Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Pine times 2

                                                Against the Sky  22 x 24" oil
Against the Sky- study 14 x 11" acrylic

Now and then I like to do a small study first, before I do a larger version of an image. I had fun doing both pieces and learned some things from the study that, I think, helped make the final version stronger. I wanted the rocks to be looser and for the shape of the tree to be less busy. I painted the final version in oil so I could really blend the transitions in the sky. I do like the drips in the study though.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Raven I & Raven II

Here's the newest two raven pieces. They are 9 x 12's and have been delivered to the Birthplace of BC Gallery in Fort Langley today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


These are three of my recent animal series paintings. I'm still exploring the textured abstract backgrounds with realistic subjects. I'm having way too much fun and getting more confident as I do each new one. The white chicken was done right after the crows. After the uber- colourful background in the crows, I suddenly felt the need for extreme colour restraint, so I started the chicken piece with black.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bully Boys

"Bully Boys"   18 x 24" acrylic
This is another painting done on hardwood panel. I'm into experimenting with texture right now and marrying the realistic with the abstract. I started the background first, then roughed in the calves. Then I went back to working on the background with a lot of drips and scratching and dragging through the wet paint. Once everything was dry, I finished the calves and then went back into the background with more negative and positive shapes. I kept to a limited palette for this painting: ultramarine blue, quin red, quin gold, quin burnt orange, dioxazine purple and white.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Favourite Model

"Duet" 36 x 48" acrylic
I'm not sure how many times I have painted this tree, but let's just say- a lot! The reference photo I used was taken on my last trip to Pender Island and strangely, I had never noticed the second smaller tree in any photos before. This painting is large and I managed to keep it quite loose. I tried to do just enough brushwork to tell the story. For me, the larger paintings are easier- I envy those that can do tiny delicious little paintings.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Still crowing

"Bad Boys"  16 x 26" acrylic
I started this painting as a demo at the Birthplace of BC Gallery this past weekend. Just did a bit more tweaking to it at home this morning and I think it's done. I used three different photos for the crows, so I started with a life size sketch on paper to figure out the composition.

The background was done intuitively and I didn't preplan it much, other than to paint quinacridone gold as the base colour and consider having light coming through the four corners. This is a fun and also nerve wracking way to paint for me. It can get overworked so easily- too busy, too muddy, too dark, too light. I did lots of glazes, wet-in-wet and edge softening with water. I allowed drips to happen and sometimes guided them with a small round brush.

The crows, I painted with as much realism as I can muster. I like the contrast between the realism of the subjects and the abstract quality of the background.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Teapot & Apples

I am in the middle of writing another "how to" book for Walter Foster Books. This one is about still life in acrylics and will feature projects from 4 different artists. Here's a little preview of a few stages of one of my projects. I have to say that I'm a lot more relaxed doing this for the second time. I've always loved doing still life so I'm having fun with these paintings. I'll be doing 5 altogether and I can do a couple that are more advanced than the ones for the first book, which was for beginners. 

 I think the book will be published early next year and can be ordered through Amazon.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In or out?

Just completed this painting. I showed it to Alan and he said the log in the middle was distracting. I've been working on this painting so long that I can't really judge it any more. Nice to have another pair of eyes to give me feedback. I took the log out and liked the painting better right away.
I don't have a title yet but it's a 30 x 24" acrylic.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Brothers Creek

I have a lot of unfinished paintings in the studio right now. Some are very close to finished, others are half way there and have problems. This is unusual for me because I normally like to see a painting through before I start another one. Not sure what's going on but I think it's ok. I will spend the next few weeks trying to resolve some things and see what happens.

The painting is a 24 x 30" acrylic. It's of Brother's Creek in West Van- right behind my childhood home. I have never painted this particular spot but have done quite a few pieces of the river over the years. I love the shimmering light- it gets me every time.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pemberton weekend

I spent the weekend painting with Susie and Andrea in Susie's magnificent studio in Pemberton. What a beautiful area- there will definitely be some Pemberton paintings coming up soon. Here we have Susie painting and Blue enjoying Susie's dog, Sophie's, bed. Painting with friends is one of my favourite things to do.Thanks to Susie and Andrea for great food, great company and lots of inspiration.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Canyon Creek

This is a 24 x 36" acrylic. It's my second version of this place, which is in North Vancouver's Lynn Canyon. I love the clarity and colour of the water. It took quite a while to get the feeling of rocks underwater- lots of glazing and layers of paint. I think it works now :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Even newer crow- actually a raven

   Raven's Rest 24 x 48" acrylic

I had no intention of painting this piece quite this way. I started the underpainting and began to have fun with it- letting drips happen and working wet into wet paint. I initially thought I would paint most of the painting more literally but as the painting evolved, I couldn't bring myself to cover up all the abstract passages. It became a goal to add just enough detail and then let go. It was exciting and very intense. I think this painting taught me a lot and I hope that it will have an influence in future works.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

new crow

"Nestled in the Pines"
18 x 20" acrylic

The gallery in Fort Langley asked for a crow painting so here's my effort. I have been struggling with several large paintings so it was a joy to do this one and have it turn out. I think I am paying the price for having not painted since early December. I have to trust that if I just keep painting, I will find my feet again. It does feel so good to be back in the studio after all the disruption of the move.

This painting was done on a panel, rather than the canvas that I usually use. Panel lends itself to textural techniques and I played with dripping and wet in wet quite a bit. I tried to keep it loose and just apply detail where necessary. I used a limited palette of dioxazine purple, green gold, quinacridone gold, ultramarine blue, quinacridone burnt orange and white.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Beginnings

I'm happy to report that we sold our house and moved into our new place about a month ago. Last week I finally started working in my new studio. The new space is smaller but cosy, welcoming and full of light. It's an open loft on the top floor of our townhouse. I love working there. Right now I'm working on my third painting- images to come.