A composition out of my head for Jessica and Shane. I wanted to create something more abstract, but working with acrylics this time made that a lot trickier as I'm not really used to working with the medium. I love/hate the quick dry time which dictates how you are going to apply and work the paint. Suppose like anything else practice makes...don't want to use the word perfect here, but you know what I mean.
I had the pleasure of meeting Roger and his lovely wife Joanne on a beach in Bucerias, Mexico last month when they graciously allowed me to take their photograph for this painting. I didn't know who they were initially until we exchanged particulars so they could see the finished work. I recognized his name immediately, as Roger was a star in the CFL and gave our Bombers fits whenever they met on the football field. He still looks like he could suit up and help their team. It's worth googling his name to see his amazing accomplishments through a very long and successful career. The man is revered in Saskatchewan, and with Rider fans throughout the world...as they are everywhere. Anyway what a great couple that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with. And yes it's true, the pros do get all the good looking girls...ha!
My little granddaughter Avery... 2 1/2... is a real peach. This is my first painting of her referenced by a great photograph by Granny Rose. After her amazing abstract painting which is now hanging in our foyer, I was inspired to create something as I haven't been painting for too long a time. She is a super smart kid...but aren't they all these days. This is her giving it her best "Uma" look...ha!
Sadly, poor Niko was struck and killed by a car last year right in front the house where he lived with friends Don and Luz. Not sure how people can drive so recklessly on a quiet residential street and not be bothered to slow down for a confused little critter. It was a very sad day. With not a great photo to reference, I borrowed heavily from a painting I fell in love with by artist extraordinaire Jill Soukup. She is an amazing painter whose workshop I would love to attend. When you look at her painting, the cat is alive and breathing. I loved her composition and decided to use it to try and create something that would remind my friends of their beloved little pal. He had the bushiest, coolest tail I've ever seen on a cat. Thank you Jill, I learned a lot trying to emulate your beautiful work.
Painted from a photo snapped in Central Park this past November, this is hopefully one of a series I'd like to do of images captured in NYC. There certainly are a lot of "Humans" of New York...ha! The city is so vibrant, I refer to it as brain food. Definitely one of the most stimulating cities that we have ever visited. I was fortunate enough to spend time in both the Metropolitan and MOMA art museums, and viewed literally dozens and dozens of paintings that I had only previously seen in books. Can hardly wait to go back some day soon.
I just completed this portrait of a lovely woman named Margaryta who appears to have had a real zest for life, although she suffered from a life long problem with depression. There's a saying..."Depression is like a war, you either win, or you die trying." Unfortunately and very sadly for Margaryta and her family, she did not win this war. This painting was a commission done as a gift for her daughter who misses her terribly.
All proceeds from the painting have been donated to Siloam Mission where many of the needy suffer from clinical depression.
This painting started as a landscape of the Tuscan countryside, but I was not happy with the way the paint went down, and found it a little boring. It is from a photo I took, and the best way to fix it I thought was to add some figures which I had photographed in a different location. The result was much more to my liking, however the photo here is not very good. Because of the large size, the lighting comes off very unevenly with the right side being far too dark. Wonder what the chances are of this young couple ever seeing themselves in this picture. They were probably enjoying Italy on their honeymoon about three years ago.
oil on canvas 72" x 48" $1950.00 unframed, 1 3/4" edges painted
I've always loved Edvard Munch's "The Scream." I decided to try my hand at sculpture...paper mache to be more precise. It is easy to prepare and work with, and is a crazy amount of fun. I probably destroyed it five or six times trying to find a gesture that was in keeping with the energy and raw emotion in the painting. How powerful a word...SCREAM! This was for an alcove in our house.
This painting is for friends Caroline and Mark. Her dad spent his life on the farm working the land with his John Deere equipment. I worked from a photo recently taken by Caroline as her dear dad relaxed at the home where he currently resides. I was immediately drawn to his strong arms and hands, and ended up choosing this pose from several that she sent to me.
This painting is a Christmas present finally framed and delivered for my daughter Melissa, husband Tom and daughter Avery. I'm having trouble capturing colours accurately with my camera. You can see the variations in the top three pics and how they do seem to work together in the final framed piece.
I've been working on this painting for quite some time now, finally settling on a background. I got the image from an artist model site, and really liked the interesting attire of this lovely young lady. Unfortunately the photo is not very good not really capturing the true colours and details.
