New Stuff…

Pear trioI’ve been playing with stained tissue paper recently. I use TriArt fluid acrylics on white tissue and let the color pour, drip, spatter and spill over a sheet. Then I use the sheets as background.

In this project, I cut pieces of various colors of stained tissue and glued them with polymer medium. After the paper dried, I drybrushed a pear stencil using Titanium White. When that dried, I glazed various colors of fluid acrylics over the pear to create some vibrant effects. Fun!

Don’t forget, if you’re in the area this weekend, drop by my studio for a visit during the Tweed and Area Studio tour. This is the 13th year for the tour and there are, I think, 20 artists on the tour. Check it out at Tweed Studio Tour.

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Warm Water

Warm waterThis is a recent painting based on a visit to Presqu’ile Provincial Park this past spring.

The subject seems to be a strong one for me since I’ve used this image in several paintings. The almost central image of a group of trees, for me, is iconic. It signifies a focused sense of community. But I called this painting “Warm Water” because of the foreground colors.

The painting was done on a cradle board. Several acrylic colors and values were poured onto the board using Liquitex pouring medium and left to dry overnight. I sanded the acrylic lightly to create some tooth then completed the painting with casein. I love using casein. Even after it dries to the touch it remains malleable allowing me to spritz, spray and scrape to create the design.

The acrylic area in this painting is the orange in the sky background and the warm oranges and yellows inn the foreground water.

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Juried Exhibition

RainThis painting was selected to be part of a juried exhibition entitled “Canadian Landscape” to be held at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery in Minden Ontario from July 29 to September 11.

The painting is called Our House Series: Red Tree in Rain and is part of a series of paintings I’m working on depicting various areas around our house in various climatic conditions.

The painting is a combination of acrylic and casein with acrylic used as the underpainting and casein used on top for its matte look.  It’s painted on 18″ x 18″ cradled birch plywood which I love to work on because of it’s smoothness.

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Rural Graffitti

Garden fenceArmed with a Krylon spray paint can in each hand, I felt like a combination of Jackson Pollock and Banksy as I sprayed and splotched and swirled and danced fine mists of color over these Masonite panels to create a soft, muted tulip garden. The intent was to create a series of portable panels that I could move throughout the garden to add colour to brighten an otherwise shaded or dull spot. Each panel is about four feet high and two feet wide and I cut each from Masonite using a jigsaw. When finished, I screwed each panel to two tomato stakes and pushed them into the ground.

I first rolled on a couple of coats of a complementary latex outdoor paint. I ripped and cut newsprint into tulip leaf shapes, creating a stencil. Then I attached the newsprint to the panels with a bit of rolled tape then quickly sprayed with a couple of contrasting colours, keeping darker colours to the bottom of the panel and lighter colours to the top. I then cut some stylized tulip flower shapes, placed them on the top half of the the panel and srayed with some mists of warm colours. I used about 8 colours in all and I just kept applying the paper stencils and overlapping the stencils and spraying with colour until I was happy with the effect. And the best part is, I can move the panels around the property as the whim strikes!

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Texture and More Texture

PaintworksHere’s a little project that will be published in an upcoming issue of PaintWorks magazine.

It’s an exercise in texture – almost complete texture. About the only thing not textured is the dot pattern on the vase.

I started with one of the DecoArt colored crackle mediums – Sage Green – then built texture from there. The orange band is terra cotta texture; the vase is layered color on top of the base color. The vase is then sanded creating a mottled look.

The shelf is a couple of layers of texture the painted and drybrushed and the flowers are simply stippled colour using warm, intense colour that I don’t usually feel comfortable with.

I like working with the DecoArt Texture medium.. I start with a darker basecoat colour; apply the crackle with  a palette knife then let it dry overnight. The medium cracks as it dries, letting some of the basecoat colour show through. And although I didn’t do it in this project, you can also create colour washes over the medium once the crackle has dried. The colour soaks into the medium creating colour or value changes in your background.

The terra cotta medium is cool too. It looks and feels like terra cotta and can be drybrushed or colour washed to create different effects.

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A Cathedral of Paintings

CathedralI love the prairies. Flat grain fields for miles then suddenly a building seems to pop up from the earth.

I taught a seminar in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan last weekend, in the parish hall right next to this Cathedral. Gravelbourg is about two hours south west of Regina, smack dab in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by beautiful flat land and big open skies.

After two days of painting we took a tour of this church. Absolutely magnificent. From 1921 to 1931, the parish priest painted the entire interior of the church with biblical scenes – walls and ceiling. When you stand at the front door, the size of the church and the monumental size of the paintings takes your breath away.

Since I didn’t have my camera with me, you can check out the interior photos here. And the photo of the exterior of the building is courtesy the economic development office of Gravelbourg. The photos will give you some indication of the quantity of images in the church but I don’t think you’ll feel the effects of the enormity of the paintings.

If you want to find out more about the history of the catheral, do a Google search on Gravelbourg Cathedral.

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One Pear

One PearWanted to create a painting with lots of actual and visual texture. Started with a small canvas, 9 by 11, and slathered it with gel medium to get some thick and thin areas of medium. Let dry overnight.

Then the painting was built with layers of drybrushed color; many layers of drybrushed color. The dry brushing gives the effect of broken color, letting some of the previous layers show through.

For those who don’t know drybrushing, you simply fill a dry paintbrush with paint; wipe off the excess paint then lightly move the brush over the surface to deposit color. When you run out of paint, start over. I usually start over with another color.

It’s a bit of a zen-like approach to painting but I love the effect.

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Wider Views

Snow ImageStill working on a series of 9×12 paintings but my subject has morphed from a macro landscape of a particular flower to a wider, more tradtional landscape view.

I’m surrounded by appealing landscape here in my new home out in the country but I still seem to be pulled back to the city landscapes. This image – Professors Lake Winter – is based on a photo I took of a small suburban lake. There were actually many houses in the photo but I took some license to create a less obvious city landscape.

For these landscapes I’ve been using a split complementary tetrad palette of yellow-orange, yellow-green, red-violet and blue-violet. And included white to lighten and purple to darken the colors.

Plan to do some more plein air painting but there were two bear sitings in our neighborhood last week and today, a snapping turtle hissed at me as I got too close, watching it saunter across our property to the sandbanks out front. My studio seems like a pretty safe place right now.

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