Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Review

In reviewing what I've done in 2011, there are successes and forward movement and also some stagnation.  2011 has been one of my best years financially for art, despite a recession, with most work coming through online sales and commissions.

The creation of a local art group has been beneficial to have others to bounce ideas off and to produce group exhibitions.  This will continue into 2012 and hopefully expand.

I planned to create a body of work in the subject of water.  I did produce about 18 or 19 water-related pieces, but not enough in my mind to build a body of work, so more to add on that next year.  Time, or lack of, is always a challenge for me when balancing a full time job and pushing an art career hard too.

I wanted to increase the number of drawings produced and those have been minimal unfortunately.  I do sketch every day and always enjoy the process of drawing so much, but painting needs for exhibitions or otherwise seem to take precedence.  

Making time for the business of art as well as the production of art is essential and I've done a decent job on that in 2011.  I've created business cards twice a year, postcards on gyotaku, produced a book, The Gyotaku Project, in print form and as an e-book.  I keep my art resume, biography and artist statement up to date.  

Visibility was another area I wanted to concentrate on in 2011.  I made efforts to enter local juried exhibitions and had pieces selected for two.  I took part in two local group exhibitions and had a piece exhibited in Edinburgh at the Trees for Life charity fund raiser.   Other local opportunities slipped through my fingers due to work commitments and just not having enough time to coordinate entries.

I didn't manage to explore other outlets for card and reproduction sales, again a time factor.  There are only so many hours in the day and when I need to be able to meet and greet and show products to the market, my day job takes over.   More plans for that next year.

My aim for an exhibition proposal became just that. I created the proposal and image cd, but have not had time to research where I want to send it.  Aiming too high may be an issue with me.

Web Presence
In May I created a website to provide additional visibility and showcase my art besides my blog.  It continues to evolve and is updated as required.  A media and exhibition page also were created.  I pushed harder for a presence on Facebook and Twitter.   I have produced a year's worth of monthly newsletters featuring regular pieces and interviews with artists from around the world.

I have had successes and feel the year has gone well, despite not being able to fulfill all my goals.  I know the direction I'm heading in and will put that into words in the day or two.  I'll leave the last day of 2011 with a sample of paintings that I have produced over the past year.

Happy New Year and thank you for taking time over the past year to spend with me and my art. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Iced water

I took to the woods yesterday, wild and windy as it was.  There is a new bypass road opened a month or so ago and as I drive it in the morning, I see all kinds of opportunity for paintings.  By the water supply for Torbay, lines of trees are left standing, a wind and snow break for the bypass road and the little woods road that leads off into the forest, lake and beyond.  These trees are the remains of thinned out woods, stark, ragged and deprived of sun until now when the landscape was opened up.

I took a number of photos and have some concepts for new paintings.  I played around with some of them in Photoshop to see what I could come up with using various filters to produce effects that I may use in future paintings.

There is a thin layer of ice on the water and the sun would peep out from behind scudding clouds now and then allowing some reflections on the frozen lake between the trees.  This image is one that I created digitally from one of the images I took.  I liked the bluish tone, keeping that feeling of cold in the piece and altered it to a more turquoise colour.  I think I still like the first colour the most, which do you prefer?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pure Gold

  Pure Gold
3" x 5"   acrylic

Available for purchase here

A leftover gold foil wrapped chocolate was sitting in a bowl on the table, catching the light, so it seemed like a good idea for a painting.   These tiny chocolate drops made a fitting subject for a tiny canvas, this measuring just 3" x 5" and using the end of an acrylic palette.

Creating the tiny creases and shine from the foil is a challenge at this scale as detail isn't involved, more optical blending.  But I like the final result and may save a foil wrapped truffle from its fate a little longer to be preserved for posterity.

Monday, December 26, 2011



Snippets of time allowed me to finish 'dotting' this piece.  I'll straighten up the edges a bit, then its complete.  The original ornament hangs on the Christmas tree, even if its quite heavy.

The piece is about 5 x 7 on a 9 x 12 sheet of Bristol smooth.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas...

And all through the barn...  well, its like this:  Tripod likes very much to be the centre of attention and he goes about it in strange ways sometimes.  Literally 'in your face' he likes to remind you that he's there, usually around 3am as he stands on your chest and head butts you.

He's been poking around the Christmas parcels that have arrived, turning them over and examining them closely then putting them back under the tree.  When I went to the barn the other day to check on eggs, I discovered him sitting discussing gifts with the ducks.  Well Tripod was doing the talking, the ducks were sitting there rather bemused.   Next to him, was a red gift box.

