I undertook a big adventure this summer; I was a cook in the Yukon for a mineral exploration company for whom my oldest son also was working. Although it was the most difficult job I have ever done, I am richer for the experience. I was chief cook and bottle washer (hardest part), cleaning and laundry lady, plus, First Aid attendant (most stressful part).
The challenges were many, among which was navigation, should I have to respond to an emergency in the field. I was not familiar with the lay of the land ... enter Charly! A Keno native, Charly is an outdoor enthusiast as well as an amazingly capable, thoughtful, and kind individual who, among all her other duties, was my navigator. This painting pays homage to her spirit, youth and beauty.
Although I was really stoked by our model's pose and costume, I struggled with composition and drawing - some days are just like that. When pondering the failed painting back in my studio, I realised that both orientation and medium had been poor choices. Having observed her live for 4 hours and taken photos, I simply started again with the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) on newsprint, horizontal and with charcoal to capture the wonderful contrasts in this lovely costume and elegant beauty.
The advantage of slowing down is seeing the details. Not so every feather can be painted, but so that the important elements can be captured ... and there was a bee in her bonnet that I missed - how fun is that! Now I have a strong composition and look forward to doing a finished piece on good paper.
Preparing for a gallery show and then back east on family events meant no painting for a month, so when the opportunity to paint a live model in a sustained pose for 4 hours came up just days after I arrived home, I jumped on it! I was conscious of the tendency to be tight and insecure in a large group, but with 4 hours there is plenty of time to relax and explore a bit. Stayed loose, enjoyed the music and was very inspired by our lovely model.
"Get back Stare" words from a favourite song by the Jets - Are you Gonna Be My Girl
Commissioned portrait of a very dear friend for a very dear friend. In portraiture I want to capture the essence of the individual, knowing the person really helps and as a result, the likeness in this case is strong. The painting exudes her joyful personality and wicked sense of humour - RIP Elsie May
Well! It has been a while since I posted last, but not a drought; the portrait above is one of several new paintings I have completed and I will include in my upcoming newsletter ... not on my list? You can subscribe here !
I met this stunning girl in a café in my home town, gave her my card, and crossed my fingers. Some months later, we did connect for a sitting at my studio and I am so pleased that I managed to captured the essence of this wonderful, gentle soul. Enlarge the painting (click on it), and look at the lovely colourful loose treatment around her captivating eyes. Ah! and the effective reflected light ... tip: the colour of light is not always white!
I will be in two shows this summer;
Gallery Odin's Summer Show starting June 25 to September - details here
and again this year, Art in the Garden on July 26th - Michael Jell has been hard at work in his already beautiful garden, and there will be two additional painters this year - details here
After a busy few months of painting, it is nice to get back to basics. Pure, honest but far from simple; drawing is the foundation of a good painting. All the rendering in the world cannot hide a mistake in drawing, just as a cornerstone would be sorely missed in the foundation of a building. So, not only is it nice to simply sketch, frankly, it is essential to every aspect of good art.
After 8 long months convalescing from a broken wrist, I am finally painting again. Incognito being the paradigm; an enthusiastic, if not unbridled approach, where subject, colour, application and technique come together in a playful, cheery harmony.
I am ignoring the imperfections as the success has been in just picking up the brush.
I painted and posted this painting of my father for Remembrance Day in 2008. It was a special tribute to my Father, a soldier who served in the Second World War.
This year I would like to offer this painting as a tribute to all Fathers who made such extraordinary sacrifices for our Country, their children’s, and our children’s futures ... lest we forget.
On my father’s 80th birthday I was fortunate to have him share with me the story of his life during WWII. I wrote furiously while he remembered, a moment in time I will be forever grateful for.
Here is a story of this one man’s experience of a time we can hardly imagine. AEH_bio.pdf
Thank you Dad, I love you.
Painting subjects multiple times is something I had not done much of previously.
The re-visit process provides a certain ease. Due to the familiarity of the subject from having studied it so closely previously, combined with the self critiquing that artists beat them selves up over constantly, there is a new set of ground rules that are unique and specific to this subject. The established knowledge allows room to attempt new techniques to depict the subject and details in a new way in a different medium.
At the IPE last year, I found this handsome Cowboy hanging around the stables jawing with his buddies. If, as the English proverb says; “eyes are the window to a man’s soul,” his is clear and bright with much laughter!
This painting is part of my current exhibition “Running Paints” ...running until August 27 in Armstrong.
August 4th to 27th, 2011
Armstrong Spallumcheen Art Gallery
3415 Pleasant Valley Road, Armstrong, BC.
Show details and an Invitation to Running Paints Exhibition