Sunday, February 28, 2010

Off Line For a Few Days

Hi Everyone:
We are taking our Mac in for some upgrading tomorrow, Monday March 1, so will not be posting for a few days.  I know that I may go into withdrawal, not having access to a computer... but in the end it will all be worth it, as I am in the process of designing my website and need (read 'want') the new features of the 2009 iWeb.  So please be patient... I will be back and promise to show you my larger paintings on my website in the near future.

There will be some large (18x24) versions of the 'Salt Spring Lavender Fields' plus some  (30x15) yellow and burgundy/wine Iris...

Can't wait for you to see them!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Foiled Tangelo II

I must be part crow... because my eye is drawn (pun intended) to tin foil.  My brain is intrigued by the patterns of colour and light that dance and swirl over the shiny silver surface as I place objects on the foil for my still life set ups.  More excitement ensues when I pick up my camera, selecting various angles from which to snap reference photos.  Certain angles catch my breath.  Before I realize it I am talking out loud, expounding on the beauty that my macro lens has revealed, lost in a kaleidoscope of images I slowly find my way back to reality, and begin the painting session.  There never seems to be enough hours in a day to explore the endless possibilities for creativity...

Foiled Tangelo II was a thrill to paint.

I wonder how many different 'types' of tin foil exist... do they all reflect in the same way?  My inner crow wants to know...

10x10 oil on canvas. (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red and Yellow Tulips I, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

A friend and fellow artist, dropped by this morning and we discussed how our personalities often show up in our art.  Some of us paint soft, delicate and pastel pieces; some paint strong, vibrant and direct;  and many may be combinations or variations of a theme.  Perhaps we tend to paint how we are feeling that day, or week... or we are expressing a particular emotion that a certain subject evokes in us.  Painting is just one form of self expression.  What about different forms of dance, styles of cooking and gardening?
How do you express yourself?

18X18 on gallery profile canvas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pepper Pirouettes

Hot little red peppers leaning against a tin foil backdrop balancing on their tips... doing pepper pirouettes!
The word 'Pirouette' comes from old French, 'pirouet'... spinning top.

The Pirouette is said to be the crowning glory of a ballet dancer and seems to be a transient ability that requires the utmost balance, body structure and form. It is considered one of the more challenging movements in dance training... and a great majority of dancers will say it takes major focus and constant rehearsal to attain.
Could be a metaphor for any sort of training in life.... practice, practice, practice!

$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Avocado with Stripes

Guess what I have been eating for lunch?
If you said avocado, you are right.  The buttery smooth texture of avocado flesh works nicely with the orange toned stripes of the silk fabric...  a dramatic looking lunch.

Beautiful and yummy,
A feast for the eyes, and the tummy.          Now where is my spoon...

10x10 oil on canvas.  (needs some drying time)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Avocado on a Red Plate

That red plate keeps showing up in my paintings... I suppose I should confess that it seems to be creating another series.  Those darn series are popping up everywhere, and I keep switching between them all so as not to get bored with one idea or theme.
Avocado on a Red Plate is sitting on an orange/red toned table top (which sprang from my 'imagination', often known by its other name, 'artistic license') because I wanted warm colours to be dominate in this painting to highlight the cooler green tones of  the avocado focal point.

Props and reference material are often jumping off points for artists, we can tweak things here and there to suit our needs, in order to come closer to creating our vision.

10x10 oil on canvas.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spring Fire

Spring Fire is a continuation of my painting series of gorgeous red tulips.   I took numerous reference photos of them and each time I view them my heart races a little from the energetic reds or orange tones. The colours are even more vibrant in person and the paint texture (thickness) here and there really adds to the three dimensional feeling of this little grouping of tulips.
A bit of spring to hang all year round.

10x8 oil on canvas.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Flaming Red

Flaming Red tulips with crinkled yellow edges packed tightly together in a vase, give the appearance of fire flames rising up from cool green leaves.
It's the time of year when tulips are plentiful in flower shops and grocery stores... bundles of spring waiting to be taken home and enjoyed.
While painting these tulips my heart was beating a little faster... red, orange and yellow are exciting colours to paint and to view!

(I always enjoy adding the thicker paint textures, like you see on the yellow tones along the edges of the blooms.)

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foiled Avocado II, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Back to the boat imagery... foiled avocado II seems to be floating on a silvery sea of tin foil.  A dark green leather hull, filled with a soft buttery waterproof lining surrounding a rusty brown seed... Bobbing along the surface searching for a place to land.
My plate was the perfect spot to beach this little boat.
Lunch anyone?

8x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Foiled Tangelo I

Foiled Tangelo I, is a segment of the citrus fruit called tangelo.  It is resting comfortably on my ubiquitous tin foil... creating bits of orange shimmer on the silver surface.

Exotic and sweet, the tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and a plummelo/grapefruit.  (Originating in Asia, the plummelo, an ancestor of the grapefruit, is larger in size, tangy, yet sweeter in flavour).  The name Tangelo is a cross between tangerine and plummelo, Tang + elo, which helps to explain why they are the largest of the tangerine family.