Now I know Tripod's kind of gifts.  Like the one he promised Katherine Tyrrell last year after she gave him The Moose, so I have a little bit of a cause for concern about the contents.  I did tell him that sending Katherine another gift would not improve his chances of being a contender for The Moose again. Especially when the box moved a little as Tripod explained to the ducks that if they were good they could have some too...sort of like passing the chocolates around.  Let's just wait for Christmas morning shall we?  Sigh.

10 x 10 acrylic

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gyotaku highlighted

Today I received a copy of the Winter 2012 Conservation Magazine which purchased one time rights to use one of my gyotaku prints - Camoflaged Rainbow - in a feature article and on the cover.  Its a comprehensive magazine dealing with topical subjects that impact the natural world.  You can read the full article, Chasing Rainbows, that my art illustrated here.

The original gyotaku is in the collection of the Provincial Art Bank, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.  You can see the full piece or purchase fine art prints and note cards of this piece  purchased here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Silver ornaments - in progress

I'm still undecorated for Christmas for the most part, but I'll get there.  As long as I have the tree up by Christmas Eve, I'll be doing fine.  I have been unearthing decorations and pulled out a couple of special ones.  These are Indian and the one on the left is a cone made of pale blue crazed glass captured in a cage of silver.  I love the intricate nature and detail of it.   The ornament on the right is silver, lined and indented in perfect symmetry.  They are too heavy to place on a tree, so they are reserved for a bowl or nestled in a centrepiece of greenery to give some sparkle from candle light.

I haven't done a pen and ink piece for a long time, and not one using pointillism.  It seemed I was foiled at every attempt by all my technical pens.  They were cleaned, emptied and put away after the last project, but still will not let ink flow to the nibs.  I turned eventually to a little Micron pen to satisfy my 'dotting' need.

Here is the progress of the piece so far.  I do a little dotting during the news or a few minutes in the morning before work then it slowly builds.  Perhaps it will become next year's Christmas card. Its on 9 x 12 Bristol smooth, the drawing itself is about 5 x 8 inches.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


This is a last minute Christmas gift portrait of my mother's cat.   When you're 87, it becomes a challenge to find gifts that are needed or wanted.  Her cats play a role in her life, so I thought a portrait may make a good gift idea.

This cat, like many others she has adopted over the years arrived as one of the kittens from a pregnant cat that seemed to think my mother's house was the maternity ward.  It was hand raised as the owner of the mother cat claimed it back, and left one of the kittens as thanks, but really too soon to be taken from its mother.   The cat is probably 13 or 14 years old now, a huge, long haired beast, with enough fur to withstand a Siberian winter.

This painting was done from a blurry cell phone image of the cat, so there's a bit of guesswork and reference to other similarly coloured cats that had to be done. There is another cat, mostly black, at my mother's house, but it never stays still long enough to get an image of it.  So the companion piece for this may have to wait.

The painting is 8" x 8" in acrylic on a canvas panel.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Clementine I - complete

 Clementine I
8" x 8" 
oil on canvas panel


I don't think there are a lot of significant differences in this image and the previous update for the clementine painting, but there are some more layers and tweaking, til I'm now ready to say its done and let it leave my hands ready to pass into someone else's.

For the life of me I cannot get the intense glow of colour that is present in the clementine to reproduce on the screen.  Its as if the camera has a built in censor for glow.  But in real life, this fruit has presence and feels as if there is a light coming from within it.  All the water in the fruit acts as reflectors and when sun hits it, it does glow.

So now this is complete, its time to do some Christmas baking and a little decorating.  Snow is now forecast for tomorrow, so it just may set the scene.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Joining the dots

My week has been wildly busy.  Christmas is nearly on the doorstep and I'm well behind in preparation with not a decoration to be seen or the scent of a seasonal cake in the air.  This weekend I'll need to get moving and make some progress.  Busyness unfortunately often leaves painting and drawing in the background and I really don't like that and feel uneasy if I don't get something down on paper or canvas.  I have a few stolen moments in early morning or evening and still try to do some drawing of something each day.  

Here's a small pointillist ink piece done with half an eye to the news.  A little silver ornament was next to me.  A pen and paper not far away and this was the result.
I should do another pen and ink piece.  Its quite soothing, all those little dots and seeing them take shape on paper.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Clementine update

I've added a few more details to the clementine that I started a couple of weeks ago, trying to find the exact moment when the colour and value work together instead of competing against each other.   With the peel that moment is a struggle.  I thought the peel would be the easier part of this painting.  Guess I was wrong there, its kicking my butt!

