December 19, 2014

Dundas in December


Dundas in December, 8x10 oil

Even though Monday was a cold, grey day, I was pleased that I went out to paint.  With the Dundas streets and windows decorated for Christmas, and people dashing from store to store, it was a pleasure to just observe and paint.    

November 28, 2014

Nightcap - Sold

Nightcap, 10x12 oil

I started this painting a couple weeks ago as one of the demonstrators at the Art Gallery of Burlington, (during the Christmas Guild Show).  Luckily it's dry now, just in time for my open studio this weekend.  We were hanging paintings yesterday, all over the house...I have to say, my house has never looked better!

It's interesting running my own studio show,  having to think of how to advertise and get the word out to those who may be interested.  It's quite a learning curve.  Have I done enough?  Only time will tell.  Hope to see you this weekend.  


November 26, 2014

Eating Like a Bird Series - Sold


Breakfast of Champions, 7x5 oil SOLD
A Light Lunch, 7x5 oil SOLD 
Dinner for One, 7x5 oil SOLD

If you watch birds for a bit of time, you can see so much character in them.  Have you ever heard the phrase, 'eating like a bird'?  Here is a little series of paintings that I created, with that phrase in mind.

November 24, 2014

Heading West

Heading West, 24x12 oil

I love the drive heading west along highway 8.  Rural Ontario; passing one small town after another, with big expanses of farmland in between, and century old houses.  This is the route I take every time I visit my parents, who live just outside of Goderich.  The highlight of the drive is stopping in downtown Stratford to grab a coffee and visiting a few of the shops and galleries.

This coming weekend I am hosting an Open Studio Show & Sale.  I have invited a few guest artists, and will have paintings all around the house and studio.  There will also be Christmas cards for sale and fresh home baked cookies to sample.

November 17, 2014

Balancing Act - Sold

Balancing Act, 12x16 acrylic

In the summer, the days seem to go on forever.  There is ample time for everything.  Why is it that when the sun sets earlier, you feel as if there is never enough time in a day?

This is the painting I meant to post last week, (time just got away from me somehow).  Yes, it is painted in acrylic.  I thought that if it was painted in acrylic, there would be no 'drying time' involved, as with oils.  I didn't take into account that I would have to get used to acrylics all over again.  The good thing is that I got to play with the paints and had a lot of fun.  I like the results..... but am happy to be back into my oils again this week.

November 07, 2014

At Rest

At Rest, 8x8 oil

This past Monday I had the pleasure of getting outside to paint 'en plein air'.  After all the preparation (and then more preparation), for the studio tour, it was almost a self indulgent day of painting.  When I saw this boat with the duck relaxing in the sun, I knew that this was what I had to paint.

The studio tour was a lot of fun, as usual.  I met so many people; some who come every year and do the tour , and some who are new to the area and just found out about it.  Having visited a few studio tours, I think that the Burlington tour is top notch!  There's a good variety of items and styles among the artists to visit.  Thank you to all who came out this year, and for supporting local artists.  

While I was painting the little boat by the water, not too far away, standing at the base of a tree, was a handful of photographers, with lenses longer than my arms.  I went to check out what the attraction was.  Way up in the tree an owl was sleeping.  I took the photo below with my phone.  Unfortunately his eyes were closed.  Can you see him?



October 31, 2014

Breakfast of Champions- Sold

Breakfast of Champions, 7x5 oil

Happy Halloween!

Guess who dropped by for breakfast! Another little bird painting that will be in my selection of work this weekend in the Burlington Studio Tour!  You can check out all the artists at www.artinaction.ca.


October 24, 2014

Looking for Something? - Sold

Looking for Something? 8x6 oil

I really enjoy the challenge of combining wildlife with everyday items, to create an unlikely scene. The final painting always makes me smile.  I hope to have a few of these little paintings at the studio tour next weekend.  

I've been so busy trying to get ready for the Studio Tour all week that I almost forgot to post this painting.  There is only a week to go for the tour...and still so much to do!  I may be hanging wet paintings.  I won't be in my own studio for the tour this year, I'll be in Teresa Seaton's studio, by the Royal Botanical Gardens.  A great spot!  

October 17, 2014

Apple of My Eye - Sold

Apple of My Eye 20x20 oil

I thought it might be nice to finish this week posting such a sunny painting.  I can't believe how much I have been enjoying painting these past few apple paintings!  This one was just finished today.

