Saturday, April 03, 2010

Ambitious Peep

Ambitious Peep
9 x 12  watercolour

I have distinct likes and dislikes in foods and it usually is a texture issue.  Marshmallow is one of those things that I cannot abide, smelling it, touching or (shudder) eating it.

However, I had seen shelves full of Easter treats for the past month or more and one of them was the culprit - Peeps.  Pure marshmallow covered in bright shells of coloured sugar.  I kept meaning to buy them as they appealed in shape and colour for future paintings.

Then a few days ago Chris Beck had posted about the challenge she had with Jelaine Faunce and Pablo Villicana Lara in her blog, I'm Painting As Fast As I Can.  They each had created a piece around Peeps.  I strongly encourage you to go visit all three artists and images, they are priceless.

So, with images of Peeps in my head, and a box of the (shudder) marshmallow candy in my studio I played around with various Peeps images. The result was the cross between a Peep and a goose egg.

This watercolour is about 9 x 12.  Thanks for the extra inspiration Chris, Jelaine and Pablo!  Happy Easter!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Back road at dusk

I love the time of day when light is fading.  It starts to dull colours in landscapes and intensify colours in the sky as the sun moves down in the sky.

In Newfoundland there are so many gravel roads in varying conditions that are not travelled as much but always turn up interesting views.  This is near the end of a small back road with a view of a tiny community across the water.  The skies are dramatic, almost looking as if they were on fire with the sun and the dark clouds above them back lit.

This piece is 22 x 15 and in pastel.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gyotaku 'sketches'

I've been playing around with some gyotaku and variances using different fish, papers and backgrounds while I build up more substantial pieces.  These are what I consider the 'sketches' for the larger pieces.

While the salmon is taken from a real fish, the flounder is one of some replica fish that I purchased as back ups for when what I want isn't available or for use in specific teaching environments.  The replicas are cast from real fish and have good detail.  Neither of these pieces are complete yet, there is still more work to do in adding the eyes and enhancing the colours.  I was skeptical about the replicas, but the flounder here has good shape and anatomical realism. 

I have a number of Japanese papers that I'm trying as well.  The flounder is printed on cream coloured chiri paper that has lots of flecks of mulberry bark embedded in it, is soft and flexible but still fairly strong and withstands printing and manipulating well.

As I experiment more with a variety of papers, I'll develop more knowledge about them, their characteristics and strengths.  There is such a variety and they are becoming more readily available in art supply stores around the country.

The Japanese Paper Place in Toronto has a huge range of papers and will likely be getting my business.

The Original Paper-Ya on Granville Island in British Columbia has an interesting selection of various papers.

If anyone knows of other good suppliers of japanese papers in Canada, do let me know.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Salmonier II

The little river at Salmonier still appeals to me and makes me want to use more pastels to depict it.

This is a small piece 5.5 x 9 inches on Colourfix paper.  I like the sanded surface for pastel.  It grips the pigment well.  I also have a couple of pieces of St. Armand Sabretooth paper that I should use as well.  I just need the right inspiration for it.  Perhaps another view of the river at Salmonier...

This piece is available for sale on my Available Art page.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Portrait update - mother

I've been slowly working on this portrait of my mother, doing a few minutes here and there and its starting to come together now.  The start of the portrait is here.

Its on a full sheet (22 x 30) of Stonehenge paper.  This is velvety smooth with a good tooth and holds the charcoal well without giving out.

I've finished most of the face but will be refining it more with values and the hair as well.  Now I'm working on the endless sofa cover pattern.  It has a floral design which may be the end of me.  I'm not sure how much detail I'll get into on this, it depends on how it goes and how much I can stand!

For now I'm working left to right developing pattern and values for it. Its unlikely that my mother will ever see the piece, as she doesn't like images of herself in any form.  Left in her hands, she'd likely destroy it.  We all have self images that never seem to match another's vision, but hers is rather extreme.  And at 85 its sure not going to change.