Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Orange Twist

Orange Twist is the portrait of a full faced, orange toned parrot tulip.  The view is looking straight down at one tulip in a short vase sitting on a swatch of striped fabric.
Parrots tulips have many unique 'looks'.  When they are fresh from the bundle they appear timid and tightly closed from the world.  Then as they relax in the warmth of the room they begin to tease you with hints of the gorgeous colours that create their petals.  Before long they open and reveal a full smile... made all the more beautiful with the countless crinkles and twists of each petal.   Exotic swirls... rich tones of orange, with hints of yellow and green peeking out here and there.  A delight to behold.

$150.00, 9x12 oil on canvas

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Portrait of a Lily

Portrait of a Lily seemed a  fitting title for this painting... it brings to mind all the portrait work I am seeing on-line these days,  very inspirational work, by some very talented daily painters.  Plus this title is  a twist on the name of a beautiful movie I saw a number of years ago (13 to be exact) called 'Portrait of a Lady'.  A 1996 movie starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich, it was nominated for best costume design and should have won in my opinion.  The story line is a bit twisted, but when John Malkovich is in a movie you expect it to be twisted... anyway, if you can get past the femme fatale issues in the movie you will really enjoy the gorgeous costumes.  A visual feast!
In fact, I think some lovely silk striped fabric is featured on a few of Nicole's outfits...

A portrait for your wall...

12x12 oil on canvas

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bok Choy Bundles

Bok Choy Bundles is a painting that is all about patterns (dare I say almost stripe patterns...).  Even though Bok Choy resembles celery, it is a member of the cabbage family and is sometimes known as 'white cabbage'.  This shapely vegetable is high in calcium, Vit  C & A, but low in sodium.  Grown in China since ancient times it has now become a cash crop grown in Alberta and California.  Perhaps it is beginning to find its way into more Western style cooking rather than being a low calorie secret of Chinese cuisine.

'Bundles' would make a nice grouping with my previous posting of green onions,called 'Bunches'.  Together or alone, these two low cal veggies can add flavour to your kitchen or meal...

12x12 oil on canvas

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Green onions grow in bunches and are sold in bunches.  Onions were a staple food in ancient Egypt,  first appearing in tomb paintings around 3200 BCE, both the robust bulb onions as well as green onions.
The humble onion fell in and out of favour with the upper classes over the centuries.

Columbus brought many cultivars to Haiti during his second sailing to the New World, and although the Americas had native onions the taste did not compare to the intense flavour of the European varieties.  But the native onions provided sustenance for many missionaries and explorers around the Great Lakes region in North America.  Word has it that the City of Chicago was a region where an abundance of wild onions grew, and the city received its name form the Indian word that described the odor of onions.

I wonder if that is true?  Maybe that could be a topic for an Oprah Show...

12x12, oil on canvas. (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

French Red

I couldn't help myself... one more painting of the red parrot tulips.  Larger than life, French Red makes a bold statement.  These flowers are no 'shrinking violets'.  Their vibrancy will light up a room, and warm your heart... that's what red is all about.
Hot Stuff!

You will be seeing more of this square format next year.   The square format always works, on its own or in groupings... they make a wonderful statement. Whether side by side, one above the other, or in groups of 4 or more... they always work.

12x12, oil on canvas. (needs some drying time)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Red Parrots

Bundles of Gorgeous Red Parrot Tulips nestled in a bucket... huddled together like a flock of red birds.   My heart began to beat faster and I felt a flutter in my stomach, (which is always a sign that whatever I am looking at would make a good painting, or be inspiration for a painting)... so I selected a bundle of 5 and headed back to my studio.  By the next day they were opening nicely. Crinkled variegated edges on rich red petals, with the hint of a subtle, sweet fragrance when I stuck my nose into the centers.  How could anyone not love tulips?

$200.00, 12x12 inches, oil on canvas

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm in Print

I'm in Print!  I am one of four lucky artists chosen to be in the fall/winter addition of the Arts and Culture Magazine called 'Alternative Trends'.  If you click here you can read my article and see the numerous photos of my art. The magazine is beautiful, with lots of great information and articles discussing some of the latest arts and culture trends we are encountering in life.
I want to thank one of my collectors (and friend), Ted, who submitted my name for consideration for the magazine article; plus Pardee, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Alternative Trends for selecting me for one of the profiles.

