Saturday, April 02, 2011


4 x 12" oils

I started to draw up a large piece of water related art today but it just wasn't working so I'll leave it til the morning.  Instead I finished up a small oil painting that I had started of goldfish in bubbly water.  The illusion of having the fish under the water instead of sitting on top of it can elude sometimes. 

The bubbles become tiny paintings in their own right and the movement of water helps with the illusion.

Artists are magicians, creating illusion with colour and light where once there was white space.

There are some of my photographs available on this blog and today I put those and more on my website and will add more as they become available.  I'm considering using some of my photographs as art cards.  Perhaps you can tell me your favourites to help my decision.

Friday, April 01, 2011


When I was a child I lived and breathed fairytales.  They fascinated me, both the words and the illustrations.  Ghosts, fairies, trolls, witches....they in turned scared me and made me search out more. When the  light fades and night draws in, I always think of those fairytales.  When the sky loses light and the moon shines through thin cloud onto the water, the world takes on a new look and feel.  In my imagination, little pinpricks of light on the distant shore across the bay, that are houses or businesses or cars, become will-o'-the-wisps, the magical balls of fire that flicker in the mist. 

As darkness falls, the land and sea take on a new life and look.  Its as mesmerizing to me as watching the flames burn in a fire.  The absence of natural light and the addition of artificial light, shadows and reflections can turn the mundane world into fairytales and ghost stories.

This small pastel was a quick sketch of lights across the cove at that magical time of day.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A little more

I'm inching my way forward with this coloured pencil piece, not sure if I'm losing some of the likeness in places, but its still early days yet and time to tweak later.

The left side of the face is in fairly heavy shadow, so I'm working out my palette on a scrap of paper to ensure I get it right before trying to experiment on the portrait itself.  Colour swatches on spare scraps of the same paper are a god send and save time and frustration.

Self portraits are always interesting and I find out something new about myself with each one.  Perhaps April should be Self Portrait Month and everyone try one.  Its a very useful exercise.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back to the pencils

I'm finding a pattern for when inspiration drops off.  Its usually when I've spent a lot of time painting and not enough time drawing.  Drawing has always been my first love and it was what I was schooled in years ago.  Traditional, representational drawing.  And its my fall back or comfort zone when the going gets tough.

So while other ideas brew in my head for more paintings I pulled out some coloured pencils and started a self portrait.  This is a couple of hours worth on Stonehenge or Bainsbridge drawing paper.  I'm not quite sure which - Bainsbridge I believe, as I took it from a sheet lying in the stash that wasn't categorized.  Its about 9 x 12.

So until the muse comes backs with paints in hand, you're stuck with me and my pencils.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Busyness and business and a rut keeps me away from painting these last couple of days.  The opposite of the Midas touch turns everything to mud instead of gold. Part of the problem is the aftermath of the fall on some icy steps last week.  My wrist still isn't right and now bound up with a support that does help but makes it a little awkward to write and paint for any length of time.

I came home to a bag full of boxes of Peeps of different colours which I thought might inspire me. These marshmallow Easter sweets are disgusting to me.  Amusing to draw or paint, but you could not pay me enough money to eat one of them.  Its more a texture thing I think.  I hate spongy, marshmallowy stuff.  I shudder when I have to pass marshmallows in the supermarket aisle, even the smell is offputting to me.  Cotton wool balls have a similar effect.  Not that I eat them, but touching cotton wool gives me the creeps.

However,  I started a little drawing while watching the news but didn't progress much further than that.  I think this was the misfits box of Peeps as one was twisted to one side, looking as if he was going to make a break for freedom at any moment.  Perhaps it was a Friday afternoon box.  It was funny as I had just seen some on Rhonda Carpenter's blog Watercolour and Words and had also unearthed a package of them in the studio last week, left overs from last year. Hard as a rock, but still perfectly intact.  You never know, maybe they'd taste better when all dried out...sort of like crispy meringue.  Peeps are meant to be.  But not tonight.

I've come to accept the highs of lows that come with the act of creating art.  Well perhaps not quite accept, but simply go with the flow.  I know inspiration will return.  Peeps and all.