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Friday, March 29, 2013


I've got a new project underway and it involves creating a portrait of a Canadian that I know.  I needed to keep it a little weird since trying to compete directly with those who have mastered photo-realism would be foolish for me.  Not to mention that an artist's gotta be who an artist *is* and at this stage of my development I feel I know who I am (right now, at least!)

I met with my subject (it was easy to do, since we live in the same house!) and he sat for me - all dressed up in Day of the Dead make up. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to stylize the actual painting, but photos are my reference tool and I wanted to share a sampling.  :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Painting in progress - Day One

I have a thing for flowers.  If you go to my web site you'll see that I paint them quite often.  I thought it'd be fin and informative for me to post progress photos that show how I go about getting the basic outlines onto the canvas, and show the different stages that a painting goes through.

I'm working on a 16x20 canvas and using oil paints.  The subject of this piece is a deadly nightshade in the Datura family - I believe it's known as Angel's Trumpet.  This wasn't my original plan, I was going to paint the frosty white bloom of the Jimson weed.  I had seen them before and I know they open as the sun sets, that certain twilight light makes for some lovely colours on the petals.  In my search for images I came across the swooning elegance of Angel's Trumpet and my selection was made.

below are the pics of my process and progress.  Enjoy:

I print out the image "tiled" onto several pieces of paper.
I tape them together and rub dark conte crayon over the back side.
You can see the light markings on the canvas where the conte
has rubbed off where I've traced over the design
And here I have begun to block the paint in

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Folk Art Teacups - Mint and Lemon

textured and 'antiqued' if I can be so bold as to claim the ability to carry art through time
These are dainty and delicate, no?  I will be painting more soon, since the whole process is so girly and relaxing.  Perhaps for the one tomorrow I will display the progress - sort of a fast and dirty 'how to.'  Be warned, there is medium involved.  Matte Medium.  I don't really know how they get away with naming it Matte Medium, since every single thing artists smear or speckle or throw onto a canvas is a MEDIUM.. right?  Anyway Matte Medium is just this thick clear goo that I use for texture (in this case.)

While we're on this topic - does anyone know what the equivalent thickening paste would be for oil paints?  I don't live in a metropolis full of well stocked artist supply stores, so when I had a look through their supplies I didn't see anything that might work.  Tips on this would be appreciated in the comment section.

Oh yeah - I finished the box.  I don't believe I gave you a photo, though, did I?  Here's one:
I'm hoping to trade this piece for 2 prints from artist Kalkidan Assefa.  Fingers crossed!!
In case he doesn't bite, here's where you can buy the box, pictured above:  Nouveau Trinket Box, Etsy
I'm not usually up this late, but I spent the whole day cleaning (where is Spring!!??  Spring cleaning was even less enjoyable than normal without being able to sit outside in short sleeves in between rounds of Spic'n'Spanning!!!!!) and cleaning made me tired so I napped at a silly hour.   I may start a painting now.  We'll see!

Oh oh oh!  One more thing:  I have a secret!  there's a project in the works that stands to be quite exciting, but I do not have a final word on it yet.  Will possibly find out for sure tomorrow.  If I get good news, I'll blog it here.  If not, well, I shall never speak of it again.  *wink*
g'night peeps.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Artist / Educator

I've been busy!  I wish I could say I had a dozen new creations to share, but alas, my business was not in making art - it was in learning how to teach it!  Two weeks in a row I spent from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening at a course put on by the Royal Conservatory of Music and sponsored by the Ontario Arts Council.

The Course, called Artist/Educator Foundations, was held at the Pump House Steam Museum (I know, right?  Steam has a museum??)

Pump House Steam Museum (west side)

Pump House Steam Museum 
The course was amazing, led by co-instructors Ciara Adams and Andrea Piller (Andrea, if you're reading this, I'll gladly put in a better link if you tell me where to find one! :) ) and attended by 22 professional artists from in and around Kingston, Ontario.

I only have a couple of pictures besides the ones of the buildings, since once we got inside it was GO GO GO all the time, but have a look at what I did manage to snap in my twenty seconds of spare time:
One of the projects we worked on exploring materials and lines

The space was cramped, there was nowhere to put coats or lunches, you could barely move between chairs and you were lucky to get a seat at a table.  There was no coffee or food within 3 blocks, the bathrooms were directly off the main room and there wasn't even a water-fountain.  BUT.. the people were AMAZING and it was such a wonderful time - I learned a lot about lesson planning, the dynamics of a classroom, and so much more on a personal and professional level.

A great experience - if you can go, you should!  check out the Royal Conservatory of Music's website, or look through the Ontario Arts Council's opportunities.  You never know where your next adventure lies!