Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pen & Ink Floral of a Lily, Evening Lily by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Today was a pen and ink day.  As I mentioned before I find it magical when the ink mixes with water and creates swirls, tones and shadows on the watercolor paper.  The deeper black ink on the pollen, along with the cross hatching and gesture mark making with the quill pen gives depth to the pendulous anthers.  The anthers, heavy with pollen are what inspired me to paint this piece.  They are waiting for a fat bubble bee to happen along...
Pen and ink allows me to be a bit more detailed,  showing more of the little marks, nicks and lines that tell a story about this evening lily, giving it a unique character.

$100.00, 12x9 pen & ink on watercolor paper. (+ 15.00 S/H anywhere in North America)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Floral Paining of a Lily, Inner Beauty XII: Winter Light, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Today was a bright sunny winter day, perfect for painting a white lily reflecting some of the winter light.

Alberta is sometimes called the "Sunshine Province" because our province has more sunny days than any other province in Canada.  Even though our winters can be long and cold, at least we have more than our share of sunshine, which can help to alleviate a bit of the cabin fever we may experience over the next few (ok, more than a few) months...
As a bit of trivia for my fellow Albertans, did you know that the 'Provincial Stone' for Alberta is petrified wood?  This choice makes sense when you think about how dinosaur rich this province is.  I feel rather special because we just happen to have a piece of polished petrified wood from the Badlands of Alberta on display in our living-room.

10x10 oil on canvas. (+ 15.00 S/H anywhere in North America)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flag painting, Hungarian Flag I, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

This version of the Hungarian Flag with the current coat of arms is a special Christmas Gift to a father from one of his daughters and her husband.  Getting the actual flag out of the parent's home in order for me to photograph it for reference was a clandestine operation.  Of course, the Mother was in on the caper and helped her daughter figure out which flag (there are a few versions) should be the one for the painting.  I love these types of stories.  You know the ones I mean... filled with fun, a little intrigue and lots of love, perfect for future reminiscing when someone asks about the unique gift hanging on the wall.
It is often a difficult task to purchase a special present for a loved one, so when someone gives the gift of one of my flag paintings I am honored.

Thanks S & K, and Merry Christmas to your Dad!

Commission, 12x6 oil on canvas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still Life of Avocado, Avocado for Matisse, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

The Edmonton Art Gallery has a Matisse Exhibit on at the moment and I have been trying to get down town to see it.  I was talking to a friend on the phone about the show this morning and she is going to organize our art group (we have a small group of about 8 women that get together every now and then like a book club would, only instead we talk art) to go and see it and than have a 'beverage' afterwards to discuss the show.  Even though we meet infrequently (because we are all so busy), our little intimate group is a wonderful support network for sharing thoughts and dreams about art... so I can hardly wait to see everyone for a gallery outing.  It is important for artists to connect with each other in an environment that is nurturing and supportive, and our special group certainly is that.  We share and talk about our art journeys, knowing that we will be heard and supported in whatever way possible by the other women in the group.

So, with Matisse on my mind I painted this piece while thinking about his painting called 'Woman in a Purple Coat'... I think it was the strong stripe pattern with the use of black that made the connection in my brain.

*Click on the image to see a close-up of the thick oil paint 'flesh' of the avocado.

oil on canvas

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Poppy Floral Painting, Inner Beauty XI, Orange Flames, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Color (I am really trying to use the google version of the spelling of color...) is back on my brush and canvas.  Brushing the orange oil paint over the stretched canvas made me feel alive,  and as the tones of yellow and orange mingled to create the poppy petals I could feel my heart jump with joy!  Applying the hits of blue was the icing on the cake... or should I say poppy.

Oriental Poppies are an excellent plant for zone 3 gardening, like we have here in Edmonton.  As I sit at my computer looking out at the winter snow (while writing this blog posting), I have to say how happy I am to report that the poppy is a cold weather flower that needs dormancy in winter and generally does not grow well south of a zone 7.  Hurray for winter!! (Oops, was that my outside voice?)

10x10 oil on canvas

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pen & Ink Floral of a Lily, Red into Black, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

A red lily oil painting was the reference for this pen and ink piece.
Working with pen & ink creates a meditative/zen like feeling in me.  The flow of the ink onto to the wet paper... the swirl of the brush... the mark making with the quill pen all add up to 'being in the zone' for me. Time to contemplate the magic of ink mixed with water or my navel...
It's all good.

$50.00, 5x7 ( + 10.00 S&H anywhere in North America) pen & ink on 300 lb watercolor paper.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pen & Ink Floral of a Lily, Profile, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

 Since I am in a black and white phase I wanted to repost this pen and ink of a stargazer lily.                                                              
You could have it professionally matted and framed or, because it is a standard size you could pop it into a ready made black frame, with a white toned mat.  