Have a look and a read... who knows, you may just see one of the paintings you purchased from me in this beautiful glossy magazine.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tangerine Tease

Tangerine Tease is just that... one little tangerine segment... who can eat just one?
This sweet treat is resting on a gorgeous silk striped scarf that a friend gave me for my birthday. (She subscribes to my blog and noted that I am into using striped fabric in some of my paintings).  I made sure that this tangerine piece was perfectly dry before I placed it on the silk...

Now for some tangerine trivia.  Did you know that tangerines are named after the port city of Tangiers, Morocco, in North Africa? Word has it that this port is where the first Mandarin oranges were shipped from to Europe in 1841.  Mandarin oranges are native to southeast Asia and were cultivated for over 3,000 years in China and Japan before being introduced to Europe in the beginning of the nineteenth century.   The season for tangerines is November through January, which is probably why we connect them to the holiday season.
Enjoy a segment or two...

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Limes on Red

These limes on a piece of rich mottled red fabric have character.  The brownish sections on the green rind are marks that create the uniqueness of each lime.  Smooth, flawless, bright green skin is the sign of a fresh lime... but where is the individuality of the fruit?
Sometimes too perfect is too boring to paint.

9x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'L' is for Lime (s)

I painted limes on this red plate last year using acrylic paint as my medium.  This time I painted different limes on the same red plate using oil paint.  Red and green work so well together.  The intense hue of this painting makes my heart sing and beat a little faster...
How about you?

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

'A' is for Artichoke

I think artichokes have dual personalities.  A rather regal looking vegetable it is at home in elegant surroundings, or can fit into a relaxed party atmosphere as part of a dip recipe... which is why I painted part of it propped against the rich reddish toned jacquard fabric and the head resting on the playful stripes.

The Artichoke originates from the Mediterranean region and was brought to California in the 1600's by the Spanish.  It took over 300 years before this member of the thistle family gained sufficient prominence in culinary circles to make it a viable cash crop.  In the 1920s artichoke fields were planted just south of San Francisco and soon became a better investment than sugar beets for farmers in the region.

Marilyn Monroe put Castroville, California and artichokes on the map when she was crowned 'Artichoke Queen' in 1948.  Eighty percent of all the artichokes grown commercially are from Castroville.  I wonder how many chachkas with Marilyn's image painted on them are for sale in Castorville?  Maybe my next painting should be of her holding an artichoke...

$150.00, 9x12 oil on canvas 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Jewel

Poppy centers remind me of the Queen of England's crown.  The crown with crushed velvet under the ( I assume gold) metal bands encrusted with jewels that meet in the centre...  There are a few blue sapphires tossed into the crown gem mix, which is the blue colour at the centre of some poppy varieties, like this one... so add that into the organic/botanical design of the crown and you can see why my brain connects the two.
Poppies are gorgeous flowers, especially the orange ones...  When they come with the sapphire blue around the seed pod 'crown', they are very special... like a blue jewel.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Etch A Sketch Iris

Yesterday was my birthday, which translates into no painting for my blog.  Instead I am posting my Etch A Sketch Iris.  This Iris was created in one try... no second takes.  Like 'side walk chalk art' it isn't permanent, but it's fun and can be captured on camera.

Obviously NFS.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ruffled Orange

'Ruffled Orange' was so much fun to paint!  This orange poppy is from a photo of a gorgeous plant growing in the Highlands, here in Edmonton.  The petals of this flower had lots of twists and curls, with a number of split petals which created the appearance of multiple ruffles... orange ruffles.  Layers upon layers of fluffy orange silk... a full skirt waiting to be twirled!

How many of you had an Etch A Sketch as a kid?  I LOVED mine, and after going on and on about how much I enjoyed using it as a kid... this little pocket one appeared under the Christmas tree a number of years ago.

I was inspired to pull out my little' Pocket Etch A Sketch' and try to recreate my painting...

I'm a bit rusty, but not too bad for one try at the poppy (no second takes).  Tomorrow I will show you the Iris...
(Of course I can write my name too)

9x12 oil on canvas (Etch A Sketch is not included... ask Santa for one)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Purple Buttons

Purple Buttons are plump little regular button mushrooms placed on a piece of purple and acid yellow silk stripped fabric.  A rather elegant setting for a such simple fungi... but these are diamonds in the rough... but you foodies out there probably already know this next dirty little culinary secret.  Follow this  veggie lineage...

