Friday, May 19, 2017

Always Time For Coffee, King and York

12x12 oil on panel
There has been no shortage of rain this spring. I took this reference photo during the last down pour that we had.
There are very few interesting older buildings in downtown Toronto. Several were destroyed in the major fire of 1904 http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/online/fire/index.aspx and of course many more during expansion over the years. There are still pockets, and this stretch along King Street is one of my favorites. It provides the contrast of old and new. In this painting, The Second Cup coffee shop is in the old red brick building on the left and the Toronto International Film Festival building on the right.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Brasserie du Quai, Quai de la Megisserie

9 x 12 oil on panel
Last year at this time, I spent ten days in France. It was a wonderful time and I took several photos. To commemorate my time there, I decided to do a few studies from the photos I took. Most of the time the weather was overcast, but once in a while, the sun peaked out. We also had a couple of nice rainfalls. This scene is on Quai de la Megisserie, a street in Paris, adjacent to The Seine, just east of The Louvre.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Saturday Shoppers, Dundas Ontario

8x10 oil on canvas
I don't often paint sunny days, normally preferring the moody atmosphere of rain or snow. In this scene I liked the backlit figures with their colourful clothing in contrast to the figures in the shadow under the store awning.
. This scene features shoppers walking past Picones in Dundas. Picones is a wonderful store that has been in Dundas over 100 years. It features the best of everything from produce to baked goods and irresistible prepared foods.Dundas is also where I have my studio.
Summer isn't here yet, but it won't be long!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bay Street Blues

12 x 12 oil on Canvas
Last Thursday. during the downpour (with lots of wind and squalls thrown in) I was able to get some great reference photos. It was not easy, trying to stay somewhat dry and protecting my camara from water damage.. A couple of times I was splashed from head to toe by passing vehicles, but I guess its all in a days work!. Luckily I had purchased a four dollar plastic cape which worked quite well.
In this scene, a "suit" walks south on Bay Street towards the Go Station. On the right the pillars and blue signage of the BMO building are visible.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Waiting in The Rain at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)

12 x 12 oil on panel
I thought it was time for some warm rain instead of the snow we've been having lately. After all, it is spring next week.
Film goers stand in line to get into a feature at The Toronto International Film Festival.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Cool Day in March. Queen Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas
After being spoiled in February, winter has decided to come back for March. I guess things have to balance out somehow. I took this photo reference on a blustery cool day in March in late afternoon when the sun was still high enough to peak through buildings and create some nice highlights. This scene is on Queen Street and the fence at Osgoode Hall is visible across the street.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hey Lucy Cafe, King Street, Toronto

 
24 x 24 oil on canvas
This is the larger version of the 6x6 from a recent post. I tightened up a bit but I'm still happy with the result. I still love that sign and the cow. So unique!
I will be showing this painting at the Artist Project, Feb 23 in Toronto.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Winter, Queen and University

30 x 30 Oil on Canvas
This is a typical slushy wet winter day in southern Ontario. After a snowfall, the streets are cleared and salted resulting in a wet slushy mix on sidewalks and streets. This scene features the fence at Osgoode Hall on University Avenue in Toronto.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hey Lucy, King Street, Toronto

6x6 oil on paper
The colours of evening or night are always difficult to portray. What colour is night? Night is all about reflected surfaces. It is the surrounding lights and nothing maintains its daylight colour. I have had a difficult time with some sections of King Street. The mixture of greens and reds and yellows can make for a mud colour, so its important to avoid too much mixing. The red signage resulted in pink snow which worked well with the cool green streetlights. I am doing small studies almost all the time now before starting a larger version.. I have wiped so many paintings where the colour has just been WRONG! Its much easier to make mistakes on a small study.
Evening strollers walk past the Hey Lucy Restaurant on King Street. Part of the "cow" on the building is visible top right.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Evening Snow, King and Simcoe

12 x 12 oil on canvas 
This is another scene from King Street in Toronto. I often go back to King Street when choosing a location to paint. I like the combination of old and new architecture. In this case, the Sunlife Centre is on the right, with the focus on St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and Roy Thomson Hall in the centre. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Movie Night at the Westdale Theatre, Hamilton

12 x 12 oil on canvas
This movie theatre with its original Marquee is one of the few theatres of it's era still showing movies. This Westdale theatre is in Hamilton Ontario.

