Monday, December 28, 2009

Views of Fort Macon

These are two more small 3 1/2 x 5 paintings. Both are different scenes from Fort Macon Sate Park, near where my dad and sister live in North Carolina. These were part of my Christmas present series, and were done for my nephew and brother-in-law who live here in NJ.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More small Christmas houses

I had a slowish afternoon today - at least until I started getting phone calls from work! But during the lull I painted two more of little 3 1/2 x 5 house portraits. I always thought I hated to work really tiny, but this little portraits are fun to do and a real challenge.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fuzzy Little Buck

Darn the photo of this one. This is another of the small 3 1/2 by 5 inch paintings I am doing as a Christmas gift - a picture of "Little Buck", a young deer we used to see often at Rifle Camp Park. He was very distinctive looking, and you could pick him out of any crowd of deer.

I took three photos of him to make sure I got a good shot, and then framed and wrapped the painting. It was not until after that that I found *all three* of the photos I took were out of focus! I've never had that happen before. Grrr, can't retake, so this is the best of the three.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Winter Moon

The other night as I was getting ready to head out in my car, I was struck by the beauty of the full moon shining down on the street. Of course I didn't have my camera, but my new cell phone has a 5 megapixel camera built-in, and I always have my phone! So I took it out and tried to capture a picture of the moon. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, so decided to try to turn it into a painting. I worked on this tonight but it's just a quicky - only about 30-40 minutes spent on it. The photo didn't have a lot of detail to work with so I was more than just some "blobs" in the photo to translate into the painting. :-)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How's the Water?

It was back to class last night after a couple weeks off, and I finished up my penguin picture. I was not totally happy with my progress when I posted it last time, but a number of minor modifications made me feel better about it, and this is the finished deal. As usual it's on 9x12 Art Spectrum paper.

But since I still had plenty of class time left I needed to start a new painting, but I was prepared for that and even knew what I wanted to paint. The other day I was hanging out on the street corner waiting for a bus home, and I thought the scene with rush-hour traffic and city lights looked pretty cool. My new HTC Hero cellphone has a 5 megapixel camera built in, so I took it out and snapped a shot. I was pretty happy with how the shot turned out, so I decided I wanted to try to paint the scene.

This is a bit bigger than most of my paintings have been - a 12x16 size instead of 9x12 - and a bit more intricate, so may take me longer than my usual 1 classday to complete. :-) But I got a good start on it, so am showing a preview below of how far I have gotten so far.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Maritime Miniatures

I'm still experimenting with the small 3 1/2 by 5 inch paintings, as they seem like a perfect size to give as a gift to people. After all, art is so subjective, and who wants to do a huge or even mid-sized painting for someone as a gift, only to see that they are merely being polite in accepting it!

But with these small ones you can put them just about anywhere. I've branched out into doing Canadian scenes again and show below here the three new scenes I did. One of them is photographed showing the small pre-cut mat I bought for each of them. It dresses them up nicely and makes them look like real paintings. LOL.

These three minis are also scenes that I did previously as larger paintings, so you can compare the minis with the "big sisters" by going here, or here, or here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Highland Games

Since painting my sister's house, and my brother-in-law's boat, I thought it would be fun to paint a small mini-picture for each member of their family as a Christmas gift. One thing nice about a painting that is only 3 1/2 by 5 inches - if they hate it they don't have to try to give it prominent houseroom! And if they like it they should still find a way to display it, even if their home is small.

So I had to think what I would paint for my niece and nephews. Paige, my niece, was up in Canada this summer with me and her mom. On July 1, Canada Day, we went to the Highland Games in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. We saw the parade and watched the drummers and pipers, and ate lobster rolls - but we had the most fun watching the heavyweight Highland games - brawny young men in kilts throwing a variety of large objects. :-)

Paige had a great time watching them, so I did this painting for her, to remind her of this summer. Now I just have to think what I will do for my two nephews! It's much harder to think what I should paint for them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Boston Whaler

I'm still on a mini-painting kick, doing paintings that are only 3 1/5 by 5 inches. It's an very interesting experience. I'm not sure what I'm learning from it, but it has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.

This is one I did tonight of my brother-in-law Chad's Boston Whaler, parked in the back yard of the house in the previous painting. :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amy's House

I had such fun painting my friend Karen's house yesterday that I decided to keep trying again. Gosh I don't know how people do these miniatures. This one today is of my sister Amy's house, a lovely early 20th century home in coastal North Carolina. It's even smaller than yesterday's painting - only 3 1/2 inches by 5. Phew.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Karen's House

Tonight I'm going to my friend Karen's birthday party. It's being held at her church and she specifically asked for no gifts, saying if anyone felt obliged to bring something they could bring food for the Food Pantry.

