Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just For Laughs, Yonge Street, Toronto

24x24 oil on canvas Sold
Thanks everyone for your great comments regarding realism vs impressionism. Reading through them, I realize that I am a little "uptight" in my approach to painting and need to relax a little and not worry so much about a distinct style. There were some thoughtful comments about letting the subject decide, and also to possibly incorporate both styles. A quick read through them will reveal some choice tidbits of  insight well worth taking to heart.
I will be exhibiting at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition again this year and if you are in the area July 8,9,10 you can find me at Booth 262.
The banners advertising the "Just For Laughs" show influenced my title choice for this painting of Yonge Street in Toronto. The Hard Rock Cafe is visible under the Expedia sign.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Your opinion needed:Realism vs impressionism

16x20 acrylic on canvas

8x10 oil on canvas
Renovations, family responsibilities (sandwich generation), and yard work have kept me away from the studio. I don't know what happens when I am away, but when I come back, I feel that I have lost my way. I question my goals and where I want to be artistically. I used to paint realistically, doing commission work. Like many other artists out there in the blogosphere, I am now trying to learn to paint more "painterly" with looser more expressive brush strokes and a more spontaneous look. Sometimes though, I miss painting those wonderful details. I used to have confidence when I approached a painting. Now everything is a learning experience and struggle.
How many of you out there struggle with the transition from realism to impressionism? Or do you find it difficult to "loosen" up in your work. Why is this so difficult to do?
I did this painting of a Maine Coon cat on a marble fireplace  about 5 years ago. Below it is a scene from Dundas that I did today. The lilac bush and mauve colored car caught my eye as the evening sun created long shadows. The house had some great green shutters and door.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloor Street Market, Toronto

8x10 oil on canvas
I needed a break from large, rainy, and complicated and this proved to be just what I needed. I took this photo the other day in Toronto. Its still a little early for planting, but a few markets had pansies and a few other items for sale. Early afternoon isn't the best time for photos, but there was a slight overcast haze that helped the atmosphere.
This is Bloor Street West in Toronto.

Yonge Street Rain, Toronto

24x24 oil on canvas
This is the third time I have attempted this scene, and it didn't get any easier. I wanted to do it larger than previously, and as usual, my bad habits came into play. I grabbed the smaller brushes and started doing details. Then, having to be away from the studio for a day, most of the paint dried so I had to remix all the colors. I made sure at that point to keep all the small brushes far away. (Why does the need to do realism keep sneaking back into my style) I did an acrylic sketch of this scene to see how far I wanted to go with the colors. I still subdued them a bit, and the oil allowed for more blending. This is probably the last time I will visit this particular scene, although Yonge Street is still a favorite spot for me.
The store in the foreground is called Pia Pia Fashion Boutique, and some letters of the Zanzibar club sign are just visible next to the yellow canopy sign. This is Yonge Street in Toronto.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Movie Night at the Westdale Theatre

12x12 oil on canvas sold
This painting was challenging for several reasons. There were too many colors, so I was concerned about maintaining color harmony. I could have chosen a limited palette, but all of the sparkly lights of this old movie theatre and the lights of the stores were a big part of the attraction for me. Using more colors than I normally do, I also worried about having the road turn into a mud color.
This theatre dates from the 1930's and is one of the few, if not the only, theatre of its era still in use in Hamilton. Next to it is the Bean Bar, a great coffee place.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Toronto Street Car on Dundas

8x8 oil on canvas sold
I would like to thank everyone for their insightful comments on my previous posting. I really enjoyed reading about other artist's color choices. I even heard from two writers who had some great things to say. So again, thank you!
We are back  doing some renovations on our little stone cottage, and so the studio was out of commission for a few days. I thought I would get back into painting with this little picture of Dundas Street in Toronto on a rainy day.
To bid on this painting, you can go to the ebay auction HERE