Friday, December 31, 2010

Waiting For Timbits

6x6 oil on board Sold
I spend a lot of time at Tim Hortons coffee shops, drinking coffee and buying Timbits for our dog Bailey. I meet a lot of nice dogs there, and the other day I met Maggie, a beautiful Golden Retriever. She was waiting very patiently for her snack. (She was at the other Tims, but I liked the setting of this one better...artistic license!)

At the eve of this new year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you out there in our virtual community for your wonderful comments, for taking the time to look at my art now and again,  and for turning the sometimes solitary experience of being an artist into one of sharing and community. You often provide the motivation and inspiration to continue on.
Have a Wonderful New Year, and all the best for 2011

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Digging Out, Dundas

8x10 oil on canvas panel
Everyone seems to be buried under a lot of snow, so I thought this would be a fitting piece to celebrate the "winter wonderland". We don't have this much snow here in Dundas...this is a scene from another similar snowfall. I don't usually use a "spatter" method to show snowflakes, but I wanted to have a little fun with this one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spencer Creek, Dundas

6x8 oil on canvas panel-plein air
For some reason,  the idea of getting outside and painting has been lurking in my mind. Why I get the urge when it is -8 C  (about 17 F) outside I don't know. Perhaps its the anticipation of a new year and the need to try something new and hopefully learn something new. I did learn several things: buy wool socks and gloves, bring hot coffee, remember that the wind can blow things around, keep it simple. I'm not sure if I am happy with the result, but its rewarding to accomplish what I set out to do.
This little scene is of a creek that flows through Dundas, about 5 blocks from my house.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Clearing the Way for Coffee

8x10 oil on canvas Sold
Holiday chores have definitely gotten in the way of painting, so here is a painting from last years snow storm. It seemed kind of fitting for today. Shop....go for for coffee. At least part of the day was fun.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Deluxe Remembered, Dundas On

16x20 Oil on Canvas
I love old buildings and the atmosphere they create. Until a year ago, this great restaurant stood as it always has since the 1940's. The Lee family owned it, and they never closed. Their wonderful diner style furniture was made in Dundas for them when they opened. In the early seventies, Mr. Lee passed away. Mrs. Lee closed the doors, left everything untouched, and lived up stairs. The same juke boxes were at each table, the same cigarettes at the counter, the same old cash register. We used to peer into the windows to look at this great old place. Mrs. Lee lived to be 103, and when she died, her Grandson rented the place for movie shoots. Robin Williams was here to make a movie (our town is sometimes called Hollywood North) And then, a new restaurant opened. The furniture ripped out, and the diner was gone. I know change has to happen. I just don't like it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Train, Dundas Ontario

8x10 Oil on Canvas
I often cross these tracks while walking our dog Bailey.  There are places where the edge of the gorge by the stream  is too close to the tracks, leaving little room to pass by. With this fresh dusting of snow, I had to get this photo as the train went by. Looks as though winter is finally here in Southern Ontario.
click on picture to see enlarged version

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wet Snow, Back Alley, Toronto

24x24 oil on board
I often mention Richard Schmid. He seems to be an artist who never compromises, and who paints from the soul. I like the way he writes about art in a no nonsense way. I found one of his earlier books from the 1970's in the library. He discusses several ways to start a painting and he demonstrates most of them. Unfortunately this book is not available unless you can pay a lot of money on amazon for the few copies around. The one from my library has also disappeared.
Starting a painting is a difficult decision. I spend a lot of time experimenting with different ways to begin a painting. I like what Schmid calls the "Full-Value monochrome Wash" He says in the book,"This is a nice, safe way to handle complicated subjects when brilliant color is not particularly important. The turpentine wash can be carried to various extremes. If a bit of clean color is added during the rendering, it can be an end in itself-a finished painting in transparent paint."
I loved this back alley scene behind P.J. O'Briens Pub off of Leader Lane in Toronto.The reflections from the wet snow gave it more interest. After doing the wash in payne's gray with a little black added, I decided to leave it alone, deciding whether to leave it as a painting in transparent paint.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Late Night Shopping, King Street, Hamilton

