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I'm FREE

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A BOTANICAL BREAK ...

I just had to get these clematis buds out of my system, and I wanted to paint something simple, austere. At this stage, I used mixes of aureolin and cobalt blue for the cooler greens, and quin. gold and phthalo green for the warmer ones, and floated them in to get a smooth look.

I continued with those greens, as well as some steaks of brown madder for the bud tips. The tiny bits of flower showing were done with a mix of cobalt blue and quin. pink.

The stems were painted with quin. gold and phthalo green, with quin. burnt orange and green glazed over later for the darks.

Created more depth with more applications of the same or darker colors.

Et voila - c'est fini!
Clematis Buds
28.5 x 40.5 cm. framable
$265.00 US
unframed


I was inspired to paint this after watching James Fox's documentary on the art of Japan.

Thank you so much for dropping by!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Doubling Down with Louis-Dog

Louis-Dog the first

Starting L-D the second - masking much less, and using  lighter touch on the eyes.

Underglaze of quin. pink and lavender [quin. pink and phthalo blue]  before starting the greys, made with  the pink, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone blue.




Here is the finished L-D the second. This is my preferred version; I think she looks younger, and dare I say, more vibrant. I also like the quieter background. Louis was painted as a gift from my riding instructor for her sister's birthday. When I had Rhonda over to take a look, she loved both versions [as did her sister], so they both were sent pout to Calgary. And I have many "free" riding lessons as payment.

I also FINALLY finished the last of the cat portraits, and they should be arriving at their home early next week.  [Apologies, the color is a bit washed out in this image.] I also added some whiskers using thinned down gesso.  I hate to say it, but this commission was an ordeal - took over two years from concept to completion. I had absolutely no desire to paint or draw - my aunt had cancer. I often read that one "should" draw, paint, create ALL the time. For me, that is just not feasible; if I paint when I'm down, I create garbage. Anyway ...

Thank you for dropping by!

Monday, September 4, 2017

FOR RHONDA

Meet Rhonda. She is a friend and my riding trainer - positive, no-nonsense, down-to-earth.  She has kept me on the straight-and-narrow path of good horsemanship  with three horses.  I am lucky she loves my artwork, and does what she can to support and promote my art. I did this painting of her about 5 years ago. We were standing under some trees, chatting after a lesson,  so there was beautiful, filtered light coming though.

This is a portrait of one of Rhonda's dogs - Carmella.

A study I did of Carmella.

Another portrait of Carmella.

Batman - a dog belonging to one of Rhonda's friends.

I was just going to post what I've been working on lately, but came across all these  works to do with Rhonda, and felt the need to express my gratitude [having just finished a tough lesson].  I am very grateful to have her as a friend!

Thank you so much for visiting!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

IN PRAISE OF STUDENTS

Here are a few of us - when the weather is fine, we paint outside on the patio. 
One of my student's works - her first dog.

Another student's work-in-progress

Marie was ecstatic with her landscape.

She let me know her husband had it framed for her the next day!

A forest scene I started as a demo.

Another demo - almost a poured watercolor - of a moon bridge in Germany.

I liked the shapes so much, I wanted to paint it again.

An unfinished demo of Lighthouse Park [unfinished because the paper was starting to take the pigment in an uneven, strange way].

Some quickie demos of shadows

A brooding sky - one of the students LOVES sky paintings, the more turbulent, the better. This one actually turned out quite well, and I was surprised how easy it was to create. I don't do a lot of loose painting, and when I do it amazes me. Watercolor, left to do its own thing, does beautiful things.

And of course, there is ALWAYS the critic!!!
I have, and still am, enjoying teaching so much. I think, if it wasn't for the students, I wouldn't be painting or drawing at all. Slowly, I am beginning to feel the desire to paint again. I visited another nearby artist [Linda Muttitt], who teaches and has a mentoring program. She is an utterly delightful woman, and most inspiring! I will continue seeing her throughout the fall and winter.

