December 31, 2013

Last Day of 2013


It's hard to believe it really is the last day of 2013!  As an artist I have grown so much this year, and have sold more paintings than ever.  The painting above, Country Crows has never left my house, and has been seen during one studio tour, (and on my website), and is now my last painting to be sold this year.  2013 has been a wonderful year!  Thank you for stopping by, and for all your wonderful comments and support! 

I will be starting 2014 off with another '30 in 30 Challenge'.   Yes, that's 30 paintings in 30 days!  Leslie Saeta is challenging as many artists as possible to do this challenge.  You can find a link to her blog on this page.  Yikes, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am really looking forward to getting back into my studio and doing this challenge!  I will be 'cheating' a little bit, since I have my first painting already done, in fact, it was a Christmas present that I couldn't post before it was received.

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2014!

Happy New Year!

December 06, 2013

Christmas Cards

Something new for me this year! I selected a few of my paintings and had them printed into Christmas cards. For the past few years I've been creating a painting for a Christmas card but have just been printing them myself for family and friends. Now I have a whole bunch!  I'm so pleased with the way they turned out! 

November 21, 2013

Christmas Skates - Sold

Christmas Skates, 12x24 oil

I am thrilled to say that this painting was accepted into the Burlington Art Centre's juried show! I posted it last December, one of my first postings on this blog.  I had barely managed to get it done in time for Christmas last year.  I'm way ahead of the game this year, since I have decided to use my painting "Tangled Christmas" as this year's Christmas card, yay!  If you happen to be in Burlington within the next couple of weeks, you'll find this painting in the Perry Gallery, at the Burlington Art Centre.

November 18, 2013

Tangled Christmas - Sold

This past weekend was the big Christmas show at the Burlington Art Centre.  It was a huge display of all the work from the guilds.  I was volunteering all day Sunday, doing my painting demonstration and then helping out with sales in the Lee Chin Gallery.  The evening before I had to decide what to paint, and with Christmas on my mind, I started pulling out various items from our ever growing accumulation of decorations.  One of my favourite is a string of hand painted wooden bobbles.  It was in a tangled mess!  After spending half an hour trying to untangle them I hung them on a nail in the wall and continued going through the boxes looking for inspiration.  Pausing to make a tea, I glanced over at the mess of bobbles and saw my next painting!  The painting to the right (or above), a photo of the point at which I had to stop my demo.  I think I was quite productive considering I spent a good deal of my time chatting with people.  Below is the finished piece.  I wonder if I'll be able to get it untangled in time to decorate the house for Christmas, hmmm.

Tangled Christmas, oil 6x12

November 15, 2013


Recently I had a friend come to visit from the other side of the country.  We've been good friends since college, but our lives went in different directions.  We don't get to see each other very often, but when we do it's like no time has passed.  When she was here, she asked me to teach her to paint, (she hasn't painted in years).  I really had to think about how I would do this since I have never taught before.  Breaking down the process and making sure I didn't skip over key parts.  I made sure I picked a subject that I knew well, and was at ease with, (yes, apples).  My demonstration was the painting above.  I painted step by step and she followed, asking questions as we went along.  It was a learning process for me as well as for her, but we were both pleased with the results. 

November 13, 2013

A Big Hat to Fill - Sold

What? We've barely reached the middle of November and here I am posting a 'SANTA Sock Monkey'! A little reminder of what's to come.  I usually have a hard time thinking of Christmas so early, but I had to paint a little painting, (a Christmas ornament), as the entrance fee for the upcoming guild Christmas Show for the Burlington Art Centre.  I will have two paintings in the Lee Chin Gallery, as well as one painting in the juried show in the Perry Gallery.  A very exciting weekend coming up!  It runs from November 14-17.  I'll be volunteering there all day Sunday, doing a painting demonstration in the morning then helping in the Lee Chin Gallery in the afternoon.  The other day I stopped in the store at the Art Centre and saw some of my paintings on display there as well. This is very exciting for me having my art out there for the public to see in so many places!

