Monday, November 30, 2009

Fiesta Garlic

Some varieties of garlic have a pinky purple tone to the papery covering that surrounds each clove and the entire bulb.  These tones can be accentuated by the surface they are places upon.  Fiesta Garlic consists of a new 'crop' of bulbs from the Italian Center Market which I positioned on a orange and red striped table cloth.  The angle of the lighting on my still life set-up allowed more of the reddish tones form the cloth to bounce onto the skin, intensifying the hues perceived.  This same illusion happens when you paint the human figure.
The fabric/surface that the person is posing on is often reflected onto their form creating various tints, tones and shades of skin.  Bringing out interesting nuances of colour that fire up the imagination when selecting the paint.

Fiesta Garlic fired up my imagination with the feeling of heat... the anticipation of a delicious meal... a great party with good friends, a fiesta of sorts....

9x12 oil on canvas, (needs some drying time)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Three Limes on Red Plate

Three Limes on Red Plate has the colour combination that speaks of the coming festive season.  Red and Green are complementary colours on the traditional colour wheel... they create a lovely vibration when placed next to each other in a painting.   I find this colour combination very uplifting and energizing... sort of like adding a 'twist of lime' to your favourite fruity drink over the holiday season.

16x16, acrylic on canvas (already hung in its new home)

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    Six assorted Iris images in each package of 6 cards.  Size: 4x6 inches, 


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Still Life of Garlic,Garlic Stripes, Kim Blair

Same garlic bulbs, different view on the same blue and white fabric.  I like the way this painting is different yet similar to yesterday's posting of 'Blue Garlic'.  The two paintings could be hung together...

I am sure that most of you have tried roasting garlic bulbs in the oven which changes their flavour into a rich, almost nutty taste.  There are many recipes for this but basically you take the whole bulb and slice off about 1/4 of an inch across the top (to expose the flesh of each clove), drizzle a tsp. of olive oil over each bulb, place them on a piece of tin foil and bring up the foil on all sides and fold over all the edges to seal (like a closed tent), you can also place them in a small oven proof dish covered with a lid.  Bake at about 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.  They are done when the individual cloves are browned and soft.
I like to give each guest their very own bulb on a plate with buttered gourmet bread and some brie cheese.  Then it is only a matter of squeezing out a clove, spreading it on a piece of the bread and if you like, add a thin slice of the cheese.

8x10 oil on canvas ( yummy addition to your kitchen)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tangerine Leaves

Can you believe that I found a tangerine with leaves, here in Edmonton, Canada?  I could not believe my luck when I was in the 'Italian Center' store and there was a box full of these fun shaped tangerines with stems and leaves!  Some of the fruit had patches of orange along with soft shades of green which blended nicely with the green leaves.  It was surprising to feel the texture of the leaves... soft, supple yet leathery... not what I expected.  As I checked out at the till the clerk said that quite a few people were purchasing them because they wanted the leaves attached for display purposes...  I was the first one to tell her I wanted to paint them.  But she said that everyone who purchased them told her to be careful not to ruin the leaves, or break them off putting them into our shopping bags.
I haven't eaten one yet, so I can't vouch for their flavour... who cares... they look too pretty to eat!

10x8 oil on canvas (need some drying time)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pepper Scape Too

A second pepper scape of a different pepper.  The peppers from today and yesterday are the same 'whole' peppers used in my post 'Red Elegance', from November 18.
Peppers were introduced to Spain in 1493 from the Americas and the Spanish have always called the hot peppers 'chili' (from Chile). To the spice conscious Spanish, the pepper was an unexpected and most welcome find.  Perhaps, they could be considered 'red gold'...

In the 17th century peppers were taken to India and Southeast Asia by the Portuguese.  Peppers became so common there that their American origins were long forgotten, despite the fact that in India they are all consistently called 'chillies'.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pepper Scape

The interior of fruits and vegetables intrigues me.  Unique 'scapes' created from the seeds, pulp and flesh of each specimen.  Worlds unto themselves, waiting to be discovered.

I feel another series coming on...

A couple of years ago I purchased a microscope and had many hours of fun viewing bits and pieces of plant material for my abstract work. Fascinated by what I discovered... time slipped by... I was mesmerized for hours checking out all the nuances of textures and shapes that were revealed through the lens.  Yes, it's time once again to dig out that microscope and have look.

I think I feel a number of series coming on...

8x10, oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Elegance, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

These two red peppers fit together like spoons.  Their soft curves accentuate the golden toned designs embossed in this swatch of burgundy fabric.  Peppers are not a vegetable (I think they are really in the fruit family...) I would normally associate with elegance; but when I placed them on this piece of cloth their forms flowed together with the jacquard pattern... oozing elegance... red elegance.

9x12 oil on canvas

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lemons with Stripes

Lemons with Stripes is a simple composition of objects/subject matter... yet if we delve a little deeper we are rewarded with some interesting trivia.   I mentioned that I am doing research into the history, use and significance of the stripe, which has taken me in many different directions.  Subjects that at first seem not to be related are woven together with invisible threads.
The stripe took on a hygienic meaning which could be why many objects associated with cleanliness became striped, such as the tea towel, dish cloth, table cloth, diner napkin... and of course the fresh scent of a lemon is associated with cleanliness as well as being an important ingredient in numerous tasty recipes.
So even though these two objects create a simple, pleasing little still-life painting, you can now see a few of the connecting threads...

