Friday, February 27, 2009


There I was feeding my dog .. when all of a sudden I thought "Oh my gosh ... it's Friday. You know what that means? It's Blog-Day. What shall I write about?"

As some of you know from my E-Newsletters, I have been intrigued by reflections lately. (Not reflections of life, rather reflections in the water.) I love going down to French Creek and taking photos of the boats - but mostly the ripples in the water and the reflections of the boat on the water. Sometimes you can capture the whole image of the scene just from the water.

During a recent interview with one of my "Feature Artists" Nana Cook, Nana explained how she starts a painting. Usually she begins with a black gessoed canvas, as she likes to bring the paint forward. I thought I'd like to give that a try.

On these two paintings, first I painted several layers of black acrylic paint on the entire canvas, including the sides. Then I roughly penciled in some of the main shapes. Slowly I started adding and painting in the shapes, building up the colour, not getting too detailed, and leaving bits and sections of black poking through.

The result was very dramatic, graphic, and simplistic.

Someday I'll tackle a huge canvas using this technique. I think it would be great fun working on floral paintings this way.

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Hot Off the Palette

Painting Painterly - is how best to describe this painting. From a recent workshop that I attended that is one of the things that keeps popping into my mind. "Paint Painterly" our instructor kept saying. Change your brushstrokes - make some wide, others thin, change the direction of the strokes ... painterly.

I met this handsome McCaw last winter while down in Mexico. My friend and I stumbled across a little piece of paradise one day, while out exploring. There was a beautiful resort, with inviting tropical walkways, which led to a gift shop. In front of the shop was a perch, well chewed, but no birds. A Mexican man came by and asked if we would like to meet his birds. He whistled, and instantly two huge birds came flying down and landed on the perch. They proceeded to entertain, while I took many photos.

I started this painting several weeks ago ... then put it up on my shelf. Yesterday I dusted it off and began to "Paint Painterly". It was fun spontaneous and uplifting, with no preconceived end in mind. Suddenly my McCaw came to life and he is a real gem.

"Pajaro Parlante"
10 x 12" acrylic

My advise ... paint with zest, move that colour around, have fun ... it will show in your artwork.

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Early Beginnings

Yesterday I was sorting through my life ... rounding up receipts for my year end taxes ... and came across some photos that brought back many memories; a portfolio of art work that dates back to the early 80's.

A friend of a friend approached myself and two other school buddies to help design a studio set for a cable television company in Regina, Saskatchewan. Excited beyond words, I knew that this was the beginning of something incredible. After a few initial meetings and concepts, my two friends slowly lost interest in the project.

Being true to my word, I worked long hours into the night to fulfill my obligations. I suppose from that point on, I knew that I could make a living as a self employed artist, doing what I loved to do.

I went on to create many more projects in Regina. I painted several murals on outside walls for local businesses. At Christmas time I painted a window design in for Sask. Tel, which included Santa Clause talking to his Reindeer.

Memories are good things to have ... they remind us of where we have been, what we have accomplished ... as we often forget how far we have come.

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Pink Flamingo

Many years and a few lifetimes ago , I lived in Toronto. I had my own graphic arts company and worked and played hard. One of the great benefits of living in Toronto, was that there were always great deals on last minute flights to some exotic tropical land.

I did a lot of my traveling in the years that I lived out east and never left home without a canvas or two and a few tubes of paint.

On one particular weekend, I recall going to Nassau for a 4 nights - 5 day trip. As I toured around the paradise enjoying every second of my long weekend, I came across a Flamingo show.

There was a bunch - a flock - of about 30 birds, standing at attention, turning to the right, to the left, standing on one foot, then the other, as this tiny odd looking general-type man belted out commands. A couple of birds decided to go AWOL. They had had enough of this and took off in the middle of the performance. The little general stopped the show, went after the birds, brought them back into the line-up and continued on with the performance. What a peculiar memory!

After the performance, we were able to take some photos of the stars. This is one of those beautiful birds, posing for my camera which I turned into a painting.

"Bahama Flamingo", 10 x 14", acrylic

I have started a section on my website called "Oldies but Goldies" where I am showcasing some of my earlier work.

I wonder if I went back to Nassau if the show would still be going on?

Till Next Time ...

Love what you Do ... and Do what you Love.