Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween,

When I was a kid, Halloween was a big event for us. Coming from the farm (Saskatchewan kid) we planned our costumes weeks in advance, as we had to make them out of something that mom had around the house. For instance, old bed sheets, old cloths .... one year I made a wig out of binder twine. The memory of that brings the smell of bales to my nostrils. We had fun! We would meet our friends, at a given time in town, and off we would go. Treats were bigger and better then. I remember one neighbour in particular who gave away bottles of pop.
Can you imagine? You got a whole bottle to yourself. And you got to pick the flavour too. And we weren't scared about what was inside our treats! Everything was good ... and we ate everything.

Our farming neighbours got into the swing of things as well. One Halloween, after returning with our bounty, we went back to our farm house to find that my crazy aunt had put chickens in our kitchen. Live chickens, running around and making a mess! I'm not sure how my mom and dad knew who was responsible. I'll have to make a point of asking them some day.

Then of course there was always stories of someone's outhouse getting tipped over.
Yes, it was fun. We all need to go out and have some fun sometime. Have a few laughs too!
It's good for the soul!

My painting for today is called "Pumpkin Patch", 18 x 24", acrylic with a bit of gold and copper paint.

It's a very lovely piece ... still one of my favourites, as I painted it a few years back. Notice the rabbit in the patch?!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Days End

Just a quick blog today to let you know that I finished my piece for the Oceanside Arts Council 1 x 1 x 100 show.

I thought of calling it "Looking Out my Window" as that is pretty much what I can see from my kitchen window, as the sun sets. I've decided to call it "Days End". One can just imagine another perfect day of fishing, as a glorious sunset calls the day
to an end.

This is a 12 x 12" acrylic canvas that will be sold for $100 for a fund raiser for the Oceanside Arts Council.

I had one week to complete it. I just signed it this evening, wired the back for hanging and took a photograph of it. Tomorrow I will say good bye as it is delivered to the gallery.

I have also started another painting, by first putting several washes of yellow oxide and cadmium yellow over the canvas. Then I start to block in shapes.

Stay tuned ...... as the painting progresses.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Multi Tasking

It's Tuesday afternoon and I have cabbage rolls bubbling in the oven. I've also just put some lemon squares in the oven for dessert or maybe afternoon tea.

I am also thinking about the painting that I started last night.
It is another acrylic painting - on a 24 x 30" canvas. The idea comes from a photo that I took this summer at Nile Creek, just outside Qualicum Beach, during one of those dog walking days. It was late in the afternoon, lots of shadows and a red boat was docked against the river's edge. Hmmm ...
I may have just come up with the name of the painting "Along a River's Edge". I like it. I particularly like the reflection of the boat in the water, plus the natural contrast of the red against the forestry green.
Here is the photo - I will show you the painting in a few weeks (I hope) once it is complete.

I am a master at multi-tasking. Self employed for more years then not, I have had to be strict with my scheduling and time management. Multi-tasking allows me to come to the end of the day and say "Boy, you did good today. Look at all the things that you accomplished!" This morning I did my GST return. I also sent out several emails, balanced my cheque book, took the dog for a walk, made my bed, took a break and had a latte, while pruning some outdoor plants plus wrote a book review and started priming another canvas. And the days not over yet!

Here a painting that is fitting for this Blog - to all those multi-taskers out there
I call it "You're a Star", 12 x 10" , acrylic

And now ... I have to go check on my lemon squares!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fall is in the Air

Well another week has flown by. The fall colours on Vancouver Island are breathtaking. Brilliant orange and red maple leaves crackle as you walk through the woods. There is a chill in the air, as you know the days are getting shorter. Does that mean we have less time to be creative? When I paint I often like to prepare several canvases at once. Once the initial concept comes into play, then I am only able to work on one or two canvases at a time. Otherwise, I tend not to appreciate the moment as I am looking forward to the next piece and not enjoying the one that I am working on. I must bring myself back to the present moment enjoying how the paint moves, what I want the painting to do as it comes to life .... the joy of the experience - in other words, I enjoy the journey, as well as the trip.

This painting I call "Geese Convention". It is an acrylic painting, 18 x 24". Can't you just hear the constant honking as the geese all lodge their complaints at once?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This is my Dog

Cheyenne, 16 x 20", acrylic painting

Today I'm going to tell you about my dog Cheyenne. He is a rescue dog, from the Regina Humane Society. He is approximately 8 years olds - I gave him a birthday date of March 1st as I wasn't sure when he was born. In this painting he was only 3 - just a young pup. He has been a constant companion and joy in my life. He is also one of the most intelligent doggies I've had the pleasure to meet. I often believe that he is a reincarnated swami. Sometimes he will walk by and wink at you - as if to say "I know,"

We both use to live in Saskatchewan on an acreage. His big job, was not only to patrol the acreage and mark his territory, but keep the coyotes away, catch the gophers in the yard, and also look after most of the neighbourhood dogs. He had a big job indeed. He also loved to tease the cows - but we won't mention that to the neighbourhood farmer.

About a year and a half ago, two coyotes took him on and he really got a beating. Long story short, we moved to Qualicum Beach on beautiful Vancouver Island and started him on regular VOM treatments (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation ) - it's like a doggy chiropractic treatment. He is now in pretty good shape. A bit of arthritis in his back legs. Some days a bit stiffer then others, but he is comfortable and still a joy in our lives. Now there is no more chasing coyotes plus he has a much smaller yard to look after. The odd time a rabbit will dare to hop through the yard ... that gets him very excited!

Cheyenne now enjoys walks by the ocean and leisurely restful afternoon sleeps.

To find out more about Cheyenne you can check out my website

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feature Front Cover

On my return from an intense weekend at Hollyhock (that's another story), I had an email from the editor of the Beacon asking if they could use one of my paintings on the cover. The Beacon is a community magazine that originates in Bowser and serves Qualicum Beach and the Lighthouse County. I was thrilled!

The original piece is 16 x 20", an acrylic painting and called "Walk along the Beach." It depicts a broken down boat that I found on my of my daily excursions with my dog Cheyenne. The boat may have been retired - or just tired. With camera in hand, I took a photo, knowing that one day I would want to use it as a subject for a painting.

The Oceanside Arts Council in Parksville is having an exhibition called 1 x 1 x 100.
Each participate paints a painting that is 12" x 12" and sells for $100 with 50% going to the Arts Council for a fund raiser. Today I picked up a canvas and am prepping it with gesso.
It has to be finished by next week as the show opens in Nov. Better get to it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcome to My New Blog

Hi and Welcome to my New Blog!

I am creating this blog as a means to connect to fellow artists and art patrons. I am a fine artist, working currently in acrylic paints.

This recent painting is called "Memories of Mexico", 24 x 30" on stretched canvas.

It was painted from a photograph that I took last year during my winter vacation. The pot of cactus was on a landing just below the apartment that we were renting. I loved the strong bright colors of the brick walls and the tall over-flowing cactus. I especially liked the Mexican blanket hanging in the window as a curtain. It made me laugh as I have the exact blanket on my couch at home - one that I bought years ago on a trip to Cancun.

A lot of my paintings are bright and bold in colour.

You can find out more about me by visiting my website at