New Painting – Studying Light

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New Light Study – 18″ x 24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Hey strangers!!! I’m still here – really I am!

I took a little break from painting… I was sorta painted out after completing my series for the¬†Break in Time Cafe install. ūüėČ In the mean time¬†I played around a lot with illustration (You can see what I’ve been up to in that area on my second Instagram account: @whimsicalillustration.)

However, I knew the urge to paint wouldn’t be gone long and I was right, several weeks ago I began the painting you see here. The old photographer in me knows a lot about light but the painter in me is an amateur. I began this project here with the intent of teaching myself more about painted light. Of course learning on your own is hard… I thought back to my University training and decided my best bet for learning how to paint light better was to study the work of a master. So I admit to you now that this painting is heavily inspired and influenced by the AMAZING work of Canadian painter, Michael O’Toole. He’s brilliant at painting light and I owe the¬†inspiration and most of the concepts¬†to him where this painting is concerned.

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Also wanted to let ya all know that I have recently closed my Facebook account but you can still follow me here and on both¬†of my Instagram accounts as well: @mishmashartist & @whimsicalillustration – I post almost daily on these accounts so it’s good place to keep¬†up with me!

Hope your day is going lovely friends – thanks for stopping in and checking this out!

Recent Drawings and Sketches

SunflowerSketch_SmallWow – sometimes life can be¬†a whirlwind eh?! ¬†My fault though; I had kids and I love projects. I’m so project oriented that it’s crazy how I can’t stop my brain from always wanting to do something new… I’m a getter-done-girl though so they all get finished (in time). ūüėČ I am still working through my new painting series but I’m also trying hard to be mindful of the benefits of frequent drawing. Sometimes I love what I sketch¬†and other times I cringe… In the end though my art improves when I draw more. Attached here are few of my recent sketches and drawings.¬†The sunflower pictured above is slowly being brought to life¬†¬†in¬†my current painting.IMG_2099¬†Bicycle_SmallI’m not totally thrilled with this bicycle drawing – it was one of my first attempts at tablet drawing but I thought I’d share with you anyway. It’s inspired by the photo below which I took years ago on a Sunday drive.¬† bikeScooterIllustratiion_SmallNow this scooter drawing¬†was purely for fun – it’s something I have been wanting to do for ages. I’d love, when time permits, to¬†create a series of illustrations inspired by modern scenes. Not sure when I’ll ever get to the next one but the idea is¬†burning a hole in my brain while it waits!¬†DisneyEngagement_SmallThis drawing was actually a recent commission ordered for a gift. It’s inspired from the engagement photo below. It was super fun to create – I mean who wouldn’t want to chance to draw a couple in love out¬†front of Cinderella’s castle – come on! So sweet!icm_fullxfull.77585257_m7ajks6t4o0kkgko00ckThat’s all for now folks – I realize I have been¬†neglecting my blog in all life’s busyness but here’s hoping I can get on a regular posting track again soon. (I know I’m probably dreaming… ūüėČ ) Happy Wednesday friends!

Lake View – Acrylic on Canvas – New Painting

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‘Lake View’ – acrylic on canvas – 12 x 16

Over¬†the next few months I’m working on¬†creating a series¬†of paintings inspired by local landscapes scenes and details. I love where I live and I’m truly excited about focusing in on the Creston Valley area. After I’ve completed this collection it will actually be on sale and displayed at a sweet little cafe here in town here called ‘Break in Time‘. ¬†I’m super honoured that Break in Time¬†asked me to display my work there and I promise I’ll take pictures when everything is up!

This piece here is inspired from a photo I took on a trip down to Kootenay Lake¬†last summer. I saw these trees and couldn’t resist making my husband pull over. (I do that to him a lot… :D)

IMG_0855_SmallIMG_1943_SmallI am finding lately that study sketches help a great deal – particulalry because they get me more interested in and excited about painting.¬†IMG_1968_SmallIMG_1994_SmallIMG_1996_SmallI kinda forgot part way through painting this one to take more progress pics… oops! So here’s a big jump to the finish line!
IMG_2000_SmallIMG_2003_SmallI find it interesting with this one that I didn’t focus right in on my rainbow bright but instead took a more green, yellow and blue subdued road. (Well, subdued for me that is.) ūüėČ

Look forward to sharing more of this series with you as it develops. Happy weekend!!!

