Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here's what's going on in my studio right now. Alan and our friend, Mike Svob are painting a mural together on two huge panels. It is to refurbish one they did years ago in Seattle. The panels will be made into bigger giclee copies and installed over the old mural. These shots are of the drawing in process. It's fun to watch.
If I want to paint, I'll have to go into Alan's studio for the next week or two.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Water under the Bridge

This is # 3 painting from the Kanaka creek photos- "Water under the Bridge"  30 x 40" acrylic. I'm taking to the Federation Gallery for the annual Signature members Spillsbury Medal show.

Monday, November 25, 2013

River of Gold II

This is the second piece painted from my Kanaka Creek photos taken about a month ago. That was a good day for photos. I have another one well along that's 30 x 40". I love the fall colours and they last for such a short time. This piece is 24 x 36" and will be shown at Granville Fine Art in Vancouver for their Christmas show that opens November 30th.

Demo day

We had a fun day last Sunday. The four women in our exhibition at the Langley Centennial Museum painted at the show for the afternoon. I was painting opposite my sister, Suzanne- interesting to see how different her process is. We were both painting large but she likes to do it in the floor and I need the easel. My set up was very orderly [ some might call it anal] and hers was very organic [ some might call it chaos]. I will post my painting when it's finished.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"River of Gold" 24 x 36" acrylic
This is the final piece for my group show opening November 14th at the Langley Centennial Museum here in Fort Langley.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Figure & Ground show

This show is what I've been working toward in the past few months. We are four women painters, with very different approaches- I think it will make for a very interesting and diverse show. Our common theme is landscape and figures.

Most fun for me is that my sister, Suzanne, is among the group. She is producing some beautiful pieces for the show. The show opens Thursday, November 14th and everyone is welcome. It will hang until January 8th so there's lots of time to see it if you can't make the opening.

All the artists will be demonstrating at the museum on Sunday, November 24th from 1:00 to 4:00.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

problems with purple

Purple is an interesting colour to work with. This painting was under-painted in purple and the top photo shows what it looked like when I first finished it. When I looked at the photo, I realized that I didn't like the purple-ish cast of the sand in the foreground. I repainted it with a warmer colour.

Purple doesn't always show up until you put the painting in daylight. Something about my studio lights makes it look less noticeable. I photograph my paintings outdoors so that's when the dreaded purple sometimes shows up too strong.

The painting is called "Soft Sea Breezes" 24 x 36" acrylic.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Painting with a limited palette

One Mile Lake, Pemberton

Last week Alan and I were at Whistler at the Federation of Canadian Artist's annual Plien Air painting workshop. We had a wonderful time. Hanging out with fellow artists in a spectacular natural setting is my favourite thing to do. Despite a poor weather forecast, we managed to stay dry most of the time.

One of the new features of the workshop this year were goodie bags for every participating artist. We got magazines, brushes, gift certificates and lots of other stuff- pretty fun. Kind of like opening your stocking at Christmas.

One of the gifts in the goodie bag was a set of 3 tubes of Golden slow drying acrylics. I had never tried them before so I decided to do this 16 x 20 painting with just those colours, plus white. I found the paint to have a bit of a scratchy feel, but the three pigments made some lovely colours. I will try them again in another painting. The pigments are; quinacridone magenta, pthalo blue [green shade], and bismuth vanadate yellow.

A big thanks to Susie Cipolla, Lianne Gulka and the rest of the team that created such a great experience for us all. The workshop will happen again next year in Whistler so try to make it if you can- you will learn so much and have fun while you're doing it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Final Tweaking

This is my last painting for the feature at the Peninsula Gallery next weekend. The top image is nearly finished and the second image is after the final tweaking. I decided that I didn't like the shape of the foreground rock- too pointy on top. I reshaped a few of the rocks, added more details and reinforced the darks in some areas. The left foreground puddles seemed too dark to me so I made them lighter. Added sparkles in the water. I also put some subtle blue glazes on the distant white cliffs so they would be a cooler value than the white in the foreground rocks.

I will be demonstrating from 1:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, Sept 7th at the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney. Everyone welcome.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm back to my favourite spot on the planet for this image. It's on Pender Island where my parents live. I told Alan to scatter my ashes here if I die before him. Just a magic place for me.

I have never painted this particular arbutus before because the setting for it didn't make a perfect composition. However, the advantage of having painted so many arbutus before have led to me being much more confident about inovation. I moved trees and rocks, changed the colours on the main tree and was happy with what I ended up with.

"One Day in August"  30 x 40" acrylic. The painting is now on the wall at Granville Fine Arts Gallery in Vancouver.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hope Bay finished

Here's the completed painting of Hope Bay, plus a 30 x 40" acrylic that I did of the Salmon river near my house in Fort Langley. These paintings will go with me when I go to Sidney on September 7th.

I'll be doing a demo in the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney in the afternoon of the 7th. Come and see me if you live in the area- everyone welcome.

