Wednesday, December 22, 2010

BC Artists Volume II is Here!!

I want to wish you a

Merry Christmas
and all the best for the coming year!


I also want to share with you some exciting news: I have been published in a book and here it is!! BC Artists Vol. II, features artists from BC, it is a great opportunity to learn about some of the many talented artists on the coast. I am very honored to be part of it and excited and pleased to get the book before Christmas. If you are interested in a copy they are available at Chapters, Opus Framing Supplies and of course I just happen to have a few autographed copies by one of the artists in the book!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exciting New Things are Happening in the Studio

Rusty & Me Ready to Work

Workshops and classes! Yes, my new expanded studio/gallery now has space for small workshops and classes. My first foray into workshops will be in Marketing Art. I have two dates set, January 23 and February 27, 2011, just in time to get things set up for all the Spring shows. The plan is to have a group of 6-8 artists and work with them on marketing art work. Each one day workshop will be a 4 hour session with a lunch break which should give us time to get to specifics and allow some networking time as well. I have already done a half day workshop with a larger group and it was so exciting to see the energy that was created. We all left with a buzz and lots of plan. My advertising has only just begun but already January's date is half full!

In the Gallery

In addition to my Marketing workshops I will also be offering private drawing lessons. Working with beginning and intermediate artists is a great experience and I think a natural consequence of my years as a teacher.

Gift certificates are available for both workshops and drawing lessons.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It’s a Winner

FRIENDLY VISITORS - 6.5 X 9.5 Available

I just got some very exciting news, my latest picture "Friendly Visitors" has won the Surrey Arts Council's Christmas Card Contest. This picture resulted from a great photo that my sister took. Her photo was from the fall but I wanted a winter scene as I wanted to do something for Christmas so I used a wash with a combo of Payne's Gray and a little Burnt Sienna to create the background. I was really excited once I saw what was happening with that. It nearly killed me waiting for the wash to be good and dry before continuing. The little suet feeder took forever to paint, all those little pieces of wire but I was very pleased with the great color changes in them. They really picked up the light. The snow was just a light touch for the season and the final part, the little bushtits turned out to be the easiest part of all.
This picture was for my Christmas cards as well so everyone will be sure to give it a second look now that it is a winner!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Diamond - All Done and Ready to Run


Yes, I must admit she really came together well once I got my cloth and tortillon working. I was very pleased with how well she worked out. She is now on her way to her new home.


I have had several people ask about some of my blending tools. I use the standard tortillons of various sizes but my favourite tool is a 'color shaper'. It is great for blending in very tiny places, doing that little fluff of hair off the side, etc. It has a foam type tip that you can use to burnish the graphite and you can draw with it once it has picked up a bit of graphite. It fits beautifully in your hand and is great fun to work with. Shapers can be found in the paint section of most art supply stores as they are used to move oil and acrylic paint around. There are several tip shapes and sizes. I find the point and the chisel are the best shape and I get size 0. They are relatively inexpensive, approx.$8-10 but well worth it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Diamond – WIP



Short white hair, can it get any harder!! This is the kind of challenge I really enjoy. Drawing Diamond was going to be fun.


I decided to put a bit of a backdrop to set off her whites but I didn't want to do too much. It is so easy to make a black and white mess. I usually start by playing around a bit with different parts of the picture to get a feel for where I am going. For Diamond, I found the secret was to first of all get over the 'white thing'. When dealing with white, no matter what, there will always be a slight degree of shading. Once that was settled things really began to fall into place. Yes, there will be white but only on her forehead and nose area to really develop the focus on her face.
The second secret was to use both a cloth and tortillion to burnish my pencil work; this really makes her coat sleek and lifelike and gives many levels of subtle shading. I am very pleased with the results and anxious to finish her up. Things are really starting to come together eh?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meeka and a Dog Show





Isn't he a fabulous looking dog? This is a memorial piece for a wonderful family dog. He lived to be a great age for a large dog and was definitely well loved. I really enjoyed working on his picture as he has so much life to him. Not to say he didn't have his challenges, all pictures do. I find that the fun is trying to work out the how I will depict different parts to make it a realistic picture. It is always a wonderful feeling to see things come together. My next challenge is a short hair white dog, Diamond!!



