Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Daily Paintings

A couple more daily paintings. I just love doing these. It opens up the door for experimenting with colour, different media, mark making, subject matter and composition to name a few. I keep going back to landscapes. Our weather has been unbelievable these last few days.....20 above today, the sun is shining and there is a gentle warm breeze - so beautiful! Spending lots of time outdoors and enjoying the views. I hope you will enjoy these 2 daily paintings.

Acrylic mixed media on paper

Acrylic mixed media on paper
mounted on birch panel

Monday, 7 November 2016

Painting - Is it Finished?

I haven't posted for awhile! And miss it - writing makes me think more about my art, others art - about creating!

I am participating in a Christmas show and sale in a couple of weeks. I have been busy getting things matted, mounted on wood panels, varnished and packaging and pricing. This year I vowed not to leave it to the last moment. I have a couple of paintings that I am planning on taking. One is from May of this year and the other from September. They have both been sitting in my studio, bidding their time. I thought they were 'finished' but with a second look neither one seemed ready to leave my studio. So, I took a deep breath and went back into both. This is a huge deal for me. My 'critic' starts off with just a whisper and by the time I start putting the paint on the palette she (mine is a 'she') is loudly telling me I am really going to mess things up, it is going to look horrible, I will be sorry I even started ......the list goes on. Now that I have worked on them both I am much happier! They do look finished - more depth and layers - they look richer. I am so glad I pushed 'her' to the back and went with my intuition. Painting on a daily basis is making it easier to push past my inner critic. Does this happen to you and if so what do you do?

'Winter's Blanket'
Acrylic mixed media on birch panel

'At the Edge of the Great Beyond'
Acrylic mixed media on birch panel

Friday, 28 October 2016

A Couple of Daily Paintings!

After reading yesterday's post - again, and again! I decided to get with it and just paint. Was up at 5:00 (MST) this morning. Okay....I must confess was actually planning on getting up at 6:00 but our lovely yellow lab Cleo had other plans. Painted for a couple of hours then went and fed our horse and mules - lots of snow here today! You can set your watch by them - they wait at the same spot, at the same time daily! I kid you not, anyone who has animals will believe me.

From left to right:
Joker, Sage and Kate

Our lovely yellow lab (and studio muse)

Went back to my studio in the afternoon and painted for another hour and a bit and here are the results. I had put the 'first layer' of paint on a couple of weeks ago and took the opportunity to 'finish' the two today.

Rediscovering 'Still Life' painting. Want to do it my way though. Not sure if this is my way, but consider it a good start. Was never that much into still life but need to get out of my comfort zone.

4 3/4" X 4 3/4"
Acrylic, collage, mixed media
on paper

Our lovely summer 'greens' are but a memory and winter has laid her blanket of white over the trees and meadows.... so this is a little reminder of the summer past.

5 1/4" X 5 1/4"
Acrylic mixed media
on paper

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and have a read - you help inspire me to keep painting and writing! Best wishes to you all for many happy and creative times in your studio!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Art Journey & Making Art

It seems like forever since I have posted or painted! Am just getting back into my studio and there seems to be a lot of sitting and 'thinking' and not a lot of painting. Missed almost three weeks of painting this month - for a variety of reason - some out of my control. Have also been spending time looking at artwork on Pinterest and this has me taking a step back and wondering about my painting and where I am going with this 'journey of art making'. I have so many ideas right now, not enough time to try even half of them. Does anyone else go through this? In the meantime I am sticking to things that are simple and doable and trying to squeeze in any time I can experimenting. So I have no artwork to share today, but I do have a lovely altered road sign that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do. The rural community I live in celebrates a Scarecrow festival during the month of October and each year the scarecrows become more and more creative (ie. the benchmark is set higher and higher). I need to get around and take pictures of them and will share with you in the next few days. In the meantime this little gem is one I see whenever I drive to the village to pick up mail or have a coffee with friends - is so creative and always brings a smile to my face!

