Monday, 24 November 2014


The idea behind World-wide Blog Hopping is for us to introduce and promote one another. Follow the links to go around the world, finding wonderful art and artists. To learn about each other, we are all asked to answer the same four questions.

I am fairly new to blogging and I confess that I struggle to blog consistently.   But when my friend Alice Saltiel invited me to join this event, I couldn't say no!  I have known Alice for almost 40 years and I was honoured that she asked me to be a part of this.  She was my mentor  and taught me so much about art.  

 PEACOCK PRIDE   12" x 9" - Mixed Media
Alice Saltiel 

Alice can paint anything and paint it magnificently! You can check out more of her work here.   Alice was invited to participate by her friend Win and you can find her work here and from Win's blog, you will be able to go even further back and check out more blogs.

I invited my friend, Barbara Callow to join me in this fun little endeavour.  She is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and a very gifted lady who works in a variety of mediums.  Beautiful watercolours, fabulous oils and her pen, ink and watercolour sketches are simply amazing! You can see more of Barb's work here.

 Pen, Ink and Watercolour
Barbara Callow
I was hoping that my dear friend Marcela Strasdas would be able to join me in the Blog Hop, but unfortunately due to a family emergency, she is not able to participate.  I would still like to share her wonderful work with you though.  She is so much better than me at blogging regularly.  You can see Marcela's work here.  I'm hoping that some time in the future she might be able to join us.

ALBERTA SUN - 24 X 24 - Acrylic
Marcela Strasdas

I am a representational painter and I work in variety of mediums; mostly acrylics and oils, but I've been known to do a few watercolours and even make some prints.   Having said that, there is a part of me that is very eager to get out the big brushes and a try a more abstract approach to things.  I think as artists, we should always be open to new ideas and concepts and continually challenge ourselves so that our work stays fresh.  Now on to the four questions . . . 

1.  What am I working on?  Currently I am getting ready to begin a new painting as a part of the Island Illustrator Society's  "2015 Travelling  Alphabet Show".  This is an annual show that the Illustrators and this year the theme is "Explore Victoria", so each of the subjects  are  reflective of that.  I have chosen the letter "G" for Gate of Harmonious Interest.  This is the beautiful gate that is at the entrance to Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Below is another painting of the gate that I did for a 30 in 30 challenge earlier this year.


Once I have finished that, I plan to begin work on a few more paintings in my "Tropical Leaves" series.  I grew canna lilies on my deck in the summertime and have a wealth of new reference material that I need to sort through and sketches to prepare.

CANNAS #5 - 30" x 30" - Acrylic
from the "Tropical Leaves" series

40" x 30" - Acrylic  

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Light is one of the key components I look for when choosing a subject.  As I said, I grow canna lilies in pots on my deck so that I can move them around and catch the light through the leaves.  It creates some beautiful contrasts and can drastically change the colour patterns that are produced.  Because of the strong contrast between light and dark my paintings tend to be quite vibrant.  Oh, and I LOVE colour!  It makes my heart sing.

ILLUMINATION - 40" x 30" - Acrylic

3.  Why do I create what I do?   I have always created things in one form or another  for as long as I can remember, be it knitting, sewing, drawing or painting.   And I have always, always been attracted to COLOUR!    As a child I swooned over the new box of crayons.  In social studies, I loved colouring the maps with Peacock Blue, Magenta, Coral and Lime Green.  But, ART was always my favourite subject.  Drawing, painting, printmaking, copper tooling,  pottery; I loved it all!  My mother taught me to knit when I was a young  girl and to this day it still thrills me to walk into a yarn shop and see all the colours on the walls.  I could spend hours there.  The same goes for art supply stores.  The prospect of taking those paints  and playing with all of the beautiful colours  fills my spirit.   I still knit in the evenings; creating multi-coloured socks and patterned sweaters.  I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a black and white world.