Last Wednesday was my first annual Paintout and Artist's picnic at Whytecliff Park. We had a great turnout and perfect weather. The consensus was that it's a great location so next year's event will be at the same spot. Hope you can join me next summer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hope Bay in stages

I haven't posted any sequential pictures for a while. Here's the stages of today's work- I started this 24 x 36"piece this morning. It's about half way along. I'm really enjoying painting it and looking forward to trying to get those underwater rocks really working. The second half of my paintings take longer but I will post more images as it progresses.

Friday, August 9, 2013

More Arbutus trees

While looking for something new to paint, I went through some old files of photos from Thormanby Island. The reference photo for this painting was taken in 2009. I never recognized it at the time as something interesting to paint but it stopped me in my tracks this time. The trees were smaller and quite hidden by foliage but I've painted enough arbutus trees by now that I know how to create them without much to go by. I love the colour palette in this piece ; " Against the Sky" 30 x 40" acrylic.

I will be doing a painting demonstration at Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver this Sunday, August 11th  from 1:00 to 3:00. It's free- come and see me if you are in the area.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Go Big

 I have enjoyed a flurry of sales through several of my galleries lately- thank you, Universe. All of the paintings sold have been big ones. I'm not really sure why but I prefer to do big paintings so this gives me permission to do more of them!

Just put the last strokes on this one minutes ago- "Sand and Surf"  36 x 48" acrylic. Another gift of the trip last year to Calvert Island.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Comings and goings

I'm back in the studio after being in Calgary at the Stampede Art show for 2 weeks. It was quite an experience. Although we had lots of advice from artist friends who have done the Stampede show before, there is nothing to quite prepare you for the experience.

First I must say that the spirit and resolve of the city of Calgary and the many volunteers who work at the Stampede was remarkable. Many said it couldn't be done in the wake of the devastating floods, but the Stampede went off without a hitch. The art show was impressive- beautiful presentation and attention to detail. We were impressed with the caliber of art there and also the spirit of camaraderie amongst the artists. Sales for us could have been better but it was a learning experience and if Alan does it again next year, he will have a much better idea of how to manage everything.

I am so happy to be home now and back in the studio. I launched immediately into a huge oil painting of a waterfall I photographed on the drive home from Calgary. Quickly realized that I had bitten off a bit too much for the first piece after a 2 week absence from painting. I put the piece aside and started a 34 x 48" acrylic beach painting. It's about 1/3 of the way along and is going well so far. I hope to take it to the Adele Campbell Gallery when I go to Whistler to teach at the end of the week.

The piece in this post is from my trip to Italy. I put the final touches on it this morning. "A Road in Puglia" 24 x 30" acrylic.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Color sketches

I tried something a little different today in the studio. I am going to be doing a demo this Saturday at Granville Fine Arts Gallery as part of the Artwalk event that day- 11:30 to 1:30 if you're in the neighbourhood.

 I'm planning to paint one of my images from the Italian trip but I wasn't sure which one. I decided to try several 8 x 10" colour sketches. The goal was to be quick, use a big brush and leave out as much detail as possible. I spent less than an hour on each of the three paintings I did.

I had fun, although it was stressful to work that fast and not get into detail. I know this is a very good exercise for me and I plan to do it a lot more- I think my work sometimes suffers from too much detail.

Bye the way, I chose the bottom image to paint as my demo.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I finally finished this painting today- it's the one I was working on at Painter's Lodge. I've been teaching a lot of workshops lately. Other than a three day workshop at Whistler in July, I'm finished with teaching until the fall now. Hopefully I'll get back to more painting time in the studio.

Alan and I leave for the Western Art Show at the Calgary Stampede at the end of the month. Alan will be sharing a booth with our good friend, Rick McDiarmid. This is our first time so we will see how it all unfolds- should be quite an adventure.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Here's good friend, Rick McDiarmid and I in the demo tent at Painters Lodge last weekend. It was the 19th annual gathering of Painters at Painters in Campbell River and we had a wonderful time as always. I was just freshly home from Italy so was a little jet lagged but it was well worth the effort to get there.

I just went through my Italy photos and I have so many good ones, I don't know where to start. Italian paintings coming soon. Meanwhile, for anyone who wants to see the finished version of the painting I was working on at Painters, I will post it when it's done.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lynn Canyon Pool

Here are sequential shots of my latest painting. It's a 30 x 40" acrylic and I used green gold as the under-painting colour. I love the image- it's my favourite kind of place and the painting unfolded without too much struggle, despite all those little rocks under the water. Good thing because I abandoned the previous painting after struggling with it for days. And so it goes..........