Altered 'deer crossing' sign!
West Bragg Creek Road, Alberta, Canada

Monday, 10 October 2016

Vancouver Island Art Workshops - Jane Davies - Part 2

Back to the workshop and the final three days.....

Starting day 3 we had a choice of switching to our 'good' paper  (a good printmaking paper) or doing a few more prints with the drawing paper. I choose to switch to my printmaking paper - Stonehenge. I really like the Stonehenge for this type of monoprinting. Jane wanted us to experiment with the techniques we had been using the previous two days - especially the masking of shapes and texturing. It was important not to have a plan and to work more with our intuition and notice things such as similar values, lights/darks, shape size and saturated colour versus neutrals. Once these were dry we added a background ('ground') to the print. Lots of choices to think about here. Do you leave a space between shapes and ground, how will the shapes relate to the ground and what colour for the ground. By putting in the ground it makes it easier to see what you have. We could still print and collage over the ground if we wanted. Painting the ground takes a lot of time and care. I mixed two or three colours for my grounds so I would get some variation in the colour.

There are a lot of things to think about when working on these pieces...
1. Contrast of scale
2. Variation in value
3. Transparency/Opacity
4. How much white space to leave around shapes - thickness and thinness of lines
5. Do you leave white space
6. Placement of shapes - ex. do they go off the edge, overlapping
7. How much do you enhance the shapes - a little or a lot
8. What is the 'top/bottom' of the print. Jane usually decides this earlier on - is intuitive for her.
9. Will your ground be all one colour or one side yellow the other purple

For the remainder of the workshop we worked on the following
1. Printing then collaging, painting the ground and line work
2. Printing grids and then collaging and painting
3. Printing grounds and printing, painting and collaging over them.

These are a couple of printed starts that I am looking forward to working on.

Multiple printings and masking off of parts of plate and masking 
using a shape. Lots to do
with this start!

Rolled titanium white over residue on gelli plate
and printed. You can see previous printed
shapes and colours. Looking forward to working on this one

Printed ground with printed and collaged shapes,
added paint and some line work

Printed grid with collage, added paint,
some stencilling and line work

Started with printed ground using a lot of
layering and masking of the background.
Added collaged shapes and paint

So this is a very brief description of techniques covered in this workshop. For me the gelli plate encourages experimentation and pushing limits as much as you can with this tool. Having spent 5 days 'monoprinting' has inspired me to do some printmaking at home. I am going to 'dust' off my etching press and enjoy experimenting with some monoprinting.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Vancouver Island Art Workshops - Jane Davies Workshop - Part 1

I have just returned home from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I was attending a 5 day workshop with Jane Davies. The subject of the workshop was 'Monoprint Collage: the Dynamics of Working in Series'. The workshop was organized by Vancouver Island Art Workshops. Mary Stewart and her husband Jim put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this workshop. The facility was well appointed, two big tables for each participant to work on and lots of refreshments and food. Mary also had several prize draws and gave us each a bottle of Dick Blick 'Celadon' acrylic paint (a favourite colour of Jane's) and a tube of acrylic paint from Kroma Artist's Acrylics.

I had purchased some of  Kroma Artist's Acrylics for this workshop. This is the first time I have used this brand of acrylic paint and I really like it. It printed well using the gelli plate and the colours are rich! Have put these on the the 'art supply' wish list.

I had taken Jane's online monoprint workshop so I knew there would be some repetition over the first couple of days and I was looking forward to the idea of working in a series and getting feedback and ideas/suggestions on how to move forward with my work.

Day 1 and 2 were spent making making a variety of collage papers using the GelliArts gel plate. The paper we used is approximately an 80lb  drawing paper. You can get some gorgeous papers layering colour, patterns and textures. We needed a variety of hues, values, high contrast and low contrast papers. We layered tone on tone, pattern on pattern, opaque and transparent. You could go on forever. For texturing - string, corrugated cardboard, texture plates - you are only limited by your imagination! We also started cutting masks and using stencils to create some interesting effects.

