Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still Life Painting Workshop

Today I taught my first ever painting workshop! I had so much fun! I hope my participants enjoyed it as much as I did. We started by discussing values and creating form, did a grisaille, an underpainting in earth tones, applying the colour overtop. We were using transparent acrylic colour, working on creating luminosity in the fruits. We then went on to painting a small still life set up following the steps we had learned. One of my participants, who was very talented, told me at the end of the day she is 90 years old! I thought she was at least 15 years younger! I hope that when I'm 90 I'm still busy learning and honing my painting skills. Having her in my class made my day. :-)

On my last post where I changed the background of my painting, after the recommendation of my painting buddy Virginia Floyd. I thanked her and linked to her website, but then I changed the font and didn't realize that the link was broken, so here is the link to Virginia's blog.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pomegranate Again

This is an updated version of the pomegranate painting I posted early this week. It had a lighter, warmer background, and when I saw it online I thought it looked it too subtle, and posed the question whether I should I darken the background. My blogging buddy Virginia Floyd suggested that it would make a more dramatic painting, so here is the changed version. I'm pleased with outcome. Thanks Virginia!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Pomegranate  6 x 6  Oil on Linen

I just love the rich reds of pomegranates. They are such a paintable fruit. I'm not sure I like the background, I'm thinking of darkening it. What do you think? Would a darker background improve this little painting?  I'm currently working on some small pieces for the upcoming Small Works Shows, of which there are many around the Christmas season. This is the first of them. 

BTW I've forgotten to tell you that I entered the Daily Paintworks Challenge for the Children of Africa a while back. I'm really pleased to say that my painting sold, and I will be making the donation to the Canadian Red Cross in the next few days.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lemons & Light II - Still Life Step by Step

I just completed this painting as a practice with acrylics, for an upcoming workshop I'm teaching on October 23rd, at Monterey Center in Victoria BC  -  Contemporary Still Life in Acrylics. I've been painting all of my most recent Still Life paintings in oils, so I had to do a little practice to remember how to blend, layer colours, and create luminous light effects  Below is the step by step of the painting process:

When painting Still Life, I like to do a quick value study first. Because I wanted to create a sun drenched light effect in the fruit and cloth, I used glazes of transparent colours. This allows the light to pass through the layers of paint to the white canvas below creating a luminous light effect. 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Train Art

Recently we were in Whistler BC, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Our daughter decided to show us some unusual art in an even more unusual place. Way off the beaten track, in the middle of a beautiful west coast forest, lies a train wreck from the 1950's. Over several decades, many artists have graced the interior and exterior walls of the train cars that are wedged between the trees. It's so colourful and  organic, with trees and plant life growing on and in the cars.

Whistler has a lot of artists, but also a lot of mountain bikers. A crew of die hard bikers have built ramps and jumps starting with the car at the highest elevation and continuing down through the train cars, like a crazy obstacle course. We didn't see any bikers while we were there but kept an eye out for bears and cougars. The whole thing had a haunting kind of beauty to it, and certainly a lot of history. I kept trying to figure out what decade the various pieces of art had been painted.  The total quiet and peace of the forest combined with the street art painted train cars and the obvious force of the derailment, gave it a surreal effect. We're still talking about it!