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: 
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.