12x9, oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Aztec Gold

(Below is a close-up to view paint texture for Aztec Gold)

The petals of this vibrant tangerine coloured gerbera radiate out from the centre like rays of sunshine... or gold.  The Aztec people were conquered by the Spaniards in the 1500's. In search of fortune, especially gold, the Spaniards' greed led them to believe the Aztecs had vast amounts of golden treasure.

My research tells me that the Aztecs possessed more knowledge of metallurgy than perhaps gold... Yes they mined gold and silver, but also copper.  It seems they discovered a process to create beautiful treasures of 'pure gold', (or so the Spaniards believed) by using mostly copper and a small amount of gold, a product called 'Tumbaga', to create exquisite objects.  The Conquistadors were dupped!  The lesson learned... "all that glitters is not gold."

9x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Different Paths

Stripes have quite the history.  They have taken many different paths... being in and out of fashion at various times. Stripes were very popular with the court jesters in medieval times, and evolved into the favourite fabric selection for the modern day jester character, the 'clown'.  Thankfully, stripes became quite fashionable in the 1780's, after the American Revolution and have remained a popular design choice in all classes of society.  A unique motif... sometimes complex... sometimes simple... sometimes subtle, but always special.

$150.00, 12x9, oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pears with Stripes

Pears are voluptuous.  There is no getting around the fact that they have a lovely shape.  Of all the fruits, the pear is the one that most resembles the female figure (in my opinion, of course).  Each pear is unique... a subtle variation of the classic 'pear shape'.
This still life set-up with stripes, creates multiple images in my mind... My imagination goes from two pears placed on fabric reminiscent of a figure painting class where the models position themselves in a comfortable pose, knowing that this one will be held a long time for the class to render their forms and the folds of the fabric just right.... to a green grocer in a small European village with a striped awning over his fruit stand of fresh produce out on the side walk.  What does this painting remind you of?
Imaginations are wonderful...

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still Life of Fruit, Tangerine Trail, Kim Blair

It's the time of year when we start to see bags and boxes of tangerines arriving in the supermarket.  Yesterday I purchased them in a net bag, but usually I prefer the boxes.  There is something extra special about each piece of fruit when it is wrapped individually. Little squares of paper protecting tangerine treasures.  Orange globes filled with sweet juicy flesh, covered with a dimpled rind...  a pleasure to paint as well as eat.

 8x10, oil on canvas

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gilded Lilies

Gilded Lilies..."to adorn unnecessarily something already beautiful."

Many of my subscribers know that orange and rust tones are some of my favourite colours to use in a painting...  Fun and flamboyant the colour orange radiates warmth and energy (according to one of my on-line sources) besides stimulating activity and appetite it encourages socialization.  Perhaps that is why cozy terra cotta toned dinning rooms are popular in restaurants and homes... you will linger a bit longer.

I am in the midst of working on some larger paintings for a show I will be doing and hosting next year, and will keep you posted as to the location and the date. (I have a few venues I am researching) 

 And yes, there will lots of rich earthy colours in the show...

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Autumn Gourd Study

Autumn Gourd Study is a demo drawing/painting I did for a drop-in class I was asked to teach last month.  Watercolour pencils was the medium used.  My focus in this study was to demonstrate that this type of pencil can be used like a traditional colour pencil by layering colours to create new hues, or add water with a brush to change the consistency of the applied lead to create a watercolour effect.

Watercolour pencils are my medium of choice when I travel.  Light weight and compact... all you really need is:  3 primary colours (red,yellow and blue), pencil sharpener, a small watercolour brush, tiny water holder (you might have one of the "ancient" plastic 35mm film canisters kicking around) plus a bit of paper towel, and of course a sketch book with paper that can withstand some water.

Happy Travels... Happy Sketching.

This piece of art is not for sale... 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wine Stripes

 The green glass of a wine bottle reflects the evening... multiple tones of green light swirled into a solid object... encircled with green and cream fabric.  A wine bottle, a striped dinner napkin... the remains of a lovely dinner party with good friends.
12x9 oil on canvas

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lily Stripes

Yes, there is a theme emerging...  stripes.  Lily stripes is an interesting burnt orange asiatic lily with rusty brown patches near the center.  This flower (from my back garden) had a sprinkling of yellow pollen scattered on some of the dark areas of the petals...  yellow freckles.  The wide striped background of a chaise lounge in the garden gives the suggestion of lazy summer days... long gone for another year.

9x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pink Gladiolus

I painted some red glads a number of months ago... It is always enjoyable to paint one variety of flower in different colours.  The change of hue changes the mood and feel of the painting...  Here, the pink toned glad  creates a soft, romantic atmosphere, whereas the red glads from July 14 called Sizzle, have more of a hot passionate feeling.  Both paintings have their merits.  Always nice to have choices in life... and art.

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