Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Semi Abstract Painting, Woven, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

20x30 oil on gallery profile canvas

'Woven' is the largest paintings so far, in my wicker series, and is the most dramatic of the series to date.  Choosing a name for a painting can sometimes be a difficult decision... but 'Woven' suits this painting on so many levels.
The symbolism of the name starts with the canvas itself... woven cotton fabric stretched over a wooden frame and coated in white gesso.   Thick, creamy oil paint was brushed onto this canvas into the woven pattern of the wicker trunk I have been using as a painting prop.
Lines and shapes intertwine, forming the image of reeds woven tightly together, creating a container... for storage.   Some reeds are thicker than others, but all sizes are useful and each length of the plant fiber snuggles up close to the next one to increase the strength of the finished product... the wicker trunk.

A place to store precious belongings, a place to keep them safe.  A 'Hope Chest' of sorts...

$500.00, 20x30 oil on gallery profile canvas

* My fellow blogger Carol Nelson, in Colorado is giving a two day mixed media workshop in July in her home state of Colorado.  Check it out via this 'link', and feel free to pass the info along to anyone you think might be interested in heading to Colorado this summer.    

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Semi Abstract Painting, Wicker Dreams Triptych, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Wicker Dreams Triptych
each one is 10x10 oil on canvas

Here are all three 'Wicker Dream' paintings lined up on my large easel in my studio, in order from left to right, I, II and III.  These three pieces are just the jumping off point for my 'wicker' series, I can feel there are many more paintings contained in this magical trunk... with a few interesting surprises hiding in the corners.

Stay tuned.

*All three paintings are SOLD.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Semi Abstract Painting, Wicker Dreams III, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Wicker Dreams III
10x10 oil on canvas

This is the third painting in the series.  Each painting is created from a unique view of the wicker trunk I mentioned in the two previous postings.  As I photographed the trunk (I have about 300 photos of it now) from various angles I began to think about the years of dust collected in the grooves and cracks of the weave.  I know there must be traces of dust from Vienna, but who knows where the trunk was constructed... there could be bits of dust from other countries in Europe too.  Dust plus memories woven into each strand by each person who worked on it, from the person who harvested the reeds to the craftsman who bent them into shape, and finally to the merchant who sold the wicker trunk to Ada's family in Austria.

The subtle, often seemingly insignificant connections in life.

10x10 oil on canvas 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Semi Abstract Painting, Wicker Dreams II, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Wicker Dreams II
10x10 oil on canvas

Another painting of the 'keep sake' wicker trunk we have that belonged to my husband's Mother.  My blog from Friday mentioned that this sturdy suitcase style trunk held clothing and linens on the voyage over  from Europe in the 50's.  Ada was a seamstress by trade, and meticulous in her work, so I can imagine how particular she must have been about the way she packed this case.  Packed full with all of the essential items she might need to set up house keeping in her new country.  Packed full dreams...

10x10 oil on canvas

Friday, April 15, 2011

Semi Abstract Painting, Wicker Dreams I, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Wicker Dreams I
10x10 oil on canvas

I have been exploring texture and line in my work lately, as you can see from this painting, and the fabric paintings from a few postings ago, (in fact I have a special project I have been working on regarding fabric). 

'Wicker Dreams I' is a semi-abstract painting of a close up section of a wonderful old wicker trunk we inherited from my husband's mother.  It is one of the trunks she used to transport her possessions from Austria to Canada, when she immigrated here in the 50's.   Packed with clothing and linens this wicker trunk also contained dreams... dreams of a new start in Canada after the war... dreams of the future in a new country... dreams of adventure in western Canada.   Dreams are precious things in life.

Wicker trunks and furniture were often made from rattan (a climbing vine from Indonesia), reeds and other strong natural fibers that could withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.  'Wicker' is the term for the product of weaving any number of natural materials and can be traced back thousands of years to the Egyptians, and probably farther.  King Tut was buried with several examples of wicker, such as a chair, headboard and a stool.  It seems wicker has royal roots.