8x10 acrylic on board
 This is acrylic painting number three. Painting in acrylics is certainly a different process than painting in oil. Jan Yates, a fellow blogger (check out her wonderful paintings here) leaves great comments. She commented on my last painting  "These acrylics are very lively--are you working in quicker motion w acrylic? more of an immediate feeling."
  I think that I approach oil painting with more fear...I am learning so much as I go and I wonder if the next brush stroke is going to ruin the picture...but with acrylics, I'm not concerned with the outcome. I just paint and have fun. Will I ever get there with oils?
I am going to do this same scene in oil and compare the difference.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taxis on Yonge, Toronto

8x10 acrylic on panel Sold
Another acrylic scene. Sometimes I get on a tangent, and have to get it out of my system. I want to see how much pure color I can add to the scene, without losing the mood, and apply this to my oil paintings. Somehow it seems easier to experiment with acrylic paints. I think my Nov 30 post "November Rain" could use some more pure color highlights. Still debating if I should change the painting.
The signature colors of Toronto's Beck Taxi are in the foreground.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yonge Street Traffic

8x10 acrylic on panel
I painted in acrylics for years, mostly for realistic detailed work. I'm enjoying the oils and learning all about the process, but for some reason I felt like a change. Sometimes after doing a large painting, I want to try something a little different. So, I got out my acrylics and tried using them in a looser more spontaneous style. I used a brush to lay down most of the underpainting, and then used a palette knife to add thicker paint. I would have liked to have gone even thicker, but maybe next time. I did have some fun.
On another note, this past weekend I met Kim Rempel, a fellow member of Daily Painter Originals. It is so great to meet people in the real world! She was displaying her work at a show, and so I go to see her paintings. They are so vibrant and I have to say, Kim's personality is as vibrant as I assumed it would be! A real pleasure.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Rain, Bay and Dundas,Toronto

24x24 oil on board
November in southern Ontario could be described as "dirty". Most of the leaves are gone, few plants are growing, and browns and grays dominate the view. The entire month seems to be cloudy.  I started this painting during the rain we had a few days ago.and continued until the rain we are having today. I knew it was a busy scene and a real challenge, but I wanted to take it on. This corner of Bay and Dundas is cluttered with unique looking buildings, street car lines running every which way, and I particularly like the sign on the side of the Canadian Tire store that states " carry only a smile, free delivery".
click on picture to see enlarged view

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shadows on Queen Street, Toronto

16x20 Oil on Canvas
I haven't been doing many larger paintings, and I decided that its time to get back to it. I feel that my value studies and smaller studies have helped enough so that I feel comfortable getting back to larger canvases. I had done a loose value study of a similar scene (see post Nov. 14) and wanted to do one with a bit more color and detail.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Queen Street Shoppers, Vignette No. 5

6x6 oil on board
Sold to some wonderful people from Conneticut
I am really enjoying doing these small scenes. I have spent so much time lately trying to learn how to paint light and reflections, focusing on values, edges and color harmony. So much of the work I do is focused on learning so I pick my subjects very carefully. In contrast, with these small paintings, I just pick a scene I like and paint it (hopefully incorporating all of the lessons I have been learning).
In this Vignette, shoppers cross Queen Street on a late Saturday. The store "Cards and Presents" and "The Healthy Greek" are on the opposite side of the street.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Art Galler y of Hamilton Fall Fundraiser

I had 6 paintings juried into the Art Gallery of Hamilton's Fall Fundraiser and I was pleased to sell two 16x20's and one 8x10. Its great to start getting work out there, and even more of a boost to sell a few. The paintings I submitted were all Hamilton City Scenes. I was sad to see "Winter Light, King William Street" (top painting) go. I think we all have favorite paintings that we get attached to.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Old and New, Old City Hall, Toronto Vignette #4

6x6 oil on board
The clock tower of the Old City Hall in Toronto is reflected in a modern building.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto vignette #3

6x6 oil on board
People line up to see the show "Rock of Ages" at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in the early evening.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winners on Front Street ,Toronto Vignette No.2

6x6 oil on board
I love this block of restored buildings on Front Street. This little painting shows some of the details as you look up from  the Winners store on Front Street.
This painting is part of a series small vignettes of Toronto.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Impressions of a City No 1

