Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stir It Up! - Opening Night

Last Thursday evening was the opening of Stir It Up! a group art show and sale of the works of twelve Oak Bay artists, including myself, at the Community Arts Council Gallery in Victoria BC. There were paintings in all mediums and styles, hand pulled prints, fabric art, porcelain painting and photography, creating a lovely and eclectic show. It was a wonderful evening, opened by Linda Roger, the Poet Laureate of the City of Victoria, who recited a beautiful poem written expressly for the event. Also in attendance was Denise Savoie, Federal MLA, Christopher Causton, Mayor of Oak Bay and Pam Copely, Oak Bay Councellor. It was wonderful to have so many politicians out supporting us, and was greatly appreciated. The crowd was enthusiastic about the works on display and a good time was had by all! The picture above is me with two of my paintings, and some attendees who quickly scurried out of the picture before it could be taken. I was laughing and telling them to come back but they were too shy.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oranges Reflected

Original Acrylic on Exhibition Canvas   24 x 24   $600 + s/h

I was visiting someone's home and noticed this amazing cobalt blue glass bowl sitting on top of the beautiful beaded table center. Now usually I don't ask people if I can borrow their home decor, but I made an exception in this circumstance, and the result is Oranges Reflected. I love the complimentary colour combination of the blue and orange, and orange reflections in the bowl. It doesn't show in the photograph, but the beaded table center has a texture to it. This painting is also showing at the Victoria Airport.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chez Monette

Chez Monette
Acrylic on Exhibition Canvas   24 x 24  $600 + s/h

I'm really pleased to be part of the Autumn Show 2010 in the Victoria Airport Arrivals and Departures Lounge. I received lots of feedback on the last show that featured my Jazz Series. This new show will feature some of my Still Life paintings. I haven't been able to see the shows because I'm not traveling so I don't have authorization to enter the area. Darn!

I enjoy painting the sculptural, sensual forms of pears and I really love painting textiles. In this case the textile was a lace edged linen tablecloth. The embroidery was quite complicated and I thought how am I going to simplify that? So I really squinted the whole time I was painting the lace edge and tried to capture values, rather than trying to recreate the actual pattern of the embroidery. I wasn't sure if it was going to work, and I had one of those 'please don't wreck this painting' moments, but in the end I was really pleased with the effect. So I highly recommend squinting! I'll post another one or two of the Airport paintings over the next few days.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Flower Boxes

Original Oil Painting  8 x 10   $95 Free Shipping

The Saltspring Island Cheese Co. is on a beautiful farm with sheep, goats, donkeys, and some very friendly dogs. You can walk around the cheese making buildings and have a self guided tour to see how all the various cheeses are made. There is also a little store, with complimentary sampling, which means we go home with a LOT of cheese! It's a beautiful quaint spot with a perfect combination of French Country and funky Saltspring decor. This little window faces into the garden where you can enjoy a drink and a snack. Yum!



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lavender Field

Original Oil Painting - Plein Air   8 x 10  $125 Free Shipping

This is the lavender field that we were so fortunate to spend a morning painting. Unfortunately, on the way to farm, I suddenly discovered I'd lost my glasses! I tried to make the best of a blurry moment but never quite got into the zone. If I was to do it again I would probably reduce the size of the willow tree and move it over by the barn, with maybe a branch overlapping. It was hard to decide what viewpoint to paint from. I wanted to paint in the shade, but eventually chose full sunshine so I was looking up the rows of lavender. I worried through the whole painting about my glasses, but there was a happy ending to the story. After hours of retracing my footsteps, I found them on the lawn in my backyard, next to the sprinkler!



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

En Provence

Original Acrylic on Exhibition Canvas
Image painted over all Four Sides
24 x 24  $800 + s/h

I completed this painting last summer, as part of a show entitled Mediterranean Moments. I did the still life set up with props that I owned, and was given a huge, beautiful lavender bouquet by a friend of a friend. The owner of the lavender has a lavender farm on her property, and as she is also an artist she went above and beyond to get the lavender to me, in perfect shape. I was deeply grateful. I then needed a background for the set up, and having lived in France, I had photos of lavender fields in my photo file. But to place the still life in front of a field from a photo was rather tricky. I was very nervous to try this and didn't want to ruin a good still life with a bad background, so I decided to paint the background first, thereby eliminating unnecessary work if it turned out poorly. The next tricky part was depicting the hot Mediterranean sun. I did many set ups in full sun at various times of day, and took even more photographs, finally arriving at this design. The last challenging part was painting all that white! White is so hard to paint! Very little of it is actually white. Because of all the lavender in the painting, I mixed a variety of temperatures and tones of lavender grey. In the end it was a great experience which I believe grew my painting skills. So don't be afraid to try something difficult. When we push ourselves we grow.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Beach House

Original Oil on Panel - Plein Air  8 x 10  $100 Free shipping

We recently returned from a heavenly week at my favourite west coast getaway spot - Hornby Island. This is one of the most fabulous places to holiday in the summer. It has gorgeous white sand beaches and WARM water, which is almost unheard of in the Pacific Northwest! It also has gorgeous scenery, spectacular bluffs with fields of tall grass and wild flowers at the top, and more bald eagles than you can imagine. This is a cute little house on Little Tribune Bay. I took the liberty of playing with the house colours a bit. There were a lot of different greens layering back, and some really dark darks, inside the foliage around the house. I tried to simplify without losing too much of the effect. At the end of the painting session, I stood back and decided that there was too much definition in the foliage, so it was competing with the house. I took a fan brush and lightly but boldly stroked over the foliage, in the same swooping manner that the branches grew, and liked the effect much better. The foliage maintained it's character, the house, the center of interest, kept the more defined brushstrokes.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lighthouse Point

Original Oil on Panel 8 x 10 SOLD
I travel frequently between Victoria and Vancouver on BC Ferries. Luckily you pass through some of the most spectacular scenery on the west coast. This lighthouse out on the point with small broken islands all around, is one of my favourite scenes as we cross, so it's only fitting that I paint it! I have no idea what the name of the island is, but it's a really pretty spot.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bowker Creek Brush Up Art Show

This past Sunday I participated in the Bowker Creek Brush Up Art Show and Sale on the shady creekside in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC. It was a beautiful sunny day and over 40 artists and an estimated 3000 art enthusiasts wandered the park, and chatted with the artists while we demonstrated our techniques.

My son is the wonderful photographer who shot these photos for me. I'm the one with my back turned, as I put paint to canvas. I always find it difficult to paint in these situations because I never quite get into the zone. I can't decide which side of my brain to use as I answer questions, chat with friends and paint. So I won't post the painting until I've had a chance to do some adjustments.

It was a wonderful day and I met some lovely people from as far away as Upstate New York and California! And we thought it was a small community event. :-)


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Above the Courtyard

Acrylic on Exhibition Canvas  24 x 24  SOLD
Image is painted around all four sides

When I was living in the Southwest of France I loved the intimacy of the wrought iron balcony with it's warm sunshine and quiet moments with friends, while down below in the courtyard another animated world complete with fountains, children, seniors and pitanque players was taking place. I worked hard at capturing the golden warmth of the early evening sunlight as it hit these gorgeously ripe nectarines and the folds in the cloth. I'm also really pleased with the reflections in the glaze of the ceramic bowl. I used a combination of full body and fluid acrylics to create the glow and light effects.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fresh figs

Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas - SOLD

There's nothing quite as decadent as fresh ripe figs eaten straight off the spoon!