How time flies!  There are only two weeks until the Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour, (www.artinaction.ca).  The studio tour happens during the first weekend in November, (November 1 & 2).  There is a preview show of all the artist's work on the tour, in the Community Gallery at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  The reception is on Sunday, October 19, 2-4 pm.  This is the first time we will be having our pre-tour show at this gallery.  What a great venue!  All the artists will be at the reception.  Hope to see you there!  The show will be there until November.

October 10, 2014

Abundance

Abundance, 14x11 oil
Visiting an apple farm at this time of year is a delight for the senses!  Trees abundant with ripe apples everywhere!  Wagons full of excited children.  What a wonderful way to celebrate and appreciate Thanksgiving weekend.

October 01, 2014

September Paintings 2014

September Paintings 2014

Here are my paintings from September!  They are roughly in proportion to each other.  I love seeing them all together like this.  A couple have already been purchased.  The rest will be for sale during the first weekend in November, in the Burlington Studio Tour, www.artinaction.ca.  

September 30, 2014

Within Reach 8x8 oil

Within Reach 8x8 oil
Here is my final painting of the 30 day painting challenge!  This painting, started on location at a local apple farm last week, was finished on location yesterday.  There were a few fluffy white clouds in the background.  Looking at the painting today, I decided that I didn't like the clouds and painted them out, and here is the final painting.  

Well that was a fun month!  A few of the paintings will be trashed for sure, but overall I really like what I have accomplished this month.  I didn't find this challenge nearly as hard to accomplish as in previous challenges.  I believe this is because I have a regular painting schedule already in place, which for me, is the key.  Tomorrow I will post a collage of all 30 paintings.

Hmmm, what shall I paint next?

September 29, 2014

Protected, 10x8 oil

Protected, 10x8 oil
'Protected' was my second painting of the day.  I couldn't help but paint this scene, with the people sitting at the bench in the shade of the tree.  It looked as though the tree was bending over to make sure they were protected from the sun.

My first painting, below, was a very quick sketch.  When I arrived at the park there was a beautiful mist covering the lake.  As I was painting, the mist was quickly disappearing.

Morning Mist, 10x8 oil

September 28, 2014

A Day at the Park

A Day at the Park, 12x9 oil
Here is painting #28!  Another plein air painting of Spencer Smith Park, this time with the Skyway bridge.  I'm heading to the park again today for my final painting at the park.  What an amazingly beautiful weekend this has been.  Two more paintings to go for the challenge.  I will be posting a collage of the 30 paintings when the challenge is over.  

September 27, 2014

The Observation Spot, 8x8 oil

The Observation Spot, 8x8 oil

This is painting #27 for the month.  I painted it at Spencer Smith Park yesterday afternoon.  It was painted on a 10x8 inch panel, but I think it works better cropped down to 8x8 inches.

I couldn't ask for a more beautiful weekend to be painting en plein air every day; although a few fluffy white clouds in the sky would be nice, (not complaining).

September 26, 2014

Zest of a Lime - Sold

Zest of a Lime, 8x6 oil

Here is painting #26.  When I started to think about it, there are so many ideas of what to paint for the letter 'z'.  Here is one idea.  I didn't know if I would be able to make a curly peel with my handy little zester tool, but after sacrificing a lime or two, (in the name of art), I finally figured out it's all about the pressure applied to the lime.

Wow! only four more paintings to go for the month of September!  A few people have asked me what I'm going to paint after the alphabet is done.  Good question.  This afternoon, as well as on Saturday and Sunday, I will be painting down at Spencer Smith Park, here in Burlington.  It's part of the Culture Days Celebration.  I am hoping that I will be able to post those paintings.  If I'm not happy with them then I guess I'll have to come up with another plan.


September 25, 2014

Favourite Yellow Paint

Favourite Yellow Paint, 8x6 oil

It took me ages to figure out what to paint for 'y'.  I realized that my subject matter was sitting right under my nose.  I have a few empty tubes of yellow paint sitting in my paint drawer.  I'm not sure why I keep them, perhaps in case of a paint emergency I might be able to squeeze another drop of paint out of them.  I stopped this painting at this point because I really like the way it looks being a drawing as well as a painting.  In fact, I got to this point last night and couldn't bring myself to put another drop of paint on it.  After leaving it overnight, and seeing it in the morning, I still couldn't bring myself to paint anything else on it, so here it is, finished, I think.

