Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year and Fuschia WIP update 2

Happy New Year  to all my blogging friends! May 2011 be full of joy, good health, great friendships and super painting! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I appreciate them more than you could imagine.

To finish the year, I am posting an update of my Fuschias' work in progress. I like the little bit of work done on the flowers where I have practiced my glazing, but am not too happy with the leaves that I have probably overworked. What do you think?

I will work some more on this today if I can to be able to start the New Year with a new painting.

All my best to all of you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nice way to end the year!

What a surprise this morning when I received a message from Red Bubble to let me know that my watercolor, Peony and Friends had just been featured in the group Painters Universe as Best in Show for Dec 30th  2010.

I hope to post an update of my current floral later on today....

May 2011 be full of joy and health for all of you and your family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

New WIp- Fuschias and update on retirement

I have started a new floral: Fuschias, this time. It is approx. 8.5"X 10.5 on Arches 140lb CP. I have cut a full sheet this time instead of using the watercolor pad - as mentioned in my previous WIP, I do notice a difference between the two paper formats...The loose sheet format is more forgiving and I find that it has a smoother texture...strange, since they are supposed to be the same. Perhaps the watercolor pad I have had some defect...
Here is the first progress photo: I have painted a dark background, a few of the leaves and am trying out the pinks in the left-hand side. Some of the highlight are being preserved by liquid masking. I am also trying to be patient and to use light layers of glazing on the petals.
As reference, I am using part of a beautiful photo made available to artists on WetCanvas.

Now, where is all that free time I was expecting from my recent retirement? My retirement started officially on Dec 1 and  since Dec 3, I have had to deal with a family emergency concerning an elderly relative - she was hospitalized and now I am doing all I can to find her some supported living facility...and keeping her in the hospital when the only thing she wants is to leave:-) I supposed that I should tell myself that if I were still working I would have the same responsibility, but no time to deal with it...Sigh....

I hope that you will follow this WIP - no guarantee how it will turn out, but, successful or not, I will treat this as another learning experience.

Have a great day and I hope that in this week before Xmas life and weather are being good to you!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hydrangea update

My hydrangea painting is basically finished. I may tweak a few things before signing it. I prefer the right-hand side and wonder if I should not crop the painting this way, into a much smaller and square format:
Let me know what you prefer.

What have I learned from this painting?
-from the left to the right, I painted with a much lighter touch with clearer pigments to obtain a much better luminosity.
-my intuitive assessment of the level of wetness of this particular paper improved during the painting process.
 What do I like about this painting:
- the lower right-hand side was so much fun to paint and I like the hint of warm gold against the cool pinks and mauves.
- the highlights and the whites
What insights can I transfer to my next painting initiative?
-you really can't get into much trouble if you add thin layers at a time and if you are patient enough to let each one of these layers dry properly before the next ( I often get too impatient:-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hydrangea WIP-Part 2 and Artalee Feature

I have worked some more on the hydrangea although I did not get as much done as I had planned during the last few days : I am celebrating my first week of retirement with a really bad head cold:-)
The hydrangea is certainly more complex than I thought. You really have to focus on each little one point, I think I was painting mini Xmas poinsettias instead of hydrangea petals:-)
I am using Arches CP 140 lb as usual, but from a pad rather than from a single sheet - I am finding that the paper is not reacting quite like I am used to: it bruises very easily and does not allow much scrubbing to lift the lights...For my next painting, I will certainly return to the single sheets cut down to the proper size.
So, without further ado, here is Part 2 of this WIP. The photo was taken insides and it is very overcast hre today again. I rarely say this, but I think this painting looks better in real life than on this picture.

There is still a fair amount of work to do on this painting.Let me know what you think.
Please visit the Artalee site where I have just featured another of my favorite artists and bloggers, Mollie Jones.!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Celebrating a New Beginning! WIP - Hydrangea _Part I

Today is a most special day for me: it is the first day, officially, of my retirement and it is, officially, the first day of my new beginning as a full-time watercolor painter! To celebrate, I worked on a new painting, branches of hydrangea ( instead of working on my Venetian Pool Party started over a week ago). Here is part I of this WIP - hopefully the firstWIP of many for the month of December.

So far, I have only put in the dark background, the leaves, the stems and I have started on the darkest background petals. Overall, the flower clusters will be mostly light pink with a touch of mauve. The challenge will probably be to keep a unified look to the painting. It has been raining here all day and I took the picture indoors with a flash; consequently, the colors are probably a bit off.

