October 26, 2020

On the Hook - Sold

 

On the Hook, 12x12 oil
On the Hook, 12x12 oil

This past summer, a family of wrens moved into a birdhouse in my backyard.  They were hard to spot, I could hear them before seeing them.  Eventually I could hear the babies chirping in the depths of the birdhouse, while waiting for a parent to bring them more food.  I'm not sure if or when they left but I hope they'll be back next summer.  

Where has the time gone!?  The summer flew by.  There was barely anything to mark it's passage, but somehow it just went, as time does.  A few socially distanced meetups with friends as highlights, and of course watching my new baby grandson grow bigger and stronger with each passing week.  I would say that if there was anything good about the pandemic, it would be that I have spent a lot of time in my backyard watching and counting the variety of birds visiting the feeder, (or taking a sip from the saucers of water).  I took many photos and researched the varieties of birds I never realized had passed through my backyard; some I still haven't figured out their names.  My fascination with birds, unfortunately, has left my gardens looking as unruly as ever...but to be fair, it was a very hot summer.    

October 06, 2020

Topless

 
 
Topless, 12x12 inches
oil on cradled birch panel
 
I love to take advantage of all the fresh produce available at this time of year, (to paint and eat).  When it comes to beets though, I really only like to paint them.  I love their deep earthy tones.  The problem is, I don't like waste so I cook them up, puree them and bake them in a cake with lots of chocolate. There is never any waste when it comes to chocolate cake.
                                                     

September 21, 2020

Sweet Peppers

Fresh sweet peppers grown locally.  The beautiful unavoidable crisp vibrant colours!  This is what attracted me to these peppers.  You may have seen the cloth the peppers are sitting on in previous paintings.  I love how the colours of the peppers are repeated in the cloth, with the bit of blue contrast.  I actually had a couple of green peppers, but chose not to add them to the composition since there is plenty of green in the cloth and the stems of the peppers.
 
(24x24 inches, oil on canvas)     

July 27, 2020

Parched

Parched 12x12 oil
During these hot summer days I can't help but think of my little feathered friends.  Every summer I put a few saucers of water on a table in the shade of a tree.  Of course, it's a great way to attract birds to the backyard, especially when I'm waiting a few feet away with my camera. 

July 16, 2020

Perfect Palette

Perfect Palette, 12x12 oil

Sometimes a burst of colour is good for the soul.  Yes, things are looking up!  Gradually the stores and businesses are coming back to life, at least the ones that were able to 'weather the storm'.  Things almost look normal.  I can now get most of what I need as long as I remember to follow all the precautions, (I think crossing my fingers also helps a little).  In fact, I have to remind myself that all is not normal.  The numbers of people getting sick are reducing every day, but there are probably people out there carrying the virus that don't get tested, so until there is a vaccine, my goal must remain to stay safe and protect the people around me.

July 14, 2020

Bird Brain - Sold

Bird Brain, 12x12 oil

The thing I love most about painting birds is their character and expressiveness in their posture.    Some birds seem to pause and think while others are little busy bodies, always flitting about.  This past spring there were always robins around the front porch; not surprising since they built a nest above the front door.  I was able to stand at the door with my camera while Mr. or Mrs. Robin would hop along the railing, seemingly wondering what I was up to.  Considering this, I was thinking what books would this robin choose to read.  Sometimes we choose books by their title, but other times it's the cover that grabs our attention.       

July 13, 2020

Luci

Luci, 12x12 oil

My husband and I made the decision to get a dog the same year our eldest daughter was heading off to university.  She jokes that it was her replacement.  Little did I know how that sweet little puppy would wind her way into the very depths of my heart.  She had an intelligence I have rarely seen in any animal.  Her instincts would drive her to chase squirrels, birds and anything else that caught her eye, but the chase was the fun of it.  When she got too close she would slow down and watch it 'get away'.  One day she dug up an old lacrosse ball in the backyard.  Despite the many toys and balls we brought home for her, that old ball was the only toy she would repeatedly ask us to throw for her.  The only thing better than chasing that old ball was chasing snowballs.  This year we had to say goodbye to Luci, but she will be in our hearts forever. 