The afternoon of day 2 we spent experimenting with printing and collaging on the 80lb drawing paper.

Here is a very small sampling of some of the papers made during day 1 & 2.

Tone on tone

Phthalo turquoise mixed with
glazing medium on plate, rolled out with brayer and printed

Patterned paper made with multiple colours of blue and multiple stencils/masks
Tone on tone paper, using texture plates

Some of my favourite papers were those I used to clean my brayer off on and some rolling titanium white out on the residue left on the plate and then printing.

Using titanium white over residue on plate and
pulling the print. The curved shape had been
printed on the paper first using a mask

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Vancouver Island, BC

I am spending the next 5 days in a workshop with Jane Davies in Saanich, Vancouver Island, BC. Having taken all of Jane's online workshops I wondered if I would ever be able to attend an in-person one. Well, here I am, and yes, very excited and a bit nervous. Came a day early so I could spend a day visiting a couple of favourite spots. Spent the morning at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Saw the Mammoths, Giants of the Ice Age exhibit, the First Peoples Gallery, and some of the natural history dioramas. Then on to Butchart Gardens. Over 55 acres of gardens, with beautiful fountains and statuary, a merry-go-round and much, much more. My favourites are the Sunken Garden (an old quarry site), the Japanese Garden and the Florentine bronze statue of Tacca, the boar. It is said if you rub his snout it will bring good luck. And yes I did rub his snout! The workshop starts tomorrow and I hope I will be able to post images over the 5 days. In the meantime happy creating!

Coast Salish Woman
(Photo circa 1918)

Woven Hats

Japanese Garden statuary

Tacca, the boar with his finely
burnished snout!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Collage

Not quite finished with the 30in30. Here they all are. So interesting to look at them all together - the differences and the similarities. Hadn't picked a theme but ended up with landscapes - hard not to this time of year with all the fall colours - can see so many more 'lines' and shapes. Still can't believe I painted thirty images - although smaller in size is still an accomplishment for me. Next time I think I would do some 'larger' sizes. Love looking at the other participants collages!! Have also decided to offer some for sale - have had some inquiries locally and will see where it goes. Looking forward to the next Thirty Paintings in 30 Days! Best wishes to you all.

30 Paintings in Thirty Days
September 2016

Friday, 30 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Thirty

Day 30! The final painting for Leslie Saeta's 'Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days' for September 2016. To everyone who participated - congratulations! Thank you for generously sharing your work - what a feast for the eyes. Such a variety of mediums used and subject matter. So, would I do this again? Yes and I plan on continuing with a 'painting a day' as much as possible. My painting has grown in leaps and bounds since the September start. I have received comments from people who have seen my work previously and the over all comment is my painting has gotten stronger. So grateful for the support. I think the painting I am posting today is one of the best. Has lots of rich paint, line work, collage and glazing. I feel like I was building up to this over the 30 days.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit my blog and to those who left comments - thank you very much for that! Best wishes to you all in your artistic endeavours and hope to see your work in another 30 in 30!

Day 30
Acrylic mixed media on
Arches 140lb cold press paper

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Twenty-Nine

Second last day of the 30in30. Can't believe just one more painting to go. Another beautiful fall day here - so another landscape. Lots of paint, lifting, glazing and mark making. Love this time of year!

Day 29
Acrylic mixed media on
Arches 140lb hot press paper

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Twenty-Eight

Not sure where the day went! Trip to town, appointment, errands....back home....This is my offering for Day Twenty-Eight of the Thirty in 30. Perhaps a reference for a future painting? This painting is more reminiscent of some of my mono-prints. Not that good a composition but - it is what it is. Hope you are having a good day!

Day 28
Acrylic mixed media on
Somerset printmaking paper

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Twenty-Seven

I started this painting at Joan Fullerton's workshop. I have 4 other paintings that are in various stages and am looking forward to working on them in the days that follow. Joan wanted us to have multiple paintings to work on during the five day workshop. That way you were less likely to overwork any one painting. Having said that, I think this is a bit overworked. Still not entirely happy with the colour.......will leave it for a bit and revisit it at a later date - or not!