As always, I love to hear from all of you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Top Ten Challenge Winners

I was so pleased to find out a few minutes ago that my latest painting, Love that Lace, has just been voted in the top ten of over 80 entries in the Red Bubble Impressionism Cafe challenge for watercolor still life paintings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Exciting News!

I am very excited to announce that I have been accepted in the Daily Painters International Art Gallery !
As many of you know, I am retiring on Nov 30th and want to devote my time to painting. I am very result-oriented and need goals: this new venture will ensure that I produce regularly and will keep me super motivated!

. Wish me luck in my new adventure:-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Report and Venice Fountain WIP part 1

Only 2.5 weeks before I retire and can become a full-time artist! Wow!  I don't think that I quite realize it yet.

Of course, this has been another busy week with little time for actual painting; however, I did frame my "Love that Lace" and I took advantage of  the free weekend trial at ArtistNetworkTV to watch at least 6 art videos on watercolor and acrylic.

This afternoon, I finally sat down in front of my latest sketch: Venetian Pool Party or Venice Fountain. I really want to paint this quickly, spontaneously, rather than going for a labor-intensive realistic look...just to see what I can do quickly:-)Don't expect a masterpiece:-

)Here is the result of this first session:
Have a great Sunday evening!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Love That Lace ; new sketch etc.

I have finished my Love that Lace watercolor and I am rather pleased with it.
 For purchase information, click here.                                                 

It is approximately 7.5" X10.5 and I am matting it to fit a 12" X15" frame.

It has such a cheerful look - it reminds me of sunny Sunday afternoons! There is almost a 3-D effect caused by the warm oak wood peeking through the gorgeous lace.

I am looking for a better title. Any suggestions?

What to paint next? I really like one of my pictures of the Fish Market in Venice showing pigeons having a pool party in a bucket under one of those old Venetian fountains. There is a nice play of light and shadows and the rusty fountain is begging to be painted with lots of textures. Here is a small sketch I have just finished - it may be a study for a larger painting to be painted evenutally. This is my first time drawing/painting birds - I may be doing my usual trick of creating new species:-)
Yesterday, I added a new feature on ARTALEE: this time, of my fellow Canadian artist, Jeanette Jobson.  I focused on her very unique gyotaku project. Do visit her most interesting blog.

Have a great Sunday evening!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Love that lace wip 4

I have started the stems, although I still have a bit of work on the cherry tomatoes... Since I never know how much painting time I will get during the week ( at least until Dec 1st :-) I decided to post my Sunday night update. The picture was taken inside and the color is not quite true.

Do you think that they look more like cherry tomatoes now?
Have a great week!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Love that Lace WIP part 3

I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and added some red to my current work in progress:-) The cherry tomatoes look a bit like cherries....everything I paint lately looks like cherries!
I have a lot more work to do on the tomatoes themselves, but hope to start the stems tomorrow. I'd love to read your comments.

Meanwhile, this week, my Southern Belle is continuing its lucky streak on Red Bubbles and was featured again.
I still have difficulty believing that as of Dec. 1st, I will no longer be working full time and for the first time in my life will have time to do what I love...painting, of course:-)

Happy Saturday night to all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love that Lace WIP -part 2 and news

I have worked a bit more on the lace portion of this painting. I think I am trying to postpone the moment when I have to put some red paint on those tomatoes:-)
However, I soon will have a lot more time for painting....Here is my big news: I announced at work today that I was going to resign and retire as of 30th November... On Dec 1st, I can become a full-time watercolor artist:-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Southern Belle - In top ten in Impressionism Cafe Group Challenge

My "Southern Belle" watercolor has just placed in the top ten in the Impressionism Cafe Group challenge on Red Bubble. Check out the 22 great entries.
Southern Belle - original watercolor by Christiane Kingsley  -

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lace WIP, Artalee and Red Bubble

I am back from a beautiful  short trip to NYC to visit my daughter.

I have been neglecting my painting lately with my two recent holidays. I have also been spending a lot of my energy thinking about my life at work: my organization is going through a reorganization, and  I am trying to decide if I will resign from my full-time job and retire in December. These thoughts are not conducive to creativity:-)

To get my brushes wet again, I  have started a new painting with fruit and lace. The approach is a lot less realistic than my previous lace work. It will eventually represent 6 small cherry tomatoes from my garden on another beautiful lace piece that I have borrowed from my mother. I have tried  to increase the effect of shadows across the battenburg lace and those created by the tomatoes: I am not sure that it will work, but it's a nice way to get back into painting after the short hiatus.

