Sunday, December 30, 2012

Afternoon In Venice

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.

oil on board 12" x 9"   Sold

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


A painting for Zee of her beloved little pooch Kiya.

Oil on board  8" x 10 1/2"  NFS

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Decisions Decisions

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 that totally worked for me.

oil on board 9" x 12"  $350.00 framed

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Walking In The Rain

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.

oil on board  12" x 9"  Sold

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Visiting in Venice

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.

oil on board  9" x 12"  $350.00 framed

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Free The Spirit

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.

oil on canvas 48" x 36"  NFS

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Walking The Walk

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.

oil on board 12" x 18" Sold

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Lovely Couple

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.

oil on canvas  36" x 24"  NFS

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Terry Miura Challenge

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.

oil on panel 10" x 8"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nathan MacKinnon

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.

oil on board 10" x 8"  NFS

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In Front of Grand Central

I finally tried one of Lee Brown's wonderful challenge photos thanks to a prompt from Dana Cooper. This was a fellow reading in front of Grand Central Station in NYC. One of these days I'd love to visit New York.
oil on canvas board 10' X 8"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Deciding On A New Coat

On a rainy afternoon at the Helper, Utah workshop, under Doug Braithwaite's suggestion, we all set up in the studio area to create and paint our own still lifes. There were all sorts of props and stimulating articles to choose from, and I decided on this longhorn skull which I attached to a dressmaker's mannequin. Don't ask me why. The dramatic lighting was very interesting and we all soon got busy on our own projects. Of course the time flew by, and I never did finish the piece until last night. I've looked at this painting for several months and really couldn't decide what to do with it. Sometimes you just have to wait, or talk to someone like Dominique Eichi to get the ideas flowing again. Thanks Dominique. Because I didn't photograph the setup at the time, it was from memory that I completed this piece. I must admit, that I was struck by some of the colour/shadow nuances that we don't pick up on when painting from photos. Even the photo I took of the finished painting does not reflect these.

Another note to self...DO MORE PAINTINGS!!!

"Ninety percent of life is just showing up." Woody Allen"

oil on board 9" x 12"