Monday, January 31, 2011

Still Life Painting of Blood Oranges, Blood Orange, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Blood Orange, (on tin foil) 10x10 oil on canvas

An exotic blood orange differs from a typical orange in color and taste.  Some foodies describe the flavor of a blood orange as having a subtle raspberry and/or strawberry taste along with being sweet and mellow.  The exotic coloring comes from a pigment called anthocyanin, which can be found in purple and red flowers besides other fruit.  Anthocyanin is supposed to have many health benefits.  Red delicious apples owe their deep red exterior to the pigment, along with red wine.  The color red reminds me of Valentine's Day, and since anthocyanin is good for the heart, (think of the red wine theory) it seems like a good reason to consume something red.  So I found a recipe on Martha Stewart for a blood orange cheese cake... now that would be a tasty treat for Valentine's Day.

10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Life Painting of Limes, Green Lights, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Green Lights, 10x10 oil on canvas

It sure feels like spring outside today.  With temperatures well above zero these last two days, I have been fantasizing about spring... so perhaps that is why I see more green is sneaking onto my palette?  Or maybe I just like painting limes... especially on tin-foil.

I'm off to my Design Course at the University's of Alberta's Faculty of Extension Department tonight.  I really like the instructor, and am enjoying the homework too!  It's always good to take continuing education, no matter what field you are in.

10x10 oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Still life of Citrus Fruit, Foiled Limes Too, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Foiled Limes Too, 10x10 oil on canvas

Tin-foil just might become my second name!  Its reflective surface calls out to me from the kitchen as I work upstairs in my studio... tempting me to go down stairs, open the cupboard and look longingly at the huge ( Costco size) box of foil stored on the shelf.  Like that commercial on TV, where the box of donuts is calling out to the woman at her desk to come and consume one, or two... our roll of tin-foil is always on my mind.  The way it shimmers and shines as it catches the light entices my 'inner crow' to come out and play. 
Unlike donuts, tin-foil is calorie free... but I wouldn't recommend eating it!

10x10 oil on canvas

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunflower Painting, Sun Totems, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Sun Totems, 18x24 on gallery profile canvas

'Sun Totems' is from a reference photo that I used once previously last fall, and wanted to paint these sunflowers even larger this time. Rather than a square format, I chose a rectangle/landscape, and utilizing my 'artistic license' I changed a few things as I went along.  The two photos below shows the small colored sketch that I used for this painting, plus how I drew in the sunflowers using a red/orange toned paint.  As I painted, I left bits of the red/orange paint showing here and there for interest, creating a unifying effect, and the rich yellow petals are built up with thick impasto passages of buttery oil paint.  These sunflowers are painted life size sun totems, harbingers of autumn...

There is a bit of a glare on the upper right hand side of the main photo (sometimes fresh oil paintings are difficult to photograph).

If you would like to see this painting while it is drying in my studio, just give me a call and we can arrange a time.
work in progress, (on my new easel for larger works)
this sketch is 3.5x5.5 inches

18x24 oil on canvas 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pop Art Cutlery, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

'Pop Art Cutlery'  

'Comic Book Cutlery'

One more day of playing with my Photo Booth Options, this time using a previous painting called 'Silver on Silver, One of Each', if you missed seeing the original painting (where the cutlery was placed on tin-foil, have a look by clicking here)

*Plus I wanted to share some fun news:

A selection of my artwork is included on Claudette Pelletier-Hannah's website, she is a Weight and Wellness Coach, along with being a Life Coach.  If you click on each 'Tab' across the top of her Home Page, you will see each page has a different painting in the top left corner!  (I am thrilled that she is using my artwork on her website).

She told me that she enjoys working with individuals as well as groups and offers a complimentary session by calling her at 780-481-0313, or by email (you will find her email address at the
 bottom of her home page).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Floral Painting of a Lilies, Dusty Pink, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Dusty Pink Lilies is a cooler toned painting than I usually do, although I have painted this particular vase of soft pink lilies in a larger format a few years ago.  Even though I 'say' I prefer vibrant, hot colors, the real truth is I like color in general!   Color makes me smile, inside and out.
The color pink is often considered a feminine, romantic color, and along with red, it is the color most connected with 'Valentine's Day.'

If you like pink, you'll love this vase of lilies on your wall.  You can tell that special someone in your life that you already know what you want for Valentines...

$150.00, (+ 15.00 S&H anywhere in North America)
10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Geranium Floral Painting, Burlesque, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Have you seen Burlesque?  If you like Cher, Christina Aguilera,  or great dance movies, then you have to see Burlesque!  Fun, colorful costumes along with fabulous singing... just the right thing (besides this painting) to lift your spirits... Yes I know it didn't get great reviews, but who cares... the dancing is great.

