Thursday, May 21, 2015

West Coast Mini-Series

After painting prairie images for almost a year, I was ready for a change of scenery. I had four canvases on hand, each 16 x 20" and thought hmm...I can do a West Coast mini series.

When working on the "Prairie Whispers" series, my palette was very different. I used lots of warm colours: yellows, browns and maroon. Now back on the west coast, I am back to intense blues and greens. It was a definite mind switch.

Having taken a recent workshop with Nicholas Pearce, I also wanted to try using his limited palette: phthalo blue, cadmium red light, cadmium red dark, cadmium yellow medium, plus black and white. Because I absolutely love the warmth of Quin gold, I included that in my palette as well.

Heading out to Sea

The first in the series was a painting inspired by a trip last summer to Friendly Cove. This depicts the feeling and view when leaving Gold River aboard the ship. The misty totem in the background welcomes visitors to the island.

 A Quiet Moment by the Lake

The second painting was inspired by a photograph taken in the BC interior that one of my Facebook friends sent me. I was intrigued by the reflections of the trees and mountains.

 Yoquet, Where the Wind Blows

The third painting is also inspired by our trip to Friendly Cove. In this painting, it was all about the tree and the rock. The background is secondary, that is why I pushed it back with misty washes.

 Come, and Sit Awhile

The last painting evokes a sense of peace and tranquility. I added an Adirondack chair, to invite the viewer to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Now that my min-series is finished...what to paint next?

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Picking a Title for your Artwork

Often the hardest part of painting, is not the work itself, but the title that comes later. Sometimes the titles just pop into my head, even before I start the painting. Other times, not so much.

This is the case with this painting.

Last summer we drove up island to Gold River BC and hopped aboard the MV Uchuck III. We were were on a day trip to Friendly Cove, also know as Yuquot - the ancestral home of the Mowachaht / Muchalaht people.

Yuquot translates to “Where the Winds Blow from Many Directions” and is reputed as being the ‘birthplace’ of British Columbia.

It was wonderful to sit back, relax and enjoy the breath-taking scenery. Once we got out to sea, it was quite chilly and yes, the winds were blowing from many directions. I was so glad I had a heavy jacket with a hood on it.

Now, back to the issue of the title:
I thought I would see what the internet has to say about picking a title. One suggestion was to name them from a feeling that you had, or a feeling that you would like the viewer to experience while looking at your artwork. Other suggestions include: factual, abstract, mysterious, sentimental and numerical.

When I look at this painting and remember our trip, I feel an immediate sense of peace and magical tranquility. I used a limited palette giving the painting a sense of cohesion.

Some of the titles I am thinking of are:
"Magical Rock", "Tree of Life", "Tranquility", "Yoquot"
Since the paint is barely dry, I think I will give it a day or two to resonate.

I'd love to hear how you title your pieces?

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...