Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Winter 2011 Art Courses for Kids, Teens, and Adults

Daphne Cote's 
Inspired Art Studio
(For Registration or Inquires email Daphne: [email protected])

Kids Crafts ages 2-6
5 weeks
Tuesdays 1-2pm, Jan.25-Feb.22, 2011
Wednesdays 2:30-3:30pm, Jan.26-Feb.23, 2011
Cost: $55.00 (includes supplies) (additional siblings $45.00)
A creative outlet for little ones to let their imagination fly. With the help of their parents they will be able to play with a wide range of materials to build our projects. It's a good way to make a mess in a positive, encouraging, yet structured environment. Parent's attendance is mandatory.

Art for Kids ages 5-6
5 weeks
Tuesdays 2:30-3:30pm, Jan.25-Feb.22, 2011
Wednesdays 1-2pm, Jan.26-Feb.23, 2011
Cost: $55.00 (includes supplies)
For children who are interested in art and creating. We will be focusing on gaining basic skills such as cutting, gluing, color theory, and exploring the imagination through different materials while looking at historical artists and designers work as examples. This class helps promote individuality and independence in a structured and positive environment.

Art for Kids ages 6-12 
5 weeks
Tuesdays 5:30-6:30, Jan.25-Feb.22, 2011
Wednesdays 4-5pm, Jan.26-Feb.23, 2011
Cost: $55.00 (includes supplies)
We will be learning about different art materials such as different types of paint, drawing tools, and sculpture materials as a means of introducing the basic elements of design in a fun and positive environment. We will be using the history of art and design to inspire our imaginations.

Tweens and Teens Sketchbook ages 13-17
5 Tuesdays
4-5:30pm, Jan.25-Feb.22, 2011
Cost: $55.00
Want to learn how to draw? Come and let your creative energy flow in a positive and encouraging environment while you fill a sketchbook full of your creations and ideas. You will learn the basics of drawing and composition and dabble in color. A supplies list will be provided upon registration.

Adult Drawing Fundamentals
5 Wednesdays
7-9pm, Jan.26-Feb.23, 2011
Cost: $100.00
For beginners or intermediates that want to gain or improve skills in drawing. One on one instruction will encourage self-confidence. Learn about composition, line, shape, shadows, depth, value, color, and texture while drawing from still life, photos, and other reference materials. A supplies list will be provided upon registration.

Adult Painting in Oil or Acrylic
5 weeks
Tuesdays 7-9pm, Jan.25-Feb.22, 2011
Wednesdays 5-7pm, Jan.26-Feb.23, 2011
Through the use of still life, photos, and other reference material, explore painting in your choice of either oil or acrylic paint in a supportive, positive, and creative atmosphere with one on one instruction focusing on what makes up a painting. All skill levels welcome. No Toxic Solvents. A supplies list will be provided upon registration.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Show at the Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery Nov.4 2010 to Jan.6 2011

Poppies in a Blue Vase
October 24, 2010
30" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

I invite everyone to attend the Opening Reception to my art show at the Dining Room Art Gallery at the Multicultural Centre Public Art Gallery in Stony Plain on November 7, 2010 from 1:00pm - 3:30pm.
The show will be running from Nov.4, 2010 to Jan. 6, 2011 and is featuring my still life work.
I hope you can attend.

The past two years have been the most difficult yet rewarding years of my life. It has pushed my art forward in the most satisfying way and has given me the courage it takes to be an artist. I can be a lonely painter in my basement but it is a whole different thing to be an artist and show your work. I would like to take a few lines to thank everyone for their encouraging support.  Being a practicing artist is no easy task and takes a lot of self discipline. Everyone's kind words, interest, and support brings me to tears of joy. I love what I do and when I see the positive effect it has on others it helps to continue on. A special thank you to my family and close friends that often get sucked in as models and are my inspiration, my paintings would be nothing without you.   -Daphne

Sleeping in Soft Light

The Sleeper #1
24" x 30"
October 28, 2010
Oil on Canvas
$700.00 CAN

   I have wanted to do a painting of a person sleeping in bed for a while now and finally had the perfect opportunity to gain some reference material.  No one in my life seems to be safe from my artistic endeavors. There is just no escaping it. I am influenced by life and light around me. The light was perfect the morning that I came upon this scene. There was cool light coming through the blinds after a snow fall and I had a small side lamp casting warm light. When I downloaded the images they were extremely dark, and while beefing up the light it distorted the image and made it incredibly grainy which was perfect for painting from because it forced me to get over small details and gave me the freedom to make it my own. Those are the best types of reference photos. They encourage a painting instead of dictate it. Which is what reference material should do. In the end no one really sees the reference material only the finished work.
I am up early this morning writing this before anyone else is up in the house, trying to work in peace. It's hard because the above is my bed and I want to crawl back in.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Comfortably Posing on a Red Chair

