In the Garden – Acrylic on Canvas

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‘In the Garden’ – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

This painting was an exploration of light. Focusing on dark shadows in the foreground with morning light dancing through. I aimed for a more abstract feeling with looser brush strokes to amplify the light play and it’s a bit of a different colour palette for me as well -(both of which are hard for me to allow myself to do – ha ha!). I titled it ‘In the Garden’ because I felt like this would be a magical place to sit and stroll. ūüôā

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The funny thing about this piece is that I actually kinda like how it looks every step of the way Рit could have almost been three separate paintings.

IMG_0032It’s a bit of a different colour palette for me – not many primary colours here.¬†IMG_0036IMG_0041_Small

Painting People

I should probably just stick to landscapes… I can’t help myself though… I. MUST. TRY. NEW. THINGS.

The funny thing is that I have drawn a LOT of people¬†in the past, especially in illustrations¬†but have never really painted very many people. It’s¬†a¬†whole NEW¬†ball game! As they say, the only way to learn is to practice, practice, practice, right? My hope is that even¬†if they turn out blah at the beginning maybe they’ll evolve and bloom as I go??? Maybe…?

Anyways… I once again creeped different friends’ profile pics on Facebook (I promise I asked their permission before I used¬†them ūüėČ ) and came up with these two beautiful friends as my inspiration¬†–>

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Photo Credit to Jason Waight

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The black and white photo¬†was my first attempt and then the colour picture next. Painting people is really HARD! Maybe I feel more confident with landscapes because I can manipulate and stylize them more. People still need to kinda look like people (ha!) and once they are stylized they take on a very¬†illustrative quality – which isn’t quite what I wanted these to feel like. I admit that these didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned in my head – paintings rarely do it seems but I do like parts of them… (We’re always our own worst critics). As I said above – practice, practice, practice! Maybe one day I’ll feel satisfied with my people paintings and the good thing is that they are a challenge – challenges grow us!

I do hope all you Canadians out there had a lovely Canada day celebration on the 1st and that the 4th of July brings equal amounts of fun to our Southern neighbours!
Sunshine and summer warmth to you all!
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Whimsy & Dots – Revisiting my “Non-Representational Side”

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It’s been a long time since I have created any kind of¬†non-representational paintings. ¬†I did a lot of abstract paintings¬†while obtaining my degree in University – actually¬†maybe I¬†over did (burned myself out) because after graduation¬†I went straight into more representational landscape scenes, people and flowers.¬†However, a couple months ago I did the small sketch pictured below and it ended up being¬†my inspiration for¬†the two little paintings¬†I did this weekend. A fun experiment – I hope you enjoy!

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Lake McDonald Commission Painting Completed!

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Lake McDonald – 3′ x 2.5′ – acrylic on canvas

So excited to finally share this with you all! I took my time on this commission. I didn’t want to rush it ¬†– I wanted it to¬†be just right and it was worth the long wait.¬†This piece is for a family that I hold very dear and I’m so honoured that it will be hanging in their home ( I could squeal it makes me so happy!).

The painting was inspired by these two images of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. Apparently those rainbow rocks you see in the pictures below really do look like that! Beautiful lake, mountains and setting Рwow!

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Wish I could give credit to the photographer here but don’t know where these come from. ūüė¶

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Wish I could give credit to the photographer here but don’t know where these come from. ūüė¶

I had two main goals with this commission; first to create depth – I wanted an intense perspective – I tried to make the¬†mountains pull you into the background. And second I wanted the rocks to be more than just rocks. I’ll explain why… This lake, these mountains, obviously mean a lot to the family who commissioned this and thus it must hold some important¬†memories and feelings for¬†them. I painted the rocks in the foreground in a more impressionistic/Monet fashion because¬†I wanted the eye to delight in them but maybe also¬†wonder exactly what they are.¬†For example, my son saw them a possibly¬†flowers floating on the lake.¬†The rocks needed to¬†be open to interpretation to create a bit of joy, a bit of wonder and whimsy¬†– a way of trying to capture how this family’s memories of Lake McDonald might feel. (Here’s hoping that feeling worked out okay.)

Thanks for checking this out friends – hope you enjoy seeing some of the painting as it progressed below. ūüôāCollageIMG_9690IMG_9694_SmallIMG_9791_SmallIMG_9795_SmallLakeMcDonald_3'x2.5'_acryliconcanvas_Small

Art = Relationship

UnionI’ve been slowly reading through Robert Genn’s book ‘The Twice Weekly Letters’ and it’s chalk full of inspiration for artists of all kinds – I highly recommend it!¬†At the end of every letter is usually a quote – the letter I read today ended with this one;

“When you know the artist you think less about¬†the art.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Art has always been about relationship for me. I have never and will never want it to be exclusively about me Рmy hope is that it will connect with you, with my collectors and with the world. And I want others to connect with me in return through it. This relational connection is one of reasons that I create.

Robert Genn wrote it like this;

“A kind of karma takes place when a work of art goes out the door. Even as a gift to a friend or for charitable purposes, finding a home outside the workshop or studio completes the circle. The artist can rationalize that while the work is still his or her very own, it has a more illustrious future on someone else’s wall. It marches out to create good will, win friends, influence people.”