Monday, November 14, 2016

After The Snow, King Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas I love the light after a snowstorm, everything seems soft and subdued. In this scene, two ladies are out and about on King Street, possible leaving work, shopping, or going out to eat. The Elephant and Castle is visible on the left.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Cold Day in November, King and University

12 x 12 oil on panel
Steam rises from a subway grate at King and University on a chilly November day. This painting will be available at The One Of A Kind show Nov. 24 in Toronto.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Kensington Market

12 x 12 oil on canvas
This is another image from Toronto's  Kensington Market. When walking through the streets at the Market, its hard to imagine that such a funky eclectic mix of stores, restaurants, fruit and vegetable stands, graffiti,  and vintage shops exists so close to downtown Toronto.
Luckily, In 2006, Kensington Market was officially recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada for its dynamic character and eclectic variety of architectural styles.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Afternoon Traffic, King and University

30 x 48 Oil on canvas
I've been working on some larger pieces to take to The One Of a Kind Show in Toronto, Nov. 24.  to Dec. 4. I had forgotten how much time, energy and paint the larger canvases take! If you are planning to come to the show, come and say hi at Booth K34.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rainy Saturday at Tiff

9 x 12 oil on panel
I had a great day taking reference photos about two weeks ago. It rained all day and into the evening. Plus, the Toronto International Film Festival was on and there were lines of people with umbrellas waiting to get into different venues. This group of people was waiting to get into the Princess of Wales Theatre on King Street.

Monday, September 26, 2016

King Of Kensington

8 x 10 oil on panel
A week ago Saturday during an all day rain, I took several pictures of various Toronto Neighbourhoods. I walked from The Distillery District through downtown, then Kensington Market and finished up in Little Italy. There is no better way to take reference photos than walking a long way, even if tired and wet from the rain.
Kensington Market is a very eclectic mix of markets and stores, as Blogto says: "Toronto's most unique neighbourhood, Kensington Market retains its charm and wonderful diversity through its eclectic mix of vintage clothing stores, Latin American grocers, fresh produce, cafes and watering holes. Defiantly independent and progressive"....its definitely worth a visit.
While walking through the streets, this unique automobile came down the street and parked under a King of Kensington sign. I could't resist doing a small painting of the scene. The graffiti added an interesting touch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Toronto Island Afternoon

9 x 12 oil on panel
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a Dinghy ride through the Toronto Islands. What a beautiful place it is, and such an eclectic mix of raceboats, housboats, high end boats and everything in between. I loved the colours in this scene with the oranges and vibrant blues. (Yes, sometimes I have to paint the sun, it doesn't rain everyday!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Night Snow at Queen's Quay

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I used the study from the previous posting to recreate this scene on a larger canvas. Doing the colour study helped a lot in choosing my colour palette. It is much better to experiment on the small size on canvas paper. I'm happy with the results. I decided to add snowflakes to enhance the mood of a "first snowfall" .
This painting will be available at The One Of A Kind Show in Toronto in November.

Friday, August 26, 2016

First Snow, Queens Quay

4x4 oil on paper
This is another study using an undercoat of Transparent red oxide and alizarin. I was all set to start the 12 x 12, but I hadn't worked out my colour palette. I'm finding that doing a small study goes a long way in working out composition and colours. I decided to make my darks with a mix of alizarin, viridian, and ultramarine blue and the highlights were mixed from this with some additions of cad yellow, cerulean, and cad red light.
My reference photo was taken by Ben Roffelsen. I love his moody photos. I think Ben was one of the first to do "moody" before it became so popular. Check out his instagram feed:

This painting features the 509 and 510 streetcars on Queens Quay during an early snow storm.