Saturday, March 10, 2012


I use the walls in my studio to hang paintings on nails to dry.  As I put up last night's blue donut on the wall with other pieces I noticed a trend emerging.  Everything is blue to varying degrees.  Some more prominently than others.  Yes there are other colour elements in the pieces but there seems to be an underlying blue connecting most pieces. 

I know I paint water which often does have blue tones, but haven't really noticed this before.  Tonight as I started a new piece and stepped back to look at the form, it too is blue.  Of course it is a blue boat to start with so there's no escaping that.

Blue is likely one of the most universally favoured colours and I'm no different.  Also as a child, I always was dressed in blue and still love to wear blue .  Maybe its engrained, maybe all my paintings will always be blue!

Do you notice a colourway seeping into your work every time you paint?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Something blue

I've never eaten (or even seen) a doughnut with blue icing on it before.  But this was one of the subjects on a challenge and instead of fiddling with a cat study as I have for the last couple of nights, I thought it was time to move on, so here's a little 5 x 7 in oil of one of life's sinful pleasures.

I've been working on water using acrylics and the switchback tends to be a bit frustrating after using oils for the last few months.  Each medium has its own quirks and it takes awhile to get back into the swing of it again.  But I had to admit that I enjoy oils more than acrylics.  Its the paint feel I believe.  Yes, it too has challenges, but I am more familiar with how to get around those now and enjoy the process.

The Spurrell Gallery in St. John's will be representing my work and currently have have several of my original works.  I'll be bringing in a few more pieces in next week, a couple of them being gyotaku prints to see how they fare in the open market.  Today the Gallery have my information and pieces on their website and I look forward to working with them into the future.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


 I've spent more time defining this wave to add some realism to it.  All those little fiddly details are what I love to work on, but there's a fine line between detail and overkill.  With water, its easy to go on forever adding light and darker values to the water surface, foam and spray. 

Close analysis of water reveals its complexities.  Its not simple  shapes or solid colours as so often depicted, especially by beginning artists. Creating a transparent, moving mass takes time and so often I see pieces discarded in frustration when another couple of hours of work would push them into a new direction.

I rarely work from a printed photo, as it never provides enough detail of the water surface and values.  I keep the image on the computer screen so I can enlarge and reduce it as required to really observe well.

This piece is a sample for a workshop and measures 8 x 16 on canvas panel in acrylics.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Making waves

Quite literally.   I'm trying out a demo piece for a workshop on painting water in acrylics that I'll be teaching later this month.  I've rather immersed myself in oil these last few months and need to get back into the feel for acrylic paint and how it performs again.

Its much easier for me to show than explain technique just as its easier for people to learn by seeing then doing.  I thought I'd test a video clip and see how it turned out.  I still need to get lighting better and have a tighter crop on the image.  However, this being an 8 x 16 canvas, its difficult to get closer without losing some of the image.  I used a Flip video cam to shoot this and have no control over focus only to zoom in and out a bit.  For the next video I'll try the Canon camera that has the video function on it and see what the difference is.  It should be much better as the resolution is so much higher.

For now, this is about 25 minutes of painting condensed into 3 minutes and is at about the halfway point of the painting.