Thursday, January 28, 2010

Red Hot III

Red Hot III will be the last red pepper painting in this series for a while...

During my research about capsaicin ( the 'hot' compound found only in peppers) I discovered that by producing the burning capsaicin the pepper plant prevents animals (except humans), from eating its fruits.  Birds don't feel the burning sensation of capsaicin so they eat the fruits and are responsible for the spreading of seeds (the chili seeds survive the digestion process).

Drinking water to quell the heat caused by too much capsaicin in your meal is ineffective, since capsaicin is not water-soluble.  The most effective antidotes are those containing fat and/or sugar. Capsaicin is fat-soluble, and sugar will block the receptors that are reacting with it, so go for cheese, milk, yogourt or ice cream instead of water or beer.  The capsaicin will bond with the fat in the food, ending your pain.

Isn't is it nice to know that something besides our hips can bond with the fat in our food...

10x10 on canvas (the fat in the oil paint has taken care of any capsaicin in this pepper painting...)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Red Hot II

Second painting in the Red Hot series...  As I mentioned yesterday, these tiny red chilis are compact packages full of incredible heat called capsaicin.  The capsaicin is produced and found in the placental partition ('white' cross wall and veins) of the pod.  The seeds become pungent (hot) through contact with the placenta and chilis are the only plants that contain capsaicin.
I was reading on the Mayo Clinic web site that capsaicin is used in some medications to relieve minor pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis or muscle sprains and strains, but will not cure any of these conditions.

You might want to go to and check out what else they have to say about this ingredient.

This painting won't relieve any of your aches and pains, but it will bring you years of visual enjoyment!

10x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Hot I

Red Hot I is a close up of those tiny red chili peppers you can buy in a small plastic bag in the grocery store.  This plastic barrier is very important because touching/handling these little peppers can irritate your skin.... and NEVER touch your eyes with your hands till you have washed them throughly.  I chose (as many do) to use rubber gloves to handle them.  I opened the bag and let them spill out onto the counter... reddish orange 'pick up sticks' scattered across an ochre coloured piece of paper.  With the spot light shinning on them I started to take photos of the red hot disarray.  Not long after I began my photo shoot I noticed my eyes felt like they were burning and realized that the heat from the lamp was activating the 'heat' (capsaicin) in the peppers.  Of course I had my nose practically on top of them while  photographing them with my Super Macro setting...  Needless to say the photo session didn't last long.

Add a little heat to your kitchen with this painting... no need for rubber gloves!

10x10 oil on canvas (capsaicin not included)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Citrus Yellow, Kim Blair

These lemons were displayed outside a green grocer in Victoria, BC last spring.  Cardboard trays of fruits and vegetables displayed outside the door of the small corner store... enticing anyone who passed by to stop and consider purchasing something from the colourful display.  I certainly was enticed by what I saw!  These lemons were all huddled together, trying to stay warm in the cool spring air, their box  was next to a tray of green onions, which was next to a tray of peppers, tomatoes and on and on...   an almost endless array of colourful inspiration... for painting (and cooking).

Some bright citrus yellow to accent your wall... something to entice you to cook (or paint!)

*A couple of friends (you know who you are...   :0), have been asking me to create a link to all of my paintings that are for sale, for quick access.

Check out the right side bar of my blog under the title 'Labels' and click on the words 'All Available Paintings For Sale'.  Remember to keep clicking on the words 'older posts' at the end of each page, as you scroll down.

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hollyhock Close Up

I guess I am in a pink mode.  Hollyhock Close Up is from a series of light filled hollyhock photos taken last summer.  The delicacy of each bloom is magnified by the sunlight, showing the fine veining in each petal.  Viewing plant material close up reveals more of its life force, energy, and essence than we get to experience from afar.  And yet a flowers charisma  can be appreciated from any distance...

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pink Light

'Magical'... is what I remember thinking when I came upon these hollyhocks during one of my morning photo shoots last summer.  The sunlight created a pink glow... pink light... as it streamed through silky petal sections, drawing my eye to endless shades of pinky rose tones within the delicate blooms.  A kaleidoscope of pink...

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yellow Gold

Yellow Gold is a painting of another lily from my garden.  This interesting specimen is planted in our backyard garden near the bird feeder.  Each bloom is yellow with splashes of rusty brown tones near the centers of each petal which helps to camouflages the rusty orange pollen as it falls.  I chose this lily from the garden center already planted and blooming in a pot, so I knew what the flower would actually look like, rather than wait for a 'bulb in a bag' to produce a possible surprise.
The butterscotch and cream striped fabric background combined with this particular lily evokes summer for me... sunny days filled with lemonade and a good book lounging on the patio.  Still a few months away...

12x12, oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ruby Red

When I planted my front yard/lawn garden a couple of years ago I bought some lily bulbs (that promised to be a rich ruby red), to plant in one area near the sidewalk.  The first year only skinny green leaves appeared... no flowers.  Of course I knew that this often happens until the plant gets established in its new home, but like all gardeners, I secretly hoped that because I had amended the soil in that bed with lots of rich natural nutrients mother nature would reward me with gorgeous blooms the first year.  Not so...
But this past summer I was pleasantly surprised to see long delicate flower stems appear, topped by  rich red lily blooms accented with florescent yellow/green centers.  In order to preserve my delicate treasures from the wind, I stuck a wooden stake in the ground beside each of the flower stocks and gently tied them to it for support.  Treasure markers...

