Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"The Sun Rose Behind The Trees"

"The Sun Rose Behind The Trees"

Acrylics and Tar Gel
Birch Panel
24" X 24"

The Sun rises Behind the trees, and the whole scene lights up like they were illuminated with Gold.
In Northern Manitoba along the lakeshore, for the most part, the trees are Poplar and Birch.
They are never so thick that they cannot be walked through but in all tend to be pretty dense.
When looking East one often can see patches of the sky behind them, and the trees while fully grown,
 often have very tall trunks before the branches spread outwards.
The tops of these trees reach for the Sun.
Those that don't get that high die off.
When the Morning Sun appears it casts a glow and enhances the green leaves on the canopy, and highlights the trunks.
It is almost magical.
I hope you can see what I was trying to express in this painting.

Friday, June 5, 2015

"...And then there were Flowers."


..."And Then there Were Flowers."
Acrylics and Mixed-media on Birch Panel
24" X 24"

I have always loved the muted colours of the Impressionists.
I love abstract works that have wonderful colour.
That being said, I love Art-Deco.
With this painting I have tried to combine all three.

This is a
 multi-media work that took a very long time to complete because there were so many stages to it.

Initially I saw the woman on an Art-Deco site that I frequent.
She was a pen Line drawing in black on white.
 I knew that I wanted to do something with her so I printed her off in order to make a gel 
overlay of her.
(With permission)
Once the overlay dried and I removed the paper backing, I painted in the background of the gel and then
re-applied a few more coats of gel so as to give the image some depth.
The gel of the woman took four days to dry in all before it was workable and able to be removed from the glass substrade.
I then cut her out on the edges, lifted her carefully from the glass,
and rolled her in Parchment paper so it would not stick to itself.

I began working on the panel for a background.
Initially I painted the background all silver.
Paint does not readily adhere to any  metallic background.
My intention was to create a background of soft muted colours that ran together and pooled in some areas.
so after I poured washes  on the panel, and dropped Blue and Ochre spots,
i waited for them to dry a bit.

 I leaned the panel on a block so one edge was much higher than the other and sprayed it all with a fine heavy mist of water so it would drip down taking the colour with it.
When I had the background as I wanted it, I lay it flat and
let it dry.
Then I coated the whole background with an Acrylic Glazing Liquid  (satin)
 and waited for that to dry......
I then added strings of coloured Tar-gel to represent stems and flowers.

and let that dry.

I then over-painted the flowers and adjusted the Ochre tar gel.
I let that dry.

Finally I added the woman to the painting.

I find the end result of this work very pleasing.
There was an enormous amount of time spent waiting for the mediums to dry between each step.
It is a larger work and shows beautifully.

I hope you like it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Showcasing "The Art Of Jessie McIvor"

Every once in a while we are astounded by works of art.
We are astounded by the dedication of the Artist 
perfects every little thing that goes onto thier canvas.

And then along comes works of art that are produced 
by an Artist 
that only paints with her heart.
An artist that loves colour
an artist that doesn't follow conventional lines.
An artist that doesn't use conventional mediums.
An artist that has no formal training.

 The Art of Jessie McIvor 
definitely from her heart.
 She is a member of a wonderful loving family
She was born with Downs syndrome
she is 30 years old.

 Jessie and her Mom Nicki.

Jess never been told that there are any 
limits to what she can do.
It is interesting to note that
each and every work she produces
is happy, and filled with joy
even those depicting sadness
 are filled with
promises of good things to come.
Her medium of choice 
Crayola fine tip markers
Inexpensive Acrylics

Recently Jess and her Family holidayed in
Cabo, Mexico

During this Holiday
Jess saw art that was of the same style as she created.
and in colours that she loved
Vibrant and pleasing to the eye.
And she was in awe that others created images 
just like hers.

One thing that can be noted, 
is that rarely
(or if ever)
does Jessie draw right angles.
Her work is strongly
representative of the Cubism movement
brought to the forefront by artists 
such as
"Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso And the later works of Paul Cezanne"
And as well as   the "Art Deco" Movement.

The one big difference being that Jess has no idea who these Lauded artists are 
ever having studied their works.
Of recent times she has been influenced strongly by the 
accomplished artist
"Laurel Burch."
Jess's world is expanding now, 
she is very aware that Art is a wonderful thing
and that she in truly
"An Artist!"

Jessies art can be purchased for the cost of equipment/tools for her to create with 
and or
the cost of shipping from Canada.
Jessies Facebook page is
(Note, all communication will go through her Mother
Nicki McIvor)

Some of Jessies Art;


Friday, March 13, 2015

"And Then Comes Spring"

"And Then Comes Spring"
Acrylics and Mixed media on Canvas
16" X 20"
Living in Southern Alberta, Canada poses some problems with the Weather.
The Winters can be unpredictable and  oftentimes they tend to drag on.
But when Spring finally arrives,
 what a joy.

I celebrate our diverse weather
We have been known to have
Snow in September, Sun tanning days in the middle of December
snowflakes on a hot day in August 
nothing, no matter how unusual
tends to surprise us.

