June 23, 2017

Roadside Parking, 12x9 oil

Roadside Parking, 12x9 oil

June 15-18 was the first annual Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival.  Parrsboro is a friendly little seaside town on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.  I was one of the 35 artists painting in this juried event.  We had specific boundaries to paint within every day.  Our blank canvases/boards were stamped on the back at the beginning of the event, (to be sure that everyone started with a blank 'canvas').    

This painting, 'Roadside Parking', is the first painting that I did.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I managed to get two paintings done on the first day.        

June 06, 2017

The Last Peony, 9x12 oil

The Last Peony, 9x12 oil


The local Farmer's Market has started up this month.  Two weeks ago there were only a few stalls selling goods.  One selling mainly rhubarb, another last year's apples, and of course the one selling flowers.  Although my garden is full of flowers, my peonies are not even close to blooming.  I picked up a small bouquet of peonies, thinking how nice it would be to paint.  Time got away from me and now I only have one left, which won't last very much longer.

May 30, 2017

My Lemon Bowl, 12x12 oil

My Lemon Bowl, 12x12 oil

There are so many uses for lemons, so I know buying a few to sit on the counter as decoration will not go to waste.  Of course, since I have this beautiful still life, I can't help but paint it.      

May 23, 2017

Vine Ripened, 6x12 oil

Vine Ripened, 6x12 oil

There is nothing like a fresh off the vine tomato.  Although the tomato in the painting was store bought, I purchased my first tomato plant of the season yesterday.  I'm the only one at home who likes tomatoes, so one plant will probably do.      



May 16, 2017

Tulips on the Table, 14x14 oil

Tulips on the Table, 14x14 oil

Tulips are in bloom everywhere!  Although short-lived, their beautiful burst of colour enlivens the spirit, reminding us a new season of warmth and sunshine is on its way.

May 09, 2017

The Nap, 36x24 oil SOLD

The Nap, 36x24 oil

I have been avoiding posting this painting partly because I've been so busy getting ready for my current show, (Signs of Life), but mainly because I'm not sure what I should write.  Each painting that I do has many layers of thought about what I want to convey, but to have to put those thoughts into words is the tough part.  So I've decided not to write about this painting and tell you about my show instead.

Signs of Life is about how we go about our day leaving a trail behind us of what we did... a cup or book left on the table, laundry on the line, a toy on the floor etc.  I think it is a fitting theme for 'Mother's Day Month'.



April 18, 2017

The Extended Conversation, 24x36 oil

The Extended Conversation, 24x36 oil

Did you need to use the phone?  Almost everyone I know now has their own personal phone.  I remember when the one phone in the house was a constant source of frustration, especially when you were waiting for a call.  





April 11, 2017

Invitation to 'Signs of Life'


The date of my show and the opening have been finalized, and here is the invitation.  I'm working on a couple of final pieces and am really looking forward to this show!  I can't believe my last solo show was in 2013!

The artwork in the invitation is called 'Hanging Out Together', (48x24 oil).  

April 05, 2017

Parked, 18x36 oil

Parked, 18x36 oil

Spring is here! (in some parts of Canada).  I've noticed my garden has started to wake up, but I haven't seen very many bicycles on the roads yet.  




March 20, 2017

Unmaking, oil 36x30

Unmaking, oil 36x30 

Currently I am working towards a show I'm having in May.  I think it'll be called 'Signs of Life'.  At least that's my theme that I always seem to be painting about.  It's about what we leave behind when we leave a room.  Those small things that most of us may be completely unaware of, or perhaps just don't care to think about.  The unmade bed, the orange peel left on the table, cup on the floor by the chair etc.  I chose the month of May because of Mother's Day.  As any mother would know,  these small things are what become the unmaking of a house, (or is it the making of a home, I'm not sure).  The show will be in May at the Fireside Lounge, Art Gallery of Burlington.  I'm hoping to have an opening reception, but I won't know the date until April sometime.    



March 13, 2017

Watercolour Paintings


The past few weeks have been busy ones.  I have three paintings on the go, I've just finished teaching beginner watercolour and intermediate botanical watercolour classes and I'm just getting over a cold, (I could have done without catching the cold).  I loved teaching the classes.  I know that some of the beginner students had never painted in their lives and really struggled, but in the end they were creating their own paintings.  Above are a few samples of watercolour paintings I did to use as demonstrations in the classes.  