June 12, 2020

Measure Twice - Sold

Measure Twice, 12x12 oil

This year seems to be a good year for birds around my house.  I'm not sure if this is the same robin that had built a nest on the wreath that was on my front door last year, but if it is she has smartened up.  This year she has built her nest above the door and is now taking care of her second brood of babies this spring.  In my backyard I have two birdhouses.  The sparrows are inhabiting the red birdhouse, raising the many babies they seem to have every year and in my yellow birdhouse, I am thrilled to say that there are now wrens living in it.

I realized after completing this painting how everything in this painting represents something in my life over the months of April and May.  There's the robin on the front porch, the flour which I had to purchase a huge amount of, and even the flowers on the wallpaper have meaning.  During the month of May my daughter and I drew a sketch of a different flower every day. 

June 01, 2020

Featherweight

Featherweight 24x36 oil

There is nothing like the warmth and comfort of snuggling underneath a big fluffy duvet on a cold winter night.  Every spring all that comfort and warmth is thrown off the bed for a cool refreshing breeze, accompanied by tweeting birds and the buzzing bees.  The heat that we seek all winter long is beaming brightly through open windows, and we all take a deep breath, feeling as though we have survived another winter.  We've replaced our cocoons with light cool fresh linens, ready for those hot summer nights... being Canadian, you know this is all a false leader.  The sky darkens and the snow starts to fly, after all it's only May.  Luckily those extra pillows and warm duvets are right there on the chair, not yet packed away, June will be here soon.             

May 26, 2020

Time 11

Time II, 12x12 oil

When the weather isn't nice and the shops are closed, and you can't visit friends and family, what is left to do but to get stuff done around the house, (or bake or do puzzles or...).  In my house there is a lot to do, ALWAYS, but I spend my days painting in any kind of weather, during a pandemic and during 'normal' times.  The only thing different is that I'm not in a rush to get ready for an upcoming show, so I just keep painting.  By the time the world is ready to get back to normal I should have quite the variety of paintings available.  I should tell you, all paintings that I post are available for purchase unless marked 'sold'.  You can send me an email if you're looking for prices, or if you have any other questions.  I would love to hear from you.      

May 06, 2020

Time - Sold

Time, 12x12 oil

Are you finding time to do things during this pandemic that you never were able to do before?  I'm finding that with my husband home everyday, I am loosing track of which day it is.  I chose to paint this striped material because it seems to reflect the timelessness these days are creating.   

I know some people are using their time get some baking done.  I've always baked and cooked from scratch.  It started during my college days when it just made better money sense to make it myself.  When my children were small I wanted to control the ingredients they were consuming, and as they grew up they just would not eat store bought prepared foods, especially cookies.  I used to buy the larger bags of flour and other items that I used regularly.   These days, I still bake and cook all the time, but I don't need to buy such large quantities for just my husband and I.  A few weeks ago I ran out of flour.  No problem, the grocery stores are still open.  There was not one bag of flour to be found anywhere for a few weeks.  It seems that everyone has now taken up baking.  Social media has been inundated with photos of home baked pies, cakes, cookies and breads!!!  One day my husband finally found flour on the shelves of the local grocery store, 20kg bags!!! The price was amazing and I needed flour.  Luckily I have the rest of 2020 to use the flour considering the expiry date is mid December.  It really is a lot of flour!!!

I've started separating the flour out into 4 lb bags to give to family and friends. 

   




April 27, 2020

Home is Where I Lay my ...

Home is Where I Lay my … 24x24 oil

When I started this painting I was thinking about travel.  How when I go away somewhere, after the first couple of days I could sleep anywhere.  I was thinking about the families possibly planning to go away somewhere with their children for the spring break… wishing I was going away somewhere.  Well that thought quickly changed!  Now of course, because of the pandemic, the thought of traveling anywhere is risky and I'm perfectly content to stay home.  It's been about 6 weeks since we've all been stuck at home now and just getting out to go for a walk is a great pleasure.  I am looking forward to the time, probably in the distant future,  when I can pack my suitcase and head out somewhere, anywhere besides my backyard.  At the moment though, I am following the rules and staying safe.    

