Thursday, March 31, 2011

Richmond Street Snow Banks, Toronto

24x24 Oil on canvas
As much as I like the abstract shapes and lines of snow banks, and tracks in the snow, I think I am ready for some warmer weather and a good rain to wash away the salt crusted snow that lingers on. I will look forward to getting back to some rainy scenes.
I wasn't sure about the composition of  this piece with the one ray of strong light and the car in the middle, but I think the orange and yellow and the figure on the right has taken the eye away from the car. The snow bank may need some work, but I was afraid to overwork it and lose the dark value.
I am the type of person who likes to set goals. They are somewhat haphazard goals, and often get worked on in the same way. I am trying to get at least ten 24x24 paintings done to take to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition this summer (if I get in) and also to start submitting to galleries. I have been waiting on contacting galleries because I want to make sure that I feel ready to start getting my work out there. Sometimes we get too anxious.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Toronto Streetcar and March Sun

12x12 oil on gallery wrap canvas Sold
When taking photos, I think the general theory is that the best time to take them is before 10 A.M. or after 2 P.M. The light and the colors are much rich at these times. I took this photo around 4 P.M. and I liked the contrast between the dark buildings and the light coming around the corner.
This is a "double" Toronto Streetcar, at the corner of St. Patrick and Queen Street.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter's Last Hurrah

8x10 oil on canvas
After nature gave us several hopeful glimpses of spring with warmer weather and some rain, this is what we woke up to yesterday. School buses cancelled, some businesses closed. Nature has to let us know who is boss.
This was a difficult picture with so much gray, and very little in defining images. The whole scene was pretty much mid value. Not really a pretty picture, but then, it wasn't a pretty picture for anyone who had to face the onslaught of winter one more time.
This is King Street in Dundas, after plows and salters created a path for drivers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Orange and Blue, King Street, Toronto

24 x24 oil on canvas
This painting was quite a bit more complicated than I planned on. I think I will have to tackle the foreground when I have a bit more energy. I'm a little disappointed with the lack of brush work showing. Getting dramatic brush work is a challenge for me. I don't know if it is fear of putting it on nice and thick and having it look horrible, or maybe just not knowing how. Blogs, besides being entertaining are such a good source of information. I have discovered so much about art by watching  process videos and by discovering new artists from blog lists. Another artist I hope to learn from is Barry John Raybould. He has a virtual art academy that looks very interesting.  In the introduction to his brushwork course he says:
"Brushwork is another of those things (like hue changes across a form) that separates the really great painters from the rest of us. Exciting brushwork adds interest and vitality to your painting, and is what makes a painting a “painting” and not a photograph.  
On another note, I submitted a small painting to DailyPaintWorks challenge. The theme for this week is "Home" and I don't think anything says home like a porch, a wicker couch, and a cat curled up in his favorite spot. All of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Red Cross in Japan. To see the entries for the challenge and to bid on a painting go HERE

Friday, March 18, 2011

March Commute, Toronto

12x12 oil on gallery wrap canvas
Toronto cyclists are a determined group. They ride all winter long, no matter the weather. This cyclist rides down King Street on a late afternoon in March.
Recently I discovered the artist Colley Whisson (before I saw his work on Lines and Colors) and I bought his book "Impressionist Painting Made Easy". I was intrigued by his energetic brush work, and the looseness of his scenes, so I had to see how he did it. The book is quite reasonably priced and can be bought off of his web site, and shows several paintings from start to finish. Its worth it if you are trying to "loosen" up in your work. How did we all get so "tight" anyway? Maybe starting out in commercial art?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slide Show Demo for "March Reflections"

This is my first slideshow showing several steps of painting "March Reflections". I apologize for some glare on the canvas as I photographed my work. I like to have a fairly accurate drawing when I start, even though I will lose most of the lines as I fill in with paint. The final picture in the slideshow is better quality, as I took it when it was off the easel and out of the glare.
My palette for this picture is diox purple, transparent red iron oxide, cobalt blue, cadmium red, phthalocyanne green, cadmium red light, yellow ochre, cad yellow deep, titanium white, ivory black.
The slideshow can be seen on the Daily Painter Originals video website HERE
Or on youtube HERE

Friday, March 11, 2011

March Reflections, Toronto

12x12 oil on canvas Sold
I am a member of Daily Painter Originals, and besides being an online gallery, we also produce videos or slide shows to show the process of our work. I admit to not being much of a techie, but I thought I would give it a try. As I painted this picture, I would stop at different points and take a picture. My son, the in house techie, came into the studio and said "Mom, why don't you put the camera on a tripod and have it set to take a picture every five minites or so (can my camera do THAT? apparently) As it turns out, all the pictures I took will be of varying sizes, but I will attempt the slide show and report back.
I drone on and on about values, and this picture had several challenges. The building on the far right is yellow, but it is in the shade, so it needs to be a cool color since my light source is warm. I mixed a melange of colors that included diox purple, cad red, yellow ochre, and others and came up with this color. Still dark and still cool. As I was painting this picture, I thought it would have made a good abstract subject.
Check out several Daily Painter Original videos HERE. My fellow artists are much better at this stuff than I am.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Thaw, Queen and Spadina

12x12 oil on stretched canvas
At this time of year, we hope for spring. But March can bring anything...snow storms, rain, or warm summer-ish weather. In this scene, the left over snow mixed with salt and dirt is melting, creating a mess on the streetcar tracks as young ladies make their way across the street after work on a March afternoon. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dinner at Adega?

6x6 oil on canvas panel
I ordered some canvas panels online and tried one today for the first time. I couldn't seem to get the paint to work. The surface was very rough, the paint seemed to disappear, and the overall look was dull. I tried adding linseed oil to my paint, and that didn't work. Finally I grabbed a knife, and slapped it on. I may not use these surfaces very often unless I recoat with more gesso.
The painting was challenging because the light was uninteresting. The whole scene was in shade, but I was attracted to the stucco orange/yellow wall and red fabric canopy.
Two young ladies walk past The Adega Resaurant on Elm Street in Toronto.
For some reason, pictures are not showing up on my blog list. If anyone knows how to fix this, I would appreciate the info.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

King Street Shops, Toronto

12x12 oil on stretched canvas
There is the accepted theory that when you have warm light, you have cool shadows. And if it is cool light, then warm shadows. This made it very difficult to paint the nice yellow canopy in the top corner that was in the shade. How does one cool down yellow? I tried it in varying ways...adding purple or red..and then tried a yellow/green mix and it seemed to work. Often when things don't work, it is because the temperature is wrong. Art can be so complicated.