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, November 21, 2010

Blue on Blue

Finally finished.  This is a mixed water media piece on Arches 300lb cold pressed paper.  I have never combined acrylic and watercolor previously.  So, I have learned a lot from this process - get over yourself - use a masking solution.  I started with the sky - four watercolor washes and three in acrylic.  The incredibly stubborn part of me resits masking.  So I started with the sky, painting around the flowers - big mistake.  This left a dark ridge around the flowers - several washes later, hmmm... I had a problem to fix.

I subscribe to the theory that is isn't anything you cannot fix.  So, I pulled out my acrylic tube of cobalt blue- mixed it with the watercolor paint I was using and it worked - only took three washes to fix it!  Did I mention that I am stubborn with this stuff?

Anyway, I love the result! On to more experimentation!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blue on Blue - Work in Progress

Since the beginning of this past summer, every morning (or so) I would go out onto our deck and admire the amazing shades of blue in our morning glory vine.  As summer progressed and the vines reached the top of the arbor, the shade of changed to a more intense shade of blue.  Several mornings in a row, I would rush outside with my camera to photograph the back lit blooms.  I was afraid it would rain soon and beat the blooms into oblivion.

As summer started to wane, the intensity of blue in the morning sky also deepened.  This is when I realized this little morning obsession I have would have to become a painting.

I was torn – to paint this in watercolour or in acrylic.  Watercolour being my favourite medium, I drew the blooms out on Arches 300lb cold pressed paper. As I began painting, my strategy had to change.  I started with the sky.  With my normal approach, not using a mask (mistake in this case) I started to paint the sky, ever so carefully painting around the blooms.  Three washes later I still had streaks.  This is where the masking medium would have been my friend.

Hmm, what to do? I decided this would be a missed media piece and layered on two more washes, same colours but in acrylic with a tiny touch of white added to help blend out the uneven tones I inadvertently created around the blooms.  This approach worked.  This is now officially a mixed water media piece.  I love the contract and the way the painting is building.

I do believe I will repaint this piece – larger and in acrylic.  In due time. And maybe next summer!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Small works - no small effort

Small Works
Ah, as Christmas approaches it is often quite prudent for artists to complete a number of small works.  These are good as possible donations to requesting charities but also very marketable this time of year – more so that larger works.

I struggle with small paintings.  They are almost as much work as larger pieces and they take a disproportionate amount of time to complete.  Take this little star fighter lily.  Only 5” x 5”  big, er… small.  The drawing took no time really – but painting that level of detail that small is icky picky work.  I get a great deal of satisfaction with large freer brush work that I apply with larger scale acrylics.  Then the fun really begins with I get into the details.  Love this stage.  It is when a painting comes to life. To me this is magic and very satisfying.

So it would make sense that I would also love the detail and concentration of the smaller pieces. And I do.  It is just they are small and that is the whole point.  You have to be closer to the work to see the amount of effort.

In defence of painting small – sometimes they can be outright fun pieces.  You get to experiment with new subjects and or techniques without having to invest mega hours or gallons of paint.

At the end of the day, this little lily is actual size to the bloom and is quite sweet. Point is, you will see a number of smaller pieces painted my me in the weeks to come– tis the season and all!

They will be on display at the Fundy Gallery of Art, Loch Lomond Place in Saint John during the month of December.