Thursday, June 22, 2017

Line Fishing

Line Fishing
22 x 28 x 1.5  oil on canvas

Dried salted cod was the staple for food and almost currency in Newfoundland for hundreds of years and still can be found drying on flakes and lines in late summer.

The colours that can be found in what initially looks like a bland cream coloured kite shape is amazing when really studied.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017



8"x 8"  oil on panel

I cannot resist a boat sitting, waiting to be launched into the water.   This punt was resting on the wharf in Islington.  The lighting was diffused with sun just starting to show through and gave a pastel feel to the scene.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


15" x 30"     oil on panel

“She had never known that ice could take on so many shades of blue: sharp lines of indigo like the deepest sea, aquamarine shadows, even the glint of blue-green where the sun struck just so.” 
― Malinda LoHuntress

Aside from a few details and tweaks, this painting is complete.With no shortage of sea ice and icebergs this year, there is lots of inspiration that the ocean provides, so there may be more ice paintings.

As with most of my paintings, shards and spots of unexpected colour find their way into the composition towards the end.  As long as the values are appropriate, colour works.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Fog Blanket Over Middle Cove
11" x 17"  oil on wood panel

Fog is such an elusive thing.  Ghost like, it is there one minute and gone the next.  I stopped at the lookout in Middle Cove and watched its progress up the cove and over the land.   You can drive past the cove and be socked in with fog then drive a tiny bit further and see clear blue skies.  There is never a dull moment with the weather here.  I've sketched and photographed this vantage point several times capturing sun and fog.  Now there's a bit of both in this painting.

Painting fog with oils is all about pressure for me.  I put in a thin layer of the background then meld the fog colours over it with very light pressure and a good amount of paint on the knife.  Picking up some of the background colour with heavier pressure gives that illusion of land showing through the fog.   Its worth a little practice on a spare piece of paper or canvas to get the hang of it and decide on the fog colours, as they will change depending on the weather and the background.

Middle Cove Fog

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

10,000 years and counting

15" x 30" oil on panel

This painting in progress is of some large chunks of ice on the shoreline.  The colours in the ice are amazing always and combined with the water lapping at their bases made a good composition.

I seem to be encased in ice lately.  My previous post at Easter about the first iceberg of the season seemed to send a signal to Mother Nature to open the floodgates.  And given the gift of ice, I figured I may as well paint it.

The pack ice pushed in to shore off and on depending on the wind direction and last weekend we had 60 hours of freezing rain and drizzle, coating the landscape.  Oddly enough it didn't seem to affect roads too much which is unusual.

Today, the sun was bright but the wind cold, but icebergs and more loose ice moved into the harbour where I live.  The sun lit the bergs and ice and the colours were beautiful blues and turquoises against the deep indigo ocean.

As the ice was so close and even on the shore, the opportunity was too good to not pass up the chance to harvest some glacial ice for drinks.  This ice is dense and melts much less quickly than the ice you'd make at home.  It was rinsed and broken into smaller pieces (this glacial ice is HARD) then to the freezer to add to drinks.  There are tiny pockets of air in glacial ice and they make popping sounds as the ice melts in a drink.  Its very unique.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Government Wharf - finishing off

The Government Wharf
24" x 24"  oil on wood panel

I've concentrated on putting in the final details for this piece and its sitting in the corner of my studio waiting for any tweaks and drying.  When I sign off on it, it goes to the other studio for its "glamour" shot.  There its set straight on an easel and lit well or, if the day fits, put in good daylight for photographing.

I shoot final images in RAW to ensure I capture as much detail and colour as possible.  The result are high resolution files of about 10 or 12 mp.  If I want to reproduce any of the images, the highest quality is required to be able to reproduce in larger sizes.
“The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly — without judgment, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes. Without emotional expectations. Ask your work what it needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen, the way a good parent listens to a child” ~David Bayles

Friday, April 21, 2017

End of palette paintings

At the end of larger paintings there's usually paint left on the palette.  To put it to good use, I create small paintings of whatever subject appeals to me.  My internal "rule" is that I can only add white to what is left on the palette.

With the most current painting finished, I created these two little oil sketches and primed canvas paper.  The apple and a couple of turnips (also known as swede in the UK and rutabaga in the USA). I used a more graphic style for these with bright colours and solid forms, still using a palette knife.

How do you use leftover paint?