This year's portrait challenge has produced some amazing works again...look here. I started out strong with my first attempt, and pretty much fiddled it to death. After about 8 hours work, yes that's a lot of fiddling, I wiped it completely clean, and started again. I took my time re-drawing, and finished it in one go. (Good thing she's not hard to look at...ha!) I wanted a better likeness, but at least it feels like something that I'd had in mind. Hope this lovely young lady likes it. She supplied a very interesting photo which I thank her for. oil on masonite 9" x 12"
Tabby is a beautiful little cat residing at D'Arcy's Animal Rescue in Winnipeg. She is one of many looking for a new home, and hopefully this portrait will help raise a few dollars for their cause. 8" x 8" oil on canvas board
This is a re-post of the same painting...different photo. The first one was quite subdued and didn't represent very well.
I want to thank everyone again, publicly this time, for their marvelous warmth and support of my courageous wife Rose. Last evening her doctor called to say that the bone biopsy he performed came back negative...Negatory!!! Wow, what a relief for both of us. I'm not planning to turn this into Rose's health blog, but again, I wanted to thank everyone and pass on some great news. She still has a long way to go, but the fight is on one front, not two or ten. In my joy, I painted this current DSFDF challenge which I loved...probably my favorite next to last year's portrait exchange. Painted to the sounds of U2 and the flavors of a fine merlot, this came together quite smoothly with only a couple of drawing changes at the beginning. It's unusual for me to have thoughts other than painting when working on a piece, but the welcome distraction was a bonus, in that I probably kept a few more details out of this.
oil on canvas board 12 "x 9"
This challenge from Karin was really hard to get to for me. My wife Rose was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, and we've been dealing with that for the last couple of months. She had her first chemo treatment on Monday ( 8 1/2 hrs)and is doing fine, all things considered. She is so brave and strong. I stayed home with her for the second day today, and was urged to do this painting and get some normality back in our lives. We are very optimistic that the outcome of all this will be positive and mark the days till the end of the treatments. I must admit, I've lost a lot of drive for the time being with regards to painting and blogging, but hope to rekindle my interest with this latest submission. oil on masonite 5" x 7"
When I read Karin's post, it was hard to believe a year had passed. The first thing that popped into my head was what a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to this auspicious occasion and the great lady responsible for it. This marked the beginning of some great new relationships, growth and accomplishment as an artist and the most fun I've ever had painting. Happy anniversary everyone. oil on masonite 4 1/2" x 6"
This is from a photo I took a few months ago in Germany. This lovely young lady walked by our 7th floor hotel room deep in thought, probably on her way to work. The colours in her face and arm did not photograph well, and I think I will have to concentrate more on using cleaner colours with more positive brush strokes. The camera seems to pick up all these little weaknesses. I'll be away again, and will try to correct this, but thought I'd post it anyway. oil on masonite 8" x 10 1/2"
This week's challenge showed a lot of detail and the consensus appears to be that it was difficult. I too found it challenging and only started enjoying the painting after some drawing issues were solved. With this perspective and a long dipping street, it is easy to lose the depth and elevation changes creating a bowling alley. The many wires and cables were also a potential problem, but a beautiful area of interest, so I decided to include as few as possible to tell the story. (Note here...this is me trying to sound like an artist...ha!). Check out all the other versions at DSFDF. oil on masonite 6 1/2" x 8"
This is a portrait of my cousin Paul and his wonderful wife Anna. When we visited them earlier this year for the very first time, their warmth and hospitality was limitless, and we definitely were made to feel part of their family. We couldn't have felt more welcomed. The setting here is their favorite restaurant where we ate outside on a shaded patio on a beautiful sunny afternoon. We will never forget that day, and by painting the moment, it is forever in my mind, and after I mail it to them, hopefully theirs as well. We hope to visit them again soon, in Augsburg, Germany. oil on masonite 10 1/2" x 7 1/2"
This was a fun little figure study done from a photo I took earlier this year from a seventh floor window. I must of clicked fifty pictures of various people walking, riding and jogging, so there are a few more of these in my future. I am working on an idea for a large scale piece along these lines. oil on masonite 9 1/2" x 7 1/2"
This was a great figurative challenge from DSFDF that I finished about a week ago. I painted this outside on my deck in the brilliant sunshine, effectively making this my first plein air painting with an asterisk. I used a reference photo instead of what lay before me, so I'm thinkin' this probably does not qualify...but it sure was fun painting outside. oil on canvas panel 8" x 10"
Another submission just under the wire. I started this a couple of weeks ago and just didn't get to it until now. While I was painting, I was wondering how many other people thought about Paula Villanova while they were working on their pieces. There is a definite resemblence to Paula in her dark shades as she appears in her avatar don't you think? oil on masonite 8" x 6 1/2"
This cute little critter is looking for a home and this painting will go to the D'Arcy Animal Rescue Center to help raise some funds. The shelter has a large number of cats at the moment, so hopefully some will find new homes soon. oil on masonite 5" x 8"
Well I just got this finished under the bell...I"d hate to miss a challenge, but getting to these challenges is sometimes becoming a challenge in itself. I have to apologize for the lackluster performance on commenting on some of the great submissions. This week's contributions to DSFDF were again, fabulous. oil on masonite 6 1/2" x 8"
This week's DSFDF challenge was a black and white photo of this tranquil rural scene which could be almost anywhere. I just got back at painting this morning and it felt great, as I really miss my time at the easel and of course on the computer doing a little blogging. oil on masonite 8" x 6"
Looks like I'm going to be out of the loop for a little while. So not ignoring anyone, haven't gone into hibernation, although there were a few flurries here in the last couple of days. UGH! Paint and have fun, and I'll talk to you all soon.