So another few layers, another day or two of drying, then another few layers and hopefully I can declare it complete.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Its all in the presentation

I've been thinking about plans for the coming year and working out little things that may seem little, but have a lasting impact on the impression you give to those who purchase your art.  One of those things is packaging and how the final piece looks when the buyer opens their package.

This season, I am tucking small paintings into Christmas boxes that come with gift tags, all ready to present to the recipient.  That's one less thing the buyer needs to think about if the piece is meant as a gift. This little marble painting is still available in my Etsy shop and comes gift boxed, ready to tuck under the tree. If you're local, there's still lots of time to make someone happy with this original painting.

There are other options in packaging that guide the buyer in how to display the piece.  A small display easel included in the package lets the painting be displayed without a frame for instant enjoyment.

Boxes are supplied by many packing companies and you can find others in interesting places.  My find was a cash and carry and a stack of generic pizza boxes.  These are perfect for shipping, allowing enough room to protect a painting with packing and sturdy enough cardboard for shipping, but still thin enough to reduce shipping costs.  The boxes come in various sizes and I can add labels to the outer or inner box to personalize them.  They look professional and are economical to buy.

Clear or translucent plastic boxes are also available  that can house paintings or note cards.  I use natural kraft boxes with clear lids and kraft envelopes to hold 6 cards, then tie the box up with a piece of hemp string.

Presentation does make a difference.  It reflects on how you see your art.  Is it beautiful and should be presented as such or would you rather shove it into a crumpled paper sack and give the impression that you don't care about your work?  Each piece of art is a gift and as such should be wrapped as beautifully as possible so the recipient knows that a treat lies inside.

How do you wrap your art?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Last Drop II

I don't seem to have long enough blocks of time to sit down and completely a painting, so I chip away at it in minutes and hours til its done.  This is why you see endless 'in progress' pieces on the blog. 

I have started this image a number of times.  I swear my grand daughter will be grown up by the time I finish something I will be happy with.   This painting was put aside and I wasn't happy with the skin tones, too blue and cool, even if she is quite pale and blonde with the skin tones that are more blue than pink.

I pulled it out in the wee hours of the morning when I could not sleep to see if I could revitalize it.  I seem to switch from tight realism to loose impressionism at will.  The original painting was tighter and I wanted something looser this time around.  I wanted to let some of the underpainting come through but also give the skin a feeling of life.  Its a little pallid right now but more colour will come.

It is 8 x 8 inches in oil.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The S-Bend

Cold weather hasn't shown up much so far this year and virtually no snow except for one storm a few weeks ago, so its a bonus for painters who want to get outside to photograph or paint.  It also makes wetlands and woods more accessible, so I'm stocking up on images and sketches before the snow flies.

There are lots of bogs and wetlands around my property and when the vegetation dies back a little in winter, the bones of the landscape reveal themselves.  This little....I'm not quite sure what to call it - stream perhaps? - winds its way through the hummocks of fading grasses on its journey to the distant sea.  It comes from ground water in the distant hills, through the forest and on through the bog, filtering and giving life as it goes.

The field in the distance is ploughed and flecked with dried grasses and the sea is a tiny sliver of light on the horizon.

This is acrylic on an 8 x 10 inch canvas panel.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mare's Tails

 Mare's Tails
8 x 10

I did a demo of clouds at a recent art class using acrylics.  I haven't used acrylic paint for awhile and getting used to the quick drying again took a little adjusting from the oils I'd been accustomed to using.

Clouds, I find, are best created with a very dry brush with a minute amount of pigment on it.  Building layer over layer gives some structure to the cloud amd I've found that using a Q-Tip end is perfect for feathering out edges of the cloud into those transparent, wispy edges.

These clouds are cirrus and one of the most abundant.  The wind teases them out into streamers and thin layers and usually indicate a change in weather within 24 hours, often fine weather.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Snowflake Man

 Plate XIX of "Studies among the Snow Crystals ... " by Wilson Bentley 1902
Wikipedia commons - Public domain
I have been doing some research for an etching and wanted to try a snowflake.  In looking for images, I came across The Snowflake Man.  Wilson Bentley, a Vermont farmer, was obsessed with the structure of snow crystals and learned to photograph individual flakes, through a microscope and bellows camera,  creating an amazing series of hundreds of separate images.