In between drawing I also went off for three days to a major dog show. It was my first trade show and my first dog show. What a fun event! I came home just high with excitement. There were so many beautiful dogs and all so well trained. They were in shows, dances, agility and Halloween costumes, what a sight! The vendors that were close to me were a wonderful group of people and we all had quite a good time. Of course many people commented on how wonderful my drawings were and that is always good for the ego. Here is a picture of my booth, and as you can see it was a really nice spot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Malu is Ready for Christmas




Yes, the excitement of my show is over and now it is back to work. I have several commissions to do for Christmas presents and we all know how quickly that deadline can come.

Malu was a fun picture to do, I love labs and I know what lovely pets they are. Malu just looks like a great dog and of course you know he is well loved. Working on a drawing of a black dog is always a challenge but it is so neat when you get that slick coat to glisten. I particularly liked the way his tongue and mouth gave his face so much depth. Well back to work, next up will be Meeka.

Malu - 4.5 x 6.5 - SOLD

Monday, October 18, 2010

Miniature Show - West Coast Colors - off to a good Start

Giving the Art Talk at the Reception



There was a great turnout and lots of excitement for the reception and demo for my show West Coast Colors – In Miniature. Photographer, Bob Warick, was there and took some great pictures which he has given me to post. A special thanks to Melissa as well as she did a wonderful job hanging my pieces so they didn't get lost on the b..i..g wall! As you can see there was lots of interest in my pieces with lovely comments like "they are wonderful", "they are like little jewels", "how do you get such detail". It was a wonderful evening and I was very pleased to see my little pictures generate so much interest and excitement.

My demo on the Oct 15 was just as much fun. Lots of questions, discussions and activity; how can 3 hours go so fast? As you can see from the photos my pictures range in size, the smallest are 2 x 2 and the largest is 4.5 x 6. Most are a combination of ink and watercolor but a few are graphite with a little color pencil. There are landscapes, seascapes and birds, all from my travels on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. (see my earlier blog entries)My show is at Windsor Square Gallery, 90-1959 152 St., South Surrey and continues on to Oct 29, so if you haven't had a chance to see it there is still time. The gallery is open Mon. to Fri. 10-4pm.


Great discussions at the demo


A special thanks to Bob Warick for his wonderful pictures.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tides Out, Tribune Bay & Ford’s Cove, Hornby Island

Tides Out, Hornby Island, BC - 3 x 4 inches

After showing you the bad times on our Hornby Island trip (see last blog) here are a few pictures I completed on the nicer days, we did have several of them as well. Sitting on the beach at Tribune Bay was just such a nice thing to do in the fall. It was warm like summer but the air was alive with the fall smells. There was even an old apple tree with a lovely fragrance in the field by the shore, apples always mean fall to me.
Ford's Cove, Hornby Island, BC - 2 x 2 inches
My Ford's Cove picture is another try at a 2 x 2 miniature. They are lots of fun but they do require a lot of preplanning. I am starting to realize just how important that is. I must admit that when I am out to paint and the weather is great I just want to take the paints and "Go at it!!" But I noticed that the pictures I finished and really liked are the ones that were planned. Completing these little value studies helped me to plan not only the values but the composition to really maximize the impact in my small space. As an added bonus when the picture didn't seem to work I could back to my value study and really see where I went wrong and how to fix it. It's a simple thing, that everyone tells us to do but until you really understand it, I don't think it really works for you.
My miniature show "West Coast Colors – in Miniature opens on October 7 so my excitement is building!!
Have a great day and lots more pictures to come.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Gray Day on the Water

A Gray Day on the Water - 2.5 x 4.5 inches

I just got back from the last painting trip of the year. We spent two weeks on Hornby Island, a small island off the east coast of Vancouver Island, a great place to paint the waters of the west coast. It is amazing to sit by the water, on a sunny day and paint what you see. As you can see by my picture it wasn't always sunny!!
I had picked up an art book of Carol Evans paintings while I was on the ferry and she really inspired me on this trip. She paints the waters and shores of the coastal islands in beautiful watercolors. She had one picture that was done on a real cloudy, gray day and when we had the rain I decided I would give it a try. My husband, Steve and my dog, Rusty and I settled in the truck at Phipps Point and I got started. (Steve reads and Rusty does what all dogs do, sleep.) At first it was just gray and I was really surprised how much and how quickly the skies and the visibility changed. At one point I was working on the background and looking around I decided that I needed some more darks in my sky as there was a really black cloud above us. Suddenly that cloud opened up and rain drops fell, I am sure they were at least 1 inch in diameter! We have power windows so Steve began madly fumbling for the keys so we could shut the windows. Fun and memorable moments often go with plein air painting!!