24 x 18 - Acrylic

4.  How does my creative process work?  I find inspiration in many places.   It can be the way the light falls on something and the patterns that are created in the shadows.  It can be  some great objects that I put together in a still life or it can simply be a subject that moves me.  More often than not there is some great colour associated with it.  Though lately, I have found myself drawn to the beauty of monochromatic, more natural colour schemes that are much softer than I usually paint.  I'm feeling drawn to explore the softer side of light and colour.
 AWAKENING - 24" x 24" - Acrylic

Sometimes I work from life, sometimes from photographs.  Regardless of the reference,  there has to be something that inspires and speaks to me.  More times than not, I will tone my canvas with a dilute red iron oxide or something similar and sketch my base in with a stronger red iron oxide.  If it is large and very complex painting, I will work a draft up on newsprint and transfer it over to the canvas after I have ironed out all of the problem areas.  Occasionally, I will start with a black canvas and work forward.  

  THREE LIMES IN A BAG - 16" x 16" - Acrylic

The "In the Bag" series is a perfect example of that.   The exception was a painting that I did of persimmons in a brown bag and the brown bag was a whole new challenge that I would like to explore further.

BROWN BAGGIN' IT - 6" x 12" - Oil
Another from the 30 in 30 Challenge

SO many things to paint and not enough time!!!  

You can see more of my work on my website and please sign up for my newsletter.   

Thanks for blog hopping with me!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Canna #6 - "Waiting to Unfurl"


Acrylic on Canvas - 40" x 30"

I'm very, very pleased to announce that the 6th in my series of canna paintings "Waiting to Unfurl" has been accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts Show!  There's always a bit of angst awaiting the jury's verdict!  The image that I used for this one had some really interesting colouring on some of the lower leaves.  Each painting has different challenges to deal with and a personality of it's own.

On another note, I have a whole new batch of canna lilies growing in pots on my deck again this year so I can have some new reference material to work from.  It took a little bit of looking around to find the Tropicana lilies (the ones with the purpley, burgundy leaves) but I found some!

The Sooke Fine Arts Show runs from July 25th - August 4th at Seaparc Leisure Centre in Sooke.  I hope that you can make it in to see the show.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Tropical Leaves Series - Cannas #5

 "Canna #5 - Block In"

This is the start of the next painting in the Tropical Leaves Series.  A thin coat of red oxide and then sketched in with the same.

I should have taken a photo of the in-between stage.  It is an interesting stage to paint, albeit a little bit confusing to follow the shapes and make sure that they marry up with the correct leaves.  Then comes the fun part of adding the veining which in turn helps to give the leaves their shape.  Then comes the really exciting part when I start adjusting the temperature, picking out the highlights and knocking back the shadows.  It's what makes the painting sing!

I realize when painting this one that many of the colours in these paintings were colours that I used to gravitate to when I was a child.  My maps in socials class were always coloured with violet, orange, coral, lime green, yellow and peacock blue (I remember the name of that one!)  I guess some things just stay with you.  Anyway, here is the finished piece and I'm now eager to get on to the next one.  I'm on a roll here and I think another canna might be in order!

"Canna #5"
Acrylic on Canvas

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Driftwood #4 - "Illumination"

"Illumination" - Driftwood #4
40" x 30" - Acrylic on Canvas

This was the painting that I started in the post below and has been completed for a few weeks now, but I did not want to post it in the blog until after the opening of the Federation of Canadian Artist's Spring Show.  Jurying for the show was on Monday and it is always a tense time.  There are so many excellent and talented artists that enter work.  I see the work that comes in and I am always excited to hear that my piece has been accepted because, honestly one just never knows!  As well as being accepted in the show, "Illumination" was awarded 2nd prize so I am beyond thrilled.