Comfortably Posing on a Red Chair
October 24, 2010
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas
$400.00 CAN

    You may remember seeing a painting like this one in one of my previous posts from Red Deer. I started this painting by working from a live model and then completed it in my studio. It was a very interesting pose and the costume was incredible. Not something I usually do, but a very good exercise to challenge my skills.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pink China

Pink China
October19, 2010
8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas
$175.00 CAN

   I dragged myself down to my studio this morning and painted through my tummy ache. I am tired and feel hungry even though my stomach is sore and I feel like gaging. I have too much I want to do to let a little ill feeling get in my way. I have been wanting to paint these pink china tea cups ever since I received them.       
   During the painting session I attended at the Red Deer College this past summer I started playing around with preping painting surfaces by creating layers with acrylic paint. I preped the surface of this painting at Red Deer.  I didn't end up using it there but as soon as I brought it home I knew I wanted to paint the pink china on it. It was just a matter of time to do it. Once again it was a case of too many ideas and too little time.
   Normally I wouldn't include such details in my writing such as being under the weather, but here it is important. It contributed to the painting. I knew that with the pressures of feeling a bit ill it would make me paint quickly and not get caught up in the finicky details and mind games of trying to emulate the subjects shinny perfection.
   I feel good about this painting, not because it is good, but because it is out there. I created it and now I can stop thinking about. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment on my painting 'to do' list.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Poppies Lounging on Blue and Life's Priorities

Poppies Lounging on Blue
October 4, 2010
8" x 8"
Oil on Canvas
$175.00 CAN

   I created this painting right after the Keeping Cool portrait. In that portrait I focused on tonal range which I believe helped this painting when it came to furthering the contrast in color. Tone and color makes this painting eye catching. I am pleased with how this painting turned out.
   I've really been on a roll of pumping out paintings and ideas. This just fuels me to work even more. I love when I can let one painting lead and flow into the next. Life has been good that way. I have enough knowledge now in life to make sure I always allow myself time to paint. I make it a priority. I paint before even considering doing the dishes or laundry. My Man tried to bring up the subject gently as he is one that manages people at his job and is a stickler for efficiency. As I told My Man (who does the dishes maybe once every two weeks) the dishes and laundry never end and tomorrow it's guaranteed there will be more, so why worry about it.  If they pile up a bit so what. While I do mountain loads of dishes I contemplate the paintings I've got going on the easel and future paintings to come. I use that time to reflect so it is not inefficient, and I have my priorities. Upon hearing my rant, My Man just smiled and gave me a hug. (Note: if you are going to comment on that point, don't argue with it. Many people have tried to change the way I do dishes and laundry, and I am like my strong willed 2yr old and will not budge on the issue.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keeping Cool

Keeping Cool
(Portrait of Adam and Gil)
October 4, 2010
18" x 14"
Oil on Canvas

    I may be in trouble for this and I hope Adam and Gil aren't creeped out by this portrait. Normally when I come across a photo (that isn't mine) that I wish to use for reference I always ask permission first. This time I didn't. 
   Adam and Gil are very supportive of my work and I am sure they won't mind. Both Adam and Gil are very creative individuals. Adam's photography and design work always inspires me. The photo I used as reference for this work was posted on Faceook.
    I have been finding some of my reference material from online social sources. There are now huge collections of individuals photos that I have complete access to. Sometimes the idea of it is creepy and sometimes overwhelmingly inspiring. I don't use professional photographers work, I use just the regular photos that people post, of their vacations, families, and friends. Many photos I come across pop out at me saying "wouldn't I look great as a painting at about such and such a size?". I think this is about the fourth painting I have created from someone else's personal photo.
   Hopefully you can see why I couldn't pass this one up. As I have a show coming up I was realizing that most of my portraits are of women. Which of course they would be because I am surrounded by women. My many sisters, girlfriends, most of my extended family are women.
   Late Friday night, I was on the computer, checking stuff out (or wasting time, if you will). I came across this photo and in the back of my mind it was bothering me that my work, recently, has been dominated by figures of women and frilly flowers.
   When I saw this image I instantly saw my brushstrokes. I saw how it could encourage pushing my other works by just focusing on tonal value and texture. I must note that this is not just black and white paint, there is color, just subtle color.  I thoroughly enjoyed painting this. I easily fell into my creative 'zone' and loved the experience of it.

