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
For an artist, "back to the drawing board" is a good thing! For me, drawing is just so liberating and this time has led me to discover new techniques in charcoal.
In the spring when the rains flood the fields below our property, it makes nice ponds for waterfowl. The above peaceful couple were enjoying that exact scenario when yours truly with her camera made too much noise and the scene changed dramatically. A second charcoal rendering "Wild Goose Chase", depicts the ensuing cacophony and was the perfect opportunity to explore additional new charcoal techniques ...
These charcoals and a few oil paintings of Chickadees in my pyracantha are available at Gallery Odin.
We have an abundance of birds on our property, despite the feline population, and the chickadees are by far THE most curious and bold. Their antics and their perfect contrasting little cap make them a beautiful subject to paint. I am smitten and working on a flock of them.
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.