I enjoy painting the pieces in the Driftwood Series very, very much.  It is a meditative process, tracing the lines and the movement of the grain.  I love all of the various textures that are found in the pieces of wood; bleached to almost white by the water and sun; orange, red and umber where the wood is still wet; smoothed by the pounding of the waves, exposing the whorls and swirls of the grain; sharp jagged edges where it has been chopped with an axe and soft feathery edges where the grain has been shredded by the sea.  All of it can be found in the same piece of driftwood.   Along with the textures of the wood itself is the joy of hunting out the inevitable pebbles and stones that the pounding waves have lodged into the crevices and cracks; some of them large and some of them very tiny, but almost always there!  And of course there is the light.  Always the light!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Back in the Saddle . . .

Well, it has been 16 days since my last painting.  I had to catch up on things around the house, clean up my messy studio and finish up the paintings from the challenge.  The last couple of days I have spent time going over what seems like millions of photographs, cropping and trying to decide what my next project will be.  Plus I have a commission that I need to attend to very soon.  Perhaps I'll work on two pieces simultaneously.

I couldn't let it go on one day longer, this no painting!  I cleaned up my acrylic palettes, cleared off my drawing table and pulled out a nice fresh white canvas and set to it!

Last month I made an impulse buy; a jar of Golden red oxide acrylic paint that was on sale for a good price.  It's not a colour that I usually use when painting with acrylics, but something in my head said, "Go for it!  You know you'll use it!".  Having said that, I have used transparent red oxide with my oils and quite like it.  Today I cracked the jar open and used it to block in my next painting; the fourth in the Driftwood series.  I think that this could become another favourite colour, especially for sketching and blocking in!  Oh heck, who am I kidding? . . . . I've never met a colour that I didn't like! I love them all!  They all have something redeeming about them.

It sure does feel good to pick up the brush again and I must say, I'm finding that I have retained some really good things from the 30 in 30 challenge!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Collage of My 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I took the day off from painting yesterday and had lunch with my friend Marcela (who also did the 30 in 30 challenge).  This morning I put together this collage of my 30 paintings in 30 days.  Looking forward to painting some bigger pieces now.  That is after I finish up these 30 and send off the ones that need to be sent off, etc.  Oh, and after I clean up my studio.  It looks like a bomb hit!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

And Last But Not Least . . . . #30 of 30

"The Gate of Harmonious Interest"
9" x 12" - Oil on Canvas

The last painting of the challenge . . . . . . . .

Since it is Chinese New Year tomorrow, (year of the Horse), it was suggested that I paint something with an Asian theme.  Something involving lucky red envelopes and fortune cookies.  I had good intentions!!!  I always have lucky envelopes on hand and I even bought a bag of fortune cookies.  Alas, before you could say "Bob's your uncle" (yes Laur, I know he is!)  my boys devoured them!!!

As I wasn't about to venture out to the grocery store last night, I decided to paint the Gates instead. A little history. . . .the gates are at the entrance to Chinatown here in Victoria and were erected in 1981.  It was a joint project between China (where it was built) and Canada.  Two inscriptions allude to this cooperative effort: "To work together with one heart" and "To help each other achieve harmony." 

I've been hanging on to this picture for quite a while now.  I sketched this in last night and it wasn't really as difficult as I had anticipated.  Honestly, the trees intimidated me more than anything.  I see that I have the right lion off just a bit.  I'll need to fix him.  This was very fun to paint and I now have an intimate knowledge of the gates.  For all of these years I've seen them, but not really SEEN them.  

That's it folks!  That's 30 and I lived to talk about it.  Thank you so much to everyone who has followed every day!  I appreciate all of your wonderful comments.  Without you, it wouldn't have been nearly so fun!  A big thank you also to those of you who purchased my paintings.  Deb, I will get yours in the mail next week. 

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!  (Happy New Year)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

#29 of 30

"Cedar Hill Water Lilies"
8" x 10" - Oil on Panel

As I've mentioned, I often walk around the track at the nearby golf course.  It's a really beautiful place with a couple of ponds and a little lake full of ducks at one end.  In the late spring one of the ponds is filled with fabulous water lilies.  At one end there is a patch of yellow water lilies and at the other end there is a huge patch of pink waterlilies.

