January 31, 2014

30 Paintings in 30 Days

Here they all are together!  Wow!  I love seeing them all together. 

It's hard to believe the challenge is over!  I have to thank Leslie Saeta for her daily motivation, and for creating this challenge.  I don't think I would do this challenge otherwise.  Besides forcing me to create a regular painting schedule, doing this challenge forces me to paint efficiently.  My aim is to get it right the first time so that I'm not wasting time making corrections on my painting, (pretty much like plein air painting).  It was a fun month, a lot of hard work and I'm ready to get on with whatever challenges and goals I have for this year!

January 30, 2014


Sandcastles, 8x8 oil
Here is my final painting, #30!  This is a painting of my youngest daughter when she was about four years old. 

Looking through old photos of when my children were little made me wonder if I would be able to paint them, and do a half decent job, compared to painting from life.  Well I am pleased with the results!  It probably helps that I have done a lot of life drawing and people painting.  It would be hard to get a child to stay still for any length of time anyway, especially if it were on a beach!

I am happy to say the challenge is over.  I really have enjoyed this month; it got me back into a regular painting routine.  I am super happy with my paintings; a few need to be finished and some need to be photographed again, but they really look great!  Some of the paintings are sold and the rest will be hung in my studio.  Tomorrow I'll post a collage of all the paintings together.  There are a few larger canvases in my studio waiting for me to 'throw' some paint on them, and they won't be done in a day!!!

January 29, 2014


Joy, 8x8 oil

The title of this painting describes my feelings about this being my 29th painting of the month!  I went to the garden store today instead of the grocery store to pick up my subject matter.  I've been avoiding going there because I thought that when I walk in, I will have an overwhelming sense to want winter to be over.  Surprisingly enough, I didn't feel that way at all.  Today was such a beautiful sunny winter day, cold yes, (but I was prepared for that), and I had a skip in my step knowing that I will have this weekend free!!!  To make the day even better, I bought this plant and a really nice pot and it was practically free.  Apparently I had collected a lot of points and today was my lucky day!  I even signed up for some Saturday classes on various garden related topics.  Tomorrow will be my last painting for the challenge, and then I will be free!  Well not really, but I will then have the freedom to take more than a day to finish a painting.

January 28, 2014

B for Bumblebee - Sold

B for Bumblebee, 5x7 oil

Painting #28 is 'B for Bumblebee'.  This is what I came up with for my last glass painting.  I received some pretty good ideas, some by email, others by Facebook, and here as well.  Thank you...you might see some of those ideas in my paintings in the future.  I decided to paint the magnifying glass. 

I did a lot of procrastinating today, doing things like paper work etc. so here I am just before midnight again, posting my painting, (sigh). 

January 26, 2014

Party Time! - Sold

Party Time!, 4x4 oil

Party Time! I will certainly be celebrating when this challenge is over!  Here is painting #26.  When I started out this challenge, I thought creating rules for myself will give me guidelines to help choose what to paint everyday.  It was a great idea!  It also forced me to paint things that sometimes I would avoid.  Today is candy day.  I've painted chocolates in foil and translucent gummi worms but today I'm painting lollipops just because I have them.  This has been a really fun challenge!  I will be looking forward to having next weekend off though. 

January 25, 2014

A Little Rain

A Little Rain, 8x10 oil

Painting 25, 'A Little Rain', is a painting of one of my daughters when she was just a little girl.  She was posing for me while I was drawing a sketch of her.  I'm glad I thought to take a photo, although I have altered and edited a few things for the painting.  I can definitely see this painting in a larger format.

January 24, 2014

For Rent - Sold

For Rent, 12x24 oil

For my 24th painting I decided to go a little whimsical.  Today is a landscape day, but there was no way I was going out to paint with -15 degrees, (Celsius) and the wind chill making it feel much colder.  I had one image in mind but as I was searching through my photos I found this one from a few years ago.  I believe it was day very similar to today.

January 23, 2014

Sunshine - Sold

Sunshine, 5x7 oil

Well I'm running a little late today, but here it is, still day 23!  I love Gerberas.  I love how fresh and perfect they are.  I actually changed the pot for a cup, but because of my lack of time today, didn't have time to paint the whole thing.  I'll have to save that for another painting.  As winter prevails, I am progressively being surrounded by flowers.  I have now completed 4 flower paintings; one more to go next week.  It's starting to feel a bit like spring, at least in my studio. 

January 22, 2014

Raspberry Red - Sold

Raspberry Red, 4x4 oil

Painting #22 I called 'Raspberry Red' although for the artists I should call it 'Permanent Rose, Cadmium Red'.  This painting can be disturbing, especially to moms of daughters out there.  I don't know how many items became stained with spilled nail polish in my house over the years!  :)

My fourth 'round glass' painting.  I have no idea what to paint as my last one next week.  There's always the wine glass or jar, but I'm trying to think on a smaller scale.  I find small items look great enlarged on a small canvas.  I would love to hear your ideas!

