It's been a while since I last posted on my Blog. But I did want to post pics of a fun weekend I had with my artist friends Laurie, Jennifer and Nancy from Cambridge. It was a weekend of good food, good wine and good conversation. Laurie brought some interesting Art video's to watch on the saturday night.
The weather cooperated ...... so that we were able to paint on Sat and Sunday. The gravel pit never dissapoints when it comes to subject matter or the farmer's field's.
All week long I checked the weather ......it is going to be a beautiful sunny day for the "Plein Aire" excursion that I had planned for my class. Of course it was overcast and it started to rain as everyone arrived at our Lake house. I guess the one good thing we had going was the large veranda that we could take shelter if it really poured. I was so proud of the group since this was their first experience painting outdoors. The students were real troopers braving the drizzle. One student Linda painted under a maple tree the entire time. It did clear up for a time so that Jackie, Lisa, Sandra and Nancy were able to get their sketches done. We did have a nice lunch break but that was short lived as we all scrambled out of our chairs when someone mentioned it's starting to rain again. I had suggested to everyone that keeping a diary of your outdoor painting experiences is helpful for when you are back in the studio. I love to record the sights, smells, and sounds of my trips. We had alot of laughs and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.....and the bugs weren't bad either.
I have always loved flowers. I love to plant them and watch them grow.I started gardening about 10 years ago and have had so much pleasure from growing flowers and vegetables. It is a second passion to painting that I just have to do. I wait in anticipation every spring for the last snowfall so that I can get working in the garden. Last fall I planted 400 spring bulbs on our Lake House property......I can' wait to see them pop up. My Wimsy flowers paintings are a series that I am working on right now.
My studio in Hanover is still in progress. As I will be spending more time up north this summer , I have been preparing a work area on the upper level. The light is great ...a good north window light is perfect for artists. The bonus is I have a nice view of the lake while I work. The entire upper floor is set up as a gallery.
What is abstract painting all about? For me, I think it is a freedom that you can only get when you just follow your heart . For a long time I couldn't figure out the meaning of some abstract paintings. Like all paintings, there is nothing compared to viewing a painting in person. Abstract paintings can evoke some powerful feelings when viewed in person.
One abstract I had painted I found an image within in the painting. Sometimes I am not aware of it until after I have completed it. Sometimes the image has appeared after turning the painting up side down or sideways as it happened with "Look Brandy". There it was a head figure of my dog Brandy.
Have you ever created a painting and you just know you will never sell it? Some painting's have sentimental value. The painting above "Clay Pot and Apples" is one just painting. It was the first painting that I had completed from an oil painting course that I was finally satisfied with. It was the first painting that I had experience painting cloth and a shiny object. This painting will remain in my Private Collection. I am sure there are many artist's that just can't part with a particular painting.
Spontaneity in art class sometimes creates a freedom that can not be achieved in an controlled environment like your studio. The one to two hours you have to put something down on the canvas forces you to think outside the box and to just go with your feelings. My brush strokes are usually loose and more expressive. Using a smaller color palette and mixing your own colours will give you a more harmonious painting.
What's your style of painting? I get asked that all the time. The answer is I am still developing my style. Some artists take a life time to develop what they call their signature style. I haven't quite found mine yet. I love paintings that are loose and free. At the same time I appreciate a well painted realistic subject. I think I fall somewhere in between . I like to see the brush strokes in a painting. I am excited when I see texture and movement in a painting. Photographs are beautiful in their own place. But a painting should be a painting. The painting on the right "Goderich Trail II" was painted 2 years ago. This is one of a few favourite spots we love to travel to and take walks with our dog .
The winter is a beautiful time of year especially when you can take walks in the woods and trails. Our driveway is almost a mile long and all along the way are woods and cliffs and trails that are exciting to explore. Our dog Brandy loves tracking the deer , wild turkey and jack rabbit foot prints. I painted two scenes this week. The one on the left is an apple tree and the farmer's field in the background . The painting on the right is a view from the road looking into our gravel pit.
