Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Floral Painting of a Sunflowers, Sun Signs, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Sun Signs
8x24 on gallery profile canvas

Close-up of impasto 
*(click to enlarge)

I will need to take another photo of this painting... this one has some glare from the (dare I say) 'brighter' day.  No, I didn't say sunny day, but the overcast day 'seemed' brighter... anyway, I will take a better shot of this sunflower painting in the morning.

The aqua blue/green background makes them pop off the canvas, giving this painting an almost 3D affect. Click on the photo for a close-up of the impasto sections... rich creamy oil paint passages.   The paint was the texture of butter icing, and I almost wanted to lick the brush, but that would be very hazardous to my health, and too much like Van Gogh...

Here is my attempt at a Haiku Poem for this painting:

Yellow rippled frosting
dark chocolate centers
bird candy

8x24 oil on gallery profile canvas

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Floral Painting of an Iris, Can-Can, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

24x18 inches
on gallery profile canvas

Can-Can is a high energy painting.  If you click on the painting you will get a close up view of the energetic brushwork and vibrant rich colors that create the petals of this local iris.  It grows in a front yard garden about 2 blocks from our home.  You could easily miss seeing this exotic beauty planted close to the front porch, sheltered from the wind, beside the front steps... but once you catch a glimpse of her, you won't forget her.

24x18 oil on gallery profile canvas


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Encaustic Group Art Show, Wimmin in Wax, Reception March 25, 2011

Enigma I, II & III
Encaustic on cradled board, 10x8, $215.00 each

'Wimmin in Wax'
A Group show 
Eleven Women who paint in Encaustic (bees wax)

Opening Reception is Friday, March 25, 2011
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

*Refreshments will be served, and artists will be in attendance

Show runs from March 25, to April 5, 2011

Centre d'arts visuels de l'Alberta (CAVA)

9103-95 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6C 1Z4
Tel: 780-461-3427 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sketch of a Monstera Plant, Monstera Study, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Monstera Study
graphite, pen and ink, watercolor wash
9x8 on paper

My eyes were craving green yesterday, so I packed up a few art supplies and headed off to Muttart Conservatory for a few hours of photography and sketching.  Here in Edmonton we have four glass pyramids, each with its own distinct environment, and plants.  The tropical pavilion was my last stop.  Luckily, I found a vacant bench in front of a Monstera Plant and staked it out as my own for a few hours while I lost myself in the maze of leaves, trying to keep my attention on the puzzle shapes as I sketched.  After a graphite sketch I applied a loose wash of watercolors, and then added some pen and ink cross-hatching to define a few areas.  Time flys when you are focused on your work, and before long 2 hours had slipped by...

The humidity in the pavilion felt wonderful on my skin and the greenery made it 'feel' like spring!

Did you know that the color green is often used in decorating for its calming effect because green is thought to relieve stress and help heal.  Supposedly those who work in a green work environment experience fewer stomachaches, which leads to the idea of the 'green room' where television guests relax and wait before their appearance on a talk show.
I even read that some students may improve their reading skills by laying a transparent sheet of green paper over reading material.  This tool is supposed to increase reading speed and comprehension.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Floral Painting of Delphinium, Blue on Grey, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Blue on Grey
8x10 oil on canvas

This is a 'high key' painting, which means that it consists of mainly lighter colors.

Our backyard has a weathered grey fence that creates a nice backdrop for my flower garden... especially taller plants and flowers.  Delphinium colors, or at least the ones I grow, can be a surprise each summer.  I never know what variation of color is going to show up.  Some years there is a range of blue, all the way from baby blue to a dark ultramarine.  Other years I may find wispy stalks of white blooms with a hint of dusty blue, scattered amongst the lilies; while large dark purple blooms lurk in the corners of the garden... waiting patiently for a bumble bee to happen by.

A stem of blue on grey is the most striking.  A lacy branching of delicate blue blooms, bobbing and swaying in a summer breeze... looking demure... waving to everyone.

8x10 oil on canvas

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Studio Interior photo with Iris paintings, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

This studio shot might be called 'Mini Me!'

The  smaller 6x12 inch painting called  'Blue Wings' was created first (as a bit of a study) before I painted the larger 12x36 inch version called, 'Blue Wings Too.'  Once I completed the larger painting, and stood back for the final view after I signed my name to 'Blue Wings Too', this fun juxtaposition jumped out at me.
There was my smaller 'mini me' daily painting version, overshadowed by the larger gallery version.  So, I thought I would share the view, and let you see the size comparison, (and my painting setup).

I love my studio...

Plus, I added a Haiku Poem to my 'Orange Beard' painting.

