About Me

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Quispamsis, NB, Canada
As long as I can remember I have been drawing and painting. Although my subject matter may have changed with time, what has not changed it my attraction to nature. Being drawn in by sunlight, shadows textures and details all with rich colors. I know I am best challenged when the work has a high element of complexity. I spend much time and effort exploring my subjects - striving to gather as much information as possible before I begin working. My first love is working with water mediums - from watercolors, through acrylics and most recently water soluble oils. Often I may explore the same or similar subject in different mediums.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Life is Art

I just recently returned from a lovely vacation in Vancouver.  My youngest daughter Katie and I went out to visit my other daughter Jennifer.  Jenn is getting married this summer and we went out to do wedding things.  Like pick out a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses and a dress for me!  The colours are so beautiful!  And organize the rest of the wedding with a little help from our friend, Google!

On the first day we walked to Granville Island. That means to Opus Art Supplies.  This place is absolutely worse than a candy store.  They have three aisles of acrylic paint! I got to touch so many colours.  I honestly did not know were to start... as I left my list of "needed" stuff back home.   I grabbed a basket and went to the watercolors, and of course purchased a number of beautiful tubes (sigh). They I went to the acrylic aisles, grabbed some more paint and I also purchased some liquid acrylics (mostly blue shades - to compliment the stuff I bought on-line earlier this year).  I bought Jenn I and each an modern acrylic book - which I absent mindedly left behind in Vancouver :(  . Maybe I will just have to go back to get it.....

The next day we went back to Opus just because.  Oh, the poor magnetic strip on my debit card.  I bought squeezy bottles - I have a plan for another poured painting with fine lines.  I cannot wait to start this one. Have two more to finish first (I think I have to). So I also had to buy lots of masque.

Another Vancouver hi-light was visiting all the kitchen shops near and dear to Jenn's heart and her Foodess blog!  I had it in my head I wanted to buy large wooden spoons, you know, to cook more healthy.   I was so proud of what all I bought. But when I shared my happiness with my husband... he asked when was the last time you oiled the ones we already have?  I said hmmm.... He said he was watching Anna and Christine's Grocery Bags and they had a segment on oiling your wooden spoons to prevent bacteria growth. Needless to say I oiled away and then googled the show. Oh no... I oiled them with Safflower oil - not mineral oil. Now they have to be really scrubbed and re-oiled.  Does anyone know where to purchase mineral oil?

We were awakened most mornings to the heralding honking of Canada geese.  Apparently they love the environmentally friendly construction trend of grassing roof tops of new buildings. In fact, they appear to be nesting on the rooftops.  They do not fly silently - they feel the need to honk honk honk honk with every flap of their wings.  At first, we were quite excited to look out the big windows in Jenn's apartment  and see them on the roof of the building across the street. I even took photos I was so intrigued.

After a few days the honking seemed to start earlier and somehow, seed much louder.  The novelty wore off quite quickly.   You see, they also fly ... overhead.... and are big poopers!  They sit on the edges of roofs and balconies with their tail feathers overhanging the edge - making a walk with the doggy, Oliver, quite unsettling because you walk looking up.    Speaking of Oliver, we took him to a dog beach whenever we had the opportunity.  This dog seriously loves the water. Fetching a ball or a prized stick -no matter as long as he was in the water! I have so many action shots of this beautiful dog!   He is so animated and entertaining - I will miss him so much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peek-a-Boo completed

Armed with green gold, olive green, perylene green and sap green I began this painting adventure.  Although the lily pads took a lot of concentration - they were fun to paint.  Monochromatic.   But fun none the less.  The little leopard frogs were trickier to scketch in than they were to paint.  Almost my favourite bits of painting are the tiny little bugs.  I had to take my glasses off to work on them.

The work in progress post is just below!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Work in progress - 'Peek-a-boo"

We have a backyard pond.  The novelty has never worn off.  Each season it is different - offering us many new things to enjoy, much like a natural lake.  Only much, much smaller.  In the spring we have froggie visitors that delight us.  And last night - a frog spooked me when it jumped in front of my path into the pond. 