April 17, 2020

Yummy Cupcakes

6x6 inches each, oil


This was a fun series of paintings.  The hardest part was trying to decide which cupcakes to purchase, and the most fun part was deciding what the wallpaper should look like.    


I started this fun series of paintings before the pandemic arrived in this neck of the woods.   These small paintings were painted in preparation for the studio tour on Mother's Day weekend, which of course is not happening anymore.  Now all the shops are closed except for the grocery stores and the thought of being able to take a walk into a crowded bakery is just a memory.  My husband grabs the mask I made for him and heads out to the grocery store once a week.  There is no problem finding toilet paper any more; flour is now the coveted item.  Who would have guessed it.


I'm thankful that I live in Canada, and that our government is doing what they can to help.  The most comforting thought is that we're all in this together.  I know this pandemic will eventually be just a memory, as long as we follow the rules to stay safe.  I'm wondering, when this is all over, will we still choose to wear our homemade masks out in crowded public places like the grocery store, just in case?   


   

March 19, 2020

Strawberry on Top - Sold

Strawberry on Top, 6x6 oil
Here is the second in my series of cupcake paintings.  Luckily, none of the cupcakes used in these paintings went to waste; my husband can confirm that statement. 

February 27, 2020

Sprinkles



Sprinkles 6x6 oil



I've never really thought much about cupcakes, especially the ones from the grocery store.  One day I decided to step into a local bakery, (Kelly's), that sells mostly cupcakes.  I was delighted to see a selection of some wonderful little gems that brightened my day and was inspired to start a series of little paintings.  

January 31, 2020

Winter's Palette

Winter's Palette, 12x12 oil

You can't help but feel happy on a crisp sunny winter day, when the ground is covered with a layer of white.  Those days only happen once in a while so I try to embrace them.  It's such a delight for the senses... listening to the sound of my boots crunching in the snow; noticing the long blue shadows stretching across the snow; standing quietly amongst the trees watching the little chickadees flitting from branch to branch; and feeling the cold breeze on my rosy red cheeks.     

December 16, 2019

Writer's Block - Sold

Writer's Block, 24x24 oil

I found this antique typewriter a couple of months ago and couldn't wait to start the painting that was brewing in my head.  It was a joy to work on this, and am pleased that it has gone to a good home.

October 31, 2019

Popeye’s Passion - Sold

Popeye’s Passion, 8x8 oil

The Burlington Studio Tour is happening again this weekend, https://artinaction.ca/.  A yearly event that I’ve been participating in for 9 years now!  I’m looking forward to seeing all the people who come to visit during the weekend every year, as well as those who are new to the tour. It’s always a fun weekend!

Something new, few of my paintings, including ‘Popeye’s Passion’, will be for sale at Fairhome Interiors Pop-up Shop, https://www.fairhome.ca/, during the month of November.  The selection will change as paintings are sold.

Finally, I will be participating in the Work in Progress Show, at The Cotton Factory on November 17, 2-4 pm, (one day only event), https://www.wipartexhibit.ca/, my third year in this event. I love the venue, such an interesting building!

So I’m going to be eating my spinach, getting my flu shot, (done), and trying to stay healthy as I look forward to all of these events. Looking forward to seeing you there :)

September 26, 2019

The Wedding Crashers - Sold

The Wedding Crashers, 24x24 oil

Every year my family and I would spend a week or two at a cottage up north in the Kawarthas.  While doing cottagey things like swimming in the lake or playing games, the hummingbirds would constantly be flitting around the feeder just outside the big cottage window.  When planning this painting I knew that hummingbirds were the birds that belonged in it.  I don't know if there is a traditional bird to represent love, happiness and family, but for me that bird is the hummingbird.     

September 25, 2019

Wallflowers

Wallflowers, 18x36 oil
I keep acquiring chairs, some on purpose, some not.  These are the latter.  Every chair has a personality and tells a story.  I decided that before these chairs get put away for later use they needed to be the subject of a painting.  