Madison Ave. was a great photo that really inspired me, so I decided to up the scale, and try it on a black background. Karin paints this way, and when Cheryl Andersonsaid that she had tried it, I decided to give it a go myself, and really liked the dark ground. I've been blocking in with thinner dark paint, and then using medium values, establishing forms and shapes. This way the blocking is done with the medium to dark tones...kind of saves a step. I have to say though, I like both methods. oil on masonite 12" x 16"
This gorgeous young lady calls me Dad and occasionally Daddy, which usually means something is up...ha! This is my first ACEO and it was a lot of fun to do, especially since I had such an interesting subject. Now I just need to get a better photo of her sister to complete the set. I probably would never have done anything this small, if not for the grandmaster of ACEO, Akiko Watanabe. So thanks for the nudge Akiko, I've now tried something new yet again.
This painting was inspired by a video link that Joanne Giesbrecht posted on her blog a few days ago. I found it so moving that I felt compelled to paint this amazing street artist, Roger Ridley from Santa Monica, Calif., who starts it all off. Thanks Joanne. There are several other fabulous performers that some of you may feel the urge to immortalize. I can see about 82 more potential paintings here. Crank it up and enjoy...and thanks for standing by me.http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741 oil on masonite 8" x 6"
This painting was intended as an exercise in drawing by Karin Jurick, and was again something not many of us would choose to do. I pretty much had it done a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't happy with the background and decided to look at it for awhile, and then settled on this. I kind of reverted back to my old thinner style of painting, but did all the drawing with paint as I have now started doing. oil on canvasboard 9" x 12"
Melosia is an older girl (8 yrs.) who is very laid back, although she looks like she would like to lick you to death...ha! She loves to be petted and is anxiously waiting for a new home. She is currently atD'Arcy's A.R.C. animal rescue center in Winnipeg. If anyone would like to adopt Melosia or purchase this painting, please contact the shelter and they will name the price with all proceeds going to them.
This is the second painting from the 16th floor (daughter's new condo...yea)! Got a great tip from Liz regarding shadows in that they should never be as dark as the solid object, so I had to try this immediately, and am way happier with the results. Edward Burton had also told me that the shadows should lighten as they recede. Thanks to both of these great artists. oil on masonite 8" x 9"
This is from a photo I took yesterday from the 16th floor of a condo my daughter is trying to buy. (hope she gets it, love the perspective) I guess artist types have a little voyeur in them...300mm lens...ha! oil on masonite 5 3/4" x 7"
I've decided to branch out and try and help a couple of other shelters in Winnipeg that aren't as well funded. This is Sheenu, a lovely Newfoundland cross who is currently residing at D'Arcy A.R.C. (animal rescue center) and she is looking for a new home. Not much else on her except that she is about 2 years old and looks to have a great disposition. I painted this portrait while listening to Black Joe Lewis, a killer new band whose guitarist just happens to be Camille Larue Olsen's nephew. You can see his fabulous portrait on Camille's blog). Some great tracks on this...it must have spun through about 3 times on my itunes while I was painting, but it didn't matter, because it doesn't get old fast. Check it out if you like some good clean sounding blues/rock music. oil on masonite 5 3/4" x 7"
For my first cat portrait ...ever, I chose a photograph which I took of Nala when I visited the Humane Society on Tuesday. She is a young female domestic cat looking to be adopted. Without a Karin challenge this week, I may do a couple more shelter animal portraits or start a new larger piece. Haven't decided yet, but I'm feelin' itchy to paint something. We got snow again yesterday, ( happy April Fools Day, only problem is...I'm NOT kidding), so I've been putting off trying my first plein air painting. Apparently this is something one can do in the snow, but that seems a little hard core for me right now. Hope everyone is staying motivated and getting some great work done. oil on masonite 5 3/4" x 7"
THE GODFATHER of BLOG, James Parker, honored me with a visit and bestowed on me this delicious award. Thank you so much James. I have decided to continue with my wicked ways and break the rules of engagement here, (definitely with no disrespect to James or the award.) I am passing this award to any and all of the artists participating in the Art for Shelter Animals program and encourage everyone else to give it a shot. It's a lot of fun, and even more rewarding.