The stems were was what fascinated me about this composition.  I love the way they twist and turn and move under the water.   I did start a larger painting of this last year at the Moss Street Paint-In, but I have I found it difficult to concentrate on the intricacies when speaking with so many people.  I have yet to pull it out and finish it, but now that I have done this little study, perhaps it will be easier.

Second to last painting!  What will I do with all of my time when this is done.

Thanks Colleen!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

#28 of 30

"Isaac's Swing Ride"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
I will preface this post by apologizing to my grandson and his parents. I have not done him justice and I can see a number of things that need correcting.  But, this was my painting for the day and so I am posting it anyway.  I will go in tomorrow and fix what I can see needs fixing and hopefully it will be more of a likeness.  It has been a very long time since I've painted a portrait and it was definitely challenging!!!  For starters, it would have been much easier on a slightly larger canvas.  I'll just leave it at that!  

#27 of 30

"Northern Lights"
12" x 6" - Oil on Panel
$150 Unframed

Oh so fun to let the kid out to play!  I fought with the tomatoes in the morning, so yesterday afternoon when I came home from my doctor's appointment (most excellent news) I decided to have some fun.  

A few years ago now, one of my best friends (who is like a sister to me) was transferred to an RCMP detachment in Sanikiluaq.  For those of you wondering where the heck that is, Sanikiluaq is part of the Belcher Islands chain on the southeast side of the Hudson Bay, Nunavet.  You have to fly in and out of the area and she and her husband only come out for a break of a few times a year.  On one of the first trips out, she brought me some inukshuk soapstone carvings.  This particular one was carved by an artist named Jerry Eyaituk.  Because it is in human form is called an inunnguaq.  I know that most of you are familiar with them as the symbol of the Vancouver Olympic Games.

I've been wanting to paint this for a while, but a plain cloth behind it simply wasn't doing anything for the composition, so I went and did some research of the northern lights on the internet.  Wow, they are so inspiring for a colour pig like me!!!!  There is such a variety too.  Some are mostly green, some have fabulous hot pink and purple and there is a variety of "flow" to them as well.  I felt that I wanted to have some movement in my lights to contrast with the geometric shapes of the inukshuk.  The background took shape rather organically as I hadn't really planned out the colours, but I think it worked in the end.  I felt a bit like I was channelling Ted Harrison!  

See you soon Tey! 

Monday, 27 January 2014

#26 of 30

"Two and A Half"
6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
$90 Unframed

I'm behind one again!  Actually I did dabble in the paint yesterday;  a little seascape that was so dreadful that it got wiped!  But I have plans for my second of the day and will get to it after I return from an appointment.

I can tell that we are getting to the end of the challenge because I am running out of the desire to paint these little ones and want to move on to some larger work.   

I can see now looking at this that the leaves on the tomatoes could use a few highlights.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

#25 of 30

"Tulips in a Milk Bottle"
8" x 6" - Oil on Canvas
$90 Unframed

I bought these tulips on the same day that I purchased the primulas, so I thought that I had best get them painted before they expired!  I've had a couple of Avalon glass milk bottles kicking around for awhile now.  They are actually from whipping cream, not milk, so not quite as tall.  Definitely a fun shape to paint.

Well, this painting was a bit of an exercise in frustration!!  The tulips were fun to paint (except for the one in shadow), the milk bottle was REALLY fun to paint.  The background, NOT SO MUCH!   Originally I had a lime green cloth on the far right side, but it just wasn't working.  The contrasts were competing too much with the flowers and the milk bottle.  I also realized that I had positioned the fold where the colours of the cloths changed to far to the left and it felt like it was in the middle of the painting.  After a couple of "wipes", I came up with something that I feel works and called it a day.  Lesson of the day . . .don't give up!  I was happy with the looseness of the tulips and the milk bottle .  My apologies for the bit of glare that is in the shadows.