At the moment I am listening to the soundtrack from the movie while I write this post, getting up every now and then to dance to the music... and no, not like in the movie... I'd throw my back out doing those moves!
The term Burlesque can be traced back to late Latin, 'burra' (trifle) which is the essence of this type of performance.  Campy and exotic, over the top performances... just for fun.  

The shape of the geranium leaf in this painting made me think of the wonderful fans used in some dance routines and the hot colored petals are reminiscent of the colorful costumes and makeup... lots of sizzle!

10x10 oil on canvas


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Avocado Red, Special Effects, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Today was one of those 'wiper' days, lots of work done, but no painting worth keeping.  So I started playing around with some of the cool features on our Mac.

Here are some interesting versions of a painting I posted called Avocado on Red.

1) This one is the 'Thermal Camera' effect in the Photo Booth App.

2) This one is using the 'Comic Book' effect.

3) And this last one is a set of four using the
 'Pop Art' effect.

I think this idea would make some interesting prints or cards...
What do you think?

Flowers are next!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Floral Painting of a Sunflower, Golden Petals, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

It's another snowy, overcast day here in Edmonton... so I thought I would paint us all a little bit of sunshine!  Sunflowers that make me smile.  Whether I look at them in a book, growing in a garden, or displayed in a vase, I feel the corners of my mouth start to curl upwards with happy thoughts.

Van Gogh created numerous sunflower paintings when he moved to Arles, France.   The majority of these floral paintings were specifically created to decorate the guest bedroom where his friend, Paul Gauguin would stay while visiting with Van Gogh in the 'Yellow House' in Arles.  The special quality of light in the South of France intrigued Vincent,  and he wrote to his brother Theo that he loved the amazing brilliance of orange and yellow next to the blue of the sky.

Sunflowers are happy flowers...


10x8 oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Geranium Floral Painting, Apricot Glow, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Sometimes I like using a black underpainting so that bits of black paint show up here and there, it reminds me of using the medium of pastels on black paper, which I love the look of, but find I cannot take the chalky dust that they produce.  My hat goes off to all the wonderful pastel artists in the blogging world!

Perhaps all the snow and gray days we have been experiencing lately here in Edmonton, have pushed me to want to go back to some vibrant colors... whatever the reason they are back!  My niece and her partner, just came back from a week long tropical vacation and they had a wonderful time... just hearing about their trip made me feel like I had been there too!  Once you have experienced a tropical destination with sun, sand and surf, it is hard not to 'go there' in your head when someone shares stories of their trip with you.
This pleasant daydreaming/reminiscing is very beneficial because it allows our bodies to re-experience the fun, relaxation and joy all over again, creating a parasympathetic response which can lower our blood pressure, boost our immune system and generally make us feel happier.  Maybe we can all save some money by having 'virtual vacations' now and then, although, as the saying goes, "there is nothing like the real thing!"

10x10 oil on canvas


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Inner Beauty XIII: Fringed Beauty, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Today I am adding a new addition to my inner beauty series.  I have painted this fringed poppy before, and felt it calling to me once again.  This particular variety grows in a front yard garden in the community of Riverdale, here in Edmonton.

My mother-in-law used to make a delicious sweet bread that was rolled like a jelly roll with poppy seed paste inside, (plus another one with walnut paste inside).  Both sweet treats were devoured very quickly whenever we received a loaf or two from her...  of course she had a special way of making it.

Whenever I see any poppy seed strudel for sale at a farmers' market or bake sale, I purchase a loaf for my husband.  His eyes light up like a Christmas tree when he sees this special treat, and even though the poppy seed roll will never replace his Mom's baking, he consumes every last morsel all the same...  It seems that many Europeans made this type of sweet treat, and I found a recipe for the poppy seed filling just in case you wanted to try it.
As they would say in Austria... Mahlzeit!

After 2 years of procrastinating, I finally have a facebook page!  Please check it out here, and 'like' me...

10x10 oil on canvas

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Bit Askew, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Propped a bit off center, this avocado is definitely a bit askew.  Rich creamy flesh, hugging a fat reddish brown seed, creates a plump piece of fruit that may not stand up straight when leaning against tin foil.  This half slid a bit forwards and to the right as I snapped my reference photos, but I liked the way it found its own center of gravity...

I'll pass along one beauty treatment that I read about that is supposed to eliminate under-eye puffiness...
Peel an avocado, remove the pit, and slice a half into 1/4 inch crescents.  Lie down, secure a few slices under each eye, and rest for 20 minutes.  The result is supposed to be corrective magic!

I may save a few slices from my lunch tomorrow and give it a try...

10x8 oil on canvas

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red or White?, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

It isn't tax time yet... but I am already anticipating the need for a 'refreshment' or two, just to get organized, which is why I chose to paint my cork screw.