No two snow flakes are ever alike.  Wilson Bentley indeed proved this back in the late 1800s.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Cold Storyteller - in progress

I've neglected my water pieces for awhile and really need to concentrate on them again.  It was one of my goals this year, to produce a body of work in water.  Since the beginning of the year I've produced probably half the pieces with water as a subject that I should have.  Not a body of work, so I need to buckle down and concentrate instead of getting sidetracked down rabbit holes.

Of course there will always be other subject matter, but to become really proficient, repetitive work has to take place until water almost forms itself without a lot of thought from me.

This is the first few layers of a new piece, 11" x 14" in oils.  The surface of water can be so rich in movement and colour and texture.  There is so much symbolism in a painting of just water, with no reference to land or person or plant.

My daily work deals with death and life and water is a strong element in both.  I know it intimately in many ways and see many things in a water surface.  Water is a cold storyteller, and holds a hundred thousand stories, not all of them pleasant.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Kewpie doll - complete

Kewpie dolls go back to 1909, based on a comic strip-like illustration by Rosie O'Neill which appeared in Ladies Home Journal.

Their name, often shortened to "Kewpies", is derived from "cupid", the Roman god of beauty and – as Eros is the Greek version of Cupid – erotic love. The early dolls, especially signed or bisque, are highly collectible and worth thousands of dollars. The time capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair contained a Kewpie doll. The term "Kewpie doll" is sometimes mistakenly applied to the troll doll.

This particular style of doll was awarded as a carnival prize and often collected and this is where my memory of them lies.  They were a constant at the annual Regatta and I recall coming home with one attached to a stick from many of these events.

This is the completed painting in oils on 8" x 16" canvas panel.  The underpainting was started a few days ago and left to dry before adding the final layers of paint.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Clementine in progress

I always associate clementines with Christmas, as they are seasonally available.  I don't recall them from my childhood though.  We had big navel oranges at Christmas then and kumquats sometimes, but I don't remember these little clementines.

The appeal of easy opening and sweet tasting flesh makes them irresistible, and like potato chips, its hard to have just one.

I set up a partially peeled clementine and started this oil painting on an 8 x 8 canvas panel.  Light through the flesh almost glows and I'm getting there with that.  Now the peel to form and texture is the next challenge.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wooden it be nice...

When time is short or inspiration lacking, its good to pick up other things and play.  This little disembodied head is wooden and I've stained it with watercolour.  I love how the grain of the wood shows through the transparent colour.

Off and on, I've experimented with whimsical wooden pieces.  These were cut out with a jigsaw then painted - more years ago than I remember.  I rediscovered them in the cold room (which is a veg/fruit room in the house that has vents to the outside) when looking for something else.

Kewpie doll

I've started and wiped several paintings this week.  I can't seem to concentrate or get enough time to concentrate, but I have some ideas that are coming together. 

This is the start of a piece in oils.  The background the result of a combination of colours from one of the wiped paintings.  It just happened to be the right shade of grey for what I wanted.  Of course, with oils, I need some time between layers to build, but the shape is there.  Whether it will do as I hope is another thing.

I recall these Kewpie dolls from my childhood and each year they would be the coveted prize at a stall at the annual Regatta.  The rounded features and shiny surface make an interesting object to paint.  With the grey undercoat, this looks like a ghost image so far.  More to come soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marsh mist

Early morning light just hitting a wetland works magic with mist and fog as it rises off the land. With just enough light to have a glimmer of colour back into the landscape, the mist surrounds it, softening shapes and giving the small river a silvery look as it cuts through the vegetation.

6 x 6" on masonite panel in oils.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


As a child, glass marbles that we played with were usually called 'alleys'. They originally got their name from Alabaster, which is a soft stone related to marble. Alleys have come to mean very good marbles, or marbles in general.  If you can't remember how to play 'alleys', here's a refresher course.

In between ideas for larger pieces, I revert back to marbles lately.  Quick, easy and satisfying to paint, they fulfil the everyday need to paint and don't let me over complicate things. They look simple initially, but a sphere is always challenging.

This is about an hours worth of painting on this one.  Once this layer dries a little, I'll intensify the darks and call it done.

Its in oils 8 x 8" canvas panel.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

East North East

 East North East

When I travel or sketch on site, I take minimal items with me, usually those that can fit in a pocket easily.  My most common companions are a mechanical pencil, a technical pen and a sketch and wash pencil and waterbrush.  I can make notes about colour if needed and add it back in the studio.