Only 3 more days left of daily painting. Having stuck with it I am finding it quite natural to head up to my studio at some point in the day and even if I only have an hour can still do a small painting. This has been such a great habit to cultivate! Hope you can find some time in your day for a little painting.

Day 27
Acrylic mixed media
on birch cradle board

Monday, 26 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Twenty-Six

Here is today's offering. This was painted using the same palette as yesterday's. Had squeezed out quite a bit of paint and had to use it up! I am tired after my 5 day workshop. But it was so worth it. Will spend the day unpacking and tidying up my studio and will be ready to go with my offering for tomorrow's 30in30. Will also spend some time today checking out the great paintings that other artists have been posting. Thanks again to all who have stopped in and taken a look and left comments. Happy Painting!

Day 26
Acrylic on Arches 140lb hot press paper

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days Day Twenty-Five

Last day of my workshop with Joan Fullerton. Five days (for me) is along time to be painting away from home. When you paint on your own, sharing space with 18 other artists can be overwhelming at times - but it is also good. Different styles and approaches to subject matter, differing opinions, questions I hadn't thought of, connecting and exchanging contact info, being pushed out of my comfort zone of home - just a few of the benefits. And of course the big one is having access to the artist/instructor - in this case Joan Fullerton! Wherever you are painting - enjoy yourself and just go with the flow!

Day 25
Acrylic mixed media on
Canson mixed media paper

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Day Twenty-Four

When I started the 30in30 I didn't pick a theme for my paintings. Sometimes when I pick a subject/theme I end up stifling myself and making it harder for me to paint! At day 24 I it is pretty clear to me that landscapes became my subject of choice. Hope you are enjoying painting your chosen theme or just leaving yourself open to whatever inspires you. Enjoy the day.

Day 24
Acrylic on Stonehenge printmaking paper

Friday, 23 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days - Day Twenty-Three

Made sure to paint extra last week so would be able to keep up with the 30in30 while I am attending Joan Fullerton's workshop. Enjoying the workshop and being around other painters - such a great opportunity to see how others work and interpret the instructions for some of the exercises. Joan is a great instructor - love watching her paint. Such an interesting person.

A monochromatic, mostly 'cool' palette - for me very calming - I love blue!

Day 23
Acrylic on
Arches 140lb hot press paper

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days - Day Twenty-Two

Fall will officially arrive here in about an hour. And the rain and probably some snow too! Our sunrise is beautiful this morning - this is one of my favourite times of the day. Off to feed our horses and then to my workshop with intuitive artist Joan Fullerton. So glad I have been participating in the 30in30 - what a difference it makes going to a workshop having been painting daily! Hope the sun is shining where you are - have a wonderful day!

Day 22
Acrylic mixed media on
Canson mixed media paper

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days - Day Twenty-One

I have plans to visit Drumheller, Alberta in the next couple of weeks. My father's family farmed and ranched in this area and were some of the early homesteaders. I have fond memories of visiting relatives here as a child and when I was older helping roundup the cattle for the spring branding. Looking forward to visiting the ranch and driving through the farm country - especially with harvest in full swing. Day 21's picture is not exactly like the scenery in the Badlands area, but it will do in pinch!

Day 21
Acrylic on
Somerset printmaking paper

Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Twenty

I did quite a bit of painting yesterday and I am starting to notice some differences in how I approach the whole process. I am selecting less colours for my palette and mixing more neutrals and tones, my brushstrokes are much more confident, I don't mind covering up that 'special' spot and painting on and my mark making is looser and seems to flow more. And sometimes (not always as often as I would like) I know when to stop! I give credit to participating in Leslie Saeta's Thirty in Thirty for September. I have two workshops coming up - one this week and the other the beginning of October. Having done all this painting prior to the workshops I am feeling much more confident and looking forward to the opportunity to paint with these artists.

