Friday, January 25, 2013

The Red Show

                                         " Roses, Red and Gold"   30 x 36" acrylic

This painting will be part of a special show opening Saturday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, February 16th, at Granville Fine Arts in Vancouver. The gallery artists have been challenged to come up with paintings based on the theme of "red" and partial proceeds from sales will benefit the Callanish Society, which supports families dealing with cancer. I'll be at the opening and look forward to seeing you, if you can make the opening.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

 I spent the weekend in my studio attending a small figure drawing class taught by my sister, Suzanne Northcott. It was very fun and very challenging. I came away knowing that I would be a better artist if I did more figure drawing.
We did mostly short poses- one minute to 20 minutes. I found I did a better job if I went no more than 10 minutes.- less time to fiddle, which is quite a trap for me. The method we used mostly was drawing with india ink and a broken stick. A great way to loosen up, as you don't have a lot of control over the drips and nothing can be erased.

Thanks to everyone that attended the class and thanks especially to Suz, who is an amazing teacher.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Red Roan Foal

I have had the photo for this for years but always thought the values were too subtle. For some reason, it suddenly seemed appealing to paint.  I love horses and think that draft horses are especially magnificent. I was working on this one, which is 16 x 20 and a big still life at the same time but once I started this, I couldn't stop. Did it slowly, and meticulously and enjoyed every minute.

Weird because I thought I was heading in the direction of loosening up in my work. This brings up the whole issue of style and how to find it. I had been feeling a bit lost in terms of the direction of my work- feeling influenced by looking at other artist's work that I admire. Then I read something my buddy, Liz Wiltzen wrote in her blog- said she has realized that her goal should not be to paint in any particular style but to paint more like HER. Bingo- just what I needed to hear.

Now I will just get back to painting what I love and let the style be whatever comes. I'll do the best job  that I'm capable of with each painting; some might be looser, some might be more precise, but for sure, they will all be mine.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Workshop in January

For anyone that is looking for a "starting from scratch" workshop in painting acrylics, I have organized a weekend workshop in my Fort Langley studio for January 26th & 27th. Cost is $190.00 and we will go from 9:30 to 4:00 each day. I will limit the class to 7 people, so there will be lots of individual attention for everyone. Please contact me by email or phone for more information: 604 888 2230 or

Below is my latest landscape- 20 x 30" acrylic

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

 I decided to start my studio time by doing a little painting from life yesterday. First painting of the new year- try something fresh, something I don't do very often. I anticipated that it would be fairly easy and that the painting would be lovely- BIG MISTAKE.

It was hard, things didn't fall into place easily and I felt a growing sense of despair as I kept slogging along. I am struck by how easy it is to get complacent about my skills as an artist. I can see that I need to do some homework and focus in on learning again, rather than just producing work for the galleries.

I think every year at this time, I go through a crisis of faith. A chance to evaluate where I am in my work and where I want to be. This year, I want to see growth. If that's the case, I need to do the hard stuff, work through the challenges and see where it takes me.

I hope this year is a great one for all my creative friends. May we all keep growing and learning and never forget how blessed we are to do this wonderful, frustrating, rewarding thing called painting. Happy New Year to you all!