Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Government Wharf - finishing off

The Government Wharf
24" x 24"  oil on wood panel

I've concentrated on putting in the final details for this piece and its sitting in the corner of my studio waiting for any tweaks and drying.  When I sign off on it, it goes to the other studio for its "glamour" shot.  There its set straight on an easel and lit well or, if the day fits, put in good daylight for photographing.


I shoot final images in RAW to ensure I capture as much detail and colour as possible.  The result are high resolution files of about 10 or 12 mp.  If I want to reproduce any of the images, the highest quality is required to be able to reproduce in larger sizes.
“The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly — without judgment, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes. Without emotional expectations. Ask your work what it needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child” ~David Bayles

Friday, April 21, 2017

End of palette paintings


At the end of larger paintings there's usually paint left on the palette.  To put it to good use, I create small paintings of whatever subject appeals to me.  My internal "rule" is that I can only add white to what is left on the palette.


With the most current painting finished, I created these two little oil sketches and primed canvas paper.  The apple and a couple of turnips (also known as swede in the UK and rutabaga in the USA). I used a more graphic style for these with bright colours and solid forms, still using a palette knife.

How do you use leftover paint?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trinity Water study

Trinity Water study
11" x 14" oil on cradled wood panel

I'm finding myself drawn more and more to scenes of rocks and water.  The waters around the province are pristine and crystal clear, making it easy to see to the bottom in shallow areas.  The movement of the water and reflections in the water as well as the colours in the rocks are a magnet to me.

This study is in preparation for a large painting of the same scene.  That is in the wings waiting its turn on the easel.  And my courage to work that detail on a large scale.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Iceberg season again


Pack ice and icebergs are making an early appearance this year and on Easter Sunday I took a drive down the coast to Ferryland to see a large berg grounded just offshore.  There were quite a few people dotting the hill overlooking the sea and the wind off the water was so cold that I didn't stay long.


I went further up the coast for an alternate angle and explored the little town of Aquaforte where I found a few boats for my reference collection, along with some further shots of the iceberg.


Icebergs and pack ice aren't something that I've painted very often.  The bergs are majestic and do have appeal but for some reason I haven't gotten around to them.  I'll have to rectify that in the very near future.

Meanwhile, if you're on an iceberg hunting quest, you can find their location on the Iceberg Map.  Its predicted to be a bumper iceberg season in 2017.


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Government Wharf - progress

The Government Wharf in progress
24" x 24" oil on wood panel
                  Little drops of water wear down big stones. (Russian proverb)
I'm working my way across this painting of an algae covered wharf and love creating the colour changes.  Once across the palings and reflections, I can start on some details that provide the texture.

Working through complex paintings, its easy to mentally shut down and convince yourself to give up. Keeping that vision in your head and working methodically through the less interesting parts to reach detailing is crucial in creating art.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Age and beauty

The Ice Maiden
24" x 36" - oil on cradled wooden panel

There are so many contradictions in humans with respect to age.  We love old objects, but want the newest ones.  We love old cars, but won't take time to restore them to their glory.  We love old people but don't want to be one.

I'm a proponent of embracing aging as well as respecting and admiring the past.  There is so much we can learn from what has gone before, both in physical and intellectual areas.

Sketch for Wooden Boats series 2015

I love old boats. I love seeing how they were constructed and admiring the handwork (and hardwork) that went into them.  It is somewhat sad to see them sitting, derelict on a shoreline but I enjoy capturing them in that moment as an almost historic homage to what has gone before.

I have watched this boat decline and disappear over years until this year when it was removed and is likely kindling for someone's fire.  I am glad to have had the privilege of sketching and painting it and keeping its memory alive.