November 08, 2013

Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings, 8x8 oil

On Monday this week, I went out to paint at Princess Point in Hamilton.  It's such a beautiful spot.  I've never followed the trail all the way to the end since every time I go there I'm lugging my painting gear with me, but I will have to do the hike some time without my stuff.  Last weekend was daylight savings, so we gained an hour of daylight in the morning and lost and hour in the evening.  Painting in the afternoon turns into late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.  The colours are richer at that time of day, but change quickly. As I was painting, the scene was becoming more and more dramatic.  I wonder how many more times I can get out to paint before all the colourful leaves are gone.  Some of the trees are already starting to look bare.

November 07, 2013

Studio Tour 2013

I hope you made it out for the studio tour last weekend.  Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to talk to everyone who came to visit, at times I was squished in the corner! The rain on Saturday didn't seem to affect the attendance. Sunday was a beautiful, but cold day.  We also had two volunteers in the studio helping out, which was great!  Among other things, their main task was to take photos and count the number of visitors.  By the end of the day Sunday, we had close to 300 visitors for the weekend.  Thank you for visiting! 

It's been a busy time, these last few weeks.  I entered a painting into the Burlington Fine Arts Guild annual juried show and got in!  It was the painting I did last year for my Christmas card, called 'Christmas Skates'.  Which reminds me, I better get started on the painting for this years Christmas card.  I also was asked by Art Etc., the store at the Burlington Art Centre, if I'd like to submit some work.  I now have 11 pieces of art there.

Tomorrow I will be posting my plein air painting for this week, (trying to get back into a schedule again).  It's surprising how much preparation and time the tour takes, wow.

October 29, 2013

Studio Tour 2013

I'm thrilled about the upcoming studio tour!  Paintings are ready!  I started hanging them today.  The rest of the artists will be setting up in my studio Friday afternoon.  It's going to be an exciting weekend.  You'll be able to pick up brochures at any of the studios during the tour.  Make sure you grab one; besides containing artist info and a map, it has a ballot so you have a chance to win $200 or $100 credit towards any of the artists on the tour, yay!
I am impressed with the quality of art in the tour!  Besides myself, my studio will have some beautiful fused glass pieces, a jeweller using precious metals, as well as a painter who does renderings of local cityscapes. 
Hope to see you this weekend!

October 23, 2013

Day at the Beach - Sold

Day at the Beach, 10x8 oil

Ooops! Three weeks into October and I'm posting my first painting for the month.  Time sure does fly.  It seems odd painting a beach scene in October, but I love painting this little guy.  Hopefully I'll be able to get some winter scenes with him as well.  I have been incredibly busy catching up with everything I had missed doing in September.  There are also a couple of unfinished paintings on the way.
Wow! with all the paintings I did last month, I am more than ready for the Burlington Studio Tour coming up.  All the canvases now have painted edges and wires on the backs, yay! I still have to put frames on some of the plein air panels though, (among other things still on my 'to do' list). 

October 01, 2013

September Paintings 2013

October 1, 2013.  It's nice to begin a new month, especially when I can look back at such a busy month as September.  Here is a collage of all my hard work! The paintings are almost in proper proportion to each other except for one 8x8 painting, (if it was 12x6 it would have been a perfect fit).

This month brings different challenges, like doing a radio spot for the Burlington Studio Tour, and choosing paintings to bring into the Burlington Art Centre Store (Art Etc).  This is a first for me, so I hope I choose well.  Of course I also have to get ready for the studio tour, which is held during the first weekend in November.  You can find info about the tour at

September 30, 2013

Gone Astray

Gone Astray, 6x12 oil

Day 30 of 30!  Finally the last day, last painting of the 30 in 30 challenge.  I can't believe how happy I am that this month is over.  I'm extremely happy with all of my paintings and also glad that I was able to keep up with getting a painting done everyday, (sometimes just barely). I love the progression from one painting to the next, and the thought process that went with each painting.  Sometimes I would start off thinking of an idea for a painting, but would end up being something completely different. 
Thank you for watching my blog and leaving your comments.  You're welcome to join my blog so you don't miss my postings of paintings in the future.  I'll try to post regularly, but definitely not every day at least until the next challenge, (what? did I really just say that?).  If I do another challenge, it will be a long time from now.  It'll be when I've forgotten how tough it is to do.