20x20 Oil on Board
This is a monochrome block in using transparent earth brown, black and white.I am still debating how much color I want to introduce to this picture. Sometimes I like the look of them as they are.
This is Queen Street in Toronto.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early Evening on King

6x6 oil on board
The early evening light is reflected on a streetcar as it heads past the Princess of Wales Theatre on King Street in Toronto. "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" was playing. It would have been great to drop in to see the show.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Late Saturday on Queen Street, Toronto

8x10 oil on canvas
I used a similar palette as the previous post to suggest the retreating sun on a crisp sunny fall day.
This streetcar heads west on Queen Street on a late Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Silver Light, Queen Street

8x8 oil on canvas
Just before the sun disappeared behind the buildings, this "silvery light" cast shadows on Queen Street in Toronto. When the sun starts to go "down" at this time of year, there is a very small window of opportunity to capture it. The City TV building can be seen in the background.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Moses Znaimer Way, Toronto

8x10 oil on canvas panel
Moses Znaimer is the creator behind CityTV and Much Music to name a few. This section of Queen Street is named after him. The CN Tower is in the background.
I'm still working on adding some color to a value study, trying to maintain drama and the sense of the scene. I sure wish I had paid attention in school! I began this scene with a value study in yellow ocher, black, and white.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Molly in Italy

Molly is a very good family friend who decided to do some traveling after finishing university. She worked for awhile in England, then Italy, and now she is in Australia. She took some great photos and put them on her blog and told me I could us some as reference photos. I don't normally like to use photos unless I have experienced the scene in person, but I may take a vicarious trip with her once in awhile. 
I need lots and lots of practice when it comes to painting people. I liked this image of Molly in Venice, in front of an old wall with graffiti. It was challenging to portray her shaded with the wall behind her in sunlight.
Sorry about the likeness Molly, its the best I can do! We miss you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Europe Bound, Front Street, Toronto

8x10 oil on canvas
This block of buildings on Front Street on the way to the St. Lawrence Market is stunning. I hope Hamilton has the sense to restore several similar blocks of buildings on James, John, and King. This is a perfect example of how a street scape such as this is pedestrian friendly and adds atmosphere and charm.
The lamp post and flowers in front of the store called "Europe Bound"  are highlighted in the late afternoon sun on Front Street in Toronto.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Queen Street Shadows, Toronto

8x8 oil on canvas
The early evening sun creates shadows along this great wrought iron fence on Queen Street in Toronto.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Streetcar on Queen, October light

8x10 oil on board
It is challenging to take the looseness, spontaneity, and values from a monochrome study and apply it to a finished piece. I tightened up a little more than I wanted to on this painting, but I think I was able to maintain the proper values.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Streetcar on Queen, Toronto

8x10 Oil on Canvas Board
I took a few days off to go to Toronto. I wanted to capture some of the wonderful October light in the "big city" as well as take in some great coffee bars and pubs. Toronto is amazing!
This is a value study of a streetcar going down Queen Street on a late Saturday afternoon. City scenes are all about shapes and values so I want to get the image right before I attempt the painting with more color.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Greensville Hill, Dundas

8x10 oil on canvas
We visited my daughter up north last weekend for Thanksgiving, and the fall colors were beautiful, but I found this little scene a few blocks from my house was as good as it gets. I took this photo while walking Bailey as the last rays of the sun created a warm glow on the trees.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Richelieu, Hamilton Harbour

8x10 oil on canvas
It was a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend and we were able to get out for another sail before cold weather sets in. The autumn light is amazing at this time of year. Taking pictures from a boat allows for different perspectives. I liked the angle of this tug as it was illuminated by the late afternoon sun.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tracks and Cars, York at Queen Street

8x8 Oil on stretched canvas
During evening rush hour, cars drive over streetcar tracks at the corner of York and Queen Street in Toronto Ontario.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Red Lights, John and King, Hamilton

12x12 Oil on Canvas
A larger version of an oil sketch I did previously. Still staying with limited color.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gooderham Building, Toronto