On another note, my strawberry painting, "Let's Talk"was featured this week on Red Bubble:
Last, but not least, I have just added a new feature on ARTALEE: this one is about our blogging friend Deb Ward who, among other artistic achievements, is a true master at painting lace! I hope that Deb will approve of the paintings that I have selected for the post about her beautiful work.

As always, I am looking forward to your comments.

Friday, October 8, 2010


In Canada, this is Thanksgiving weekend. I will be flying to NYC to spend a few days with our daughter who is on a one-year assignment there. I am bringing a small painting to work on...but , I'm not sure how much I will get done. However, admiring Kathy Wirth gorgeous posterized portraits of her grandchildren, reminded me that about three years ago I had done my first ( and only) posterized portrait: it is of my daughter ( she is much better looking IRL) and was done in poured monochrome watercolors. It would be fun to try this again.
I am slowly working down my blog roll to feature my great blogging friends and fellow artists on the Artalee site. Today, I invite you to have a look at the beautiful whimsical world of Ross Lynem: I think that one of his paintings would cheer me up any day!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Update: Maine, Red Bubble and Artalee

We returned home last night from a most relaxing week of vacation in Ogunquit, Maine. The weather did not cooperate very much: we had only one sunny day and came back in a downpour. Nevertheless, I had a great time: walking on the the fog, eating sea food and taking pictures. I find that the sound of the ocean is music for the soul and it simply washes away all tension. The only downside of our week is that somehow I did not paint very much and my laptop was too slow for any blogging.

I was pleased to find out that my watercolor "Southern Belle" had placed 3rd in a challenge on Red Bubble. This painting is already sold and I recently posted a new version of it which I probably prefer, although the background is less dramatic. 
In "Southern Belle II",  I really like the plum highlights in the dark background and the more detailed painting of the petals and the stem.  This painting is currently hanging in a group show at the Ottawa Little Theatre.

My slow laptop did not allow me during the week to post any new features on ARTALEE. This morning, I was so happy to return to my regular computer! I have just posted a feature of a watermedia artist we all know and love, Sandy Maudlin.  I hope that I have done justice to Sandy's versatility and talent.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Follow the Leader...Finished for now

I am spending a restful week in Maine, right on the ocean. Unfortunately, it has rained all day today and we are expecting more of the same tomorrow. Nevertheless, I am enjoying my vacation away from work.
I spent a few minutes this afternoon finishing my Cherry/Crab Apples painting.  It probably needs a few more finishin touches, but I will call it finished for now at least.
The picture was taken inside with my small camera - the colors may be quite off on your monitor.
If we have a sunny day before we go back home, I will try to get pictures of waves ans seagulls to share.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Discover Krista Hasson on ARTALEE

For my second feature as curator of ARTALEE, I have chosen a fellow Canadian artist blogger, Krista Hasson, whose work I find simply breathtaking. I have posted a few of my favorites by Krista so that those who don't already know her will have a idea of the range of her talent. I hope that you will go and have at the post then go see what Krista is painting now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Exciting News!

I am very excited to announce that I have just become a curator of an new curated online gallery: ARTALEE started by Micah Condon, founder of the well-known  DailyPainters website. The objective of the gallery is to bring to the visitors a wide range of the best artists on the internet. ARTALEE will not be selling any artwork, simply featuring work of artists  that the curator-artists really like.

Mt responsibility will be to help users discover interesting artists and to help promote the work of these artists. What fun this is going to be! As a bonus, I will get to promote my own art at the same time. For each featured artist, I will posting up to 6 pictures of their artwork with a link to their website along with a brief description of what strikes me about their work. I can see this only as positive publicity...we artists sure need all the marketing help we can get.

I will try to feature a few different artists every week.I spend a lot of time reading artists' blogs, those on my blog roll and those on my blogger friends' blog roll. This seems as the logical place for me to start. If you really don't want me to post pictures and links to your blog  on ARTALEE, please email me at

For my first post, I have chosen the work of Fabio Cembranelli, a watercolor painter from Brazil who creates magic with his paintbrush.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yikes!,,,No more cherries! Work in Progress

I was all set to base my entire future as an artist on paintings of lace and discover that cherries have a short season! Last week, there was not a single cherry to be found in Canada's capital...believe me, I searched everywhere:-) My next step was to search for something that was not a cherry, but looked a bit like a least from quite a distance. I ended up buying and taking pictures of ...humble crab apples! After all, they are a fruit, they are small, shaped a bit like cherries....

The work in progress below shows my feeble attempt at painting crab apples. You will see that these look like a hybrid...I think that I could not decide if I was painting cherries or apples :-(Consequently, theses little guys are probably much overworked. The lace part is only partially done, but I wanted your opinion before spending more time on this watercolor.