Michael Harding's Artists Oil Colours, imported from England.  I discovered this brand of paint at the local art store.  It is superior to any paint I've tried.  I especially love the Cadmium Yellow!  When it was discontinued at that store, I had to find another supplier.  Now I get it from Gwartzman's Art Supply Store in Toronto.

This is painting #25, only 5 more to go for September!

September 24, 2014

Xylophone Express - Sold

Xylophone Express, 12x6 oil

I found this very well used Xylophone pull toy at an antique market last weekend.  Good thing, because I don't know what else I could have painted for the letter 'x'.  I love the character of old worn toys.  Made of wood and metal parts, nothing plastic about it.  

This is my 24th painting of the month, two more to go to the end of the alphabet, 'y' & 'z'.  After I'm done the alphabet I'm not sure, at the moment, what I'll be painting; perhaps the plein air paintings that I'll be doing on the weekend, if they turn out.

September 23, 2014

Wasting Water

Wasting Water, 8x10 oil
There is nothing more irritating than the incessant dripping of a tap in the middle of the night.  Well, there might be a few more irritating things than that, like a mosquito in the bedroom or a dog barking outside just when you've fallen asleep.  Come to think of it, I guess there are plenty more irritating things than a dripping tap, except that when the hydro bill arrives you'll be irritated with yourself for not fixing that leaky tap.

Painting #23, seven more paintings to go in the 30 day challenge.

September 22, 2014

VW Van - Sold

VW Van, 8x8 oil

For my 22nd painting I chose to post this plein air painting that I did in August. The person in the painting was just added today.  It was painted in Dundas Square, Toronto.  My husband, Andy Griffiths, was helping to run the entertainment, raising funds for The Sick Kids Hospital.  This annual event is called Punch Buggy for Sick Kids.  My favourite out of all the cars was this VW van, from the 1960's.  I would love to own one of these!

I would like to sell this painting for $200,  and donate half to Sick Kids Hospital.  I am fortunate that my children had never needed the services of this hospital, (they are young adults now), but my heart goes out to all those parents and their children who do need it.

September 21, 2014

(Feeling) Utterly Upside-down - Sold

(Feeling) Utterly Upside-down, 8x8 oil

What's a 30 day challenge without a sock monkey?  Here is painting #21.

Next weekend will be a big weekend.  It's Culture Days in Burlington!  I will be painting en plein air at Spencer Smith Park all weekend.  I usually go out to paint on Monday afternoons with a group of artists.  It's with this group that I will be painting next weekend.  This group is based on our commitment to painting en plein air.  We have loosely named ourselves Monday Painters, for a lack of a better name, but in reality we should just be called Plein Air Painters.  There are no fees.  An email is sent out as to where and when we will be painting next and all those who can make it will reply to say when they will be there.  It's wonderful to be part of something like this.

September 20, 2014

Tons of Toothpicks - Sold

Tons of Toothpicks, 8x8 oil
September 20, here's today painting.  This old box of toothpicks has been around for so long, it looks antique!  In fact I stopped taking any toothpicks from it and put the box in my studio because I knew I was going to paint it one day.  

September 19, 2014

Sunny Sunflowers - Sold

Sunny Sunflowers, 10x8 oil
'Sunny Sunflowers', even in a darkened room, they almost seem to have a light of their own.  Here is #19 out of 30 paintings, for the month of September.

Last night was the reception for the group show, 'Ordinary Beauty', at the Dundas Museum.  It was a wonderful evening, thank you for joining me.  If you couldn't make it out, the show will still be there until October 13th.

September 18, 2014

Rolling Country Roads - Sold

Rolling Country Roads, 10x8 oil

For my 18th painting I decided to use a plein air painting that I did a few weeks ago.  I just had to make a few minor adjustments to it and it's perfect for my letter 'r' painting.  After driving out west earlier this summer, and seeing the straight flat roads of the prairies, I've acquired more of an appreciation for the hilly winding roads of Ontario.


I'm looking forward to tonight, the reception for 'Ordinary Beauty'.  
Hope to see you there!

September 17, 2014

3 Quacks

3 Quacks, 10x8 oil
Here is painting #17.  One of the fun things about this challenge is that I have an excuse to paint some things I wouldn't normally be painting.

Today will be a busy day getting ready for the reception at the Dundas Museum.   The reception is from 5:30 to 8:30 tomorrow, Thursday evening.  It'll be a good break from this challenge, but I may have some catching up to do!

