Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010

Here we are at the end of a decade! Remember when the big fear, going in to 2000, was computers crashing and airplanes falling from the sky? Well, they didn't and here we are looking back on ten years and wondering what this next year will bring. For me, I hope there is lots of art activity. The guild managed to get the painting room for the weekend of the 19th and 20th and we had a good session painting a model. It was great to get actual paints out - rather than pastels- and have enough hours to finish. Unless I am painting something small, outdoors, there is no way I can complete a painting in two hours. As usual, I was painting with acrylics on canvas. We had our lovely model in a replica ballgown, kindly supplied by Sharon. It made a good subject. From my position, a couldn't see very much of the skirt, so I just did head and shoulders. Since then, not much in painting - but I did "create" Christmas dinner - and there is a whole year ahead!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I put Happy Holidays on my cards this year because it can apply to everyone - no matter what their religion. This year, the transit buses flash Happy Holidays in between telling their destinations. It makes a happy greeting when a person is out driving.
This year I used "Towers, Cesky Krumlov" on my cards. There is the clock tower from the castle and a church tower down below. Memories of last years "happy holiday".

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Here we go again-

This should show "Homeward Bound" this time. Well,last blog, I clicked on "show image", uploaded the image and it would have published to the post once I clicked "done" -only "done" did not show up to be clicked. This is a Mac and it usually works "tickedy-boo" as people used to say. Every now and then it doesn't - as you can tell from past posts. My theory is that computers have moods and some just "don't wanna.."

Paintings at Steveston

The Richmond Artists Guild was invited to display paintings in MLA John Yap's office in Steveston -right around the corner from Starbucks. Some paintings are on the Olympic sports theme while others are of Steveston and Finn Slough. Each one is by a different artist but they all work together very well and quite bring the office walls to life. Parking can be dicey in Steveston, but I got lucky and parked right outside the office - a good thing, since I had a four-foot ladder in the car for our hanging job. I took a little 24' x 12" acrylic on canvas painting called "Homeward Bound" so it would fit a little wall. It is a fishboat heading back up the Fraser River. It is a nice opportunity to show works- and we are hoping that we will be invited to continue with different shows.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another day, another drawing

Today was drawing at Gail's and we had Helene for a model. She has such a twinkle in her eyes. I love her curly hair and had fun with hair in my pastel drawing. Well, I call it a drawing but some people refer to these more finished pieces as pastel *paintings*. We were talking a bit about modelling and how some people think it is easy -"just sit". However, holding a pose is not that simple and getting back into the same position, after a break, requires a real sense of presence. Also, there is a rapport between the model and the artist or artists. Helene said that the model has to be in the present moment. If she is modelling for a class, she will adjust her poses to the points that the instructor is teaching. We got the lighting just right and all the results turned out well. Of course, each artist has his or her own style so there were individual interpretations. I love drawing people and am definitely interested in doing portraits - should the opportunity arise. Some artists do a lot of obvious measuring. I used to - but quite often I just "eyeball" it - comparing shapes to shapes as I block it in - maybe it is a bit looser that way?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Milford in costume

Today was a good drawing day. We had Milford in a costume he had created. He looked somewhat like a cavalier. He is a very creative guy - has been both a boxer and a dancer, had a radio show, does creative designs- and today, made a terrific subject. After ten warm-up drawings, we spent the rest of the session on the one pose - with breaks, of course. I had fun again with my bigger box of conte' crayons. I thought the face turned out especially well. Maybe, when some other projects are out of the way, I will do an acrylic painting.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lots of Activity!

The "artist's life" has been very busy lately. A group of us from Life Drawing has been over at Richmond Oval sketching the Canadian Speed-Skating Team. The plan is to produce some finished work that will be juried to make a selection for display during the Olympics. When we do our life drawing, our short "warm-up" poses are one minute. *One second* is more like a speed-skating sketch - so it is a real challenge to get the angle and gesture and feel of it all. Interestingly, after drawing at the Oval, we had a regular drawing session and the one and two minute poses seemed to give a person all the time in the world to draw! Then, we were given the lower hallway at the Cultural Centre to display paintings, so that was fun getting the chains hanging at the right levels. My painting "Rendezvous" is hanging there. Also, we have had meetings to organize our website and it is now up and running- -and for anyone wanting the Multifaith Calendar for 2010 - go to

Monday, October 5, 2009

Here is the painting-

This is supposed to have been added to the post....

