Sunday, November 25, 2012


This is a commission I completed recently. My client wanted a full pineapple standing up. I found some tropical fabric in my fabric box which she liked, and she requested a red hibiscus as well. I have to say I struggled with this one because it didn't feel like me at first. I made quite a few changes to the pattern in the fabric, using it more for inspiration, and did a number of grey tone value studies  to work out how to desaturate the background keeping the intensity of colour in the pineapple and flower. I was inspired by the interesting shadow cast by the foliage and I added lots of fun colours to the brown and yellow skin of the fruit. In the end it was all about light, shadow and colour and I enjoyed the process.
If you're in Victoria and haven't made it to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Christmas Small Works show yet, do drop by and have a look. Many of Victoria's favourite artists have pieces in the show and they are all priced from $100 - $150. It's a wonderful opportunity to give the gift of original art to someone special. In fact you're pretty special yourself, why not take a piece home?!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pear with Plums  Oil  8 x 8  SOLD
Wow! What a hiatus that was! This first post in a looonng time is a painting I did or the Art Gallery of Victoria's Christmas Small Works Show, a fund raiser of the Art Gallery. See the side panel for information on the show. 
As some of you may know, I've been taking time away from both painting as regularly as usual and from social media. I've  been helping and visiting my very elderly parents who live in a different city. That combined with an unprecedented number of requests for commissions, has kept me away from smaller daily paintings. My schedule is allowing me get back to painting my own inspirations and concepts. I've learned a lot from this year about both creating art and life:
  • there will always be things in life that  may take you away from painting for a while - but you will always get back to it. Take time to enjoy those precious moments.
  • I've discovered that for me, painting is tied more closely to my emotions than I thought. When crises happen my emotions are all used up and I have nothing left for painting. It's as if I don't know how to paint anymore. I have to take the time to be with family and then get back to painting.
  • Commissions are a wonderful compliment to your work, and also a guaranteed sale, but for me, I find that that they redirect my energies away from my creative fires and my need to realize my own ideas. At the same time I grew in my art while painting several commissions, by pushing through and finding really positive outcomes. I painted subjects I would not have chosen to paint, but in the end created paintings that were in fact me.
I also realized that I must create in order to feel balance in my life. How that creating looks may be different because of time and travel. It may be drawing instead of painting, or working out  compositional thumbnails or jotting down concepts for series with quick sketches and notes to support the idea. It's still a creative process that moves me ahead in my art for when I'm ready to paint again. 
How do you work difficult times that may take you away from your easel? I'd love to hear your tips if you have some.