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.

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.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Storm Over Canola Field"

"Storm Over Canola Field"

Acrylic on Masonite
24" X 24"

It has been a long, long time since I painted anything that did not have a tree in it.
This exception is a scene I have wanted to paint for quite a while.
In Southern Alberta, we have storms, big storms, and the clouds as they roll in are just breathtaking.
At my daughters home they have a back deck that is about 20 feet off the ground.
And, all you can see for miles and miles is Canola growing during the season.
This view is due East, and the bright spot in the middle of the clouds is the sun still rising in the morning.
The fields are rolling hills. undulating with changing colour.
That morning I could feel the electricity in the air, and because it had rained overnight I could smell the rain.
This area of Canada has without a doubt, the most incredible skies.
Even more so, the storm clouds are just beautiful in all their power.
Because of the very close proximity to the Canadian side of the Rocky Mountains, we expect storms.
But our elevation is such that at times you feel if you stand on your tip-toes you can reach up and touch them.
I shall remember my feelings watching this cloud moving toward me.
I  hold my breath when I look at the painting even now.

I hope I have captured the Magnificence of this cloud.
The beauty of the rain it fed to the fields 
and the cleansing feeling I felt
as it passed over me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Willow Bay"

"Willow Bay"
Acrylics on Birch Panel
24" X 24"

Over the course of my years, and recently here in my blog,
 I have had talked about my love affair with the natural beauty of the Northern Part of Manitoba, Canada.
Growing up in isolation, then on to town life, and then the city, I have found that in my mind, I have
never left that natural pristine beauty.
For the greater part , my art encapsulates trees, nature and the world around me.
always, influenced by those early years when I originally connected with the beauty of Nature.
Make no mistake, there are no Natural Wonders there, just a raw beauty of Nature growing unimpeded.
Of Forest fires that devastate, highways running through and city people wanting a weekend of time beside a 
lake shore.

Willow bay is a  bit of a walk  from the old cabin I grew up in.
The Lake shore was always visible.

The I cabin  grew up in  had no running water, no electricity and no inside facilities.
That all would come much later, but there was never to be running water in the place.
There was an Arteisan well just outside the front door.

My good memories were always outside those walls.
Amongst scrub Poplars, Birch trees, Willows  and Canadian Spruce.
of sitting beside a creek that flowed into the lake that was full of fish during Spawning season.
There were Deer, Moose, and Brown Bears.
Oftentimes Lynx would roam the area.

But it was quiet
the skies were clear and the stars shone their brightest.
Some nights the sky would look like a shot gun full of diamonds was aimed upwards to the heavens,
and fired,
where they settled in, never to fall.

This painting is of Kyle & Cathys  (Brother & Sister in-law) Cottage nestled on the shore line of Willow Bay.
(Known as Deightons Beach when I was a child)
My favorite place in the whole world.
It is calm, it is beautiful and it is secluded.
This area shaped who I was to become in my elder years.
I am so fortunate to have known it.
The details of this painting are below, it took a long time, and the very last
correction was the slope of the cottage roof, It just never rang true to me, but I finally got it.
I hope you enjoy the painting process of this , one of the most personally pleasurable works of
I have ever attempted.

 Initial stage;

Before I changed the slope of the roof;

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Canadian Way"
24" X 24"
Acrylics and Mixed Media
 Birch Panel

This past week has not been a good one for Canadians.
Two Canadian Soldiers were murdered, just because they wore uniforms proudly.
My country is in mourning for these brave and good men.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist.

W/O Vincent was run down by a motorist (Purposely) and killed  in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Cpl. Cirillo was gunned down as he stood guard (unarmed)  at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa.

Needless to say these type of happenings are not commonplace in my Country.
This painting is in Honour of these two brave men.
The people that selflessly put themselves in danger to try and save their lives,
To say thank you to the Sergeant at Arms in the House of Parliament
Ken Vickers
who shot and killed the person that murdered Cpl. Cirillo
I hope I have represented these brave people with a painting that shows us all.....
"That no matter how hard you try to rip the  fabric that holds Canadians together,
the good citizens of this country of all races/creeds & religions
will never be undermined by wanton acts of cowardice such as these."
The step by step process of this painting

In the beginning I wanted to represent all of Canada.
In our National Anthem there is a wonderful line
"From Sea to shining sea"
That is why the colours.
threads torn from a scrap of fabric to represent
what people such as these murderers want to do to our country.
As if to tear apart the threads that hold us together as a Nation.
Red paint representing blood spatters speak for themselves.

then I added a piece of fabric seemingly holding itself together to show our unity as a nation

the threads
Forming the Maple leaves with gel and paint

adding the Maple leaves
Each leaf is partially free of the painting as if they are falling down
side view of some of the Maple Leaves
Almost finished
What looks like light blue is actually an interference paint that shines when

The Canadian flag is added
not too obvious as that is who we are as a people, quiet, reserved, just a country
getting it done in the best way we know how
"....In Unity"

detail of the flag