January 31, 2017

January Paintings



This first month of 2017 has been a busy one!  I attempted to do a painting a day, the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, but I didn't quite make it.  So here is my collage of 23 paintings in 30 days. 

January 27, 2017

Botanical Berries, 6x6 oil

Botanical Berries, 6x6 oil

These red berries tend to be found in flower arrangements quite often.  I picked them up specifically to use as reference in the watercolour painting class that I'm teaching.  In fact, my studio has all sorts of flowers in it at the moment...all for research purposes of course.  I was looking at a book containing botanical paintings of the past, and they all seem to have pale tea coloured backgrounds, probably because the paper that the paintings were on dulled over time.

January 26, 2017

Dressing the Table, 6x12 oil SOLD

Dressing the Table, 6x12 oil

This painting was mostly done a while back, but needed a few minor tweaks.  I really like the looseness of the brush strokes.



January 25, 2017

Pack o'Pears, 10x8 oil

Pack o'Pears, 10x8 oil

Yes, my theme this month is 'things in my studio'.  No, these pears are not normally in my studio, although they were in my studio while I was painting them.  I'm bending the rules a bit, but I really felt like painting these pears.





January 24, 2017

Milk, Cream or Soy 12x6 oil

Milk, Cream or Soy, 12x6 oil

I am posting this painting, but I think I will eventually work on it a little bit more.  I'm thinking of perhaps adding a flower, or a spoon, (needs more thought).  I'd say this is a work in progress.  




January 23, 2017

One of a Kind, 8x8 oil

One of a Kind, 8x8 oil

It doesn't matter how many flowers I paint, I find it amazing that even within the same plant there is something unique and different about each flower.  



January 22, 2017

On the Menu Today, 9x12 oil

On the Menu Today, 9x12 oil

Since my theme this month is 'things in my studio', I thought painting these acorns with this dessert bowl would make an interesting combination.

I've noticed that my paintings have been getting fairly tight, so with this one and yesterday's painting I've tried to force myself to be looser by using a larger brush and painting the impression of what I see rather than worrying about exact details.



January 21, 2017

Crazy Skates, 12x6 oil

Crazy Skates, 12x6 oil

These are an old pair of roller skates that I had as a child.  I call them crazy skates because although I loved them, they also terrified me.  They have no brakes!  I learned to skate by keeping one hand on a wall while carefully rolling one foot in front of the other.  Eventually I was skating up and down the sidewalk, with no disastrous mishaps.  When my kids were ready to learn to roller skate they had the whole ensemble:  roller blades with brakes, wrist and knee protectors as well as helmets.  A different world!  



January 17, 2017

Good Morning, 6x8 oil

Good Morning, 6x8 oil

Although it isn't morning anymore, the way this flower is leaning and reaching for the light makes me think of a bright sunny morning, especially on a dreary day such as today.  This is painting number 17 of this month.  

January 16, 2017

Smile, 6x6 oil

Smile, 6x6 oil

This old Brownie Bullet camera was what my parents used to take photos of my sisters and I when we were babies.  All black and white photos of course.  When I was in my mid teens I asked if I could have the camera.  I loved it, and took photos with this camera until I couldn't get the film for it anymore.  

January 15, 2017

Unplugged, 8x24 oil SOLD

Unplugged, 8x24 oil

I had absolutely no idea what I was going to paint today.  I started to play with this iron.  One of the things I find interesting about it is the cloth covered wire, so, it made sense to make that the feature in the painting.

Here is an 'I remember when' story:  This iron was my mom's way back when I was a kid.  When I was about 14 years old I was ironing something with it.  I noticed some of the wires were exposed, where the cord attaches to the iron at it's base.  Well there must have been a loose connection and the wire sparked, the material of the ironing board caught on fire.  I calmly unplugged the iron and stamped out the flame with it.  When I was sure the fire was completely out I went upstairs to tell my parents that I think it's time to get a new iron, and told them what had happened.  I have never ever, in my whole life, seen my father move so fast, as he ran downstairs to the basement, (despite my assurances that I took care of it).  My mom got a new iron, and my dad replaced the wire of this old iron and kept it as a spare.


January 14, 2017

Three for Me, 6x8 oil

Three for Me, 6x8 oil

My theme for the challenge this month is 'things in my studio'.  I have a little box of these incredibly stale macaron cookies.  Not a great thing to say if I was selling cookies.  Luckily you can't taste a painting.  The ones in my painting look as fresh as the day I brought them home.