10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Floral Painting of a Sunflowers, Two of a Kind, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Two of a Kind
36x12, oil on gallery profile canvas

I hear 'they' are predicting we may get 15 to 20 centimeters of snow Thursday!  That works out to about 4 to 8 inches of the white stuff... Yikes!
What better day than today... when we need a little sunshine... to post this large sunflower painting.

Their heads measure approximately 12 inches across, which means that it could feel like you are standing beside a couple of giant sunflowers when you hang these on a wall.  If you hang this painting with the bottom sunflower at eye level than the feeling will definitely be like you are in a whimsical garden of magical, mammoth blooms.  
Don't we all need a bit of magic in our lives?  If I was a fairy-god-mother I would use my magic wand to banish all the snow from Edmonton until next December... Poof!
Did it happen?

36x12 inches, oil on gallery profile canvas

Monday, April 11, 2011

Amaryllis Still Life, Amaryllis Abstracted, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Amaryllis Abstracted
23x18 watercolor on Yupo paper

One of my favorite subjects to paint is a red toned amaryllis, so why not try abstracting it for a change of pace?  Yupo has an interesting semigloss finish to it and it is fun to pour, swirl and maneuver the paint on this surface.  I created this piece a few years ago and have not gotten around to framing it, maybe this year, will be the year... 
I enrolled in some more wonderful art courses at the university this semester... they are so stimulating and rewarding.  Sometimes it is difficult to settling down and get to sleep after an evening course because  my brain is racing with ideas, but it is too late in the evening to pick up a brush, at least for me it is...

(Yupo paper is a smooth bright white paper that is waterproof like plastic.  It is a polymer based product that resists tearing and wrinkling, yet is light weight.)

23x18, watercolor on Yupo

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Painting of Antique Clothing, Mauve Ruffles, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Mauve Ruffles
10x10 oil on canvas

Have you heard of mauve?  Of course you have.  But, have you heard of Perkin's Mauve?  Maybe not...

Thanks to Henry Perkin we have synthetic dyes, and to be more specific, we have the color mauve (which is often called Perkin's Purple).  The proper name is mauve... and here is the story.

In 1856 Henry Perkin was 18 and a student at the Royal College of Chemistry in London, England.  He and his fellow students had been looking for a synthetic alternative to quinine (the malaria remedy found only in the bark of a South American tree).  His instructor, at the College, had noticed that some of the substances left over from gas lighting were very similar to quinine... and so the experiments began in ernest.  Who would be the first to discover a synthetic quinine?

Perkin had a lab set up in the attic of his parent's home.  After trying a few experiments he was about to wash out a glass flask when he noticed a black residue.  The solution of this blackish residue turned out to be a most beautiful color... and he eventually named it 'Mauve', (which comes from an old french word, which came from the latin word malva... the mallow flower family that is this color).

By 1858 every lady in London, Paris and New York who could afford the new colored fabric was wearing mauve, and this fashion trend made Perkin a very wealthy man before he was 20!  

This painting is from a photo I took last week of the mauve ruffles around the top of an antique brown toned dress.  I like the abstract feel of this painting, and of course I love the history of mauve coming from Coal Tar.. after all this is Alberta, and we are known for being an oil producer.

10x10 oil on canvas

Friday, April 1, 2011

Floral Painting of Geraniums, Geranium Orange, by Canadian Artist Kim Blair

Geranium Orange
24x8 oil on gallery profile canvas

Geraniums are one of my favorite annuals to plant in the summer.  They always look fabulous, whether you plant them in a regular little clay pot, or showcase them amongst a colorful mix of other annuals in a large glossy glazed 'decorator style' urn.    You are sure to have a colorful floral show whether you plant the real thing, or hang this 'real' painting in a special location in your home.

This long slim canvas fits those long skiny wall sections that 'need a little something'...

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