Thursday, June 26, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...No. 1 Spadina Crescent

36 x 36 oil on canvas
I never knew where the expression "Dark and Stormy Night" originated until I looked it up and found it to have been written in 1830 by Edward Bulwar Lytton, an English novelist. I couldn't get the expression out of my head while I was painting. It was known as a melodramtic style of writing and has since become a cliche.
I did a similar painting to this a while back and wanted to do it on a larger scale. The Gothic Revival building in the background is part of the University of Toronto, built in 1875. It is situated at no 1 Spadina Crescent.
To establish a dark moody feeling, I used a palette of Viridian, Cadmium red, Ivory Black, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, and Titanium white.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

And Now for something completely different...

Toronto Victorian and Garden
8 x 8 oil on canvas
 I don't normally do this type of scene. But I do love old houses and gardens so I thought I would have some fun with colour.
Toronto has some amazing older homes and I hope to get around to painting more of them this summer...and hopefully include some gardens at the same time.

Thanks to Ben Reffelsen for the photo reference.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


24 x 24 oil on canvas
I know, why am I painting snow? My daughter came into the studio and "seriously?" is pretty much what she said. I asked her what she thought and she just said "I don't know..I can't even relate." Fair enough...we had a tough winter this past year. 
Whenever I do a show, I like to have a variety of paintings and I was low on the snow scenes, so I thought I would do this one. I have done this scene on a smaller scale, and wanted to do it a little larger. I have to admit that I love snow. And I loved the atmosphere on the day that I took the reference photo.
This scene is on Spadina during a blustery snowy day. This painting will be available at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square July 4,5,6.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thursday Night Jazz at The Rex, Queen Street

30 x 48 Oil on Canvas
This is another Jazz themed painting for the Jazz show at Petroff Gallery July 19th. Queen Street in Toronto still has many older small buildings mixed with larger newer ones. (As most streets in downtown Toronto).Of course the smaller older ones are always more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly. 
The Rex Hotel is a great venue for jazz. I took the photo reference on a Thursday evening as patrons were arriving to catch the shows.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jazz Bistro, Victoria Street, Toronto

36 x 48 oil on canvas
  As I mentioned in a  previous post, Petroff Gallery, using the Beaches Jazz festival as inspiration, is putting together an exhibition of works inspired by or representative of jazz music. I chose one of the two studies I did of The Jazz Bistro and painted it on a much larger scale. A lot of the painting was a study in greys and deciding which ones wouldn't contrast with the yellows, reds, and greens. it was a lot more difficult than I thought and the problem solving revolved around maintaining proper colour temperature. 
The Jazz Bistro and Senator Restaurant are located in some great older buildings on Victoria Street in Toronto. They really hold their own against the monolithic Rogers Building next door. I can't believe how much the Toronto streetscape changes from year to year. I hate to see the old buildings come down and I hope these two will hang around for a long time to come.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Jazz Bistro, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on canvas
Using the Beaches Jazz Festival as inspiration, this coming July Petroff Gallery is putting together an exhibition of works inspired by or representative of jazz music. I have decided to participate and paint images of Jazz venues in Toronto.
The Jazz Bistro on Victoria Street is an interesing location, situalted next to the famous Senator Restaurant. I did two versions and must decide which will work best on a 36 x 48 scale.
 Which composition do you prefer?