Sunday, December 27, 2009

Warm On The Inside [acrylic on 300lb w/c paper, 11”x15”]

Over the last couple of days I’ve come back into this painting with some opaque light areas and then used a letter stamp, light over dark and dark over light, to create pathways for the eye to move around in the painting.  The butterfly represents life in the midst of cold, sterile winter [the view from the window].  I think it is saying what I’m feeling much better than I can explain with words.  Interesting.

warm on the inside I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas holiday.  Cheers!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas! Warm on the Inside start…

I’ve started another acrylic painting using a variety of mediums.  I thought I would post a sneak peak.  Perhaps it will give me an idea about my next step…  seeing the thumbnail images is a great way to get a handle on value at least. 

IMG_0371Christmas makes me think of fresh starts, resurrection, freedom, survival, contentment,and unconditional love.  These are the thoughts I’m trying to convey in this piece.  Lots of work to do yet so stay tuned!  Merry Christmas to you…

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Circle of Prayer [acrylic on canvas panel, 14”x11”]

circle of influence

This painting is another one begun with a variety of Golden’s acrylic mediums textured with my stash of mostly household odds & sods.  It’s a fun way to begin.  Here’s what it looked like at various stages along the way:

  1. Just a bunch of texture with the first bit of painting on it.  At this point I am forcing myself to keep it abstract – a hard job when I can “see” subjects popping here and there.IMG_0349
  2. Here I’ve tried to glaze off some of the extreme purple and make some “bones” to hold it together. IMG_0353
  3. Texture detail…  some of it is 1/8” or more thick molding paste, some lines of tar gel drizzle, flat gesso areas scraped in places, etc.IMG_0354
  4. At this point I was unable to deny the the obvious scarf covered woman’s head in the top left …  I came back to subject again with these abstracted figures by painting their hands and faces white and glazing skin tones.  This still needs more bones to hold it together. Although I have added some opaques throughout the painting, they are not jumping out nor are they obvious enough to hold the hands and faces in a context.  IMG_0358
  5. I’ve now added more opaques in a grid which, I hope, completes the of influence Am I done?  I think I’m close.  This is one of those paintings that I have to sleep on.  Cheers!


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rock Isle Lake Raw (14”x8” acrylic)

Rock Isle Lake

Gorgeous Rock Isle Lake is high up on Sunshine Meadow near Banff.  The views are spectacular up there – lots of inspiration for artists and nature lovers alike. 

Back in June I painted this location in watercolor.  In this painting I gave it another go in transparent acrylic and yet it has a very watercolor look to it.  It also has a stark, cold feel that my previous painting doesn’t have.  That could be due to the Jekyll and Hyde weather we had that day – everything from sun to snow in 30 minute rotation. 

I highly recommend the summer shuttle bus to the top and a brisk hike in that spectacular air!  For more summer inspiration check out the White Mountain Adventures photos.  Or, check out the webcams at to see what it looks like up there right now. Brrrrr!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early Bird [acrylic on cotton mat board]

early birdI struggled mightily with the shape of the hat and face in this painting.  The hat is now half the size it was and the face is twice the size it was!!!  Figures are tough.  But, I have the sense of the scene at least now – it feels like she and her bird are enjoying morning light through a high window.  Maybe she’s off to school for the day?  I’m off to the next painting!  Ciao!

For more information email me.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Textures Using Acrylic Medium

I continue to discover new methods for using acrylic paints and mediums every week in my Monday mixed media class.  The possibilities are really endless!  Last week we used a variety of acrylic mediums and improvised tools to create physical textures on our chosen surface [canvas board, watercolor paper, mat board, or stretched canvas].  Each medium appears differently on each surface – do the math on that!  Lots of opportunity to play for life. 


In this example  I started by drizzling gesso in an area and then flattened a portion of that with a palette knife and did some scrafetti into it.  Then I pressed some light molding paste through a box stencil, spread some gel gloss [regular & and soft] and then scraped into, pressed into, and stamped into it with various items to create textures.  After all of this dried I puddled dilute fluid acrylics in warm tones across the surface.  The paint dries differently in each of the various areas of texture.  It makes for an interesting start – but, most of the texture is not visible on this photo.  [Note:  all products listed are made by Golden]

We were meant to work with this start abstractly at least at the beginning but I find that very challenging.  Without “thingness” I struggle to know how to move forward.  However, I dove in and glazed some transparent areas then added darker passages and towards the end some opaque areas.  I tend to see figures in everything I look at and this was no exception.  It naturally evolved, what can I say?

Naturally, this process is a teeter-totter – if you make a mark in one place you have to respond to that mark somewhere else.  Completing a piece could, quite literally, take forever.  It’s a matter of knowing what you like and quitting as soon as you see it.  Doesn’t that sound easy?  HA HA…  right!!!!  It’s a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together without any edges.  The good news is that light areas can be lost and found and lost and found again – yay for acrylics!  It’s a fun challenge.  Here’s a photo of the piece as it was before class today, warts and all.  I’ll have a new and improved version here tomorrow.  Cheers! 


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Acrylic applied as in "oils" fashion… and more paintings for sale

Last week my Monday painting class homework was to work on a painting using acrylic paints thickly, somewhat like is done with oils.  The week had shot by with NO time for me to sit down to experiment.  Monday morning I awoke at a decent hour and got busy.  I used a palette knife to do all but a few glazes over the entire surface.  This little painting [about 5”x6”] was simply to get a feel for how the materials works with heavier mediums added to them.  It was  a lot of fun – I just played! mountainsHere are some more of the  paintings that I have available for sale:

“Cosmos” [$50] and “Lilies" [$50] are both double matted  and backed with archival material ready to pop into a standard 8.5” x 11” frames.

  IMG_0177 IMG_0178

“Manitou Day Lilies” [ $60] and “Apple Blossoms” [$50] are both double matted and backed with archival material ready to pop into 12”x12” frames which are quite common.

IMG_0185 IMG_0186 If you have questions about any of my artwork please don’t hesitate to email me or call 403.242.5445.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paintings available for purchase…

The following original watercolor paintings are available for purchase [archival quality matting and backing as shown]:

IMG_0196 $190 - “St Albert Elevators”, watercolor painting matted to fit standard 20”x30” frame size.

$45 – Choice of 3 small paintings of the same subject [matted to fit standard 11x14” frame]:

IMG_0180 IMG_0181 IMG_0182  $140 “Spirit Island” [located in Jasper National Park, Alberta] watercolor painting matted to fit standard 20”x24” frame size. Click to read the story behind “Spirit Island”.

IMG_0191$45 – Choice of 2 small paintings of the same subject [matted to fit standard 11x14” frame]:

IMG_0176 IMG_0175 Please email me if you are interested in purchasing or would like more information.  Cheers!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Back from the framing marathon…

This blog has suffered some neglect this fall, particularly over the past 3 weeks while I matted and framed some of my paintings for the Market Collective last weekend.  I’m excited to get back painting again.  Also, I’m happy to report that my experience at the market was good despite the scary winter storm that we had over the weekend – it certainly hampered the usual traffic for the vendors. 

Thanks to all of you that were able to come by the market over the weekend on those awful roads.  Here are the pieces I sold over the weekend…I just love the look of these red dots don’t you?

boneyard chevy RED DOT copyBoneyard Chevy

Sheep River Falls RED DOTSheep River Falls

 Rock Isle Lake RED DOTRock Isle Lake

Stay tuned tomorrow for  information on paintings that are still available and how you can make one yours.  Cheers! 

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