Monday, November 21, 2016

Apples and Bowls

As I recover from cataract surgery, I've not done many small paintings. I've been slowly finishing up some larger pieces for galleries, charity shows and such. This is a re-post of one of my early DPW pieces. Those who follow my blog will likely find it familiar, but for others it might be fresh. In any case, thanks to everyone who gives it a look!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Summer reprised

It's November here in Canada, but we've been enjoying some unseasonably warm days. We know, however,  that winter isn't far around the corner, so I thought I'd recall a memory of summer. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mr Cool

What a profile this fellow has, and I especially like the foot tucked behind the front paws. Most of all I enjoyed finding color in the "white" fur.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wild Strawberries

This is my young neighbor, who is a delight to paint, but too shy to pose for me. Means I have to catch her unawares, such as when she's picking the wild strawberries that grow all over my backyard in the summer. They're the tiniest berries, but they're perfect miniatures of their farm-grown counterparts.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Sunshine on a Plate

Citrus sections on a turquoise plate makes a great color combo. Add sunshine and the shadows are luscious. Just looking at it makes me feel bright and happy.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

On Deck

The moment is filled with tension and anticipation.  You watch the performance of the rider in the ring, and know your turn is next.
This was done from a photo taken at our local fall fair, and reminded me of years I spent as a young rider. Every spare moment -- and a good chunk of Dad's cash -- was spent at the stable.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Portrait of Walter - a Commission

This 20x16 acrylic portrait on stretched canvas is a commissioned piece. As with all commissions, I've delayed posting until it was picked up by the client -- a dear friend who was very pleased with it, I'm happy to say!

The portrait of Walter was done using several photo references. Fortunately, I know the subject and could judge which elements of each photo accurately reflected both his personality and his likeness. In the best photos, however, the subject was wearing the type of eyeglasses that automatically darken in outdoor light. In order to more clearly see his eyes through the lenses, I had to create an overexposed black and white computer print. 

Here are some progress shots ...

Initial sketch

Beginning fleshtones

Various source photos - note B&W print on left

Moving on to the shirt

Almost done

Subtle adjustments and transitions

Done and signed

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Apples with Brown Jug and friends

I'm very pleased that three of my still life paintings have been selected as part of  "ART YOU CAN SINK YOUR TEETH INTO"  (September 30 to October 15) at Martins Gallery, Bracebridge. This toothsome show will be part of the third annual  "What's Cooking," a  smorgasbord of food and entertainment-related events. For two weeks a variety of local venues will serve up a packed schedule of cooking, tasting, and entertaining experiences that feature celebrity chefs and foodie notables. 

The 16 x 20 acrylic, Apples with Brown Jug, will be accompanied by two previously posted 8 x 8 acrylics, Celebrating Oranges and Too Big for the Bowl.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Clivia and Shells Redux

I am delighted that my award-winning painting Clivia and Shells (30"x24" acrylic on canvas) has been selected for the Muskoka Arts and Crafts show at the Canada Summit Centre (Canadian spelling) in Huntsville, Ontario. I delivered the painting this week to this beautiful venue where it will be displayed through mid- November. The Centre is a fabulous showcase for art, but it was originally built for the G-8 summit in 2010 and serves as a multifaceted community center.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Too Big for the Bowl

Just the fragrance of strawberries conjures up summertime for me, and they are abundant here right now. This 8"x8" acrylic is painted on 1.5 inch deep gallery wrap canvas, so it can be displayed unframed. Here are a couple of progress shots...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Grape Doodle

I've been busy with a couple of portrait commissions, but painted this little bunch of grapes just to keep in touch with my "still life self."  It's actually just doodling with a paintbrush. 

Friday, July 08, 2016


A painting from last summer. Nothing beats the wild abandon of leaping off a dock. Life at the cottage is all about joys such as this.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Sentinel...revisited

Happy summer everyone! I've been tied up with some portrait commissions (lucky me!) but thought I'd give this little painting a second moment in the limelight. It has previously gotten quite a few views, so perhaps it might find some new fans. Hope to be back at a DPW "routine" soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Celebrating Oranges

This was a good exercise in tonal changes. I'm trying to become more adept at capturing the unique texture of an orange peel.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sugar Maple

I've not been at my easel enough lately. This little study at least took me out of my usual figurative/still-life groove, so that's a good thing. It's done from a photo I snapped last fall of a stunningly vibrant Sugar Maple. It was such a fabulous red against a brilliant sky.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Visitor NFS

This is one of my gallery-sized paintings, done from the same photo as "The Sentinel." We are fortunate to have a wonderful variety of birds visit our backyard to enjoy a drink at the birdbath. I loved the way this crow's feathers caught the light and managed to grab a photo.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Clementines and Blue Bowl

These little clementines seem perfectly suited to pair with this small blue bowl. A small still life in complementary colors -- 5 x 7 acrylic on canvas.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Little Miss Sunshine NFS

A warm and wonderful friend shared some photos of her lovely little great-grandaughter. One particular photo really caught my eye. I loved the light on her face, the expressive hand gesture, and her dazzling blue eyes. She was a treat to paint and it was such fun to send it as a surprise to my friend!

 Light on her face to be the focus, so cropped and simplified composition and moved hand a little closer.
Softened contrast from what appeared in photo, added more half-tones.
 Background darkened, and to keep focus on the face, clothing was painted loosely.
Hair and features are further refined, injecting color into the shadow areas.
Lightened the background a bit and added finishing details. 
Little Miss Sunshine - 10x8 acrylic on gessoboard.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Portrait of Tom NFS

This is a portrait of Tom, painted as a gift for his birthday this weekend. Please keep it to yourself -- it's a surprise.

Here are some progress shots -

Light sketch in dilute acrylic paint

Begin to place darks

Define shadow side of face

Delineate features

Add midtones/further refine features

Cover rest of canvas to judge balance of color

Add more midtones and begin lights

Balance and refine fleshtones
Final portrait 10x8 acrylic on gallery wrap canvas