25 October 2012

begin at the end and work your way forward

One Thing Becomes Another
mixed media on stitched canvas
33w x 32h inches

mixed media on stitched canvas
51w x 31h inches

Queen Pawn
mixed media on stitched canvas
25w x 52h inches

24 October 2012

stepping out

Just went to the FCA website and saw my work posted in the AIRS show.  First time I've ever shown a landscape painting.  Looking through the images, I'm quite impressed - there are some very fine paintings in this show!  Perhaps one day I may achieve the level of excellency that many of the exhibiting artists have reached.  Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to be included, and motivated to keep on improving my plein air skills.

click here to see my painting in the AIRS show

21 October 2012

we live in a beautiful world

view: south side of nose hill, oct 17 2012
painting: oil on canvas, 10x10"


Images above are works in progress.

Images below are finished paintings.

acrylic on stitched canvas
33w x 31h inches

We Move Through It
acrylic on stitched canvas
32w x 31h inches

13 October 2012


In a whirlwind of activity I am being very productive in the studio lately.  Finished stitching and stretched this one tonight:

My studio table with markings on it from measuring out 3 new stitched canvases.

12 October 2012

outside inside




When I first began to use acrylic in 2009, my thinking was that I didn't want to try to make the same type of paintings with acrylics as I had been doing with oils.  Not only would that be frustrating in terms of end result, but also it would limit my exploration of the acrylic medium's wide range of possibilities.  

To that end I chose a subject that seemed to be the polar opposite of the layered, semi-abstract cityscapes: flowers!  Here are some of the first acrylic paintings I made:

Well, they are still layered and semi-abstract, aren't they?  Haha.  

I used paper and sheer fabrics collaged onto the canvas. 
I splattered and splashed using various acrylic-to-water ratios and learned about how to avoid that cracking thing that happens when acrylic mediums are applied too thickly in single coats.
I drew with charcoal, conte, and china marker in between the acrylic paint layers.  
I also drew with oil pastels and then sealed them with more layers of acrylic - a definite no-no in the realm of archival concern.  But I thought, "it's not like I'm doing great swathes of oil with acrylic on top, they're just thin lines so it should be ok."
I really wanted to be as free as possible, and it was a lovely exercise.

A few of these painting sold, and I gave some to family and friends.  I also donated a few to the Calgary Children's Hospital.

Now I no longer have any desire to paint flowers, and for two years the remaining flower paintings have been just sitting in a cupboard - the very worst place for art to live!  Therefore I've decided to donate them to Art With A Heart for the residents of Slave Lake who lost their homes last year.

This is the artist statement for my "floral period":

Flowers have been portrayed in art since early history; they seem to have been drawn, painted and sculpted by every culture that has ever existed. The fascination of flowers is manifold - besides their visual appeal, many have practical uses in medicines and food, perfumes and dyes.

Contemplation of flowers can inspire an awareness of the divine, as well as a delight in earthly sensuality. Be they pedigreed hothouse beauties or a field of wildflowers blowing in the wind, flowers can lend a glimpse of something greater than human design. With their myriad colours, shapes, textures and scents, they seem to celebrate life itself.

As a contemporary visual artist I also want to celebrate a love of life. The flowers in these paintings, with their vibrant, riotous colours and curling tendrils, seem to be dancing for sheer joy. It is my hope that they will bring joy to the viewer as well.

All in all, it seems very appropriate that my little florals should bring joy to the residents of Slave Lake, instead of being shut away in a dark cupboard.

11 October 2012

heart smart

Today I am happy because three of my paintings have sold in the last week!  Wow, talk about feast or famine!  It's kind of a nice balance, too, because each of my galleries sold a piece.  Very fair of the universe, wouldn't you say?
These are the works that sold:

Re-enter And Re-enter
City For Trees
Stained Glass

Be patient.  Go with your heart and the rest will follow, eventually....

07 October 2012


This weekend we went to Edmonton for the opening of my solo show "Urban Seams" at the Front Gallery.  It was a great opening: the work was displayed really well, with a good flow throughout the room, I had a chance to talk with people who came in and had time for real conversations, and some had interesting things to say about the show.

One person said, "this painting really brings to mind interior as well as exterior spaces."  And another, "there is a kind of Asian feel to some of these pieces."  Several people mentioned that they saw the signature painting in the front window and "...we just had to stop and take a look inside."

I also met a couple who bought one of my pieces.  This is wonderful, since I rarely actually meet the people who buy my work.  It was great to be able to get to know them and their small daughter a bit, and to thank them personally for choosing my piece from the gallery's collection of amazing artwork made by some really great artists.  It really is an honour to have my work shown here!

A few photos from our trip:

shadow of our car looking very 3D

construction sites - always gorgeous but particularly so in this light

mysterious inner spaces

tinsel streamers in a car lot

 heading home in the evening glow

I also have a couple of lovely photos of the gallery owner and I, but will wait to post them until I have her ok.  Update: got the ok and here they are:

All in all it has been a great weekend so far, and tonight we will have Thanksgiving dinner with the family.  Could life be any better?  Right now I think not.


and so it begins again

There they are, two new pieces stitched and stretched - that's what was in progress on my table in the previous post.  I am sure loving the pre-painted canvas aesthetic!

03 October 2012

step back

Took this one outdoors to varnish and noticed how well it looked with the fallen leaves and grass:

Back into the swing of things!  

Those big colourful things on the wall are canvases that had been on my studio table while I worked in the last couple of months.  They are my "pre-painted" canvases, destined to be cut up and stitched into future paintings, like the one you see in progress on the table now.

These two will be put aside for the time being - I need to do something else for awhile and will come back to them later.

step out

This painting has been accepted into a juried show: AIRS

Alberta Landscape #26
oil on canvas

I submitted 3 works to the jury, the one shown above and these two:
#27 - o/c - 10x10"

#29 - o/c - 10x10"

They didn't give me a reason for their choice... but I think it may be because of the horizon line:  In #27 and #29 the horizon line is smack in the middle, whereas in #26 it's raised above the mid-point.  Or perhaps it's due to colour or technique?  

At any rate I'm very pleased to have my work accepted.  This marks the first time one of my landscapes will be shown in a public gallery.  And it's a non-profit gallery, too: another first for me!