Friday, January 30, 2015

30 in 30

I get a break tomorrow.
That's where I'm at right now.

I'm not at all pleased with this painting.  Although there's someone out there that probably doesn't even know of me that if they stumbled across my work would probably think this is the most inspired I've ever done.  Or not.  I don't know.

I really don't know much at all.

I suppose that's what the challenge has taught me.  Which I already knew -just for the record!  I'm a student, learning, exploring...I hope I always will be!

I pushed the envelope on this one.  I think I pushed too far.  I think it was there (or at least closer) half an hour before I finished and I just spent the last half hour attempting to make the closest thing to an abstract more "identifiable"  which I think missed the point.   I took a picture during the process then deleted because I knew I couldn't get it back...but I should have posted that one.  It was fresher, cleaner, more energetic less over-worked.  Will I pursue a more abstract style in the future?  I'm not sure.  Time will tell.  I know I can compare the colours of this one and see similarities to my more representational pieces but I am more pleased with the results of many of the others.  I'm curious none-the-less.  I cracked open a door I never intended to walk through.  What's on the other side is intriguing, interesting, alluring, but is it for me?  Time will tell.

For now.  I will take a break.  Maybe a day, maybe more.  I will reflect, regroup, clean up my work area and attack some other aspect of my life with a bit more gusto.

When I return to my easel I will return with a bit more confidence because now I know I don't always have to wait for inspiration to show up, sometimes me showing up first calls inspiration and asks it to put in some time.  Sometimes that scenario works too.

I'm happy I participated in the challenge and I will again.  This has been an intense month but I believe it was a great learning experience and totally worth the time.  Thanks for taking the journey with me!

24 x 12
acrylic on canvas

30 in 29

My math genius brother just texted me to point out a couple of facts... two can play the tormenting game, Andrew!  ;)

Fact 1:  I didn't post day 29 and it's already day 30.
Fact 2:  There are 31 days in January not I need to paint an extra painting.

To address his concerns:

1:  I slipped in under the wire on the link up to Leslie's blog for day's there now!  I actually started this painting yesterday but didn't get far.  Sam is having a birthday party today...will be starting in minutes and my house was, well, filthy!!!  Because I've been painting all month...and sanding drywall compound didn't help the situation even a little bit.  So yesterday I spent a good deal of time trying to wade out from under the dirt so the "8 year olds" didn't contract some dust borne disease on my watch!

2:  There are indeed 31 days in January...but for the love of all things sacred!  Enough is enough!  I am very happy I took this challenge but -I WANT MY LIFE BACK! I've never done one of these link ups before but apparently we will be creating a collage of all the paintings I've done in the 30 days on day 31...not sure how that works but if I can, I will post the collage here!  And, Andrew, to boast about my own awesome math skills...I suspect we had to end on day 30 because a gridy, collage thingy will only work with numbers that are divisible!  5 rows of 6 or 6 rows of 5 or something like that!  ;)

Anyhoo!  Here is day 29.  I like how it looks but I want to add a little more once it is on some shadows and light.  The image was snapped on a very dull winter day when I was sitting in the truck waiting for Scott to get something at one of the local lumber yards...the tree caught my eye because it is so tall but so spindly and wobbly. The light and colours I've added are entirely fictitious.

Off to party!  Will post day 30 later....promise!

12 x 24

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

30 in 28

For all the work I put into yesterday's painting this one is the opposite....a quickie to the extreme which did not pan out to my favour.

I went too quickly and as a result made some fatal anatomical flaws which I more or less corrected only by using acrylic paint to cover up my errors.
Rather than scrub and work and agonize I am chalking this up as a learning taking time and preparing.  A lesson I need to re-teach myself again and again and again as the years go by! So this is what it is, kinda quick, kinda okay but nothing monumental!

I think I'll be happy to take a break after the next 2 days are done...30 paintings in 30 days is a HUGE commitment, another lesson learned!

