Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holiday Shoppers on Yonge

24 x 24 oil on canvas
Its a little early for this theme, but I wanted to try a picture for the One Of A Kind Show competition called "Christmas across Canada" I thought there is nothing more Canadian that trudging through the slush and snow to finish that last minute shopping before the holidays. 
This was not an easy picture to do. The subtleties of colour were difficult to maintain and its important to keep in mind that snow reflects all of the colours around it.
I'm still thinking about this one...I will need to look at it for awhile and see if I am happy with it. 
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Snowy Saturday in Chinatown

12 x 12 oil on board
I took this photo last January and  it was a very blustery blizzardy day, but yet Chinatown on Spadina was in full swing. I loved the fact that the umbrellas were out, covered in new snow. Salt on the sidewalks melts the snow, creating soft reflections.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rain at the Go Station, Toronto

12 x12 oil on canvas
I decided to use a palette knife a bit more in this painting, looking for that really wet feeling. It definitely takes some practise to learn to use it well, but I enjoyed it with this one. I used a soft brush to smooth out the areas I didn't like. I also used some higher chroma paint colors than I normally do in a rainy scene.
Saturday shoppers head to the Go Station on Front Street on a rainy day in Toronto.

Friday, October 18, 2013

After the Snow, John and Queen

12 x 12 oil on board
I really liked the composition of this one, but wasn't sure how to approach the painting. The colours are very subdued, there is no sunshine or reflected surfaces. I decided to keep it very simple and subtle, even omitting traffic lights and street poles. I will have to live with this one for awhile before I decide if it is done.
This double streetcar heads up Queen Street past Much Music. The Chapters sign is visible down John Street.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Reflected Light, Wellington Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas
When I'm getting ready for a show, it takes a while to build the momentum required to work all day, everyday (well maybe not the whole weekend). When it happens, its hard work, but the routine of working becomes enjoyable. Its being totally immersed in something that is difficult, challenging, sometimes rewarding, and often enjoyable. I like being in this place. I have a saying that works for me, but not every artist. I am either working, or I'm not. I either come into the studio and work, or I get sidetracked. I have no in between. Some people can work that way. They can take some time for coffee and shopping and get back in. If I escape, I get into another world where painting doesn't happen. I often wonder how other artists work. Watching shows about Picasso, one would assume that he drank and partyed all day, and produced at night. Hard to believe.
My son sometimes calls me a Troll (term of endearment) and says that I must get away from my studio cave. I'm happy here with my dog at my side, or under my feet.Time to get back at it.
This scene features reflected light from glass high rise towers and a streetcar and beck taxi in shadow.

Monday, October 7, 2013

City Lights and Steam, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on canvas
Steam escapes from sidewalk grates on a cold evening near University in Toronto. The sign on the Beck taxi stands out against the line of streetcars.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Toronto Skyline at Night

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I wasn't sure how to tackle this one. I blocked in the larger shapes and then added the touches of light, trying not to make them too dominant. Still more learning to do. I would like to try this with a different colour palette.
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Crisp evening shopping, Simcoe and King Streets

12 x 12 oil on canvas
Steam rises from grates on this cold crisp evening of shopping on Simcoe and King Streets in Toronto.
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the use of this photo reference.