Spring brings green.
Fresh breathable air without frost
sunshine and a sense of well-being.
I created this work in honour of
The Season of re-birth.

 I base-painted the canvas with a deep blue and affixed 
Silver metal leaf squares.
I then colour washed over the silver another wash of blue.
the blue was applied in splotches, 
let sit and then gently buffed off 
so as to leave a hint of the colour and tone down the silver.
All colours are "Golden Fluids"

Once the blue dried, I did the same thing with Green Gold.
creating a fabulous contrast.
when everything dried fully, I then scumbled over the whole canvas

distressing some of the paint down to the silver and through that at times.
then I washed over the whole thing with random Blues & Green gold.
the base was finished.
I used a template and Molding Paste to add the vines
let them dry and over painted the plaster a few times to get
a not too perfect colour.


 I had fun creating this work.
I do hope you see the joy in it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines day. (a wee break from the norm)

For Valentines Day, I send a special message to you all.
Japanese art of Kintsugi follows a different philosophy.
Rather than disguising the breakage, kintsugi restores the broken item incorporating the damage into the aesthetic of the restored item, making it part of the object’s history.
Kintsugi uses lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze, resulting into something more beautiful than the original.
For all my friends that may have been "Broken" at one time or another I send you hope.
I send you the hope that you will know that now you are more valuable and treasured.
If you have never been "Broken" please know that in my heart
I will try to be there and patch you up
with Gold if
 it happens.
I treasure you all.

See how this person made Kintsugi work for her when a whole shipment of Pottery arrived broken.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"The Night The Northern Lights Surrounded Us"

"The Night The Northern Lights Surrounded Us"
Acrylics and Mixed media on Canvas
16" X 20"

I did this painting after a Hoar Frost settled into my world the other day.
Every blade of dried grass, every branch every electrical wire was covered in a delicate Hoar Frost.
When this happens and we are lucky enough to have no wind, the frost will stay on everything until the sun shines. Fortunate for us the day was overcast, so we had this beauty all day.
The following evening was  magical, one one in which the Northern Lights danced in just a glorious display.
They were so bright that the trees covered in delicate frost shone in the dark contrast to the sky in all its magnificent colour.
Hopefully I have somewhat captured this magic on my Canvas.

This photo actually shows the true colours of this painting.

I hope You can see the Magic in this painting, it seems touched with electricity and just gleams.

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Sunset at September Lake"

"Sunset at September Lake"
Acrylics/mixed media on Canvas
16" X 20"

Every once in a while something good comes from a disaster.
The other day I was going through my 
"Paper53" app on my IPad and I was checking out my doodles.
(Things I have composed while watching TV )
I really liked the effect that the colours made when I would go to the next line down and continue a sky line.
The tone on tone created a wonderful effect, and I wondered if I could translate this 
small work to Acrylics on canvas.
I mixed up a watery (watercolour style) blue green for my sky and started.
needless to say I failed miserably!

So, here I was with a canvas covered in blue/white cloud like lines that did not work.
 I did what any well intentioned Artist does in this situation, I grabbed a bottle of Fluid Acrylic
("Goldens Yellow Oxide")
and poured it over the canvas atop the blue/green mess!
and then I smoothed it over the canvas with a fine wide brush.
I had the most gorgeous canvas in various hues of yellows and reds, and greens!
Now this was a canvas I could work with, and in colours I liked.
I decided that somehow the sky would be of a Sunset.
So I needed a tree line.
I remembered
I had just stocked up on Metal leaf.
Not just the regular Gold/Silver/Bronze leaf
but a new hue 
that was
a Variegated Black.
I had never worked with it and needless to say, I was itching to work with this new colour.
It is a product  put out by a company called
and just gleamed.
So, instead of highlighting a painted tree,
I got the bright idea to paint the trees in with sizing and just use the leaf.
Different and kinda hairy because once dry, I would not be able to see what I had painted.
But, I persisted and ended up with this;

Yes, that is metal leaf, 
just photographed so as not to see the glare from the sheen.
And, I liked the results tremendously.
while I liked it, there was nothing defining the trees, so
again, I decided to draw trees "ATOP" the trees already there.
(again blind.)
I let this sizing dry and then layered Gold Leaf atop the black metal leaf and they looked wonderful.

Basically, not a good photograph, but this one shows the great difference between both colours of
the metal leaf.
I had depth.
And the contrast between the two colours was so pleasing.
A detail shot to show the leafing.

I had a hard time deciding to do the lake in the front of the tree line.
would the sunset be behind the trees or in front?
Because the colour was so vibrant, I decided that the Sun would be behind the viewer.
The whole effect would be balanced with the reflection of the Sunset on the water.
so how to do that?
More metal leaf of course!
And that my friends
is how a disaster can actually turn out to be a pretty pleasing Painting!
Thanks for being here, I appreciate you taking the time to
read and view my blog so much!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Basics and the beginnings of an artist.