$50.00, 5x7 unframed (+ 10.00 S&H anywhere in North America) pen & ink on 300 lb. watercolour paper

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monochromatic Lily Floral Painting, Black & White I, White Magic, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Black and White I, White Magic

Yesterdays post of two pen & ink paintings of birch trees on watercolour paper, started my creative juices flowing.  I have been tossing around the idea of creating a black and white (monochromatic) series of oil paintings, and my muse decided that today was the day to begin!
My 'Inner Beauty' Series is overflowing with inspiration for this black & white floral theme, so I plan on re-painting a number of the pieces from that series in black & white, plus add some new florals to the monochromatic mix.

12x12 oil on canvas

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birch Tree Pen & Ink, Birch I & II, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

I am reposting these two pen & inks...
A wider format is well suited to birch trees. These are 11x24 inches and I posted them together because they are a diptych and will look stunning framed and hung side by side on a wall.  I could not post them that way, so here they are stacked, but that is not how I would hang them.

On a moonlight evening birch trees can appear to be etherial...  Ghostly beings huddled together shaking hands, leaning in to hear a good story, hugging, patting each other on the back in a friendly gesture, whispering together as you walk by...  Each tree is unique. Some are large and robust, others slender and delicate.  A few look frail with frost cracks looming large on their tiny frames, while others have a bit more peeling bark... and scared limbs. Each unique from the rest.

11x24 inches each, pen and ink with ink wash on 140 lb arches watercolour paper.  (Ready to be matted and framed)  
$300.00  for the set unframed (+ 20.00 S&H anywhere in North America)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rose Hip Study, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

This little pen and ink study of rose hips, has a loose watercolour wash which was applied after the ink dried.  Sometimes I like to splash a few colours onto some watercolour paper, let them flow into each other, allowing them to create their special magic, and then draw over the dried pigment with pen and ink.

I have a cute little tin case (pencil box) filled with watercolour pencils, an indelible ink marker, a small round brush, plus a pencil sharpener.  This treasure box is the first thing into my luggage when we go on vacation... or if I want to go out into the world for a day of exploration and drawing.  Sometimes, I 'pretend' to be out exploring (sort of like having a picnic indoors when the weather is bad) and set up a cosy spot in my studio and play.  Often these play dates lead to larger oil paintings and sometimes they are cute just on their own.


*My Poppy Greeting Cards are moving fast.  Check them out... click here for the 'Square' format, or here for the 'Rectangle' format.

Here are some of the gift ideas they are can be used for:
Holiday Hostess Gift, Office exchange, Secret Santa, Stocking Stuffer, Thank You, Employee appreciation,  and so far the most unique idea is to use them individually as .... (drum roll please) 'Place Markers' for a dinner party! (I think the rectangle ones would work best for that)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Still Life Painting of Limes, More Limes, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Limes are not a shy fruit.  They flaunt their bright green, dimpled skin at ever opportunity, not caring what anyone thinks.  Whether it be a slim slice in a drink, or a grouping of whole fruit on a plate, they make a festive statement and their presences always spells fun.  So when in doubt... add more limes.

Is it time to add a little bit more fun to your life, or wall?

12x12 oil on canvas


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Floral Still Life Painting of an Iris, Sapphire, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

'Sapphire' is quite the big gem... she measures in at 24x18 inches on gallery profile canvas, so it's a good thing she is meant to hang on a wall and not your finger!

The word Sapphire is derived from Sapphirus, which is Latin for blue.  The gems natural blue colour has always been associated with royalty (maybe that is where the saying 'blue bloods' came from?), so it makes sense that it has been a symbol of nobility, truth and sincerity.  Sapphires get their gorgeous colour tone from the trace elements iron and titanium, (as an aside, the white paint in this iris painting is a pigment called 'titanium' white...) and blue sapphires that are found in basaltic rock have a better colour because basalt is rich in iron.  A blue sapphire is the birthstone for people born in September, but my painting called 'Sapphire' is meant for anyone who loves Iris...  A Gem for your wall.

24x18 oil on gallery profile canvas (+ 25.00 S&H anywhere in North America) * if you can come by my studio to pickup your painting and have paid with the paypal button, I will reimburse you for the S&H

Friday, November 12, 2010

Floral Still Life Painting of a Lily, Off White, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

There is a house down the street from our home that has a gorgeous garden.  How gorgeous is it you ask?  Well it is so gorgeous that you feel like you have stepped into a bit of Europe when you open the side gate and walk in.  It is overflowing with plants, accented with statuary and paved with slate walks.  Numerous nooks and crannies offer little visual surprises, whether it be a unique plant or garden ornament.  Once you enter this oasis you could easily forget time... wandering from one visual treat to the next.  (You have to be careful not to follow any white rabbits down any holes while you are there...)
This off white lily was one of the many treasure I discovered.  Thick waxy petals curled back, allowing a glimpse of the creamy inner surface of the bloom...