9 x 6
watercolour and ink and acrylic


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

30 in 27

Today's painting is the 2nd in a series I have now done which features Shawville Fair in the spotlight.  Again centred around my favourite part of the whole weekend, behind the barns...where all the excitement least if you're farm folk!

I am always hesitant to start these and nervous to share because I feel so much more weight is placed on them as the locals will see and of course will have opinions!  Did I get the cow just right?  Who exactly is that?  Well, that doesn't look a bit like him/her! ...and so on.

Anyway, I sketched this painting the other day but didn't have the time required to paint it so after I put a coat of mud on our renovations in the back room this morning (which are coming along wonderfully...if I do say so myself!) I sat down to finally fill it in and other than the odd break to chauffeur kids to lessons and make supper I only just finished now!  So a very late post for me!

For anyone who wants to play the "name game" try to identify anyone this photo -this is again circa you have to reach back in your memory banks!  Enjoy!

17 x 12 

Monday, January 26, 2015

30 in 26

A quickie for today!

Bills to pay, walls to mud, kids to chauffeur around and help with homework in just a couple hours!

I have inspiration for larger paintings but to actually complete in one day wasn't realistic so I asked April what to paint.  She said "daisies"!  So I did!

9 x 6

Sunday, January 25, 2015

30 in 25

Still a little under the weather today so I decided I'd create something really quick and simple out of my head.  What I guess I forgot is that my head apparently does not do quick and simple.  In fact it's kind of a convoluted mess of confusion which seemingly translates into a tangle on paper.

Oh well!  Took longer than planned to but here it is..a simple drawing and watercolour of some colourful and upbeat flowers...done colouring book style!

12 x 16

Saturday, January 24, 2015

30 in 24

The art I really admire that other people do is very painterly.  You see every brush stroke and yet done well it invokes a powerful mood and clear image.

Today was a little study in doing just that.  I am a student for sure.  I was just noticing the last few days when working on some of the scenes that I pick and poke and edit and correct so many areas, so many times that I sometimes lose that spontaneity and then have to really work to get it back.

Today I gave myself one brush and didn't grab for smaller and forced myself to just lay down the paint then leave it be.  ...a little sky study of one late summer afternoon when storm clouds were rolling in from the east while the sun was setting.  The startling contrast of colours was caught in clouds to the south.  My interpretation below.  I may try adding texture to the tree area another day or just leave it be...think I'll live with it for a bit and see.

8 x 8
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Friday, January 23, 2015

30 in 23

A couple days ago I managed to squish 2 paintings into one day and so most of this image was painted yesterday.  I anticipated wanting a bit of a break, I didn't anticipate a wicked head cold, regardless my planning ahead paid I had just enough lucidity to add a couple final strokes and post this.

This farmstead is from a photo I took last spring, just a clear and promising spring day travelling around on the back roads.

Now I'm going to curl up and rest.  I have been trying to think up wine label designs, how to create a fabulous sign for our vineyard and all that goes along with that.  I thought that being an artist I'd have all the answers and yet I'm finding committing to an image which will essentially become a brand is one of the hardest things I've done.  Maybe I'll use up a couple of hours attempting to figure that one out this afternoon...and maybe I'll do a little mock up and post here soon!

24 x 12
acrylic on canvas

Thursday, January 22, 2015

30 in 22

Another quick image today.

I always like this view of the old farm while heading into town.  I suspect this is the barn that will invoke more memories for my in-laws as they enter their golden years because most of their lives centred around it. This is Glad Crest Farms...made a lot more picturesque by the neighbours' charming white fence and omitted old implements around the yard! -That folks is called artistic license!  ;)

This is the place where I started doing the odd shift of milking before Scott and I were married and where I continued to milk every morning with him for the first few years of our marriage along with helping in calf rearing, herd management and more.  Considered a "big farm" in its time for this community it was quite a thrill then to work there....especially alongside my sweetheart.