"Calla from the top"

When I began painting a few years back, as is with everyone
I started with a theme.
I had no idea about what I was good at, and had very little
Self-expression show in my paintings.

I think for any beginner this is the case.
We see a scene, a flower, a sky
and think 
"I would love to paint that."
We have no idea about mixing colours, perspective or shadowing.
We just know we want to translate it onto canvas.

One of the first flowers I ever painted was
A little canvas celebrating the first bouquet that a child presents to their
Mother with much love, and showing what this gift looked like  to the Mother.

After that I proceeded to venture into different shapes and colours

"Dogwood Blossoms"
My first serious foray into shape, form and shading.


This one started my love of the background.

After that I explored colour shape and style.
backgrounds and sizes.
You can see here that I did not allow myself adequate room for the roots coming from the bulb.

"The Wedding is Off!"
A whimsical Painting.
Mr. Froggy is keeping out of the rain.
No Wedding for him today.
This (I think) is the only painting in which I attempted to actually do Rain.
It can be scary, you complete  (at that time)
a perfect painting and you just know
That the first stroke signifying rain has to be perfect
or the whole thing is lost.
I lucked our on this one.

An art Challenge from
a participating forum on "Wet Canvas"
One of my all time favorite florals.
My favorite part is actually the way I painted the
stucco wall.

Ruffled Asian Lily
I worked very hard to get depth in this painting.
At the time I thought I had it.
But looking closely, I achieved a good depth on only one Petal.

An all time favorite of mine.
Simple lines portraying elegance.

There is much beauty in the simplest of flowers.

Again, here I worked on shading and tonal values.

Here I attempted to do a "Red" painting.

While Not specifically a Floral, this painting
is the first that I achieved pleasing results with
a collection of plants.

"White Flower"
I liked the background of this one very much.

Every step I have taken in teaching myself how to paint
has gone through phases.
And with each painting I learned.
I perfected a certain style and method of application.
I have had many many canvas that I have painted over
(Or as my friend Diane calls them "Wall leaners")
....put in a corner on the floor, leaning on the wall
to be forgotten or painted over.

But with every painting I have completed I have taken away something new.
I have learned when to put my brush down
"Leave it alone"
What colours make each other Pop!
How to load a brush with paint
and countless other things.

One fact that I learned very quickly was that I
had no propensity to paint people/faces or animals.
I do not enjoy painting these subjects.
The one exception to this rule was the painting I did of a couple of Pelicans
(But then again birds are not people or animals)


Actually, any attempt in that genre has resulted in frustration, anger
and a feeling of hopelessness.
So I just do not even try them. LOL
I think these things have made me a better Artist.
And hopefully I will continue to enjoy the learning process
of creating art.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Painting Winter & Snow"

Canadian Arctic
Acrylics on Watercolour paper
10 1/2" X 7 1/2"

I love painting Winter.
There is something about snow that excites me as I begin.
It took a long time for me to find my stride in this genre
This is a blog entry about how snow looks at different times and how I have interpreted it in my art.

Snow can be tricky to paint
as while it has no colour, it reflects the colours that surround it.
I like painting Winter on the coldest days, when the temperatures 
plummet well below any comfort level.
that is why most of my snow has undertones of blue and grays
with no yellow highlights.

When a very cold day is bright with no sun visible
you actually see no colour excepting the things around the snow, such as cars, houses and people.
the photo above was taken on an extremely cold day a few years ago.
You can see that there are no colours with the exception of whites, Blacks, and Grays.
The scene is  a very cold day after a Hoar frost
and a gentle snow was falling.

This photo was taken the same day, the absence of colour is apparent when you see the red parking

"No sky, no colour."
Seems like a very strong thought coming from an artist, 
but often times ones enjoys a rest from our visual senses 
when we are surrounded by peace and quiet, even if it is just visual.
I have come to love these days, there is something peaceful about just a moment in time when everything 
is black and white.

This painting is in a good home now

An interesting after-note;
On very clear  nights  when the Moon is full
at any time of the year the same thing happens.
The Moon does not cast any Yellow hues, 
and the beauty of the scene it produces has the same effect.
Whites are dominant and reds disappear.
Oh the Magic of our visual senses.
I have added various scenes that I have painted of Snow/ Winter, along with
some photos I have taken in my area, either after a snow or a Hoar frost, and as well showing the difference between the day/night/and no visible sun days.
These will give you a good idea of how the colours of the snow works.
If you have any questions./comments please Email me @
I will answer each and post them here.

You will notice this painting with a line of trees along a walk.
It was a sunny day and the colours are totally different.
Still the only Colours I used were blue/white/a bit of black,
and brown for the tree trunks.

This painting is looking toward the West just at sunset.

My first attempt of painting the Larches in Winter, Not great,
but the person that bought it loved it.

This photo was taken at dusk in a field covered in Hoar frost.

The stand of Larches facing west, the sunrise`from the East  is glowing in The West sky
(Totally covered in Hoar frost)

The same Larches a few days later

Taken the same day as the above sidewalk photo

 A bright sunny day after a Hoar Frost.