September 29, 2013

Sweet Tooth - Sold

Sweet Tooth, 6x6 oil

Painting #29!!!  I can't believe this is really the second last painting of the challenge.  I have a lot of catching up to do around my house and studio, what a mess...but first one more painting to go. 

September 28, 2013

Candy Apples - Sold

Candy Apples, 12x12 oil,

Day 28, yes, more apples. This will be the last painting with apples in it, at least for a little while, (although, they are fun to paint).  I would have posted this a lot earlier today, but being Saturday I had a bunch of things to do today like sleeping in, and relaxing over a leisure breakfast/lunch (I guess that would be brunch), and coffee.  I love the weekends!  Of course there are a lot of things that need doing when the weekend rolls around, but usually there's no rush!

September 27, 2013

The Line-up - Sold

The Line-up, 12x6 oil, (on cradled hardboard),
Painting #27, yes apples again!  Each apple has it's own personality, it's hard to believe it's the same fruit sometimes.  When it's covered in a hard red candy it is a completely different fruit.  Makes me think of fall fairs and Hallowe'en, yay!
Wow!  I will have 30 new paintings by the end of this challenge, (minus the 3 that are already sold).  Good thing the studio tour is coming up soon!  I'm running out of space!!!

September 26, 2013

Making the Cut

Making the Cut, 8x8 oil

Day 26, down to the last five paintings! This challenge didn't feel like much of a challenge in the first two weeks.  Being forced to do what I love every day, not a problem, or so I thought. By the 17th or 18th day I was starting to think that I could really use at least a day away from my studio, not painting, (even plein air!) Well I guess you can figure out how I'm feeling now. 
On the positive side, this is an excellent challenge because it forces me to think about what I'm painting next (all the time), especially since I've been carrying something from the last painting into the next. I added that as a personal challenge to the painting a day challenge. In fact I find that the most fun part of the challenge!
This was a challenge by a California artist Leslie Saeta. I've been posting my paintings on her blog every day, as well as over 200 artists from around the world. I love seeing all the paintings and getting comments from people who are looking at my paintings, here and on facebook, thank you.
Four more to go!

September 25, 2013

The Apple Orchard

The Apple Orchard, 8x8 oil

Painting #25, I took a drive out to a vineyard, only to find myself painting the apple trees. It's such a pretty sight to see the bright fruit weighing down the branches of the trees, with such abundance that they are all over the ground as well. This orchard seemed to be a private orchard on the grounds of the vineyard, so I didn't sample the goods.  I think I'm going to go apple picking soon though. When I was a child, my family would make the trek out to the 'country' to pick our own apples. It was always a lot of fun, and we came home with apple filled bellies, and more apples than we knew what to do with.

September 24, 2013

Studying an Apple - Sold

Studying an Apple, 8x8 oil

Day 24, doing my homework! A study of an apple. Apples are everywhere suddenly. I love making apple pies and crumbles! Finding the right apple is the key though. My favourite for cooking are Spys. They taste wonderful when baked and hold their shape well. They're usually one of the last apples of the season, but are worth the wait.

September 23, 2013


Painting #23!!! Seven more to go! This little monkey looks like he's had lots of fun. 
Gifted, 8x8 oil

Wow, this painting took me a little longer than I thought it would have.  There's a surprising amount of detail packing into such a small space, but it was certainly fun to paint!

September 22, 2013

Something Special

Something Special, 8x8 oil

Well, here's painting #22.  September is certainly a month of birthdays.  Just off the top of my head I can think of five people that have their birthday in September.  If you're one of them, Happy Birthday to you! 
It's getting near to the end of the 30 day challenge.  I have to say, it's been tough going over the last few days.  Trying to fit a painting in every day and carry on with everything else as well isn't easy.  I won't be sad when this month is over, but it is good to have a little push like this every once in a while.