Meanwhile, we are having a very hot and smoky August here near Vancouver. It has been the worst year for wildfires in British Columbia, and the smoke has worked its way down to the coast. The air is bitter, hazy, the sun barely visible; when the moon comes up, it is deep pink - all very eerie.

Many thanks for your visit!

Monday, July 10, 2017

ENDANGERED SPECIES - SWIFT FOX

I started with some loose w/w washes of yellow ocher, cobalt blue and burnt orange for the ground, and burnt orange for the fox. The greys of his hair were cobalt blue, quin. pink and burnt orange. For the blacks, I switched from cobalt to indanthrone.



I got stuck here - didn't know where to take the background. I've been "stuck" [not even wanting to paint] for several years now, and have been very dissatisfied with my work. So I trekked up to Fort Langley to meet with another watercolor artist. She has been involved with teaching, mentoring and painting for at least twice as long as I have, and is a thoroughly delightful person. We had a great session [more to come], and her words did help me with my block.

Swift Fox
12.5 x 10 in.
32 x 26 cm.
$187.50 unframed
Half of proceeds to be donated to wildlife preservation of your choice
This tiny fox, smaller than a house-cat, is fast [60 kph sprints], nocturnal and an omnivore. He has had a hard time with ranching and agriculture  impinging on his territory. Happily, Wildlife Preservation Canada has been able to establish several self-sustaining populations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Thank you so much for dropping by, and if you have any questions or comment, please leave a note.


Monday, June 19, 2017

A SHOW OF HANDS - TOWNSEND'S MOLE

A Show of Hands
10 x 13 in.
I think the title is apt, as they make their living, so to speak, with their paws.


I took these two photos this morning. Yup, we have moles in the yard.

Here is my dog, Maggie, a year and a half ago. I read that this particular mole has few natural predators ... except Maggie. Needless to say, I was upset.







Pigments for fur - quin. burnt orange, quin. violet, indanthrone
Pigments for paws and muzzle - quin. sienna, quin. pink, indanthrone
Grass - quin. gold, phthalo green, quin. burnt orange, indanthrone

Meet my next endangered species - Townsend's mole. They live almost everywhere here, and are considered endangered in British Columbia.  I believe their endangered status is attributable to their low rate of reproductivity. They navigate underground, about 10 - 20 cm. under, by their whiskers. They are able to detect light, but not images. As well, they have sensitive hearing and touch. They are solitary and territorial. I am happy to say, they are next to impossible to trap. I remember my landlord [who golfed, and loved a pristine front lawn] trying all sorts of gimmicks to get rid of the moles - from smoke "bombs" and traps, to setting those little hand-sized wind-mills on sticks [the vibrations were supposed to bother the moles] But they are still here :)
Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ENDANGERED SPECIES - VANCOUVER ISLAND MARMOT



Wet washes on the body with burnt orange and quin. violet. The entire marmot was painted using orange, violet and indanthrone.

Darkening his fur ...


... and still more ... 

I did two gradated washes to the line where sea meets sky, both using phthalo blue and indanthrone.


Lightly painted some distant islands, and started giving a rocky look to his rock. 

My Rock
10.25 x 6.25 inches framable size
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
I wanted to give the marmot the look that this is his home, and he is not letting go of it.

This adorable beastie is a local - the Vancouver Island marmot, the only uniquely Canadian species of marmot. He lives on the south- and west-facing alpine meadows of the island.  Those long claws and powerful shoulders are for digging for food and making burrows for hibernation. He's hefty - up to 2 1/2 feet long, weighing up to 17 pounds. It is believed the reason for the great decline in numbers [since the mid-1990's] is due to predation by wolves, cougars and golden eagles. There is a captive breeding program on the island, whereby adults are caught and allowed to breed safely, then they and the pups are released back into their natural habitat. It sounds like a logical plan; with their colonies very reduced in numbers, there are no or few potential mates - this program brings them together.
I remember seeing a yellow-bellied marmot in the most unlikely place - the backyard of my mother's house in Kerrisdale in Vancouver. I drove into the back driveway, and there he was, standing on his hind legs looking at me! of course, no-one believed me.

THANK YOU FOR DROPPING BY!!