Saturday, April 07, 2012

Tidal flow


I'm in the process of creating a tutorial e-guide on painting water and to do so, I need to write down every step of the process, which can be very time consuming.  It may well be a book by the time its finished as there's so much to cover.  This painting is 10" x 10" on canvas panel in acrylic, a popular medium with many artists for many reasons.  Acrylic has as much potential as oil in painting, but slightly different handling, so the switch back and forth between it and oil becomes challenging sometimes. 

I'll have a bit of a test run of the process at the workshop I'll deliver next weekend and that will provide feedback for additional tweaks.  A 6 hour workshop doesn't provide enough time to do more than a sampling of exercises, concepts and technique practice for participants.  A full 2 or 3 days would give a more in-depth understanding of painting water. 

I am considering the option of holding an online workshop for the future, and there's still a lot of work to do to put that in place, but I hope that by the fall I will have something ready to offer.  Online opportunity for artists to learn technique is a non-threatening and affordable way for individuals to participate from all parts of the world.  The use of video, step by step photographs and information on technique that can be accessed over and over makes the experience of an online workshop more effective than attending one in person sometimes, as the material can be reviewed as much as required to understand a particular point.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Flat Line

Oil on canvas   SOLD

This line of boats waiting on the mud flats for the tide to reach them is a common sight in coastal communities. The vivid colours of the boats are reflected in the water and the wet mud.  Bumpers made from old tires are common as seen here, as well as the traditional white or coloured bumpers. 

This is in oil, still using a palette knife on an 8" x 16" panel.  I may have the palette knife out of my system for a little while, as I return to other brush paintings.  The smooth surface seems almost foreign after wielding a knife in the paint.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Edge of Freedom


Yes, I'm still on my palette knife kick and having a great time.  Its a temptation to do a whole series of small boats using a knife.  It also helps me work out the kinks for larger pieces too.

The Edge of Freedom is 6" x 6" on masonic panel in oil and shows the noses of two kayaks ready to ease into the water and see what the ocean will offer.  Sea kayaking has really grown over the last few years in Newfoundland and becomes an attractive way for  people to experience the Atlantic coastline and see nature very close up.  Too close up sometimes as this video shows, shot off Mobile on the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012



I'm working out ideas for new paintings of boats and water and find that the palette knife serves me well in getting colour and form down quickly onto canvas.

I liked the intense colour of this yellow boat against the blue water.  It outshone the sunshine and just glowed.  I think this will translate well onto a large canvas.  Its tempting to try it on a large scale with a palette knif,e but it may bankrupt me in the amount of paint I'd need to use.

For now, here's Sunshine.  5" x 7", oil on canvas panel.  Stay tuned for the larger version in the future.  That is, once I get this 24 x 36 wave out of the way.  More on that another day as I'm in the process of building layers to get it to a point where there's actually something to show you.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


St. John's annually hosts the Royal St. John's  Regatta, one of North America's longest running races using fixed seat shells.  It is declared a municipal holiday and most of the city shuts down for the day.  However, the holiday is completely weather dependent, especially where wind is concerned.  Too windy and the lake becomes dangerous and difficult for rowers.

Early in the year, rowing teams take to the water to practice for the Regatta, often rowing early in the morning or evenings to get the training in that is required to help move them towards victory.  A safety boat is always present during races and carrying water rescue personnel in case of emergency.

A few days before the races, it was a warm, sunny day, but the wind was very strong, making little white caps on the water of Quidi Vidi Lake.  There would be no racing that day.  The safety boat stood out brightly against the brilliant blue of the lake, waiting for race day.

This is another palette knife painting in oil on a 5" x 7" canvas panel.