Well, instead of watching a movie tonight, I spent a couple of hours getting to know Bruno here a little better. He is a handsome German Shepard mix and is looking for a forever home here in Winnipeg. This was from one of the shelters own photos, (they got someone over there who can shoot.) I hope to drop the first two off this week, as I think they will finally be dry enough. oil on masonite 7" x 5 3/4"
In the last few weeks I've been tagged and honored by some great artists, Dominique Eichi, Edward Burton, Maggie Mayer, Sheila Tajima,Joanne Giesbrecht, and Tom Pohlman. For various reasons I haven't replied in a timely fashion. ( laziness might be one of them, but not the really BIG one) Soooo.... I've decided to break all the rules and respond Crazy Canuck style. ( I play hockey and drink beer...eh!)
The usual rules for all of the above awards are: Link the aforementioned best friends.
List 7 things you love.
5 random things about yourself,
5 more things you love and
Answer a series of questions! Pass these great awards on to seven deserving artists.
Okay now for the fun part, I'm going to mix and match it up a little to start.
#1. I love to mix and match it up a little to start..... WOW, nice one!
#2. I love to HATE pina coladas and DEFINITELY walking in the cold wet rain. (because I'm usually GOLFING when that happens and remember...beer guy here!)
#3. I LOVE pina coladas and walking in the rain if it means getting to THIRD base, (my wife can play SO hard to get on occasion, but what a baseball fan.)
#4. I love...well, LOVE... Now if only it could be as unconditional as it is with our furry animal friends. Did you see what I just did there? I changed it up, ...being very SERIOUS.
Changing it up again, this is from Joanne Giesbrecht's's tag. Here are a couple of the questions.
#5. What are you wearing right now? Right now? You mean this instant Joanne? Next question. #6. Who was the last person you hugged? It definitely wasn't my stock broker or my banker.
Now for some incredibly interesting and fascinating things about...MEEEEEE!!!! #7. #8. #9. and I could go on.
Well that's it for the listing stuff, and I'm going to continue my irreverent path of rule destruction by linking more than 7, (could be lots more) amazing artists who have influenced and helped me along. Pick up your award if you don't already have it by copying the one at the side of my blog. Please visit these blogs if you haven't already, and feast your eyes. I'm not tagging these people, I'm acknowledging them. ( Sorry, yet another rule violation, and I am now skating over to the penalty box.)
Karin Jurick, because she deserves it more than anyone I know. Liz Wiltzen, not a blogger, but my teacher and friend. Alice Thompson, got me going on the blogging among other things. She'll be back soon. All of the artists linked above, they are cool people. Camille Olsen, what a breath of fresh air. Pattie Wall, an inspiring individual and great blog friend. Akiko Watanabe, well everyone knows Akiko...she's amazing. Adebanji Alade, if only I could sketch or paint like this guy. Marilyn King, I love her work and her demos.
The Rua Augusto is a very famous pedestrian only street in Lisbon, that is not only notable for it's beautiful 18th century architecture and sculpture, but it's everyday bustling activity. A visitor to this wonderful and historic city would be remiss if they didn't visit this Portuguese treasure. Definitely a highlight of our trip there six years ago, I am very pleased to have completed this painting as a permanent reminder of that fabulous moment in time. oil on canvas 72" x 48"
What a great photo Karin supplied this week. I loved all of the main figures in the photo, so I decided not to crop, but to put 'em all in. I found a very sharp #6 flat brush and as soon as I tried it, I loved it, but knew that it would be extremely hard not to noodle. I guess I ended up somewhere in between. The blues did not come out in this photo, so I'm thinking it's time to visit R. Garriott's blog and get the skinny on a photoshop program. 12" x 6" oil on masonite
This is my first painting for Art For Shelter Animals. Duke presently resides at the Winnipeg Humane Society and is looking for a new home. He is a Doberman / Bloodhound cross and definitely has those sad sad eyes. Let's hope he finds a good home. 6" x 6" oil on masonite
I decided to get involved and donate some paintings to the local animal shelter. I got this terrific idea from visiting Sheila Tajima and Carrie Jacobsen's blogs. These generous ladies have created the Art For Shelter Animals blog and I think it is fantastic. I am posting this painting of a little house horse that I encountered a few weeks ago. He was walking with his owner (I'm not sure if that is the right word here) and looked so magnificent in the morning sunlight, that I couldn't resist taking a photo. I know he isn't looking for a home, but I loved his strength and purpose and perhaps that may symbolize in some way what we are all trying to do here. 9" x 12" oil on canvasboard
Here's my submission for this week's DSFDF. I am really enjoying the diversity of subjects that Karin is giving us. I mean, who is going to go out of their way to paint sushi. There was some great creativity amongst the artists this week, not here though. I just wanted to do something representational in a loosely painted kind of way. 8" x 8" oil on masonite ( gesso and acrylic underpainting)
By Maggie Mayer By Dominique Eichi By Edward Burton
Okay, I'm back...again! This is a very busy time of year for me, and as I have mentioned before, it is very hard to get a lot of painting done. The other thing that I have been forced to neglect, is the response to three artists who have tagged and acknowledged me. Sorry for being so late, but I would like to thank Maggie Mayer, Dominique Eichi and Edward Burton for thinking of me and giving me the honor of being recognized in our blogosphere. I consider it a privilege to participate and be accepted into such a fine group of artists. Definitely a life changing experience. In recognition of these three artists, I decided to post a favorite example of their art. I know you will enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks again.
