Friday, November 16, 2012

Winter Sun, Queen and Bay, Toronto

24 x 30 Oil on board
Early evening sun creates shadows and reflections on a winter day in Toronto at the corner of Bay and Queen Street West.

If anyone is in the Toronto area November 22 to Dec 2, come by the One of A Kind Show, Booth K11 and say hi. I would be very pleased to see you there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Streetcar Blues, Bay and King Street, Toronto

24 x 24 oil on cradled hardboard
In preparation for the One of A Kind Show, I have been working a the point of getting somewhat exhausted. But in spite of the exhaustion, I like the momentum. I have a new philosophy when it comes to painting. You are either painting or not. You are not checking your files for new ideas, talking on the phone, looking at blogs or are painting....and there is no in between. (Besides going to make a coffee). For me, part of the procrastination was fear of going on to the next section, or fear of making a mistake, and just basic lack of confidence. Stress has been making me go beyond the fear, and making me keep going. And I now know that to move forward, and to produce requires that one paint....and just paint and keep going even when you are tired or afraid.
I'm running out of ideas for titles of paintings and Streetcar Blues just jumped into my head. A fitting name even though there is NO blue in the painting. Just a mix of viridian and black.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bay Street Drizzle

8x10 oil on board
I have been focused on creating harmony in my paintings and so have been experimenting with limited palettes. The buildings on bay street in Toronto in this early evening commute seemed to be variations of violets and blues. I chose a mix of ultramarine blue and terra rosa (a color I rarely use but really enjoyed in this picture) for the main color scheme and added yellow ochre and cadmium red for highlights. (as well as ivory black and titanium white that I almost  always use.)
This painting is a study for a larger painting. Hopefully I can do the larger one maintaining the looseness. On larger paintings I tend to tighten up which is really annoying.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

After the Snow, Yonge and Dundas

24 x 24 oil on cradled board
After a snow storm, we often get a crisp clear light. Although it may look warm, it is a very cold day and pedestrians rush to their destinations, hunkered down inside winter clothing. The early evening light peaks through buildings, creating random reflections.
This scene was taken last year at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas after one of our major snow storms. Snow banks dominate the sides of roads and sidewalks.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

St. Lawrence Market Rain

12 x 12 oil on board
St. Lawrence Market is a wonderful place to shop in downtown Toronto. I was there on a busy rainy Saturday. Beautiful planters dominated the scene, and Beck taxis showed up in every photo I took. I was tempted to leave out the taxi in this scene, but it just didn't seem right. This scene shows Front Street with the market in the foreground, and the Flat Iron Building in the back ground.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sun after Snow, Toronto

24 x 24 oil on board
There is no snow here, and there won't be for awhile. Sometimes we get the first snowfall in November, but normally it doesn't stay on the ground until December. This is another incomplete painting that I wanted to work on. It was a simple composition, but I thought it had potential with the dramatic early evening light after a previous snow fall.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gooderham Building, Toronto

24 x 30 oil on board
The Gooderham building in Toronto (also referred to as the Flat Iron Building) is very difficult to portray. It is a beautiful elegant building, but it is tall and narrow. Even in good photos, the building always looks like it is falling over. I tried to maintain the strength of the flare at the bottom of the building, so that it is anchored to the ground, but I know I may have to work on the top and maybe accentuate the bottome more. Atmosphere was just as important for me as was the portrayal of the building. Capturing it on a hazy rainy day helped a lot. And of course, I love the rain.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Village Idiot Pub, Dundas St. West, Toronto

12 x 12 Oil on board
I love the name of this place and liked the way the corner looked on this dark and rainy day. It is located across from the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chinatown Rain, Dundas St. West, Toronto

24 x 30 Oil on board
I knew this scene would be challenging. There are too many colors (for me) The composition has the Streetcar heading out of the picture, and deciding on the proper light source temperature was almost impossible. I finally realized that with all the warm colors of the buildings, the light source had to be somewhat cool. I originally had the pedestrian in the foreground with a dark coat, but as soon as I changed it to white it seemed to bring the weak composition together.
This painting will be available at theToronto One Of A Kind Show in November.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Evening Light, Queen and St. Patrick

24x30 oil on board
This snow scene is a little out of place for this time of year, but I have decided to work on all of the paintings I planned to do. I am extra motivated because I signed on to do the One Of A Kind Show in November in Toronto. It is a very popular venue, with lots of people attending.
This scene is from the corner of Queen Street and St. Patrick. The evening light shone through the buildings, illuminating the March snow fall.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Toronto Streetcars at Spadina Crescent

