Monday, December 17, 2012

Absence, study and interview

First, please excuse my absence from the blog world these last few weeks. Our main computer died a sudden death, I was busy with Xmas sales and was busily painting a study for a large commission piece.

Here is the almost completed 12" X 16" study for a commission; this Green Man will be third and largest piece of a trilogy also including Pierre the Green Man and Angus the Green Man. The final piece will be about 20" high and about 40' wide before framing; the part I have done as a study is just part of the middle section - there will be more carved leaves forming a top horizontal bar across the entire width of the painting while the head will be flanked by warm colored stone walls with just a simple carved date in Roman numerals. This piece will be called Scottie: the symbolism includes the thistle ( national flower of Scotland and maple leaves, symbolic of Canada).

The eyes are blank in this sculpture and I struggled to avoid too much of a scary look:-) In the painting itself, I may have to go lighter in what are the top corners of this study; otherwise, the top horizontal bar which is also partly in the shade will not show up any details....I hope that the client will like it!

Two weeks ago, I was at the Nepean Fine Arts League winter show. Below is a photo of part of my booth at that show.

The weather was bad that weekend: very cold the first day and freezing rain the next. Consequently, the attendance was quite down from last year. However, I managed to make a few sales.

I was very surprised when  Liana Voia, a clinical hypnotherapist, asked me to do a videotaped interview with her for her blog on Contemplative, Expressive and Imaginative Arts. I usually refuse any interviews since at this point in my life I feel I can avoid that type of stress.  However, Liana is so friendly and engaging ...so I was interviewed:-) If you promise not to laugh too too loud, you can view the interview here on YouTube.

I wish you and your families all the best for the Holiday Season.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter show this weekend

I will be at the Nepean Fine Arts League Winter Show this weekend, Nov. 30 to Dec.2. This show is usually great fun and the quality of the artwork is very high.
I have just finished in time for the show a few paintings in my Polar series. They are small ( from 6" x 6" for the small panels to 12" x 12" for the largest). This series has been very popular and I hope some of my new pieces will go to a good home this weekend:-)
The pieces are on cradled gallery panels; the background is layers and layers of acrylic and the designs are made with metal sheets or metal foil and all kinds of various gel mediums. They are so much fun to make. However, because of the metal, they really do not photograph well.

If you are in the Ottawa area, I would be so happy if you could drop in.
Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back from Italy and Miniature Show

Flooded San Marco Piazza
My husband and I have just returned from 2 weeks in Italy. Naturally, I wanted to spend most of the time in my beloved Venice. We had rather nice weather, but the Acqua Alta ( High tide) alarm sounded three times while we were there and the first two floods were almost fun and offered great photo opportunities ( see above0.  Our last day, Sunday, we basically " escaped" from Venice when the city had its 6th worst flood since 1872; high winds from the Adriatic violently whipped sea waters into the city and the tides were 5 ft above sea level. Our hotel manager told us at 5 am to leave "now, right now" if we did not want to swim to the bus station.We left early in the morning and walked in the dark to the bus station for our transit to the airport. The water was rising by the minute and we could no longer tell where the street ended and the canals started. We were lucky to leave early as we did; later on that morning, the water was waist high in many areas of the city. It was an adventure for us, but an almost scary adventure. I feel sorry for the people whose homes and shops were flooded on Sunday.

On a happier note, I am pleased to say that I returned home with 1500 photos of Venice, Florence and Rome to provide me with enough inspiration for months of painting!

In my previous post, I mentioned that my work had been accepted in the Rothwell Gallery. On Nov. 17, I will have 4 paintings in their 33rd Christmas Open House and Exhibition of Miniature Paintings. The show will continue all of November. Do you recognize my Inukshuk on their poster?

I hope that all is well with you. I hope to have new work to post within a week or so.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New show and new gallery representation

I will have three pieces in the group show ACTION at the Foyer Gallery  from Oct. 24 to Nov. 11: a watercolor painting, a mixed media painting and a photographic work.