September 21, 2013

Smartie Pants - Sold

Smartie Pants, 6x6 oil

Day 21, and counting.  These guys have been hanging around, (literally), waiting to get into one of my paintings, so I relented and allowed them to have a painting all to themselves, (except for the Smarties of course).  This painting will sit nicely beside the last two paintings.  I will have to reshoot the photo I see, but not today.

September 20, 2013

Off the Wagon - Sold

Off the Wagon, 6x6 oil

Day 20, woohoo! Today was another really busy day, so here I am again just before midnight posting today's painting.  It sits nicely beside yesterday's painting, being the back end of the little wagon.

September 19, 2013

A Heavy Load - Sold

A Heavy Load, 6x6 oil

Day 19, just in time I hope! I was barely able to get this done in time, but here it is painting number 19.  It was a busy day today! Time for bed.

September 18, 2013

Out of Stone

Out of Stone, 8x8 oil

Day 18, and counting!  Okay, I'm ready for a break! 18 paintings in 18 days.  It doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 30 paintings in 30 days! Wow, 12 more paintings in the next 12 days...hmmm, I hope I can do it. 
I believe these little plants are called 'hens and chicks'.  The biggest one cut off at the top of the painting would be the hen, and it has all these little 'chicks' growing out from it.  I had them in a pot all summer and have just moved them into my garden for the winter.  They are perennials so they should survive the winter!

September 17, 2013

The Gates of Dundurn

The Gates of Dundurn, 8x8 oil

Day 17, a plein air painting, done on the grounds of Dundurn Castle.  I love painting outdoors!  Usually when I plan to paint outside in the afternoon, I would get busy in the morning on whatever I'm working on, and by the time I should be leaving I have talked myself out of going, or have completely forgotten about it.  When I do follow through and get out there, I think 'why don't I do this every day'.  I guess it's kind of like going to the gym.

September 16, 2013

The Garden Wall

The Garden Wall, 8x8 oil

Day 16 is a little different from what I've been painting.  Fairly neutral in colour compared to all the bright and vibrant colours, but with the goal of creating more of a textural looking painting.  It was a test in painting the various stone surfaces for sure, but I am pleased with the results!  This is part of the wall of my raised garden, (that's supposed to keep the rabbits out).  It does create a pleasant place to sit, and one of my dogs loves to stand on it to get a better view of the backyard, (so it does serve a purpose, just not the one intended).

September 15, 2013

Chives in Bloom - Sold

Chives in Bloom, 8x8 oil

Day 15, half way there! Only 15 more to go!  Running behind again though.  It took me a long time decide on my composition, I guess because I'm pretty tired today.  As soon as I saw the chives blooming again this season, I knew I wanted to paint them.

September 14, 2013

Helping Oneself - Sold

Helping Oneself, 12x12 oil
Day 14, a little larger than usual.  My plan for this challenge was to try and not go smaller than 8x8 inches for my canvas size, but some days it's just not possible.  Well today I went larger, yay!  It took longer of course, and hopefully I'll be able to get a couple more larger ones done in the next two weeks!  I think it's called time management!

September 13, 2013

Taking a Moment - Sold

Taking a Moment, 6x6 oil

Day 13 of the 30 day challenge!  Almost half way there.  A lot of crazy stuff goes on every day in the world, and sometimes in our lives.  Once in a while we just need to let it all go and breathe.  When I can, I go to a yoga/tai chi class.  I love the part when it's all finished and we're told to just relax, let it all go and breathe.  How often does someone tell you that?  Happy Friday 13 :)

September 12, 2013

Sketch of Cuttings

Sketch of Cuttings, 6x6 casein on cradled hardboard
Day 12 is something a little different.  A couple of months ago I purchased a few tubes of casein paints, (milk based paint).  I was busy getting ready for a show and didn't have time to give them a try.  What a better opportunity than now!  I set up my still life and got started, immediately realizing I hadn't purchased white paint!  I was really looking forward to trying these paints so I decided to use the cadmium yellow light to lighten the colours and add the dabs of white where needed by wiping away to the gessoed surface below.  I'm happy with the results!  The paint seems to dry lighter than when wet, (which was fine in this case, without white paint). 