Poppig Out of the Bottle

Popping Out of the Bottle
September 25, 2010
16" x 12"
Oil on Canvas
$250.00 CAN

   Fall was looking quite bleak with lots of rain and dreary days. Then one day the sun came out, it was perfect and the poppies in front of my house were incredibly happy. I couldn't pass up the perfect autumn light and these friendly happy flowers so I took them for a little outdoor photo shoot.  I painted most of this painting at the Alberta Arts Day Demo at the Spruce Grove Library.

Bottled Up

Bottled Up
August 2010
12" x 16"
Oil on Canvas
$250.00 CAN

   This post is back tracking a bit. I forgot about this painting because I hung it up into the spare bedroom and forgot to blog about it. 
   When I came home from my trips, to Red Deer for the figure painting open studio and a beautiful vacation, I came home to find a rage of poppies popping up in front of my house. I thought that they were duds when I left at the end of July but as they were completely ignored they flourished into a sea of overwhelming color. So I picked a poppy and an empty bottle and created a still life in the studio and started painting away. I really wanted to paint a still life after painting the figure so vigorously.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Portrait of Dawn and recent work habits

Portrait of Dawn
September 24, 2010
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

   This is a portrait of my friend Dawn. I have been working on this painting along with several others over the past month to month and a half. I had done a similar portrait of Dawn, in the same pose, at my demo in August at the Allied Arts Council. The painting from the demo is not blog worthy and will probably be painted over. It doesn't need to exist after the creation of the above painting, it was merely an example like an instructor writing on a white board, it served it's purpose and now can be erased. Though it deserves to be noted because the pose and model were so excellent I took pictures knowing I would tackle the subject with greater depth and in oil paint instead of acrylic (which the demo was in) at a later time. The model has so much character and is truly a beautiful person inside and out and everything about her sitting from her hair and ensemble to her focused gaze deserved more attention and exploration. It was hard doing a portrait of someone I know quite well and see almost every week, but I think it worked out beautifully.

    I haven't been diligently posting my work the past couple of months because I have been working quite intensely. Normally I work on only one or two paintings at a time. Over the past months I have started working on several at the same time. I am doing this for a few reasons. 
    One of the reasons is the drying time. I have started fooling around and experimenting a bit more with solvents (and if anyone has any tips, opinions, or suggestions on using solvents or mediums with oil paint I would greatly appreciate it). I have been working a bit more with layering instead of constantly working wet in wet. You may see this especially when it comes to the background of the Portrait of Dawn. 
   Then there is the fact that I have a deadline creeping up. I will be having a show starting at the beginning  of November at the Multicultural Centre in Stony Plain. My paintings will be chosen for the show at the end of this month. I have many paintings that I want to pump out by then.  
   Right now I have so much that I want to do, so much creative energy and drive that it is hard to stay out of my studio.  I actually thrive under pressure. This month has brought such frenzy with the kids going to various classes, school, playdates, appointments, etc. So, when I do go into my studio I am like a small child that has been stuck in a car for hours and then is let into a play gyms pit of balls. I throw stuff around, dump stuff on the floor, and I don't seem to get around to cleaning my brushes either. I am quite sure some painters, and my sister, would be appalled at the chaos that surrounds my work habits.
   There is also the issue that I have numerous ideas and reference material for new paintings that I am trying to work things out as fast as I can. I don't wait for a painting to dry before pulling out a canvas for the next one. Thanks to my love, I have been the fortunate recipient of an IPad, which has sped up my creative process. I don't have to alter or crop photos, or print them off before using them as references for paintings. Over the past year I started painting from images right on my computer screen because I find printed materials limiting especially in color. Now with the IPad I can place it anywhere, zoom in and out and in a sketch app draw right on the photo to test out ideas. Although the technology helps me cut corners, I still like to use real still lifes and I keep my trusty sketchbook as well. I have to have a balanced practice. 
   At this moment I have 5 paintings on the go. I have another that I just finished that I will post soon. So watch out because you may start to get bombarded by my work being posted. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More paintings from Red Deer