Times changed and now the main dairy is situated up the road and across from our home, it is a much larger barn, a more complex operation, but the old barn and yard are still very much an integral part of the farm. My role changed too, and although I suspect I am less respected than when I did the daily grind, I now manage financials from home and very rarely make my presence known in the barn other than to snap some picture of the lovely ladies to paint or help catch the girls when they go on the occasional gallivant.

On the farm we undergo monumental changes, not always pleasant, and yet again this is what we are going through.  As a result I had mixed emotions while painting this image. The word that kept popping up in my mind the most was "big".

Big business, big headache, big dreams, big successes, big losses, big fun, big work, big tears, big laughter...I could go on and on and on.

Although these days I seem to dwell on the negative "bigs" I needed this list to see that there have been and will hopefully continue to be just as many positive "bigs" down the road. Just like any path in life there are ups and downs and there is likely no business with more volatile swings from negative to positive and back again than agriculture.  I've learned to hang on in spite of a little voice screaming at the top of it's lungs in the back of my head saying "Run for the Hills!" because there's a big piece of my heart wrapped up here too, unbeknownst to most.  

Maybe the tiny scale of the barn in this painting should remind me that we're really not all that "big" after all.  Our problems are small, our lives are maybe irritating but more or less manageable and healthy and I suspect that if we're privileged enough to reach our golden years we will also look back on our "big adventures" with more happiness than sorrow.  I also hope everyone else that has touched Glad Crest can someday say the same.

14 x 11
acrylic on canvas board

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

30 in 21

Just a quick and simple painting today.  There is a multitude of things calling to me...  the dust bunnies are mocking me, the farm bills are leering at me, the hole in the kitchen ceiling is flat out laughing at me because they know me, they know I like to stay on best as I can and I'm falling just a bit further behind with each passing day!

Thus quick and simple.  The subject matter is also simple but although innocent looking enough it is also taunting me.  Painted from a picture I took in my vineyard late this summer as the grapes were ripening.  We have lots of wine ageing gracefully (we hope) in our garage, but that begins the problem.  We were supposed to have built a winery by now.
The winery allows licensing.
Licensing allows a business.
Business allows sales.
Sales allow income.
Income allows a small climb towards debt recovery and maybe even some fine day: profitability!

We have no winery.

We do have lots of legislation, paperwork, complications, barriers.

What we need is WINNING LOTTERY TICKET!  A SUGAR DADDY!!  A PRIVATE INVESTOR!  A GUARANTOR!  A PHILANTHROPIST!  Not even a truly rich one.  Just brave and trusting. That would cut through ALL the red tape in one fell swoop and we'd be on our way.

Oh well, I just have to hunker down for the long, slow wait.  If nothing else I am being taught patience over and over and over again.  Some day you would think I'd get good at it but apparently I'm a slow learner.
Sigh.  So today I'll have to satisfy myself with painting my Marquette grapes and maybe once the day is done I'll pop the cork on one of those many bottles and savour the efforts of a season past and dig in stubbornly planning a bit more for seasons yet to come because although patience is not my strong point apparently stubbornness is!

 10 x 8
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

30 in 20

Yay!  Day 20  -only 10 more days to go!

This challenge is a full time job!!!  Not really, but I am complaining, it is hard to be inspired ALL THE TIME!  However, the art needs to be done and the more I do the more experiments and experience acquired but it really is a very intensive assignment....there are days I just want to take a break, have a weekend...whatever, however...on I paint.

And today it was worth trudging up to my studio and putting paint to canvas, I really like how this turned out.  I painted almost the exact scene once before but the seasons were slightly different... this photo was snapped early autumn, the last time I painted this I captured an early summer day and it turned out predominantly blue and green.  Though there wasn't a lot of fully coloured leaves apparent in this picture I can easily see the results show a much wider colour spectrum.  I likely made about half of them up, or so Scott would say, he looks at my photos and wonders where I come up with all the variations...but honest, in my eyes those colours are there.
For real.
Which leads me to wonder just how differently do each of us see and perceive the same scene?

