Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunshine Yellow, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

A friend gave us some lily bulbs a few years ago and they never did much in our back yard garden, so last fall I moved some of them to the front lawn garden to see if they would develop better blooms. By chance, it seems that I transplanted all bright yellow asiatic lilies. Sunshine yellow petals curled at the tips and dotted with a profusion of black freckles. Happy little faces all clustered together in one patch of garden, smiling at everyone who walks by.

10x8 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Double Holly, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I know that in a previous posting I mentioned that it was difficult to find hollyhocks in the Highlands, here in Edmonton, but just like when you purchase a new car, or are thinking about a certain make and model... they start to show up everywhere... hollyhocks have been popping up everywhere I turn. This makes me very happy because a number of my collectors have been requesting more hollyhock paintings, so I needed more reference material.

Hollyhocks are fun flowers to paint. Here is my visual take on them... swatches of silk fabric gathered into a circle with nips and tucks creating wonderful crinkles and creases... fluttering in the breeze while their backsides are pinned to thick felt stalks. Glowing whitish toned centers are highlighted by a cute little bulbous nose disguised by fuzzy bits of pollen... beacons, beckoning to passing bumble bees. Who could resist?
Flowers add beauty to any decor.

10x8 oil on canvas

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tudor Red, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Tudor Red is the name I gave this lily from my garden, because when I was painting it my mind drifted to the T.V. series called The Tudors and the third and final season coming this fall.

Mixing the rich jewel tones for the petals conjured up visions of luxurious fabrics... silk, velvet, brocade... which led to daydreaming about the gorgeous costumes worn by the cast of the show. I am not sure when the Series begins again this fall, but when it starts I highly recommend you take a peek at the visual feast that will be laid before you on the screen.

This red lily would be right at home on the set... until someone lopped off it's head.

 8x10 oil on canvas 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pepper Bowl

I painted this 12x12 on hard board today. A completely different feel when applying the paint compared to using canvas... it felt like painting on satin... I liked the experience, so I may pop a few hardboard supports here and there in my blog postings. This one will need to be framed and I have a 12x12 black frame with antiqued, rubbed edges that looks nice with this one. So you could purchase it framed from me or as is and frame it yourself with a ready made of your choice or have it professionally done. Once the painting is dry (if not already sold) I will place it in the frame and take a photo to show you what it looks like.

The red peppers and teal green blue tone of the bowl and background are complementary colours on the Munsell colour wheel... I like the vibrancy.

12x12 oil on board (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Butterscotch, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I realized that I had one more rudbeckia painting to post. Every few days I have been heading down the street to take more photos of the fabulous rudbeckia flowers planted beside an office along 112 street here in the Highlands. With winters being so long in Edmonton, an artist requires numerous reference photos for painting inspiration. Like a squirrel storing away nuts for the long cold days and nights to come, you will see me, camera in hand, scurrying around the neighbourhood gathering fodder to feed my creative needs over the winter...

8x10 oil on canvas (almost dry enough for you to take home and warm up your walls for the winter)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Orange Zest

Hot, fresh Zinnias... twists of orange peel... next to the exterior wall, warmed by the sun. You can almost smell the fresh citrus scent.

8x10 oil on canvas 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zinnia Shadow, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Zinnias come in a few different shapes... this variety with long finger like petals creates interesting shadows at certain times of the day. Morning and late afternoon sun angles produce the most interesting photos for painting. The intense light shining on the flower creates depth within the blossom... plus shadows splashed against a solid backdrop provide drama. Deep rich colours are enhanced in this light, highlights have a unique shimmer, and the flower 's design with all it's bends, twists and curls stands out... waiting to be appreciated.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zany Zinnia, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Walking by a friend's home yesterday I just happened to glance back over my shoulder to her side garden and there standing tall and sturdy were a row of vibrant, hot coloured zinnias! I love zinnias, but for some reason I keep forgetting to plant them. These exotic specimens had the morning sun radiating from their petals, creating colours within colours. Hot pink, electric orange, and neon lavender blooms, each topped off with a cupcake shaped center, covered in animated swirls, curls, spikes and dollops of vivd icing.
Zany Zinnias on a warm summer day.

9x12 oil on canvas 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Red Lily

Last week I posted a different red lily. This one is from another lovely garden in the Highlands. Rusty, orange red petals that curled back catching the light, creating touches of a blue shimmer with a bit of lime green in the throat. But what caught my eye were the stamens. The curled petals accentuated the graceful length of the filaments topped by fuzzy pollen filled anthers... almost comical... and yet etherial at the same time. The bits of pollen glowed like flecks of gold dust in the morning sun... fuzzy sparkling beacons for fat bumble bees looking for a morning cup of nectar to kick start their day.