8x10 Oil on Board
I'm still working with a limited palette, focusing on values. Often a black and white value study will have lots of drama, and then when color is added to the mix, the drama can disappear and the picture flattens out. I want to make the transition from "monochrome" drama to having the same effect using color. Its basically maintaining the strong value patterns using color, which is a lot more difficult.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Toronto Streetcar #2

8x8 Oil on Canvas
Another Streetcar on Dundas Street near Bay Street on a rainy day in Toronto.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hunter Street at the TH&B, Hamilton

8x10 Oil on Board
I almost always do a thumbnail sketch in pencil to make sure my composition and values are interesting enough to do a painting. I also find that  value studies in oil give me a lot of information which I can apply to a larger version of the same subject. I am still reading Richard Schmid's book "Alla Prima". He discusses the monochrome block in, and in some cases carried it a few steps further to a finished painting.
This scene is from Hunter Street in Hamilton, looking toward the TH&B Railway Station in the background.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crossing John at King, Hamilton

8x8 Oil on Canvas paper
I find that when I start to focus on details, I need to do a few value studies to help me pay attention to what is happening in a painting. In this study, I used a limited palette of black, titanium white, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red. This is a study for a larger painting.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

John Street at the TH&B, Hamilton Ontario

8x8 oil on canvas
Traffic heads down John Street, under the TH&B railway bridge in Hamilton Ontario.
$125.00 plus $10.00 shipping

Sunday, September 19, 2010

T.H.&B Railway Bridge, Walnut Street Hamilton

8x10 Oil on Canvas
The Toronto Hamilton Buffalo Railway Bridge crosses over Walnut Street in Hamilton Ontario.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chevys at Timmys

6x6 oil on board
I have been away from the studio for I thought I would get back into it by doing a small painting of our local Tim Hortons, one of my many favorite subjects. We have had cool air, some great rain showers, and the feeling of fall is in the air. A wonderful time of year.
Thanks everyone for your comments on my previous posts. I will be making the blog rounds again soon to see what everyone has been up to.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Morning Light

11x14 oil on canvas
Morning light creates soft shadows on these sailboats moored at Macassa Bay in Hamilton Ontario.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blustery Day on the Bay

5x7 oil on canvas board
A sailboat sails past U.S. Steel (Formerly Stelco Steel) on this blustery day in Hamilton Harbour. Large piles of coal dominate the foreground.
$75.00 plus $10.00 shipping

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tugs at rest in Hamilton Harbour

8x10 oil on canvas
These tugboats are moored behind a break wall in an industrial part of Hamilton Harbour. A barge dominates the foreground. This bay at the western end of Lake Ontario is also called "Burlington Bay".

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Jerry C., Hamilton Harbour

8x10 oil on canvas
The Jerry C., a modern Tug, is highlighted by the evening light against the greys of the destroyer "HMCS Haida" in Hamilton Ontario. The HMCS Haida has been restored and lies at the Naval Base in Hamilton. The Haida is the last remaining example of the 27 Tribal Class destroyers built for the Royal Canadian Navy , the Royal Navy, and the Royal Australian Navy between 1937 and 1945. She did service in the Second World War.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Evening Reflections

8x10 Oil on Canvas
Warm colors from the setting sun create wonderful reflections on these boats across from our dock at Macdonald Marine in Hamilton Ontario.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buddy and Polly at Carol's Point

11x13 Oil on Canvas
There are three marinas in Hamilton Harbour,  home to several large and small watercraft. Some big expensive boats never leave the marina, others are out all the time. This couple loved to go sailing with their dog buddy and anchored in the cove at Carrol's Point. In the morning, Polly would row out to land so buddy the border collie could play in the water. The morning sun created great reflections as it peaked over the trees in the cove.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tight Reach, Hamilton

8x10 Oil on Board Sold
This sailboat is flying the spinnaker on a tight reach, past the steel mill on race night in Hamilton Harbour.
I would like to thank everyone for your kind and positive comments on my previous post. They are always motivating and inspiring. I will be away for a bit where there is no internet access, but I will make the blog rounds  when I return.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Red Truck, Rain, and Coffee

6x6 oil on board Sold
Pouring rain can't stop the diehards who must have their Tims coffee fix. This scene is from Tim Hortons in Dundas Ontario.