Sunday, October 31, 2010


Not my usual seasonal serving, especially in the grey light of November and, lately,  especially coming from me!

to everything there is a season
oil on canvas, 30x40in

This is the commission that I started at the beginning of summer (mentioned in my post here) and completed only a few weeks ago. A lot of time has lapsed between sessions and with family illness pervading I had to put it aside. It would not have been fair to my client had I pushed myself when my heart wasn't in it. I am very happy with it now (although still can’t manage to adjust colours to my liking on the monitor) The client came to the gallery today to pick it up and of course I was nervous re his response –he was happy! All is good.

Today I also sold my new painting (October, Liah’s View) that was barely dry. What a contrast in work compared to the garden above- I have really been questioning my direction lately and feeling pretty unsure re current work and where I am heading so this perked me up a wee bit...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Open Studio 'LIVE'

I haven't posted in awhile--busy with art submissions etc-  

A lot of my time has been taken up with creating an online Art Auction, with portion of proceeds  to McNally House Hospice. I still haven't worked out all the kinks, but for a sneak preview click HERE    

I will also be raffling off paintings--this is one .

November, a walk after Guinn, oil on canvas, 16x20in

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Liah's View

Recently we had guests staying over so had to spend some time in my daughter’s old room. I had forgotten how breathtaking the view was from her window, no matter the season. When my guests left and the right days came (yesterday/today) I lugged all of my painting gear upstairs…interesting how inspiration can just come on the fly—but how long has it really been there? It was an insightful state of catharsis to be in as she was everywhere..

October (Liah's View)
oil on canvas
30x30in, 2010


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've always liked the strong contrasts of black vertical lines-in this case the tree trunks, juxtaposed against the bright yellows of textured leaves when the light hits just-so. Things move in a really melodic way, especially with a consistent breeze--such was today--a good one to accompany with paint.

oil on canvas
12x24in, 2010


Monday, October 11, 2010

Highland Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

Between reading Hebridean tales by Lillian Beckwith and inspired by  a wonderfully written blog by accomplished painter Caroline Simmill and this being Thanksgiving, the Scottish highlands have been with me all day! 

Two years ago I traveled to the north west coast of Scotland for the first time and spent Thanksgiving with my daughter in an extremely remote croft (did I mention remote?) off a one-track road and on top of the sea. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I painted over my July vineyard because it was too tight and contrived--then I painted over THAT painting (a few posts ago) because it was too dark and muddy--I've mentioned in previous posts that I like to paint over old work, but I have to be careful as the  pigments of the previous under-paintings can affect the top colours--and not always in a good way..

I am much happier with this image.

oil on canvas
18x24in, 2010


Friday, October 8, 2010

This is another plein air work rendered last October that I put away. Because the premise of my work is about documenting the seasons and climate change, if I start a painting in a certain month and don't have the opportunity to finish in the same month with the same weather, I put it away until the following year. This was painted at the END of October 2009--on my walks in the field the colours are the same NOW, mid October, so we are definably early in the changing of the seasons in the land.

October, Greenbelt Disaster
oil on canvas
18x24in, available

For those of you that have inquired re my titles that include 'Greenbelt Disaster'

'The ‘Greenbelt Disaster’ series transpired after I caught sight of a hand painted sign of the same name propped up on the back of a tractor. The tractor was parked on the service road near Niagara’s QEW for all to see and behind it was a smouldering vineyard. It was a protest from local growers, whose vineyards and orchards were destroyed or left to go fallow because they could no longer afford to farm them. Since, I have visited and interviewed some of these growers and organizations and this series of paintings is a culmination of that investigation.' To read more please visit: This Land is our Land


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kama & Canadian Balsam

I’ve always found the technical aspect of painting with oil to be an intriguing challenge. It’s important to know the components and strengths of pigments as they interact with each other long after the painting is dry—so it is integral to use the highest standard of oil paint and mediums and I have a few favourites. The more expensive are the highly pigmented paints - Old Holland, Williamsburg and Michael Harding—beautiful beautiful beautiful..and worth every penny- from consistency, handling and saturation. I think it’s important to invest in good quality pigments, but I have found that M Graham Paints and mediums are cost effective and bound with walnut oil allowing for brilliant refractive qualities.

For the past year I have been using KAMA oil paint and mediums. They are ground by hand in an artist run store out of Montreal and they not only offer excellent paint—in unique colours like ‘hemoglobin’-but also powdered pigment and all the fixings if you are inclined to make your own. They are brilliant—also using walnut oil as binder but they are a lot ‘drier’ than M Graham. I really like experimenting with mediums and reading Marc Dalessio's blog led me on a hunt for Canadian Balsam— and I found it at KAMA! It’s very expensive but after investigating it I just HAD to try it.

Today I mixed my medium by using 1 part sun-thickened linseed oil, 1 part solvent and 1 part Canadian Balsam. I work very thin and lay in using only turps and a little alkyd to speed up the drying—as I lay in thicker passages I add the medium. The Balsam moves the paint beautifully—very fluid. Canadian Balsam is a sap from fir trees, used to improve adhe­sion from one paint layer to another and impart a silky smooth qual­ity to the paint. It is supposed to be clearer than other balsams and leave a refractive sheen..will find out when this little painting dries.

oil in canvas
9x12in, 2010


Monday, October 4, 2010

'I know the year is dying, Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying, Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing Through the dry and withered grass.

Ah, 'tis then I love to wander, Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music Of sweet nature's undertone;
Wrapt in thoughts I cannot utter, Dreams my tongue cannot express,
Dreams that match the autumn's sadness In their longing tenderness.'
- Mortimer Crane Brown

October, Thinking of You
oil on canvas
12x12in, SOLD