The first is my latest watercolor in the Canadian Parliament Building carvings series: " Ethelbert Keeping an Eye on the Politicians". Some people say that if Ethelbert looks depressed it's because of the tough job he has:-)

My second piece in this Foyer Gallery Show is the mixed media "The Happy Dance of the Weeping Tree":
And finally, my third piece in the show will be a photograph I took at the Brooklyn zoo last year: "Koi Joy" and framed to 16" x 20" - I thought it went so well with the theme of the show. I may also paint from this reference one day.
I am also thrilled to announce that I will be showing at another gallery starting in November: the Rothwell Gallery, an Ottawa gallery that has been established for over 30 years! I will provide more info and pictures in the weeks to come.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Latest Watercolor of Canadian Parliament Carvings

This is my latest watercolor painting of a Gothic carving on the facade of the C Parliament Building in Ottawa, Canada. This carving is actually right in the main entrance of the Peace Tower. He is not a pretty fellow, but I loved his medieval look. I think I will be calling him " Ethelbert Keeping an Eye on the Politicians". I have not found official names for these carvings anywhere...so I am inventing them.

This painting is a departure from my usual style. It has the look of a vignette and I basically used a two-color palette with only a hint of pink and purple simply for my own need for color ( although these colors are really not visible unless you get extremely close.

"Ethelbert" is about 14" X 18" on 140 lb SP Fabriano, from that 11 yard roll that I bought and wanted to try before starting to work on a commission that requires extra-white paper. I was quite happy with the paper and its "whiteness". Sigh of relief...

I hope that you are all having a wonderful fall and that you will find something that you like in my "Ethelbert".


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Textured Mixed Media and News

I had a lot of fun creating my last mixed media: The Happy Dance of the Weeping Tree.
The colors are somewhat less bright than they appear on my computer, but you can probably see the various textures on this piece. I have some tissue paper and rice paper on the background and various gels and mediums on the tree itself. 

It's painted on a 16" X 16" birch panel and the sides are painted black. I intend to leave it unframed for the moment: it looks good that way!

I hope that you like this painting.  My objectives with this painting were to create interesting textures and to suggest some movement in the branches. I think that it's a serene, happy painting...thus the title:-) I am falling in love with mixed media and the freedom it gives me,

On the marketing side of my work, I have some great news: my hand painted jewelry on watercolor paper is currently available at the Boutique Gallery of the Ottawa School of Art in downtown Ottawa. They will also be displaying some of my smaller mixed media and watercolors with an Ottawa or Canadian theme. Do drop in if you are in the area - it's a great little gallery!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Foyer Gallery Show: Flash

The latest show at the Foyer Gallery where I am a juried member, is of photographic works. I will be showing four of my photographs that I have been offering as prints on paper, canvas and even metal, on my FineArtAmerica website.

However, I don't intend to sell more than 1-2 prints of each photograph in order to keep them really special:-)

Here are three of the photographs in the show:


I meant to paint these three scenes, but sometimes I feel that it is very hard to improve on the photograph:-)

If you are in the Ottawa area, do try to drop in for the reception at the Foyer Gallery on Sat. Sept. 22, from 2 until 4. You will love the artwork!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Parliamentary Dragon: Carving from Canadian Parliament Building



Here is my third watercolor in the series of carvings from the Gothic facade of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, Canad.

This little 8" X 8" dragon is on paper-covered gallery-wrapped canvas and has been varnished for display without glass. It is square, but on my wide monitor it appears absolutely regular...I certainly hope that it will show properly on most monitors:-(

This is my third experiment with the paper-covered canvas and this one is getting close to the results I want: at this point, I can feel a very slight warping of the paper at one spot.. in the middle of the dragon where there is little paint. Strange, since the paper was totally wet before stapling and the paper was tight as a drum while I painted...Perhaps as the varnish dries more, this minuscule hill will disappear. I hope so! The colors are very vibrant, the texture is nice...I like the option I now have even for varnished watercolors: I can wrap the paper around a canvas or I can continue to glue the paper to a wood panel as I have done several times.

This is on Arches 140 lb CP natural white. I think that I now prefer the whiter Fabriano Artistico ..I hope that I am right since I have just bought an 11 yrd roll of the Fabriano SP in extra white.

I hope that you are all doing well and that your month of September will be great!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Textures Study: Midnight in the Enchanted Forest


Midnight in the Enchanted Forest

This 12" X 12" mixed media abstract is the result of a study in textures. Over the past few weeks, I kept trying out a mixed media technique in one corner of the pine panel, then a few days later, another technique in another spot. I really did not have a finished painting in mind...but yesterday, while looking at the panel, I thought that somehow all those separate elements were somewhat coming together and  I saw " an enchanted forest at midnight":-).

