Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cabin Poppy

This little orange gem was well established on the southwest side of our friend's cabin. The colour of the old wood that runs along the base of the building was a perfect backdrop for this hot orange poppy. Hot colours on a hot day... lazy summer weather.
8x10, oil on canvas 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Delph Shadow I

We were out at our friend's cabin on the weekend and he has delphinium growing up against the west facing cabin wall. The angle of the late afternoon sun create some wonderful shadows that contrasted nicely with the weathered white wood exterior of the cabin. Strong blues in the blossoms touching the edges of the grey toned shadows... graphic beauty... interesting patterns.

10x8, oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Pear on Table

Pears have a voluptuous shape... Capturing it in paint can be a challenge, but fun at the same time. Figure drawing classes are excellent for honing ones fruit and produce drawing skills. The human figure has many variations in shape and size, numerous curves and lines that create and give substance to its form... like this pear.
This one was sold last year, but I wanted to post it today.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Three Cyclamen Flowers

I thought that I might post some pieces that I painted and sold before I started my blog. This one is as the title says... three cyclamen flowers. Cyclamen are native to the Mediterranean region from Spain to Iran. The variegated leaves are thought by some botanists to be a form of natural camouflage to reduce grazing damage by animals. Interesting... as each leaf and flower stem grow separately, all rising from the same underground tuber, which has probably evolved to keep the flower safe if a leaf or two are consumed...
They like to be in shade with well drained soil. Even though it can be tricky to keep cyclamen as a house plant, they look wonderful for the few weeks you may be able to keep them alive.
You can always get another one...

18x24, on gallery profile canvas

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Antique Gold

I was on an Iris photo shoot a few weeks ago which took me down into the Riverdale community here in Edmonton. Yellow and white toned lower petals, with whitish grey blue upper petals... it seemed surreal but honestly it was real. Some times nature comes up with some unbelievable combinations of colours... artistic license at it's best.

10x8 oil on canvas 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Casa, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Casa Blanca lilies are spectacular oriental lilies. The fragrant white blooms have rich rust toned pollen that often ends up dropping onto the otherwise pristine petals. Sienna toned powder gently feathered across a few of the petals adds some interest to an otherwise perfect flower...
Crisp white perfection, or rusty accent... beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you purchase fresh casa blanca lilies (or any variety of lily) and some of the pollen falls on your table cloth or gets on your skin or clothing, the first thing to do is take a piece of scotch tape or masking tape, roll it into a loop over your fingers with the sticky side out and gently pick up the pollen with the sticky side, using a quick dabbing motion. This removes most, or sometimes all of the colourful pollen...

8x10 oil on canvas ( needs some drying time)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blue Pollen

Poppies are fascinating flowers. They can be dramatic and outrageous, or soft and delicate...

This orange toned beauty was lounging around in a front garden a couple of blocks down from my studio. She and her companions had taken over the front planter... sprawled over the lip of the brick edging, trying to position themselves so their gorgeous petals could catch the afternoon sun. When I showed up with my camera they all pretended not to notice, but they couldn't stop themselves from moving here and there in the soft breeze, trying to look their best... knowing they were prize specimens. The sun illuminated the silky blue and orange of their petals which led my eye to the tiny bits of dusty blue pollen scattered here and there like bits of cookie crumbs...

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Burnt Orange

Asiatic Lilies come in a variety of colours. My neighbour called to say her orange ones were in bloom so I scooted over for a photo session. Tall strong stems supported magnificent burnt orange blooms with a few black freckles scattered on the petals... multiple beauty marks.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lemon Lime

Even though this is a painting of a calla lily, it was the fresh lemon lime colour that attracted me. The bright summer hue plus the striped area on the base of the spath gives it the look of a Jack-in-the-Pulpit flower... fun and clownish rather than romantic. Some calla personalities are less serious than others.

10x8 oil on canvas (needs a bit of drying time)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sizzle, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Red hot flower spikes seem to sizzle against the orange toned background.