September 09, 2013

An Acorn - Sold

An Acorn, 6x6 oil

Day 9 already!  I'm really enjoying this challenge of painting 30 in 30.  Carrying one thing on from one painting to the next is certainly a bit tricky, but it gives me a place to start when thinking of the next image. 
I collected a few acorns, and have had them sitting here trying to figure out how to incorporate them into a painting.  Finally, a white cloth, almost as good as a blank canvas!

September 07, 2013

Cookies & Cream - Sold

Cookies & Cream, 6x6 oil

Day 7, an all time favourite, cookies and cream.  I was doing so well with my timing all week, but started to let it slip yesterday, (and I slept in today as well), so here it is, today's painting.  I tried to paint from life, (like the rest of the paintings I've done on this challenge), but unfortunately, the ice cream started to melt.  The hazards of painting ice cream.

September 06, 2013

New Box of Crayons

New Box of Crayons, 8x8 oil

Day 6, Who needs video games when you have a new box of crayons!  All those colours, and with pointed tips too!  You colour with every crayon in the box.  You try not to use one crayon too much so that you don't have to tear the wrapper.  There's always the first crayon, (your favourite colour no doubt), that you use the most, the one that warms up in your hand and snaps in half.  It's almost a relief!  That's when the box is really ready to be used to it's full potential!  I never had to choose between video games or crayons when I was a kid.  It was crayons on used paper shopping bags for me.

September 05, 2013

On the Edge - Sold

On the Edge, 8x8 oil

Day 5 already!  I'm always amazed how long it takes to set up a still life.  When setting it up, I go back and forth so many times checking the view, rearranging, checking again until it looks perfect to me.  I think I enjoy the set up, almost as much as I like painting it! 

September 04, 2013

The Tea Party - Sold

The Tea Party, 6x6 oil

Day 4, The Tea Party... I tend to paint a lot of tea cups, but I'm really more of a coffee person.  To call this painting The Coffee Party doesn't sound quite as nice though.  I have my Earl Grey tea first thing in the morning, and caffeine-free herbal tea in the evening, the rest of the day it's coffee for me.  Oddly enough, most people that I know who are tea drinkers will not drink coffee at all.   Curious!

September 03, 2013

A New Day - Sold

A New Day, 8x8 oil

Day 3, A New Day, a new year for many starting school today.  There's so much excitement on the first day of school.  Making new friends.  Writing or drawing on the first page of a new notebook.  Dare I say it, by the end of the week that new feeling will be replaced with homework. 
Happy first day of school to my eldest daughter, a new teacher, having just graduated from University and starting to teach grade 4 French Immersion today!  Her students will be lucky to have such a wonderful person as their teacher.

September 01, 2013

August Paintings, 2013

August Paintings 2013
by Helen Griffiths
Mostly plein air, except one, here are my August paintings.  Just so you know, they aren't in proportion to each other, but this was the nicest layout. 

August 30, 2013

The End of the Road

The End of the Road, 10x8 oil

Yesterday, late afternoon I went out to paint.  It's a wonderful time to be painting outside.  Everything becomes richer in colour as the sun gets lower in the sky.  This is a pretty spot to paint, at the end of Spring Garden Road by the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.  It's the home of all sorts of birds.  As I was painting, two blue herons landed on the path but quickly headed on, not even enough time to grab my camera unfortunately.  In the water to the left there was an assortment of waterfowl, ducks, geese and swans.  I did manage to get the seagull as it so kindly sat and posed for me. (Can you see it?)
I believe this is my last posting for August as I am gearing up for doing '30 Paintings in 30 Days' in September.  It's a wonderful challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta.  If you visit her blog you'll be able to see all the artists doing this challenge.  I'll be posting my paintings here as well as on her blog.