The Portobello mushroom is really just a large crimini mushroom, which in turn is just a brownish button mushroom!  There, the secret is out... no more turning up of noses at the sight of a 'common' little button.

My sources say they all have similar nutrition levels and health benefits; but the taste gets stronger, earthier and meatier as you go from white button, to brown crimini, to portobello.

They all have merit.

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Free, to a Good Home

I am offering this pretty bone china, tea set for FREE, to the first person who emails me and who has purchased a painting from me and lives in or around the Edmonton area and can come to my home to pick it up before Dec 24th, 2009.

It serves 6 people and includes a Large tea pot, large cream and sugar, 6 cups and saucers, 6 dessert plates, and one large serving plate to hold all the goodies!  It is in perfect condition, no chips or cracks.

 As you can see it is white with a blue peony, a small pink bud and some green leaves painted on it.  Light weight, but strong...  when you hold a tea cup up to the light you can see through the china.  It is made in china, hand painted with a lovely glossy glaze over the design.  It looks brand new... I probably only used it a handful of times.

I was cleaning out a cupboard last week and realized that I need to let it move on to a new home... one that loves soft blue tones as much as I did 30 years ago when I purchased it.

*The reason I am not offering it to any collector who lives in a location where it would have to be mailed is that the boxed parcel would end up weighing quite a bit, thus costing the receiver more than $15.00 to mail it, plus the chance of it arriving broken.  And I want this gift to really be free.

Just like my paintings, the first person who emails me and fits the criteria, gets the tea set.

**going, going, GONE!
I am happy to say that the 'tea set' has been spoken for.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lime Wedges

These plump, juicy, lime wedges are sitting on a piece of tin foil, reflecting back their dimpled green skin.  While slicing into the rind and flesh of the lime my nose caught the unique sweet, almost floral fragrance of this fruit ,which reminded me that essential oil of lime is a main stay in the perfume industry.  This cute little green citrus fruit originated in Malaysia and found its way to the Mediterranean region via the Crusaders in the 1300's.  Then the Spanish introduced it to Mexico and the Caribbean Islands in the early 1500's, where it flourished.
Limes, like lemons are good to have as a staple in your kitchen.  Usually I keep mine in the refrigerator (when I am not using them as a painting prop)... they look fabulous (and festive) in a bowl as a center piece for your table.
Of course they also add a nice touch sitting on the rim of a special drink...

9x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Red Lion

Red Lion is the colour of amaryllis that I thought I purchased.  After painting the pink and white one the other day I was still in an 'amaryllis mood' and wanted more...  Then I remembered my stash of amaryllis photos from last year!  There he was, a rich orange red toned beauty, called Red Lion, (that is the actual name of this variety/colour of amaryllis flower.  Native to South and Central America, these bulbs, like many other beautiful plants have spread to other tropical regions in the world.  We, in the north can find them in many stores and garden centers at this time of the year... a box of winter joy... very easy to grow, no green thumb required.  Lots of colours to choose from.

The botanical name for them is hippeastrum, which means 'knight star' (yes, with a k).
Sunshine and Happiness on a stem...

10x8, oil on canvas

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This pear is gigantic!  It is one of the largest bosc pears I have ever seen and purchased.  I'm talking rotund.  This specimen's gurth is a woppying 11 and a half inches with a height of 7 inches...
I thought placing it next to the vertical stripes drew your eye upwards... (at least that is what vertical stripes are supposed to do).

Bosc pears haver a unique skin colouring and texture.  A warm cinnamon brown with russeting over the entire surface, or like this one, mottled russeting with greenish yellow patches.  To check for ripeness you apply gentle pressure with your thumb at the base of the stem, if you feel a slight give it is ready to eat... or if there is a  bit of puckering/wrinkling at the base of the stem.
This is Bosc pear season.

12x9 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I am growing this amaryllis bulb and when it started to open I noticed that the colour was not red as the tag said, but white and pink.  Sometimes things get mixed up... we all make mistakes, or as I like to call them 'Happy Accidents'...
I was quite happy painting this 'non-red' amaryllis.  I directed my spot lighting to come from below the plant, which always creates a dramatic effect and placed it against a red toned background to accentuate the reddish pink mottling in the petals.
No matter the colour, amaryllis flowers are fun to paint!

10x8 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)