The colour of the blooms is appropriate when one reads about the origin and history of the flower... Gladiolus are native to South Africa with a few species native to Eurasia. The Latin word Gladius means sword and this flower was named for the shape of its leaves. This leaf shape is probably why it is said to have represented the Roman Gladiators, yet I find it difficult to picture the winner of a battle at the Coliseum being handed a bouquet of gladiolus... or perhaps they were placed in a vase in his cell below the arena that was his 'dressing room' adding a little beauty to the decor... Ya, that seems more 'real' to me...

Add some sizzle to your home.

20x16 oil on canvas (needs some time to dry)

Thought it might be fun to show you a photo of how my painting called 'Ivory White', (posted and sold in March) looks in the kitchen of the friend from Calgary who purchased it. We were went for the weekend and delivered it. This painting is 14x14 inches square.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blue Lace II

Here is the second painting of the lacy blue delphinium from our backyard. These two pieces look really good hung together, whether side by side or one above the other... the visual impact of the two creates a graphic effect with an abstract feel.
Blue lace all tangled together in the warm summer breeze, your imagination adding the fine detail of the painterly blooms dancing against weathered wood.

10x8 oil on canvas (needs a bit more drying time)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blue Lace I

The delphinium are blooming in our back garden. Catching a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye, I turned to take a good look at the tiny flowers scattered along the main stems, with more delicate buds dangling off the wispy side shoots. Some of the blooms were open, others just ready to burst, while many were still in the tight bud stage. The gentle breeze was moving the stems just enough to keep everything a bit out of focus, creating a whimsical portrayal of blue lace against the weathered grey wood of the fence.
I painted a mate to this one which I will post on Monday. Simple, painterly tones of blue against grey...

10x8 oil on canvas, (won't take long to dry)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Whipped Cream

More of the beautiful champagne iris...

Back to the same garden where I took the first photos of these luscious specimens, this time more of them had opened and many had matured which seemed to increase the subtle shades of the blossoms. Delicate creamy petals with hints of peach, whipped into soft peaks, decorated with orange pollen perched on anthers like bits of candied orange peel... ready to slide off into the rich chocolate soil.
Dessert anyone?

16x20 inches oil on canvas (needs a little drying time)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hoodoo Beginnings, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

These are future hoodoos... cap stones in place, waiting for mother nature to finish cutting them out of the hillside so they can try standing on their own. The sun was catching the caps and shafts at an interesting angle... while the soft clay at the base looked like it was oozing down the the hill, creating a sticky slippery slope... which is what happens right after a rain.

This is my last hoodoo painting for a while...

8x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hoodoos II

Hoodoo sentinels keeping watch over the eerie badlands. The Blackfoot people who visited this valley believed that this amazing place was sacred and the home of spirits. As a tourist and artist visiting the region I felt there was a unique spiritual feeling to the badlands, especially as the sun was setting, the colours of the rock became more intense and then when the sun had almost disappeared the atmosphere took on a mystical quality.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hoodoo I

On Canada Day we drove south from Edmonton to Drumheller Alberta, to the Badlands region, ( about 1.5 hours N.E. of Calgary) where the World famous Royal Tyrrell Museum is located and these unusual rock formations called HooDoos are part of the eerie landscape.

Looking like petrified mushrooms, (maybe that is why I wanted to drive down there to photograph and paint them...) hoodoos have a protective rock cap which shelters the shaft, deterring them from disintegrating at the same speed as the surrounding sandstone. They are formed by wind and water erosion of sedimentary rocks.
I took reference photos at different times of the day. The changing light quality created and or enhanced the various tones of the rock layers and surrounding landscape.

A number of paintings of the hoodoos and badlands will be showing up on my postings for the next few days, and will be the subject matter from time to time in the future. I want to create some landscape paintings of unusual and interesting subject matter and of course artistic license will have a part in how I represent the various features...
Stay tuned.
10x8 oil on canvas

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Almost Abstract

Peony petals create interesting patterns. Shadows and highlights on this ruffled variety are dramatic and beautiful. A tangled center mass of pink and white swirls and curls... a labyrinth of softness to explore with your eye, or paint brush. Almost an abstract painting...

Please note that my next post will be on Monday, July 6. Today is Canada Day and I am going to enjoy a couple of days off to celebrate a bit longer.
Happy Canada Day!

10x8 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)