Friday, 24 January 2014

#24 of 30

"Lilacs on My Windowsill"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas

In our backyard we have a beautiful, white lilac tree and in late May it is full with blooms.  I have always adored the smell and so I get out every vase that I have and fill them all with lilacs.  The fragrance is intoxicating and it fills the house for about a week.  This was one little vase that I had sitting on my windowsill last year.

This was an interesting experiment.  I have never painted lilacs before and wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about getting the effect.  I like to paint detail, BUT, I was not about to put every little lilac blossom in.  Unfortunately, the photograph isn't able to capture every little nuance in the shading, but I'm not displeased with the outcome.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

#23 of 30

"3 for $3.98"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas

The other day I was at the grocery store to pick up a few things and I finally succumbed to the beautiful cheerful colours of the primulas that were lined up on the shelves outside.  Hmmm....what colours to buy . . .3 for $3.98  . . . I've been on a white kick lately, but no, they didn't have enough colour.    Yellow?  tempting but all of the blossoms on the yellow ones were tiny.  The purple with the yellow centres were a must have, there was a nice deep rose one with lots of babies waiting to bloom and these pink ones with lots of big flowers.

I had mixed feelings about the background on this one.  I had loosely toned the canvas with transparent orange and it was really tempting to just roughly sketch in the pot with paint and throw a splash of white on it and call it a day! I think that the primula itself would have definitely been the highlight.  I may try that another day.  Maybe with the purple primulas.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

#22 of 30

"Magnolia in Sunlight"
6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
$ 90 Unframed

So, here is my second offering of the day.  It is painted from a photograph that I took on one of my many, many walks along Dallas Road.   There is an apartment building across the street from the path that I walk on and they have a fabulous magnolia tree at the entrance.
I'm not sure what was up with this one.  I don't even LIKE pastel colours much!  But I didn't want a background that would overpower the delicate magnolia blossoms and I wanted something that screamed SPRING!  This is one where the higher powers took over my brush and made me paint this colour!  LOL


#21 of 30

"Odd Man Out"
6" x 6" - Oil on Canvas
$75 unframed

So, after spending way, way, way to long on yesterday's painting, I decided that I would put a time limit on this puppy.  That way, I wouldn't be able to get all precious and overwork it.  I have to confess, it was extremely liberating and I had a lot of fun painting it!!!  Started at 11:15 and finished it at noon!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

#20 of 30

"Totems at Thunderbird Park"
10" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
$150 Unframed

My daughter gave me a beautiful book about Emily Carr for Christmas and this morning I was thumbing through it.  It inspired me to pull up the images that I had taken at Thunderbird Park many moons ago.
As usual I started out being really nit picky and this took me MUCH longer than it should have, but I learned a few things along the way and I may just try another one tomorrow.  Looking at this now, I think it could probably benefit if it was cooled down just a little bit too.  It would give it a bit more dimension.  Oh heck, it could just use a lot of help!! LOL

Monday, 20 January 2014

#19 of 30

"Cedar Hill Blossoms"
6" x 6" - Oil on Canvas

#19 of 30 . . . . .I had a errands and chores to do today, so wasn't sure if I would get to paint or not.

There's a golf course, only a couple of blocks from here and I love to walk the chip track there.  There are houses all the way around on the outside of the track and the golf course on the inside.  At the top of the first rise in someone's backyard, there are some bushes that have these lovely delicate white flowers.  My camera says that I took the photo a couple of years ago at the beginning of June.   I'm not sure what kind flower it is, but on closer inspection of the other images, I'm thinking that it might be a clematis.  

I loved the play of the white against the wild green leaves!