August 20, 2019

Peas, Pods and Carrots

Peas, Pods and Carrots, 6x24 oil

I'm loving the orange and green colour combinations these days.  We've had so much rain this summer, my garden has never been so lush, (and overgrown).   I didn't grow these peas and carrots though, I bought them at the market.

In my vegetable garden this year I planted lettuce, green beans, peppers, jalapeƱos, basil, kale and zucchini.  Some of these have done better than others.  I discovered one of my dogs likes kale.  She ate two out of the four kale plants, so I dug up the other two and put them in a pot...on a table.  After a rough start the zucchini took off.  Once I started to harvest a few of the zucchini, my dog decided to check it out and started to eat the zucchini!  I had to watch her every time she went outside.  Unfortunately, one day my dog and I went to check on the zucchini and it was decimated, probably by the gopher that lives under the shed.  I think my husband was doing a happy dance in his head when I told him that the zucchini was gone.        



August 13, 2019

Summer Golden Beets

Summer Golden Beets, 12x12 oil

Love them or hate them?  I love to paint beets.  They have such quirky shapes and sizes.  When I'm done with them in my studio they are moved to the kitchen.  I have tried to cook them in various ways, but my most favourite way to eat them is in chocolate cake.    

August 09, 2019

Making Wishes


Making Wishes, 5x7 oil

In early July I bought a bunch of peas in pods from the local market.  I was sitting on the back porch, (my favourite place to be in the summer), making my way through the bag of peas, separating the peas from the pods.   The sun was still bright in the sky even though dinner time was quickly approaching.  I noticed how the pods resembled the wish bone from a turkey if placed just so.  Needless to say, dinner was a bit late.  Although I didn't finish the painting that evening, I had a good start.

June 17, 2019

Asparagus

Asparagus, 12x18 oil

Asparagus, in season now!  

It doesn't matter where you live anymore, whether something is in season or not, most items are grown somewhere in the world and available at your local grocery store all year long.  I love when something is grown locally and in season, not only for the cost savings but for the freshness and taste, not to mention the smaller carbon footprint.  It makes me wonder what would actually be available at the grocery store in the dead of winter if we just relied on our local farms.  

June 05, 2019

Just Garlic

Just Garlic, 24x12 oil

I love garlic!  I cook with it all the time. and is an essential when I make guacamole.  I was inspired to paint the beautiful colours of these garlic heads but I had to paint them quickly, before they were needed in the kitchen.

May 09, 2019

Breezeless

Breezeless, 12x12 oil

These hummingbirds are having a hard time finding a breeze today, or do they think it's a large flower, hmmm.

May 07, 2019

Still Brewing - Sold

Still Brewing, 18x12 oil

Every year I feel like I'm holding my breath until the weather changes from cold winter days to warm spring showers.  When the grass becomes a deep rich green and buds start to appear on the trees.   I'm pretty sure I saw a wren the other day, and a robin has made a nest on and behind the wreath on my front door, (we've started to use the side door now).  All these signs are so reassuring that the world is as it should be...but sadly we know that it's not.  I heard in the news about how fast so many species are going extinct.  Every where I turn I am hearing about the environment and the ever increasing natural disasters.  They say that if we act now we can stop these changes.  I really hope our governments are listening.



April 02, 2019

The Old Dustpan

The Old Dustpan, 12x16 oil

I found this old dustpan while clearing out my mother's house.  It's a little worn out but still functional.  I love that it's not made of plastic.

March 22, 2019

The Weight of Peppers - Sold

The Weight of Peppers, 12x18 oil

Happy Spring!  It doesn't look much like spring on this dreary March day, but the birds are singing outside and I know there must be things happening in the garden because the dogs are now bringing dirt and muddy paws into the house.  I know it will snow again, maybe a few times before the unofficial beginning of spring/summer in mid May.  Until then I will be planning what I'd like to plant in my garden and try to keep my floors reasonably clean, (if that is even remotely possible).  