The picture was taken inside, so the colors may not be not entirely true.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cherries and Lace I

Here is my first small painting of cherries and lace from the numerous photographs I took last week. I painted it yesterday and I kept  it very simple: no background, a small portion of lace only with a bit of my hardwood flooring peaking through.  It is about 8" X11" and matted at 12" X 15"; it could also be cropped for a square look of 8 X8", cutting out the white on either side of the lace.

I enjoyed painting this and will definitely paint some more complex one with the same elements. 
What do you think?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Report

This has been another week with very little painting and a lot of work. Next weekend is a long weekend, and I certainly intend to spend many hours painting. I will use my next few evening to get several projects on the go.

I have been painting only in my head, these days. However, at least, one of my Venice paintings, Only in Venice,  has just been featured on Red Bubble, in the Works on Paper group.  This reminds me that I have neglected my "Memories of Venice" series lately.

This morning, I went to the beautiful Experimental Farm Ornamental Gardens to take some pictures as future references for paintings.   Which one to choose for the coming projects? What about this hollyhock picture?

I also took some pictures of cherries on the linen lace piece I showed a few weeks ago - I have not shot the perfect reference yet, but I think that I am getting closer to what I want.

Hopefully, I will have more than photographs, plans and previously shown paintings to post by next weekend.
I wish you all a great week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Almost too busy to paint!

This past week, I was extremely busy in my full-time job and had little energy left to paint. I did try to paint a few minutes every night, but with my eyes closing with fatigue...not the best conditions for a painter:-) I am posting the artistic results of this low energy week.

The first photo is of the probably finished strawberry trio: Forever Friends, three optimistic berries who don't realize that they will soon find themselves in a real jam :-)

This watercolor painting is on a white background and will be sold matted in white ( with a black core showing at the beveled edge) to 5"X 7" to fit a 8"X10" frame. It is a great companion piece for the other berry paintings shown in previous posts.


The next painting will be on my list of "to redo". I like parts of it, but I don't find it "crisp and clean" enough , It is from a picture offered free of copyright to artists by Billie Crain on the Paint my Photo site. It is 7.5 X 9.5" approx. and would fit an 11"X 14" frame.

I also bought myself a few new toys: oil paints, brushes and medium. I don't think that I will ever find a painting medium that I like more than watercolors, but why not give oils a try. Who knows?

Have a great week and I hope that we will all have the time and the energy to create beautiful art:-)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two recent features on Red Bubble

I have had two new features on the Red Bubble site lately:
My Laundry Day in Venice watercolor (above) has just been featured in, what else, the Wash Day Group. This is the 4th Red Bubble feature for this painting that also ranked in the top ten in one of that site's artists challenges.

My two strawberries in  Let's Talk  were recently featured in the Fruit and Veg Shop group.

It's always fun to check the Red Bubble site and find out that one of my paintings has been highlighted. This always sends me right back to my brushes - an instant motivator!
Have a great Saturday evening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Work in progress - Forever Friends

The heat wave that won't go away is making me lazy and I have not painted as much as I should have. nevertheless, I want to show you what I am working on: ANOTHER small strawberry painting. After painting one lonely strawberry, two seriously-talking strawberries, I am now depicting three optimistic strawberries - "Forever Friends".  This is only a WIP at this stage since I still have a lot of work to do it...the green leaves and the shadows should improve its impact; however, I have been working at night again, and that's never when I do my best work:-(
I want to start adding a bit more complexity to these berry paintings. Here is a picture of  part of a  linen lace placemat  that I would like to use next time - although I may have photographed the wrong side of it:-).  What do you think?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Let's talk!": New strawberry painting

As I mentioned below, I sold a strawberry watercolor at last weekend's art show. People liked them because they look so realistic with all their seeds and highlights.Today I finished one of the strawberry watercolor paintings I had started, but not finished for that show.

This one is called "Let's talk!" since these two strawberries really seem to be having a serious "tête-à-tête".
It is on Arches 140lb CP watercolor paper. The background is left white in order to focus on the strawberries and their shadows. It is matted in white with interior dimensions of  approximately 4.5" X 6.5" and will fit a 8"X10" frame. The mat can be all white, or, if I find another, with a black core line showing at the beveled edge as with my single berry below.

I am really having a lot of fun painting these strawberries -each one  seems to have  its own character:-)
 I have another sketch ready, with three strawberries this time -an increment of one with each new watercolor.