Actually, I feel pretty proud of myself because last January, I purchase colored file folders and printed labels for each folder to match a line entry on my business tax excel spread sheet, (for example I have a  yellow folder with 'postage' printed on it in big bold letters.)  Having different colored folders appeals to my love of color and printing the labels in bold, large case letters makes it easy to read.

Then I purchased a 'vertical desk top wire mesh file holder' with 7 deep slots, from Staples, which allows me to fit 3 or 4 folders into each slot.  That way I can see everything at a glance, plus have the option to store it upright in a cupboard. Each time I purchase something, or pay a bill, I clip the new receipt to the previous receipts in the appropriate folder, which keeps everything nice and tidy rather than just tossing them into the folder and having to organize each folder later on when I need to add up the receipts... everything takes time and I am all about saving time and steps.

In theory all I have to do is grab one folder at a time, open it, add up all the receipts, then enter that total on the corresponding line on the spread sheet.  It all sounds so easy!  Once the theory has been put into practice I will report back on how well it went.

Which one do you prefer, red or white?  This year my choice is white...

$150.00, 10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Silver on Silver, Side by Side, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

10x8 oil on canvas

Imagine them larger... Just for fun

I think this will be the last painting in this Silver on Silver series... at least for a while.  (They would great hanging in a kitchen or dinning room, especially if you have a stainless steel stove and or refrigerator.)

The Development of stainless steel by a Sheffield (in England) metallurgist in the 1920s was an important improvement, and is now the standard material for knife blades today.   I have noticed on many cooking shows on the Food Network, that each chef seems to have his or her favorite manufacturer for their blade of choice, and I am amazed at the seemingly endless supply of options.  And here I thought there was only two knife options... sharp or dull. (only kidding!)

$150.00, 10x8 oil on canvas

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Silver on Silver, Upside Down, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Raise your hand (or fork) if you think I am having fun with this cutlery and tin-foil series!

Setting a table is something most of us do everyday... whether it consists of a knife, fork and spoon is a personal choice.  Usually I only set out a knife and fork, leaving the spoon in the cutlery drawer, unless we are having soup, or a saucy food that may require a spoon to scoop up every last delicious morsel.  One thing I often switch around is the direction of the knife blade, sometimes I am an 'inny' and sometimes I am an 'outy'.

Fortunately, I do realize the errors of my haphazard ways... and will try to be more consistent with the blade, making sure I am more of an inny since we wouldn't want anyone to cut themselves on a rather dull bread knife, plus you never know when Martha might show up unexpectedly for dinner.

Speaking of Martha Stewart, she has a good tip on how to keep your  sterling silverware from tarnishing by sewing up a handy sectioned cutlery bag from special cotton flannel fabric that has been treated with zinc. Check it out here.
*I read in her contributors' comment section that here in Canada we can supposedly purchase this fabric from Lee Valley Tools.

Are you an inny or an outy... or do you care?

$150.00, 8x10 oil on canvas

Monday, January 3, 2011

Silver on Silver, Two of a Kind, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Silverware was made from silver for many reasons, but one of the most interesting reasons is that silver is known to have health benefits.

Silver was used during Greek and Roman times to control bodily infection and prevent food spoilage.  Hippocrates (know as the Father of Medicine) used silver to heal wounds and the King of Persia used a silver container to carry water to prevent contamination.  It was already known in these ancient times that silver was special... before modern germicides and antibiotics, it was known that disease-causing pathogens could not survive in the presence of silver.  No wonder silver was (and still is) used for drinking vessels, cutlery and dishes.  Just think about the Catholic Church using a silver goblet for the communal communion cup...

 Even Pliny the Elder (the Roman Scholar) wrote about the ability of silver to heal wounds by preventing infection.  During WWI silver leaf was used to combat infection in wounds, but it was not until the 1970s that silver made a come-back in the medical field.  Silver sulphadiazine is now used in the treatment of burn victims to kill invasive burn bacteria and permit wounds to heal.

Elastoplast now has Silver Healing bandages.  Check their website, for more info.

$150.00, 8x10 oil on canvas

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Silver on Silver, One of Each, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Cutlery, also known as silverware or flatware was not a regular part of a table setting until the end of the medieval times.  It was around this time that the lower classes began to entertain by hosting dinner parties.  Previous to this, food was considered to be only a means to an existence.  Once it became a reason to socialize, the silversmiths began to create a multitude of utensils decorated with various designs and motifs. The word cutlery can be traced back to its Latin origin 'cultellus' meaning knife.  Cutlers was the name given to the men who forged iron knives, so you can see the how the word cutlery came into use, especially since a knife was the most important utensil for thousands of years.

Here we have 'One of Each'... on tin foil.


8x10 oil on canvas