Sometimes I take some watercolour pencils, but usually just want the grey scale version of what's in front of me.  This was the case when I did this sketch.  It was a windy day, but in a sheltered cove, and the waves provided a constant pattern breaking on the shore line.  From the shelter of the car, I did this sketch and wash that may have potential for a painting.  It is about 3 x 6 on watercolour paper.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snow and sales

The first major snowfall of the season is due tomorrow.  It may be a snow day, and if that's the case, I can get some painting time in, otherwise, its work as usual.  Days off due to snow are fairly rare these last few years and snow is getting scarcer or at least major storms such as the ones I remember as a child.  Not that I wish a snowstorm on anyone.  They make driving horrendous and some drivers still believe its summer and don't adjust driving to reflect the weather.

In case you're lounging tomorrow because of weather, or if you're American and have had your fill of turkey and family, you may like to get a head start on some Christmas shopping at my Etsy shop.  I'm having a sort of Black Friday sale.  I say sort of, because the sale is on today, Thursday and Friday, with 20% off everything in the shop.  Bargains in original, reproduction and print art are to be had.  Just enter BLACK11 at checkout and magically 20% will disappear off the price!

The glass coasters, above, are the most recent addition to my art objects that will be up for sale soon.  These coasters feature 4 images from some of my paintings.  They come in muted colours or black surrounds and fit nicely into a wooden case for storage when not being used.  More details about them will be coming soon.

Tripod will feature on some new flat Christmas cards that are coming up as well.  His begrudging pose in his Christmas hat was too good to pass up for him to be the poster cat for the season.  He just demands more tuna as royalties.  Pre-ordering for these cards is welcome and they should be available within a week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flower - update

I do a little clear out of the studio now and then, just so I can move around more easily.  Things pile up it seems...  Anyway, I unearthed the flower painting that I had started and I added a few more layers to it, but its still a long way to completion.  I used a 16 x 20 piece of Arches watercolour board for this.  Its not a support that I had used before and I quite like the velvety surface it seems to create with the paint. (no, the the Elvis on velvet surface!)

I will finish this flower.  It may be funky and unflowerlike by the time I finish it.  Or I may give it to someone to actually knows how to paint flowers to finish!  No, I wouldn't be that cruel.  I'll suck it up and work on it.  Its just all that pink...perhaps I should have done it smaller...its a flower...I don't do flowers...

See how those voices in my head push and jostle?

Ok.  Time to be brave and face the flower.  I'm going in.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Wasp Jar - complete

 The Wasp Jar
9 x 12

I've worked on layers and creases and values til I'm crosseyed with this piece.  Its more challenging than I originally anticipated.  Not the glass, that was the simple part. The waxed paper proved to be my undoing.  There are a mix of contrasts in this with glass, cloth and wax paper.  Trying to get them to become separate textures, yet a cohesive piece took some careful observation.  Its still not as I want it completely and I may fiddle with it a little more, but for now, I'm going to let it sit for awhile and work on other things.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dragon Gate complete

A few things other than art have kept me busy this week, but I have managed to finish Dragon Gate. Its that horrible time of year for me when I go to work in the near dark and come home in darkness, so everything needs to be photographed under artificial light.  While my lighting is good now, it still doesn't compare to daylight I don't believe, so I'll take a couple of images tomorrow.

I have a few ideas going through my head for other pieces.   A had bought the last few canvas panels in this size (15 x 30) at an art supply store that was closing, and they had sat for in the studio for awhile until the jellyfish needed something that size, now this.  I think I have a couple of panels left, so there may be a mini series involving this technique of tissue and mixed media.

I seem to intersperse loose painting with tight controlled pieces.  I have no idea why I flip back and forth, but seem to be able to do so without problems.  There's something about each extreme that appeals to me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dragon Gate - a touch of gold

 Dragon Gate  - WIP
15" x 30"
Mixed media

I haven't done a lot more with this as time's been at a premium over the last couple of days.  But I started adding a layer of gold and silver leaf in some areas of the fish where the light would catch it naturally.  I added the gold and silver, then added some more paint over most of it, as I want the effect to be very subtle. 

I'm still working on layers for the water and getting the colours and shapes of the fish to do what I want them to do.  Its getting there.  Tomorrow evening I should be able to dedicate a few hours to it and finish it up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dragon Gate

 After completing the jellyfish painting in mixed media, I wanted to do a similar piece as I enjoyed the process of loose painting and using a variety of techniques and materials to create with.  According to Japanese legend, if a koi succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate on the Yellow River it would be transformed into a dragon. Based on that legend, it became a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement.