$50 US, matted, unframed. Free shipping in North America

This is a great companion piece to the watercolor below, "Berry Lonely", which is also on Arches 140 lb CP watercolor paper and painted with Windsor and Newton professional grade watercolor paint.It is on a white background ( although the background looks pinkish on my monitor) and is also matted in white ( with black core showing at the beveled edge of the mat) with interior dimensions of  approximately 4.5" X 6.5" and will fit a 8"X10" frame.
$49 Canadian, matted, unframed. Free shipping in North America

Solution Graphics
I am looking forward to reading your comments on the new next painting will probably be a floral so that you don't all get sick and tired of looking at strawberries.
If you have any questions, email me at
Have a great Sunday.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A beautiful gift

Yesterday, I received a most stunning gift in the mail: "Gardenia", an original watercolor painting by Vicki Green that I won through one of Vicki's regular give aways. You can see a picture of that painting in my post of July 16th. You really have to touch this painting to fully appreciate it: Vicki has attached it to a gallery wrap canvas and then varnished it. This finishing means that the watercolor does not need to be framed under glass!This painting is already proudly displayed on one of my walls, beside a wonderful painting I won in Rhonda Carpenter's giveaway a few months ago. I have started quite the collection:-)

An added treat treat yesterday in the beautifully-wrapped parcel was the note card below, Ocean Swim, from an original watercolor painting by Vicki.

Thank you, Vicki. I will treasure these.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Art Show

I spent the weekend showing my work at a local art show organized by the Clarence-Rockland Art Association, a one-year old art association made up of mostly oil painters. The turn-out was composed in great part of friends of the artists, not very many paintings sold, but the weekend was very enjoyable.
I gave out a fair number of business cards,  sold several note cards and one of my two " Berry Lonely" strawberry paintings. 
Here are a few pictures: 

On the first picture, you can see two "Berry Lonely" paintings; the one at the top, the smallest berry, is the one that sold.

The second picture provides a view of most of the wall space I had. The paintings are fairly crowded, but I was pleased with the overall effect.

The show was well-organized: artists were provided with the grids and a table. This meant that all I had to bring was the paintings.
Here you see some of my note cards, printed from my pictures of my original watercolors.

My next showing is in September, where I will show only 1 painting in a group show by the Ottawa Art Association that will take place at the Ottawa Littlle Theatre and will run for about a month. One of my friends is preparing an Open House in early October for a group of 4 artists - this should be a lot of fun. In November, I will most likely enter one painting in the Ottawa Art Association Annual Fall Awards Show. I intend to keep an eye on all Call for Submissions for at least one interesting Xmas Show.
Meanwhile, I want to focus on improving the "purchase" section of my blog for internet sales.

Do internet sales work for you? What strategies do you use? Is joining a group site ( the best known probably being the Daily Painters and difficult to join at this point) the best way to go? I think these topics could start a very interesting discussion. I am looking forward to reading your insights on the topic....

Enjoy your Sunday evening.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Double Feature for "Berry Lonely"

Obviously, my lucky streak that saw me winningVicki Green's beautiful giveaway is continuing. My recent strawberry painting, that I have entitled  in a corny way "Berry Lonely Without You", has had a double feature on the Australian gallery site "Red Bubble": in Art up Close and in Realist Traditional Art.

In spite of all my good intentions to paint several more of these strawberries in the last week, I have not finished any new one so far; I have spent the entire weekend cutting mats and foam core, installing hanging wire and framing for my show next weekend. I have about a dozen paintings ready to go and  another half-dozen in various stages of framing. Maybe tonight I will treat myself to a good painting session:-)

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am so excited...

I am so thrilled! I have just won Vicki Green's July giveaway! It is a stunning, gorgeous painting entitled "Gardenia".  

It is a 5x7 inch watercolor that is mounted on a 9x12 gallery wrap canvas and then varnished. Wow!

Thank you so much, Vicki! I will certainly cherish this beautiful piece.

Here is Vicki's blog. Don't miss her next generous giveaway!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Strawberry, anyone?

Today, I painted this small  5" X 7" watercolor painting in preparation for my show in two weeks. I would like to paint a few more on the same theme: the next one with two strawberries, then one with three etc.
The picture was taken inside with a flash unfortunately.

I always love to read your comments and suggestions.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Peony and Friends: Winner of Red Bubble Challenge

I am quite excited that my painting "Peony and Friends" has just won the "Say it with Flowers" challenge on Red Bubble  and will become the avatar for the Art up Close group! I also become their fourth featured member .
                                                                 Peony and Friends
Approx. 8” X11”
Arches CP watercolor paper

Have a great holiday weekend!