May 28, 2014

West Coast Artist meets Mountain Tops!!


Yes, this summer I will be off to Revelstoke National Park, part of their Artist in Residence Program!!
 A really different space – alpine meadows and mountain tops!! 
 A long way from my coastal adventures on Texada Island and the Sunshine Coast. 

A view from one of the park lookouts

Steve and I will head up to the park in August, he and Rusty will camp out at Williamson Lake while I will be off to my adventure.Our group of 5 artists will be in the park Aug 9-12, painting in a studio space, hiking the trails, staying in a rustic cabin, and of course talking and sharing all the time!  I can hardly wait!! 

Some of the summer flowers

They have picked this time for us as the meadows are in full bloom and hopefully the bugs are starting to dissipate as the cooler fall weather is just around the corner.  The park is very accessible by car so getting to an alpine valley is not a long hike, something I can’t do with all my art supplies.  (I know, I push the idea of traveling light but still, on a long hike, light can become very heavy!)

Quite a different shoreline from the coast!

We will have a studio space to work in part of the day and of course visit with visitors to the park. When the residency is over they are putting together a show of some of our work which will travel for a year to promote the National Park system in Canada.  Neat eh!!  So if you are up in the interior of British Columbia on Aug 9-12, stop by the park and say hi. 

Have a great day and happy painting,


May 21, 2014

What’s with Mass? Can you really draw with it?


I like to draw. 
I like to work with line to develop my pictures, adding details as I go.
 But working with mass!  
I never really thought about how that works with a line drawing.
Just recently I took a workshop with Dawn Emerson.    She does great stuff with pastels, mixed media and paint and she incorporates lots of drawing in her work.  It was a great to work with her.

Our subject was four pears but seeing how they came alive with each approach was very interesting. We started off with drawing using line, definitely my comfort zone and but then we drew them with a different tool.

My Pears drawn with a brayer  (it is like a roller, about 1 inch wide)

Next we focused on the mass.  This is something I never really connected with my drawing, always being a "line guy".  To do this we covered the paper completely with a mid-tone and the shapes were lifted out or darken to develop them.  It really made me feel the connection of drawing with painting. 

   My Pears, starting with the mid-tone

The next project was working with space and shapes.  Really different for me but I did find it kind of neat.  I particularly loved the short fat pear in the middle.  He seemed to have real personality!

My pears with shapes and space

Before I knew it I was working away with charcoal and pastels, building shapes with mass, no lines in sight!! Quite a new experience for me.  My final project was this squirrel, developed with charcoal and pastel.

My Squirrel - Steve loved this one!

 As you can probably tell the whole workshop was a great source of inspiration for me.  I am anxious to try more work with the pastels but also incorporate this sense of mass into my drawings and paintings. 
Have a great day and hope your next workshop is an inspiration for you as well, 

May 9, 2014



The picture isn't quite right!
You put in tons of time but  . . . . .You are not happy!

That is the story of “Standing Tall”. 
Standing Tall - 11 x 14 - Watercolour

I love the poppies in our yard and I love to draw and paint them when they come into bloom.  Their lovely lush colours and beautiful folds and curves; such beautiful colour so early in the year. 

I think I must have fallen in love with the process when I created this picture.  The texture!  The shapes! The colours! They blinded me and yet they motivated me.  I started first with molding paste to get strong texture and movement throughout the space and then worked diligently to finish it. But somehow the finish wasn’t there.  I left it for a bit, then framed it but still I wasn’t happy.  When I found myself reluctant to take it to shows I knew there was a problem.
I put it away. 

It has been a few months now and time to decide – can it be fixed or should it be chucked!  I find that time helps me distance myself from a picture and I am able to look at it more objectively.  This process often results in success for me but also helps to weed out the ones that need to be gone. 
When I looked at “Standing Tall” now, I can see that the flower is too centered, the interesting stamens have become a “big blob”. I decided to try cropping the picture to move the flower from the center.  As soon as I did that I could see the textured background came into play and the flower became much more interesting.  My blob became interesting flower parts again; my beauty and mystery had returned. 

New and Improved - Standing Tall - 8 x 10 - Watercolour

How do you handle your “Disappointments”? 

Have a great day and happy painting,
Wendy Mould