Friday, July 30, 2010

Limes on Credit

I painted this piece using only a credit card!  Now you know what to do with all those 'plastic gift cards' that you have kept after using up the currency that was loaded on it,  and don't know what to do with them... save them for me!  I'll put them to good use recycling them for painting.
(*I'm serious, if you have one or more and would like to send them off to me, email me and I will send you back my mailing address, it will only cost you a stamp and you will have allowed me to re-use them rather than you dropping them in the recycle bin or the land-fill... )

Limes on Credit is a another version of a previous painting of limes on my signature 'tin foil'.
See, 'Silver Limes' from my February 1, 2010 posting, that one was done with a brush and maybe a tiny bit of palette knife.
At the retreat/workshop I attended last week I created a few paintings using only a credit card and will post some of them in the future.  The card (like a palette knife) allows me to be more spontaneous with the paint, apply it with thick rich strokes in a more painterly fashion, almost an abstraction of the subject matter.  You 'll see more of this in the future.


12x12 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foiled Cherries

Painting Foiled Cherries makes me hunger.   I must confess that after I completed this painting I popped both of these red beauties into my mouth. Gone in 60 seconds or less!  They were scrumptious, so I consumed a few more...  Of course I will never admit to how many more, but lets just say I'll be sleeping well tonight!
(if you read my blog from Tuesday of this week you will get the joke.)

Pleasant dreams.

10x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reflections in Red

Raise your hand if cherries are one of your favourite fruits!  (I am raising two hands)

Reflections in red shows off the super glossy surface of both the cherries and the tin foil, creating a dreamy world of colour and shine.  Cherries are the ultimate portable snack food and one source said they contain Melatonin, which is a natural hormone responsible for regulating the sleep cycle in our bodies.  Supposedly tart cherries have a higher percentage of melatonin when compared with sweet cherries, but who cares, I like them both.

10x10 oil on canvas

Friday, July 16, 2010

Avocado for Cezanne

Avocados are one of my favourite fruit/veggies to paint.   When an avocado is ripe the flesh is rich and buttery... almost the same consistency as my oil paints right out of the tube!   This similarity makes it so much fun to use my palette knife to spread a thick layer of soft paint onto the canvas, to depict the flesh.
I had lunch with Cezanne today... (yes, I have a vivid imagination) via a lovely book about his life and art.

I noted that he often utilized deep aqua blue, rust and orange tones in his paintings... and since we were having lunch together I figured why not give him some credit for my afternoon painting?

 10x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lion Rampant

The Lion Rampant is often considered the unofficial national flag of Scotland, although the real national flag of Scotland is the blue and white 'Saltire' or St. Andrews' Cross.
The 'Lion' flag may have been used as early as 1143 by King William I, and may have been made famous by King Richard I of England ( Richard the Lion Heart) later in the 12 century.

The ferocious looking lion, or 'rampant' lion seems to be an appropriate symbol for Scotland,  a country with fierce national pride.

Officially (and historically) the Lion Rampant Flag is only allowed to be flown by a Scottish monarch... and today it is traditionally flown at royal residences when Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the British Isles, is NOT in residence.  King George V gave permission for Lion Rampant flags to be waved by the public during his Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1935, but if anyone wants to fly one from a flagpole or building they do still need to get special permission.

12x6 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Still Life of Spanish Flag, Spain Won (I), Kim Blair

As we all know, on Sunday, Spain won the World Cup in Soccer!  Congratulations Spain!
But also a huge congratulations goes to the Netherlands in second place, and Germany in third place.  It is quite an special honour to be in one of the top three positions in the world of soccer, and this calls celebration.  Whether you are from any of the three countries, have heritage from any of the three countries,  just know of someone from one of the three countries... or just love to watch soccer, you have cause to celebrate!
12x6 oil on canvas

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fringed Poppy I

On one of my car rides looking for floral reference photos I came to a fast stop in front of a lovely yard in the Riverdale Community.  My 'poppy radar' was out in full force when I spied some exotic oriental blooms.  As I was clicking away with my digital camera the owner came out of her house and mentioned that I might like to return the next week to photograph another stand of spectacular poppies getting ready to open in the opposite bed... she pointed to the deep green buds behind me.  Not one to miss a poppy opportunity I made a note in my day-timer...

As I drove up to their front garden the next week I was amazed.  There, standing tall and proud, was a group of fluffy, fringed oriental blooms.  It was a thrill for me to see these amazing flowers.  D and T's peachy pink, frilly and fabulous poppies were the highlight of my day!  Painting this poppy recreated the joy I felt while photographing them... simple pleasures make life special.