On a trip to New Brunswick in 2007 my husband and I visited St.Andrews and I fell in love with the ocean veiws and rock formations. My abstract painting of ST. Andrews Rocks was inspired by that visit. Most of my inspiration when I paint abstracts have come from forms and shapes in nature. Rocks, tree trunks, leaves ,branches, sand and water can all have beautiful rhythms and patterns on their surface. I love taking photographs of the surface of rocks. Many times I have seen forms and figures that resemble people or animals.
Upper Middleton road was another plein air excursion with the DVSA class and teacher Carolyn Dover. It was a beautiful warm fall day. The leaves were just starting to turn colour. One of my notes that day was how the fields and under brush had the colours of a Harris tweed. The clouds were this mauve, burgundy colour.
My Snowy Cedars painting was inspired by this photo on the right. The photo is not very colorful and really lacks depth as well. If you can sketch or paint outdoors you will see all the colours in the shadows and on the snow. The snow is never a pure white. It has all the reflections from the sky, trees, and water playing on the surface. I did a small quick sketch of this scene on site and later developed this painting in studio on the left. I only use photo's as a reference.
This past summer we had the pleasure of sitting on our porch at the country house observing the birds and wildlife in our backyard. It was so exciting to see hummigbirds, gold finches , house wrens and chickadee's at the their respective feeders. I was able to capture some amazing shots. I have really enjoyed capturing birds in their habitat on paper and canvas. Chickadee's are the least shy and seem to be the most friendly.
The picture on the left is a pastel and the the pic on the right was painted using acrylic paints.
In the spring of 2005 I joined this group from the DVSA , instructed by teacher Gordon Perrier, to paint flowers at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The peony's and irises were at their prime in mid June. We spent a few days collecting sketches and painting. I produced a few watercolours on site and then took some of the paintings to later paint in the studio in oil. I love painting flowers and capturing their vibrant colours. Here are a few pics from that day and of some of the finished paintings from that outing. As a side note, in this class I was pleasantly surprised to see my high school Art History teacher - Rosella (Spicuzza) Grilli. I remember we looked at each other and then we remembered where we new each other from and gave each other a big hug. She is in the pic with the hat.
In 2005 I was part of a Plein air class instructed by Carolyn Dover a DVSA teacher who teaches oil painting. We visited many locations, some of them I had never heard of like Mt. Nemo, Beverly Swamp and Court Cliff Park. We were encouraged to write a diary of our feelings and experiences out in the field along with sketching and painting a small painting on location. We then produced larger paintings in class of our sketches. I have been back to Court Cliff Park and Mt.Nemo several times since to collect new material. My two favourite paintings produced from these excursions are Court Cliff Park and Maple Serenity. I have included photo's and the finished paintings of these both.
I have a membership to the Burlington Fine Arts Association at the Burlington Arts Centre. Every wed morning they hold a portrait class with no instructor. In this class I had my niece Emily pose for us. My sister Carm made her costume especially for this occasion. Everyone works in the medium of their choice. Emily was thrilled to receive some of the finished portraits.
I haven't participated lately, but hope to get back into attending.
I had my first Solo Show at the law firm of Feltmate, Delibato and Heagle in Burlington, On. The show ran for six weeks. The law firm has been involved with the Burlington Art Centre for many years in giving new artists this opportunity to show their work. It was a fun and new experience for me setting up my artwork. Receiving the positive feedback was encouraging as well. Here are some pics of my show.
I am excited to get started on sharing my pics and news of the day with family, friends and new friends. I have a new Art web site that will be up and running in the very near future. I hope to share with all of you my thoughts and process of my inspiration to my paintings. You will be able to follow me on my Plein Air excurions past and present. Visit me at my studio's where you will find lots of resources and a loyal dog at my feet. I am looking forward to any comments and feedback.