So I have some food to bring, but wanted to give her something anyway, even if small. So today I painted this portrait of her house. But I really meant it when I said I wanted something small. I mean she might hate it after all, LOL. And if it was too big she would be stuck with this big thing she didn't even want. So this portrait is only 4 x 6 inches. I'm not used to working tiny, so this was a real challenge to try to capture an image in such a small area.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Penguins in Progress

We were talking in art class last week about art shows with "themes". A couple women had been doing bird paintings, and we talked about maybe do a show that was all bird paintings. And someone said that the Turtle Back Zoo had an art gallery, and maybe we could have a show there. We all smiled at the idea and said we would have to paint pictures of birds and/or animals.

That got me thinking, and I realized I have have a lot of photos actually taken at the Turtle Back Zoo itself, and maybe some would make some nice reference photos. This is one I took a few years ago of the penguins at the zoo. Who doesn't love a penguin? LOL. The penguins at the zoo are African Penguins. I always get a chuckle out of that as if one conjures up a mental image of "African Wildlife" it is not generally penguins that come to mind. :-)

I call this Penguins in Progress and I don't think I'm actually done with it yet. I'm still not satisfied with the background, and not sure I'm fully satisfied with the penguins themselves. But this is the point I reached last night so decided to post it anyway - and will see where I go from here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Rookery

This part Saturday I had a busy day - from 9 AM until almost 7 PM receiving for the Pastel Society of New Jersey's juried art show, and then helping to hang the show. I entered my painting 'The Old Farm Pantry' which I was pretty happy with, and I was so bummed that it got juried out of the show. :-(

I brought it to art class tonight to ask for a critique from Christina to see what was wrong with it, but she liked it! Said she thought it was a charming painting with nothing at all wrong with it and could not see why it had been kicked out of the show, and told me not to give up on it as she liked it a lot. . Why couldn't the judge have liked it also?

Of the 6 of us working at the PSNJ show on Saturday, 3 of us had our paintings rejected! Maybe working at the show is unlucky, LOL.

Anyway it was fun and refreshing to get back to art class tonight, and I worked on this painting which is taken from a reference photo I took at the Great Gaspe Pifflefest in 2005. This was just past the Perce Rock on our way to the Ile de Bonaventure. Bonaventure is home to an incredibly vast breeding colony of Northern Gannets, but on the way there, all along Perce Rock itself, there were dozens and dozens of cormorant. I loved it there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cape Breton Glow

I haven't had time to do any art work for a while, but I always miss it when I'm away from it too long, so finally got back to it tonight. I found this old photograph from a camping trip to Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island many years ago and I loved the colors in it, so decided to use it as a reference for painting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Green Gables

Green Gables National Historic Site is on Prince Edward Island, Canada was owned by relatives of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the house was said to be the inspiration for the farmhouse in her classic novel Anne of Green Gables. The Cavendish coastline is stunning, and any visitor to PEI needs to make a stop at "Anne land" to pay homage to the island's most famous fictional resident. This home is fixed up inside as it was the Green Gables home of Anne, Matthew and Marilla, and is always fun to see again though it's been many years since I was last there, and took this photo which I have used as a reference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fort Beausejour II

I have used Fort Beausejour as a the subject of a painting before. It's located in Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada and overlooks the Tantramar Marshes on the edge of the Chicnecto Basin, which is an arm of the great Bay of Fundy. I'm drawn by it's lonely location up on a hill, surrounded by the marshes, and with the waters of the Bay of Fundy in the distance. I always get a thrill standing on the tops of the high earthworks looking out at the misty water in the distance. So tonight I decided to try painting it again.

