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Showing posts from August, 2016

A series

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My mother gave me a robe that I remember from my childhood.  How I remember it, I've no idea since she never wore it: it was much too long for her.  I think it was an exotic and irresistible impulse buy all those years ago and she never quite got around to having it altered to fit.

Covered with cherry blossoms, it's faux kimono style and as perfect as the day she bought it decades ago.  I love it!  And I'm inspired by it.  This garment has sparked a whole series, and I'm not sure that it's done yet.

Starting with the still life, I painted it on different scales in rapid succession, trying not to overthink anything, rather to just respond.  And I tried, each time, to do something a bit different.  Because it's the same garment over and over, I'm looking for each painting to mine something new, whether it's a technique, a mood, a movement... there are endless possibilities.

The figurative pieces are composed from video stills of myself wearing the robe…

A variety of whites

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I was watching Thomas Kitts' excellent video demo about using Flake White on Facebook the other day (actually, it's embedded on August 10th on his timeline if you want to spend a fascinating few hours) and it got me thinking about whites again.  Lazily, I've been mainly using titanium white, usually straight from the tube, but there are alternatives out there that can have a huge impact on your painting.  They're worth exploring.

First, a quick summary of the main whites out there:

Flake white:
made with lead, this white paint comes in a variety consistencies, some of which are very stringy and thick. This is a translucent, warm white which would have been used by everyone until the 1800's when zinc came along.  Rembrandt and Van Gogh used this one to its fullest capacity, creating impasto swirls and drizzles.  It's a lean white, and very strong.  I love its look, but am less enthusiastic about adding more lead to the world in the form of paint covered rags an…

2-Day Figurative workshop, Kelowna, BC

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2 - Day Figurative Workshop
September 17/18
Kelowna, BC
I'll be teaching in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley in September and it's my favourite genre: figurative! The workshop is hosted by Ellis Art Studios in Kelowna, BC; I hope you'll be able to join me.  

Following is an outline for the workshop:


I find it deeply moving to paint a person from life: to make a connection through careful observation and personal interpretation of the subject in front of me.  A painting of a person should reveal and celebrate both the model and the painter's unique vision, and it's this dual intention that I'll be focusing on during the workshop.  
Painters will learn techniques for capturing the amazing and powerful connections that link the body together in a graceful gesture, and discover the liberating fact that they can paint the most complex poses accurately, with only a brush and a squint.
Using group demonstrations and individual instruction, I'll help painters solve the mys…