March 13, 2019

Catching No Mice Today - Sold

Catching No Mice Today, 12x16 oil

A cat in gloves catches no mice.  There's an upcoming show this spring at the Art Gallery of Burlington with the theme of myths and legends.  I chose this old myth mainly because I wanted an excuse to do a painting of one of my daughter's beautiful tabby cats.


January 25, 2019

The Chicken or the Egg - Sold

The Chicken or the Egg, oil, 24x36 inches

I love this old vinyl and chrome chair.  Certainly a remnant of another day and world.  The chicken however, is making a come back.  Some cities are even allowing people to have a few hens in their backyard.  I would love to have a few chickens, except that it would make planning a holiday a lot more work than it already is, especially since I have two dogs to care for as well.    

January 16, 2019

Mandarins - Sold

Mandarins, oil, 8x6 inches

Happy New Year!

This little painting was inspired by the mandarin's brightly coloured skin and leaves.  Colours like that can only be found in the grocery store at this time of year.      

December 03, 2018

Baking Day - Sold

Baking Day, 12x12 oil

This year has been a crazy one for me, with so many highs and lows!  Anyone who has had the pain and pleasure of caring for an aging parent, and ultimately dealing with their passing will know the time, energy and emotional toll it takes.  The high of seeing my eldest daughter marry the man who complements her in every way has brought so much joy and happiness.  The cherry on top this year is that I have recently been elected into the Ontario Society of Artists.  What a roller coaster of a year!

I have finished all the shows that I will be doing for 2018.  I would like to thank everyone who came  out to see and\or purchase my work, you make my world turn.  Considering the few shows I have done this year, I have had amazing support by you!  Also, thank you to those who follow me on line, hopefully one day we will meet at one of my shows.    

November 05, 2018

Great Expectations - Sold

Great Expectations, 6x8 oil

I recently painted this little robin.  It came to visit my husband and I at an outdoor cafe in Scotland this past summer.  It will definitely show up in a few more of my paintings.    

I usually try to post my paintings before they are sold, but I haven't been very good at posting on my blog this year, although I have been pretty good at posting on Instagram, (my favourite public space at the moment),  at https://www.instagram.com/hgriffithsart/, or on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/helengriffithsart/.  

Recently, (as in this past weekend,) it was the Burlington Studio Tour, https://artinaction.ca/.   Thank you to those who came out to visit me!  I always love to meet those who like my art, it is such a pleasure and an honour.  You have made this year's tour the best yet!  


September 19, 2018

Small Paintings




    Here are a few small paintings that I've done while working on larger projects over the past few
    months.  The paintings with the red dots are sold.

August 14, 2018

The Coffee Cluck - Sold

The Coffee Cluck, 24x18 oil

This painting was started last year, (November 2017), as my work in progress piece for the 'Work in Progress' Show at the Cotton Factory in December.  I was finally ready to get back to it this summer and here is the completed painting.  You can see the work in progress below.  I'm looking forward to being part of this year's Work and Progress Show this coming autumn 2018, details to come.





July 20, 2018

The Flock

The Flock, 36x12 oil

Occasionally, (and to my dogs' delight), I have the pleasure of caring for a couple of little finches.  The little birds have a lot to say as they flit around their cage.  Their movements are so expressive and fun to watch that I was inspired to sketch random scenarios.  This is one that I chose to develop into a painting.    

May 15, 2018

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad, 30x24 oil

This painting was started a few months ago, but was put aside to work on a few other pressing things.  Finally it's done!  It couldn't be finished at a better time, with the cherry trees in bloom and everything around bursting with bright green leaves.  Happy Spring!

March 27, 2018

Chedoke Golf Club

Chedoke Golf Club, 12x9 oil

I abandoned all my on going projects, grabbed my gear and headed out to paint yesterday.  The sun was calling.  It's warmth beamed through my car windows.  Unfortunately it wasn't warm enough to leave my paint stained down jacket behind.  I could have painted the rolling hills of the golf course, but was enamoured by the stairs on the side of this building.  Perhaps next time I'll paint the famous stairs that head up the side of the escarpment; well known to the locals for getting some great  exercise.