My initial concept was wind over water and how it moves the surface and distorts what is beneath.  Here, wind is more the norm than the oddity, so there was lots of past experience and visuals to go by.  I started with pasting tissue onto a 15" x 30" panel, allowing it to ripple and crumple at will.  I added gloss gel to hold to the surface and give some stiffness to the crumpled tissue.

From there I simply added colour  in oils and started putting form into these koi fish.  There was no preconceived idea of what I wanted when I started, it just seemed to evolve until the 'aha' moment arrived and I knew where I was going with this.  I want the fish to be 'in' the water as opposed to floating on the surface, as can often be the case in some watery paintings, so am working on subduing some colours and allowing others to be brighter as they are closer to the surface and the light. 

There's still more layers before I can call it complete, but its doing what I want it to at the moment.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big River

Big River
8" x 8"
To purchase click here

While I wait for layers to dry on The Wasp Jar, I created a painting of an area I've had my eye on for a long time.  You know how you see a place out of the corner of your eye every day and mean to stop and capture it but you never do?  Well, today I did.

This river runs under a bridge I cross daily enroute to work.  Called 'Big River', its deep and fast moving and this is one of its narrowest channels, quite popular with fishing people.  I see this little corner of the riverbank with its dark water, flecked with foam from the fast moving water, but still as well further out.  The last colours of autumn are hanging in the leaves on alder bushes and the russet remains of taller plants constrast against the paling grasses.

Oil on 8" x 8" canvas board.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wasp Jar - update WIP

 The Wasp Jar - in progress
9 x 12 oil
canvas panel

I've added more layers to this painting.  Its slow going when I add thin layer over layer and these layers need a day or two to dry before the next is applied.

I continue to refine and have it pretty much where I want it in terms of form now - a tweak here and there will bring the bottle into form.  Detail comes next and adding the minute crinkles in the wax paper takes a lot of observation and careful paint placement.  However, the obsessive/compulsive part of me loves doing just that kind of inspection and detail placement.

There's a long way to go yet. The bottle needs glazes to bring out the rich brown tones that it has and that means more of the waiting game.  And the wax paper?  Well, one crease at a time...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cold marble

 Cold Marble
8" x 8"
Canvas Board

To purchase, click here

I usually work on several paintings at once when I use oils, as I need a couple of drying days between layers.  I'm still working on sections of the Wasp Jar while I wait for other parts to dry.

Meanwhile, I completed the painting of the marble that I'd started a few days ago.  I liked the looseness of it.  Its good for me to forget about tightness and just paint some days.

If you notice on the right side of the blog, I've put a QR (Quick Response) code.  This is compatible with smart phones and newer iPods.  If you have a scanner program, you simply point your device at the code and let it scan.  This one will send you to my website.

I'll considering other ways to use the code which is slowly becoming more popular in the public eye.  I'm working on marketing and promotion tools that incorporate QR codes as well as making plans for projects for 2012.  I suddenly have more ideas that I jot down furiously in Evernote.  If you haven't tried this little piece of software, do.  I have it on several computers and use it to write down ideas and bookmark websites when I get ideas.  You can access from any computer that you have it installed on and its available as a free app as well, making note taking mobile.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Wasp Jar - WIP

I was clearing out some shelves today and found this glass wasp jar.  A wasp jar, for those not familiar with them, were the original environmentally friendly method of eliminating wasps.  The jar has a raised dome inside with an open centre.  Sugar water is poured into the jar about an inch or so and it is hung in your wasp problem area. The wasp enters the jar from the bottom, slides down the dome in its efforts to reach the sugar water and, unable to climb the slippery slope again to find its escape, succumbs to a sugary death.

The shape and colour of it appealed to me and I played around with compositions and lighting for awhile before deciding on adding the marble as a stopper and some crumpled wax paper to soften the background.  I'd seen some of Sadie Valeri's work with still life and waxed paper and it inspired me to try painting some waxed paper and see what happens.

I drew the piece straight onto a 9 x 12 canvas with a small brush and diluted payne's grey in oils.  I seemed to get a little lost in the marble, but that went by the wayside as I started refining shapes and adding some colour to its current point.

This piece may take awhile or it may go quickly, depending on how the glass and waxed paper cooperates!