Saturday, November 29, 2008

Plein Air Painting

It's pouring wet today, which makes last weekend so good by contrast. Tanya had organized a plein-air instruction group with Brent Lynch so there our group was in the great outdoors. Plein air is the French term for painting outdoors and painting what you see. Brent says he just calls it "field studies". He also reminded us that we were painters first and not "reality recorders". He said "I realize there is no substitute for the real thing. There are direct experiences in the field that you cannot have in the comfort of the studio."
It was cool out but most of us were enjoying pocket-warmers - and it wasn't raining! No great masterpieces yet, but I have a couple of little field studies that I think can be worked up into something a bit bigger in the warmth of the studio during winter.
Some of us have been doing some plein-air and intend to keep at it - although, preferably leaving it until Spring now! For others, it was a new experience but fun. ---- and it was last weekend in the dry and not this weekend!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


When we have Life Drawing, coffee breaks are never long enough to talk about art shows, critique new paintings or discuss art in general. We decided that what we needed was one evening a month devoted to art talk. It was also decided we would have an "educational" element and talk about one artist and look at his/her painting reproductions . After a too-busy summer and then the Czech trip, we recently held our first evening salon over dessert and tea or coffee. It was a great success in many ways but we need to fine-tune the format. One problem was that as artists arrived, they immediately began enthusiastically discussing paintings - so this wasn't as organized as it could have been- so we'll change the order somewhat. However, it was obvious that this time for talk was something we all felt filled a need. Now we have the next one in January to plan for....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Richmond's 2008 Dream Auction

My friend Sally came this morning to pick a painting for the live auction on November 29. This luncheon and auction is held to benefit the "Dream Auction". What is the dream? To quote -"Our dream is that no child in Richmond will suffer from poverty". On the surface, Richmond looks like a prosperous community- and, on some levels, it is. However, there is poverty - and poverty that is virtually invisible. Statistics show that 30.7% of Richmond's children under 15 live in poverty and that the annual income for a family of four living in poverty is $14,900 a year. The poverty gap in Richmond is one of the highest in Canada.The goal this year is to raise $35,000 toward directly helping the children of Richmond - through school breakfast programs, the Food Bank, Community Meals and Nova House. So - it was easy to make the decision to again support this very worthwhile charity. The donated painting is "Moored" which can be seen in my Gallery 2006. If anyone else wishes to support this -please come to the luncheon - and bid on auction items - maybe even on my painting! the date is Saturday, November 29 from 10am to 2 pm at the Executive Airport Plaza Hotel, 7311 Westminster Highway, Richmond, B.C. Adult tickets are $35 and are available through Gilmore Park Office at 604-277-5377.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The torture continues...

The bicycles from Prague have now made it onto the canvas - one that is 12 inches high and 30 inches long. Painting has barely begun and I am working on it only a bit at a time while working on another painting. I think I will call it "Circles and Squares" as the cobblestones are squares and there are reflected squares in the windows - which are squares. The shadows and overlapping bike wheels are fairly confusing but it is an interesting challenge that I'm hoping will make an interesting painting.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Artist Choice Show at Federation Gallery

Opening on November 4th at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island is a juried show called "Artist Choice". It is always an interesting show as it is open to any subject, and medium and any style. It's also a challenge to figure out what to enter... as in, "What do I want to represent me at this stage?" This year I entered my winter street scene from Rome. (See my latest gallery) I had a lot of fun layering on glazes to get the effect of shadows on the cobblestones and buildings. Fortunately, the judges liked it too - and it is in the show - which runs through November 16th. Our small drawing group is well-represented as Tanya Bone has had a painting accepted and Larry Tillyer has two in the show. The images will also be shown on the website for the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I'm currently working on a drawing for a new painting. It is based on a line of bikes and a scooter that were in a courtyard in Prague. I thought all the wheels overlapping would make something different for a painting. Well! It probably will if I survive it. The drawing is a real challenge and painting it may very well be more so. I always think it is funny when people say "Oh, you paint - that must be so relaxing!" Actually, painting is work if you are thinking about what you want to achieve. I think this painting will definitely be one that I will work on for a bit at a time - and paint other things in between - or it just might prove to be a new form of artistic torture.