Monday, September 6, 2010

The PNE and The Family Outing

The Family Outing - 10.5 x 14.4 in

I am sure everyone has thought I went into my fall hibernation as I have not posted for a bit. I have been very busy with the PNE, The Pacific National Exhibition. I am involved with a market on the grounds and I do drawing demos there during the day. The days are quite long, not that I am complaining, they do go quite quickly but it does not leave a lot of time for other things. It is a great opportunity to meet and talk with people about my work and get some kind of feeling for how others see it. The Family Outing is the picture I have been working on while there.
As you can see I have made real headway on this piece. It was an excellent one to do as a demo as once I did the head of the larger bird and a rough layout at home I was able to work on it and talk with people at the same time!! I have left the details of the feathers on the both birds and the red of the second bird to do in my studio. I am quite excited about my picture; it really has a left of its own. I can hardly wait to see it done.
This will be my third picture of the sandhill cranes and I really enjoyed working on it. While talking to people I learned that although the cranes are only starting to come back to the Fraser Valley, there are other parts of Canada where they are present in large numbers. This pair was the only successful pair to raise a chick at the Riefel Bird Sanctuary this year so it was very nice to hear that they are doing better in other places. I know this picture will be a real hit at the Sanctuary Gift Shop later this year.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Seagulls and Driftwood


SEAGULLS & DRIFTWOOD 3 x 5 in.

One of the things I tried this summer while I was on my painting trip was working with different shapes and sizes. I wanted my little landscapes to have a different look and to challenge myself. This set of pictures I tried to do together but did end up finishing them on different days. The size, 3x5 did require a lot of initial planning as the horizon really had to be very high or very low. However once I got going things began to develop and I was very pleased with the results.
One side note, I did take a few reference pictures of seagulls flying with me which really helped in placing them in the picture. I am not fast enough to draw them in a plein air situation.


LAZY DAYS 3 x 5 Sold

Monday, August 9, 2010

Can Holidays Really be Over??

DICK ISLAND, TEXADA ISLAND - 4 x 4 SOLD


Can those lazy days at the beach really be over? We are back from holidays and life is humming once again. We spent 4 weeks on the Sunshine Coast stopping here and there, walking on the beach, enjoying the sunsets, reading and of course painting all the time.

My Support Team - Steve & Rusty

My focus this year was my miniature work as I am preparing for my show in October. I have several pictures to show you over the next few entries. Lots of people stopped and chatted as I painted and a few of my pictures I could have sold several times over.

Me hard at Work

I also have exciting news for you. Bev Yaworski wrote an article featuring me and my work and published it in the July addition of the Senior Living magazine. She did a get job. Her article makes you feel you are involved in a conversation with me and yet there are all kinds of information tidbits sprinkled throughout. You can see it at http://www.seniorlivingmag.com/articles/capturing-nature. It was a great experience to work with Bev on the article.

Friday, June 25, 2010

THE MUSHROOM FAMILY

THE MUSHROOM FAMILY - 4.5 x 6.5 - For Sale

Here is a little family I found nestled in the ferns when we were camping on the Sunshine Coast of BC. I had to lay on a mat to get some pictures of them but it was worth it. This is a great little family: the Dad, the Mom and the two 'good' kids cuddled up close and the 'other' one, with the family but with a much more independent nature. I love the 'independent' one, he is the one that can change the world and add that touch of excitement to life if his energy is focused in the right direction. As a teacher I always tried to move that little one forward and it was very rewarding when it worked.
Summer is here and so entries will be slow as we will soon be off on holidays where I will be painting up a storm and finding lots of new material to develop this winter.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Stepping Out is ready to roll!