Strength and beauty make quite the combination.

$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunflower Painting,Yellow Light, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Sunflowers are not just another pretty flower.  Did you know that one of the most beneficial uses of this plant is in the removal of toxic waste from the environment?  My research uncovered some information on an emerging technology called rhizofiltration.
Hydroponically grown plants are grown floating over water.  Their extensive root systems are able to reach deep into sources of polluted water and extract large amounts of toxic metals, including uranium.  The former Soviet Union used this method to decontaminate water polluted as a result of the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl.  The roots of the floating rafts of sunflowers were able to extract 95% of the radioactivity in the water caused by that accident.

10x10 oil on canvas

Monday, November 8, 2010

Poppy Greeting Cards, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

 Set of 5 Poppy Greeting Cards (Square format)

 Set of 5 Poppy Greeting Cards (Rectangle format)

The holidays are just around the corner, and I have two beautiful options for 'a little something special' for a hostess gift, office gift exchange, teacher gift, client appreciation, thank you gif,t or a gift for yourself!
*Each card is blank inside, and (with a white envelop) is individually wrapped in a crystal sleeve)

A set of 5 assorted cards (one of each image) is only $15.95, with free shipping anywhere in North America!

To view a larger photo of the poppy paintings in each set, and/or to purchase via Paypal :

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Poppy Floral Painting, Orange on the Edge, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Orange on the Edge is a poppy I discovered while strolling (with camera in hand) through a Riverdale neighbourhood, here in Edmonton.  Amongst the profusion of poppies and Iris in the community garden was this particular poppy, a real show-stopper!  This was a first for me.  I have not seen many white poppies, which is probably why this variegated specimen with its tissue paper thin white petals edged with one of my favourite colours... orange, stood out from the other beauties in this garden.

Big, bold and beautiful... with orange on the edge.

12x12 oil on canvas

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Geranium Floral Painting, Geranium Gem, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

White geraniums sparkle in the sunshine like crystals... semi-opaque white quartz crystals that change their degree of opaqueness depending how much light is shining on their multi-faceted little faces.

Brazil is the largest exporter of radio and radar quality quartz crystals...  no where else on earth has the same quality and quantity of quartz crystals.  During the second world war Arkansas was the only US State to have the quality needed, but it could not produce the quantity required. Importation of Brazilian quartz was vital to the war effort.  There were so many German U-boats patrolling the waters of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that the supply was cut off by sea, but not by air.
My research suggests that the normal resonant mechanical vibrations of quartz crystal controls the radio frequency of a circuit... man enhanced this feature by cutting and orienting the quartz in a specific way.
Crystals technology is utilized in a multitude of products today... from the military to alternative healing practices.

10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amaryllis Floral Painting, Bolero Red, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

'Bolero Red' is the actual name for this variety of amaryllis, and with the dark toned background I think it feels very  Spanish...  I almost started to do a little flamenco dancing when I finished this painting.

(*Unfortunately there is a bit of a glare on the left side of this photo, I will attempt another photo when it is dry, as I just painted it yesterday.  This painting looks very rich in real life, so you are welcome to pop over to my studio to have a peek, just email me first)

The word bolero conjures up different images... who can forget Maurice Ravel's piece of music 'The Bolero' in the movie '10' and with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore (enough said)...  or the little jacket called a bolero which had its origins in Spain (first worn by men), then found its way to the New World and  Mexican Cowboys.  The bolero was soon incorporated into the female fashion world and can be seen as an influence in the short little sweaters called a shrug.

18x24 oil on gallery profile canvas

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Amaryllis Floral Painting, Holiday Highlights, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

You know the holidays are getting close when you see amaryllis bulb/flowers for sale.  I was out at a greenhouse over the weekend and noted they already had all of their Christmas decorations on display...

Even though I called this Painting 'Holiday Highlights', it is by no means only a painting suited for the holidays... and speaking of holidays I have some greeting cards being printed for the gift giving season.

This time I am offering poppy images on either a set of square, or a set of rectangle shaped cards.  If you look at the top of my blog, just above today's posting you will see a header of tabs for separate pages.  Click on the tab for the square poppy cards and/or the tab for the rectangle poppy cards to view the assortment in each set.  Or click 'here' for Square , and 'here' for Rectangle options to go directly to the info.

Greeting cards make the perfect hostess, teacher or office gift, and because they are blank inside they can be used for any occasion.

With my 'free mailing anywhere in North America offer' for my greeting card sets, you can even send me the name & address where you would like a set or two sent as a gift!  Just be sure to enclose the gift message you would like me to print off to enclose with them, (remembering to let me know what holiday or special occasion you are celebrating  so that I will use the appropriate stationary for the message).

12x12 oil on canvas