2010 Multifaith Calendar

The 2010 Multifaith Calendar is out! "Enduring" is the painting for the month of June and I was able to borrow the painting back from Richmond Hospital Foundation for the launch.This painting was originally done for the Richmond Art Gallery's themed juried show "Changing City". I thought it would be interesting to twist the idea to something that had *not* changed. I especially liked the Murakami garden because it was not at all what you would first expect. This is the artist statement from that exhibition "My painting is called "enduring" because it is about something that has lasted, rather than changed. The Japanese words for Murakami, "garden", "enduring" and "living history" are carved into the textured fence posts while English written words are hidden throughout the painting. I have painted this garden before because it is an expression of a free-spirited woman making her statement. I thought a re-interpretation would show that some things carry on. I wanted to celebrate a piece of living history that continues while change occurs around it." The calendar is really lovely and it was nice to meet some of the other artists. It is possible to buy the calendar online at

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy Weekend-

This Saturday is the Artists for Animals auction for the Kensington Foundation. It will be at the Cambrian Hall 215 E.17th Avenue, Vancouver with the viewing starting at 11:30. I have donated paintings from my Iconic Edibles series. A catalog and more details are at the Kensington Foundation's website.
Sunday is the Calendar Launch for 2010 Multifaith Calendar. It is from 2-4 pm at St.Andrew's Theological College, U.B.C. There will be refreshments and local artists will be there with their art. I am borrowing back "Enduring" from Richmond Hospital. This art calendar is very popular as it shows religious holidays for all different religions. The little cat, "Streetwise", is here because I just recently made some changes to it - one thing I like about acrylics. I decided a bit of palette-knife work could add to the fur and give the painting more life. This is a cat who meows in French.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A new box of colours!

Most people remember the beginning of a school year and the excitement of a new box of crayons. For artists, this excitement doesn't end with the end of school years. Every new tube of paint, different pen or new media is a fresh thrill. I just got a new box of 48 colours of conte' crayons. I often draw quick poses at Life Drawing in sepia or black conte' and I've used some other colours for long poses. However, this is my very first box of 48 colours. It came in the mail and when I opened up the package, the colours were so enticing I felt like licking the plastic cover! Conte' is a hard pastel, rather than a soft pastel - so not so crumbly but still very nice to work with. You can blend it and layer it to build up colours. Last night, Iva posed in a costume from Bohemia. I did a 30-minute colour sketch on black paper. Why black? Well, I was at the end of one assorted pad and down to four black sheets so felt I *should* use at least one before getting a new pad. When I started, I was afraid I'd made a mistake using the black - but decided to take a "what the heck" approach and charge ahead. It was only one sheet of paper and thirty minutes of time. As I progressed,it started to turn into fun and I ended up reasonably pleased... although I must say not a great resemblance to Iva who looks much plumper than in real life. A couple of more assorted sheets plus at least one more black and then I'll open the new pad of coloured pastel paper for fresh excitement!

Monday, August 31, 2009


The new issue of the Federation of Canadian Artist's magazine, Art Avenue, is now out and my painting, Spices, is in it on the page about Summer Gallery. This was a fun painting as it is quite textured. I also did a lot of glazing to build up those wonderful "spicy" colours. Anyway- nice to see it - even if they did misspell my name. So many people feel they need to "correct" the spelling - but I *am* a one-R Loraine. My mother gave me three names - two grandmother's and one just for me (Loraine) so she felt she had to eliminate something. I'm glad she did- it is a little different- but I do wish other people would spell my name in my way!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Missing sketch-

