Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Painting in the Park

When I was a young teenager, I had summer painting lessons in Stanley Park with Peter Aspell. I went downtown on the interurban tram. Since it kept very regular time, it was possible for my friend to get on the same tram at 57th, further along the line. We could have paid (I think a nickel) to transfer to a bus that would have taken us to the entrance to the park, but we usually walked so we could spend that "saved" money on "love comics". We did some oil painting on paper that we treated with gelatine and painted "plein  air" with Peter, who was a well-known painter.  Part of my early art experiences.  All this was before the more organized "Painting in the Park" classes organized by community centres. 
Yesterday, the Men in Hats met at Minoru Chapel for our Tuesday painting session. Several worked in oils or acrylics but I decided to keep it simple and just practice my drawing with a pen and ink drawing. I then added watercolour pencils to it and dampened the paper with pens that hold water in the cartridges. So, it was just a practice session with no outstanding results but a nice time out with friends that resulted in this piece. I need it for a reference for a project I am working on so it will prove useful. So, a different medium and a non-instructional session - but there I am  more than a few years along - still "painting in the park".

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July and "summer doldrums"

     Here is the painting from the Finn Slough show - just because I hadn't posted it before. I have been out with "Men in Hats" but mostly just working in pen and ink and watercolour pencils. Last week, we were out in Burnaby and I went to have a look at the Burnaby Village Museum and the old carousel. The carousel is 103 years old and is now under cover, inside. When it was first there, it was outside ... a bit better for photography, perhaps. I did take a few photos and I may work them into something during the winter but there was no way to set up and paint on site.... so nothing new to show. The carousel used to be out at the PNE  so it is the one I rode on back in my youth. Interestingly, they have given in a new hardwood floor. The wood came from the old B.C. Women's prison gymnasium. An odd combination. Does the wood hold memories? I also wonder what tales the horses of the merry-go-round could tell.
    We went to look at one of the old buildings which was a log cabin where a family of three had lived. There was a loft where maybe the child slept - although the heat would have been from the stove in the downstairs. A galvanized tub hung on the wall for the Saturday night bath. We were talking about that at lunch-time and decided that it was traditional here for the mother to go first but, apparently in other cultures, she may be the last!  When I was in art school, one exam painting was of a model in a bathtub. We were raised up above the model area so we could all look down. It was like something from an Impressionist painting- green-tinted tub, bouquet of lilacs, Persian-style carpet. There was actual water in the tub....not sure what that did to the model's skin after a few hours! The young fellows in the class were quick to volunteer to top up the water with hotter water every now and then. It would be fun to have an old tub now for Life Drawing on occasion - but I think we'd just let the model sit in it dry. Then again, our storage is very limited so we have very few props- and no way to be raised up on risers. Ah, life was fun then.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hycroft show continues

     My "Spices" painting is another one currently showing at Hycroft - shown above and then shown hanging in the hall-gallery with the Rudbeckias, "Ready for the Run" and "Sandpiper Time". Although it is a private club  (for women graduates of universities around the world) and not generally open to the public, you can arrange to see the show by phoning the office at 604-731-4661.
     The reception was well-attended and very nicely done with it all taking place out on the terrace on a beautiful warm evening.
     Right now, the Men in Hats are out plein air painting every Tuesday. There is some really nice work being done - but not by me right now. I haven't really "clicked" on anything. One time I was not happy with my acrylics drying up so quickly - so I just played with pen and ink and watercolour pencils last time. The results were not great! Still- there is the need to persevere and try to accomplish something worthwhile. It is nice just to be out with the group, talk art over lunch, and be in the fresh air. We are fortunate to have such a number of places where we can go to paint.