24x24 oil on board
I got tired of waiting for rain, and went ahead and did a rainy scene anyway. Our hot dry summer hasn't been great for my rainy day inspiration.
This rainy day view features Toronto Streetcars near Spadina Crescent. The Gothic Revival  building in the background is part of the University of Toronto and is home to the fine arts department I believe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Powerboats, Macdonald Marine, Hamilton

15x20 oil on board
When painting marine scenes, normally we think of sailboats as being more picturesque, but this row of powerboats catching the evening light was worthy of painting. This scene is from Macdonald Marine in Hamilton Ontario.
The boat on the far right is called "Lady Rachel". I always thought that was a great name.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tugs and Industry, Hamilton, Ontario

15x18 oil on board
These tug boats were rafted together behind a break wall in an industrial area of Hamilton. With the barge sitting in front of the break wall, it became difficult to identify what these objects are, and so the picture became somewhat abstract.
I was able to photograph these tugs as the sun was setting, having a good vantage point as we sailed by on our small sailboat.
With the steel mills and industry in this area, the sky always has a bit of a "dirty" haze, even on clear days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Patio, Coach and Lantern, Ancaster

8x10 Oil on Board
We are still in a rainless heat wave here in southern Ontario. But its never too hot to sit on your favorite patio and sip a cold one. This patio sits between two great old stone buildings, one of them home to the Coach and Lantern Restaurant and Pub in Ancaster Ontario.
I used the same palette as in the previous painting.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Silver Light, Queen Street, Toronto

20x20 oil on board
I painted this picture over another monochrome study I did a while ago. I wanted to try and capture the "silvery light" that occurs in early evening when the sun shines through a haze or thin clouds. With the underpainting already done, I was able to do the painting in three and a half hours, keeping it loose.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Evening Commute, John Street, Toronto

6x6 oil on board Sold
I spend a lot of time trying to create atmosphere and mood by experimenting with various colour palettes, paint applications, and surfaces... and as interesting as this all is, sometimes I just want to paint a picture.

 When I take photos I spend a fair amount of time in the middle of the street (as carefully as possible) and I am often rewarded with unique and interesting images. I just loved this image of a young woman cycling on John Street passing in front of a streetcar, probably heading home from work. The sun was beginning to recede behind buildings, leaving a light glow.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer in the City, Queen Street, Toronto

20x20 Oil on Board
I have had limited time in the studio lately due to visiting family etc. and yesterday with the whole day to myself I was determined to get at it early and paint all day. My studio is extremely unorganized and I realized I had no primed surfaces to work on. So frustrating! I searched through my stacks of experimental or discarded pieces and found a momochrome value study. This study was a perfect start for a painting to depict the mood of the day and the heat wave we are having in southerin ontario.
This scene is on Queen Street next to the wonderful iron fence near the Law Society.
I was wondering what everyone does with their discards and experimental pieces and the stacks of paintings we accumulate in our studios. If you have any insights or thoughts I would appreciate hearing them. Thanks!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The El Mocambo, Toronto

16x16 oil on board
This is one of Toronto's oldest music venues, first opening in the 1800's. Probably one of the most well known venues as well.
I'm still experimenting with a limited palette to create harmony and atmosphere, using Ivory black, viridian, cadmium red, yellow ochre, and ultramarine blue.
The El Mocambo is on Spadina near College.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Curry's Artists' Materials, Dundas St W. Toronto

24x24 Oil on Board
I went back to my limited palette with this painting and used board instead of canvas. Maybe I will never find a definitive palette or surface preference and will always be experimenting with each new subject.
Curry's Art Stores sell supplies in several Canadian cities and have been selling to artists for many years. This Currys is on Dundas Street West, just down the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Ontario College of Art and Design.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spadina Street Rain

24x24 oil on canvas
I wanted to redo the 12x12 study of this scene that I had previously done. I am still leaving the black tube of paint in the drawer, staying with the palette in the previous posting. This scene is on Spadina Street in Toronto's Chinatown.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lucky Moose Food Mart, Dundas Street Toronto

24x24 oil on canvas
There were so many exciting things in this image: umbrellas, great reflections, and the lone figure walking down the street. I decided to switch to a more traditional palette and didn't use any black (which I often include). I used ultramarine blue, permanent alizarin, transparent red iron oxide, viridian, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, titanium white.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rainy Day shopping in Chinatown, Toronto

