Friday, August 20, 2010

Capelin whispers

 Capelin Whispers
18 x 22 watercolour

I seem to be in capelin overload right now and all I want to do is draw or paint or print these little fish.

They each have their own character built into their little faces and provide me with endless inspiration for more paintings and drawings that I could ever have time to produce.

This watercolour is complete and measures about 18 x 22 on 200lb paper which I love.  I spent ages arranging capelin for this piece until I hit on something that spoke to me.  I originally had them all facing forward, but preferred the rebel in the group going the other way and the middle two seemed to  be 'whispering' about him.  Hence the name of the piece.

Now onto another piece that is on the easel.  What else?  A fish!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vacation mode

I have been wandering and relaxing and doing some work and some drawing and generally being in vacation mode. 

Today I wandered around the southern shore of the Avalon, through tiny communities that even through the thunderstorm that hovered overhead, still appealed to me.  (I think Mount Carmel could be my new second home...)

There is a lovely orange seaweed strewn across beaches in the region that I don't see in other parts o the island.  On this beach, there were large strands, looking for all the world like wet lasagna noodles!

Home again, I am still sorting images and found this little one done with on online sketch program that I play with now and then.  I enjoy the freedom of using this program and the results it can have.  It is yet another tool to help me work out composition, values and subjects before they translate onto paper.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I know that I produce more effectively if I have a deadline to meet.   It can be a self imposed deadline or one set externally but either way, the clock is a prime motivator.

Today was cool and damp so I spent it in the studio drawing and sorting images for upcoming exhibition opportunities.   I decided to give myself a little challenge and see what would come of it.  I took a 12 x 24" gallery canvas, oil paint, a herring and a timer and gave myself an hour to produce something that I hoped would approximate a fish at the end.

This is the result.

I can fiddle something to death sometimes.  You know how it is.  You have a piece painted and you continue to add layers or change colours and before you know it, its something entirely different, and often not what matches the vision in your head.

Like a gut reaction that is often right, first strokes, done alla prima can often be the best.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm not a fan of any creeping, crawling or especially, flying insects. And to me butterflies fall into the latter category.  I recall years ago having to go to a butterfly sanctuary in the UK with one of my children's school outings where these insects fluttered around your head or landed on you.  I think I died a thousand deaths that day as I resisted the urge to swat and flick them away.

I still don't like them.  Butterflies are simply a more attractively coloured bug in my eyes.

On the edge of one of the meadows on the property is a section of herbs and flowers that were transplanted very haphazardly and left to grow wild.  There's sweet cicely, meadowsweet, motherwort and other herbs mixed in with a variety of traditional 'cottage garden' flowers such as Sweet Williams, baby's breath and Shasta daisies. 

The daises were attracting a large number of butterflies - monarchs I believe and I took some photos.  I even got close(ish) to one to photograph it.  I had never seem these butterflies in large numbers in the garden before and at one point it seemed as if every flower head had an insect on it.