March 20, 2018

Mandarins and Limes - Sold


Mandarins and Limes, 36x18 oil

The calendar says spring has arrived!  A new season with new expectations, at least regarding the weather.  Instead of saying 'it's a warm winter day', now we'll say 'it's a cool spring day'.  Spring means freshness, opening the windows, letting the crisp clean air flow through the rooms, pushing the stale winter air out.  When I placed the mandarins and limes on the bright white cloth I immediately thought of how fresh it looked and how, for me, it looked like spring.        

March 13, 2018

Beginnings - Sold

Beginnings, 18x36 oil

I painted 'Beginnings' in response to the upcoming show The Journey, at the Art Gallery of Burlington this coming April.  My thoughts were on my daughter's upcoming wedding this spring, and my niece's two young children.  While thinking about all the scary, but wonderful beginnings a person takes in their life, I receive a call from my sister that our father is being rushed to the hospital, (yet again), and only last week having arranged care and meals for our mom.  It's a sobering thought that every journey comes to an end eventually, sometimes very smoothly, and sometimes with a lot of bumps in the road.  

February 26, 2018

Farm Swallow - Sold

Farm Swallow, 8x8 oil

A client asked me to do a painting of a swallow.  I did some research and found out that barn swallows are becoming endangered because the old barns are being replaced with newer, more efficient buildings.  Hopefully these swift little birds will be able to adapt before it's too late, there are still a few old barns out there.  


February 07, 2018

Hidden Valley in Winter

Hidden Valley in Winter, 14x11 oil

It's been some time since I've been outside to paint.  Monday was a beautiful sunny day.  I grabbed my paints and winter gear and headed out.  I managed to get most of this painting done on location, but ran out of white paint rather quickly.  Here is the painting after finishing the white parts in my studio.  

February 02, 2018

The Keeper - NFS

The Keeper 16x16, oil

Throughout this year there will be themed shows in the Fireside Lounge, at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  During the month of February the theme is the human figure.  I chose to focus on painting an elderly hand.  Luckily I had a wonderful model, my mom.    

January 30, 2018

Earl Grey - Sold

Earl Grey 6x6, oil

Here is a simple little still life and a great little exercise in observation.



January 16, 2018

The Swallow and a Fly - Sold

The Swallow and a Fly, 8x8 oil

The Swallow and a Fly, sounds like it could be a children's story.  When I'm deciding what to paint and planning my composition, I tend to imagine a story and my painting is capturing a moment in it.  



January 09, 2018

A Party of Pomegranates

A Party of Pomegranates, 8x8 oil

I find the hardest thing to do after the holidays is getting back into a routine.  Doing 'a painting a day' is a great way to get back into a steady routine.  Unfortunately, this January I have too many things on the go to even consider getting a painting completed every day, so here is my painting of the week, a much more reasonable goal :)    

December 19, 2017

Packaged with Care - Sold

Packaged with Care, 12x16 oil

If you've ever had to get packages sent off in time for Christmas, you'll know that timing is crucial.  I always start with good intentions, but trying to wrap my head around shopping for Christmas gifts early is difficult.  Perhaps it's a Canadian thing, but I find it easier to get into the spirit of Christmas when  I have to bundle up with 3 or 4 layers of clothing, walk around streets and markets filled with other shoppers, carrying my thermal mug of foamy coffee, while armed with a big tote bag that gradually fills with special treats and gifts.  My point is, there are six days until Christmas and I'm heading to the post office today to send off the final few packages, surely to arrive well into the new year, (heavy sigh), and no real excuse.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for following my artistic journey,
Helen :)

   

November 29, 2017

A Cinderella Story - Sold

A Cinderella Story, 18x24 oil

When I purchased this old chair, it was sitting outside a furniture store with a price tag tied to it, flapping in the wind.  To me the tag said 'save me'.  Although the chair was 'imperfect', all I saw were possibilities.

November 21, 2017

Anticipation - Sold

Anticipation, 12x12 oil

Guess what's inside the package?  I'm the worst person at Christmas time!  If there's a present under the tree for me, I will definitely try to peek into it.