Here is the water-soluble graphite sketch that was supposed to go with the last post. Just when I think I'm honing my technological skills, my program starts balking at adding the images! ...anyway, this Helene in an 8 by 11 sketchbook at our Life Drawing summer party...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Water-soluble graphite pencils

Last night was Life Drawing and for this group, I'm working in a sketchbook - sometimes with ink but mostly with water-soluble graphite pencils. With them, a person draws - and erases- as with a regular pencil. Then, with a brush dipped in plain water, the drawing is "fixed"and also blends so that shadows become washes. It works very nicely as it involves carrying a light load on supplies. Now, one sketchbook is completed. On the reading front, I am now into volume two of the Matisse biography - Matisse the Master- up to page 173 and WWI has begun.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More on Matisse

I think if I wasn't an artist, I might be a reference librarian. I love pursuing "leads" that crop up in my reading- and the Matisse biographies offer so many leads. Take Simon Bussy - artist friend - and connected to the Bloomsbury group. The Humbert scandal came after the government dealt with the Dreyfus affair. Matisse's move to a former convent ties in to the government reclaiming property and separating church and state. Student Marie Vassilieff had a canteen for penniless artists - and so on. Where would we be without Google?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One volume down...

I've finished (423 pages) volume one of the Matisse biography. To give credit where credit is due, it is The Unknown Matisse by Hilary Spurling. It really is a vivid text that gives such insight into life of the times. It would seem that Matisse has been mis-portrayed quite a bit- possibly due to Picasso and Gertrude Stein. Somewhat unsporting of Picasso as Matisse was supportive of him - as he was of many young artists- when he was getting his start. Now onto Matisse the Master - which was the book that began this reading episode for me. A gift from a good friend, I was about 100 pages into it when I realized I owed it to myself to read the first volume first- so now I am back at the beginning of this second volume - but with a much better background understanding! The latest issue of UBC alumni magazine mentions my painting "Mrs.Sakata's Garden" as in a previous blog. The same volume has a nice article about one of my former teachers - Gordon Smith. One of the things I most remember him saying was that it was important to be *sincere* in one's art work- as well as to not be "slick".

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blogging and other

I'm thinking of a number of things. I'm reading a biography of Matisse and finding it interesting that there was such camaraderie among the artists of the time. Also, so much public interest and comment about what was painted and shown. At one point, Matisse created a bit of a stir by putting oranges into a still life- apparently a bit of an innovation. I think there is so much art these days, and so many means for people to see it as well as so much in *alternate* entertainment, that almost *everything* has been painted. Oranges are hardly innovative now! It is also interesting to read of Matisse's struggles with his ideas. Sometimes people think painting is easy and relaxing - but, really, a lot of thought goes into it. He also had family stresses besides money shortages. His in-laws had a miserable time after working for Frederic Humbert - sort of a Bernie Maddox of the time- so, at one point, they were accused of being co-conspirators. Interesting insight into the times. I recently saw "Julia and Julie" and enjoyed it for a number of reasons. But, it also made me think about blogging and if I should do it more frequently and if anybody reads it anyway! There are no recipe books to follow for an art count-down and I certainly cannot become a "painting a day" person.For one thing- where would I put them all? - so, I guess I have to limit myself to occasional musings - and I might have more to say about Matisse later. The Summer Gallery Show closes today. "Towers- Cesky Krumlov" was one of my paintings in the show.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oil and Water

Last week I was out in Tsawwassen to "sit" the exhibition - which is a requirement for those juried into the show. (My painting in the show-which is Oil & Water - is "At the Beach") It is an interesting show with a number of good paintings - but only one has sold. I'm still trying to figure out what it is that promotes sales as there were some very reasonable prices there. Next door, at the arena, there was an antiques show. As I went back to my car, I saw some people who had bought a truly hideous - although presumably old- painting. Boring pathway, boring colours, gilt frame and large size. They could have had a pick of something worth hanging - so who knows why that was the purchase?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Gallery