God knows we hear the same words differently, feel different in the same situations, interpret every piece of music, current event, facial expression and piece of art differently so I guess it's perfectly plausible that I really do see all the colours and Scott simply does not.
Likely much similar to how he interprets my eye rolls as a "sarcastic reaction"  whereas in reality it's just a sign of affection! -Ha! Now we'll see if he reads my blog!  ;)

      18 x 24
acrylic on canvas

Monday, January 19, 2015

30 in 19

Today was a mixed up day.  There is a good deal of uncertainty in our lives these days surrounding our occupations and the choices we've made throughout the two decades and more that Scott and I have been working together to build our lives.  Nothing monumentally critical, we have our health and sanity (most days) and family and love so nothing that we don't believe we can't find the tools to handle, just not the somewhat more relaxed winter days of planning and dreaming with some rest and rehabilitation as in years past.

So, when I went to my easel today I went with an empty cup.  Frustration, resentment and not an ounce of desire to create anything new or inspirational went with me.  The project I settled on was not started this month, I actually started well over a year ago and just got away from it.  Again, not my "usual" style but something I really enjoy doing, when in the mood...I call these pieces my colouring book pages.  I had inked out the image before and had done a small amount of filling in with watercolour.  I decided that colouring was about all I could handle today.

What really helped is that it is my mom and dad's.  My childhood home.  With the riotous, very ambitious and yet well tended flower garden and raspberries which took over much of the vegetable patch after we kids left home.

Soon enough I was mesmerized in examining the photo and laying down the colours of the yard where I grew up and the place I will always think of as "home" and soon enough everything fell back into a more manageable place again.

Almost as good as a hug from them both.  Or like, snuggling up in the corner of one couch in the living room while dad watches television (likely curling if I'd gone today) on the other sofa all the while offering a running commentary or opinion on the broadcast while slipping in quiet phrases of encouragement and support.

Or flopping across their bed upstairs watching mom doing needlework or knitting in her armchair while pouring out my woes, which would eventually lead to us both lamenting choices made, then recalling better days, then laughing at the so many amazing memories that would not have been made had the choices been different.  Finally, that would lead me back to dreaming of what tomorrow may be.

In no time at all I'd be filled up with love to overflowing.  Fixed and as good as new for the next thousand miles, not to say that we don't have vast differences in opinions, or that I didn't take completely opposite paths than they would have if they could have chosen for me, but there's something so rare and precious about just going home and being unconditionally supported by your parents.  Even when you feel like a complete failure, even when you're supposed to be all grown is a feeling I will always carry with me and always treasure.

Hoping this colouring book painting is a gift that they will enjoy during all their tomorrows no matter where life takes them.  Hoping I will have them to continue to support me for many years yet and that I am adequate at supporting them too.  I also hope they know that when I think back to my childhood, this is what I see, a picture perfect storybook life, a beautiful home overflowing with creativity and love, a secure and safe haven, that's what they and this place will always be to me.

18 x 12

Sunday, January 18, 2015

30 in 18

Another quick attempt at art today!  Busy weekend around here...I'm posting from my phone while at a combined birthday between my 11 year old, Isaac and his 6 year old cousin, Grace!

 Before we came I started a cow painting and think I want to call it "Gossip Girls"...these ladies are from our herd and they're bellied up to the feed bunk but really look like they've just been caught sharing a dirty little secret! What I find cool about the cows is they really do have best friends as you'll often find the same two girls side by side as the years pass by-right from being calves to old age!  Love these beautiful bovines...always will!