This painting is for my good friends Luz and Don whose dear friend Tapas passed away in April. I decided to preserve his memory in paint and included his sister Luna who now rules the roost. I remember these cats as kittens when they first arrived, and loved watching their antics as they played together and with Luz. That was ten years ago. Luna has slowed down a little, and I'm sure she misses her pal.
I had the thrill and pleasure of briefly meeting BB King about 19 years ago in the Atlanta airport. He was sitting by himself, with Lucille of course, so I said hello, had a few words, and shook the great mans hand. He was a true gentleman. The painting is a gift for a young hockey buddy on his 40th birthday. He is a collector of guitars and enjoys playing them every chance he gets. This is the closest he'll get to receiving a guitar from me...ha!
A portrait of my dear mother as she looks at ninety two. It will be interesting to see her reaction...probably won't agree with the little bit extra below the cheek...ha! She has always taken pride in her appearance, and many much younger women have admired her lovely skin and look. Apparently a lifetime of daily Nivea cream applications did the trick. Nothing to do with the genes. I am sending this portrait to my sister on the event of her sixtieth birthday.
This was the third painting which I started in San Jose, and only now just finished it. Most of it was completed there, but background and highlights were concerning me so I decided to let it rest and revisit with fresh eyes and renewed energy. I photographed this fellow on the street waiting for his next car wash job, and loved his relaxed look leaning against an old Ford pickup. Some of my favorite figure studies are of locals going about their day.
This painting was started on my second day in San Jose from a photograph taken on a morning walk along the beach. Morning and late afternoon light is so warm and dramatic. The beaches spread for miles with no shortage of subject matter, and offer some exercise to offset the marvelous food and margaritas. Little did I know at this point that the weight I seemed to be quickly packing on would be lost in a flash starting four days later. Yes, I contracted some kind of stomach/intestinal thing that took all of two weeks to calm down. But I am back down to my fighting weight...yay! Silver lining in every cloud. The Cabo area is more like Palm Springs than anywhere else in Mexico, so it's apparently rare to be affected this way while down there. I really enjoyed visiting with friends Gord and Gayle, who went out of their way to show me the sights and experience the beauty of the area.
I recently visited the beautiful Mexican area of San Jose near Cabo San Lucas, and took a lot of photos while walking on the beaches and through town. I captured this young lady the first morning and spent the afternoon on my deck outside painting her on her beautiful horse. I was going to paint plein air, but decided to spread out close to the beer fridge and enjoy the day. Plein air is something I really want to do, but wasn't quite ready or properly prepared for on this trip.
The artist and her little sister Reyah were on my studio floor one afternoon with Aniyah doing some drawings of a few of my paintings. These young ladies are so bright and beautiful, with three year old Reyah right off the cuteness chart. The girls are two of Rose's five grand kids who together with their parents visited for a few days from Victoria this summer. The painting of them is a surprise for Grannie Rose's birthday (today).
I've been studying some DVDs by Quang Hothat I bought months ago, and am trying to incorporate as much as I can of what he teaches. He emphasizes the need for accuracy in the drawing to have any chance of creating a solid painting. His instruction is articulate and insightful as he finishes a couple of paintings in real time. I was able to take away some valuable information and ideas, and just watching him mix colour and apply paint is worth the price of admission. Check out his outstanding work.
I was watching TV one evening and a documentary dealing with city something is on, and I feel drawn to the images rushing by. So I hit pause on the PVR (best invention having to do with TV so far), run down grab my camera, hit rewind, then start, and begin snapping pics. After sifting through about twenty photos, which were somewhat blurry, I crop this and think bingo. It kind of forced me to be looser, nowhere near what I was hoping for, but a reasonably good start and a mindset to build on. Is it okay to paint from photos taken from movies/TV I wonder? I get so much inspiration from video and would like to do more.
Here is a portrait of my good friend Ken as he looks on one of those milestone birthdays. He is a much more jovial person than he appears here, but it is one of those smelly birthdays that nobody looks forward to. He can now visit the zoo very reasonably...same ticket price as the pre-schoolers. Happy Birthday son...hope you enjoy the painting.
This is from a photo I took late one afternoon in Rome. I loved the shadows and the interesting group waiting for the next bus to come along. The orange/red headed woman was not too impressed with me snapping a photo, but I'm glad I caught her with that beautiful coloured hair. I wasn't focusing on her at the time, but she definitely became the figure of interest as I cropped the image.
