Friday, November 27, 2009

Portrait of a Lady

8.5" x 11"
Acrylic on Board

My friends have become accustomed to me pulling out my phone and taking candid pictures of them. Little do they realize I totally intend on painting from some of them. I thought this one was fun because a few hours after painting it, the subject herself came over for dinner.

Heh. These are fun exercises to keep my eyes and hand limbered up. More to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From? (part 6)

Hmmm. No illustration for this part, honestly, I've struggled with how much I could possibly capture with this post. I think I will have to break it up. This is almost its own mini series within the series. This is where I start talking about a huge shift in my artistic journey. The part where someone took me seriously and I in turn started to take myself and my art seriously.

When I was 10 years old, my family moved to British Columbia. I spent grade 5 in a new school with not too many friends, feeling out of place with my schooling (way ahead in french, way behind in other stuff). I wasn't unhappy, but I definitely was not at home.

My teacher noticed that I had decent drawing skills and a passion for creating art. She recommended that my mother check out a newly opened school in the adjacent town, Fort Langley. My mother made some inquires and found out that they would be having a first come first serve sign up to reserve a spot for the following year, should any come available.

My mother then made a choice that changed my life. She was early. So early, she slept overnight in a gym with a bunch of other hopeful parents. She signed up for the first Grade 6 spot on the list. A few weeks later, we found out that one spot had opened up unexpectedly. I had made it in!

Langley Fine Arts School became the start to my evolution from a cartoon drawing child to where I am now, I honestly can say that without this experience, I doubt I would be where I am today. I almost doubt I would be an artist at all. (Thanks mom!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painting Studies: 3 Koi

Koi Study 1
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

Koi Study 2
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

Koi Study 3
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

These were in response to the three crow paintings I did. I enjoyed so much the dramatic deep pigment against a light background, I felt like experimenting with juicy brights against a dark background.

I like the results quite a bit here. They will be available at my Art Show and Sale this weekend in Calgary.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Painting Studies: 3 Crows

Crow Study 1
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

Crow Study 2
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

Crow Study 3
6" x 6"
Acrylic on Masonite

These little studies came about after I did a fabulous swap with a good friend of mine, Cheryl Bakke Martin. She requested a small crow painting in exchange for a beautiful bracelet (which is now my favorite piece that I own - Thank you, C.!)

I thought about what I wanted to do for a few days, and this is what I came up with - I figured I would do a few poses so that she would have the luxury of picking her favorite and it gave me a chance to really flex my brushwork muscles.

One thing that my friend and I have in common is a love of a "loose feel" to the brush strokes in a painting. I really wanted to achieve that here. In a recent painting, I had so much fun painting the black feathers in the hat, I thought I would go in that direction.

Basically, once I had the composition mapped out on these little paintings, my prime goal was to lay my angled brush and "push off" to make clear deliniations on the light background. I love how they are reminiscent of Rorschach tests - striking black blots on a light page. I really enjoyed this exercise.

After my friend chooses her favorite, the rest will be taken to my next endeavor:

Artisan Show and Sale
Saturday, November 21st, 2009
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
4 Varmoor Pl NW, Calgary, AB, Canada

Monday, November 09, 2009

Where Did My Art Come From? (part five)

This is my childhood understanding of history.

When I was in elementary school, we used to walk home to eat lunch. My sister and I would make the trek quickly in order to have lunch heated up early enough to be able to watch the Flintstones on a tiny black and white TV.

This TV puzzled me quite a bit, my mother told me that it was old fashioned, so that is why it was black and white. I knew that old movies as well as photographs were also in black and white. At some point in time, colour photography and movies came into existence, in my mind a long, long time ago. I knew my mother and father were old enough to remember this change.

I then reasoned that it wasn't actually photographs and movies, but everything was in black and white. My thoughts felt nice and complete with this theory, so I never asked about it, I just assumed that is how it worked - I figured that film always captured what it saw.

One day I was looking through some things on a bookshelf. I found this tiny leather bound book that was encased in a zipper, it was a Holy Bible. I knew this book was my mothers and that it was somehow special. Now, not being a particularly religious family, my only indication that this was a unique treasure is that my mother stored locks of her children's toddler haircuts, wrapped in plastic inside this little book.

I can remember being quite curious, I knew that Bibles were supposed to be old. Old from when God made the world (again, it never occurred to me that this book I had on my lap was not almost 2000 years old but a reprinted translation) I opened up the book and noticed something right away....

This old book had colour pictures. I can remember being fixated on a picture of Adam naming the animals. I can remember the classic Anglo Saxon depictions of Jesus. All in colour. This threw me off a little.

After I replaced the locks of hair and zipped up the book and returned it to the shelf, I started pondering this schism to my theory.

A few days or weeks later, it hit me. That must have been what they meant by the Dark Ages. All the colour was lost in the world. I also figured it had something to do with Jesus dying. Then, at some point in time for some unknown reason, colour returned a few years after my parents were born.

Simple. (I believed that for a few years too)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Painting: Steampunk

12" x 18"
Acrylic on Canvas

I haven't forgotten about my story - I have finally had a chance to upload some images, so I figured I would share this painting I completed some weeks ago. This is a friend of mine who has the most visually articulate look I know. Her clothing and make-up are works of art in their own right. I am so fortunate that she let me capture her unique beauty! Thanks, D!

Monday, November 02, 2009

We Now Interrupt This Story For An Important Message....

My local Artist Group and I are having a Christmas Show and Sale next weekend. We are transforming a home into a showcase of all of our wares! Please join us for some demos, treats and beautiful artwork! We really hope to see you there.
Saturday November 7th 2009
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
44 Sprucegrove Cres.
Airdrie, AB