Shhh, model's in session. Quietly typing away in class after finishing the top painting. These are three of the paintings I have been working on today. It is a long day with class running today from 9am to 9pm tonight (so I've got just about another hour to go). I am very excited about the paintings today, but I have been so close to them that I think I will have to turn them around and look at them with fresh eyes tomorrow to determine if they are truly finished. I apologize for the bad photos but after painting all day, a couple of coffees, and a shockingly large tequila long island ice tea, my hands are a bit unsteady. I will take better photos once I have my paintings back at my studio. Which reminds me of my own comfy bed at home and how much I miss it.
I am so fortunate to be here. It's a wonderful experience and a great chance to meet other artists. I am one lucky gal.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In the throws of the Open Studio at Red Deer

   I am happy to be blogging from the Red Deer College. I am here taking an open studio model session course. I am working my ass off. Painting as fast as I can, eating up the 6 or more hours of model time a day. I am in figurative painting heaven. I must suggest to all artists that if they ever get a chance to take a course at the Red Deer Summer Arts Series to do so. It is fabulously grueling and intensive, and completely gratifying.
I hope to post some more photos from my experiences here.
Kisses and hugs to my loved ones while I'm gone.

Glancing Back Along the Drive

Glancing Back Along the Drive
July 19, 2010
Acrylic on Canvas
$400.00 CAN
I was driving back from the beach and had to stop on top of a hill along the highway to capture the storm clouds that were rolling in. I am glad I did because it made for wonderful painting reference material. You may recognize this painting because I completed it at the White Avenue Art Walk and was painting it on the early morning news on July 17th. I like how it turned out.

Got the World Under my Heels

Got the World Under My Heals
July 2010
Acrylic on Canvas
48" x 36"
$1,000.00 CAN

This self portrait I completed right before the art walk, but with the jumble chaos that is my life this summer I haven't been able to post it till now. I brought it with me to the art walk and I was surprised at peoples response to it. There were more than many people who wanted to see more of my figurative work, which is really encouraging because painting the figure is my favorite subject of choice. I hope that more of my figurative work will sell so that I can keep producing it. I have enough reference material to do a whole series like this painting, but having lots of reference material doesn't mean that I have lots of time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Bye to my beloved studio dog Lola

Good Bye to my Beloved studio dog Lola

I am sad to say that my dear dog Lola passed away yesterday evening. I had to put her down after she suffered several debilitating seizures.
I never knew how much I loved her till she was gone. Over the past 8yrs she has been by my side. She had watched me paint many of my paintings. She was my studio dog. She followed me where ever I went. She went to University with me and would quietly watch as instructors would critique my paintings, most of the time they didn't even know she was in the class with me. She came to work with me during the summer when I worked at a campground greeting campers. She was there when my grandpa, my co-worker, and my great grandmother passed away. She was there when I got married and when I came home from signing the divorce papers. She was there when my children were born and she patiently helped me to teach them about what the word 'gentle' meant. She was a great friend to my son who was so proud when he could get her to do tricks. She often let my kids dress her up. She would come and get me in my studio whenever my youngest would wake up from her nap. 
I woke up broken hearted with no reason to get out of bed. I am not a morning person and would often resent having to wake up to let her out. This morning I wish I had to. It's good to have a reason to get up, even if it is a small fury one.
I kept walking over to her dish to give her water out of habit, but she's no longer here. I had to put away her dog dish hoping it would help. I keep thinking I see her, and I look for her, out of habit before I go outside. I took the kids for a walk and caught myself thinking if I should take her with me. It's hard to change to the fact that a constant that has quietly been by my side and I had taken for granted is no longer here.
I miss my studio dog Lola. She was an important part of my family and a great friend and I miss her dearly.