Sunday, 19 January 2014

#18 of 30

"Brown Baggin' It"
6" x 12" - Oil on Panel
My intentions were good today.  Since I had to work all day yesterday and didn't get a chance to paint, I thought that I would get myself all caught up this afternoon.  NOT!

I figured this subject would be a piece of cake.  I have painted persimmons before and I have painted bags before, but  I have never painted brown bags!!!  Who knew that it would give me such a challenge!!!  First I fought with getting the colour of the bag.  I know that the problem there was the fact that I had toned my panel with transparent orange and it was greatly skewing what I thought I saw!  On my palette it appeared to have quite a warm cast leaning toward yellow tones, but once I put it down on the panel, it looked very different!  It appeared grey and cool.  I persevered  though and as I got more of the bag completed the colour appeared more true.  Of course that was not the only problem.  I kept losing the shape of my creases and ending up having to re-draw them about three times.  That little dark space between the persimmons was crazy to see with overlaps here there and everywhere!

But, it's done!!! I don't know about the colour of the bag.  I will re-recheck it again in the morning when I have good light.  I may end up adjusting it.

As for 19 and 20, I will attempt to get them done tomorrow!


Friday, 17 January 2014

#17 of 30

"Kissing Cousins"
8" x 10" - Oil on Canvas

This was one that I started and completed today.  

One day,  I think last summer, a friend of mine in Washington shared this stunning image and I asked her if she minded if I painted it.  She gave me permission and so, here it is.  I would still love to paint it in a much larger format, but this was a good study to let me understand what all the petals are doing, etc.   It was also a good challenge with regard to the colours.  I have not quite captured what is happening in the photograph.  The peony on the left, leans just a tiny bit more toward a yellow hue and the blossom on the right, while more blue in tone is a bit more vibrant in hue than mine.  Thank you very much Deb Salazar-Herbst for your generosity in allowing me to use your image!!

#16 of 30

 Today is the day!!!  I'm caught up again!

 "Noodle Box"
7" X 5" - Oil on Canvas

I actually started this one yesterday and finished it off today.  The biggest challenge with this one was avoiding the bleed between red and white when the space that I was painting was SO small.  That's why I stopped yesterday.  By the time I went back in this morning, it was dry enough that I could go back over the greyed down white without dragging the red in. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

#15 of 30

"Blue Ginger Jar"
6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas

This was a quick study with Chinese lanterns and persimmons.   I painted a larger painting with the lanterns and persimmons last year for the Federation of Canadian Artist's fall show.  
 The most challenging aspect of this for me while painting this was getting those pesky little white blossoms on the ginger jar without having them all bleed into each other!  The other thing that I was working on here was establishing some nice greys in the cloth.  


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

#14 of 30

6" x 6" - Oil on Canvas

It was a very busy day and I wasn't sure that I would have time to paint today, but thankfully my wonderful husband played chauffeur, picking the boys up and taking them to music lessons.

Continuing on the spring theme. . . . .I snapped a photo of these while out walking the dog on Fernwood Road the other day!  They are the first snowdrops that I have seen this year.

In the image, the upper background was a dull, medium grey colour but it did nothing to enhance the lovely snowdrops so I took some artistic license and dipped into my box of colours, coming out with  . . . . transparent orange.  Layered over the mid grey it gave me this gorgeous warm hue that I think works beautifully to enhance these lovely little white gems.

My apologies.  The image is not quite as crisp as I would like but my camera battery is dead and I had to use my phone.  Will repost a clearer picture when the camera is read.

"Snowdrops" is going to live in Peachland!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

#13 of 30

"Japanese Iris" 
6" x 6" - Oil on Canvas

This is another image that I took a few years ago while wandering through Buchart Gardens.   I actually have an image that is of a big patch of these irises and I thought that it would make a lovely larger painting.  So, I guess this really is a study for the larger one.

Sometimes dioxazine purple is perfect, sometimes not so much!  This iris had such a multitude of bluish pinks in it.  It was something of a challenge to get colours as I wanted them.   I ended up with some quinacrodine violet and some French Ultramarine to adjust the hues.