January 13, 2017

I'm not Here, 12x12 oil SOLD

I'm not Here, 12x12 oil

On this Friday the 13th, I chose to paint this classic black phone.  I was texting with my daughter this morning, a method we often use to communicate.  We can carry on a text conversation while doing other things.  I would type a note in between brush strokes, while she is in class doing what ever she's doing there, probably painting too, since she's in art college.  Quite a different way of communicating than when this old black phone was new.      

January 12, 2017

The Budding Artist, 6x8 oil

The Budding Artist, 6x8 oil

Well here is painting number 12!  I've noticed something that needs work in this painting but I'm posting it anyway.  Can you see what it is?  A work in progress.

January 11, 2017

Hand-me-downs, 12x12 oil

Hand-me-downs, 12x12 oil

Anyone with an older sibling will know the term 'hand-me-down' quite well.  I was always getting my sisters skates, and my younger sister got mine.   It made perfect sense.  In fact when I finally did get my own brand new pair of skates, I found them extremely uncomfortable, they hadn't been worn in by my sister first.  

January 10, 2017

Marbles and Glass Jars, 10x12 oil

Marbles and Glass Jars, 10x12 oil

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this painting, but it took so much longer than I had planned.  This is painting number 10.

January 09, 2017

Pile of Pegs, 6x6 oil

Pile of Pegs, 6x6 oil

Here is my ninth painting.  Yes, I have clothes pegs in my studio.  I think I've used these clothes pegs more as props in paintings than for their intended purpose of holding clothes on a line outside.

January 08, 2017

First Cup of the Day, 12x24 oil

First Cup of the Day, 12x24 oil

Here is my eighth painting for the challenge.  I don't know why I chose to paint this one larger; probably because I had just finished three little 4x4 inch canvases and couldn't manage the thought of doing another small one.  As I was putting this still life together I was drawn to the combination of blues and greens.  Together they seem to create a serene feeling.  Exactly how I want to feel first thing in the morning.

January 07, 2017

Apples, 4x4 oil SOLD

Apples, 4x4 oil

Here is my third and final little apple painting.  Placing the apples on the white background seems to emphasize the crispy freshness of the apples.  Although there are really only two apples.  I used the apple in the first painting for this one, cut in half.  Here are the three paintings together:  


Crisp and Sweet MacIntosh Apples



January 06, 2017

Crisp and Sweet, 4x4 oil SOLD

Crisp and Sweet, 4x4 oil

As I started this second apple painting, I placed the 'MacIntosh' painting to the right of my canvas so that the shadow will line up.  Now the two paintings can sit beside each other as the apples are sitting on the table in my studio.

January 05, 2017

MacIntosh, 4x4 oil SOLD

MacIntosh, 4x4 oil

This MacIntosh apple has made a few appearances in my recent paintings.  The MacIntosh apple is my favourite apple of all, but only when it's freshly picked.  If you've ever had one you'll know how crisp, sweet and refreshing they are.  Once they've been around for more than a couple of weeks though, they become soft on the inside and the skin gets tougher.  I guess it's time to make apple fritters with this one.

January 04, 2017

Under the Dome, 12x6 oil

Under the Dome, 12x6 oil
'Items in my studio' is my theme for this month.  Choosing items that can be combined to make an interesting composition and story is tricky, but a lot of fun.     

January 03, 2017

Ribbons and Things, 9x12 oil

Ribbons and Things, 9x12 oil

In my studio I have a wonderful collection of random cups, some with saucers some without.  If the cups aren't being used for props in a painting then they're being used to store ribbons and other small things in them.  

January 02, 2017

Wiggle Waggle, 6x6 oil

Wiggle Waggle, 6x6 oil

I love how well used this child's pull toy is.  I've had it for about a year, but it had disappeared in the depths of my studio; among other items I've collected and plan to paint some day..., (I think I may have just decided on my theme for the month).

January 01, 2017

Market Day, 24x24 oil

Market Day, 24x24 oil

Happy New Year! 
I am looking forward to 2017.  My studio is clean and organized and ready to get messy all over again.  There are a few projects that are already underway, and I'm preparing to teach watercolour classes starting in a couple of weeks, at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  

I am planning to do a painting a day this month (as I have done every January since 2013), but I'm running a little late so it won't be exactly a painting a day.   

Thank you for following my artistic journey.  I wish you a happy and creative new year!