Apart from the fluid acrylic paints, I have used heavy textures with modeling paste, lighter textures with crystalline paper, rice paper, various acrylic gels and medium.

This has given me ideas for other experiments that I want to do...

I really enjoy these experiments that are so much without any pressure...pure fun!

Let me know if you do see an enchanted forest....something else...or nothing :-) in this painting.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Searching for next painting...

I don't have any new painting to show today. I do have two commissions to work on, but I have also been looking through my photo references looking for my future paintings. Since I am always attracted to architectural pieces, I naturally love reviewing my photos from my trips to Venice. I have painted quite a few over the last few years: mascarone, gondolas, doors ( many, many doors :-).
Here are a few of my Venetian photos to let you dream with me:
Doge's Palace

Heart of Venice
Venetian Reflection


This last photo is one that I would really like to paint one of these days. Meanwhile, I have uploaded several of my venice art photos to FineArtAmerica where you can see thousands of photos of Venice. It is a bit humbling to see how other photographers and artists have captured the magic of this unique city.
I am hoping to go to Venice for three or four days at the beginning of November and, if so,  I intend to take hundreds and hundreds of photos for a lifetime supply of photo references.

I hope to have a new WIP to show you soon. Happy painting!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lion King -Completed for Now

The Lion King : Canadian Parliament Building Carving
My Lion King, a painting of a stone carving of the Parliament Building in Ottawa, Canada, is finished for now.  It was a very enjoyable painting to work on. It's on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb CP and is approx. 14.5 X 14.5 before matting and framing.

I like it ( I don't say that very often) and I hope that you do too:-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

New WIP: Parliament Building Carving II - The Lion King

I've been working on a painting of a second Canadian Parliament Building carving. I am calling it, at this point, The Lion King. It's certainly a lion, but with very human eyes! It's on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb CP paper and is about 14" X 14". I am fairly pleased with it so far even if I used more darks than usual in the botton sections - I am always afraid that layers of darks will look too heavy or chalky.
The picture was taken inside with a flash...the colors are not absolutely exact: the top portion is less red IRL than it appears on my monitor.
I hope that you will let me know what you think of this so far....

Have a great week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parliament Building Carving I - completed

I have just completed the  Parliament Building Carving I. It's only 7.5" x 7.5' approx. on Fabriano Artistico SP. I went for  a sun-drenched look contrasting with shadows in the recessed areas where I created  a lot of textures.
I will have to live with it for a few days before I can decide if i like it enough to continue with my intended series of such carvings.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

New WIP - Small Parliament Hill Carving

I have started over the small painting of the Parliament Building carving. It's only 8"x8" and the face is probably smaller than 4" high. I am using Fabriano 140 lb SP  - not stretched, not adhered to canvas or wood panel - just plain approach this time:-)

So far, I like it better than my previous effort. I still have to remove some masking and paint around the nose before I start the more colorful background. The face will remain mostly unpainted as it is now with just the deep shadows.

I hope that you like this start.
Happy Sunday and a great week to all of you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Playing and Experimenting

During the last few days, I have played and have experimented.

Midnight Stroll On Broadway -SOLD

My first new piece is an abstract called " Midnight Stroll on Broadway" where I tried to suggest the lights, the colors and the movement of the ever-present Manhattan crowd . It  is in watercolor, but with the paper wrapped around the edges of a canvas. I still have to varnish it, but so far, I liked working on this surface. I used lots and lots of water to test the surface, and there is only one small spot (the dark blue figure) that seems to have warped ever slightly - I may be able to flatten it out with weights, but it is really not noticeable. I will see how my framer can frame this. The next time, I will use a gallery-depth canvas and will thus have the option of leaving it unframed. It is only 8" X 10". I am looking forward to trying this on a larger canvas.

Because of  the heat wave that has been hitting Ottawa, I have been dreaming of snow:-)Consequently,  I created another "Polar Bear" mixed media painting on a wood panel. Unfortunately, it was very hard to photograph because of the metallic reflections. I used all kinds of acrylic gels and medium: pumice stone texture, gold mica flakes, molding pastes. I also used layers of metallic foil for the bear and embossed it; the sun has metallic paints, the little stream has cheese cloth for additional texture.
"Land of the Midnight Sun" is 10" X 10" X 1"

Land of the Midnight Sun-SO:LD























































































                                                                                        




Do let me know what you think of these experimental pieces.
I hope that you are also  finding some time to "play"

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tech Activity Update

I have had great house guests for about ten days; consequently, I have done little painting. I managed to find some time though to play on the computer:-) Here is an update of my "technology" activity of the past two weeks.

