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 - Sold

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.