Monday, December 14, 2009

Here is a another painting from a long ago memory. I have never forgotten the elderly lady who I once knew as Auntie Polly, she lived up the street from from us in a tiny,tidy little house. I was eight years old when she was put into some sort of care home in 1964 and I had been visiting her regularly since I was 5, in those days we roamed the neighbourhood freely! I could not pass by her house without her calling out to give me a candy or cookie or an invitation for tea. She was a tiny,wee woman, not much bigger than me or so it seemed. I have painted her waving to me, with her hand in her apron pocket ready to pull out a goody. My dog, Skipper, a beagle, is with me, sadly Skipper was run over by another neighbour only yards away from this scene when I was 5 years old and later buried under our pear tree.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mr. Wilson and his Boston Terriers sold today!

Another Cadmium Red Letter day, Mr. Wilson and his dogs sold today and I can't help but feel encouraged!There is not much feedback here from the general populace however friends  are good to bounce ideas off.  It is interesting to discover the tastes and preferences of a cross spectrum of people. Some like an impressionistic work, others a seascape, historical, figurative, or realism, etc. The genres are many and there are many people , in any event I am painting what I want to paint and there shall be no slabs of beef  a la Damien Hirst, no Basquuiet sqiggly dollops ( well maybe ) certainly no Duccio! In short I will paint what I damn well please and break as many rules as I can, heh heh, like I did today. I LOWERED a price on a painting for the person who wanted to buy it (by only 15 $) apparently one is NOT to do this, meh, I do this for people on fixed incomes, or low income. I think everyone should have a piece of art even if it takes  them some time to to pay for it on the installment plan. I am just so happy the piece spoke to someone enough for them to want it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Wilson and his Boston Terriers

This painting, Mr. Wilson and his Boston Terriers, is taken from a childhood memory. As a child I was fascinated by Mr. Wilson whom I did not know, he lived up the street from us and had the two terriers which I loved to see. He also had a massive goiter which was also an endless and morbid fascination for me. I have painted him walking past our house on a windy day in early Spring. I am enjoying dipping into the past to try and remember scenes that embedded themselves in my mind. Somehow I just didn't feel good about painting the goiter so I left it out. I like to think Mr. Wilson would have approved.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We had more visitors to our gallery on the Artwalk than I would have expected! Janet sold a painting and quite a few cards so we were happy with the interest.  It was good to have a  chance to talk about painting and the paintings with people who were interested enough to come out on a Friday night in River City for an Art experience! I had some nice feedback, seems some prefer my naive paintings, sort of dreamscapes like the Red Road, I have to admit I did enjoy painting them very much! I started another painting yesterday from an old memory that goes back to my childhood, Mr.Wilson walking past our house with his Boston Terriers, I don't know why I felt the need to paint this but I am, Hubby thinks the painting looks very funny, he thought the man was walking two, black ducks! Last week I worked on my clear cut painting and reworked an earlier version of the mission church at Sliammon, I was very pleased with the result as it pops out now and the contrast with the uninhabitated Harwood Island which I painted in many layers of blue and green ending up as teal worked well as a backdrop. I have never seen this church (the Sacred Heart) painted from the back side like this, artists seem to prefer the front view as it is appealingly picturesque. I like the idea of spirituality through the back door, it seems the indigenous people still use Harwood Island as a spiritual retreat.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Another busy day getting ready for the ArtWalk tomorrow, our gallery toilet blew a foo and Janet came back after lunch to find water all over the floor etc.! Good thing it was today instead of tomorrow! Duco came to our rescue and sucked up the water with bissell and replace the toilet innards, thanks sweetie!

  Most of my friends know that I like to cook, I just don't like processed  foods that factories prepare, they don't smell right or look right to me. In anticipation of tomorrow nights gala event I have baked shortbread and blackberry tarts, I took some pictures of them and to me they look sort of pop artish, more food for painting!

Monday, November 23, 2009

First snow across the sea on Vancouver Island

I have started a new painting which I hope to have finshed by Friday.