Still one behind.  I'm hoping to catch up today after taking the boy to his orthodontist appointment!

Monday, 13 January 2014

#12 of 30

"Spring Shadows"
6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
$90 Unframed
This is painted from a photograph that I took a couple of years ago when my kitchen walls were still a love pastel shade called "French Blue'.  It was an interesting colour, becoming more mauve or grey or blue in hue depending on the time of day that the light was coming in.  I loved the fabulous shadows that the tulips cast against the wall.
I attempted this painting in a much larger format a couple of years ago.  I think it was 30 x 40.  I was using acrylic paints and it was darn near impossible to get a nice transition between the wall and the shadow at the top!  It's soooo much easier with oils.  Wishing now that I would have done this small study first before trying to tackle the larger painting!  Another lesson learned from this challenge!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

#11 of 30

"Harbinger of Spring"
10" x 8" - Oil on Canvas

We have a great Green Grocer here in Victoria called the "Root Cellar" and the other day while I was there picking up a few things, I spotted these daffodils.  Two bunches for $7.    They were the first I've seen this year and it made me think that spring can't be far off...... at least Victoria's spring which usually arrives somewhere about the second week in February.

I love the smell of daffodils!!!  Next door to where we lived when I was really little,  was a house (an acreage really), that had daffodils that were naturalized and they popped up everywhere in the spring.  I also recall how wonderful the air smelled when we went to visit my mom's friend for tea.  She had a stream running beside her house and there were all sorts of spring bulbs; crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, english daisies and of course daffodils.  It smelled heavenly!

This was another challenge! The colour shift in the top left corner is much more subtle and gradual than it appears in this photograph.  What I did find interesting was that in various places there was a bit of a reddish tint to things;  in some of the petals on the daffodils and also along the top and bottom of the orange.  Looking at it now, I think I may deepen the colour of the stems tomorrow for a bit more contrast in the centre.  I have found that again, dioxazine purple in very small amounts is wonderful for creating shadows on yellows.  It's ever so subtle if used sparingly!

Yup!!  There's that linen cloth with the green stripes again!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

#10 of 30

"Peace Rose"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
A number of years ago my children gave me three rose bushes for Mother's Day.  This is the only surviving one.  It's name is "Peace" and it has the most lovely yellow- orange glow when it is a bud, then as it opens out it has white leaves with the same golden glow at the base of the petals.

This painting was a bit of a departure for me.  Wait, let me re-phrase that . . . .this was a big departure for me!!!  I painted the whole thing with a # 4 brush.  I started with a wash of lovely transparent orange (thank you for turning me on to this colour Pidge.  It makes things glow!)  Then I started blocking in my colours and finished up with big strokes of juicy paint!  This one is definitely going to take a while to dry!!!

A third of the way there and still one behind.  I got side-tracked with a few other things today and didn't get to the second one that I had hoped to.

Friday, 10 January 2014

# 9 of 30

"Needs TLC"
8" x 10" - Oil on Canvas
$ 130 Unframed

I often walk down on Dallas Road and this is a house that is down by Clover Point.  The house is quite old and large, all white; white trim, white stucco and white sheets hanging in the window. The yard is overgrown and the paint is peeling from the window frames.  This image was taken a few years ago and today when I drove past it is appears to be in need of a lot of tender loving care. 

A little voice whispered to me, "Go ahead Sharlene, this will be a piece of cake.  Look at all of those big shapes".   It was SO NOT a piece of cake!  Took me way longer than I had anticipated!  
It's a study in white with a lot of subtle shifts.   I also couldn't get the photo to show up right.  There is a lot more intensity and more blue in the shadow areas than this photograph is showing.  I will try photographing it again tomorrow in better light and see if it comes through better.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

#8 of 30

"The Onion Conference"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas

Ta da!!!  It is January 8 and here is my eighth painting!!  I am all caught up!

