Friday, April 30, 2010

Burgundy Beet

Burgundy Beet is painted from the series of photos I took of those humungous beets our neighbour grew last year, (See postings from October 28 & 29, 2009).  My research tells me that red beets are unique for their high levels of anti-carcinogens and its very high carotenoid content.  Betacyanin is the pigment that gives beets their red colour; this pigment is absorbed into the blood corpuscles and can increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400 per cent!   A beet seems to be an amazing vegetable...

Just think, if you hang this beet painting on your wall you will always be reminded to 'eat your beets'.
$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nouveau Red

Nouveau Red is a ruffled red poppy and bud from my garden.  This variety of poppy has numerous curly  petals in the center that give it substance and character, with a few larger single petals around the perimeter. The fat bud bobs gracefully in the breeze as it burst open, revealing its red treasure.

Tissue paper beauties...

12x12 oil on canvas

Avocado Butter

The texture of ripe avocado flesh is so smooth and silky... rich avocado butter that melts in your mouth!

I discovered some interesting facts about avocados...  The avocado fruit does not ripen on the tree, but will fall off or be picked in a hard, 'green' state, then it will ripen quickly on the ground.  The fruit can be left on the tree until required, rather than picked and stored, but for commercial reasons it must be picked as soon as possible.  If you purchase 'green' avocados you can ripen them quickly by storing them on the counter with your bananas, because the ethylene gas produced by the bananas will stimulate the production of the same gas in the avocado, thereby inducing faster ripening.
Growers can keep the fruit on the tree for about 4 - 6 months after fully developed; if the fruit stays on the tree for too long it will fall to the ground, and then ripen.

(I guarantee my avocado paintings will not over ripen... you can store them next to your bananas as long as you like!)

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some extra drying time for the impasto 'fleshy' areas)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oriental Orange

This variety of oriental orange poppy has multiple feathery petals, which create fluffy layers within the bloom... an orange crinoline.
In the 1830s a linen material woven with horsehair called crinoline was first used for cloth petticoats.  The word crinoline comes from the French for 'crin' and 'lin', meaning horsehair and linen respectively.  This version of a petticoat was the original crinoline and later the name continued in use incorrectly, but universally for the caged or hooped underskirt frames.  As the decades progressed, more and more petticoats were added until the skirts were very full.  For decency as well as fashion a minimum of six petticoats was considered essential.  They became very heavy and unbearable in summer heat.  Luckily (?) the style changed a few decades later to the metal hooped crinoline...

12x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, April 23, 2010

French White I

French White I is a larger painting on gallery profile (2 inch deep) canvas, and like all my paintings, the sides are painted in black so that it is ready to hang, or you may frame it if you wish.  In order to appreciate all of the nuances of the creamy white tones and the impasto paint please click on the image to enlarge it.

The thick, rich swirls of oil paint remind me of sections of fondant icing, but with more character... pretty but not too sweet.

18x24 on gallery profile canvas, (the thicker impasto areas will need a little more drying time)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

White Trumpets

These calla lilies are quite large... three white trumpets.  They make quite a statement on the larger canvas and if you click on the image you will see a close up of the impasto (thick) areas of oil paint, that to me, resembles the thick texture of calla blooms.  I wanted this painting to show the strength of these callas,  along with their curvaceous feminine shape... their yin and yang.

White Trumpets has a presence...

24x12 inches on narrow profile canvas (needs some drying time for the thicker impasto areas)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pink Flutes

Calla lilies have beautiful curves... like champagne flutes.  Pink Flutes for pink champagne.  Callas have been used in floral bouquets for thousands of years and there is evidence of their use in ancient Rome.  Today they come in a variety of sizes shapes and colours.  The variation of hues is almost endless...  white, yellow, pink, rusty orange, etc... all the way to a dark wine/burgundy tone.

Pink is my choice today...

12x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, April 19, 2010

hollyhock Glow

Hollyhock Glow is from a series of photos I took last summer while exploring the back lane gardens in our neighbourhood.  These raspberry coloured petals glowed like a grouping of neon lights propped up against the stucco wall of a garage, announcing the location of more treasure just inside the back gate... another stand of raspberry hollyhocks tucked in a corner.

10x10 oil on canvas

Friday, April 16, 2010

French Ivory

French Ivory is a fancy name for celluloid, a type of plastic invented in the late 1860s to imitate ivory.  French Ivory was in vogue through to the late 1930s and was used extensively for dressing table accessories and manicure sets for the bedroom; fancier sets were often monogramed. If you are looking for a piece to complement your vanity set this monogramed Iris (see my initial on the lower left) just might be it!

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time, *items in my vanity set below not included)

Here is my collection of 'French Ivory'... a button hook, a shoe horn and a nail file.

Please check out Carol Nelson's blog to see the portrait she did of me, I am #88/100.  She is doing a series of 100 portraits in 100 days in the Fauvist style.  I love my hair colour!  Have a look through the collection, amazing work.  Rumour has it that tomorrow, (Saturday) she will be posting one of my husband, Ferdinand.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Avocado Gold

No, I'm not wearing an avocado face mask while writing this blog... maybe next time.  I had one subscriber ask me if I might try a self portrait while wearing an avocado facial blend... just for fun.  Perhaps...
Stay tuned to see if I do...
Stripes composed of white plus a colour often signify freshness and fun.   A striped table cloth, a summer patio/ beach umbrella, or a BBQ apron all represent enjoyment, and are utilized as a social/visual signal that it is time to relax and play... or eat.  Avocado Gold says it all!
Guacamole anyone?