August 22, 2013

Dancer's Feet - Sold

Dancer's Feet, 8x8 oil

The agony of the feet!  Dancing certainly takes it's toll on the feet.  Probably the hardest working part of a dancer's body. 
Another foot painting to add to my collection.  This one will be added to the Footnotes Show on Spring Garden Rd in Burlington until September 18.

August 16, 2013

Oakville Harbour - Sold

Oakville Harbour, 10x8 oil
Oakville Harbour Marina, on a beautiful August day.  This may look like a quiet summer day at the marina, but in reality there was a constant flow of boats moving in and out of the marina as I painted.  Most of this painting was done on location, but I did the final touches when I got home.  There is so much to paint at a marina that it's hard to decide what to choose.  I'll have to come back again for sure!

August 12, 2013

Hot Summer Day, Bronte Beach

Hot Summer Day, Bronte Beach, 10x8 oil

It's days like this we dream about on those cold gray winter days.  I painted this about a week ago on location in Bronte.  It was such a beautiful day I actually painted two paintings in the same location, but facing the opposite direction.  Behind me is the Oakville Harbour Marina.  I'll post that one next time.

August 06, 2013

July Paintings 2013

Well we're now a week into the 8th month of the year.  Four months until Christmas?  Wow, I can't believe it!  I don't know if it's just the Canadian in me, but I'm already looking forward to the cooler autumn days, with pumpkins and scarecrows everywhere, and rolls of hay scattered on the farmer's fields.  Maybe it's because the sunflowers are in bloom and the tall stalks of corn remind me that there is only a month or so left of summer.  Hmmm, I better get out there and paint!

In September I'll be participating in the "Painting a Day Challenge", (like I did in January this year).  I've got to get prepared, maybe plan a weekly theme.  I'm not sure how I should approach it yet.  I found in January, each painting I did brought ideas for my next painting.  However I approach it, I definitely need to clean my studio and get organised before I start the challenge.

July 31, 2013

Water's Edge

Water's Edge, 20x16 oil

There's nothing like walking on the beach at the end of the day, with the sun setting and the shadows going on forever.  You can see a few sailboats as they head into shore, and although you may not be on vacation, you feel as though you are enjoying a little bit of paradise so close to home.

July 22, 2013

Footnotes Reception

The reception for my ongoing show, Footnotes, was not only successful, but a lot of fun! Despite the soaring temperature, the gallery was full of people.  It was truly a family affair with Andy, my husband playing his tunes outside under the tent while my daughters were serving wine to friends and family.  A huge thank you to Teresa Seaton for inviting me into her gallery!

July 16, 2013

Full Stop - Sold

Full Stop, 8x8 oil

Skateboarding could be a theme for an entire series of paintings.  At the moment though, this will be the last skateboarding painting, and probably the last painting to add to my upcoming show starting this Thursday.  I'm really enjoying this foot theme though, (there are so many possibilities), so this won't be the last 'foot' painting! 

July 11, 2013

Need for Speed - Sold

Need for Speed, 24x12 oil

Sometimes walking just isn't an option, especially when you have a set of wheels! Being able to get to your destination with a breeze in your face is the ideal way to travel on a sizzling hot summer day.  I have never tried skateboarding, but it looks like a great way to travel.  You don't have to find a parking spot for it or worry about locking it up, you just pick it up and carry it.

July 08, 2013

After the Recital - Sold

After the Recital, 12x12 oil
I love to see the items that create the art, especially for dance. When seen during the performance, the costume and shoes become part of the dancer, transforming her into something imagined.  After the recital, these items seem to be ghosts of their former self.  Unanimated, seemingly to be waiting for the next magical time when they will dance again.

July 03, 2013

Invitation to my Show!

Add caption
Here you are! I'd like to invite you to the reception for my upcoming show on July 18. 
I am working away getting ready, and hope to see you there!

July 01, 2013

June Paintings 2013

June Paintings 2013
Happy July!  Happy Canada Day!
I'm looking forward to another month of painting and my upcoming show, 'Footnotes'. The opening reception will be on July 18. I'll post the invitation soon.
Have a wonderful day and enjoy the festivities!