I love painting onions and also garlic.  I enjoy all the crinkly textures in the gossamer skins and all the wonderful curly ques at the top of them.  And then there are the ever so fine ribs that help define their shapes.  It is just a bonus when you can find all three colours of them.  I know that here in Victoria, you can buy a mesh bag with all three colours.  And yes, it is the same cloth as the one in the "The Three Little Pears" and also "The Garlic Keeper".  What can I say . . . .it is a beautiful little neutral  linen number and I love the subtleties of the delicate green stripes that run through.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll go for something a little more bold.  Maybe haul out the Fiestaware again! 


#7 of 30

"The Three Little Pears"
6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
This is the seventh of my thirty paintings.  I needed to play catch up here and so decided to use a simpler subject matter and execute it in a more loose manner.  I gave myself one hour to complete it (mostly because I have to head off to work now).  

Sorry, I have not big long narrative to accompany this one.  They are "just" pears that I bought at the grocery store yesterday.  Yes, Alice, I heeded your advice!!!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

#6 of 30

"Little Green Bus" 
6" x 6" - Oil on Panel

Let me start by saying, "Blessings to the person that gave us Dioxazine Purple!  

Okay, I confess . . . .being behind is starting to get to me!  This is my first of the day and I'm planning on starting a second so that I don't begin week two under the gun!

I have always like Volkswagen vans, buses or whatever you call them! Are Westphalias the camperized ones?  I even like the sound they make when they are running.  I don't, however, enjoy being stuck behind one going up a big hill!   Anyhoo, on the next street over there is a green one.  You can't miss it!  I see it every time I leave my street, so one day I pulled out my phone and snapped a couple of photos.  There is another delicious purple one that lives down the end of Moss Street too!  I must get some photos before they move or something!!!

I told myself when I started this that I would just concentrate on the "big shapes" and I was pretty successful at that INITIALLY.  As you can see, it turned into more than just "big shapes".  I need to learn the "knowing when to quit thing".

Monday, 6 January 2014

#5 of 30

 "Two Heads Are Better Than One"
8" x 6" - Oil on Canvas

Day 6 and painting #5.  Still haven't caught up.  Hopefully that will happen tomorrow!

I have had this garlic keeper for about twenty years now.  I used it for the last 30 in 30 Challenge and painted a similar piece which sold quite soon after it was completed.  I was extremely busy with work at the time and did not have time to update my website to reflect the purchase!  My bad!!! Anyway, around Christmas time someone contacted me wishing to buy the piece.  Obviously that could not happen, so I offered to paint a similar piece for them.   So this morning I got around to setting up the garlic keeper in a second still life and here is the completed painting.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

#4 of 30

"Boathouse at Fort Rodd Hill"
8" x 8" - Oil on Canvas
$125 Unframed

So, day 5, painting #4.  I'm still not caught up, but I'm okay with that.  I know that one of these days I will squeak in the extra one.  I'm just reluctant to throw some paint on a canvas and call it a painting because that really defeats the purpose for me.  Of course it wouldn't hurt if I were to choose subject matter that wasn't quite so complex. 

I think I may have the bottom angle of the boathouse slightly off, but c'est la vie (or pehaps I just photographed the canvas at an angle. Yeah, that must be it!!! ;-)

This summer, through the Coast Collective Art Centre, I had the opportunity to participate in the Artist in Residence Program at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites, (a mouthful, I know).  I was there for about three days and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.  Parks Canada opens up the Quarter Masters Residence and two artists at a time come and paint for a week.  I took advantage and one afternoon I headed down to Fisgard Lighthouse and snapped about 300 photographs of the Lighthouse and surrounding area from various angles.  If you have never been there, it's definitely worth the trip.  Absolutely beautiful.  The little boat is called the Rosina!

I hope you like it!