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 Whyte Avenue Art Walk

   The above photos are from this past weekends adventurous artist experience. It was hard work but the Whyte Avenue Art Walk was a great success. I may be complaining about how sore and tired I am right now, but make no mistake I will be back next year. A little more prepared with some working minions and a little better display. I learned a lot during the art walk about myself and about others.
   I must send out my deepest thanks to my wonderful parents who took in my kids for more than just 'the weekend' like I had told them, to my amazing man that in one evening took on building my display and tackled all the framing as well as keeping the kids occupied while I worked at getting ready, to my great family and friends who came to visit and encourage me especially those that held down the fort while I used the facilities. Also, a large thanks to the wonderful ladies that run the most beautiful flower shop Laurel's On Whyte, who were so gracious, kind, and helpful. It was the most beautiful place to be, outside Laurel's with all the luscious flower pots and flower garden smells wafting from inside. The support that I have received from everyone overwhelms me, almost to tears (probably because I am exhausted).
   I had lots of fun. Even though I am a small town girl, the crowd was great and everyones response to my work was extremely encouraging. When going through all the photos I have of the Art Walk I notice all the people looking at my work. Some passers by take a closer look but even those just trying to get through the crowds get distracted by it. To be on Whyte Ave, with all there is to look at and all the odd things and people going on it is a small feat to catch someones attention. I was able to see so many things and now have so many quirky stories to tell my friends. For instance, there was this one, very attractive confident young woman in a fabulous sun dress (I was envious of) that, as she walked by, I noticed and so did many others that her bags over her shoulders had got intangled with her dress revealing her whole backside and very sensible clean cotton undies. No wonder she was so happy during a sun skorching day, she had a wonderful breeze going on.
   I like that my work is achieving my goal, which is to get people to look. It really fuels the fire. Even today, though tired, I wanted to paint.
   I will be posting the painting that I completed during the Art Walk and the self-portrait that I finished just before and haven't had a chance to post yet. You may notice them in the photos: the blue car mirror painting and the larger one with the black dress.
   This past weekend not only makes me want to paint but it also gave me a greater shove to start showing my work more often. I am amazed at how many paintings I have laying around. If you are interested in purchasing my work please email me.
Life is Beautiful. Light in Life, both in people and our surroundings, inspire me.


Email Issues Resolved

This morning I realized that my email address: [email protected] was not working. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. It is working properly now. To think I passed out so many of my business cards this past weekend at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk and then not having my email address working made my heart skip a beat and yell while pulling at my hair, 'Oh, NO!'. All is well now. It's fixed. Feel free to email me.

I will be publishing a post this afternoon about my experiences this past weekend at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk along with some new paintings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Promotional Lengths for the Whyte Avenue Art Walk

This morning I woke up at the most unreasonable hour. I was out the door by 5:30am. I was on Whyte Avenue in front of Lazzara's Cafe because the wonderful organizers of the Whyte Avenue Art Walk picked myself and a few others out of over 300 artists to go on the morning news with a sample of our work for promotion of the Art Walk which starts tomorrow. It was such an honor to be picked. For a night owl such as myself, that doesn't like to talk to people before 11am if I don't have to, it was quite a challenge. I almost felt like staying up for an all nighter, because I just couldn't convince myself to go to bed while the sun's still shinning. So, if you happened to catch the two second glimpse of someone on the morning news that looked like me chances are you were right.

The above picture is where I will be located tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful location to show and sell my work. I have a beautiful tree and get a fantastic view of lush greenery from Laurel's flower shops pots and window displays. I hope you can come down and join me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Whyte Avenue Art Walk Edmonton July 16 -18th

   On July 16th to 18th I will be participating in the Whyte Avenue Art Walk held in Edmonton. I will be located in front of Laurel's flower shop. Here is a map of the event, I am located in the section marked 'D'  Map. There will be hundreds of local artists working in various mediums on site and selling their art all along Whyte Ave.
   I am thinking of it as a cleansing of my studio. I will be bringing all of my work that I have for sale. Almost everything piece on my blog will be there. I will even have some early work that was created before the start of my blog. Some of the better stuff from my University days will inevitably show up too, the stuff that was too good to paint over or turn into hand bags. The above photo is a bit of the mix of paintings that will be going to the art walk with me. I am getting them sorted and organized for the event.
   I will be painting on site as well. If you want to come and meet me and my paintings I encourage you to come and check it out. Trust me art is better in person than on a computer screen.
   I went to the art walk last year and I was truly amazed in the variety of art. Many of my artist friends will be there I can't wait to go. Good friends, usually good weather, and so much fabulous art it will blow your mind!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Green Grower's Bottle

Green Grower's Bottle
June 7, 2010
10" x 8"
Acrylic on Canvas
$175.00 CAN

   Some of you may have noticed the dates on the last few paintings are close together or the same date. On June 7th I went into a painting frenzy. It was awesome! I finished two paintings and completed another two from start to finish. Then the next day I started a new one.
If my arms didn't start to feel like they were going to fall off  I probably would not have been able to stop myself. The shoe and the bottle were painted in Acrylic because I needed a fast drying time. I was working so ridiculously fast that I needed it to dry asap. I even had a fan blowing to help the paint dry in time to keep up to my creative whims.
   Painting the glass of this bottle was challenging but fun. It makes me want to do more. 
   Green Grower's Bottle seems to be a good representation of the season right now. Early Summer, so fresh and green. After a hot day out on the deck, a couple of my sisters came over, one with a box of Granny Smith Apple Grower's under her arm. We leaned back in chairs and chatted about life. We laughed, we cried, we were thankful for each other. This bottle is one of a few that's left over. The remnants of some treasured moments.

