Friday, May 27, 2011

The Time Of Bees

Life is coming back to nature up here in Canada. It is wet and oh so green! When I am out painting very early, there is nothing that I enjoy more in the silent stillness of the morning than the whispering buzz of bumble-bees. I miss them in the winter.
If you spend time in nature you soon tire of the birds. At first their songs are refreshing and uplifting to the spirit, but soon they become repetitive and annoying. Not the bees. they whisper a quiet conversation humming along as they do their morning chores.
The time of bees for me is early morning when the due is still on the grass. Birds are still groggy but the bees are fast at work. The global gardeners.
The Time of Bees sml
The Time Of Bees, 11”x14” Oil on canvas panel, $400

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Intimate Art Newsletter

I finally decided to accompany this blog with a monthly newsletter. The newsletter will speak directly to art collectors in general and will have information and stories that I would rather share with a subscriber base than with the whole world out there.
I will also be using this newsletter to give you heads up and sneak peaks at news and artwork before I post it on my blog when I can.

The Credit River Spring , Oil on panel 8"x10"

In order to help you decide to join my art newsletter, I am drawing a winner in June for this 8”x10” oil on panel painting. The winner will be drawn at the end of June. If you subscribe, you will automatically be entered to win! I will also be having seasonal give-aways and draws to subscribers only. So what are you waiting for? Please take 15 seconds to subscribe in the form below!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Postcard Size Works for Fair

I promised my wife that I would share a table with her at a local art fair. She is publicizing her fledging “Art Just For Me” Business. A great concept of teaching kids art in a playful atmosphere all in French! I helped with one of her workshops recently and it was a blast! The kids loved the art, struggled with the vocabulary, but ended up winners on both ends!


Most of my recent works are in a show in Brampton, so I am scrambling to get a few pieces together for the table.

My plan is to set my pochade close by and do a few demos for passers by. In that vain, and because in these venues you shouldn’t expect major sales, I decided to create a bunch of poster size works (3x4, 4x6, 5x7) for sale at less than $50 a piece. Here are three done today.

Stand  Willow  Windy and warm

Stand 4”x6”                               Willow 3”x4”                             Windy & Warm 4”x6”


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

White House On 9th & Derry


This is an abandoned farm house close to my home. I often pass by it and wonder what wonderful happy days it must have held in it.

There is so much to paint in this picture and one of the mistakes I often do is to paint it all when I am outdoors painting en plein air.

 2 After looking at all the possible compositions in the picture I finally settled on a small portion of the house. You have to guess that this extension was added at a time when the family was growing and they needed more room for everyone. But what happened? Why is this beautiful house sitting empty and falling apart?
3 Here is the composition close up and framed. Some of the elements in the picture will be simplified and some will be removed all together, but the basics are here.
4 I did a very subtle but important change from the image above. Can you guess what it is? Yes I narrowed the white area (siding). It occupied a lot of the image and had to be limited.
5 Still in photoshop, I turned the image to black and white to start seeing the abstract shapes. Right here and in the image below you can see how strong that dark triangle is. It has to go. If this was an abstract painting, I would have probably kept it and played with the hard edges, but for the purpose of this painting it is too distracting .
6 Here you can see it even clearer. It just sucks all the attention. If I was doing this painting en plein air, I would probably have realized this later in the process and had to correct for it. One of the nice things about painting in the studio is that you can contemplate all of these things over a cup of coffee on your laptop before you even touch a brush!
7 Satisfied that I had the basics done, I took a 14x11 panel and started laying out the shapes to see how it looks. I also decided on the colour scheme for the painting. I want it to be earie and cold on the outside with a bit of warmth on the inside while avoiding the Kinkaid plague (no glowing lights!!).
8 More layers and now I am starting to negative paint the trees. I am also starting to drift on the angle of the extension. It will be a while before I figure that one out and fix it.
9 I didn’t like the way the trees where looking so I went back and filled the whole area up again. I also started working on one of the near trees.

(The roof of the extension is still drifting!!)
10 I added a couple of more trees in the foreground and built up the negative shapes in the back (sky) to bring out the background trees and branches.

(The roof of the extension is still drifting!!)
11 This is the moment when you want to just throw the thing in the garbage and give up on painting. Everything is in. Now is the time to start asking why? Why are these elements in there? Do they have to be?

(The roof of the extension is still drifting!!)
12 Ok so I finally saw what the roof was doing and gave it a lift before it just  collapsed on the extension. Still. That little tree looks like hell! Do I really need it? Why did I put it there?
13 I took the little tree out and I feel it opened the painting up.
14 I finally cleaned up the branches and sharpened the edges where I could.