Thursday, September 27, 2012

Highland Sun

Today was such a gorgeous day here in Edmonton, a warm balmy 23 degrees Celsius... outstanding weather for a late September day in the north!
Most of the elm tree foliage is now a brilliant golden yellow, which made me think of sunflower petals... so I was inspired to post this Sunflower painting.

* (click on the image to see the rich texture created by thicker brush work and my trusty palette knife) 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yellow Curves
10x10 oil on canvas

It's sunflower season and almost every time I am out for a walk in our neighbourhood enjoying our gorgeous fall weather I happen upon a sunflower or two, or more... glowing (and growing) in the warm afternoon sun.

They like to hang out together along back alley fences chatting amongst themselves as they rustle in the breeze turning their faces towards the sun... teasing the birds.  A profusion of rich yellow petals clustered around a mound of chocolate brown seeds is a signal that the 'snack bar is open' for our local feathered friends.

Did you know that a solar power plant in Spain utilized the natural design pattern/arrangement of the seeds in a sunflower head as a template for setting up mirror reflectors in order to reflect sunlight back to a central collector?  

I read about it in the Corporate Knights magazine.  The article on 'Biomimicry' is fascinating!

10x10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

St. George's Flag I, by Kim Blair

St. George's Flag I
12x6 oil on canvas

The only subject I like to do as a commission is a flag... not sure why.

After purchasing a small version of the requested flag, I bring it home, hold it up in the wind in our backyard, and snap numerous (often as many as 50) photos of it flapping in the breeze.

Sometimes I am fortunate enough to happen upon a particular flag flying on a pole somewhere in the city... of course I take full advantage of these larger models when the opportunity arises.
After selecting the shot that offers the most character and energy of the flag, I paint my version of the image on a 12x6 stretched canvas.  This particular canvas format allows me to create a unique perspective... accentuating the ripples and folds of the fabric rather than just a straight-on image.

Did you know that St. George's Cross combined with St. Andrew's Cross created the national flag of the United Kingdom... The Union Flag, a.k.a. The Union Jack?

This oil painting of St. George's Flag will be hung next to a 'Union Jack' I painted previously. 

12x6 oil on canvas

Friday, September 7, 2012

Landscape/Mountain Oil Painting, Angel Glacier I, by Kim Blair

Angel Glacier I
9x12 oil on canvas

We drove the narrow switch-back, 'shoulder-less' road up to Mount Edith Cavell in the Canadian Rockies on a day trip from our cabin in Jasper, and survived!  I was white-knuckling the passenger's seat and dashboard as we slowly made our way up the mountain road to the parking lot, trying not to gasp as I looked out the window at the shear drop off on 'my' side of the car.  Once parked I  practically kissed the ground trying not to think about the drive down the mountain later on in the day...

Angel Glacier clings to the side of Mount Edith Cavell.   This is my third or fourth time hiking in this area, and each time I see this glacier I am awe struck at its magnificent size.  Yes, it is getting smaller... melting a bit faster than new ice can form, but this fact does not take away from the rugged beauty of the area.  I zoomed in on the glacier and painted this study from one of those close-up shots.  The melt water cascading down the face of the mountain collects at the base forming a blue/green lake shimmering with reflections of the mountain side, punctuated with bobbing mini ice flows.

We are so fortunate to have such spectacular natural vistas in Alberta!

9x12 oil on canvas (needs some time for the thicker paint to dry)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Landscape/Tree painting, Pine Sweep, by Kim Blair

Pine Sweep
12x9 oil on canvas

Pine Sweep works well with my post from August 16, 2012.  The reference photos are both from our recent trip and have a similar feel... with dusty blue 'sky holes' creating uniques patterns amongst the branches and needles.  The trunk of this pine tree had patches of vibrant rusty orange that shimmered next to long strips of silver bark, accented with a sweep or two of new-growth chartreuse needles... a rather luminous vision.

12x9 oil on canvas (needs some drying time)