Though really my mind is still on John Henry, my new baby grandson - one week old yesterday. I am having baby withdrawal as I have not seen him since Wednesday. One woman in my art class was trying to paint a portrait of her grandson, and another woman was trying to figure out how to get a photo of *her* grandson so she could try to paint him, and it really put me in "grandma" mode. But I still had fun with Fort Beausejour and adding another painting to my Canadian series.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

John Henry redux

As mentioned in my previous post I took a workshop yesterday, spent the morning on landscape and the afternoon on portraiture. I decided to try a second portrait of John Henry and hoped that with help I might be able to do a better job. But I'm not so sure! This is what I came up with yesterday after working with the instructor. Still nowhere nearly as cute as the original photo! But a fun subject to practice on. And Cecile even gave me some good advice on how to correct the original portrait I tried so I tried to incorporate some of her suggestions and have replaced the original photo in the blog entry a few days back with the updated version, which I do think is better than the original.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Port Elgin

I took at art workshop today taught by David Garrison and his wife Cecile Houel. It was an all-day workshop at the home studio of my regular art teacher, Christina Debarry. It was a full day, with an outstanding lunch provided by Christina!

David taught landscape and Cecile taught portraits, and students were allowed to work with one or the other, or even both if time permitted. I was the only one who actually attempted both, but I wanted to make the most of my day. I started out with landscape in the morning, and did this picture of the little town of Port Elgin in New Brunswick, Canada near our summer home, so I guess this is another picture for my Canadian series. This was a lot of fun today, and I basically finished it off just before lunch, so in the afternoon I worked on a portrait.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Henry

LOL, when I sent around pictures of my new grandson at work today one of my co-workers replied, "Now you don't have to keep fooling around with flowers and vases and pears." LOL. Not completely true since I'm *not* a portraitist, and I actually enjoy doing landscapes and still lifes. But I realized it was true, I did have a tiny subject now that I could practice on - and he's still too young to complain. :-)

So tonight I decided to try a portrait of my new 2-day-old grandson, using the photo from my previous blog entry as a reference. It was fun to try, but frustrating too, as he is clearly far cuter than I was able to make him appear. As I said, a portraitist I am not! But fun to keep trying. My biggest challenge is that I can often tell it's not quite "right" but have no idea what to do to fix it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Corinthian Sunrise

Art has actually been rather far from my mind the last few days, as I knew the birth of my first grandson was imminent! Little John Henry finally made his appearance last night, at 6:18 PM on September 8. He's a big boy! 8 pounds 10.6 ounces, and 23 inches long, at birth. I took the day off from work and spent a few hours with him and his parents this afternoon.

But I left in mid-afternoon, and was able to get to my weekly art class tonight. I was too tired to tackle anything too complicated, and ended up choosing to do this picture of a sunrise that I took 15 years ago on a trip to Greece, when I was staying at a hotel right on the edge of the Gulf of Corinth, and got up early one morning to see the sun rise, and take a series of photos of it.

But the following picture is the one that is really consuming all my spare moments - a photo of little John Henry, my new grandson!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Kitchen Light

It's been a lovely Labor Day weekend here in New Jersey - just about perfect weather! I've had a great weekend even though still on tenterhooks waiting for my new grandson to arrive. But today I decided I wanted to paint a picture, so I chose a reference from a photo I took up at our farm in Canada.

I did this on a canvas board I bought at Jerry's - covered it with a leveling gesso to try to smooth the surface, then three coats of Art Spectrum primer. But I still *hated* it. Absolutely dreadful to work on, which may be why I'm less than thrilled with this. I may have to try it again on the regular Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Beach Holiday

Tonight is my usual art class night, but it was cancelled because Chris was tired from hanging our show this morning. But I couldn't *not* do something. I would miss having my weekly art session and really wish I had time to do it more often, except what would I do with all those paintings? My closet is overloaded with them as it is. :-)

But I have my easel set up at home, and I pulled out this photo which I took at a restaurant down in coastal North Carolina when I was visiting my family there. I just loved the brightly colored chairs against the brightly colored background. This was just a quickie, on 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Little Deer Isle

After several lovely cool, gray and rainy days it has become hot and sunny again today, Grrrr. Oh well, almost September so I tell myself these hot days can't last! The coolth is sure to come soon. I'm still on "baby watch", waiting for my daughter-in-law to go into labor. She is three days past her due date now.

I'm feeling tired and sluglike and too hot to want to do anything, so I decided I would try to paint a picture today - something not too physically demanding. I chose a reference of a photo I took several years ago up in Maine - maybe a way to remind me of the lovely fresh cool air and the icy waters up there. Ah, to be there right now ....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Celadon Vase

I've been on such a landscape kick lately, working from favorite photos. And in fact I had a favorite photo all picked out for tonight's art class as well. I had printed it out and was ready to go. Except that I forgot the photo and left it at home. I got to class tonight and was sorting through the photos I had with me, but none of them grabbed me.

