Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sneak preview

 Little Heart's Ease

Shhh, don't tell anyone I let you see, ok?  Here is a sneak preview of some of my hung work that will be in our Arts Northeast exhibition, Beginnings, that opens tomorrow at Masonic Temple in St. John's.  I'd encourage you to come down tomorrow and see all the pieces in person as a computer can never capture the true light and colour of art.

The artists and assistants worked diligently this morning and hung the show in about two hours.  There was lots of wall space available in the building and the final view looks good I think.   People attending dinner theatre at Masonic Temple will get a pre-opening view tonight and with shows and functions happening at that venue over the coming weeks, there should be about 800 people going through a week who will have a chance to see our art.

 View from the bar across the street to the Cathedral

I love old buildings and this is no different.  They don't make buildings like they used to.  Tall windows and deep walls, wooden floors, plasterwork, its all my idea of heaven to spend time in an old building. I think I was born 200 years too late.  The Masonic Temple is right across the street from the Anglican Cathedral, which is a very impressive building in its own right.  Located in the heart of old St. John's, the area is full of history and ghostly tales.  Willicott Lane is on the back of Masonic Temple and is one of the oldest lanes in the city.

But you won't see any ghosts tomorrow, just lots of great art.  The opening begins at 2 and runs til 5pm.  A great way to spend a little time on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Born with a silver spoon...

I wish that old saying were true, but I can't tell you that it is in my case.  The silver I have I had to work hard for.  However, I have always loved sterling silver, both when its shining brightly and when it has that gold/umber sheen to it when tarnished.

I have wanted to paint some silver for awhile, a spoon in particular.  But wanted to wait til the right piece inspired me.  Luckily I have a friend with an antique shop and was able to browse and borrow a few pieces to work with the other night.

This is a study of one of the old spoons I chose, the right done early this morning, back down, the left in the last light of this evening showing the reverse of the spoon.  Graphite with a touch of white pastel pencil was used on kraft paper sketchbook and gives that background of gold that comes through as a tarnish that the spoon has.

In a couple of days, I'll work out what I'll do for a composition for them.  I'll need to take some photos for reference as I have to return the spoons, but those plus my life sketches will give me enough information to create a painting from I think.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A bit of everything

I'm up to my neck in last minute details for the upcoming exhibition that opens on Sunday.  We hang the show on Saturday and - touch wood - all is going as planned. So while I do publicity and wrap and label paintings, I'm also working on two others alternately in oils.

While waiting for the first layers of the iris bud to dry a bit, I started another water piece.  This is my year to concentrate on water and I'm doing ok so far in progress, but do get sidetracked sometimes. This will be a view of the water surface of the Atlantic, off Pouch Cove.  Right now, its not much more than a sea of blue, but you have to start somewhere.  Initial stages are never very interesting, unless they are the skeleton beneath of the initial drawing.  With this type of water piece, it becomes abstract and I usually don't do an underdrawing, but work my way by intuition and frequent trips to the water to confirm what's in my head and in a photo.

So I may well be absent for a few days while things whir around me, layers dry and the coyote stares me down from across the studio, waiting for completion.  Please do join us for the opening reception of Beginnings on July 24th from 2 - 5 at Masonic Temple, we'd love to see you.  If you can't make the opening, the exhibition will run until August 13th.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Impending - in progress

oil on canvas 8" x 16"

I own thousands of wild blue flag irises.  Each July, the wetland which is part of my property is a sea of blue as these flowers bloom from the tree line to the road on both sides.  The blooms aren't long lasting, but the show is spectacular. 


And each year I promise myself that I will paint one of these flowers, but never get around to it for a couple of reasons.  The short life of the flowers that fade over hours some days and the fact that I'm not a painter of flowers.
initial drawing/value study on canvas

However, this year I was determined to do so, and here is the start of an oil painting of one of the tightly curled iris buds.  Buds of flowers intrigue me.  How can all those petals curl upon themselves so tightly, yet unfurl to perfection?  Its like waiting for an impending birth to see when the flower opens and blooms.

This is an 8 x 16 piece, and while I wait for the first layers to dry a little, I've started another piece, of water.  More about that another day.