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pepper Sill

Our kitchen window sill looked like the perfect spot to place this pepper half for a photo shoot.  Once painted, this piece made me think about window sills in general and wonder if there is any significant history to 'window sills'.  I soon found reference to a book published in the UK, called 'A Lust for Window Sills', a lover's guide to British Buildings from Portcullis to Pebble Dash.... of course I ordered it (couldn't find it locally, nor could I order it locally).  Once it arrives I will tell you all about the fascinating history of the window sill... plus utilize any other interesting or quirky facts about building 'bits and parts' as I broaden my painting horizons.

$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Avocado Closeup

During my avocado research I discovered that beside being a nutritious food source, avocados are supposed be wonderful for your skin.  As I write this blog I am wearing an avocado face mask, which I prepared by mashing about a teaspoon or so of fresh avocado into a creamy consistency and then spreading it on my face, making sure to avoid my eyes.  How's that for an visual you never expected to think about today!

One site said to mix 1/2 of a ripe avocado with 1/4 cup of honey and leave on for 10 to 20 minutes...

My research said that avocado oil is reputed to be beneficial in reducing age spots, healing scars, and moisturizing the upper layers of the skin, plus significantly increasing the water-soluble collagen content in the dermis, which affects the age of the skin.   I figured it was worth giving it a try...

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Warhol Pink

Our library has numerous books( and a couple of DVD's) on Andy Warhol.  He had some interesting colour choices for silk screening photographs of famous people plus animals, flowers and various objects that became pop art.  Most of us are familiar with his Marilyn Monroe images, but did you know that he also did portraits of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Queen Elizabeth II, Karen Kain and Mickey Mouse... plus many, many more.  Besides flowers, bats, bananas and lifesavers he even silk screened an image of Mount Vesuvius and the Brooklyn Bridge.

He wasn't afraid to experiment with colour, creating various versions of the same image.  When I painted this pink poppy I had just finished perusing one of his books... so I felt compelled to name it Warhol Pink.
Thanks for the inspiration Andy.

10x10 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Garlic on Silk

Garlic on Silk.  This piece of orange and ochre coloured silk fabric has found its way into many of my still life paintings...   I wish it was larger, because I would probably sew it into a fun skirt or blouse.  But since it is only a small remnant of material, I am content to brighten up my day by using it as a backdrop in some of my paintings.  Besides, I think it makes the fruits and vegetables feel special when they are placed on it... why keep it all for myself.
The garlic seemed to glow with delight when they were arranged on it... simple pleasures.

$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Garlic Elegance, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Not only do I love to paint garlic, I love to eat it as well.  It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I remember tasting fresh garlic, as my mother only used garlic salt and/or powder when she cooked.  To be honest, I am not sure that I even new what a bulb or clove looked like until that fateful day when a friend (who was older and a more experienced cook) made a Caesar Salad using fresh garlic... needless to say I was hooked.
The taste difference between fresh and powdered garlic is almost indescribable.  Perhaps there is still a place for powdered garlic in cooking, but in our kitchen it is always fresh.  And the couple who purchased this painting, (along with another 10x10 avocado painting for a grouping on a wall in their kitchen), are real 'foodies', with a pantry stocked with fresh garlic... along with other simple and exotic ingredients.

10x10 oil on canvas.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tapestry Tulips

Over Easter we had a large glass vase full of these tulips... long pointed burgundy petals with yellow edges.  Their shape and colour had an old world, European charm... reminiscent of the subject matter one might find in a needle point/tapestry hanging in a historic building.

Tapestry Tulips... something to hang on your castle wall.

12x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tomato Red II

In 1519, Cortez discovered tomatoes growing in Montezuma's gardens and brought seeds back to Europe where they were planted as ornamental curiosities, but not eaten.  It took a while for tomatoes to be cultivated as a food source, and it is no surprise that Italy was the first country to embrace and cultivate the tomato outside South America.
In 1897, soup mogul Joseph Campbell came out with condensed tomato soup, a move that set the company on the road to wealth as well as further endearing the tomato to the general public.  The high acidic content of the tomato makes it a prime candidate for canning, which is one of the main reasons the tomato was canned more than any other fruit or vegetable by the end of the nineteenth century.

Tomato Red II... more tomato reflections to reflect upon.

10x10 oil on canvas

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tomato Red I

While preparing some lunch the other day I cut up a beautiful red tomato into thick wedges and placed them on a plate.  Then it struck me that I have not painted a tomato yet, and the reddish orange colour of the wedges made my heart beat a little faster, (which is always a sign that I need to consider painting what ever it is that I am looking at).  So... while my poached eggs where cooking I dashed up stairs to my studio with the plate of wedges and carefully placed some of them on a piece of tin foil to check out their reflections.
Tomato Red was delicious.

10x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Small Dollops of Snow

Even though this painting is called 'Small Dollops of Snow' it is a bit larger format than the other two mountain ash berry paintings I posted a few days ago.
The snow here in Edmonton is almost gone... only a few stubborn patches trying to hide from the warmth of the sun.  Perhaps today we will see most of it disappear.

The rabbits are turning brown.  And how do I know that?  Well, I thought it was cute when I saw one hiding under our front steps this past week, then yesterday morning I looked out front and saw two huge (I'm talking well fed) rabbits sitting in my front lawn flower beds munching away.  I open the window and tried to shoo them away... they turned, gave me a quick glance, and proceeded with their breakfast at my front garden 'all you can eat' buffet!  I opened the front door and ran down the steps trying to create more drama as I shooed them away and they finally realized I was serious, and off they hopped.

I think they might have left me a few small roundish chocolate coloured 'Easter Treats', here and there in my garden...

$200.00 12x12 oil on canvas