Stepping Out - 10.5 x 14.5 inches - For Sale

My sandhill crane is ready to roll and I am really thrilled with her. She (it could be a he but not to me) is looking her finest. She has been busy eating in the bulrushes and now is ready to move on. She was a quite a job, there are no shortcuts to completing her feathers; they all need to be done individually!! The end result is feathers that are really light and fluffy. They look like you can touch them and you will feel their softness. The background really took some time. I don't usually do such a detailed background but I really felt I needed it to establish her environment and to give that 'stepping out' look. I will enjoy her for a few days but meanwhile I am starting on a new project "The Babysitter" with a very unusual baby!!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Home from our fishing Trip



We had a nice little holiday but it went way too fast. We headed up to a small lake which is up in the mountains only a few hours from our place. It was a beautiful, lush green valley tucked in between the mountains. I am sure that the moss and the lush green plants should have been a clue that it rains there a lot. And rain it did. Yes, we had a few nice days but we also had some great days that were good for snuggling up in the trailer and reading and painting. We did some hiking, got the boat in the water and also a bit of sightseeing. We saw deer, a bear, and lots of squirrels, chipmunks and ducks. It was just really nice to relax and wonder about. I have included a few pictures of the area, the lake which was quiet, the river which was high with the spring runoff and a stellar jay that was always ready if we left anything out.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stepping Out - WIP

Stepping Out - 10.5 x 14.5

My sandhill crane is 'stepping out' and really looking good!! I am really excited with my picture but I must admit he has been a bit of a challenge. I started with his head and put touches of red for his distinctive coloring and then proceeded down his neck. I found I quickly needed to start on the background to develop the lighting on the edges. That's where my trouble began, my bulrushes were too small and they just didn't work. I decided to go out to the bird sanctuary and really look at the area and take more background pictures. It was a great idea as I realized I really didn't know what bulrushes and grasses looked like!! It was a good reminder to me that you need good pictures of your main image but also pictures of the environment that they live in.
We are off on a fishing trip for a few days and then I will be back at work on my crane. I want to enter it in a competition later next week.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Old Master

The Old Master - Sold

This picture was designed to go with the previous picture "The Forest Floor". They are part of a commission I was working on. Again, it is working with forest scenes without a path but this one just seemed to paint itself. I think it is because of my stump, the old master. I have drawn this stump before in ink and I just love it. The stump sits by the trail up at Hicks Lake, a favourite camping spot when our kids were young. We spent many summers there and often walked around on the trails. This old master sat off to the side buried in ferns and moss. He must have been a grand old tree as he is huge and the sides bare the notch marks from the logging days of the early 1900's. I often wonder what changes he has seen and the stories he could tell. Even now, his life has changed again as he carries the load of new growth as the forest continues its cycle of rebirth. As I said earlier, this is a big favourite with me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Forest Floor

THE FOREST FLOOR - Sold

This picture is about one of my favourite subjects: trees. I love to draw the cedar and fir trees in our west coast forest. Working with my pens to create the bark is so much fine. Then of course adding ferns and foliage is just gravy. Sometimes I get such a neat picture with the ink I hate to add the watercolor. However once I get going I am glad I did. For this forest scene I was trying not to put in a path and see if I could make a good forest. It is meant to feel like you are on the path and this is what you see when you look out beyond the trail. I hope you enjoy my walk among the trees.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Breakfast Break Wins an Award


Very exciting news, Breakfast Break has won an award at the artSpacifc show in Delta, BC. I just learned today that my little sandhill crane (3 x 4 inches) has won an award in the 'works on paper' category. This has definitely made my day.

