Friday, July 31, 2015

Bottle glass

I love the glass bottles that sit on the window ledge here at the farm. I hesitate to paint them though, I can never seem to draw them symmetrically. But I decided to try today, on another sheet of 6x8 Art Spectrum. But as I suspected the bottles came out all lopsided and asymmetric.

Too late I recalled the advice of one art teacher - fold a piece of paper in half, draw half the bottle, then cut it out, open it up, and you have a perfect symmetrical shape. However I forgot that advice until after I'd already painted my lumpy shapes. Oh well, as the same teacher also said "If your bottles come out uneven just tell people it's hand-blown glass." LOL

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Llamas at Jolicure

Well another little 6x8 30-minute painting. I went on a ride today to do some bird-watching at the Beaubassin Field Station on the Tantramar Marsh, and I took some of the back rounds through Jolicure and Point de Bute. I saw these two llamas in the field as I passed and had to snap and take a few pictures of them. Good thing they were fenced as they guy did his best to come right up to my car and check me out!

At any rate I thought it would be fun for a quick painting - again on Art Spectrum, my old set of NuPastels.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life Drawing at Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery

I was out birding much of the day yesterday (despite on and off heavy rains!) and no quick paintings at home, but I knew in the evening I'd be going to the art gallery in Tidnish Bridge, Nova Scotia. By early evening the rains had stopped. The gallery hosts life drawing classes every Monday evening from 7-9 PM and the fee is reasonable - the model's fee ($40) divided by the number of participants. That worked out to a $7 fee last night which was great!

I felt rusty of course as I had not done any life drawing since I was up here last summer at Tidnish Bridge, and the human figure is so unforgiving. However it's always fun and good practice. Lots of quick (30 second, 2 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute) poses, mostly gestural for the shorter ones, then for the last hour two 25-minute poses. Those are the two here. I didn't bring any pastels with me, but did have some colored pencils and got to add a touch of color. It was fun, and I hope to attend next week also.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maximum 60

It was a raw, rainy, chilly and windy day here in maritime Canada today. The heavy rains kept knocking out my satellite internet connection. But right now the rains have stopped although it's still windy and overcast, but the connection is alive again.

You'd think I would have all day to paint, but I got involved in a good book, and worked on a jigsaw puzzle, but in the afternoon decided to paint something. I do live this new "work small, work often" mantra though, as this is another only 6x8 on Colourfix, and I only spent about 20 minutes on it - so not exactly polished.

But at least it gave me the satisfaction of feeling I had done *something*. Done from a photo of course. Even on nice days the mosquitoes are too fierce for plein air. This is from a scene just past Cape Tormentine, where the road curves down and around the bend, and as you get to the bend you have a great view of the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


 I think hummingbirds are so adorable. When I come up here to Maritime Canada every summer one of the first things I do is put up my hummingbird feeder, and the hummers usually discover it that very same day, or the next day at the very latest. It's so funny to watch they perching on the power lines also as they are so tiny.

Well I'm still working tiny so a hummer seemed like a good subject. This is done on a 6x8 Art Spectrum piece using my old 48-color NuPastel set, which is all I brought up here with me in the interests of packing light. :-)

 My original hummingbird feeder broke last summer, but I brought a new one up this year!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Flo explores the beach

I'm still enjoying working small! I'm back up in Atlantic Canada for a few weeks, and the other day my dog Flo and I went for a walk on our beach. She loved exploring and I took a bunch of photos of her. This is done from one of the photos - on a 6x8 piece of Art Spectrum Colourfix sanded paper using my old set of NuPastels.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Gold Head Branch Two

Pastels are still and always will be my first love, but they have a couple related drawbacks that make me think about other mediums from time to time.
1) They never "dry" like oil or acrylic - good in that you can always go back to them to touch up or make changes, but bad in that they must always be protected
2) Which means they have to be framed under glass ,which adds to the cost, the weight, and the pain of framing.

And I have no interest in oils which don't suit my impatient painting style - but I keep *toying* with the idea of using acrylics. The problem is that I love the idea of being able to use acrylics, but I never feel happy while I'm actually doing it, and usually not happy with results which I always feel look like kindergarten works.

But today I decided to try again using the same reference photo I did in pastel back at the end of May. While oils dry far too slowly for me the acrylics often dry far too fast, so I used some Golden Retarder in the paints for this painting, and that actually seemed rather helpful.

Though I'm still not happy with this, but not as unhappy as I sometimes am, LOL. This is done on an 8x10 gallery-wrapped canvas.