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Showing posts from August, 2013

The Many Nameless Colours

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This portrait came out of a recent 3 hour session with a model in my studio.  Jenny has gorgeous, English rose skin: creamy, and lightly peach tinted, and she wore a palette of neutrals that harmonized with it.

To avoid overwhelming all of the delicate tints of the arrangement, I put her in front of my favourite drapery, a cool, blue/green/grey, slightly shiny material that seems to hold every colour of cool end of the spectrum depending on the lighting conditions and the surrounding colours.  It's mid toned, like everything that Jenny was wearing.

This could have been a frustrating set up with nothing of substance to hang on to: no easy-to-name colours, no big values, none of the stuff that helps you get a handle on a subject, but it wasn't.  I totally enjoyed it.

After laying in a basic drawing and the dark of the hair, I nailed the part that seemed to me to be the key to the whole piece: the little area of light-struck skin on the right, next to the same-valued but cool…

Oceanside Art Gallery; a New Venture

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One of the nicest things to come out of the Arabella article has been a new gallery for me.

Oceanside Art Gallery in Qualicum Beach, BC is a young gallery owned by a couple with a lot of gallery and curatorial experience.  Heather Tillmar Brown and her husband Steve, spotted my paintings in the magazine and invited me to show in their new space.


I joined them with pleasure, and it turns out to have been a smart move: they sold 2 paintings on the day that they arrived.

Thanks, Heather and Steve! I can tell that this will be a great relationship.

Painters are a Community

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Artists work alone every day, connected by phone or email to society, but mostly, they're disconnected.  That's why it's both incredibly gratifying and super weird to be placed into the public eye.  Or at least the art-magazine-buying public's eye.

The feature of my work in Arabella magazine has brought many good things: people asking my galleries for my work, an invitation to join a new gallery (more on this in its own blog post), and connections - both old and new.

I've been inundated with emails from both people that I know and those that I don't, congratulating me on my work and on the article.  Most of the emails have been from artists, and the generosity of the notes has been amazing.

Whoever said that the art world is cut throat and competitive, missed something. It's also a community and I'm happy to belong to it.  We work alone, but we're still together.

Happy painting and thanks!

Mexican Art Retreat February 25 - March 4

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This is the retreat where I'll be teaching a week-long painting workshop  from February 25 - March 4.  
Casa Buena is a Canadian-owned, magical place, filled with mosaics, Mexican pottery and tiles, flowers and jungle plants and the sound of the surf.  I was there last February and am thoroughly smitten.   We'll be painting a variety of subjects beginning with a still life demo in the evening of arrival.   The following day will be devoted to still life and, after that, we'll branch out into landscape painting.  Our final subject will be portraiture and we'll have a local model sitting for us.  
Three subjects in a week sounds like a lot, but they're actually all related.  I use the same logical approach whether I'm painting a person, a landscape or a bowl of fruit.  Once you learn the method, you can paint anything.
Our focus will be the same for each as well: composition, simplification, massing, glowing colour, and expressive brushwork.  
I'll do a demo …