12x12 oil on canvas
I learned a very important lesson here. ALWAYS PUT EXTRA PRIMER ON A PURCHASED CANVAS. I normally prime and texture my purchased canvas, but being unprepared and in a hurry, decided to go ahead and paint anyway. Paint sinks in a lot, and colors fade and get muddy (much faster). I continued on, learning my lesson every step of the way, and used a knife to get some pure color. Still a little flat and muddy, but not too bad I guess.
This is Spadina on a rainy day in Chinatown. It is a study for a larger canvas (which I will coat and prime with gesso.)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Umbrellas on Spadina

12x12 Oil on Canvas
Trying to achieve harmony in my paintings, I have been using a limited palette and focusing on values. With this painting, I still kept a limited palette but changed to Ultramarine blue, Ivory black, Transparent Oxide Red, Viridain, Cadmium Red, Yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, and titanium white. I also wanted to keep it loose, so kept my painting time to three hours.
These fabulous umbrellas and their owners are waiting to cross Spadina on a rainy day in Toronto. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Meadow-Pleinair

8x10 oil on canvas panel
It is such a great time of year, I decided that I had to get outside to paint. I'm still a bit shy to paint in town or in the city, but with practice, I will get there.
I really enjoy reading Richard Schmid's early book from the seventies called "Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes". This book is difficult to find, and if you find it, it will cost anywhere from $140.00 to $250.00. The copies have even disappeared from our local library. He has such a great no nonsense attitude toward painting. I love his comment on using photography:

", like wine, must be used with descretion lest it become a crutch. There is no substitutefor working from life and I would discourage anyone from using photos until he has first put in years of painting from life." 

I do most of my work from photographs, but when time permits, I'm hoping to get outside more often.
This little scene is from a path off York Road, outside Dundas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Toronto Spring

12x20 Oil on Board
What can I say.Its spring and a glorious time of year.
These Victorians are near College Street in Toronto.

Friday, April 13, 2012

College and Spadina

24x24 oil on canvas
I was tempted to call this painting "Yellow Slicker". I liked the bright yellow of this cyclists rain gear and how it accented the painting so nicely.This is a very busy corner where College Street meets Spadina in Toronto. Lots of streetcars, tracks, traffic and people. I went for a more traditional scene in this painting and liked the dark reflections created by the trees.
I kept to a limited palette of ivory black, viridian green, yellow ochre, cadmium red and titanium with the smallest touch of dioxinine purple to add some blue to the distant buildings.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting for a Streetcar, Dundas and Spadina, Toronto

8x8 oil on gallery wrap canvas SOLD
A young woman waits for a Streetcar on Spadina on a rainy day in Toronto.
$135.00 plus delivery

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toronto's Chinatown, Dundas and Huron

24x24 oil on canvas
 The variety of colors and strong reflections are what drew me to this scene. It was these components that made it very difficult. To try to achieve some harmony, I decided to try the limited palette on a larger scale. I used viridian, cad red, yellow ochre, ivory black, titanium white. I cheated a little at the end and added a couple of touches of phthalocyanine green, perfect for street lights and a couple dabs on the brightly lit sign in the background. The whole scene came out quite cool in color, but it does reflect the feel of the day.
This scene is in Toronto's Chinatown on Dundas Street approaching Huron.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Huron and Dundas, Toronto

12x12 oil on canvas
There were lots of rich colors in this area of Dundas Street in Toronto's Chinatown. The challenge here was to maintain the values and the sense of the scene without focusing on all the lovely details which must be merely "suggested".
Richard Schmid's book "The Lanscapes" has finally arrived in the mail. What a treasure.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rainy Day in Chinatown, Toronto

12x12 oil on stretched  canvas
Whenever I looked at the painting from the previous post, I felt cold and wet. (My intention but still uncomfortable) I wanted something with a little more warmth to it, so I chose a scene that demanded  more color, although I still kept most colors subdued.
This scene is on Spadina near Dundas Street in Toronto's Chinatown. The lights from the stores just glistened on this rainy day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stormy Day, Dundas and Spadina

18x18 Oil on Board
I'm still using a limited palette to enhance the greys and moody atmospheric conditions that I'm trying to portray. I liked the Ivory Black, viridian, cadmium red, yellow ochre, titanium white that I used in a previous painting. When I took this photo, it was pretty much a squally day with drenching downpours...just the kind of day that I like. Spadina is a wonderfully busy and eclectic street. It is home to Toronto's Chinatown and close to the Kensington market.
Two streetcars stop at Spadina and Dundas Streets in Toronto Ontario.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Toronto Streetcar and Snow Storm, Queen and University

11x14 oil on canvas SOLD
I'm getting ready to do a much larger version of this scene, so I decided to paint it again a little larger, making a few changes along the way. I added more color and a bit more detail. Its always difficult to know how far to go with color and detail, and of course the only way to find out how it looks is to paint it.