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
45 Lives, commission, 10x28, oil on board
My client wanted a painting of all the cats she had shared her life with. She supplied a multitude of photos, all different stages, perspectives and quality ... very daunting! After pondering all the photos, I came up with the concept; "if she was crazy enough to have them all at once, this is what their relative ages would be"!
I then went about piecing together a composition that would work with the photos I had. To create interest I wanted movement and variation so I had them each doing something different; preening, sleeping, watching, playing, caught red handed and looking innocently at the viewer. Two photos were perfect reference, one I had to flip, one make up a bit that was covered in the photo and one I had to create a position to suit the layout then apply his coat and characteristics.
To infuse the owners name into the concept, I painted a "Rose" damask wallpaper in the background. The tablecloth (painted from life) illustrated that they were audacious kitties given they considered the dining room table "fair play"
From fruit to flowers, the Vernon Farmer's Market holds many seasonal treasures providing plenty of painting inspiration! At the beginning of the summer I scoffed this beauty metal jug from a friend and then anxciously awaited the blooming of sunflowers.
This painting will be in Gallery Odin's Winter Show opening this Thursday evening; show times
We had a special young visitor who's adventures included meeting and feeding the sheep in my field. Apparently he was retelling his adventures to his Mother but had forgotten the names of his wooly new friends. So I sat down to rectify the situation ... what started out as a quick cartoon turned into a wonderful Sunday morning drawing session. Drawn to depict the view a 5 year old would have. I had never realised what funny looking beasts sheep are!
Mid September my neighbour brought us a bag of beautiful pears from their tree, one fruit had stem and leaves intact which is a painters dream come true ... so I rushed it up to my studio and painted it. Being the beautiful Okanagan, we have frequent visitors, and the next three days had several so the still life was painted in snippets and quickly before everything wilted! Photography can't quite capture the luminous quality depicted in this painting.
Toby has had the good fortune to live the majority of his life on a large acreage in the Cariboo with freedom to roam. My good fortune was to meet this lovely old dog and to paint him. I learn so much from painting portraits and know that having met Toby is what enabled me to create such a good likeness; by implying his love for the outdoors with the bright sunny atmosphere, the wind ruffling his fur, and infuse the painting with his gentle spirit through his eyes and gesture.
Built by my Great Grandfather in the 1800's, this barn remains stalwart while the rest of the homestead returns to the earth from which still springs beautiful ancient grains. Just outside of Humboldt Saskatchewan, home, until my Father was called to the war as a romantic young man of 18.
Grandma and Grandpa's farm remained a focal point for our family of 7 for many glorious, adventurous summers. One never tires of remembering and to have been able to see it again, paint it on site, and to immortalise it by my own hand was indeed a special pleasure.
This painting and 4 others will be part of a special "Wine Festival Art Gallery" in the Village on Silver Star Mountain a satellite gallery of Gallery Odin. The special two day gallery as well as the main gallery on 2-215 Odin Road, will show and sale the works of several local artisans - show times and locations here
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.