Monday, May 28, 2018


The model. I was at my niece's high school graduation  two years ago, at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. When the ceremony was done, and we all walked outside, this gorgeous beast of a car [a 1950 Ford coupe]was parked on the street. Thankfully I had my camera, and took several shots.

I first masked out the car, and did several  wet-in-wet gradated washes - a warm pink, a cool pink and several of phthalo blue and indanthrone.

Then I started on the body, using a mixture of phthalo and indanthrone.

Almost all the painting was done wet-in-wet.

Then I started the details. The tail-lights were done with scarlet lake and glazed over with alizarin crimson.

Starting to look like a car.

I think I have the colours and values pretty much where I want them. All I need is a name to put on the licence plate ... any ideas???

Thank you very  much for visiting!

Thursday, May 10, 2018


The view from the site where we were banding hummers.

My neighbour holding one of the birds.

Putting on a very soft restraint.


Preparing a band for the hummingbird, wrapped up on the table below. The bands are very tiny, and applied with what look to be orthodontic pliers.

Colouration of tail feathers is one of the ways to identify sex, and adult versus juvenile bird. C. is showing me the differences.

Using a straw to blow on its neck and belly, to see the skin under the feathers and look for fat deposits [a good thing - indicates enough food] and the presence of parasites.

Last weekend, one of my good neighbours asked if I'd like to watch and help with some hummingbird banding. Both she and her husband are ecologists with Environment Canada. Of course I went!

The banding is done to monitor the health of the bird population. Various measurements are taken - weight, presence of fat deposits, length of beak and wing - as well as collection any urine or feces [the size of a raspberry seed]. These measurements are all used to analyze the birds' well-being, especially with respect to insecticides and anti-fungals that are sprayed on some of the fields growing fruit. All in all, a fascinating morning!!!

Thank you for dropping by!


I tried several different ideas for a background for the truck, and finally decided to put it in front of an old gas station that , once upon a time, was situated in Langley, just off Glover Road. When trying to google map it, I found it had been torn down, so I had to resort to looking for reference photos on the net.

I did a free-hand sketch, traced it behind the car, and ... voila!

Finished the gas station, then decided the truck needed a bit more oomph.  I darkened the tires and undercarriage, glazed over the green of the body, and I do believe it's done. I think I'll have this matted, and show it in a glassine pouch for a show I am in  next month.

Thank you for dropping by!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Photo I took a few years ago at the Country Celebration at Campbell Valley Park [a nearby large pedestrian and equestrian park, sadly threatened with "improvements" by the parks board]
Did a detailed drawing first, but forgot to include it here.
I started with the roof - an aureolin wash, followed [after dry] by new gamboge wash. Shadows on tires done wet in wet  with indanthrone and a bit of quin. violet and quin. burnt orange.

The same primarily indanthrone mixture was used for the car body shadows.

I made up a green with indanthrone and quin. gold for the body colour, and my favourite mix of indanthrone, violet and burnt orange for black [grille and tires].

... carrying on ... more of the same ...

... and still more ...

I am at this stage now, and must admit I am very pleased with it! I still have the interior to do and the lettering  [you can see the pencil marks]. I am at an impasse - trying to figure out exactly what shapes and colours to use for the background. I think it will be scrumbled with more bulk behind the rear of the truck, fading to a finer, smaller area at the front of the car. TO BE CONTINUED ...


Thursday, April 12, 2018


Again, I started with the sky, playing it a bit safer by dropping in the pink and blue, not the orange as well.

 ... then added the orange and more blue, all done wet in wet ...

same procedure and colours  for the land masses ...

... started developing some shadows over the snow, using pink and indanthrone ...

... start the buildings ...

This was the stage I was dreading - doing a soggy wet in wet application on a partly finished painting, to simulate the appearance of distant trees in snow on the far right.

Actually, it didn't turn out badly, and looked much better after the second w/w wash. I also worked more on the ground shadows.

I am here now. It's looking not too bad. Em came out from Vancouver a few days  ago, and gave it a big seal of approval, with the proviso that I add more rocks to the foreground. [Newfoundland is a very rough, rocky, and I would say, bleak part of Canada, but then I live on the cushy west coast].

I almost always put a make-shift mat around the painting to see how it's coming along.

So that is the saga, so far, of the Newfoundland landscape.  While Em was visiting, she told me a few stories about the area - it always makes the painting much more meaningful to me. And I will finish the first attempt as well, and Em can take both of them - one for her brother, and one for her.

Thank you for dropping by!


This was the photo that inspired the painting. It was taken by Em's niece, I believe, and was a wintery view of Dunville,  Newfoundland [Em's birthplace, and home to her family for over two hundred years]. Em wanted me to do a painting for her brother for his birthday.

I also made use of this photo of an Atlantic sunset - for colour only - as  I found the colours in the original photo just not right.

And I was off ... first a wet in wet wash of phthalo  blue, quin. sienna and permanent  rose for the sky ...

 ... some masking out for snow on local hills, then did several glazes of  the pink with some indanthrone and quin. burnt orange...

...started the inlet with pink and sienna ...

... more colour with phthalo blue and indanthrone in the water, and  pink, quin. burnt  orange and indanthrone for the land masses ...

For some reason, at this point, I did not like what I'd done so far. The above image was of the painting as far as I got,  with an earlier colour study on top. I took this photo to send to Em for critique. She loved my colours in the study, but wanted less sky.  I did so, but didn't like the sky in my first attempt. It was a largish painting, and I wasn't keen to start again, but you know me ...

Thank you for dropping by! Stay tuned for Part 2.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I started this last week, as a demo for class in the lifting technique.  I wish I had taken a photo at the earliest stage.
I started by saturating the paper with water. I had decided on a cool palette, and used quin. violet, phthalo green, indanthrone and a touch of aureolin. I made the colours fairly dilute, and dropped them onto the wet paper, and rocked the board to get the colours to blend a bit. I then used a large flat brush to start lifting the colour from the area of the white flowers. When I had a reasonable likeness of the clematis, I let it dry. I went back later, and did a bit more lifting, using a moist brush to wet select spots I wanted to lift further.
When the lifting was finished, I added some leaves, wet in wet, with a mixture of quin. gold and indanthrone to get a soft, more neutral green. And I painted the stems with quin. violet.

I went over the leaves with a mix of phthalo green and quin. gold, leaving random streaks for the veins. I also started working on the shadows of the petals, using a mix of quin. gold and indanthrone.

More shadowing done wet in wet, or by softening applied paint with a damp brush.

 I considered applying a thin wash of gold and indanthrone to the background, but decided that would defeat the purpose of the lifting technique - to create a background that gently integrates with the subject matter. 

This is a quick demo I did in Thursday's class, using the same triad of colours. It shows how a lifted painting looks in the very early stages.

Thank you so much for dropping by!