Last weekend the first big snow storm hit Vancouver Island, the mountains were dusted with snow. The fresh snow revealed the many clear cuts of forest dotting the landscape; they look to me like white handkerchives draped on the mountainsides by some unseen hand. I am always intrigued by square things in nature, not that there is anything natural about clear cut forests, however these white squares laying there in the grey landscape with the Salish Sea in the foreground have a stark freshness that pleases my eye. I am still working out the tone of this painting, colour keeps seeping in to what was started as a study in greys and white.
  Friday night is the local Art Walk here with 7 venues on the main drag or High Street if you will. Our little gallery/studio is on this tour. The 5th Avenue Gallery is where my friend Janet and I paint most days. We have rented this space since July and have had some very productive weeks of work. It is in an old building that was a local barbershop for about 35 years, long and narrow the way a gallery should be, ours has high ceilings and high north windows, perfect. Sad to say we will probably have to leave it come January as we have given away more paintings than we have sold! Organizations seem to think artists are very happy to continuously donate paintings, we don't like to disabuse them of the notion and usually give them something, they are always so happy walking out the door with 500.00 of art!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cadmium Red letter day

Wow, today was a day most artists hope for, even if it doesn't seem very significant in the larger realm. I sold a painting, my first, funny thing is; 9 months have passed since I discovered painting! So I am chuffed and will tell you a bit about the work, Church at Sliammon. This church is a mission church not far from where I live, the original burned down about 1907 or there about and this one was built in it's stead. It is the church of the Sacred Heart and is located on the shore of the 1st Nation reserve of the Sliammon people. When Janet and I went picnicking there this summer some ravens and 2 bald eagles moved in on us, I told Janet they were checking us out because they didn't recognize us, they sure kept a close eye on us. We sketched and took photo's of the brilliant,, blue summer day.I submitted this painting to the Malaspina Art Society for their 2010 calendar and it was accepted and is now the month of March, I was pleasantly surprised at that too. A painting has fledged as it were and is leaving the nest, DonZ is :)... Oh I forgot to mention the little surprise in this painting. In the alcove of the church stands the Jesus figure, he is holding up his hand giving the benediction or genuflecting or whatever he is doing with two outstretched fingers but in my painting he is giving 2 thumbs up, just a slight change and one I hope he just might have approved of, it was fun to paint.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Red Road

I have posted one of my earliest paintings titled the RED ROAD. When I first began painting most of my work was what I would call folk art. I love the work of Maud Lewis and Grandma Moses, there is such an honest quality to their work that I am immediately drawn to it. I don't really enjoy slick art, I am not keen on realism or photo like paintings, this is why we have cameras methinks. The Impressionists impress me, the looseness of composition, the slashing brushwork, the riot of colour is what I find appealing. At the time I didn't know where the "red road" came from but it was a lot of fun to paint because of the freedom I gave myself to paint from my imagination. For some unknowable reason I now think this painting is a genetic memory or perhaps a daydream of my great grandmothers house on Cape Breton Island, I have never been there but I think Maggie would have liked this painting and would have encouraged me to continue. From what I have heard about her she was a loving, amusing, giving soul, she had a good sense of humor and loved to tell stories about her youth. I would have loved to have visited her and walked up the "red road" and into her arms!

About painting

I discovered painting last March after a couple of weeks of uninterrupted fog that had me housebound and stir crazy! My first clumsy attempt with an old canvas, 5 colours of paint and some fuzzy old paint brushes was satisfying enough to get me hooked and I have not stopped since! I have now painted about 30 or so canvases in 9 months. I love squeezing the colour from the tubes, I love the blank canvas staring at me and daring me to unveil the image! I now have a wide range of acrylic paints but of course long for more, they are not readily available here although I could order on-line if I had an unlimited supply of cash.
I have painted quite a few seascapes, I live on the edge of the Salish Sea so the first thing I see when I get up is the ocean. Lighthouses interest me and of course boats of all kinds, I think I could paint water for the rest of my life and never tire of it. I also like to paint landscapes, especially mountains of which there are plenty around here. The magnificent Mount Denman is a delicious subject, I have painted it 3 times and will probably paint it again and again. Last week I painted the last in a series of 3 prarie paintings, I love how the Rockies suddenly appear and knowing I am almost home! I love the patchwork fields and the fantastic yellow fields of canola flowers, natures cadmium yellow feast! Oh and did I mention the vastness of the prarie sky, blue and blue and billowing, pillowy clouds, I could stare at it all day if I had all day to stare!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

first blog

Now that I am here writing in cyberspace I have no idea of what to say. It is late and I have to get up early to help chop veggies for the community dinner. But I'll be BACK!