And then it struck me that it's been such a long time since I actually painted something from life. It's been all photos lately. So I decided that "from life" would be good practice, and I painted this one from a small still life that Chris had set up in one corner of her studio. It's my usual new fave, 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Secret Garden

Last year I was in a show at the Bedminster Public Library. I missed the opening reception so went out with a friend on the following Saturday to look at the paintings. On the way home we took an alternate route, and ended up passing by the Leonard J. Buck Garden. Neither of us had ever even heard of it though we have lived in this area for years! So we decided to stop in. It was sort of a gray day, and we were the only visitors there, which gave it a secret and secluded air. The small pool in the central part of the garden seemed especially like a small and hidden retreat. I took some photos and had long thought of using one as a reference, and tonight suddenly seemed like the night.

I'll have a couple more pictures in a show at the same library next month. Perhaps I'll have to visit the garden again and see how it looks in autumn.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cavendish Coast

This is another of my Atlantic Canada series, this time on Prince Edward Island. The north part of the island, along the coastline near Cavendish, has lovely rugged cliffs and scenery, part of which is a national park. Much of the rest of the area near Cavendish is known as "Anne land" for the Island's most famous fictional resident, Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one of these days I'll have to do a painting of the Green Gables farmhouse itself, which was said to be the model for auther Lucy Maud Montgomery's fictional home of Anne's.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Murray Corner

This is just a quick one from art class tonight. We spent most of the class having a lesson on making mats, and framing - all very useful stuff! But that didn't leave much time for actual art work. I just did this one during the last hour of class just to keep my hand in and feel I had done something. This is a scene along route 15 near Murray Corner in New Brunswick, Canada. 9x12 Art Spectrum paper.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Farm Pantry

Today was a rainy and stormy day most of the day, with heavy rain and lots of flooding in the roads! I went up to Jerry's in West Orange to get some more pastel papers, and when I was there I saw they had the new Jack Richeson semi-hard pastels in open stock! I've been wanting to try them ever since I read about them on Wetcanvas, so I ended up buying a couple dozen colors I liked. They had some very nice cool blues, though they had no very light ones, which was my only gripe. No really light greens either. But I bought two whites.

Anyway, since I had bought them I decided I had to try them out! So I painted this picture this afternoon, from a photo I took this summer up at the farm in one of the small pantries off the kitchen. This is my standard 9x12 Art Spectrum, and mostly using the new Jack Richesons, but a few Faber Castells as well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Bend in the Road

This is another Canadian scene up in New Brunswick, down South Shore Rd, which is the road our summer place is on. The small red building you can just spy on the top of the far bluff is our beach house, not much more than a shack really, but a good place to store rafts and things, andto be able to change into bathing suits if desired. I only got in for a swim once this summer though, since most of the days I was there it was chilly, gray and rainy. But I love it up there no matter what the weather!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Artist and her Dog

My sister Amy had brought her oil paints up to Canada with her and was determined to do some painting there. She had a wonderful plein air setup she was eager to try. We had a lot of rainy weather though, although we both did get down to the beach one day and did our own interpretations of the fallen pine tree at our beach.

She was trying to get up the energy to do another plein air the next day, and finally managed to do so when she realized that she didn't have to traipse miles to do it, and could just set up right out in the farm yard.

So that was what she did. I loved her entire setup and was compelled to snap a bunch of photos of her at her work, with her little dog, Mary, at her feet. After three years of Life Drawing classes I felt I never wanted to paint a person again, LOL. But I loved this image of my sister so much that I had to give it a try tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dorchester - Bay of Fundy

My next-to-last day at the farm I finally got to go to the Bell Inn for lunch. It's located in Dorchester, NB and is one of my favorite places to visit, and it's been three years since I have had a chance to eat there! It was just as much fun as I remembered, and the food just as good.

On the way home I took the scenic route, Route 935, which is a dirt and gravel road that parallels the Bay of Fundy. It's a constant series of beautiful views, and I kept having to stop the car so my sister and I could take pictures. This painting, from last night's art class, was done from one of the photos I took.

I really liked this photo, and this picture almost demands more than the small 9x12 Art Spectrum I did it on. I may just have to think about doing this on a full sheet of Art Spectrum and see how that works out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fallen Pine

On Wednesday of my second week in Canada the weather actually turned sunny and got warmer. My sister and I decided to take our painting supplies down to the beach and do an actual plein air! I also wore my bathing suit and went for a marvelous swim. It was so refreshing.

