Saturday, September 26, 2009

Holidays are over and it is back to work


I have been away on a camping trip to Hornby Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island. It is a lovely little island with little in the way of commercial ventures but beautiful scenery and artists' studios everywhere. The weather was great and we had lots of fun. While we were there we walked the beaches and trails, and the highlight was the Fall Fair. This is a real small town fair which involved everyone in the community. There was a parade to start (the theme was chickens this year) and then fine things to see and do. One group operated a game called "Poo-ette", everyone purchased a square and then watched a chicken to see whose square he would do his thing on. It was just plain good fun. There was a booth selling pieces of pie with 'real whipped cream' and my piece of apple pie with caramel drizzled on it was to die for. Here is a picture of Tribune Bay, Hornby Island, looking out towards the coast of Vancouver Island. There is a lot of sandstone on each end of the beach which make very interesting formations. The second picture is the view from our campsite which I call "Arbutus Lookout".

It was a trip filled with inspirations for new work and I am ready to settle down and do some serious work for my fall shows and my solo show planned for April of next year.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Big Surprise - Frodo


I have been secretly working on this picture of Frodo for weeks. The picture was a present for one of my friends. So I couldn't share my work on my blog as my friend often goes on line and checks out my work. But I am happy to share it now as Frodo has gone to his new home.
This was a large picture, it framed up to 20 x 24 and it has lots of detail both in the background and the foreground. I tried several new things with Frodo that I have been practicing on some of my smaller pieces. The first was the background. In order to get the soft smudging and edges on the background I rubbed it down with a soft cloth. I found this worked great but you have to do many layers as the cloth does take off a lot of the graphite each time. Another thing I tried was the colored pencils. My client wanted the scarf in the picture and he wanted that color. I have seen several demos and read a lot about colour pencil but still I was amazed at the number of different coloured pencils I used to achieve my goal. It made a very interesting challenge to the picture. Of course the hardest thing was working with a white dog. I needed to get lots of detail and still maintain the ideal of whiteness. Of course the background helped a lot but still the internal sections needed lots of fiddling so they did not become too dark or overworked. All and all it was a great challenge and I am very happy with the results.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Demoing at the Fair


I have been super busy for the last week and a half with the PNE, our big fair that runs for 2 weeks in Vancouver, BC. I am part of a farm market specializing in local products, located on the fairgrounds in a large barn complex with lots of different farm animals all around us. It is really kind of fun and exciting, eggs are hatching, new piglets are squealing, ducks are squawking and watching over everything is two of the biggest white bulls I have ever seen, Zorro and Zeldo. For city people that see very little of the country first hand it is a great sight and of course the young kids just love it. It amazes me how long people will stand and watch the eggs in the incubator, as they wiggle and roll around before the young chicks hatch out. For my part, I have a large selection of my cards, prints and things in the market and then I do drawing demos several days during the fair. This is me all set up with my picture of a young barred owl that I have been working on for my demo.