If you would like to see the show it is at the Firehall Centre 11489 84 Av, Delta, BC, May 3-May 26 and viewing hours are Mon-Fri 10-4:30pm, Tues.6-9pm and Sat. 10-4pm.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Coffee Break


Yes, this is another picture in my Agassiz-Harrison Museum series. I just loved the old office set up they had for the station master and particularly the old typewriter. I must admit it was a challenge to draw – Do you know how many keys there are on that keyboard!! But it was fun and something I wanted to do as soon as I saw it. I deliberately left it to the last as I was afraid my enthusiasm for the project would not be the same once that picture was done. I have just finished the picture but I am not finished tweaking it yet. I am a little disappointed with the glass of the lamp. I think it may need to be darkened a bit just so it stands out better. Sometimes things look better or worse when you see them scanned and in this case I feel something is missing there. Over all I am quite pleased with it and I just love the old typewriter, it has so much personality. If you are ever in Agassiz you should stop at their museum, can't miss it as it is in the center of town, it is open from the May long weekend to the middle of October.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great News


I just got word that two of my pictures On the Prowl and Breakfast Break have been picked for the artSpacific 2010 juried exhibition. As you know I just finished Breakfast Break a few weeks ago and I was so pleased with it that at the last minute I thought I would enter it in this show. It was a wonderful surprise to get my notice that it had been picked. My picture On the Prowl has been an interesting picture for me as I hardly ever work with a square shape canvas. I like what happens to the flow in this piece. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the eyes of the cat but then there is a real adventure as the values move you through the piece. Even though both of the pictures are small, 3 x 4 and 6 x6, I find they really invite the viewer to stay awhile and check them out.

ArtSpacific will be running May 3 to May 26 at the Firehall Centre for the Arts 11489 84 Ave. Delta, with the reception being Monday, May 3, 7-9:30pm.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Agassiz – Harrison Museum


I am back on track with one of my winter projects, the Agassiz-Harrison Museum, a small train station and museum located in Pioneer Park in Agassiz, BC. This is at the east end of the Fraser Valley in a very picturesque farm community. I had talked with the museum society last summer about doing some pictures of the building and other things on the site for a series of art cards and memo pads.
The building, my second picture in the series, is the original station built in 1893 and was once a fully-operation station complete with the station master living on the site. I decided to do the station itself in ink as to me somehow old building have to be in ink. I added a few items from the museum to the front to give it a little pizzazz. The picture I did for Christmas, "Home for the Holidays" on a December blog, is also part of this series. The third picture "Coffee Break" is coming up next.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breakfast Break – Sandhill Crane Series


I was reading the article "The Figure-Ground Conundrum" by Carl Purcell from one of my old "The Artist's" magazine (Dec. 2009) and found that it really hit home. I had been working on my little sandhill crane and wondering how to do the background. As I read the article I decided I would give it a try. The key principle is to explore various value shifts by putting light against dark and dark against light with transitions in between. It is so simple and something I do all the time but I never really put in this context before. I started working around my crane and just putting my darks against the light areas and my lights against the dark areas with a few grasses mixed in. Then, just as the article said, things that were suggested began to make sense. The result is a very interesting background and that really makes my crane pop. To top it off I put a touch of red on his head to make their very distinctive marking. I also dabbed a bit into the background so the red on his head would not be alone. This little picture "Breakfast Break" is only 3 x 4 inches but I do find it interesting.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Soleil and Billy - Ready to go Home

Soleil and Billy - Sold

Soleil and Billy are looking good and ready to go home. As you can see Soleil was a challenge, she is much lighter than Billy so it took a really light touch to get that fluffy Pomeranian look without going too dark. I listened to my own advice and proceeded patiently as I layered and lifted, layered and lifted. Seems so easy but you know what it is like. Suddenly, you are there, and wondering what all the fuss was about.

The owners have had their look and were very pleased so once I spray them and cut a mat they can go home. I got some lovely extras with this one as they wanted cards and memo pads with the pictures on them. I did a set of 3 memo pads for them: two small pads (4 ¼ x 5 ½) with the dogs separated and then a larger one (8 ½ x 5 ½) with the dogs together. They looked great. I put together memo pads of my work all the time but this was a first for my commission work.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Soleil and Billy


So many projects and so little time! I often wonder how other artists keep up with the demands of marketing and still have time for their work. Is there really only 24 hours in a day!!