I like how my red and white girl turned out but still need to work on the other one...she kinda went cross eyed on me thus the reason I cropped her out!  I'll do the big reveal another day!...Fuzzy photo too...sorry!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

30 in 17

I worked on a quick little image today in an effort to squeeze a piece of art in.  I used A LOT of acrylic gel gloss medium and mostly a palette knife after first laying down a background.  My lesson today is don't overwork things...I took it a bit too far and lost some crispness and clarity in the process.  I also think I'd like to take a palette knife course at some point in my existence, will have to see what's available nearby.
The photo, I've used before.  A snapshot from our garden, I love the bright, crazy coloured, sturdy zinnias almost best of well as poppies, delphiniums and of course sunflowers...mostly anything bright and gaudy I suppose!  (Maybe synonymous with me?!)  

The summer flowers are a huge contrast to the very bone-chilling, blustery day we're experiencing here, very grey and sombre.  The mood is festive inside though as my oldest son turns 11 today and he has spent the last 5 hours with a handful of friends running around, traipsing in and out of the house and having an all around great and loud time!  Thus the reason for the very quick, very small art project today.

6 x 8
acrylic on canvas board

Friday, January 16, 2015

30 in 16

Today I continued on the watercolour experimentation and again I'm pleased with the outcome.

This is a picture I took of a place I hope at least some of the locals will recognize from my painting?!?  However, I won't go as far as asking anyone to recognize the might, you might not.

This was challenging and very time back is sore, I've been hunched over all day long...but I think the results are well worth it! I have taken various photos at the Shawville Fair over the years but never had the patience or confidence to try to portray one although that's the reason I took 'em in the first place!  Case in point: the back of the shot is dated 2002, takes me awhile to get around to things, see?

Anyway, I think it's a great representation of what is in my opinion the best part of the fair!   Agricultural producers getting together in competition to show off a little bit of what they do by doing a lot of hard work in selecting, raising and training the animals.  Whether it be beef, dairy, horses or other...all work with animals (for shows or just as a day to day occupation) takes time, persistence, patience and dedication.  I think it's awesome that the "little" country fairs still exist...a great place to socialize and catch up with neighbours and old friends and also an amazing way for urban dwellers to visit and find out a little bit of what we do!

Again, a fuzzy picture, I'll try a shot with my actual camera on another day!

17 x 12

Thursday, January 15, 2015

30 in 15

Once again today I went out of my comfort zone, starting to enjoy exploring out there on the fringes of my capabilities!  I'm pretty pleased with the results. Far from perfection ...but considering I do one watercolour painting in about every 30 acrylics...and portraits and people almost never (mostly if and when I cannot talk someone out of a commission) I think it went not too bad.

These are my girls.  They are very musical, they don't get that from me.  Don't get me wrong, I love to listen to music, I just never made it past "I am C... middle C" in piano lessons as a kid word.  Boring.  That's what I thought then.
Well, I'm happy to report my girls are far past the beginning years.  They are very gifted, each in their own unique way.

Emma is excellent at reading music, advances really well through formal lessons and plays beautifully.  She also has a soft, melodic voice that is a treasure to hear, although mostly she plays and sings for her own enjoyment.

April started with formal training but after several years began to struggle with reading the more complicated pieces and became we changed things up.  She still takes lessons but more informal, still works on reading music but also plays by ear, chords beautifully and now is over a year into voice lessons...and the girl has pipes!!  Blows me away!   -Every time.

Needless to say, I'm a very proud momma.  I tell people their playing is the soundtrack of my life.  I'm going to miss it when they go away to school, which is sneaking up way too quickly.  No matter how bad or busy the day when they sit down at the piano my heart warms, I smile and all is well with the universe.

    15 x 18
-unless, my husband says, you'll pay 5K, then it's negotiable, there's a price on everything apparently!  Ha!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

30 in 14

I spent literally hours this morning scanning through my photo collections in an attempt to pick a subject to paint for today.

My big concern is tomorrow is the deadline for submitting images for the 2015 Pontiac Art Tour...and although I have built up a bit of an inventory I wanted another piece to add to my submissions that represent "me" well.  I am very much a country gal and most of my art reflects that.  

I finally decided on an image on file, printed it off and went towards my canvases and paints...and it fell flat, just like that.  One moment I had found THE image, the next moment not a shred of interest remained.

