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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