California PoppyWe moved to the country just outside Tweed, Ontario…a couple of hours from Toronto; a couple of hours from Ottawa. Country life, for this city boy and his wife, is very different…but we’re lovin’ it. And I’m surrounded by inspiration.

The painting in my new blog banner is called Chalcedonica. It recently returned from a juried show in Wisconsin then was displayed at another show locally where it was named the People’ s Choice winner.

I sat in my former garden last summer and painted the image. I completed several paintings of the garden since I knew we’d be moving and these gardens represented 23 years of my life. The image above is called California Poppies. Many years ago we planted a single California Poppy and over the years they self seeded to become an amazing display.

The images were painted on stretched canvas about 11” x 14”. I started by creating texture over the entire surface with gel medium. Next day, I went outdoors and painted. The texture was applied without any thought to the composition. I just knew I wanted to apply layered, dry brushed colors and the texture would serve to break up the color application depending on the brush pressure I used. And the colors are very much a switch for me. I’m used to painting darker.