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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

GuessWho?

Well, what do you think? Could it be a newly discovered Renoir?  Come on Saturday and decide for yourself.- over 128 paintings to choose from and all only $100 each - and you get to help out the Food Bank!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Into Fall...

As we move into Fall - and all that garden cleanup (!)- colours soften and change and I find it is often a nicer time for landscape painting. The excessive greens of summer can be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes a  summer painting can be almost harsh. Grasses fading and leaves changing  colour and revealing more of the tree's structure can lead to more interesting paintings. These trees grow along the Sturgeon Banks trail and especially appealed to  me because the day was a little misty. This painting is 30 x 20 so is not something that I would paint outdoors. I settled for a sketch and a photograph and worked on it for a much longer haul than three hours plein air. As for plein air, we are mostly indoors in the studio in this cooler weather. However, last Tuesday, we had a bit of outdoors as it was warm and sheltered on the garden deck at the Art centre and we ate lunch outdoors.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Standing Knight


On the 29th of September, we had Michael Ward posing in his suit of armour as our contribution to Cultural Days. Since we last had him seated (see my June 2018 blog with the multimedia version), we had him stand this time. This is pretty impressive- posing for three hours in 300 pounds of armour! Since I did not have easy access to water or electrical power as we were  working outside under a canopy in the plaza, this time I worked in pastels on pastel paper. You will see that I am wearing gloves." Pastels" sounds so "safe" but, because they are very concentrated pigments, they can actually be toxic, No blowing so as not to inhale particles and the gloves are to prevent skin ingestion. You might recognize that they are gardening gloves with a nice breathable back so that they are much more comfortable to wear than latex gloves. Latex gloves can be problematic too as particles from them can go into the air when they are snapped on and off. Art is enjoyable but it is well to be cautious about how you handle materials.
     Michael enjoyed watching the reaction of little kids passing by - they could hardly believe what they were seeing! ...and then the parents were trying to explain it to them... I could, with the pastel that I did and the reference photo I took, make a finished painting- but it is not likely I'll do one unless someone commissions one. This pastel will take up less room than a canvas!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

"Lemonade"

Sometimes computers can seem more of a curse than a blessing. Today "Pages" wouldn't let me mail the newsletter in the usual way but eventually I got it sent out - still not sure if it was smaller in size than usual - which could make it harder to read. A few days ago, things got really complicated and I lost the internet altogether and had to have a friend -who fortunately was an IT expert- to help out. Iy was a real marathon to get everything sorted out.  The painting on the newsletter was cut to fit the space so here is the whole thing- 20"x16". Strange how canvases have kept Imperial rather than Metric measuring - is it because of the States? This painting was another exercise in playing with glass and reflective surfaces as well as a sort of salute to the end of summer. Those hazy skies made for a strange summer and not as pleasant landscape painting.
     I read an early Ken Follett novel last week- originally published under a different name. He now says it is a bit too short with not enough back-log on the characters - but still kind of fun because it is fizzy. I got it because of the title "The Modigliani Scandal" although I knew it wasn't actually about Modigliani. It was fun to read but also contained a kernel of truth. The two young artists in the story are annoyed that it is dead artists who get the attention and dealers and collectors who make the money so they set up a scam to prove the point. I was also watching a series about the auctioneers Christies. Very interesting how they woo clients. The prices were astounding- 50 million for a Basquiat ! Sorry - I found it ugly.  About one and  half million for a quite lovely Lucien Freud drawing from his early days - traditional and, yes,  lovely - but the price was probably mostly for the signature. Some of the drawings I see in our Life Drawing group can be as lovely- but they lack the "valuable" signature - all of which agrees with Follett's novel. Very few people just buy what they like. They often don't buy paintings at all - playing it safe with a print.  Then other people let the decorator dictate. One of the things about "GuessWho?" is that you just have to like the painting and trust yourself. Even if it turns out to be by a high school artist - well they just might be famous later on and you still have an original you like for only $100 and a good feeling about helping the Food Bank too. You can always make arrangements with the artists for a signature later! ... and, yes, I photographed "Lemonade" before it was signed - but I will sign it.