Sexy Black Dance Shoe

Sexy Black Dance Shoe
June 7, 2010
18" x 24"
Acrylic on Canvas Board
$350.00 CAN

   This is a beautiful new shoe of mine. It poses so well for me and when I put this shoe on, with it's companion of course, I have to do a little spin. It's strappy and sexy and carries it's own persona that says 'Dance with me, let the night carry you away to endless possibilities!'. The obvious response is why the hell not?
   I painted this shoe to get people to look at it. Where will I go with these shoes. For all you know I could be wearing them right now. Maybe I wear them while I paint. Who knows where I will wear them. 
   I must admit I like painting shoes. It is kind of odd because it feels like I am doing a different type of portrait. We relate shoes to it's wearer. It's what shoes represent and what they remind us of that makes them a meaningful subject matter.
   I will have this painting for sale at the Whyte Ave Art Walk in Edmonton, AB (that is if it isn't sold by then). I will be there with many of my paintings from July 16-18, 2010. I will also have my gear setup to paint on site. You can check out my profile and other artist through the Whyte Ave Art Walks Website: http://www.art-walk.ca/gallery/artist.php?id=701&year=2010 
I will post more about the event soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Self Portrait with Flowers

Self Portrait with Flowers
June 08, 2010
20" x 16"
Oil on Canvas
$400.00 CAN

   Last year I did a self portrait from the same set of reference material as this one. After it was completed I felt like I wanted to do another. I felt I had learned so much through the process of that first one that I was curious to see what I could do with the next. Finally the opportunity arrived. For me portraiture is more demanding than a still life. The subject of the figure seems, for me, to have more depth. Also, more that can go astray. There are more emotions tied to figurative work. As a painter painting the figure is more demanding emotionally especially on one's self-esteem. I can paint a shoe and say damn I'm good. It looks like a shoe, it looks like a good painting. When painting the figure I wonder, did I capture part of that persons essence? Will it be recognizable or symbolic of that person when others who know that person see it? Also a person has more features and subtleties visually than a shoe. There are layers of flesh and so many colors and subtle differences in changes in reflected light that it blows my mind and turns me into a crazy artist pulling at my hair wondering if I should get my eyes checked. 
   There will never be a portrait that I complete that will be perfect, there is no way that is possible of happening because the human figure is too dynamic. People are too complicated to capture in a single image. This doesn't stop me, it actually fuels me to continue on. My goal is to just capture a small glimpse into that particular person that I am painting. What at that specific moment has caught my eye about them? That one simple moment(s) where they are just being.
   Doing a self portrait is easier for me. I don't have to worry about what the subject will think about the work or what their family will think about it. I believe I have done well over a hundred self portraits in painting and drawing. I still don't know what I look like, though I do recognize myself. I do have a strong sense of self, high self-esteem, and I love the way I look. It is my body and why not love it for the way that it is, especially for it's quirks. I am like no other. I like that. Therefore, when painting a self portrait I am free to experiment, with the process of painting. I can experiment with the subject and pose, the application of paint itself, the colors, layers, the entire process. I don't worry about looking beautiful or having perfect hair or skin. I look at what images of myself I am visually attracted to. In this painting it was about the light, how it highlights the hair and plays with cool and warm light in the face juxtaposing the cool greens in the background. The background in relation to the figure intrigues me; how the foliage seems to radiate from or to the figure. The lines of the hair flow around the face and yet the lines of the flowers direct the eye back to the face.
   This is what I as the painter/artist thinks about. What really matters is if it is hung on the wall will anyone stop to look at it?  If they do, and they don't need to know why, then the painting is a success. I can't wait to put it to the test. Did you stop to look at it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day Dreaming of the Beach

Day Dreaming of the Beach
May 2010
30.5" x 17.5"
Oil on Panel

   I think this painting is fairly self explanatory. While I was going through some rough stuff this past fall I came across this image. I held onto it for a couple of months. Then a great man walked into my life and I started this painting. I like to think that this was a good kick off to sunshine both in season and in my life. This painting took me a ridiculously long time to complete, over two months. I would dabble with it here and there. I think I did this mostly because I didn't want to have to stop painting it. I took great pleasure in painting it. I didn't want it to end. The second photo is a close up shot of my favorite part of the painting.
   I have been fortunate enough to have nice weather and traveled to the beach last week. I look forward to many trips to the beach this summer. When winter arrives I may take a few more day dream paintings of the beach.
   Yay Summer! Warmth to my life and soul. Hot sand and warm breezes. Family, friends, love and laughter. Ahh...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