January 21, 2014

A Little Something Extra - Sold

A Little Something Extra, 5x7 oil
Well here is painting #21.  Nine more to go!  I can't believe the challenge will be over in nine days!  Some days, keeping up with this challenge is harder than other days, especially when there are other commitments to be taken care of, but I do love to paint!  Once I get started on a painting there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

January 20, 2014

The Getaway - Sold

The Getaway, 4x4 oil

Painting #20, gummi worms, an insane subject matter to paint.  The candy practically glows when light flows through it.  I thought it would be a nice little challenge, but it drove me mad!  Perhaps it's just my state of mind today; I don't know, (I never have liked Mondays).  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the painting on the computer screen.  I think I will have to tackle a few more little paintings of translucent items, but not on a Monday! 

January 19, 2014

Shopping in Kensington - Sold

Shopping in Kensington, 12x12 oil
Painting #19! Wow that was fun!  It was nice to paint something a little larger. I'm going to leave this one for a bit before I decide if it's done.  I think there is still a bit to do on another day. 

I love Kensington Market in Toronto.  There is something for everyone there.  A couple of years ago I painted on location there, ('Army Surplus, 10x8 oil, below), as well as taking tons of photos.

January 18, 2014

A View From Above

A View from Above, 5x7 oil

'A View from Above', painting #18, is a view of Burlington and Lake Ontario from north Burlington.  Burlington slopes down to the lake from the Escarpment.  It was a beautiful afternoon yesterday, so I decided to head outdoors to paint.  The lake seemed to be glowing this gorgeous blue colour and the sun was shining, making the snow glitter.  I was glad to get out of my studio for a while, and I am also a day ahead in my paintings!

Below is a photo of my view, just as the sun was disappearing behind the clouds, (my painting is almost done). 

January 17, 2014

Mum's the Word - Sold

Mum's the Word, 7x5 oil

Here is my 17th painting!  I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items, and knowing that I had to paint flowers next, thought I would just pick up something there.  The problem was everything looked a little tired.  Maybe it's the wrong day of the week.  The only flowers that looked fresh and strong were the chrysanthemums of course.  They're always available and come in so many colours and varieties.  Better yet, I decided to pick up a potted 'mum'; then I can put it in my garden in the spring, (hopefully it'll survive until then).

January 16, 2014

Going Marbles - Sold

Going Marbles, 4x4 oil

Here is painting #16.  My personal challenge, for these 30 paintings, (besides getting back into a regular working schedule in my studio), is to stick to a general list of subject matter for every six paintings.  My list goes something like this:  portraits, candy, household items with food, round glass items, flowers and landscape.  The interpretation is fairly loose, but it keeps me exercising my painting and observation skills.  Now I just have to find time to get to the gym to exercise everything else!

January 15, 2014


Tearless, 6x12 oil
Finally it's the halfway point of the 30 day challenge!  Here is painting #15.  What a great invention, a tearless onion chopper.  The label, (or what's left of it), says it can chop all sorts of different vegetables and foods, such as nuts, and ... liver?  Hmmm.  This is another item in my treasure chest of old kitchen items.  

January 14, 2014

One at a Time

One at a Time, 4x4 oil

Painting #14 I had to open this box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, just for this painting.  I've had it hidden in the back of our 'candy drawer' because I know that once it's opened they will go fast, (not all by me)!  Think I should go to the gym ;)

January 13, 2014

Washing Up - Sold

Washing Up, 8x8 oil

Painting #13, is a study for a larger painting that I'd like to do.  I have a few gems from the Royal Winter Fair.  The nice thing about working from photos is that I can edit what I put in my painting and move things around as I please.

By the time this month is over, I will have a long list of larger paintings that I would like to do.  The problem will be deciding what to do first.

January 12, 2014

Victorian on Victoria

Victorian on Victoria, 10x8 oil

Back in November I started this painting on location in Dundas, Ontario.  I love these big old houses!  When I see them, I always imagine women in long dresses and men in their suites and hats.  I wasn't able to finish it there partly because I wasn't painting fast enough before the light changed but also because a car parked right in front of me, on the side of the road.  I hate it when that happens!  So here is painting #12.

January 11, 2014

An Orchid

An Orchid, 5x7 oil

For painting #11, I chose to paint an orchid.  This is definitely one of the hardest flowers to paint, in my opinion.  Of course it would have been easier if it were a solid colour.  I rescued it the other day from Home Depot.  It's in a tiny little pot, and the label says 'just add ice' Orchid.  Apparently all I need to do is add an ice cube once a week, 'equivalent to 1.5 tbsp. of water'.  It looks healthy and strong so hopefully it will survive.  Wish me luck!