FineArtAmerica:
Although I had joined this site over a year ago, I had never uploaded anything. I discovered all the great possibilities of this site this week and have started to upload a few images. I have received such a warm welcome: I have already received two features ( for my Coconuts and for my Queen of the Pond).

Red Bubble:
I am still having fun on Red Bubble and they continue to be very kind to me. My cherries and lace were featured in the Canadian Artists group.

My Inukshuk was featured in Painters Universe group while my Coconuts were featured in the Art Universe group.

On my own blog, I have added a few new earring images to my "Jewelry Page".

As of Monday, it's back to painting. I want to experiment with other ways to mount my watercolor paper in view of eventually varnishing the painting and displaying it without glass. Stay tuned.

Wishing you all a great weekend.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Coconut Palms now completed

In this heat wave, I am tired of working on the Coconut Palms. They keep reminding me of the heat:-) So, I will call them done for the moment. What do you think?


I may enter it at the next Foyer Gallery show called "Mid-Summer Visions". It starts on July 8th.
I am wishing all Canadians a great Canada Day Weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coconut Palms WIP Part 2 and Good News

I have been splashing more color on my coconut palms:-) Since I am not very familiar with palm trees, I am not sure that any of my color combinations are logical, but I am just having fun!
If I don't crop this watercolor painting, it will be framed at 20" X 24". It is on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb SP, my new favorite watercolor paper.

I found out this week that one of my mascaroni, The Gate Keeper. had been chosen to be be part of the juried show Selections 2012 to be held in late September at the Shenkman Arts Centre, a super venue in the East end of Ottawa. There were 233 submissions and 60 were chosen.
This is my first time submitting one of my works for this great show; I feel very honored that "The Gate Keeper" will be part of it in the Fall.

I wish all of you a great weekend.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New WIP: Coconut Palms

Already Sunday evening! The weeks go by so quickly.
This week I started a new watercolor painting in the spirit of the summer and the heat wave that we are having in Ottawa, Canada: coconut palms from the Bahamas.
I am having fun with the colors of this painting - I certainly don't want everything to be yellow or green, so I am dropping a riot of colors here and there. This is not a commission, so I feel very carefree about it:-)
The large coconut at the front is still in its initial stages.  I am showing only part of the painting at this point - I may decide to crop it from my original sketch of 15"X 19".  I thank Li Newton for the beautiful reference picture.

I could not resist from making more earrings this week. I love working on them. Here is the fruit of this week's labor:

The first pair below is called " Carribean" and is probably inspired by my working on the coconut palm painting:-)
Next, another large pair, with more subdued colors, but with nice textures, called "Desert Glow":
The next earrings are small and delicate and are called " Summer Sky":

The last pair for this week ( yes, I worked on these earrings for hours and hours) called "South Seas" has a very unique texture! I added layers of medium between layers of paint, found a way to make some of the paint bubble a bit. I wish I could do the same on a large canvas...Food for thought:-) \The first image is closer to the aqua color of the earrings

 But this second picture of "South Seas" may provide a better idea of the texture under the glossy surface.
 I will be showing my jewelry also on Fine Art America...Do check the jewelry there...there is something for every taste and every purse:-)

As always, I really look forward to hearing from you and I wish you all a great week!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's been too long....

It's been too long since I have posted! Time really goes by so quickly: I could not believe that my last post was about 4 weeks ago. So, what have I been doing.....?

I have had two shows since the last
post. I finished my Pierre, the Green Man, and my client is very, very happy with it. After this commission, I wanted to play a bit before tackling something serious again. I showed you my  mixed media Inukshuk in the previous post. I have now added a new whale and a new polar bear ( previous 2 sold quickly). Here is the bear, King of the Ice, even if it's difficult to photograph because of the metallics. It is 6"x6"x1.5" on a wooden panel with the sides painted black.

However, the most fun I've had is creating watercolor/acrylic earrings!!! They are made of layers of watercolor paper, hand shaped, sanded, painted, decorated with acrylic gels and metallics, then sealed with layers of gloss. Most have sterling silver ear wires or 14k gold plated wires. A few have silver or platinum plated wires - clients so far don't seem to make any difference between the types of wire.