Back to square one.  I'm a little fickle like that.

So I picked up my phone and scrolled through my pics there and found it.  The result is below, again please pardon the image the time I finished all natural light had left and somehow the photo turned out is a "little" more subtle in the real world!

This is a picture I took this fall while working in our vineyard.  We were making adjustments to our bird netting to protect the grapes for a few more weeks while they reached a higher BRIX (sugar level).   I turned around and there they were, the birds...just a waiting for us to go back to the house so they could feast.
 This reminded me of our trip to Prince Edward County when we started thinking about building a winery.  ( A research and development...and birthday trip all rolled into one.)   We were chatting with one vineyard owner and he told us he knows the grapes are ready when the birds fill the power lines...and here was finally proof that we had obtained a product worthy of attention...the birds have for sure noticed...every plant that did not get covered was picked squeaky clean of every last fruit...and even some that were covered were sabotaged as well!

Fortunately we did our job well enough that we have over 1200 litres ageing nicely in our garage... with lots more to come in the years to follow.

So, even though I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the birds...that day made me smile, and so does my painting!


  20 x 20
acrylic on gallery style canvas

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

30 in 12 & 13

I'm not absolutely sure that this 30 day painting challenge is bringing out the very best of my artistic talent!

I decided to participate for various reasons, one which includes my continued involvement in the Pontiac Artists' Studio Tour.  The tour runs during the middle 2 weekends in June and my oldest in her 14 year old wisdom ( last year) informed me I would be so much less stressed before the tour if I just got my act together much sooner in the year.  So, Emma, I'm placing any waste of paint and supplies and time this January very firmly upon YOUR shoulders!  ;)   Just kidding.

I do have a collection of paintings in various states of completion and I am truly far ahead as compared to years past and yet I find myself rushing a little too quickly a little too often to get my link up on Leslie Saeta's the quality may not always be right on, however experimentation is happening which wouldn't have otherwise so I'll chalk it up to lessons learned!  

Next, there is the predicament of after I link up my art to her site of perusing through 400+ other artists' daily masterpieces...and they truly are, then I start to doubt and worry and wonder....

then, in an effort of self preservation (or ego preservation at the very least) I quickly go do something else that doesn't involve art at all....and then...

my next predicament:  I fall behind!  Payroll for Glad Crest Farms is in fine shape, I'm proud to report, but I failed to post yesterday at today, a 2 for one!

The 2 missing seasons from my little experimental series.   Summer had many challenges, Autumn was much easier.


each 12 x 16
acrylic on canvas board

Sunday, January 11, 2015

30 in 11

Completed the second board for my seasons series this afternoon.  A bit moody, a bit darker, definitely more "in season" than my spring canvas done on day 6.

I think it will go well with the other though.

I am thinking if I matt this series on black (or at least something relatively dark) they will really pop out and be dramatic...but who know!  Two more still to paint and I'm a little fickle while deciding what to do!  :)

12 x 16
acrylic on canvas board

Saturday, January 10, 2015

30 in 10

Another busy day!

-we now have fixed our leaky plumbing but have a lovely hole in the kitchen ceiling.

- we also busted out a wall to our basement (yesterday) where I plan on setting up shop to frame and finish paintings, maybe even photograph them with proper lighting and everything!  Imagine!

-attended our 2nd funeral of the week today.  Always a very poignant experience.  Hold those precious to you close, we never know what life will deal.

So I'm posting a recent painting which was a commission for Christmas.  I did not photograph this before varnishing so there's a glare, however here he is anyway!

16 x 20
gallery style canvas

Friday, January 9, 2015

30 in 9

A quick watercolour today!

Apparently I need to go cut a hole in the drywall in my kitchen, there is a leak from our bathroom above...Oh the glamour of life, it just totally rocks sometimes!

Oh well, the sun is shining, it's no longer "quite" -40 outside and our home is warm and plumbing is soon to be fixed, I'm sure!  Optimism.

