Saturday, July 28, 2012

Break time

I've been working on the as yet unnamed abstract piece and flipped in horizontally to see how it looks.  I think I prefer it this way.  I've added more intensity to the colour through glazes which add dept, but am not finished yet, there's still more to go as I wait for some cold wax to arrive.  I want to achieve a translucent look to the piece and the cold wax may do what I envisage.

Meanwhile all will have to wait for 10 days while I take a break.  I'm heading to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to kick back on the beach, explore, eat, relax, sketch and find inspiration for new pieces.  I'm leaving tomorrow first thing and haven't even begun to pack yet.  I guess I should get a move on with that, shouldn't I?  Then again, I can usually pack within an hour or less and travel as light as I possibly can.   As I don't plan on painting as such, I'll take some sketchbooks and perhaps my watercolour set, a few pencils and pens and I'll be ready to take on new views as they arise.

I likely won't be posting on the blog during this time, but will be providing updates on Facebook.  If you haven't 'Liked' my Artist or personal page there and would like to keep up with my travels, please join me there.  The link is on the right hand side of the blog.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Luxury or frugality?

This is about the half way mark of a so far unnamed abstract piece that's 8 x 16 on canvas panel. Its multimedia but predominantly oils and texture added with modeling paste and various gels that I'm experimenting with.  I love the texture that pastes give and how paint grabs the edges and scatters down of the surface.  Paint goes on thickly as do other mediums here.  I add, I take away, I add again, not with a particular method of end in mind, but as the feel of the painting presents itself.  I am never happier than when at the end of a tube of paint or tub of paste.  It shows progress and production for me and means I've created.

Most artists have a stash of paper, canvasses, paint, sketchbooks and all the paraphanalia that goes along with producing art.  What I have noticed is that some keep paper or pencils or paints sitting on a shelf without ever using them.  Some believe the paper is too good to use.  I understand hesitancy in embarking on a sheet of paper that costs $10 or $20 a sheet, but everything else is fair game and the artist is denied the pleasure of exploration into a new realm if supplies are not used.  Oddly enough there never seems to be the same fear embarking on a canvas, just paper.  Some decorative papers are beautiful enough to be framed as they are, but have the potential for creating even more beautiful art if used but canvas remains fairly static in appearance.  Of course, there's the risk of botching it, but that is there no matter what surface is used to create on. Often the repair and transformation turns out much better than what was originally planned.

Then there are the frugal painters who squeeze out a dime of paint on the palette and dilute it so much it never provides the covering power or the impact that it could.  Coloured pencil artists have fear of the sharpener as it uses up their pencils too quickly.  But isn't that what they're for?  To create texture, colour and depth? The frugal pastellists eke out strokes of dust onto paper to preserve wrappers and their sticks of pigment.

I understand the need to be frugal and not waste supplies or money, but when it comes to creating art, you really do get what you pay for, which applies to the artist and the collector.  What does scrimping on paint or supports do?  It frustrates the artist, who cannot create the vision that is in their head as they haven't allowed themselves to paint what they feel and really use their palette.   It supplies a mediocre product if cheap paper or canvas is used that warps or has an inferior surface making it difficult to apply the medium.  And the collector can tell. The gallery can tell. You can tell that its not what it should be.

Art is a luxury item and needs to look luxurious to attract a collector.  Be generous with paints, supports and framing as it always pays off in the end.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Its been warm for the last few weeks which is a blessing after the abysmal summer we had last year.  I know heat here is probably cool to many who live further south and are experiencing heat waves with temperatures over 100 degrees.  Here the temperatures are moderate, usually not getting up to more than low 80s at most.  The benefit and curse of living on an island.

And of course its all relative to what you're used to.

Sunday afternoon was hot in sun and in the shade beautifully cool.  27.8C = 82.4F  For me, a fabulous temperature to retreat to the gazebo or the shade of the trees in the garden.  This is the view looking towards the meadow at the back of the house.  The sun later in the afternoon was brilliant, bleaching out colour in contrast to the shade of the trees.

10" x 10" on canvas panel in oils.

And, I've noted that for some peculiar reason, all the content from the Followers gadget on this blog has disappeared.  Poof!  The piece is still there, but no names and I'm not sure why.  I shall have to investigate further. Hmmm...

Sunday, July 22, 2012


The poor capelin is often relegated to being a bait fish and there always seems to be something much larger chasing it besides humans.   Cod feast on capelin and humpback whales rise up from the deep waters, capelin jumping out of their open mouths as they breach.

I have a fondness for the underdog in most species, and the capelin is my favourite fish.  I don't eat them bacause I find the flavour a bit strong, but I do love to paint them.

This is the completed piece that I experimented with using silver and gold leaf.  I added oil glazes over the leaf to tone down the shine which was like looking in a mirror.  Now the silver and gold metals shine through the glazes and give a different appearance depending on the angle its viewed.

This piece is 8 x 16 on canvas panel.