The beach was lovely, and the light breeze kept all the bugs at bay, YAY! We have quite a steep cliff down to our beach, and every year it seems some of the land from above erodes and the cliff gets eaten away. The poor adventurous trees that grow close to the edge eventually end up keeling over and sliding down the cliff.

This tree was a casualty of this most recent year's storms and it seemed like a natural thing to focus on for my plein air. I guess my sister agreed as we didn't consult one another, but her painting was of the tree also. :-)

Monday, July 06, 2009

South Shore

My sister Amy and I kept thinking maybe we could try some plein air painting here in New Brunswick, but the weather is so variable. So far it has rained every single day, though no yet today - though there are plenty of threatening clouds. It's quite chilly too, for July. Last night I needed a second blanket on my bed, and today I'm wearing a thick flannel shirt.

None of those would be a real show-stopper though. I'd rather be in the cool than the heat. But the *real* show-stopper is **MOSQUITOES**. I cannot be outside more than 5 minutes without being bitten at least a dozen times. The mosquitoes are everywhere and regard me as a huge buffet feast.

So much for the theory proposed by several authors and bloggers that I follow who claim that if you don't eat sugar you are left alone by the mosquitoes. I've been sugar-free for 6 months now and they love me more than ever, whereas my sugar-eating sister is barely touched by them.

Anyway, yesterday the sun came out for about 10-20 minutes and I ran around taking a few photos, just for a chance to get some with some blue sky. It may be my only chance, LOL. So instead of plein air I did this painting in the bug-free farm shed using one of the photos I took yesterday as a reference.

Probably not quite an hour on this one, done on my usual 9x12 Art Spectrum.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Hall Still Life

I'm still looking for painting subjects up here in the gray and rainy north. But this afternoon the we had a hint of sun through the haze and I took some of the fruits and veggies we had bought and set up a little still life in the front hallway where the sunlight was trying to come through.

This is a typical 9x12 Art Spectrum, and as with yesterday's picture I guess I spent about 45 minutes on this one.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wildflowers in the Shed

Here I am up in Canada for two weeks. I had visions of doing some fun plein air painting up here, but it's been rainy and overcast and cloudy every day so far. I could even cope with that, but the mosquitoes are *fierce*. You can barely step out the door without being badly bitten. Being outdoors is just no fun, so I've been uninspired about art work.

But yesteday I ran outside for a few minutes, long enough to pick a few boring wildflowers (but closest to house for minimum bug exposure) and set up a very impromptu still life on top of the microwave in the back shed. So this is from yesterday, about 45 minutes of work on a 9x12 sheet of Art Spectrum Colourfix.

At least my laptop is working! I took it apart this morning to get at the fan and heat sink, and cleaned out all the hair that was blocking the fan and apparently causing the laptop to badly overheat. Before the laptop would be heating up to 50 degrees C before it had been on for 30 minutes. Now I've had it on for over two hours and I'm still sittting at a nice comfy 37 degrees C. It's actually cool enough that I could sit in on my lap, rather than having it burn my lap.

With all my animal critters at home I guess I am Death on Fans. This is my third PC in a row to suffer fan problems. But at least I'm working now and can actually upload stuff, though over 26.4K dialup (how 20th century) it's taking me a while.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I've gotten stuck working on a larger painting that is just not going too well, so have not posted here lately. But last night I decided I needed to take a break from the larger work and go with something smaller and more accessible. So this one is from a photo I took in my garden, done on my usual Art Spectrum 9x12.

It seemed like a perfect painting to be part of my friend Michelle's 'Nature Notes' this week. This one was fun to do, and a change from my recent landscapes. Macro close-ups of things are also fun challenges.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Canadian Hayrolls

There just seems to be no end to my fascination with my Canadian pictures. Up where we have our summer place in New Brunswick there are still many working farms that face right on the bay, and I love the look of the hayrolls in the fields with the sparkling water behind them. The reference photo for this was taken along South Shore Rd. with the hayfield right on the edge of Baie Verte, and Nova Scotia across the way, on the other side of the bay.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bridge over the Tantramar

I love the wide-open spaces of the Tantramar Marshes near Sackville, New Brunswick. Route 2, the Trans-Canada Highway, runs through the marsh and along the edge of Sackville, paralleled by large electric wires cutting across the landscape. But not far off the beaten path you run into a network of dirt roads that run through the marsh, connecting Upper Sackville to small towns like Jolicure and Point de Bute. 

