Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks to the ARTS blog

Just a quick post (more to come this weekend) to thank the Airdrie Regional ARTS Society for featuring me on thier new blog! What an honour.

I'll be posting the finished prairie landscape this weekend provided I can get some good light for photographing it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On the Easel: Prairie Landscape - step three

One of my favorite things to capture in an evening sky is the switch that occurs as the sun dips below the horizon, the clouds become the darker part and the sky seems brighter. Such a change from the fluffy bright white clouds against the deep blue sky of the morning.

Its funny because I didn't quite notice it for the longest time - my brain took the switch for granted. When I finally looked up and noticed which was the brighter value, I couldn't get enough of that.

Trying to convey this change in a way that is unobtrusive and looks "normal" to my viewer has been a challenge I've been tackling for a while now. I think I'm finally getting the hang of it!

You will notice that in this step I've added warm hues to the palette - yellow and red. That is the other part about sunsets that I love to play with, how to sneak as much colour as possible in without it looking overwhelmed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

On the Easel: Prairie Landscape - step two

As you can see, things are looking a little more coherant now. I've layered more colour and smoothed out a lot of the edges. It is still choppy and unfinished though.

A lot of my inspiration comes from reading other people's blogs. Two recent posts on Alberta skies caught my attention. Joanne had a post on recent chinook sunsets and Veronica posted a painting of a smoke filled sky she had vivid memories of.

I actually didn't have either of those in mind when I started this painting, but halfway through I had an "ah ha!" moment that those had been sitting just under the surface of my concious thoughts.

Its really hard to not be inspired in some way by the palette of these expansive prairie skies.

Friday, November 14, 2008

On the Easel: Prairie Landscape - step one

This 24"x36" canvas is the first step in creating a prairie sunset. As you can see the paint is wet and the image is really roughly blocked out.

I have this habit of snapping random photos with my cell phone camera. It doesn't take very high resolution pictures, more of a rough guideline. That is where I'm getting my cloud colouring from here.

I actually don't even remember taking this photo, it could be "Anywhere, Alberta" along the Deerfoot highway. Often I'll see something in the twilight sky that causes me to take a pile of reference shots, only for them to sit on my camera phone for a couple of months till I upload them onto my computer and wonder what on earth I was trying to capture.

Keep checking back over the next few days to see the progress on this!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Peek in my Sketchbook: Skating Class

My daughter was born to skate. When I watch her on the ice, I see she is truly free. It was so funny, the first time we put skates on her, we were dreading the eventual falls, crying and resistance. Once we laced her up, we set her on the ice and waited for disaster. Her response was to effortlessly skate away. The very first time. A natural.
To encourage her in this, she goes to skating lessons every week. I have started to pass the time with my sketch book in hand. She was my model this time around. These are not the most polished sketches in the world, but they were really fun to do!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Charity Auction - Steel Watering Can

This piece is going up for auction on November 15th, 2008 at an event called "Rockin' for Rescue" a 50's themed evening which features a concert, refreshments and silent auction.

The money raised will go towards this AWESOME organization in Cambodia called Place of Rescue which assists families dealing with AIDS.

To see close ups of this image click here.

If you are in the Calgary area and would like to attend this Charity event, contact me and I'll put you through to the organizers!