A portrait of my youngest (by 10 minutes) daughter Jessica done in ACEO size. I was inspired by some neat shadows on her face as she sat in front of a large window last weekend. Because of it's very small size, I tried painting entirely with a #2 round brush which I had only very recently used on another piece. I've only used flats in the past, and this seemed to work fine.
This was a welcome breather from a large canvas (72" x 48") that I've been working on for the last few weeks. Hopefully I'll finish and post it soon. Sometimes it is good to just step back and work on something else for awhile, so that fresh eyes can appraise and decide changes to help make a piece work. I finally finished Rose's painting...Free The Spirit, (and framed it), which features a flock of pelicans taking off. I've uploaded an updated photograph on that previous post.
Painted from a photo I took in Rome, this is one of those love/hate challenges in that there is SO much information, that initially you want to simplify, but get caught up in all the delicious little details. I really enjoyed fiddling with this, in spite of the fact that I had an entirely different vision at the start of the piece. I just felt it needed details to end up with something that I would be happy with. It definitely was a lot of work, with a couple of lessons learned.
I photographed this group just a few hundred feet away from the gelato stand in the previous painting.. Some of my best reference photos are of ordinary people just going about their day, especially when something like a beautiful park bench or brick wall is part of the composition. That is what I love about Europe, old world everything, with a relaxed pace in most parts of where we visited in Italy.
Gelato is a part of everyday life in Italy, and it is so good. This young couple were trying to decide on which of the many flavors that lay before them in this Venice plaza. Usually gelato is found in small street side stores where it is made on the premises. The green one on the left was most likely pistachio...now that totally worked for me.
Walking in the light rain is what we did a fair bit of while visiting Venice, but it didn't seem to matter much. The atmosphere and vitality of the area kept our spirits and sense of adventure very high. We had just come back from Murano where we had visited several glass blowing shops with their adjoining stores. Wow what incredible artisans they have there. One of my favorite pieces was a roughly two foot sculpture of the main figure in "The Scream". You can see all the Murano glass on display in the background.
I loved the opportunities to take candid photographs of people just going about their business. With thousands of tourists visiting Venice every day, there were no shortage of subjects.
This is my first of hopefully many paintings from a trip we recently took to Italy. What a beautiful country with so many inspiring places. I now recognize some of the subject matter for a number of artists whose work I admire. When traveling there, bring your best camera with plenty of memory cards and fill your boots. Sadly I only took about 900 photos. Sounds like a lot, but I wish I'd taken 2000 or more. Just didn't always have the opportunity with all the tours we took etc. Nonetheless, it was a great time and we will go back sometime.
I've always loved pelicans, especially when they are air born, and decided to do this piece for Rose. (It's her birthday). This is a painting she plans to hang in her office at work, where "Free the spirit" is their motto. What could be more uplifting than these majestic birds taking flight in unison.
Finally finished a painting... a commission piece which was a real challenge in that the reference photo was an old black and white with limited background information. All in all I enjoyed the whole process in spite of the numerous changes and redos. I know struggling can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, in that you are forced to think, and experiment more than what lies in the old comfort zone. When I originally saw the photo of this well dressed young man striding confidently down the avenue, I was inspired. His look just made me think style and GQ.
This painting is for my daughter's June social, and will hopefully raise a few dollars for their upcoming wedding in October. Tickets are sold at these events for various prizes, and the night itself is usually a lot of fun. I love paintings of fish, and they're a lot of fun to do, especially Koi with their vibrant colours and interesting shapes. Melissa and Tom got engaged last August on an island while camping and fishing, so there is a little bit of a connection with the subject matter here.
I was very interested to see that Terry Miura had created a challenge, and very motivated to participate upon seeing the reference photo. Terry is a wonderful artist who generously provides extremely helpful tips on his Studio Notes blog. He asked that we simplify as much as possible, which we all know is easier said than done. He makes it look so effortless.
Nathan is my friend Bubba Tays' nephew. We went to watch him play in the 17 and under tourney last year where as a 15 year old, he was definitely one of Atlantic Canada's best players as they got slaughtered by the powerful US team. Here he is trying to evade one their players (Seth Jones). I took about a hundred photos and found about two that were paintable. This is pretty loose for me, and I really enjoyed the way it went down. If you are a hockey fan, watch for this kid. He will make it to the NHL, and with any luck, we may see him playing with the Jets.