Sunday, January 27, 2013

Queen and McCaul Snow

24 x 24 oil on board
As artists, we can be so sensitive. (At least I know that I am) I can have a very bad painting day, and decide right then and there that I am giving up painting. I decide that any "job" is better than this. Sounds ridiculous but it happens. I had spent the whole day on this picture, but I had it all wrong. Instead of focusing on the "big picture", the blocks of values, the abstract qualities, I started painting details right away.  That is a sure way to get it "wrong". I was so frustrated with the result, I had a knife out ready to scrape away the surface. At that moment, my son came into the studio. I asked him if the painting was awful and he said, "no, I kind of like it". So because of his comment, I took another look, got out the big brush and painted out all of the silly details. It wasn't until I got the values ok that I went in and put in some details and highlights.
 (Are we that needy for confirmation, that any little positive remark will set us on the right track?)

The painting still isn't a "masterpiece". It is somewhat too monochrome and the composition is a little weak I think. But its ok and I'm glad the knife didn't destroy it during my moments of frustration.

Do you often not follow your "own rules"?

Speaking of positive remarks, I would like to mention a couple of bloggers who are always generous and constructive with remarks. Head on over to their blogs and check them out.

Jan paints exciting evocative depictions in oil and encaustic of the Niagara vinyards and surrounding area. she also teaches.
Jan Yates "Salvage 1"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowy Day Shopping at The Bay, Toronto

18 x 24 oil on board
Generally I don't like scenes that have too many colors. This scene had a variety of colors that I thought would be difficult to work with and still create some harmony in the painting. I did a value study using a mix of transparent oxide red and ultramarine blue in a loose wash and let it dry overnight. I then did the final painting using transparent oxide red, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, yellow ochre, titanium white. 
Sometimes I like the value study and am tempted to leave it as a finished painting.
This scene is of the Hudson's Bay store in downtown Toronto on a snowy day. The lovely white snow that had covered everything had been cleared and piled onto sidewalks and streets leaving reflections and a salty mushy mix to walk in.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow on Huron Street, Toronto

12 x 12 Oil on board
I loved the strong angles and abstract design in this scene. Sometimes there are items in a scene that we don't recognize and we can choose to leave them out or include them. I liked how the parking garage entrance added to the layers leading back to the CN tower and high rises in the background. Most people won't recognize this structure as a parking garage but I thought it worthy of inclusion.
This is Huron Street, looking toward Queen Street.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spadina Streetcars in January

 12 x 12 Oil on Canvas
Two Streetcars meet on Spadina Avenue in Toronto on a cold blustery day in January.
For this painting, I used a mix of terra rosa and ultramarine blue and it provided a nice mix of grays for the muted colours that dominated the scene. I also added cadmium red, yellow ochre and titanium white.
To start the painting, I did a fairyl accurate value study using terra rosa and ultramarine blue, applied thinly mixed with mineral spirits.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chinatown Snow

12 x 12 oil on board
It was a wonderfully snowy day in Toronto when I decided to take  pictures. It was also cold and windy. After snow plows and salters had been around a few times, it was all a soupy mess of melted snow, salt, and dirt. No matter, I found some great scenes. Even on a day like this, the city is a hub of activity with people braving the weather to food shop or find some boxing day specials.
I loved how Chinatown still had umbrellas up and all kinds of food to buy. A cold but visual feast.
This scene is on Spadina near Dundas.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

New Year's goal: Find coffee

I would like to thank everyone for their kind and insightful comments throughout 2012 and may you all have a healthy happy New Year!