I just ran across the following article in Robert Genn's older weekly letters. I have been painting on gessoed, tempered masonite, and noticed that others are painting on masonite as well (not sure if it's tempered or not), so I thought you may be as interested as I was in this article.
Untempered Masonite is indeed fading from shelves. Further, the quality varies--corners can crumble away like oatmeal cookies. Sealing and reinforcing with something like acrylic medium doesn't always do the job. Some painters, driven to tempered Masonite, have seen other alarms go off. This support, while harder, is simply loaded with acids that gradually seep through several layers of gesso. After a few years the painting surface will certainly be foxed. The estate of a deceased painter friend was mostly ruined by tempered Masonite.
Glad I didn't sell most of those paintings. May have a couple of redos in my future!
This week's challenge was one of patience and perseverance, and Karin won out ( with her computer issues), and so did a whole bunch of us with our paintings. Computer problems can drive me to drink, say bad words or make me want to practice my axe throwing (at the bad computer). Definitely one of the more frustrating things in modern day life is a malfunctioning or non functioning electronic device. So with that out of the way, I am happy to report that this painting is done. Not one that inspired, but I am glad that I stretched a little here and in the end enjoyed creating something out of ... well, what I thought was nothing. It was one of those do what you think you cannot challenges. Thanks again Karin. 10" x 8" oil on canvas panel
This is my second painting after attending Liz's workshop, and I have to say that I love the new process. This was done allaprima and completed in approximately four hours. Using this new method, I was able to sketch, wipe and sketch about five times in a matter of minutes to arrive at a composition that I thought was pleasing. The freedom and "nimbleness" are exhilarating. Prior to this, I used to draw in paint and then kind of colour inside the lines. Well, I exaggerate a little here, but compared to the old style, I finally feel like a painter. I took this photo a few years ago in the Dominican and at the time was barely dabbling in art, but shadows and light were beginning to interest me as I'm sure they do most artists. Unfortunately, I've been away for a couple of weeks and will be leaving again shortly, so painting is on the back burner for a while longer. Can hardly wait to get back at it in earnest, and blogging, which I really enjoy, has to take a back seat for now. I really need to get a laptop! oil on 9" x 12" canvas board
This challenge is my first painting after the workshop, and I tried to utilize all that I learned in Vancouver, but alas, mission unaccomplished, but not impossible. What I learned is making sense and I can hardly wait to paint, but I'll be away for awhile so regrettably, I'll have to put painting on hold for awhile. After being inspired by Adebanji, I have started drawing, and it's kind of fun. I'm just a little shy about the doing it in public part, but it's coming. So that's what I'll have to be satisfied with...drawing, and that's probably the best thing I could be doing. Drawing skills are so critical to creating a good painting that I have decided to push myself here. There I said it out loud, and it kind of sounds like a resolution or something...ha!...so I am officially committed. oil on RayMar panel 9" x 11 1/2"
Here's a picture of the graduating class of '09. Home coming queen Liz is the very shy one with the perfect teeth, (sort of sitting in the middle). Then we had Lynn, Lucy, Louise on the far right,(are you beginning to see a pattern here?), Ilona (Loney) and me Larry or Laverne and Last,( that would be Pat in the white...ha!) She was the last to arrive. What a great group we had, with everyone enjoying themselves and leaving all the richer and more inspired for having attended. And by the way, these girls can paint. We can never thank you enough Liz, and I hope we can all do it again some time.