Thursday, November 28, 2019


On Tuesday, December the 3rd, Richmond Artists Guild will be hanging a show in Gateway Theatre. The show will all be related to the end of year musical " Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". This production is, apparently, not so Egypt-oriented as the Donny Osmond show that comes to mind. It is, of course, still with the story based on the Biblical tale of Joseph, his coat of many colours and his dream interpretations but, the staging, we are told, will be more dream-oriented and an emphasis on the musicality. I decided it would be a good  reason to paint a picture of a clarinet - which I think is a very interesting looking instrument... something about all those silver keys! It turned out to be an interesting challenge as it had to be accurate - but I didn't want to end up with something that looked like it was cut out of a musical instruments catalog. I wanted the background to be a bit magical and musical looking - but with nothing so basic as musical notes. I used some "interference" white/blue on the  clarinet keys. This means that the colour shifts a little as you look at it- adding another element to the painting. At the beginning stages, I was afraid it might not come off as I had hoped... but I ended up being fairly pleased with the result. I hope others enjoy looking at this painting.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Long Poses

Here is the pen and ink with watercolour wash  of Giving that I did for our Cultural Days event at the end of September. Now we are having "Long Poses" again on alternate Fridays and I'm working in mixed media. I like to have long enough to work on a piece as a contrast from regular Life Drawing sessions where poses may be much shorter...the first ones are one-minute poses and the longest usually 20 minutes. This one was roughly two and half hours - allowing for the model breaks. The other photo shows the distance I was from the model as well as a bit of our outdoor set-up. Fridays are indoor sessions but for Cultural Days we were outside where visiting public could watch or  participate.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Bouquet wth Red-Hot Pokers

Here is the newest bouquet painting and it is a very special bouquet. Carol-Lyn Sakata brought it to me from flowers from her mother's garden, which is to be redeveloped. This is the garden that is the triptych painting now in Richmond General Hospital. I've never painted red-hot pokers before- never seen any for sale in a florist and I don't have any in my garden. Also, it was so lovely to get such a beautiful bouquet so nicely arranged and with such a nice assortment of flowers. It was both a challenge and a pleasure to paint. The painting is 24 x 24.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

DoorsOpen on June 1st and 2nd

Here is a new one - 30"x24" that I will be showing for DoorsOpen this coming weekend - June 1st and 2nd. It is a dance of golden birch leaves around the old trunk in the fall- based on a tree in my garden. I say "based" because every painting gets adjusted for what the painting wants and so, varies from what a photograph might show. There should be more of an individuality to a painting - a feeling of "hands on" that a photo can't show. And of course,  seeing the actual painting is different again from seeing a photo of the painting. One of the nicest compliments I ever had was a collector telling me that every time he looked at a painting I had done, he saw something different again. so, whether it is this painting or a different one, take a good look at an actual original painting and enjoy the difference.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


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.