*(These Japanese Iris postings can be seen on my blog... March 7, for the small one and March 17 for the larger version)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Floral Painting of a Japanese Iris, Blue Wings Too, by Canadian Painter Kim Blair

Blue Wings Too
12x36 inches, oil on gallery profile canvas

I was complaining about the snow today... but then I remembered the tragic event in Japan, and realized that the amount of snow we have to deal with is nothing.  I cannot imagine the hardships the Japanese people are experiencing since the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that devastated their country on March 11...
my heart goes out to them. 
When this larger Japanese Iris painting sells, I will donate $80.00 of the proceeds to 'The Red Cross' for their relief fund for Japan. 

When I painted the smaller version of this Iris, and posted it on March 7, I was doing some research and studying Haiku poetry, and tried my hand at writing a few very simple Haiku poems for some of my paintings.  This Japanese Iris reminded me of a dragon fly, and so I composed a simple Haiku poem when I painted the smaller one, and am posting the poem today.  I wrote this before the tragedy in Japan, but now my words sound like they are describing the earth, rather than wings...

Here is the Haiku poem that I wrote for this painting:

Twisting and bending
blue wings spread
riding a summer breeze

12x36 oil on gallery profile canvas

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Floral Painting of an Iris, Orange Beard, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Orange Beard
12x6 oil on canvas

Yellow and Burgundy Iris are an older, heritage variety that you see in almost every garden here in the Highlands, in Edmonton.  I have painted this particular variety from a number of perspectives. It's ruffled upper petals (called 'standards and style arms') have lots of interesting folds and ripples to catch the sunlight, and the orange beard is used as a 'foot hold' (do insects have feet?) for bees to grab onto so they can find their way inside the bloom to drink the nectar.
This little painting could be a conversation starter at your next party, but if an astute gardener had not consumed too much wine... he/she could easily figure out what the image is. 
Who needs charades!

I am adding a Haiku Poem to this painting...

Zebra stripes
golden edged petal
orange whiskers

12x6 oil on canvas 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Floral Painting of a Japanese Iris, Blue Wings, by Canadian Painter Kim Blair

Blue Wings
6x12 oil on canvas

Japanese Iris have an interesting shape, and this particular format and perspective showcases this variety's beautiful 'falls', which I think look like blue wings...

Living in a colder part of Canada, I think I really appreciate going to the greenhouse and walking around their 'show gardens' more than if I lived in a warmer climate.  Gardening season has a very short life span in Edmonton and gardeners here tend to savour every day that we can enjoy our outdoor floral displays.  One garden center  I enjoy has a lovely outside 'show' garden, and whenever I am there my camera accompanies me.  Snapping a few reference photos, sitting on one of their benches to contemplate the view, plus stopping to smell the flowers along the way, really makes my day.

Simple pleasures...

$150.00, (+ 15.00 S&H)
6x12 oil on canvas

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Floral Painting of an Iris, Elegant, by Canadian Painter Kim Blair

24x8 oil on gallery profile canvas

Iris blossoms can take on a variety of personalities... for example this white Iris, with all her lovely curves and folds looks so dainty and delicate, she is a natural beauty.  Her long skirt (which in botanical language is really called 'falls') swaying in a gentle breeze, catching the moonlight while dancing in the garden on a warm summer night, seems very Elegant.

(Don't let her delicate demeanor fool you though,  she measures in at a bit larger than you might think... her measurements are 24 x 8 inches.)

$320.00, 24x8 on gallery profile canvas (+ S/H anywhere in North America)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Floral Painting of an Iris, Striped, by Canadian Painter Kim Blair

 10x8 oil on canvas

Where is spring?  Sure the sun is shining, and the snow shadows are wonderful shades of lavender/blue... but it stops there.  I feel like I live in "Whoville" from The Grinch Stole Christmas.  

In order to change my 'Whoville' train of thought I grabbed my brush and painted an Iris, or at least a section of an Iris... I like the way our mind 'fills' in the section not rendered.  I am working on some different perspectives of flowers,  and this one is a small version of a larger work I am contemplating.  Floral paintings really speak to me, and are a large part of who I am as an artist...  so I have a few ideas up my sleeve regarding some different perspectives and variation of canvas shape/sizes, which is all tied into my foray into abstraction, or semi-abstraction.

10x8 oil on canvas

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Landscape Painting of Lavender Fields, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

These four, 18x24 inch 'Salt Spring Lavender Field' paintings were purchased yesterday by one collector to be hung side by side on a wall in her home.   She mentioned that she previously lived on the west coast of Canada, and is familiar with Salt Spring Island, but has not had a chance to see the lavender fields, so next time she goes to the coast she may just hop on a ferry to Salt Spring and have a look!

 I love meeting the people who purchase my paintings... it feels good to make a connection with the person who will now be the owner of some of my art.
Thank you K.H.