Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pastoral

This is my painting currently showing in Gateway Theatre as part of the group show "Pastoral". It is running through April 28th and can be seen, even if you aren't attending a performance, from noon to 5pm by entering through the box office. The art show is a tribute to Canada's rural heritage and also features the following artists: Dale Byre, Jennifer Heine, David McHolm, Bonita Ruttkay, Pat Thorson, Larry Tillyer and Jeff Wilson.
   
The painting is partly based on reality but I also exaggerated the expanse of the field from remembering how far across field could seem when I was a child. I really enjoyed painting those clouds. I hope we have some nice skies again this summer - and not forest fire haze!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Crayon Day

I read that today was to be "Crayon Day" and, although I have heard nothing more about it, I decided that it could be Crayon Day on this blog. They were created in 1903. The inventor was Edwin Binney who formed the firm Binney and Smith but it was his wife who invented the name "Crayola". Alice Stead Binney took the "cray" from the French "craie" for chalk and "ola" as short for olegineax for oily - and now we have had them for 116 years as one of the first art materials children get to use. As you can see from my old box, they can last forever! My white is missing - I think I used it up long ago as a wax resist when using paint. I rarely use them now but they live on on my desktop. I like the new water-soluble wax crayons and sometimes use them for Life Drawing as they can be used dry and then blended somewhat with water...retaining some of the linear wax crayon look too. So, cheers to Edwin (1866-1934) and Alice and wax crayons!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Introducing Art History

A delightful picture book came my way last week. I would highly recommend it  for a number of reasons. First, it is a good imaginative story in itself. It has quality, not cartoon-y, illustrations and it is educational. It is even has words not often found in picture books- cerulean and indigo, for example- to describe some blues the fox is seeing and this can really appeal to young children by giving them new words to play with.
If you look carefully, Monet can be found painting in his garden on quite a few pages. There is also a yellow butterfly that follows all the action. A natural follow-up would be to find reproductions of Monet's paintings as an introduction to this famous artist. The expressions on fox's face as very well done. There is also a very satisfying ending that shows the joys of plein-aire painting and solves fox's problem of how to preserve the colours of the garden. This is one to really enjoy reading aloud to a youngster and I predict it could be a real favourite for them to keep.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

High Noon

Here is my pastel of Michael as Gary Cooper in High Noon . the drawing is done on a rough hand-made paper as I felt it suited the subject.  I love doing figure drawing and I feel that drawing is really important. I usually do Life Drawing once a week and save some drawings, The warm-up one and two-minute poses are drawn on newsprint and I usually just put them in the recycling bin. Right now  I am drawing with a white pencil on black paper - just exploring the effects of the light making highlights on the figure. There are more pages in the black sketchbook than I originally thought so it is going to be awhile before I get back to colour. Maybe I'll work with water-soluble crayons then - or even watercolour for awhile. This pastel work is from a different day - usually every other week - when we have a "long pose" and I often  work in mixed media - in my case - pastel over acrylic and acrylic pastel gel which you can see in previous posts.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

New Show at Gateway

This is my painting currently up at Gateway Theatre. Richmond Artists Guild has a show called "Bodhi of Work" which was inspired by the current onstage production of "Yoga Play". All the works are connected to yoga in some way - so they include scenes from the East. I will confess that I did not do this painting specifically for this show as I had it from my "Dream Cities" series.... but I have done considerable revision so it is in a new incarnation and incarnation certainly fits with Eastern spiritual beliefs! It is, of course, Angkor Wat, but Angkor Wat as you are not likely to see it today - uncrowded with a spiritual vibe. The show at Gateway is well worth seeing and is getting quite a lot of attention. If you aren't attending a production (and the play is fun!), you can call in during box office hours and go in to see the display.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Forgeries?

Well- here is one I did for GuessWho? I took away the tobacco from Van Gogh's chair and gave him a cat  for companionship...a much healthier choice and maybe he wouldn't have contacted Gauguin to come and live in the yellow house... and then they wouldn't have quarrelled ... and maybe there wouldn't have been the "ear incident" - who knows? ... a cat might have made the difference for Vincent
Then I channelled Renoir to make the little girl with a watering can a slightly wider painting-
so that there was room for a cat. The actual painting is really large and this is, of course, a
10 x 10. There is a really good short story about this painting in a short story collection about
art by Susan Vreeland. The book is called Life Studies and the story about this painting is "Mimi
with a Watering Can". Of course, I had to do colours and brushstrokes differently.
And then I had a go at Modigliani
- the girl with a braid was obviously missing a cat too. There is a also a story about  Modigliani
in "Life Studies" and I enjoyed changing styles again. However, nobody saw my warped sense of
humour in these and they didn't sell at GuessWho? So, I guess I won't go in for a career in forgery. It wouldn't work too well anyway as I like to paint in acrylics and the paintings I copied were all painted in oils.