Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Salt Spring Lavender, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Salt Spring has a proliferation of artisans living and working all over the island. A visit to a lavender farm near Fulford Harbour, brought back memories of being in France a number of years ago... mounds of lavender shrubs planted in long rows soaking up the sun on a south facing slope.
Most of the flower heads and stalks had already been harvested... yet the pattern created by rows of these woody perennials along with the scattered tones of purple caught my eye. The warm afternoon sun brought out the sweet lavender fragrance from the remaining plants as you ran your hand over the fuzzy blossoms.
Of course I purchased a lavender sachet to take home...

8x10 oil on canvas 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm back from Salt Spring Island with a photo card full of beach scenes, veggies, fruit and trees. Needless to say I will be using ideas from all the reference material I gathered on this trip to paint some daily paintings... The weather there was wonderful (as I hear it was here too), and we had fun exploring the island, visiting the local artisans and soaking up the atmosphere.
Since I returned late in the day yesterday, I have posted a painting that did (and sold) before I left.

10x8, oil on canvas

Friday, September 11, 2009

Red on White

I was out shopping with a friend the other day and found a little white square plate with turned up corners. Just what I have been searching for as a prop for my veggie and fruit paintings.

This huge red bell pepper was taking up most of the crisper drawer in our frig, waiting to either be painted, or consumed, or both. Plump and shiny it sat perfectly still on my new plate. Peppers are good at holding long poses for painting... they have a great shape with wonderful curves that catch the light here and there creating cute little highlights.

*I am taking a few weeks off for some R&R, so you will not be receiving any posts from me for a little while. The fall is one of my favourite seasons so expect to see some rich, colourful paintings... coming soon to your in box!

8x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mediterranean Heat, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

One more hot, orange red geranium painting. Typically geraniums like lots of sun... they thrive in the heat. (No wonder they do well around the Mediterranean.)
A couple of tips to keep them blooming well over the growing season (this may be information to file away for next year, since it is already September)... when watering, try to do it in the morning and keep the water off the blooms as much as possible, dead head as needed. If blooms start to touch each other... looking a bit crowded, it is then a good idea to thin out some of the flower heads; otherwise this crowding signals to the plant there is less growing room and they produce less bloom.
But of course this geranium series will bloom all year... no need to dead head, or water them!

10x8 oil on canvas 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mediterranean Red Too, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Looks like there is a bit of a geranium series going on... I really enjoy painting orange and red tones. There is something so vibrant and alive in these colours. Of course I realize that they are not everyone's favourite colours and I respect that. But these gorgeous, earthy colours (in some tint, tone or shade) do tend to show up in the majority of my paintings.
Autumn is almost upon us so be forwarned that my blog will be saturated with orange, red, purple, burgundy, and gold tones... in some form or another. In fact it usually shows up in my larger paintings too.
I just can't help myself.
Enjoy the visual feast!

9x12 oil on canvas 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mediterranean Red, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

It sure feels like the summer has ended here in Edmonton. Perhaps it was the lack of any real heat this past long weekend that drew my attention to these vibrant orange, red geraniums. While my body was longing for some warmth from the September sun my eye searched for some visual warmth... and viola', there it was.
Pelargoniums, are native to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. They arrived in Britain in about 1632, and because the seed head hung down like a crane's bill the plant was commonly known as Cranesbill. Pelargonium is Greek for stork, and geranos is Greek for crane so you can see the roots for all the names we use today.

When we were in France a number of years ago, there were rustic clay pots stuffed with orange red geraniums decorating the small villages, especially along the Mediterranean coast. Perched on balconies, clustered around doorways, spilling over onto the quaint cobble-stoned streets... all basking in the warm Mediterranean sun... glowing like red embers as the sun set... offering back the heat of the day.

12x9, oil on canvas 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Corked, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I wanted to paint some wine bottles, and we just so happened to have this IQUE, malbec opened... and because it is my (so far) favourite malbec I thought I would include it in the painting for all of you who enjoy a good glass of red wine now and then. I used some artistic license on the label because I did not paint the beige grapes that appear near the Q, so... if you go searching for this bottle of red wine from Argentina called IQUE, malbec, Mendoza 2007 by Enrique Foster know that the label will have a small rendering of some beige brown grapes.
When I researched this wine for my blog today I discovered that my palate was in agreement with the wine connoisseurs, so I feel that my suggestion to try it has been endorsed by those 'in the know'. Here is what they have to say about the flavour:

"The concentrated bouquet is just bursting with tempting smoky ripe blackberry aromas."

Let me Know what you think of it if you try it... And if you like it you might want to hang this painting of it in your home, that way you will always have a bottle on hand.

12x9 oil on canvas (needs some time to age... I mean dry)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Double Happiness, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

These flowers are from the same garden that I mentioned a few days ago in my posting of the lily called Red Velvet. The owner told me that these white shasta type daisies are a variety that her Mother grew and now they are growing in her garden... passed on from one generation to another. The day I was photographing this garden I noted how shaggy and carefree these daisies looked with their long thin petals radiating from bulbous golden yellow centers... happy, whimsical blooms, bursting with energy as they filled their section of the garden. Exuberant and joyful... you had to smile when you looked at them.

12x9 oil on canvas 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hollyhock Leaves, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I have been painting a series of hollyhocks. Burgundy red jewels glued to strong fuzzy green stalks enveloped with green crepe paper leaves...
This one is on hold for a collector... I will change it's status this Friday to let you know if it is for sale or not.

10x8 oil on canvas

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Red Velvet, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

There is a fellow here in the Highlands who crafts the most amazing stained glass pieces... beautiful works of art in rich jewel tones. His wife has quite the green thumb. Her garden is home to some lovely specimens, and the day I popped over to photograph some of her flowers my eye was drawn to this deep red lily. I have found a few gorgeous red lilies this summer... each one with it's own unique character. The shape and length of the petals... the way an edge twists or crinkles, the colour of the throat, the tone of the pollen on the stamens... all spell uniqueness. Individual beauty.

9x12 oil on canvas