Friday, December 27, 2013

Back to Painting What I LOVE

FUN in the snow

All the family dogs had a good Christmas, too

Sketch I am getting ready for one of my sister's birthday - Denise, the Boxer lover
Her birthday is Dec. 30.

First washes of a new painting I have started - tug boats on the foggy B.C. coast.
Started with some cobalt blue, and w/w washes of grey. 

After several more washes, I finally have the mask off, and have started the tugs.

Well, it's been a month of changes - all good. My winter/pre-Christmas gloom lifted around mid-December. I swear I notice the days getting longer already, and I am noticing buds opening!!! I decided to leave the cooperative gallery. I had initially thought to give the enterprise six months, till Christmas. Time came up, and I was not happy there [for several reasons]. It must be the right decision for me because I feel great! I entered three paintings in one of the Federation of Canadian Artists juried shows, and all three were accepted. And I had a wonderful Christmas Day with my family.
It is teeming rain today - back to normal Vancouver winter weather, and even that is welcome. I'll pack up Twilight [the dog I am sitting for a friend] and head into Vancouver to pick up my things from the gallery, and do some family visiting.

Thank you for dropping by!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Cards and a Lovely Dog Rescue Story

I haven't started anything new for a while, after finishing the dog portrait. She will be delivered this week, in time for Christmas.
The owner told me the story of how they got her. The story brought tears to my eyes. Her son works for a local rehabilitation program. The pup was well cared for, and had been living in a homeless man's back-pack. The man wanted to enter a drug rehabilitation program, but no dogs were permitted in the rehab. house. So the son asked his parents [the artist I know] if they could keep her for a while. They brought her home, and she instantly wandered over to the husband, and leaned into his leg for support and comfort. The two have been inseparable since then.

Roxie, finished! If I touch this any more, I will ruin it. :)

Thank you for dropping by!!! Your comments are always welcome. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Miss Roxie

Since the last post, I added some more shadow to her face ...

 ... then darkened the entire background with a thin black mixture, to make her stand out. I found I had to glaze her all over several times with the quin. burnt orange to get the proper depth to her coat. And then I worked on the details of her face. All that is left is to show her to her owner for approval.

If you or any one you know would love a portrait of their pet, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for dropping by, and all your comments are most welcome! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Roxie Is Off and Running ... but ... She May Be Walking Soon ...

Another drawing/pose I did

Background was painted w/w with aureolin and quin. burnt orange

Then I got into some scrumbling with the orange, and mixtures of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.
I used all those same colors for her as well.

I added more shadowing with a dark brown mixture applied thinly, and  I will continue that way till I achieve the proper depth.

When I started this portrait, I thought it would hum along smoothly. But I am finding that getting the correct colors for shadows is a bit difficult. Still, I hope to finish this week, and that Roxie's mom likes it. She is more of a cool/blue type of person. I'm the one who likes warm. But I think the dog demanded warm colors, so ...

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Two New Christmas Cards ... and ... Third Time Lucky

12 x 8 in.
31 x 21.5 cm.

9.5 x 11.5 in.
24 x 29 cm.
This is the third time I have painted this in three days. That''s where the "third time lucky comes in ...

These are two other cards I have made up for Christmas. I approached a few of the local tack [horse riding equipment] stores, and one has bought a dozen, and wants more of the horsey cards.
They are printed on a high-quality watercolor-like paper, with matching envelope. I am offering them for $4.50 each or 5 for $17.50. The shipping will be $.50 to the States, and $1.00 to Europe. If you are interested, please leave me a note. The funds are all safely handled through paypal.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pups in Progress ... or ... One Out of Two ...

I've done more with puggy - strengthening color intensities, and working on the eye ... 

... laying down a road-map of her dark colors, and starting the butterfly.

I LOVE the eye in this, but ...
I think the overall proportions are wrong. She seems to need more space above and in front of her face. She does have a thick neck [I believe there must be some labrador in her] but it looks wrong here. And I am not overly fond of the background colors. I used alizarin crimson instead of my usual quin. violet and it looks too bright. A duller, darker background would be an improvement.

It was a typical Vancouver-type winter day yesterday - rained hard all day. So other than running a few errands [delivering froggy Christmas cards, grocery shopping, library ...] I painted all day. Sometimes when I get into a long period of painting like that, I lose some focus. It looks like that happened to Roxie. I am going to have to change her neck somehow, and paint her in a different format. If you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know!

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are most welcome!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


This is Tweedles. She and her moms write an absolutely delightful blog. Recently, Tweedles had two major surgeries, and is still recuperating. Her moms have had a very difficult time, so I thought a painting of their sweetie would make things a bit easier.

reference photo for color


So far ...
This is Roxie. She belongs to another of the artists at the gallery. Roxie's mom was hoping I could get a portrait done to give to her husband for a Christmas gift. I think I can do it!!!