September 16, 2014

Peas and Pods - Sold

Peas and Pods, 12x6 oil
Here is painting #16.  I love how peas have little stems; you never see that when you buy a bag of frozen peas!  Unfortunately I can't grow peas in my garden.  Not because they can't grow, but because the rabbits just love them and eat them all up.

September 15, 2014

O for Olives - Sold

O for Olives, 6x4 oil
It seems to me, you either hate olives or you love them.  I've never met anyone who is indifferent to them.  For the record, I love them!  In fact I ate the ones I painted as soon as the painting was finished.

Painting #15, half way through the challenge and still going strong!  I must be doing something right this time, like planning my time better or making sure to take breaks between paintings.  Perhaps I'm keeping my paintings simpler, or maybe I'm painting faster, (maybe all of the above).  By this time, in the other painting challenges I've done, I would be exhausted by now!

As I make my way through the alphabet... I'm wondering... what shall I paint for the last 4 paintings?  No time to think about that now, on to the next painting... 'p'.

September 14, 2014

Oodles of Noodles - Sold

Oodles of Noodles, 24x12 oil
Here's painting #14 of the month, almost half way through the challenge!  I thought since I chose to keep this painting simple, it wouldn't take much time; therefore I should use a larger canvas.  Well I couldn't have been more wrong!  It took me forever to paint those noodles!  

September 13, 2014

Mmmm Margarita

Mmmm Margarita, 4x6 oil

For painting #13 I chose to paint a Blue Margarita.  When I started painting the first cocktail, 'Kir', I had no idea that I would be painting a series of primary coloured cocktails.  After I had painted 'Lemony Lemon Drop', I realized blue was my only choice for the next painting.  I love the way they look all together!

                              

September 12, 2014

Lemony Lemon Drop

Lemony Lemon Drop, 4x6 oil

Here is painting #12 of the 30 in 30 challenge.  I was searching for a martini recipe for this next painting, and found this in allrecipes.com.  It's very lemony and not too sweet, you can adjust the sweetness to your own liking.  It also has a bit of mint, which is a nice little touch.

September 11, 2014

Kir Please

Kir Please, 4x6 oil

Here is painting #11.  Kir is a wonderful cocktail of black current liqueur and white wine, a ratio of 1 part liqueur and 9 parts wine.  It can be made with red wine, champagne, or even a different flavoured liqueur, but black current and white wine is my favourite combination.  Actually it's the only combination I've ever tried because I love the black current flavour!

September 10, 2014

Jam Jars - Sold

Jam Jars, 8x8 oil
Here's the 10th painting of the month.  Well I've made it through the first third of the challenge!  I'm starting to get behind a bit now.  These jam jars were a lot of fun to paint though, I actually had to force myself to stop painting.  There are still a couple of bits that I would like to get to, but sometimes when I leave a painting for a few days, I realize it doesn't need anything.  Most of my paintings this month will be for sale in the Burlington Studio Tour, www.artinaction.ca, (the first weekend in November), unless of course they are sold beforehand.   If something catches your eye, send me a message here or on Facebook and I'll answer your questions.  Now on to the next painting...

September 09, 2014

The Ice Cream Incident

The Ice Cream Incident, 6x8 oil

Painting #9, 'The Ice Cream Incident', or should it be called 'The I Scream Incident'.   Has this ever happened to you?  The last time I dropped my ice cream cone was actually this summer.  My husband and I had decided to treat ourselves and went to the gelato shop, downtown Burlington.  We waited in a long line, but knew it was worth it; we would be rewarded in the end.  So with our treasures in hand we chose to go for a stroll along the lakeside promenade.  How romantic is that.  We carefully crossed the street.  Not even 10 steps into our walk and oops!  There went my ice cream!  It even managed to hit my clothes on the way down.  I felt like a three year old child, in fact I wished at that moment that I was 3, then I could have screamed and cried my eyes out!  My husband shared his cone with me, which in the end, was sweeter than having my own, and much more romantic.

September 08, 2014

Hot, Hot, Hot - Sold

Hot, Hot, Hot 10x8 oil
For painting #8, I chose to paint some very hot peppers from my garden.  When I cut these peppers up I have to be careful not to rub my eyes for the rest of the day!  Wow, they are hot!  I grew some of these peppers a couple of years ago.  What I hadn't used fresh, I dried and put in a jar.  I am sure they have lost a lot of their potency judging from the strength of these fresh ones!   I will have to replace the older dried peppers with this year's batch for sure.  I had saved a couple of the little green boxes from some raspberries earlier in the season, with the intention of using them in a painting eventually.