The Ultimate in Mixed Media Art

IMG_0650_SmallBefore¬†I begin to explain what I’m up to here I¬†must¬†say that we artists can get crazy projects and ideas into our heads! And sometimes¬†we can’t¬†always pull them off alone – we need others – this is why¬†having close creative friends is such a gift. My fellow artists and friends, Hayden and Jayli Wolf have helped me with several projects¬†over¬†the past few years. These two are full fledged artists in every respect; art, writing, poetry, photography, design… I could go on but at present their music is their first love and passion. So before you continue scrolling you’ve got to head out and peek at what this husband and wife¬†duo are up to –>¬†(Pssst… Click here!)¬†When I introduced my¬†idea to them¬†this summer they willingly¬†sacrificed time and energy, during their holidays, to help me make it happen. Jayli modelled for me and Hayden helped as¬†my photography¬†assistant –¬†I am unbelievably¬†grateful to them – thank-you guys SO¬†much!!!

IMG_0727_SmallThough I closed¬†my photography business years ago I still love taking¬†photos¬†– especially the kind¬†where I get to imagine and design the details and then bring them¬†to life. Jayli helped me plan this shoot and the intent¬†was for this series to turn into a painting or maybe even a series of paintings afterwards. I often use photographs for art inspiration but I have never deliberately created a photo with the intent that it¬†become a painting… I got excited about the idea because in my mind it was a form of¬†mixed media; fashion and beauty, staging and design, photography and modelling, people and nature – all mixed together¬†with the singular¬†goal. Maybe that’s a loose interpretation of mixed media but I like it. ūüôā¬†The focus aside from this was on portraiture in nature – old masterpieces come to mind,¬†people in the landscapes, I wanted to see how I could translate that in a modern way. (I say modern but I guess I really mean in my way.) ūüėČ
So my plan is to share¬†my favourite shots¬†(yep, there were many more)¬†with you today and then tomorrow I’ll post the first painting I did inspired by this series. I hope you enjoy these!
IMG_0494_Small IMG_0629_Small IMG_0581_Small¬†This was the storm brewing during our shoot – so beautiful but a tad bit windy!¬†IMG_0530_Small Jayli’s beautiful headpiece and ring were created by T.Lane design.¬†IMG_0492_Small IMG_0524_Small IMG_0654_Small¬†Hair and make-up¬†was styled and designed by Lindsay Floer from¬†The Salon at Cranberry Manor. (Thanks Lindsay – you are such a talent!)IMG_0496a_Small IMG_0694_smallIMG_0652_SmallIMG_0510a_Small

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my¬†painting reveal!!! IMG_0683_Small
I think Jayli would have loved to do the painting with me. ūüėČIMG_0689_Small

A few “behind the scene selfies” pictured below – you can see how much wind we had to contend with – ha ha!

IMG_0606 IMG_0612Windy but joyful! Can’t wait to show you the painting tomorrow!

At Some Point Every Artist Should Paint Monet Style Water Lilies

Just to clarify, I’m in NO way comparing myself to Monet – ha ha! However, I’ve never painted water lilies before and I couldn’t help being inspired by¬†Monet and his beautiful impressionistic style. I worked side-by-side today with one of my new students (She had a lot of work to do so I figured she might not feel comfortable with¬†me just sitting beside her and staring while she worked. ūüėČ ) It was awesome¬†to paint alongside someone and talk about art the whole time – now that’s a fun day!

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I also completed a little mini flower painting as well today. It was an impasto experiment that I had prepared beforehand. I had painted the paste medium on first in random strokes and the after drying tried to draw out an image from those thick shapes and brush strokes.

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Last year one of my youngest students also painted some water lilies – couldn’t help sharing her work again with you!¬†IMG_1742

Impasto Painting Fun

Impasto Sunflower_SmallImpasto is the technique of applying paint very thickly to your painting, I find with acrylics you need to use a moulding paste for this to work well. With these two small pieces I randomly applied the moulding paste first with a palette knife, once the paste was dry I gessoed over the paste, let that dry and then began to paint. I had no plans for either canvas, the challenge was to just find my image in the thick palette strokes of paste. It was an interesting experiment and kinda fun to watch what evolved out of those shapes.IMG_0045IMG_0047IMG_0057IMG_0058IMG_0074IMG_0070IMG_0073ImpastoTrees_SmallIMG_0078

Finally! New Painting!

Hey friends!!!¬†I can finally share this commission with you! I’ve been waiting awhile… I told ya I’ve been painting… ūüėČ Yet another beautiful Canadian scene – always speaks to my heart!
BlogThis is the study sketch I did first. It was inspired from a photograph my client sent me. And the I photographed the rest of my progress РI hope you enjoy! Blog_0001

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‘Top of the World’ – acrylic on canvas – 2′ x 3′

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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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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