January 10, 2014

Clear Idea - Sold

Clear Idea, 4x4 oil

Painting #10 is here.  I love the look of clear light bulbs when they're turned on as well as when they're off, but soon they'll be a thing of the past.  A good thing when it comes to saving energy, but I will miss their warm glow, (not the hydro bill they come with). 

Looks like I'm getting behind here!  I'm trying to get too much done in a day.  I picked up a few more 4x4 canvases today, so hopefully I'll be able to get back on track.

January 09, 2014

A Dose of Calm - Sold

A Dose of Calm, 7x5
Here is painting #9.  This morning while sitting at the table drinking my tea, I was thinking about what to paint today.  I always feel so peaceful at this time of day.  I knew that I'll be busy for the rest of the day and I wanted to capture that feeling of quiet calmness.  I couldn't quite finish the painting before I had to leave.  I probably had about another 30 minutes of painting time left to do, but alas here it is, finished, and on the 9th day still.

January 08, 2014

100g of Sweetness - Sold

100g of Sweetness, 6x6 oil

Painting #8 is finally here.  It is yet another holiday 'leftover'!  I am amazed how many sweet things there are during the festive season.  It's not too obvious when there are people around all the time, but wow, when everyone is back into their regular schedules then I look around and wonder where it all came from!  Well I guess I'll have to blame Santa!

January 07, 2014

A Moment Alone - Sold

A Moment Alone, 8x8 oil, (not complete)
Day 7 and painting #7.  Last fall I went to the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, in Toronto, with my friend, (the one in the painting).  This horse, also a friend of hers, was in a few competitions.  I am not a horse person.  I really know nothing about them.  Sitting there watching the competitions with the riders and these magnificent beasts is pleasure enough for me.  Sitting there with my good friend and getting a play by play of what was happening and why was like entering a whole new world.  What a pleasure! 
There are a few small things need to be done in this painting, but I will get to it another day...

Below is the completed painting:

A Moment Alone, 8x8 oil

January 06, 2014

The Queen's Head - Sold

The Queen's Head, 10x8 oil

Here is painting #6.  Last November I started this painting outside of 'The Queen's Head', downtown Burlington.  You can't tell, but it was a very cold day.  I had to finish it at home.  I've always had intensions of adding people to the painting so I did that today.  Now I think the painting is complete!

January 05, 2014

January Bloom - Sold

January Bloom, 4x4 oil

Painting #5 is a pink Geranium.  Last fall I brought a bunch of potted plants inside the house, to see if they would survive through the winter.  I've tried this before, but the air is so dry in the winter you really have to be checking the plants daily to see if they need water.  By Christmas time they are usually long forgotten and barely alive.  Well somehow my Geranium has survived with lush green leaves and is actually in bloom, (just a few flowers).  What a pleasant surprise! 

January 04, 2014

The Ornament - Sold

The Ornament, 4x4 oil

Today was the day to de-Christmas the house.  The tree has been dropping needles at an ever increasing speed, and the ends of it's branches have started to curl.  I guess all good things must come to an end eventually, sigh.  Before I knew it, half the day had gone by and I had not even thought about what to paint today.  What an obvious choice to make but to celebrate Christmas past with a painting of an ornament, (or three).

January 03, 2014

The Old Mixer

The Old Mixer, 10x8 oil

Painting #3, The Old Mixer.  One year, way back when my husband was my boyfriend, he gave me a very useful kitchen tool, I believe it was an egg poaching pan, (or something as practical as that).  I was not impressed in the slightest.  Although, I said thank you, he soon found out that it was not a gift that would impress me.  We have been married now for more than just a few years, and never has he ever given me such a gift again ... until now. This Christmas I was handed a large box, wrapped in mismatched wrapping paper.  After peeling the paper off, the box showed that it contained a humidifier.  I knew he could not possibly be giving me a humidifier, he knows better.  Then I opened the top of the box and inside were all sorts of kitchen implements!  This time I was impressed!  All the items in the box were antique, and never will they ever be used for anything as practical as cooking.  All are well worn with definite signs of age, rusted and barely useable except for, of course, subjects in paintings!  He definitely knows how to please a girl, well at least me!

January 02, 2014

A Big Kiss - Sold

A Big Kiss, 4x4 oil

January 2nd and here is painting #2.  It may be a small canvas, but the 'kiss' is larger than life!  So the holiday festivities are over now and we have all sorts of goodies left over.  What better thing to do but to paint them ... that is before they get chopped up and thrown into banana bread and other baked goods. 

January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2014!  The beginning of a new year is so exciting and full of best intentions.  What will this year bring?  Some things are out of our control of course, but creating goals and working hard to achieve them gives us at least a direction and path to follow. 

Starting the year off with a painting a day helps me to get back into a regular painting schedule, forcing me to think about what direction I want to take with my art.  I am posting this painting as my first of 30.  It's a portrait of my niece's daughter and was a painted as a Christmas gift in December.