I have works in this year's Summer Gallery at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island. The show consists of a group of artists who have been juried in and the works will be rotated from time to time. It opened June 23rd and runs through August 15th. I am showing mostly European paintings this time. The one on this blog is rooftops of Prague- as seen from up the clock tower. This year a discount is being offered to members of the Federation of Canadian Artists- some of whom are not artists but are supporting members. So - if you are on Granville Island, take a look at the show- a great variety this year... and I hope you like the Rooftops too!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Canvas Unbound

The new show at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island is called "Canvas Unbound" because all the paintings are on canvas and are unframed. Some people like to frame paintings, but I usually don't, anyway. I think they "sit" on a wall in a more modern way without frames - but I guess it depends on a person's taste and decor.

The painting that I had juried into this show is "Pottery Fair" and is just a piece of the pottery fair that we went to in Beroun in the Czech Republic. This fair is held twice a year and potters come from all over and totally fill the town square. We were lucky that the timing of our trip allowed us to attend the fair. The variety was incredible - every colour and every style. My painting is of the works of just one potter. The brightly striped pottery made a great contrast on the cobblestones. It was an interesting and challenging painting to paint!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gateway Theatre Exhibit

Richmond Artists Guild was asked to provide an exhibit of paintings for the lobby of Gateway Theatre. Margreth Fry organized the exhibit. There was a size limit and it was to be one painting per person. The exhibit can be visited when the ticket office is open in the daytime and when there are performances in the evening. The show will probably run for six weeks. I picked "The New Walking Stick" as my entry. I thought it wa suitable for the season with the spring greenery. It is acrylic on canvas and is unframed since it is wrap-around canvas. I'd rather not frame paintings but leave it up to a purchaser to frame or not frame and to choose what suits their decor and other paintings that they may own. I wonder if the man with the walking stick will be walking to a new home when the exhibit finishes?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Excursion to NorthWest Watercolor Society show

On April 28th, a group of us went down to Mercer Island - near Seattle- to the reception for the 69th Annual Open Exhibition and Sale of the NorthWest Watercolor Society. Aided by her GPS, Tanya Bone drove, Gail Arrison helped navigate and Adrienne Moore, Sheila Symington and I were the backseat drivers. Adrienne and Tanya both had paintings accepted in the show and we had the added excitement of Tanya winning the Golden Paints Award.Tanya's painting was in acrylic - which is a water medium. It was her very well-done painting of shovels and a pitchfork that she has seen in an antique store. After crossing the border, we stopped for a terrific lunch in the cafe above the bookstore in Fairhaven, Bellingham and then ventured back on the freeway. As we had arrived in good time, we drove around Mercer Island - partly to see the nice views and lovely homes- but also to find our way to the town centre for coffee. The reception was well-attended and the level of the show was very high. Mike Svob , the juror, presented
the awards.The weather co-operated with sunshine and dry roads - and we baffled the border guard with the fact that five women could be out for a day and not go shopping. Another successful art foray!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Doors Open Richmond

Doors Open is this next weekend - May 2nd and 3rd and it looks like we will have good weather too! I'm celebrating having the window in my painting area now turned into French doors. It is a great improvement in terms of light and I might even move onto the patio to paint in good weather. So, the main effort has been getting things organized so that people can enjoy the visit. I'm making more printed out explanations of painting groupings so it will be interesting to check reactions to them. For instance, I will put the paintings of my Dad's tools on the workbench along with a large plane that he had. Some of the new paintings from the trip cannot be shown as they are scheduled to be at "Cork and Canvas" - and then at Summer Gallery. More news on those events later...
The Doors Open brochure has my painting of part of the Steveston Fleet in it - although, on the brochure, it is just the top part of the painting. Here is the whole thing...
More information on Doors Open is at:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life Drawing

