Happy New Year to you all! I hope your holiday season was full of goodness. I’m working through a couple of commissions at the moment and just finished this one today. A commission of Fisher Peak. There is a beautiful range of mountains in Cranbrook, BC, one that I had the privilege of viewing daily for 15 years, Fisher Peak is the highlight of that range. The funny thing is that I never painted those peaks until I moved away. This is only my second painting of Fisher Peak – the first one I did a few years ago and can be seen by clicking HERE. My client grew up in the Kootenays and has since moved away but has fond memories of Fisher Peak, Hence the title ‘Mountain Memories’.
Finally! A new painting to share. Actually I’ve been struggling with the health stuff again in the past couple of months and have only recently recovered enough to begin to start painting. I was able to keep up with drawing as I could do that in bed or on the couch but being up to paint was a bit to hard. I have to say that I’m super excited to be well enough to start again and though I’m a little out of practice I managed to pull this small piece together. It’s really just a concoction of my imagination and apparently my imagination is fairly colourful. ;P
I could never figure out what to do with these narrow little canvases – they’ve been hanging around here for a long time. So this morning while waiting for a stretcher frame to be completed and gesso to dry, I pulled them out. I have this strong tendency towards controlled lines and brush strokes (which isn’t a bad thing but versatility is an asset) so I figured a small exercise in loosening up might not hurt…
Even though I can appreciate how this little triptych turned out it’s still hard for me to just leave the brush strokes be… I want to smooth them out, blend them and flatten the paint – ha ha! (These look much more interesting in real life too – the photos just don’t do the texture justice.)
I have been waiting so long to share my Christmas commissions with you and I had hoped to post each of them in detail… However, a couple days before Christmas my health troubles started up again. Below is one of the commission pieces that I had the honour of working on before Christmas – will share more with you when things are better. 2014 was my kick-off year as an artist and I’m so VERY GRATEFUL to all of you for your support and kindness – thank-you! Hopefully I’ll be on my feet and back in action soon in the New Year.
A friend commissioned this piece from me and it has been such an honour to work on it. The scene is taken from the view of her property off the back deck. What I love the most is how much this family LOVES their land and home. I wanted this painting to reflect their joy and appreciation… I guess that’s why it’s so colourful (Okay – everything I do is colourful but this one is a rainbow!)
I actually worked from several different photographs to create this but it helped that I have been there numerous times and I already had the view in my head. The biggest focus for me was the trees in the foreground – they are by far my favourite part!
This is a BIG 5′ x 3′ canvas and so this painting took some time to complete – paintings like this happen one layer at a time. Below is some pics of the process I went through – I hope you enjoy seeing it develop!
Yes I do know it’s Wednesday and, yes I know I should have posted my ‘TRUST’ photo challenge by now… BUT… (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming didn’t you?). BUT the shoot was scheduled for today and the weather did NOT cooperate! Boo! So my little model and I are planning to retry on Friday. Props are made, costume is prepared and now all we need is a little bit of sunshine.
In hopes of compensating you for this delay I’ve attached a photo showing a detail from the large commission piece I’m currently working on. This painting is 5′ x 3′ – a big canvas and a heap of work but I’m really having fun with it! Hoping I can finish it up in about a week or so – be sure you check back to see the end result!
Though I lived in Cranbrook, BC for 14 years it never occurred to me to paint Fisher Peak. Not because it isn’t beautiful – it is truly grand – I think one just becomes accustomed with and/or complacent with one’s surroundings. The things that we see on a daily basis don’t always seem inspiring…
This commission was an opportunity look upon a familiar scene with fresh eyes.
I started looking through some photographs by Janice Strong and I found this one >
I used this photo, along with some of her other images as my main sources of inspiration. Generally I will do a full colour pre-sketch but this time I did only a pencil sketch.
I always do an acrylic drawing on my canvas first – this is my guide.
Normally with my acrylic paintings I will paint from background to foreground but this self-imposed rule is pretty fluid. In this case I felt inspired to start smack-dab in the middle first and then work my way back.
I do not pay very close attention to detail with my first layers of paint. The object for me is form and general shape – it is like creating a map for the details that will follow.
Once my map is laid out I then dive into the details – this time I started at the very back of the painting with the sky and moved forward from there.
With both my background layers solidified I move forward into the next layer. Once again creating a general map of paint to later apply the detail on top.
At the very end I like to add stylized lines throughout the painting to pull things together. You can see an example of how I’ve have done this with the red & yellow lines in the mountain. (Click on image below to see enlarged version.)
‘Fisher Peak’ – acrylic on canvas – 2’x 3′
I always apply a medium varnish coat to finish and protect the painting.
Honestly, I didn’t expect this painting to come out quite so colourful but, in the end, I like the brightness because once hung it is super visible in any light. Above all my clients loved it (which is always the best part :)) and it gave me a new view of an “old” view.
~ Micheline 🙂