In the summer months, the lily pads and water lilies captivate us.  They are really parking spaces for dragon flies and darners and the likes.
We make a point to visit each day and look for the changes. What is ready to bloom, what has grown seeming overnight, you get the idea. The daily feeding the kio and gold fish are a huge part of this routine as well.  (We really do not necessarily like to talk about the daily cleaning of the filter basket and other pond maintenance activities that presented this year.)  
We sit on our deck in the evenings and wish the pond was really the ocean with waves or a huge lake.  We imagine the sounds of waves lapping at the shores.  And on more than one occasion during the times of high temps and humidity wished it was large enough to swim in.
So, it is not a stretch that I must paint it (er… again).  The lily pads and water lilies are from our pond.  The leopard frogs are actually residents at the pond at Hooper’s Studio in Hampton, NB.  Their pond is also small and is providing haven to over 40 leopard frogs (at last count).  Beside their pond is a rather large net.  When I inquired what the net was for I was told to catch the bullfrogs.  My puzzled look brought about this explaination “they eat the leopard frogs so Kathy catches them and relocates them to another area of the yard”.   I love this story.
Anyway, after photographing the frogs I knew I need to incorporate a few of them into this painting.  Along with the odd lacewing and dragon fly.  Enjoy looking for them. Peek-a-boo!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Petunia Cascade

I have been working on this painting for about three weeks now.  Between the layering of colors and alternating with masking compound and waiting for it all to dry.  I am so not patient!

I love how deep and rich the colors are.  I went back in with magenta and a really bright pink to add more detail and create more dimension. And of course, viridian green and indigo for the leaves.

After I removed the masking compound and sat back to look at the work - it reminded me of a serigraph print.  I actually thought about leaving it as is.  It had depth and the shaped were interesting.  But, being who I am, I had to go back in with more detail.

Interesting enough, the most difficult stage of this painting was titling it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

WIP - Poured painting of petunias - fingers crossed

This painting is being developed by careful planning and a solid preliminary drawing, pour an application of paint and then mask then repeat.  To get to this stage, the work has gone through six paint pours and six mask applications. I masked our the white areas initially then poured a light shade of pink.  There were three pink pours in total and two shades of green and one of dark blue.

Removing the masking compound is a bit of a work out and somewhat stressful.  The work has to be completely dry prior to removal.  One of the key elements of this method is to not allow the mask to sit on the paper for too long.  Also, I am nervous when I think I should use a hair dryer to accelerate the drying process.  I am really timid that the mask will bond to the paper and ruin the effort.

I am at the stage now where I soften us any harsh edges created my masking.  Then I will start to further develop the painting.  Although this method is laborious, it it still faster than my normal approach.  At least this is what I tell myself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Plein Air painting - Bloomin Artists in Hampton this past weekend

Bloomin Artists

Pretty Potted Petunias
Smiling Sundrops
What a wonderful weekend!  

Painting plein air in beautiful gardens in Hampton.  Wonderful gardeners, mingling with artists and no appreciable amount of rain.

As artists, we are normally working solitary.  When we have a change to participate in events like this, we get to mingle and catch up and view the work that was produced.  Certainly gets my creative juices flowing.

Garden Tigers
I produced five paintings over the course of the two days,  A few are shared below - I forgot to photograph the honeysuckle vine.  On Saturday, the humidity was very high.  The excess moisture caused some softening or blurring of details while working with watercolor.  On Sunday, other than the threat of rain the main hazards were the blood thirsty midges.  You know, the little black flies that will even fly into your eyes and up your nose. Nasty beasties.  Distracting.  Irritating and annoying.
Sit a Spell

Ah, plein air painting.  I love it. And all for a good cause.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

WIP -Complete - Longing For Spring

This painting seems to have taken longer than usual to complete.  It is a large acrylic paintng 36" x 30".  For more information on this you visit my posting on my new website at