It always amazes me that there is a real covered bridge still in use along the High Marsh Rd. from Upper Sackville, and it is still used daily primarily by the farmers in the area. I just enjoyed this view with the juxtaposition between an old-fashioned structure like a covered bridge, and the modern one of the high tension transmission lines that run through the area. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Canadian Rocks 2009

I always loved the photo I took of the rocks on our beach up in New Brunswick, Canada several years ago. In fact, back in 2005 when I first began to learn about using pastels, it was one of the first pictures I wanted to paint. So I tried and tried, and I was so frustrated as I *knew* in my mind what I wanted to create, but just could not seem to get it down on paper. I just didn't have the skill or the learning or the experience to be able to create on paper what I could see in my mind's eye. 

But after four years of working with pastels I decided the time was ripe to try it again! I still wanted to do that rock scene! And this time it seemed to flow so much more easily. I felt happier with what I was doing, and more confident that I could achieve a result that pleased me. 

So I created the above on a 9x12 sheet of Art Spectrum Colourfix, and I'm much happier with the result than I was with my original 2005 attempt. To show you the differences, here is the 2005 attempt below, back when I was a fledgling artist, rather than one who is slowly coming to be happy with my own style.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Beach at Barachois

Now that I'm back in the painting mode I had to do another one! I keep returning to Atlantic Canada, and this one is from a photo I took on a gray and moody day at Quebec's GaspĂ© Peninsula, when some friends and I went for a stroll on the beach at Barachois. This is my new usual of a 9x12 sheet of Art Spectrum, and this is also a quickie, about 40 minutes. 

We were so chilled afterwards that we stopped at a small café to get some warming drinks, and that was when I learned that ordering a "bowl of coffee" produced a drink that was actually served in a large bowl like a soup bowl!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shades of Gray

I really thought I'd get to paint a picture or two last week while visiting my dad in NC, but it just never happened, alas. So it's been a while since I've posted here. But finally I got back to Art Class tonight.

Christina had an interesting still life set up which was quite monochromatic, primarily shades of gray, black and white. Some of the students were doing it just with charcoal, but I'm just too much of a colorist to enjoy that, LOL.

So my challenge to myself was to try to achieve the muted tones of the actual setup, but without using a single white, gray or black pastel! So that's what I did here - no white, gray or black was actually harmed in the creation of this picture. :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Canadian Sunset

This is from a photo taken behind our barn up in Canada, of a sunset over the fields. Sunset paintings are a dime a dozen of course. But this photo was so dramatic I just felt an urge to give it a try. I failed miserably alas. Glorious sunsets are just so hard to capture. But at least I don't hate this quite as much as I did during about 95% of the time that I was working on it. Most of the time it looked just a horrible, jarring mish-mosh of weird and unconnected colors that were totally meaningless.  But at the very last minute it finally came together and gave me at least a little hint of what I hoped to capture. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baie des Chaleurs Take 2

It was in 2005 that I visited with friends in Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula. I drove up from our farm in New Brunswick, a long 400-mile journey. I was getting tired as I approached Campbellton, and yet still had a long way to go, but pulled over to the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the Bay of Chaleur, which separates New Brunswick from the Gaspe. The vista was so stunning I had to take several pictures. 

Ever since I've wanted to paint a picture of that scene. I made my first attempt at it, using my photos as reference, with this rendition back in March. 

And I just was not happy with it. It didn't capture the scene the way I wanted to.  I rarely paint a scene over again, but I so *wanted* this one to be wonderful,  and I just didn't like it. So last night I decided to try again, on a sheet of 9x12 Art Spectrum,  and if it "felt" better from the Canson of the first version. 

But, , I'm not sure I'm any happier with this picture than I was with the first. There are some things I like in that one, and some in this one. But overall neither do justice to the my memory of the scene. Maybe it's just not for me to capture except in my mind's eye.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I  can't get away from my "Atlantic Canada" kick! Today I chose to work from a photo, and went back, as I seem to do a lot, to Atlantic Canada. This is from a photo I took on the beach of our summer farm up in New Brunswick. I'm facing sort of northwards, and off in the distance you can see "Beachkirk" a lovely little old church that was at one time converted into a textile museum, and a charming one too. But alas the woman who owned and ran it became too ill and elderly to keep it up, and she sold it into private hands. It's no longer open to the public but it's still a l0vely local landmark.