I have no idea at this point what I will be painting next.  Hmmm, what starts with 'I'?

September 07, 2014

Gorgeous Grapefruit - Sold

Gorgeous Grapefruit, 10x8 oil
Day 7 already?  Here's my seventh painting of the month.  I've had this grapefruit sitting on the counter, waiting to be eaten.  Every morning my husband and I have gotten into making smoothies for breakfast, packed full of berries and other wonderful things.  This grapefruit just keeps sitting there, forgotten.  Since I was nearing the letter 'g' I thought what better day would there be to slice it open and paint it/eat it. 

September 06, 2014

Finch Food - Sold

Finch Food, 12x6 oil

September 6, my sixth painting of the month.  I had all sorts of plans for this painting, but in the end, I didn't want to labour over it too much.  I like how fresh the flowers look.  There was supposed to be a Goldfinch in the painting as well, but decided that it didn't really need it after all.  There may be a 'Finch Food II' painting in the works at a later date though. 

September 05, 2014

(Almost) Empty Egg Carton - Sold

(Almost) Empty Egg Carton, 8x8 oil
A little late posting painting #5 today, the internet had been down for quite a few hours.  I love painting every day items.  There are so many stories that they can tell.  It may be just a reminder of a moment in the day or time spent preparing something special.  An item that you see all the time, but have rarely ever looked at.  If you think about the egg carton, some one had to design the box to house the eggs, and keep them safe.  It doesn't always keep the eggs safe, but does a reasonably good job.  I wonder when the egg carton was first invented?  Years ago I did a painting of an egg carton that my eldest daughter (who was in preschool at the time), had painted to look like a caterpillar.  It was brightly coloured, had pipe cleaner antennae and Pink Fruit Loop eyes.  It was the first time a child of mine had brought home a project that she had created, plus I was afraid it wouldn't last, (and it didn't, the cat ate the eyes before the next day had arrived).
 

September 04, 2014

Dubious Decision

Dubious Decision, 6x8 oil

Painting #4 in the 30 in 30 challenge. The cups were very unstable when stacked like this.  As I set this still life up, the thought of painting them in this precarious position didn't seem like a good idea.  One tiny bump and my painting would be called 'Disastrous Decision'!   In the end, while balancing the top cup with one finger, I took a photo.  I am pleased with the painting, disaster avoided!

September 03, 2014

Curious Cow - Sold

Curious Cow, 12x6 oil

Painting #3 in the painting a day challenge.  Have you ever noticed that when you stop to look at cows, they all stop grazing and look at you?  I'm sure they are curious as to what you are doing there.  This was a half painted plein air painting that I decided to finish off for this challenge.  It also fits into my scheme.  So far I have been naming my paintings alphabetically.  I have a feeling that there are going to be some very oddly named paintings!

September 02, 2014

Beautiful Boxes - Sold

Beautiful Boxes, 18x24 oil
Painting #2, The mystery of the box!  There is something intriguing about an unopened box.  The mystery of what could be inside.  These boxes are from a store in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  My husband and I went to Niagara-on-the-Lake to celebrate our anniversary this year.  We love touring the wineries and discovering new wines.  The downtown area is pretty, with some unique shops.  One shop that we stopped in sold all kinds of hats.  We both found hats that we fell in love with, and when purchasing them the sales girl asked if we would like them in boxes.  As soon as I saw the boxes I said yes to both of us having boxes, knowing that they will become part of a painting!  

September 01, 2014

Abandoned Apple Core

Abandoned Apple Core 6x6 oil 

The first day of September is here!  Tomorrow life will get back to 'normal' for those who have children at home.  They'll be sent off to school, wearing new outfits, ready to start a new year of challenges and accomplishments.  Shiny and new, just like the apples that will be left on the teacher's desks.  Do children bring apples to school for their teachers?  A Norman Rockwell sort of image comes to mind.  Happy Labour Day!

This month for me represents a month of paintings!  I have chosen to join the hundreds of artists and do a painting a day, for 30 days.  I can't believe this will be the fourth time doing the Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 Challenge.  It's a lot of fun and hard work, and definitely a challenge!  I will be posting here every day, as well as on lesliesaeta.blogspot.ca.