For Mother's Day

Untitled -For My Mother on Mothers Day
May 09,2010
10" x 8"
Acrylic on Canvas

   This is a painting of my great grandmother and great grandfather. I painted it as a gift for my mother for Mother's Day. My great grandmother passed away suddenly this past winter. The way she died really describes the kind of person she was and what kind of life she lived.
   My great grandmother spent the day shopping and went out for supper with her sister and her son. When they were dropping her off at her house, where she lived by herself in a seniors residence condo, she told them that she had one of the best days of her life. As she stepped through the door she dropped down dead. No pain no suffering, just past away after having one of the best days of her life. She was the strongest most positive person I have ever met. I named my daughter after her. She had a very long and hard life, though if you met her you would think she had the best life in the world, because that is how she saw her life. I believe she was 97 yrs old when she died, but who knows for sure. She was a tricky gal. Always smiling like she knew something or could see something others couldn't.
   When ever I would visit her my favorite thing to do was to go through her old photos. I would ask her about a certain photo and she would tell me interesting stories about the time the photo was taken or about the person in it. Before her funeral, my family went through her photos and made huge collages of her family and her for the reception. We ended up splitting the photos and took what we wanted. There were so many photos and no one wanted the really old ones that were my favorite. I made sure everyone had a chance to go through them before I got my artist, pack rat hands on them. I took almost all of them.
   My favorite photos are the ones that are taken as caption shots, black and whites from the '20's and '30's of my great grandparents riding bikes, boys smoking near their old cars and trucks, women showing off the new dresses they have sewn in the dead of winter in their men's boots outside in the cold prairies, smiling the whole time.
   My mother really misses her, so I thought it would be a meaningful way to acknowledge both my great grandmother and my mother's loss. Well, not really a loss, because my great grandmother was a wonderful gift to the world. It is more to acknowledge two great women.
   As of right now I have no plans for the photos. I will preserve them and if my family is reading this, you know where they are.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Olina with Pear, Posting Later better than Never

Olina with Pear
September 2009
48" x 60"
Oil on Canvas

    I have had many requests to see this painting. I thought I had posted it, but looking back I guess I didn't. So here it is finished, the very large work of my daughter. 
   I did this painting for my mother who wanted a large painting of a pear. Well there is a pear in it and her granddaughter as well. I have to skew things a little to make it more interesting. Adds humor and spice to my life. You may have seen me working on this painting at the Alberta Arts Day in Stony Plain, or from the photos of me painting it in the local paper. Looking back it was a fun painting to create and her hair, though it took little time, was the most interesting part to paint. My poor daughter will probably be quite resentful of my profession as her curly locks will be apart of many of my paintings. I can't help that she is beautiful. Due to the fact that the painting is of my daughter, that it was a painting for my mother, and I knew that it already had a home I felt I could do what I liked. I had a certain freedom with it that let me experiment. I did so with the skin tones and really pushed the color. In the beginning it looked like a rainbow smacked her silly and then I brought in more neutral skin tones and focused on tonal range.
   I have received many compliments on it and it is a conversation piece in my parents home. Some people don't even realize they are sitting right next to it because it is so large, and others it is all they can see in the room.
   Thank you to my mother and daughter for making this painting possible. In my eyes this painting is a great success for me because of all the conversations about art and my work that it has started.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Decadent Desert Gala -Painting Eggs

This past Friday I was invited by the Allied Arts Council to participate in their annual fundraiser the Decadent Desert Gala. Last year I participated as a guest demo artist. This year we kicked it up a level and not only did I do a live demo but completed the painting in an hour so that it could be auctioned off. Why would I do such a thing? Because I'm nuts!

