Mountain Memories – First Painting of 2017!

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Mountain Memories – 11 x 14 – Acrylic on Canvas

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’. mountainmemories_2017_11x14_01_smallimg_9844_small

A New Painting – Stone Soul or Hope is Rising

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‘Stone Soul’ or ‘Hope is Rising’ 2′ x 3′ – Acrylic on Canvas

This is the first painting I’ve completed in a while, all due to many different circumstances. I am excited and nervous to share this piece with you because of it’s meaning… Recently we lost an old friend in a tragic accident, this painting was inspired out of grief but in the end not grief alone… Like myself, my friend was a believer and his death brought about a greater understanding of my faith. I started this painting in sadness and have ended it in celebration, it represents the reality of our souls in Christ. The old broken by death and the new come. We are more than just a body – so much more. Additional meaning was emphasized as I finished working on this piece last week because one of my young cousins was also tragically lost to my family. So much tragedy and yet hope, so much death and yet life.
Whether you share my faith or not I hope you find the celebration and the hope in this piece enjoyable. 🙂
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This is Sure To Brighten Your Monday! New Painting!

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Chania, Crete – acrylic on canvas – 11 x 20

I’ve been working on this commission for a few weeks and finally managed to pull it together today! This scene is inspired by Chania, Crete. The couple who commissioned this piece vacationed here on their honeymoon and this painting is an anniversary celebration.

I’ve always struggled with buildings…  Typically I prefer painting nature because nothing is entirely straight. 😉 In nature everything is forgiving in form and organically flexible. When I attempt buildings I panic over their rigidity. This is only the second time I’ve ever painted buildings and my first attempt was a very similar scene right out of the same country.

Here’s hoping you enjoy seeing the progress of this one – Happy Monday friends!240_F_109778128_ijucq6a0GybrH1l0JnSQ7dgfZce96M8eIMG_3797_SmallIMG_3800_SmallIMG_3801_SmallIMG_3815_SmallIMG_3817_SmallIMG_3820_Small

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. 😉 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!

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. 🙂

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The funny thing about this piece is that I actually kinda like how it looks every step of the way – it 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

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 – wow!

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

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

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. 🙂CollageIMG_9690IMG_9694_SmallIMG_9791_SmallIMG_9795_SmallLakeMcDonald_3'x2.5'_acryliconcanvas_Small

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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Sweet Sixteen

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‘Kalina’ – acrylic on canvas – 16″ x 20″

This commission has been waiting patiently in secret (okay maybe not so patiently…) to be revealed – it is a gift commissioned for a VERY sweet sixteen-year-old!

It was an honour to be chosen to paint this piece but after the task set itself inside my mind I piled on a mass amount of stress. I felt this need to create something that would surpass time – something my client’s daughter could love now and for her whole life; classic, timeless, unchanging…

I know right – phew – what was I thinking?!
Thankfully it didn’t last long and I quickly realized this was NOT the best approach. Duh…

I let go of my grandiose ideas and narrowed my focused on being sixteen and the celebration of the journey from childhood to adulthood. I wanted the painting to be filled with the whimsy of being a kid but still depict the good path ahead. A path forward into something greater, bigger, even better than what she’s known before. Secondly, I wanted the painting to seem like everywhere she walked she left a trail of beauty on all sides – my hope was that this would convey to my client’s daughter how much joy she brings, how beautiful she is inside and out and how important she is to those around her. Lastly, the painting includes other personal touches like her favourite colour (Can you guess?) and the violin to symbolize her love of music.

Every time I paint I find there is a war between my illustrative side and my painterly side and in this painting the battle was monstrous. This can be frustrating, but I think I might be heading towards a place where I can let them coexist. Possibly one will be more dominant than the other in different pieces but I’m learning that this is okay and that I need to just enjoy the journey. And hopefully much like the sweet sixteen-year-old depicted here I’ll leave a wake of beauty on all sides of me as I go.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoy seeing the painting progress in the photos below –> UntitledIMG_8602IMG_8628IMG_8625IMG_8632IMG_8637_Small