Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Morning Calm

Original Acrylic on Canvas  16 x 20  Framed $450
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This is a scene from Saltspring Island. I was up early and photographed this peaceful scene with the little fishing boat tied up. I loved the light on the boat and the diagonal line formed by the current in the water, leading in a curve toward the boat. I had to lighten the background mountains a few times to push them back sufficiently. The foreground shadows were formed by a tree and I considered putting in a piece of branch to explain the shadow, but decided it would be too distracting. Does anyone have any thoughts on that? I could still put it in.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Boat Garage

Original Oil on Canvas  8 x 8 $150 Free shipping CAN & US
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Here's another scene from Hornby Island, although this time it's a house for boats instead of people. I've been rereading selected segments of Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, and trying to apply his techniques to my painting style. Changing your approach to painting is one of the hardest things to do, but I've been focusing on this while painting this series of beach houses. I have found that with each painting the application of his suggestions has become easier. I started by choosing just one suggestion, worked on that, then the next time I worked on the same thing, but added another suggestion to the mix. Here are the points I've been focusing on. 
  • Note the artistic intention - what is drawing you to this image? Decide what to feature and how best to do that.
  • Squint your eyes and block in tonal values of light and dark with poster-like flatness, covering all of the canvas.
  • Introduce modeling into all the flat values.
  • Look for and feel the landscape sense - the artistic expression, the rhythmic reach of the trees.
I feel that I've learned so much from purposely considering each of these steps,  while painting these small beach scenes and I'm totally excited about it. Although these are steps that I use to some extent regularly when I paint, by really giving them consideration, it clarified my values and  improved the expression of my brushstrokes.  If you can get a copy of his book (lots of used ones online), I would highly recommend it.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Room With a View

Original Oil on Canvas  8 x 8  $150 Free Shipping CAN & US
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Here's another beach house from Hornby Island. I just love this one. I'd be quite happy to move right in. The window gives you a fantastic view of Whaling Station Bay, a beautiful big, white sand beach with water warm enough to swim in the summer. We've spent some wonderful summer afternoons on this beach. It's hard to believe that it's the Pacific Northwest. 



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moroccan Platter

Acrylic on Canvas  12 x 24  $350
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This piece was inspired by various travels. The platter is Moroccan and the fabric is an Egyptian prayer rug. I love both of these home decor items. All they needed were some green apples. This painting is one of the pieces on display at the Victoria Airport.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

West Coast Summer

Commission Piece - Acrylic on Canvas - 36 x 60 - SOLD

Today's post is a commission piece I did a while back. A typical west coast scene. I posted this older painting because I've been having trouble trying to photograph my paintings this past week. Whenever I have a chance to photograph, it seems to be raining. This is one of the challenges of living in the Pacific Northwest. I always take my photos outside in the shade with a clear sunny sky overhead. So if any of you have found a way to accurately photograph your paintings with another method that can bypass the weather, please let me know. Hopefully we'll get some sunshine on the weekend. Or we'll have to borrow some of that sunshine from our Texan blogger friends. :-)


Sunday, September 12, 2010


Original Acrylic Painting  12 x 12  $250 
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When I was living in the South of France, each evening began with the Aperitif, and usually a number of good friends. We would sit down around the table and share conversation and laughter, often a glass of wine and some little appetizer like the olives pictured above. This is a little Moroccan dish I bought while living there, and it's something that I cherish for both it's beauty and memories. This painting is more about the Aperitif experience than about a particular aspect of painting, however I did enjoy painting the light on the olives and the wine glass. The ratan table top I could have done without, but once I'd committed, I just kept on going.



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Trestle Bridge

Original Oil Painting - Plein Air   9 x 12  $100 Free Shipping CAN & US

This is a plein air piece that I did this past weekend at the Selkirk Trestle. It's a very peaceful spot - with a lot of activity taking place. I just didn't include the activity. There's a boat launch to the left of this scene where rowers come to practice in their rowing sculls. There were many boats coming and going in the water, and a constant stream of cyclists and joggers on the trestle bridge. The bridge is part of the Galloping Goose Trail, which is a 60 kilometer trail open to cyclists, horses, inline skaters, and joggers. It's a much loved recreational area on Southern Vancouver Island. Because of the constantly changing water surface, I just blocked in the water and highlights, and took a photograph of the scene. Apart from waves created by the boaters, a breeze blew up, eliminating all the nice reflections.  When I got home I added the calm darks as seen in the photograph, to create a greater serenity and depth to the scene.



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beach House III - Under Cover

Original Oil Painting   9 x 12   

Another beach house scene from Hornby Island. This was painted from a picture taken on a walk along Whaling Station Bay. I loved the beach grass forming a path to the house, and the light play coming through the thick cover of trees. It seemed nestled in and cozy under the firs and arbutus trees. There was an awful lot of green in this painting. I find green a challenging colour. For me it's difficult to get just the right hue and temperature. So I really stretched myself on this one. I experimented with a variety of yellows and blues, scaping off my palette many times, before arriving at the colours I chose to paint with. I think the final result captures the light and feel of the place.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Beach House II - Sunny Side Up

Original Oil Painting 8 x10 SOLD

This is another little beach house from Hornby Island. I just loved the colours of the house in the sunshine, and Sunny Side Up immediately came to mind. I substituted an arbutus tree for the evergreen that was there to add a bit more red, and more island charm to the painting.