 I have made just over a dozen pairs in the past two weeks and have sold more than half to the few people who have seen them. Some people  first thought that they were in copper enameling and were very surprised to see how light they were. The gloss sealer/varnish makes these earring very shiny and resistant. I am sure that this surface protects them from water, but I would certainly not take a shower with them...just in case.

Here are a few pictures: these are all the small sizes ( approx. 1.5" long) except the black "Samurai" which are approx. 2"( without the wire of course). I am anxious to see what you think even though the pictures are not very good.

SAMURAI -





Monet's Garden -

Sunset -

Ice and Metal -
I would love your comments. I will be offering them online for a while. I have just started a page for them (see tab at top of this page). These earrings make wonderful gifts. Check out other gift jewelry on FineArtAmerica. There is always something for every taste and every wallet:-)

Next time I need to play, I may try making pendants:-)

Happy painting!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Upcoming Show and Red Bubble Fun

I will have four paintings in a new show at the Foyer Gallery, "Art at the Plex". The exhibition starts tomorrow, May 9th and runs until May 27. You can see my small cherry and lace painting on the poster below. I will also be showing the mixed media Inukshuk I finished last week.
I have a two-day sale and show on June 3rd for which I want some new work: I have to get cracking! In the last few weeks, I have not painted any watercolor paintings apart from my "Pierre, the Green Man" which is currently at the framers.

Since I have no new painting to show you today, I will post some of the Red Bubble fun of the last week:
My "Pierre, the Green Man" has received 2 features in the past three days. while my "Independent Trio" placed in the top ten ( 5th place) in a Still Life challenge.
 Eight days ago, my clematis painting, "Kaleidoscope" ( now sold) also received a nice feature:
 These features are fun; they force me to look at my older paintings, not just the last ones... and they give me a smile...I really need this  - after finishing a large piece, I always feel drained and somewhat down...until I get involved in another work. Do you feel like this sometime?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Pierre, the Green Man" - Finish line in sight at last!

I have almost completed my watercolor "Pierre, the Green Man", the second in a series of three Ottawa stone carvings. The first one was "Angus, the Green Man" and the third will be " Scottie, the Green Man".
It is on Fabriano SP watercolor paper and it will be framed to 25" X 25" . The photo was taken inside and the colors are off: in real life, they are softer and lighter than on this photo. I will try to get a truer picture once it is all completed.

This painting has taken me several weeks of working off and on...It was often difficult from my photos to see all the details. The colors are all my own, since the carving is in grey stone. I really wanted to have a play of warm and cool, light and shadows. I almost ruined it last night when I put dark blue shadows all across the eye on the left side of the painting...I should never paint at night!!! But thank to the painting gods for non-staining watercolor paints: I removed most of the blue and I think that  the eye will be ok.

I am very pleased that this painting is almost finished and I am looking forward to painting something quick and easy for the next little while.

Tell me what you think.
 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Great Surprise from Laura Leeder

Today, in the mail, I received a beautiful gift from fellow blogger, Laura Leeder. I was one of the winners in her note card give-away. Here is the beauty that I received: I put the card through my scanner and it came out blurry:-( (Sorry, Laura.) To see good pictures of Laura's beautiful "Tea Cup" cards, you will all have to go to Laura's website  The note cards were featured in the "Tea Time" magazine this month!I am not surprised: the card I received is beautifully printed front and back and Laura's delicate paintings of lace and teacups are absolutely gorgeous.

Congratulations and thank you so much Laura!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nice surprise at the OAA Juried Show

I was thrilled last night at the Annual Ottawa Art Association Juried Show to learn that my painting "The Protector" had won the first prize award in the watercolor category.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pierre, the Green Man -WIP part 2 + fun mixed media

"Pierre the Green Man" is progressing. It is slightly more than 50% done.

Since this is a commission, I really want to get the best resemblance to the original carving. Here is one of the photos that I am working from...
Do you think that I am close enough to the original on the left hand side of the painting?

 Working on commissions make me tense, so to relieve tension I have been doing some fun mixed media: here is one that is almost finished of an Inukshuk.
It's 8" X 10" on a 1.5" cradled board; it has an acrylic background with texture and design of tissue paper, molding paste, metallic foils, metallic paint.  I think it's cute:-)