I've had the photo of these acorns and oak leaves on file for a while now, with the sun streaming in the window today was the day!

  9 x 7

Thursday, January 8, 2015

30 in 8

Some days life gets complicated and it's a little hard to fit in enough time to paint an entire completed painting.  I have a feeling that at the end of January I will be faced with at least a dozen canvases which need varying degrees of touching up!

Today was such a day.

However, what I did complete in the time I had feels successful to me.  Back to my favourite subject, my beloved bovine!

Sure, there's lot of anatomy corrections to make, the foreground and background to develop but all in all I like the direction this one is taking.
I took this picture travelling around on the back roads one early spring day last year. Obviously early as there's not a stitch of green anywhere to be seen, but somehow the cattle looked like they were just breathing a sigh of relief, as was I, after a very long winter.

I imagine if I were to take that same drive today I'd find some of the same girls huddled side by side tight to the round bale feeders with a layer of snow and ice caked on backs and the air heavy with fog as their breath steams up the entire yard. I'm not tired of winter yet, but I know that day will come very soon, and I suspect even the cows will long for the day when they can again loiter around a dry yard and soak up the first weak rays of spring light while watching the world come slowly back to life.

24 x 18
acrylic on canvas

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

30 in 7

Confession:  This was not painted today.  But recent-ish.  I spent the day putting away Christmas and just didn't get around to pulling out my paints.

This is a very large painting I did early December when I should have probably been doing about a dozen other more pertinent things.  I have wanted to paint a reindeer for about 3 years and never took the time.  I finally decided to be selfish and stubborn and ignore all responsibilities.  This is the result.
My reindeer.  "Waiting for Santa"

The photo quality is poor.  Actually, all my photos are not great.  I've been using my I-phone and our home has a lot of bright, warm walls and generally by the time I'm done painting for the day I have lots of lights turned on so colours are distorted.

I will need to take some time to pull out my good camera and set up on a bright clear day and retake all my images, but particularly this one.  It is sparkly and kind of magical.  This does not do it justice....but here it is anyway, I'd rather post a poor picture than none at all.  When I take on a challenge I generally stick to it, stubborn like that!

See you tomorrow!

48 x 24
acrylic on gallery canvas

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

30 in 6

Again trying a slightly different style today, I will eventually get back to my tried and true method to painting but I do find it really weird how no matter what I set out to do when experimenting I get completely different results than what I was actually aiming for!  I guess that's a sign that I'm no true expert...or at least not a very good fake!

What I had in mind was that I was going to create a series of seasonal paintings...I've done the same concept before but another style that time too...I was thinking of a painting made almost entirely of circular organic shapes, with extra colours and circles within circles....inspired by the likes of Norval Morrisseau, bright bold colours, very graphic...and so on.

What I ended up with was something very different. Mr. Morrisseau would no doubt NOT be impressed, but in my defence I abandoned that concept almost immediately after beginning.

My head was in the clouds today. I've been thinking of a couple people who've lost those very close to them in the last couple days, considering spirituality, mourning, grief, letting go and such.  So perhaps that's why this ended up looking like it did.   I "think" I like it but I don't consider myself much of a romantic and this looks like that to me.

(I also so hope that heaven is a little more rockin' than this too....assuming I'd be admitted that is...and that this isn't my subconscious giving me a window to the great hereafter!)

Perhaps it ended up like this only because it was my spring version??  A little sticky sweet, perhaps I can make a winter storm next or a really miserable autumn day...more matching to my volatile character!        

I do like the globs of paint, it created a bit of texture which is hard to see in this image but pretty cool when the board is in front of you.  I will continue the series for the remaining 3 seasons and hope when they're all together it looks cool.

12 x 16
acrylic on canvas board

Monday, January 5, 2015

30 in 5

My painting from today is one I've been working on for a while and I will no doubt tweak a bit more before completion.