I was asked "well what are you going to paint?", and I replied "something small, probably a still life". Really what I meant is that I have no idea and I will be flying by the seat of my pants till the last minute with this one. I decided to paint eggs. I have painted eggs a few times and lately I have been regularly using this setup as a project in many of my painting classes. I use a limited color palette of titanium white, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue. By using this color palette and this subject matter one can discover the basics by focusing on value and warm and cool colors. It is a great way to show students that a painting can be quite beautiful when you don't use black straight out of the tube to shade everything. My favorite combination, the magic combination that never fails, is to make your really dark darks with ultramarine blue and burnt umber. It is fabulous and easy to control and manipulate. It can be applied to almost any deep dark situation.
I fell in love with this combination in University while I was completing a spectacularly ridiculous painting of Elton John. The painting was of Elton in his crazy rose colored glasses that were rimed with layers of beaded wire that created huge halos around each eye bigger than his head. Most of the painting was the top view of his shiny black piano. Basically, a large high gloss back shape that took up most of the canvas. I used layers of this ultramarine blue and burnt umber combination with the final layer being quite heavy on the walnut alkyd to get a glossy surface that complimented Elton Johns unique glasses, oversized lapels, and sideburns. I thought it really captured the essence of the Elton. I think that painting is floating around Vancouver somewhere.
Back to the main road after that detour, I'll get back to the subject at hand. The egg painting. I had a great time painting it. I was able to focus and really get into the right mind space to lose myself in it because I was sitting a foot away from a wonderful Harp player. I had the vibrations of the strings and a strict deadline fueling my flames of production. I completed with time to spare. I was able to have a lovely meal with my friend who joined me and really made the evening wonderful. Thank you to the wonderful person who-ever-you-are that purchased the painting. It was for a good cause. I must admit I am biased but the AAC does a great service by providing the community with affordable art classes. They provide a creative outlet for many.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sexy Purple Dance Shoe

Sexy Purple Dance Shoe
February 21, 2010
18" x 24"
Acrylic on Board

Happy Birthday to my sister. This painting is for the girl who has everything including every shoe in the world worth having. She has a fetish that I only dream of being able to have. This shoe is probably one of the sexiest shoes I have ever encountered. I wish I had the same shoe size so that I could borrow them for dancing. Maybe even just by myself wearing nothing but their satiny straps. These shoes are so enticing that I almost want to lick them.
I had a great time painting them. I used acrylic paint this time because I wanted the drip effect and I wanted to paint fast in layers. I was painting so fast that I started up a fan directed at the painting so that it would speed up the drying time. It worked really well.
I am glad that this painting is going to live with my sister because I really love it and this way I will be able to visit it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Floral Finish

Floral Finish
February 8, 2010
16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
$350.00 CAN
Well, what can I say... January was a hard month. Good, but hard. I was so revved up by the last floral painting that I thought I could really turn this into about a 4-5 painting series. Nope. Not going to do it. Don't want to.
I started this painting at the very beginning of January. I mapped it all out and I was going to give a demo on how to finish a painting. Which is ironic at how it took me, over a month to actually finish it! Usually I finish a painting within a day or two a week at tops, and that is statistically speaking. That's not just the optimist coming out in me. It's fact. Since I had already completed one floral painting technically this one was suppose to just come flying off the easel. I knew the colors, composition, the process, everything was all ready to go. It should have been no problem. Well, it was like pulling teeth! I just didn't want to do it anymore. When I got to the demo, we broke out into a great conversation about general artist practices and I kind of stopped painting and really didn't feel the need to go on. After the demo I would go into my studio look this tedious painting and sigh. It just didn't excite me. I would put in a few strokes here and there and then I would get bored. I never thought I would ever say that about painting. I almost feel like I am swearing. It's awful. I hated this painting for a whole month, that is just the relationship we had. One night I had to chose between doing laundry or painting this floral entity, and I chose laundry, my arch nemesis -laundry! Something was really wrong with me.
My personal life had been very crazy over the holidays and it did drain me. But, and there is a but because I finished the painting and I think it turned out alright. I went into the studio last night and I thought hey I'll just pick up the brush and see where this sucker goes. If I am going to trash it I mind as well have fun doing it. I put on happy peppy music and had at her. The key was remembering why the hell I paint in the first place. That's right I absolutely love it! It's fun! I love the process of it. It gives me the most indescribable feeling. For a while I couldn't seem to find that 'zone' that I normally get lost in. I found it. It was here the whole time, in my back pocket.
So, if you are in a funk my advice (and I always seem to have some) is to work through it, no matter how painful. You might get something out of the whole stinking process.
After I finished this painting, I found myself on a role and couldn't stop. I had time and energy and all the supplies at hand. I had no excuse to stop and all the drive to keep going. So, I started a new painting. I love it and I can't wait to finish it. I have said it before and I will always say it again, On and Up!