12x12, oil on canvas

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jewel Tones

Jewel Tones is a necklace from my own jewelry collection.  Various sizes, shapes, and colours of glass and stone beads held together with numerous bits of linked chain, creating a charm-bracelet style necklace that is fun to wear.  Sometimes, when the beads and chain-links clink together as I move, I feel like a cat wearing a bell... there is no way can you sneak up on anything with this strand of babbles draped around your neck.  But that is half the fun of wearing this piece of jewelry... it always gets a comment.
I am sure this little painting would attract a comment or two if hung on your wall.  And if you hung it around your neck at a party you would definitely get a comment or two!

8x10 oil on canvas.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Orange Garden

The title Orange Garden says it all.  Here in the Highlands, near Ada Blvd. is a side garden overflowing with these ruffled orange poppies, (they are the only flowers in this bed).  Each blossom has multiple layers of petals... fluffy, orange chiffon skirts blowing in the summer breeze, creating a colourful stir in the neighbourhood.   People walking by stop to look, and I overhear them concur on the beauty of the poppy profusion before them...

Of course I shot numerous photos of the lavish display for inspiration.

18x24 inches oil on gallery profile canvas.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Still Life of Fruit, Mangos on a French Plate, Kim Blair

Mangos on a French Plate... a plate we purchased (many years ago) in the quaint French village/town called Vallarius, near Cannes, along the French Riviera.  Vallarius has been a centre for pottery making for thousands of years.  Since Roman times it has had a reputation for crafting fine ceramics, but it was Picasso who put it back on the road to financial recovery after World War II.  He visited the town for an exhibition and tried his hand at some pottery techniques, and then from 1946 to 1948 he visited the town to work with the local potters.  The Ceramic industry needed some fresh ideas because the popularity of plastics was taking a large chunk out of the town's income.  Picasso remained a potter as well as a painter, sculptor and printmaker, making over 4000 unique ceramic pieces until his death in 1973.

A little bit of French culture for your home (and wall)...

8x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lemon Profiles

Lemons wedges on striped fabric.  Another in my fruit/veggie series on stripes.  I really like the undulation of the fabric in this painting... makes the lemon wedges look like they are traveling.  Reminds me of when I was a child and my Dad would take me for a Sunday car ride in the countryside and would go a bit faster over the hills to create butterflies in my stomach.  Soooooo much fun!

Guess what I will be doing this Sunday...

8x10 oil on canvas.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Semi Precious

Semi Precious is from a photo shoot I did of a friend's jewelry collection.   Her collection consists of exquisitely crafted necklaces, bracelets and rings... she is definitely a patron of unique jewelry artists, (as wells other artists).    This lapis lazuli and bronze filligree necklace was placed on a silk striped cloth for a close up photo.  Orange and blue tones are complementary colours on the Munsell colour wheel, which is why this painting feels like it is vibrating with colourful energy.  I felt compelled to paint it larger than life, which gives it a bit on an abstract look.
The name Lapis Lazuli, can be traced back to an ancient arabic word for blue.  This stone was crushed to create an expensive, highly prized blue pigment.   Beginning in the 1800's ultramarine blue was derived from a manmade substance which made this vibrant colour more affordable and accessible for artists.

My vivid imagination conjures visions of this piece being an ancient byzantine treasure resting on a swath of exotic silk fabric...

Another series may be emerging.

9x12 oil on canvas.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Amaryllis Still Life, Royal Red, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Royal Red is a painting of the amaryllis variety called 'Red Lion'.  I find this variety of amaryllis so dramatic...  the rich, exotic red/orange petals with the chunky golden pollen covered anthers makes a vibrant statement.

Royal Red is a large painting on 2 inch deep gallery profile canvas.  The edges are painted black, (*as are all my paintings) so there is no need to frame it.

18x24 inch, gallery profile canvas

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Close Up

This close up of an avocado creates an interesting semi abstract painting...

Archaeologists have found avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 B.C.E.  It has been a staple amongst the indigenous people of Central and South America for thousands of years... the area of the world where it originated. It was the early 1800's before the avocado was planted in Florida and almost a hundred years later before it became a cash crop of any significance.

The Spanish conquistadors discovered a unique use for the avocado seed.  The seed yields a milky liquid that becomes red when exposed to air.  The spaniards found they could use this reddish brown or even blackish liquid as an indelible ink for documents.  Some of these documents are still in existence today.

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avocado I, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Avocados are beautiful.  When ripe, they have soft green and cream toned flesh the texture of firm pudding surrounding a large rusty brown seed.  The leathery rind is a natural bowl, holding a nutritious treasure... all you need is a spoon.  The avocado is a unique fruit in that it stores its energy as almost 20% fat, (mostly monounsaturated) rather than sugar as most fruits do.  Luckily for us this filling fruit offers 60% more potassium than a banana plus it has the highest fiber and folate per ounce of any fruit, along with being good source of B6, C and E.
Guacamole anyone?

8x10, oil on canvas