Soleil and Billy are my latest. They are a lovely pair of Pomeranians that I have been commissioned to draw. Their background is snow which is unusual for us as we often don't have a real winter but last year we did and their owners got some great pictures for me to work with.
I have Billy pretty well done and then it will be on to Soleil. I must admit I started out wondering how I could get that fluffiness to his hair. At first I fought with it, trying one thing after another but to no avail. Then suddenly it was there. The secret, layers, don't expect it to happen with one or two, you need to layer and lift, layer and lift, each time you get another depth to his hair and the more you have the thicker and fluffier he gets.
Well back to work. I am excited to start on Soleil as she presents a new challenge, to get those layers going with a much whiter dog!!
Have a good day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Logs on the Trail


Well I am over the Olympic jet lag and back to work. I started with a miniature to get back into the groove. As I mentioned earlier I will be having a miniature show in October this year so I really need to get to work. The subject for this picture is one of my favorite. I love the west coast forests. "Logs on the Trail" (3 x 4 in) is from an old second growth forest area. As you can see the cedar and fir trees are quite tall and the coniferous trees are getting very spindly as they fight for light. They will not be around much longer. The undergrowth is not as lush, again because of the light but moss and ferns are everywhere providing a beautiful cover. The trail winds through it all looking for open ground but is often forced to go over logs and break through brush. Over time the logs will become broken down and rough steps will appear. It is a great place to walk but particularly on a hot summer day.
This picture is from the west coast of British Columbia north of Vancouver. It is called the Sunshine Coast and one of my favorite places to visit. Steve and I are planning another trip up there this July and I am already getting excited about it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I AM BACK!!!


Yes, the Olympics are over and I am back on line again. Who would have believed what an experience it would be to have the Olympics in your own town? I was busy not only as a volunteer but also going to some of the games and taking in the sights. As a volunteer in the village it was great, I saw lots of the athletes and talked with many of them. They were all great people and most appreciative of any help you gave them. They were all ages too, which surprised me, the snowboarders and some of the skaters were young but the rest were every age. My daughter and I went to seeing some of the curling, of course and had a great time. The fans were loud and busy, it was more like a hockey game then a curling game and the action on ice was amazing. I was at the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies and that really brought out my Olympic Spirit. After that, whenever I had a free moment I was downtown taking in all the other events. Vancouver was just an amazing party with people everywhere. We have never seen anything like it. However, like all good things it has to come to an end and I think I am ready for it. February has been a blur and my husband says I just visit the house, I really feel like I would like my life back. So with renewed energy and spirit I will be attacking my work, lots has piled up: commissions, projects and upcoming shows. This is turning into one busy year.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Only 4 days to go to the Olympics


Yes things are really speeding up around here. I have been very busy at the Olympic Village here in Vancouver as the teams are arriving and everyone is getting ready. I work at one of the service desks for the building where the athletes are staying and there is so much to do to get them settled in. Do you know that the average athlete has 5 or 6 pieces of luggage!! We had a small group arrive this morning from one country and they had 108 pieces of luggage and one of the elevators was down. It was challenge getting them up to their floors with our one poor little elevator.
One of the really neat things in the village is the moose. He is set up to look like he is strolling through the streets, which kind of reaffirms our rural roots. He is kind of goofy looking but loveable and a major hit on the site. I was working in the building next to him the other day and I could not believe the number of people that were stopping to have their picture taken with him. So here I am outside one of the Canada team buildings with our moose. Have a good a good day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Catch the Olympic Spirit


The Olympics are coming to Vancouver and they will be here in only 10 more days. I am getting very excited because I am a volunteer for the Olympics. This is my uniform and I must say I love it; it is a beautiful turquoise blue, one of my favourite colors! I will be working in the Olympic Village here in Vancouver, where the athletes that will be competing in the skating and curling events will be staying. My job is like a concierge in a hotel, so I will have a chance to meet some of the athletes and help with any problems they might have (only hotel type problems not athletic ones!). Being a curler myself, I am hoping to get a chance to meet some of the curling teams from Canada and the other countries. Of course I have tickets to a couple of the curling events as well. I will be busy at the village 3 or 4 days a week until March 3 so I must apologize I will be a little behind in my posting as my art will definitely slow down while I take on this job. Have a great day and see you at the Olympics.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eightball


