Showing posts from September, 2011

New Workshop at Calgary School of Art

There are still a few spots left in an oil painting workshop that I'll be teaching at the Calgary School of Art on October 29th.  The workshop is titled:  "Loosen Up Your Oil Paintings".

Many painters who sign up to be my students do so because they want to paint in a looser, more spontaneous way, but they don't know how to accomplish that on their own.  This workshop looks at all of the ways that paintings can be made looser and bolder from edge treatment, to colour choices, brushwork, and more.

It will be a fun day with lots of experimentation and hard work!  If you're interested in signing up, please contact the Calgary School of Art.

Painting with a Purpose

Calendula Bouquet 16 x 12
My classes at the Calgary School of Art started again this week.  Once again I'm teaching Painting from Life. We are going to start with still life, floral and, finally, figures.  I like to have a plan for the 12 weeks; something that ties every lesson together. This session will be all about "painting with a goal".
This summer I began to set myself goals for every painting that I did. This seems a bit over the top on the surface, but it served me really well at a time when I was a bit stuck - okay, really stuck. I was indecisive in the studio, not sure of the point of the paintings that I was doing. They all seemed to be covering the same ground in much the same way.  I was spinning my wheels and it wasn't a good feeling.
So I decided that each painting had to have a single, clear goal. Several still lifes were done as explorations of backlighting; it's effect on the colour of objects and their edges. The beach scenes were done …

Texture and Abstraction in a Painting

Polka Dot Bikini 21 x 24
In an effort to prolong summer, I've been busy painting beach scenes. They have also offered a chance to work on texture and abstraction in paintings. The water in this piece was done in several stages, starting with a warm, orange tone and lots of splattering and dripping. My medium for these drips was 50/50 oil and odourless mineral spirits. While I prefer the look of watercolour-like drips that you can get from using just solvent in the paint, this doesn't make a strong paint film and I don't do it.
Then I used pure colour without white to lay different warm colours into the water and the figure. Finally, after that had dried, I went back in and added the light effects. I modified the figure with the cool blues of the reflected water and sky, and I dropped blue sky onto the warm colours of the lake. Then I could work on the sun-drenched colours of the girl's skin in the light. This is my favourite part and is very easy to overdo. I …

Tutt Art Galleries, Kelowna, BC

Pink Pail  12 x 16
Every year I go to Kelowna, BC to visit family and get some blasting sunshine.  And every year I pay a visit to Tutt Art Galleries to check out the latest works by H.E. Kuchein, Min Ma, Brent Lynch and other excellent artists.  So it is with great pleasure that I can now say that my paintings are hanging in Tutt alongside these painters' works.

The gallery is carrying a new series that I've been working on this summer and one that I'm pleased with.  I spent the summer teaching myself how to paint water in a way that showed its sparkle, depth and variety.  It was a long and often frustrating process and I wiped off much more than I kept.  Then, something clicked and I felt like I was achieving what I was after.  The secret was simple: lots of paint and lots of colour.  I also make sure to use both warm and cool colours in the water; this makes a believable effect in a way that just using different blues and greens can't.

Then I incorporated figures - …