Sunday, December 28, 2014

End of the Year-

As promised, last blog, here is the Poppy Path.  I used this on my Christmas card as it is cheerful. Interestingly, a friend in England commented that is was especially suitable as this is the 100th Anniversary of WWI. England had a tremendous poppy commemoration of WWI and the lives lost with artificial poppies "planted" all around the Tower of London. I would have loved to have seen it in person but the Google shots were terrific and a good substitute. My father fought in WWI and fortunately was invalided out before a couple of other horrific battles - or else I wouldn't be here. These poppies are not on a battlefield but are part of Richmond's beautification project- wildflowers planted along the bike path down Railway Avenue. Three of us went out pleinaire painting and I also took some photographs. I've since sold the one painted on the spot but the experience helped when doing this studio painting - which is three feet by four feet and took much longer than a three-hour pleinaire session!  It will be interesting to see if the poppies come up as well next year or if they get crowded out by other plants.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

sort of seasonal greetings-

Here is the rest of the image that got cropped for my December Newsletter. Not such a seasonal picture - although it is a recent one. I was going to put the Poppy Path on the newsletter and then realized that I had already used that one for the September Newsletter!  I'll have to check and see if I used it on a blog - if not, I'll use it next blog. It is the one I used as the main picture on my Christmas card as the poppies are cheerful. Bob is a model - we got him dressed up as a fisherman for this long pose night at Life Drawing. He allowed photographs so I may use both this and my photographs as reference and do an acrylic of Bob - just for fun. He has a really interesting character face and the lighting showed his features well. I like to use pastels for the studio poses as I am not a super-fast painter and I feel I get more done with the pastels. ( This is about two and a half hours work. ) Plus, thin sheets of paper take up less storage room- but I still have the fun and experience of working from a live model. I would love to be a portrait painter. I spray the pastels with fixative before storing them.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thinking about Emily Carr

I've been thinking about Emily Carr lately- for a number of reasons. There are a couple of new books out about Emily - one is for children ages 5 and up called "When Emily Carr met Woo"  by Monica Kulling with illustrations by Dean Griffins. I haven't seen the actual book but the picture in the advertising folder looks like fun. The choice of a monkey for a pet was an unusual one - but then she had a rat pet too- and she certainly was a person who marched to her own drum.  Another new book is "Emily Carr in England " by Kathryn Bridge who "takes a fresh look at the years that Emily Carr spent in England from 1899 to 1904,learning to become an artist" There are humorous illustrations and verses  as well as sketches by Emily herself and photographs. I'll be looking to see this as some of the time spent in England was far from humorous since she had a breakdown and ended up in a sanatorium. I read a novel based on Emily Carr's life - the love for art was captured but the book lost me when a sort-of love interest was added. There was no way that a person of her upbringing and outlook would have been visiting a bit of a vagabond on a boat in Coal Harbour!  I have her own books - Hundreds and Thousands- the Journals of an Artist and Growing Pains: An Autobiogaphy and I've been re-reading them. I had forgotten the bit where  a young Delisle Parker, newly returned from Paris, visited her studio. Later in his life, he was an art critic for a Vancouver newspaper and also taught at Saturday morning classes at the Vancouver Art Gallery. One year, he was my teacher and I remember him as a very dapper man who did not want to get chalk from children's art work on his clothes. We would gather around him as he would point, with his polished shoe, at art work spread on the floor. By that time, paintings by Emily Carr were on the Art Gallery walls.  Her own books really show her dedication to her art. It is really interesting to see the renewed interest in her and the attention  gained by the exhibition of her work at Dulwich Gallery in London.