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

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Netherlands I

The Netherlands' flag is based on the heraldic colours (coat of arms), of Prince William of Orange, who led the fight for Dutch independence from Spain in 1568.  By 1648 Spain finally recognized the Netherlands independence.  In the mid 17th century, the orange stripe was changed to red but the reason is unclear.  One theory is because red is more visible than orange when viewed from a distance.  Red, white and blue were officially announced as the colours of the flag in 1796.

A Royal Decree was issued in 1937, by Queen Wilhelmina, and the red, white and blue of the Dutch National Flag were adopted as the flag for the Netherlands.  An orange pennant (hurray for keeping some orange!), together with the national flag, is still flown as a sign of allegiance of the Dutch people to the House of Orange.

Red for strength & valour
White for peace and honesty
Blue for truth and loyalty

*(email me if there is a particular flag you are interested in and we can discuss a commission)

12x6 oil on canvas.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cosmic Orange III

The poppies have been magnificent this summer!  I have been out and about snapping reference photos of some gorgeous specimens, and then rushing home to capture their essence on canvas.  One thing is for sure, poppies don't last very long once they bloom, and if there is heavy rain and wind in the forecast, you had better get out and enjoy their beauty...  because you can almost be guaranteed that most of the petals will be ruined by the storm...

Their fleeting beauty makes them even more special... Cosmic Orange III.
12x12 oil on canvas

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Union Jack I

The Union Flag, popularly known as the 'Union Jack' is the national flag of the United Kingdom.  The official British Flag.  The name Union Flag symbolizes the administrative union of the countries of the United Kingdom's of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, ( since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom).  As Wales was not a Kingdom but a Principality, it could not be included on the flag. A combination of the Scottish flag, St. Andrew's Cross  (white) and the English flag, St. George's Cross (red), created the Union Flag, (Union Jack) somewhere in the 1600's after the Scottish King James VI was crowned King James I of England... I wonder if the King had an identity crisis over changing VI to I, and did people call him one thing in Scotland and another name in England.... but I digress.

The name Union Jack was officially acknowledged as an alternative name for the Union Flag by the Admiralty and Parliament in the early 20th century.  One source said that the term 'jack' refers to the flag that is flown from the bowsprit of a ship, often denoting nationality.

*This flag is sold, but I am taking commissions on flags, and can paint another version/perspective of the Union Jack for you, or a different country.  

12x6 oil on canvas. (the sides are painted black, so no need to frame)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Canadian I

I had so much fun painting the Canadian flag last week... so I decided to do another version.  In fact I will be doing a number of flags from different countries, provinces etc.   It will be an ongoing series in this 12x6 inch canvas format, so watch for them to pop up here and there as I complete them.  This unique size makes a statement, but is small enough to fit in almost anywhere.

Unique gifts for weddings, birthdays, graduations, citizenship gifts, or as a special gift for a friend or relative from another country, the possibilities are endless.

(I almost called this one 'Canada eh?')

12x6 oil on canvas, (needs some drying time)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cosmic Orange II, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

The late afternoon sun created an intense glow on the petals of these poppies...  like thin sheets of gold, beaten into undulating blossoms.  Golden orange treasures blowing in the breeze.
A spectacular sight... Cosmic Orange II

*I have made a few changes to the look of my blog... click through via the blog link at the end of this email to have a peek.

10x10 oil on canvas

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cosmic Orange I

Cosmic Orange I is one of those paintings that practically jumped out and grabbed me by the arm and said, 'Please, pretty please paint me.'  Now could anyone resist such a plea.  I have to tell you that there were a few others waiting in line with the same plea, so watch out for more poppies...

Poppies are one of my weaknesses, along with a few other flowers.  'Cosmic Orange I' is just the beginning of another good thing (as Martha would say).

10x10 oil on canvas

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stars & Stripes

July 4 is Independence Day in the United States of America.  It's nice to know that Canada and the US, being neighbours, have special days so close to each other.  From my research, the Fourth of July commemorates the Continental Congress' adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The document, primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, served as a formal announcement that the 13 American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire and would henceforth be free and independent states.  Seven Red and Six White Stripes for the original 13 colonies, and Stars represent the 50 States of the Union.

My source said that Red symbolizes Hardiness & Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence, while Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

*Here is how Canadian Flag and the USA flag paintings look together.

Happy Four of July (on Sunday) to everyone in the USA!

12x6 oil of US flag on canvas.  (needs some drying time)