit of trouble with this painting but after sitting with it for a week, I don’t mind it so much. I often struggle with paintings where both the foreground and background are full of complicated shapes. I had to keep reminding myself to simplify and not to paint every leaf and blade of grass.
These lupines grow in a wild field in Jericho Park. In June, it is a lovely sea of purple and you can hear a steady buzz of happy bees.
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The Red Steps - 14" x 11"
My children and I walked by this house many times in the summer, on the way to a near-by playground. Actually, it is part of a row of townhouses. I imagine it must be fairly old, but I always admire how well-kept it is. The shutters, the siding, the flower pots, the garden and, of course, the red steps all looking their best in the hot afternoon sun.
Too often I see character houses such as these with development signs out front, soon to be demolished. If you see a strange woman rushing around the neighbourhood taking photos of old houses, it’s probably just me.
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Low Tide 8" x 8"
I recently did a painting similar to this one at a smaller size (see it here). That painting was posted on Etsy, which gave rise to a message from a new client with a request to do a customized painting, as a gift for her mother.
The image reminded my client, Carrie, of the landscape where she grew up. She asked me if I would consider adding a hawk to the image, and explained the meaning behind it:
my grandma died when my mom was 5 or so. Whenever she sees a hawk, she feels like it is her mom keeping an eye on her and letting her know everything is o.k. Consequently, I now think of my mom when I see a hawk.
Knowing that this painting had a personal meaning to someone else made it extra special to work on. I hope Carrie and her mom enjoy this painting as much I enjoyed working on it.
Here are a couple more small paintings – 3” x 3”.
I gave away lots of little paintings for Christmas and I can’t seem to stop doing them. They do make perfect gifts!
Find them here.
When I work on tiny paintings, I often do 2 or 3 at the same time. I have found that there is a large time investment for one, but to do an additional one or two does not add that much time to the process. For instance, if 1 tiny painting takes 2 hours to complete, I can probably finish a set of 3 in 2.5 to 3 hours. Of course, each painting does not come out the same. They share the same general colours and composition, but I try not to be too picky about making all the details match. Each one is truly an original. Can you spot the differences?
Low Tide - two 3" x 3" acrylic paintings
The Icy Spring 11"x14"
I photographed this Alberta landscape a couple of years ago on a cold, sunny spring day. The colour of these red graineries seems to hold the promise of warmer days. I love the way the red siding contrasts with the crisp, dry field and the icy pond.
It seems that I have mainly used the three primary colours here. I could pretend that it was deliberate, but I only realized it as I was finishing up.
East Side of the Road & West Side of the Road, 4" x 6"
These are two paintings of the same road on Westham Island, near Delta, BC. One is a view of east side and the other is the west. They are little (4″ x 6″) and I finished both in one day. My goal was that each one would work on it’s own, or they could be displayed together – as sort of a diptych. I love to paint old buildings, power poles and power lines, so I had a lot of fun with these paintings.
Retired in Nova Scotia 18" x "24
Sometimes I have trouble knowing when a painting is finished. When the painting is nearing completion, I have this need to tinker – brightening here, darkening there, adding more detail, fine-tuning the colour, and on and on it goes. The trick is knowing when to stop, before the painting becomes overworked. So, I am taking a break from this one. I think it might be done, but I’m not sure. I have to look at it for a while.
By the way, I’ve painted this boat before (several years ago). You can see the first version on my home page or here.