Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Apples

 7" x 10" mixed media

Christmas is speeding towards me, but I'm not ready on several fronts. This year the season will be low key as my mother is in the Acute Stroke Unit at a local hospital and the outcome is up in the air at the moment.

So between work and painting and daily visits to the hospital, Christmas has taken a bit of a back burner. I have some lights up on the property and inside and a tabletop tree, but no time to put up a large tree this year. And, to be honest, I don't really miss it.

I'm finishing up # 14 of the series of wooden boat paintings, which means just one is left! I hope to have some time over Christmas to work on the book that accompanies the series, which will be shown in a solo exhibit most likely in June 2015. I have to have the series and book done and dusted and the final grant report in by March 31st, so want all the ends tidied up before the end of February. It sounds like a long way off, but life has a way of changing focus, so I concentrate efforts where and when I can to get things done.

My breaks between large paintings are sketches and studies for paintings that I can work on after my boat series is complete. These are usually done in my sketchbook, and the medium used can be anything that takes my fancy, from oils to pastel, to pen and wash. I use Stilman & Birn sketchbooks with 100lb paper usually and that takes a lot of the abuse I give it without complaining.

These apples started life as a watercolour sketch, then soft pastel got into the party and this was the end result. As a number of people asked about availability, I made reproductions available through RedBubble on a variety of products.

Don't forget my Christmas Giveaway on December 24, 25 & 26th.  I've added one more giveway on December 23rd, known as Tibb's Eve in Newfoundland for an 8 x 10 matted reproduction of The Winningest Punt.  You need to be a subscriber to my mailing list to get into the draw for one of 5 giveaways - 2 on Christmas Eve and one on all the others days.  Each drawing will take place at 8pm Newfoundland time and I will email the subscriber and mail the art to them after Christmas.  Sign up is quick and easy through the link on the right side of my blog, or on my Facebook page or website.  Good luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Draw 5

Anyone who knows me, knows that I constantly reinforce the need for artists to have good drawing skills.  Often people want to jump right into painting without that rudimentary framework to guide a piece.  While not all paintings need a very detailed drawing, there are few that don't benefit from it.

Time is always a factor for people, especially in today's society where busyness is the order of the day.  Its almost as if people try to 'out boast' each other as to how busy they are and how many things they can juggle in the course of a day.  So drawing gets dumped into the "I'm too busy" category and becomes neglected.

To show you that it doesn't take a huge investment in time to hone drawing skills, I'm creating a series called Draw 5.  This shows how much you can actually put down on paper in just five minutes a day..  And you know you have five minutes a day somewhere in those 24 hours, don't you?  Add those captured minutes over a week, expand on them when you can and you'll see a difference in your drawing skills, I promise.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First Snow

 First Snow - SOLD
5" x 7"  oil on panel

After the first snowfall I drove to a rural gallery to pick up a couple of paintings that hadn't sold in the summer season.  The snow lay heavily in the trees and on the land and it was picture perfect.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw some boats pulled up on the grass for the winter and with their dusting of snow I knew there was a painting in there.

Registration is open as of today, December 15th, for my 2015 workshops in drawing and painting. I'm using a separate online registration system that provides one stop shopping for details, downloads and payment.  Full details of workshops and registration is available at the link below.

Book Online

PS Workshops make fabulous gifts!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

2015 art workshops

After a busy year of teaching art in my home studio, I am continuing by offering a series of art workshops in 2015 which has something for everyone from beginners to experienced artists.  I have learned as much as students do by teaching and workshops are tweaked to provide the best experience for participants based on feedback and working in the classroom. The need for learning traditional techniques in a variety of mediums is always present and my workshops emphasize classical methods of drawing and painting, providing a strong grounding to help build good art. 

I am offering five workshops types with available dates throughout the year, from March to December.2015 workshops range from 4 hour intensives to 3 day master classes
  • Colour Theory - 4 hours
  • Introduction to Classical Drawing - 2 four hour sessions
  • Introduction to Palette Knife Painting - 4 hours
  • Drawing Pet Portraits - 2 days
  • Palette Knife Painting - Boats and Water - 3 days
I incorporated a new software package for registration which provides all the workshop information and registration details in one place as well as providing less work for me to create and monitor registration. You can search for available dates and workshops throughout the year, download supply lists and other required documentation all from the registration site.

Registration for 2015 workshops opens on December 15th, but if you're on my mailing list, you already have access to the workshop  link and can pre-register.  You can join my mailing list and receive monthly mailings of Studio News by clicking on the link on the right side of this page.

You can view the full listing of workshops on my website and the link to open registration will be posted here as well as on my website, Facebook and Twitter pages on the 15th.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Christmas Giveaway

My December Studio News will be distributed later today and it is packed with gifts for mailing list subscribers.  Its my way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last year.

I will be having a Christmas Giveaway just for mailing list subscribers.  Four people will win art prizes of original art and prints, art cards or a giclee.  Drawings for the first two giveaways will take place on December 24th, with another winner on December 25 and the final on December 26, Boxing Day.   All you need to do to enter is be a current mail list subscriber.  If you are not on the mailing list already, you can sign up at the link on the right or on my website or my Facebook page.

If you've signed up, you'll also receive a discount code for my 2015 series of 3 day Palette Knife Painting workshops - Painting Boats and Water and have a chance to pre-register before registration opens on December 15th.

There is lots of information jammed into this Studio News edition that I'd love to share with you - Draw 5, FAQs about my work, a special Christmas card just for you...oh and those gifts...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

White Chameleon

 White and Silver   - SOLD
5" x 7"  oil on panel

White is such an interesting colour to paint.  The purity of it when examined is not pure at all.  There is no single blanket of white.  It is a Joseph's coat of many colours that reflect the environment around it so that the use of a pure white such as titanium white in paint is left as an accent rather than a predominant hue.

This still life of a ceramic and silver ornament is made up of many colour:  orange, yellow, violet, blue, grey.  But the ornaments still read as white to the viewer.  Try putting a white object on a plain white surface and see it pick up colours from its surroundings.  Put a sheet of coloured paper under the white object or sit it next to something colourful and watch it change again, like a chameleon. 

White can become warm or cool depending on its surroundings such as in this painting “The Two Sisters” by Joaquin Sorolla.  The sunshine gives a warm yellow cast to the dress which we instantly know is white, yet the blue of the sea provides cool whites depicting reflections and wave caps.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Traveller's tales

I've been travelling, which of course, interrupts painting progress. Even though I can't access my studio, my brain continues to plot and plan and paint and I find small vignettes of life to sketch in my journeys and available time.

Airports and airplanes are perfect for people watching and sketching and I always take out my sketchbook to pass time and capture faces and gestures.

Heading to Montreal, I had this unique combination of gate and airplane seat number.  For anyone superstitious, it could be worrying.  But a smooth, uneventful flight as expected.