Isn't he great! I must admit I wasn't sure things were going to work out for "Eightball". He is black and my reference pictures did not have a lot of detail, some didn't even have all of his ears! He is a commission and they wanted only a small picture to fit into a 8 x 10 frame so I decided to take on the challenge. I made a very careful study of his face from my pictures and then began to construct his face. He looked like a mess of black at first but as I teased out my highlights he really started to take shape. I have sent off the proof for the owners and now I wait for their comments. I am pleased and I met the challenge so if they like him too that will just be the cream on the top.
One interesting thing I found as I worked is I really didn't know what a cat looked like. I went over to my sister's and I spent a lot of time studying her cats' faces and the way the light reflected off their fur. I found lots of similarities to dogs but their nose shape and eyes are quite different. This commission really forced me to learn more about cats and that excites me as well.

Monday, January 25, 2010

By the Water's Edge


Great news!! My miniature show in the fall is going ahead. I have received word that I have been chosen to do a show with my minatures for the month of October. I am really pleased about this as I love my miniatures and it is very hard to find a place to show them properly. So you will be seeing miniatures popping up on my blog throughout this year. Of course if you are interested in one you are welcome to purchase it. I will have several extra for the show by October.
"By the Water's Edge" (2.5 x 4 inches) is from our camping trip two summers ago on the Sunshine Coast. We were at a small lake and this little spot with the birch trees really caught my eye. I love birch trees, that comes from growing up on the east coast of Canada. One does not often see a group of them on the west coast. I wanted to paint them because they looked so nice nestled in the trees with their lovely reflections in the water. We had seen deer tracks there as we walked along the trail so I decided to put the deer back into the picture. I could see him coming out through the bushes to get a drink and then being startled by a noise. Enjoy the picture.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Evening Light


Here is a second piece I just finished; I am quite excited about it as when my husband saw it he said "It's a winner!" I don't often get those comments from him so it was a real treat. I used some of my new colors that I picked up and I was very pleased with the results. I have also been spending a lot of time focusing on my value patterns within my pictures; my graphite work really seems to be helping with that. I was certainly busy with my graphite before Christmas so it is not surprising I guess to see this improvement.
This little picture "Evening Light" is 3 x 4 inches and is from our trip up the Sunshine Coast two years ago. This is the area on the west coast of British Columbia just north of Vancouver. It is only accessible by ferry. We really like to go up there to camp and I always get lots of great reference pictures while we are there and a few good pictures painted as well. We plan to go up there again this summer for a few weeks so I guess it is on my mind. When the days are dark and rainy it is nice to think about the warm carefree days of summer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

By the Water's Edge


Great news!! My miniature show in the fall is going ahead. I have received word that I have been chosen to do a show with my minatures for the month of October. I am really pleased about this as I love my miniatures and it is very hard to find a place to show them properly. So you will be seeing miniatures popping up on my blog throughout this year. Of course if you are interested in one you are welcome to purchase it. I will have several extra for the show by October.
"By the Water's Edge" (2.5 x 4 inches) is from our camping trip two summers ago on the Sunshine Coast. We were at a small lake and this little spot with the birch trees really caught my eye. I love birch trees, that comes from growing up on the east coast of Canada. One does not often see a group of them on the west coast. I wanted to paint them because they looked so nice nestled in the trees with their lovely reflections in the water. We had seen deer tracks there as we walked along the trail so I decided to put the deer back into the picture. I could see him coming out through the bushes to get a drink and then being startled by a noise. Enjoy the picture.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sparkling Colors on the River


Well I am onto a little change of pace; I am working on some miniature pictures. I have applied in the fall to have a show at a gallery in our area and I am very hopeful that I will be picked. I really enjoy working on miniature pictures using ink and watercolor. With this combination I am able to create very detailed landscapes and seascape with the odd bit of wildlife. I find this a very intimate type of art. My usual picture size is 3 x 4 inches in a 5 x 7 frame but now that I have my own mat cutter I will be able to expand to other shapes and sizes.
My picture "Sparkling Colors on the River" came from one of our camping spots this summer. We were experiencing a heat wave at the time and the only thing to do in the late afternoon was to go down to the river and swim and paint. Steve and I would take our books and my paint supplies and spend a few hours by the river each day. It was great fun and this picture really reminds me of those days.