I believe that drawing is the basis for painting - and also that you have to keep in practice. I regularly go to life drawing as the human figure is always a challenge. Also, you can see your mistakes. A tree, drawn a bit "off" may very well look okay- but not so with the figure. Besides the club session in the Art Centre painting room, some of us are in a smaller group that meets Friday mornings either at Adrienne's or at Gail's studios. Our small group has "show and tell" at the end - and we do learn from each other, although we all have our own styles. Coffee break is always interesting. Models are always interesting too. So many are such creative people themselves - musicians, singers, actors, craftspeople, dancers, designers - and even painters.This is a coloured conte' drawing from the "long pose" last Friday. One half hour before the break and then an hour of the same pose afterwards.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Richmond Arts Awards

In a very nice presentation at City Hall last night, Adrienne Moore became the first recipient of the Arts Education Award. We were pleased to be there as she accepted her award honouring her 35 years as a teacher where she inspired countless students, integrated arts programs with Special Needs students and developed a curriculum to integrate arts education in elementary school programs. Beyond her career in the schools, Adrienne donated art for fundraising for Richmond Art Gallery, worked on the advisory committee for Artists Among Us and has done many demonstrations for art groups throughout the Lower Mainland. Adrienne shares her home studio with a number of artists (including me!) in order that they may practice life-drawing in a non-profit group. We all get a lot out of these sessions which have added to our sense of camaraderie as well as keeping up our drawing skills. We were very happy to see Adrienne's contributions recognized. The photo shows Adrienne at the right, along with Margaret Dragu, winner of the Artistic Innovation award.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adrienne's nomination

One of the things I've been busy working on is a nomination for Adrienne Moore in the category of Arts Education for the inaugural Richmond Arts Awards. Margreth, Tanya and I put our heads together and decided to organize the nomination. We wrote up the main nomination, got letters of support and assembled the package in time for the deadline. We've just received the good news that Adrienne is one of the three finalists in her category - so now we just hope for the final announcement to be what we want!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Finn Slough Art Show

The annual Finn Slough Art Show is on this weekend. This non-juried show is always a lot of fun - lots of artists and photographers and lots of different styles- all on one subject- Finn Slough. This historic area of Richmond makes an interesting subject. Some paintings I have painted in other years are now in homes in such places as Calgary and Victoria - and as far afield as Germany. I've painted a new one for this year - with boats almost obscured by lush growth.
The reception is Friday from 7 to 9 pm in the Art Centre Lecture Hall. Refreshments - and come to see the kid's contributions - a great mermaid and a feather-covered swan!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


It is always nice when a painting moves on to a good home. It completes the creative circle to have it out where it can be seen and enjoyed. Somehow, it is special when the painting goes to someone you know. The recently completed "Harmony" is such a painting. The street musicians were just outside the Castle in Prague. I liked the pattern of their black and white clothing and their stances while playing their instruments. They were selling CDs but I omitted that box and just painted the hat. "Harmony" is now happily in a new home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Landscape Show

The latest show at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island is the Landscape Show. This is a really excellent show with interesting subjects, different media and many styles. Some are impressionistic, some almost abstract, an interesting mixed media, imaginative piece - and some terrific realism. I was very happy to be juried into this show with my acrylic on canvas painting of the Nicola Valley- and very pleased that three of drawing group are in the show too - including Tanya who won an award of excellence. We are all striving to get better and better- and, hopefully, succeeding!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cleaning and Re-Shaping Brushes

In the art supply store, I was going to buy a jar of brush re-shaper when Tanya restrained me and said she had learned that milk or yogurt works very well. Well, the money could maybe be better spent on another tube of paint, so I decided to try it. After all, there is always *some* yogurt left when the container is officially empty. So, I had a great brush sort-out and cleaning and went to work with yogurt. I left them all flat to dry. Some brushes were discarded as being beyond useful - even for scumbling but the rest all got the yogurt treatment. Amazing! It works! It was even a bit of fun and my brushes look great and work great.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Circles and Squares"

Finally, the painting that I posted about under "torture" has been finished. I have decided to call it "Circles and Squares" because of the circles of the bicycle wheels and the squares of the cobblestones and windows. It was a lot of work but ended up being a pleasure because it pushed me in a slightly different direction again. So far, people who have seen it, like it - and that is kind of what it is all about - bringing some viewing pleasure to people.