Attached here are paintings that I created¬†years ago – a couple¬†in University over 20 years ago!!! I painted a lot of abstract pieces back then and this week I’ve been revisiting that old abstract interest (with a new twist) – will share my new little experiments with you soon!¬†Eucalyptus 2 Fairy Tale 1 Figure 1

True Love II – New Painting

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A few months ago I was commissioned to do a painting inspired by the poem called ‘The True Love’ written by David Whyte. If you haven’t already seen and read about the first ‘True Love’ painting I did – you gotta check it out – its such a¬†touching¬†story¬†—> TRUE LOVE I.

I had originally created two sketches for my client at that time and¬†she chose the sketch¬†with the boat. However, I knew I wanted to make the other sketch into a painting one day as well and so awhile ago I started working on it. Then other projects came up, things got in the way and it wasn’t until today that I picked the piece up again and finished it off.¬†Collage
The poem¬†includes references to the Scottish Hebrides and so this new painting is inspired from various photographs I’ve seen of those lovely coastlines.

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Boating on Kootenay Lake – New Painting

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Occasionally we just need a break! I took a little reprieve from my large commission piece this week/weekend. I find that sometimes a small rest away from a piece can give me time to think, plan and then feel refreshed when I return to it again.

In the meantime I picked up a small 11″ x 14″ canvas I had and had fun revisiting this scene that I sketched a couple months ago.¬†The drawing and the painting are inspired by my friend, Cheryl Jagger’s photo of a scene from Kootenay Lake. I love this lake, it is one of the reasons we live where we do!¬† BoatingOnKootenayLake_CollageIMG_9769

Hmmm… now what would have been even more of a restful than painting this¬†would have been to actually head out to the lake mug in hand! ūüėČ

 

Moving Foward

This commission is moving forward, albiet slowly. I really wanted depth and perspective in this piece, I wanted to draw the eye right in and it took awhile to get that feeling in place but I think I managed it.
Painting is about layering and working things up.This is essentially just the basis, the bare bones – there is a lot more to go but it should be fun!IMG_9690

Digital Drawing – New Spice Labels!

Now this was a fun project! My good friend Jo owns her own little organic spicerie and she commissioned me to design a new artistic label for one of her flavourable blends.

I did the drawing digitally, which is not something I do very often, however I’d like to get better at it. The image is actually inspired by our local landscape here in Creston, BC.

Make sure you take a peek at the spice blends that Jo has to offer – we’ve used several in our home and we love them – Just click this link here —>42Things – Organic SpicerieSteakSpiceIdea

Never Let Your Child Grow-up to be an Artist

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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – especially while I paint… Our society has an¬†unwritten rule, “Never let your child grow-up to be an artist”. ¬†And I have seen the effects of this “rule” in daily life FIRST HAND. ¬†I’d say that the general consensus is that if you choose to be an artist in our society you are crazy, rebellious and will probably end up homeless.

I’ve taught art in community classes, in college settings and currently I teach private lessons.¬†My teenage daughter teaches music to little ones weekly and what strikes me most is how proud each parent is of their child’s artistic accomplishments. They swell with pride when they watch their little one at a recital or see their¬†completed¬†artwork and they praise the child profusely. What this tells me is that in our deepest self¬†– we LOVE art!

However, you are not allowed to be an artist when you grow-up.10012779_1843804032510883_4756052951223160808_oNow don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the parents here! We only want the best for our children. We want them to be able¬†make a living, we want them to succeed and we want them to be happy. Our hearts are in the right place.¬†What is in the wrong place is the fact that¬†society does not value art – and for some reason we choose to follow along with that…

I could say all the obvious things here; art brings beauty, change, life and joy to the world (all¬†100% true) but this¬†does¬†not¬†negate the fact that most of the time art doesn’t¬†pay the bills. Why? Well, because like I said above, it is valueless to us.

It’s almost like we came out of the industrial revolution completely encased in¬†the factory worker mentality. Art lost its central professional role in historical society and now sits on the sidelines. ¬†It is considered more of a hobby¬†than¬†a real profession.

What do we admire most when we study history? What helps us understand and envision the past? What connects us to who we were? Who are some of the most famous people in history?

Art and artists.
10409778_1620505754840713_4095691839944688678_nArt¬†is the reflection of who we are now. Our music, our literature, our paintings will be how future generations¬†identify with us. It is how we will be remembered. No one will remember the factories… And yet, we value those roles more? Weird.

Does that mean we give up on factories or better put nowadays, technology? Obviously not! What it does mean though is that art shouldn’t remain a side show. It should play a professional¬†and valuable role in our world.¬†We should honour it. We should be able to encourage our children to become artists. And they should be able to make a living at it.

That’s a lot of “should s”…
A modern day Renaissance would be nice though –¬†I guess I can dream…

If you are interested in this topic you should check out this Ted Talk – it is such a great example of how art affects change and brings goodness –>¬†Theaster Gates: How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art.

(Pssst… pictured here are some of my students – and yes I am SOOOO proud of them – LOVE teaching them!)