Old Friends – A New Painting

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‘Old Friends’ – acrylic on canvas – 12″ x 16″

This piece was commissioned by an old childhood friend. Her instructions to me were quite simple; she wanted flowers and she liked purple – the rest was up to me.

She is one of those childhood friends who stands out in memory because she smiled constantly, laughed easily and made everything fun. And although I’ve only just recently had the opportunity of reconnecting with her through social media she still gives off that same energy. I wanted her energy to come through in this painting so I chose tulips – they are the heralds of spring, the worlds most cheerful flowers! I painted a single purple tulip to represent my friend and I hoped that minimizing the use of purple would make it more important overall. I also experimented a little with trying to marry my typical flow-y-line style with the more expressive, painterly style of my last two pieces.

Such a fun piece to create! (Here’s hoping she likes it – fingers crossed!)Tulips_Small_05

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A New Painting – Winged Wonders

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Almost all of the care I received from nurses during my hospital stays this past year went above and beyond. I am SO grateful for their time, their care and their expertise. While in hospital I created the small sketch pictured below – it was inspired by all the nurses running to and fro to care for those in need. I called the sketch, ‘Winged Wonders’. I knew that once I was healthy again I’d paint this sketch as an expression of my gratitude. Obviously I’ll never be able to find the particular individuals who directly cared for me but I do hope that the meaning of this piece warms the heart of every nurse who gets a chance to know it. And maybe they’ll feel just a little bit honoured.

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It’s funny because most of the pieces I have created in the past year have been commissions and now when it finally came time to paint something that was exclusively my idea it was REALLY hard to do! I know right?!? You’d think I’d fly through it but, OH NO, I struggled all the way! <Rolling my eyes at myself>
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It wasn’t until this point that I finally felt like I was finally finding my way but even then I had to push to finish.

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Despite my fight to the finish I’m happy with all colours and movement. Part of me wishes some of the airy softness of the sketch had stuck a bit more but sometimes paintings travel their own journey and they can end up in quite a different place from where they began. <grin and shrug>

Anyways…
I hope you enjoyed seeing the process. 🙂

Have an amazing weekend friends!!!

 

 

Winged Wonders – New Painting Coming Up!

Yes – this canvas is finally ready! My husband builds all my canvas frames for me now. It is amazing because I can actually request special custom sizes instead of being forced to use standard sizes. (Thanks hubby! ) We finally got this one stretched this week and it’s ready for paint!
The sketch you see just below the canvas is my plan for this piece. It was drawn during one of my hospital stays in the early summer. (I am feeling much better now – just so ya know.
) I call it ‘Winged Wonders’. I actually sketched it in honour of all of the nurses flying to and fro to care for those in need. I am so grateful for nurses!

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Healing & The Scottish Thistle

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Legend has it that a sleeping party of Scottish warriors were saved from a Norse ambush by this wee plant. One of the attackers accidentally trod on a thistle with his bare feet and cried out in pain. His cries roused the Scots who then defeated the invaders. After this victory the thistle was adopted as the national symbol of Scotland. Apparently, there is no historical evidence for this tale, but who doesn’t love a good story right? 😉

So many folks helped us out while I was in the hospital – my family and I are so grateful to all of them! My dear friend Meme went above and beyond. Her efforts not only brought others to our aid but also made EVERYTHING so much easier for us. We are so grateful to her. As soon as I could manage to sit up long enough I did this little painting for her in attempt to express my gratitude.

Why the Scottish Thistle? Well, I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t actually know Meme’s personal reasons for loving the Scottish Thistle… I just know that she does… Maybe I should ask one day – ha ha!

I made the painting a little whimsical because I wanted it to have a fairy style/Will-o’-the-wisps feeling.

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This is the sketch I did while I was hospitalized. I couldn’t wait to be able to sit up long enough to paint it for her.

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I am happy to say that my health is improving. I still need to rest and I can’t do anything rigorous yet but the medicine is helping me start to heal – YAY! I still have some tests that need to be done at the beginning of September before we know exactly what is wrong but I’m so thankful to be mostly functioning for now. It’s good to be back!

 

 

The Bench – A New Painting

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‘The Bench’ – acrylic on canvas – 5′ x 3′ 

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!

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TRUST ME – This Week’s Photo Challenge Will Happen!

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!

See y’all on Friday – weather permitting!Detail

Evening Sketches

My daughter recently purchased some watercolour pencils and last night she decided to give them a go, so I joined her and did a few sketches. I think this would be a really nice little medium for illustrating a children’s book. I love the sketchy-pencily-watery feeling, it’s fun. (That sounds weird I know and yes, I realize pencily isn’t a real word but it should be!) 😉

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Cedar Trees

I’m a little obsessed with cedar trees. It seems to be a combination of many things; their height, sweeping limbs, colourful tones, and textured trunk.  However, the biggest reason for my obsession is that they hold precious memories from my early adult life on Vancouver Island – those first few years away from home that brought so much change and growth. Groan… That sounds really sappy doesn’t it? I’m rolling my eyes at myself.  Hmmm… maybe it’s best if I just let my pics and paintings do the talking – enjoy!

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Cow Island – New Painting

One of the things I like about commission pieces is that they are often ordered for a special event like a birthday or an anniversary. This painting is for a wedding gift. The couple is getting married in Portland, Maine on an island called ‘Cow Island’ (hence the title). Their kind friend has ordered this depiction of the island as their wedding gift – such a memorable idea!

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Above is the image that my client sent me to work with. She requested that the clouds be done in the swirly style you see in some of my other paintings and she mentioned her preference for the aqua blues that I’ve become attached to in some of my recent works.

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Watery sketch to begin – since the composition was quite simple I skipped doing a pencil sketch on paper this time.

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I really like layering my paint. I feel like it has a more finished look in the end.  I always start with getting my shapes and colours down in a general fashion and then work my details over top in more layers.

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I work in this fashion throughout, layering the painting and working my way to the foreground. I really enjoyed painting this sky I felt like I could have stayed and painted there forever.

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I also enjoy the last details as well and often spend a lot of time working them out.

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I almost always paint all the way around the sides, top and bottom of the canvas – I like this gallery wrapped look. And I like that it doesn’t need to be framed unless you want to.

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Here’s hoping this couple loves their gift and that they have a beautiful wedding!

Cheerio!