This is a commission that is long overdue, my clients have been more than patient with me and I hope they really enjoy the painting when they finally get it!  The painting is quite large which is my favourite way to flowers, full colour and lots of splash, this was requested after seeing a similar sized painting of hollyhocks which I painted.  The clients love blue lupines and so here they are!

Might put a bit more highlights and lowlights in but otherwise it's almost there!

16 x 48
acrylic on gallery style canvas

Sunday, January 4, 2015

30 in 4

Today I did a quick research on painting with palette knives before experimenting on canvas.

I have used one a bit in the past but have never covered an entire canvas with just the use of a knife. Not easy to manipulate when I'm more familiar with the dynamic of a brush.  I have also spent the last 4 days working on relatively small canvases when I really have a strong preference for large.

What I can say is so far my preference for brushes and big have not waned but I'm pushing myself to try new styles and techniques and even if in the end nothing changes I will know a little bit more about my shortcomings, strengths, limitations and such and I guess that's a good thing!

This was a photo from years back which I took at my childhood home, snapped on a day not unlike today, when the trees and entire world around here are caked by heavy snow.  A good day to stay inside and stay warm!

10 x 8
acrylic on gallery canvas

Saturday, January 3, 2015

30 in 30....day3

A quick little painting I did for day 3.

Always have fun when I do this kind of out of "my" ordinary style of painting...done from the big, old maple tree in our front yard which I like to think of as our "home" tree.  ;)

6 x 8
acrylic on canvas

Friday, January 2, 2015

30 in 2

Back again for day 2 of the 30 in 30 painting challenge...

Here is my work for today!

From a photo I snapped while biking with the kids this past autumn (they kept asking why I had to stop so many times to take so many occupational hazard I suppose)

'Twas a brilliant afternoon...everything really was this glorious-for real!

I've always been intrigued by the old lane way, the house has been torn down and it is now only used for the fields which surround the yard that was the location of the homestead.  Usually makes me a bit melancholy to see homes fallen and forgotten but with the light the way it was on this particular day I thought it had a festive air.

Wouldn't you love to travel home to this maple lined lane?

12 x 12
Acrylic on Canvas

Thursday, January 1, 2015

30 in 30 1

Trying something really new  (other than actually posting on my blog!)  Trying a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, basically this is a worldwide challenge to get artists painting, creating, becoming more experimental and prolific than before!  A link to the host blog is here.

...All things I need a lot of help with so what the hey! goes nothing!....

Started today with a painting which was perhaps a bit too ambitious for a "painting in a day" challenge.  These 2 sweethearts have actually somehow for real wormed their way into our hearts around here, but not because they're actually that sweet.  They are kind of tyrants actually!  They are the source of many tears, much frustration and a broken bone and mild concussion.  Horses are fun, they said!  Horses are intelligent, they said!  We have learned that perhaps they are more intelligent than their owners.  Period.

Anyhoo!  Back to the painting!  I started with our lovely horse and pony show.  (Picasso and Pepper) I snapped this pic earlier this fall because I  loved the light that was streaming from behind as they grazed.

I really admire artists who can capture an image roughly with what looks like very little real effort...a brush stroke here, a slash of colour there and VOILA !  -the essence of a horse captured in perfection. Sigh.
I am actually a lot more anal than I care to admit.  I do apparently not know how to do quick and effortless.  I want to work and rework this.  (I might just yet...but I'm obeying the rules and posting on the day I'm actually supposed gentle with any commentary...sigh, again!)

Lessons learned from this my first post for the 30 in 30 day challenge:

-I am challenged
- pick an easier subject or at least approach it with looser expectations
-cannot overemphasize the importance of drawing, sketching, planning before...that would have helped SO VERY MUCH
- relax.  It's just a'll speak to someone, or it won't
- On 5 hours sleep after chaperoning 6 teenagers and 2 youth and 1 hubby with strep throat at a New Years Eve party in my home while being their short order cook- I should perhaps not expect too much of myself!

Well, here it is.  See you tomorrow.  :)