Day 20
Acrylic mixed media on
Arches 140lb hot press paper

Monday, 19 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Nineteen

Haven't had a lot of spare time to view all the art on the 30in30, but the days I have viewed....WOW!! Such a variety of subject matter, mediums used and techniques. Is so inspiring.

The colours are changing quickly here and if the wind visits the leaves are quick to fly. I love this time of year - the light, the colour....and in the cool mornings there is a beautiful stillness. Have a wonderful day wherever you live and if you are painting for the 30in30 - thank you for sharing.

Day 19
Acrylic mixed media on
Canson mixed media paper

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day EIghteen

Kept today's painting simple. Chose some different colour mixes and I am happy with the end result. At the start of the 30in30 I would never have tried this! So glad to be participating!

Day 18
Acrylic on Canson mixed media paper

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Seventeen

Trying to get a few paintings ahead for the challenge. I am enrolled in a 5 day workshop with Joan Fullerton next week. So excited to have this opportunity to take a workshop with her. So I need to get going on these small paintings. I think this will be a good thing as it will force me to paint faster, work looser and not be so picky over the small things. Have posted the before and afters of todays effort....not sure how I ended up at the 'after' - hmmm should you admit that?! Have a wonderful weekend and if you are painting 30 in 30 looking forward to seeing your paintings.

Day 17  'Start'
Acrylic and mixed media
on 140lb hot press watercolour paper

Day 17 'Finish'

Friday, 16 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Sixteen

Wasn't sure if I would get time for Day 16. Our weather has been incredible the last few days and it makes it so hard to be indoors. After a wet summer we are finally being rewarded with some hot days.

These are not my usual colours but thought it was worth a try. I always have a pile of 'fresh' paper that has been cut or torn into different sizes. So at the end of a painting session, if I have any left over paint on my palette I will use up the excess paint on these pieces of paper and I sometimes use them to lift paint while I am painting. I like working this way because I have a piece ready to go, with a lot or a little paint on it (not 'intimidating' white). With this image I was trying to be bolder with my mark making and have a few more neutral areas. Some parts work, some not so much but I am giving myself permission to experiment.

I sometimes scan these papers before working on them. It is a great way to see where you started and where you ended up.

Day 16 'Start'
Acrylic mixed media
on Somerset printmaking paper

Day 16 'Finish'

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Fifteen

Mostly neutrals today, with a touch of some transparent red iron oxide. I participated in Jane Davies' online workshop on advanced colour. It was a lot, a lot of work - mixing, matching, colour swatches and more colour swatches. But, it was well worth the time and effort! I figure if I keep mixing and experimenting with the lessons from that workshop things will eventually begin to become second nature. I have a long ways to go! Hope all your painting is going well.

Day 15

Hmmm - when you take a 'step back' and look at it in this format needs more line work and going back in with some coloured pencil or crayon to punch it up a bit. Still can.....

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Fourteen

Apologies for late post! I had to take my Mac in for repairs and without asking they updated my operating system to the 'El Capitan'....latest version. I had chosen not to update to this version given the less than glowing reviews. So... neither one of my scanners now works. And, yes we have contacted Apple support and there is little they can do. So.....apologies for the picture quality - here is today's image.

Update...my husband was finally able to get things working - only took 3 hours or so!! This is the real post!  Showing what the progression to the finished image....

The start and then what I thought might be a 'finished' image - but I just didn't feel it was done.

So, kept going and feel much happier with this being the 'final' image.

Day 14
Acrylic Mixed Media
on Canson Mixed Media Paper

Much happier with this being the 'final' image. Hope you think so too! Have a wonderful day painting.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Day Thirteen

'Hit' the reset button today. Needed to 'shake' things up a bit and freshen up my painting 'mind'. I don't find cruciform paintings easy to do - mine always seem to end up looking extremely stiff - like this one! This definitely was a challenge to paint but glad I gave it a try! I've been working on this off and on and think it might be done. Think I'm ready to go back to some semi-abstract landscapes now!

Day 13
Acrylic mixed media on
140lb cold press watercolour paper