Thank you for visiting!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's SUNNY, So I Could Get Some Decent Photos ... or ... Yes, Same Old

It is gloriously sunny, so I was able to get good photos, showing the colors much more as they are.
This is Cindy. She was my horse vet's Mexican-rescue dog. Sadly, she developed myasthenia gravis [neurological disorder] and had to be euthanized early this week. Mario is devastated - he is such a sweet, kind soul. When I spoke with his wife, she told me he was desperately looking for photos of Cindy. I have a few on my computer I will give him, and I did this yesterday to give Mario as well, though his wife said he will probably cry. It really is so hard when one of our animal friends passes on.

These are the two portraits I did of Cindy a few years ago. Mario and Juanita have this one hanging in their bedroom.

Thank you so much for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pooking Along ...

I added a foreground, first with a w/w wash of phthalo green mixed with sienna and indanthrone, with some quin. gold in spots ... 

... then I felt I had to darken the entire painting, so I did two w/w variegated washes   using cobalt blue, quin. coral and quin. sienna. I stayed away from the focal area of the sun with the colors. 

I added some mid-ground trees and a fence line, and I am calling it DONE.  You all know I am not much for painting landscapes, but this very ethereal, foggy scene does appeal to me. Might do more ...

This is a portrait of another blogging buddy. Her name is Tweedles, and she is the cutest pug, who writes about her adventures visiting Mother Nature. Miss T. recently had two major surgeries, and she and her moms have been through a very rough time. I thought, as they love my work, I would send a portrait of The Tweedles to them to cheer them up. I was introduced to Miss T. by another good blog friend, Suzanne Berry. She paints exquisite oils [including pugs], and is truly weird and wonderful! Take a visit ... suzanneberry.blogspot.com

And this cutie is Roxie. She belongs to one of the artists - a jewelry maker - at my cooperative gallery. Linda has commissioned a portrait for her husband for Christmas [hopefully].

Thank you so much for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another Run at a Landscape ... or ... If at First You Don't Succeed ...

Boy, this painting looks so stark on this page! I did several washes of thin aureolin, quin. coral and pink,  and cobalt blue to get the background sunrise. Then I started doing some thin washes of the coral and blue, with quin. siena to paint the distant tree-line.

I then did more w/w along the bottom of the trees at the horizon to suggest fog. Again I used coral, siena and blue.

At this stage, I extended the line of water all along the bottom, and dropped in some of the coral/siena/blue mixture, with a lot more blue. Before I did that, I lifted some lines to suggest sunlight coming through the trees and fog.
NOW to tackle the foreground!

Thank you for dropping by, and all your comments are most welcome!

Progress on My Make-Work Project ... or ... Let's Break Some Rules ...

I really could not get the shadowed petals dark enough for my liking, so ...

... I decided to glaze them with the same black I had used for the background.  Unfortunately, I took the photo at night, under studio lighting, and the colors are way off.

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Feature Friday


Carrie Waller, a superb American watercolor painter, has written an article on her blog about me and my art. I warmly invite you to take a look, find out more about my art, and view some of Carrie's beautiful work. We met on blogger, and have been following each others work for several years. Thank you so much, Carrie!

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Quick Update ...

So far, still glazing and glazing to get the dark red shadows - it's a bit scary painting on the intense reds, but when I step away from the painting it looks all right from a distance. So I'll continue with the dahlia. The background is NOT dark yellow, but when I adjusted the warmth to show off the petals, the black came out this color. 

Miss Betty

These are two free-hand drawings I did, last night and this morning, for my niece. Last week, their little pug crossed over the rainbow bridge, and Paulina wanted a momento of Betty. She was a funny little bug, and I know the family will miss her. 

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Two Different Christmas Cards ...

Here are two images I am making into cards for the gallery. I apologize - I've had to place a watermark on them, as they are soooo cute, and I've had an instance of what I believe was some copying of one of my florals. 
The cards are $4.50 Cdn, with $1.00 shipping, or 5 cards for $20.00.
Please leave a note if you are interested.

To order cards, please follow the green link that says "GALLERY AT THE FARM" on the upper left of the blog ...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Am I Out-Horsed with This Painting???

I started off with some glazes of a cool orange and aureolin on the petals.

Then I decided I needed to mask to get an even background. BOY!!! Did I ever need the masking!
This is after two washes - aureolin and burnt orange, then thin burnt orange and  quin. violet.

Ultimately, I had to do about five washes of black. As the brush was leaving faint streaks, regardless of how gentle I was, the last wash I applied on sprayed- wet paper, and did it much like a pouring. That technique gave me a smooth black background. Now I am going over some of the petals with a thin violet glaze for shadows. It's about ready for some intense yellows and oranges now.
The size is 13 x 19 inches.

Reference photo
I was coming home from the library one summer evening, and these glorious dahlias caught my eye. I had to stop, ask the home-owner's permission,  and take some photos.

Thank you so much for dropping by! Your comments are most welcome.