Monday, April 29, 2013


I began this little painting as a demo in my intermediate acrylics workshop last weekend. I liked the way it was going so I decided to finish it. The canvas was painted black to start with this time.
"Satsumas"  11 x 14" acrylic

Monday, April 22, 2013

This painting has been sitting in the studio almost finished along with a few others in the same state. It is the second in my tree portrait series. I may still go back in and tweak a bit but I think it's pretty much done now.
I'm still exploring neutral colour in oil paints- using limited palettes and trying to keep the values doing most of the work. I used about 3 colours plus white in this one, as opposed to 2 colours plus white in the pine tree painting. I don't have a title for it yet but the size is 24 x 30.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cherry Blossom Workshop

Here's the intrepid and courageous group that braved the chilly weather at Van Duesen gardens last weekend. With numb fingers clutching our brushes, we attempted to paint the cherry blossom trees. Thanks to all for your great attitudes- it was fun.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Home studio workshop

Last weekend was a basic acrylics workshop in my studio. I had a fantastic group of people- hardworking, brave and easy going. Thanks everyone- I really enjoyed working with you all!

Next home workshop will be June 8th & 9th- another basic techniques class. Let me know if you'd like to come- it 's already half full, so I'm expecting it will fill up quickly. All details on my website or you can email me.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Still in the Woods

                                                  Back to the Woods  16 x 36" acrylic

I had one more forest painting that I had to get out and now I'm moving on to rivers and beaches. If you're interested in a workshop that will focus on the elements of our local landscape, I'm teaching one on May 4th & 5th in West Vancouver- details on my website.
I also have a new page on my website called "What's New". There are buttons there that you can click if you want to be added to my email lists.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Emerald Forest

Emerald Forest  30 x 40" acrylic

I've gone back to my roots with this painting. I've been doing paintings of forest trails for as long as I've been painting. This photo is from Calvert island and just through those trees is the most beautiful beach you can imagine.

It was a good thing to choose this subject, given that I have been going though a bit of an identity crisis lately. It took me back to what is authentically me- I have spent my life in forests like this and it feels like home to me.

I need to take the advice that I so often give students in my workshops- paint what you know and paint what you love. Never choose a subject because you think it might be marketable if it doesn't make you feel inspired.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Here's Suzanne and her wonderful group of students in my studio this weekend. They were doing photo transfer and mixed media and some beautiful work was produced. I just love seeing my studio buzzing with all that creativity. Both Suz and I plan more workshops in the studio later this year. I have one coming up in 2 weeks- it's full, but I will post any new ones on my website.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Well, it seems I wasn't finished this painting after all. The rock in the right foreground was bugging me- I needed to change it. I changed the shape and lost the edges on the top. Then I laid in some glazes to make the colours of the water a little richer. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

After a great deal of tweaking and fiddling, I think I'm done on this one. "Solace II"  40 x 30" acrylic. I plan to submit this to the Painters at Painters event catalogue. Painters at Painters is an annual event that happens at Painter's Lodge in the end of May. Over 30 artists in residence, discussion groups, demos and other presentations- it's a really fun weekend event for artists.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great Blue

                                             Great Blue  24 x 36" acrylic

This is the second painting I've done from this photo. I did a 20 x 30" version last fall and then clients from one of my galleries wanted a bigger version. They also wanted more detail and a bit different colours. I was a little more restrained with the colours than in the first version and spent more time polishing details. Coming off of the pine tree painting, it was a pretty easy transition and I enjoyed painting this guy.

It's been an interesting few days in the studio. I'm still working on several pieces at once. In my quest for more subtle colour, I decided to repaint the sky in a finished piece that hadn't left the studio. Sad to report that I have now made the painting much worse. I will leave it for a few days and then have another go. Sigh........

The biggest of the current pieces is a 40 x 30" river piece. I am very excited about it and happy with the way it's coming along. However, I'm not out of the woods yet so hopefully will not go sideways on this one too. I'll post it in a few days.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lonely Pine

Lonely Pine 30 x 30" oil

I seem to be in a phase of starting things and not finishing them. I've been working on this piece, plus a figurative one, a landscape and one of two crows on the beach. As soon as I got bogged down on one, I would go to another. I don't know if this is a good thing- I really like finishing paintings so it left me feeling kind of scattered. However, it did enable me to hang in with each piece and try different ways of working them.

This painting started as an acrylic and I tried to make it work. However I really wanted a seamless flowing background and oils are so much better for that. I started with a transparent glaze and worked the creamy passages into it, wet in wet. I am thinking of doing a series of tree portraits as I had a lot of fun doing this one.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This painting was started at my West Van workshop as a demo and I finally finished it yesterday. I am paying a lot of attention to edges right now and I think this piece has a softer look because of that. The colours were challenging- I originally had a lot more colour variation in the trees and the painting looked too busy. I also had to repaint the sky because it was much too turquoise for the palette in the rest of the painting.

Monday, February 11, 2013

West Van Workshop

Here's my wonderful gang from last weekend's acrylic workshop in West Vancouver. Some beautiful paintings were born in the course of 2 days. I had a lot of fun with everyone- thanks to all for coming ! There will another West Van workshop in May- details on that and other classes on my website.
This is the demo from the weekend. It's a 24 x 36" piece. I will post the finished version on the blog in a few days.