'Foiled Tangelo I' looks good enough to eat!  (The segment that posed for this painting was delicious...)

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

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Foiled Avocado I

Foiled Avocado I is obviously half of an avocado, but it is propped up against, and on top of, a sheet of 'tin' foil creating the wavy reflections.  The bits of orange reflected in the background on the upper left are reflections from the rusty orange top I was wearing that day... adding to the tints, tones and shades of grey creating a surreal feeling to this painting.
Tin foil was developed in the late 1800's and was replaced by aluminum in the early 20th century.  Aluminum was found to be more pliable than the original tin foil, plus less likely to transfer any metal taste to the food stored in it. It's popularity grew during WWII, and by 1948 the first aluminum foil containers for cooking and storing food were available to the public.  Whether you call it tin, aluminum or silver foil it all means the same thing today.

Where would my 'foiled' series be without it?

10x8 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spring Red, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

It certainly feels like spring is in the air. The birds are chirping earlier in the morning, the temperatures have  been mild, and the days are longer. Yes, I know that I could be living in a dream world at the moment... winter could still have a few tricks to play on us here in Edmonton.  Yet, when I purchased these red tulips with the thick borders of yellow around each petal... it gave me hope.  Spring Red is full of promise and hope for the warmer weather to arrive soon.
I purchased two fat bundles of these tulips to display in our kitchen... you can never have too many tulips.

8x10 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Foiled Limes

Foiled Limes... part of an ongoing tin foil series.  The foil can be smooth, rippled, crinkled or creased, creating whatever special affect I desire.  It feels I am designing a scene on a sound stage for a movie... Once the objects are arranged to my satisfaction on the  reflective surface, the lighting is strategically positioned to shine on a section creating interesting patterns on the foil.  Next using my 'viewer' (which is cut in corresponding dimensions to my canvas size) I can move my eye around the scene until I locate a section or angle that creates a good composition.  The 'viewer' (or camera lens) is my window into a fantasy world... a world where lime wedges can become green boats floating on a calm or stormy silver sea with the morning mist trailing behind.

As I have said before, we are only limited by our imaginations...  what do you see?

8x10 oil on canvas.  (needs some drying time after being at sea...)

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Slice of Lime

A Slice of Lime floating on a sea of tin foil... reflecting bit of light next to patches of lime green.   Limes are high in Vitamin C and during the 19th century, English sailors were rationed one lime (which cost less than lemons) a day to fight scurvy.  Refreshing and fragrant, limes are utilized and highly prized in the culinary arts. Once you have grated the green part of the rind for zest, and squeezed out all the juice, save the discarded rind from the juiced limes to clean copper-bottomed pots and pans.  Nothing goes to waste...

Hang this little painting in your kitchen and you will always have 'A Slice of Lime' on hand.

8x10 oil on canvas

Friday, February 5, 2010

Silver Peppers

I scattered those hot little peppers onto some tin foil for another photo shoot... silver peppers.  They   were starting to dry out and get a bit wrinkled, but that did not affect their beauty.  In fact, the wrinkles  enhanced their little figures... cute little ripples and dimples catching more light on each miniature hill and creating tiny valleys where the shadow deepened the red tones.
Before long I could feel my eyes start to water, not from their beauty... but from the hot pepper oils rising.  After a couple more photographs I picked up the tin foil with the peppers and scrunched it into a ball and tossed it into the trash.  Too hot to handle...

A hot little painting for your wall...

12x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time for the thicker, textured paint areas)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Orange Glow

The orange day lilies along the fence in my backyard garden dance and weave in the summer breeze, each blossom emanating an orange glow in a sea of green ribbon leaves.  I've said it before, and I will say it again... I love orange.
Did you know that the colour orange is tied into the history of the violin?  In around 1750 the secret of how Antonio Stradivari make his orange varnish was lost, and to this day nobody knows what he put in it.  There has been lots of speculation... but no winners.
So, you see, orange is famous and some variation of this hue will always be in style.

What do you own that is orange?

12x12, oil on canvas.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Avocado II

The rich reddish brown seed of an avocado is a hidden treasure.  Yes, of course it is the delicious buttery textured flesh of the avocado that contains the nutrients, but it is the glorious sienna coloured skin of the seed that creates most of the beauty of this fruit.  Perhaps the visual appeal comes from the complementary colours... the subtle tones of creamy green and reddish brown.

I love the way the seed looks like it is about to pop out of the painting...

A visual feast... no calories.

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Silver Limes

Silver Limes is part of an on going painting series of objects (so far fruits, flowers and veggies) placed on tin foil, creating interesting abstract reflections and shadows on the shiny silver surface.  Kind of like our new art public art gallery here in Edmonton...
Today we are off to the opening of our new art gallery, the AGA (Art Gallery of Alberta), with our 'timed tickets in hand'.  Check out the link to the gallery here, and you will see the fabulous new building.  I love the fact that the design has been such a controversy in our city and province... it has people talking about Edmonton.  Now we have a facility that can host world class art exhibits, with the potential to attract hundreds of visitors to our northern city... which will be good for the economy besides being good for our arts and culture.
A win win situation for everyone.

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)