9x12 oil on canvas (almost dry enough to take home)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blue Shimmer, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I had an email from someone who lives in the Highlands (and subscribes to my blog), to come by and see the fabulous lilies blooming in her backyard. Never one to refuse a chance to photograph flowers, I took off my painting apron and headed over. Amongst the numerous gorgeous specimens she had growing was a red lily that was not open yet. I went back yesterday morning when the sun was out hoping to snap some shots of a few more beauties that were not blooming the other afternoon. The newly opened red lily, with a lime green throat, had the morning sun glistening off the rich jewel toned petals revealing more than red.
What looked like red actually showed up as tones of rich red, touches of orange, and streaks of rust accented with shimmers of blue where the light bounced off the petals. Colours within colours...
This one is a different size.

9x12 oil on canvas

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hollyhock II, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Hollyhocks are a versatile plant. They can be grown from zone 2 to 10 (Edmonton is usually considered a zone 3), so you can see them growing over most of Canada. Their strong tall stocks rarely need staking which makes them a good choice for the back of a garden, along a fence or against a building. If you remember to deadhead them (take off the spent blooms) they will continue to flower till the end of the season, but leave a few flowers to turn into the fun button shaped seed pods (I did not paint any of these seed pods in the 2 paintings, but will in the next one) so that you will have some plants the next year. Although hollyhocks self seed and tolerate pretty much any soil conditions, and weather (they especially like the heat) they maybe sporadic visitors to your garden. So don't be surprised if they show up every 2 years or so... be patient, because unless you have dug up the seeds, they should pop up sooner or later.

10x8 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hollyhock I, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Yesterday, in the morning, I was out for my usual walk and photo shoot in my neighbourhood. During my walk down a back alley I spotted some lovely flowers in a back garden and noticed the owner was in her backyard... camera in hand I asked if I could come in and snap a few reference photos of her flowers. She was kind enough to oblige my request and amongst the treasure I found were these hollyhocks growing along the side fence. Hollyhocks seem to be difficult to find this summer... so far this is one of three locations I have discovered in the Highlands. Mind you I have not viewed everyones back or front yards...

Artistic license allows me to enhance any part of a painting I wish to... this time I intensified the colour... (I have a photo of this colour from another house) but the flowers are from the lovely garden of the house I just mentioned. This home is one I have always admired here in the Highlands. Whenever my husband and I walk by this quaint home, I always comment how much I like it... and when I walk by it on my own, I comment and admire it with my inside voice.

10x8 oil on canvas 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saffron, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Saffron comes from the dried stigmas (where the pollen is located) of the saffron crocus. It takes 225,000 hand picked stigmas to make a single pound, which explains why it is the world's most expensive spice. The name is derived from the Arabic work zafaran, which means yellow.
Fresh, true saffron is strongly perfumed with an aroma of honey and was used to scent the baths and halls of Imperial Rome. The French culinary term Safrane means, coloured using saffron...
Speaking of French Cooking... we saw the new movie with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams called Julie and Julia, about how Julia Child became an authority on French cooking and how Julie Powell, a young woman in New York created a deadline to cook and blog about all of the recipes from Julia's book, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, over one year. It was a wonderful movie!
Pick up some Saffron and Julia's cook book and enjoy... or as Julia would say...

Bon Appetit!

 8x10 oil on canvas (needs a bit more drying time)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Yellow Glow

As I was mentioning on yesterday's post... rudbeckia seem to glow. An asset to any garden, they can add a special sparkle and warmth that will carry over into the cooler weather. Late in the fall, as winter approaches, the velvet petals will shriveled into twists and curls resembling pieces of lemon and orange zest... past their prime but still beautiful. I like to leave some of flowers standing in the garden over the winter. Brown gum-drops with pieces of twisted lemon zest hanging on here and there... covered with a big dollop of whipped cream snow...

This one is already SOLD.
10x8, oil on canvas.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Brown Velvet, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Rich, chocolate brown velvet petals, highlighted with touches of rusty yellow... a sprinkle of golden pollen encircles the raised center... Rudbeckia glow throughout the day and night. The blooms capture the sunshine and then illuminate the garden from dusk on into the night. Natural solar powered lights... their petals seem to collect the sun's energy, offering it back to us via their glowing faces, lighting up our gardens in the evening ... From late summer into the fall we can appreciate their beauty.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Golden Glow, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I am doing a series of these rudbeckia flowers. Besides the gorgeous ones just off 112 Ave, I have found some beautiful ones growing in a friend's garden over in Ritchie, plus some other locations during my walks... and my own garden has some unique specimens too.

Even though one of these paintings would make a nice statement on a wall, just imagine how 2, 3, or 4 would look as a grouping...

10x8 oil on canvas,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brown Beauty

There is a row of shops and businesses along 112 Ave here in the Highlands. One of the businesses has some planters along the side alley filled with gorgeous rudbeckia flowers. Large thick petals in a range of rusty browns, accented with splashes of golden yellow tones encircle fat 'gum drop' centers dotted with yellow pollen... big, brown beauties.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)