recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Encaustic workshop FUN


Yesterday I held an encaustic workshop and  actually remembered to take some pictures. I am usually so busy that I never get time to take pics and regret it afterwards. 

This was a really nice session with just two willing participants, so they had lots of hands-on time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Encaustic workshop -openings- Oct 26

If you live nearby and want to have some fun, there is an opening at next week's encaustic painting workshop.
I will share techniques including photo transfer, collage, colour, glazing, layering, drawing, printmaking, mono type and, new: cold wax/oil techniques. 
Classes are enjoyable for those with no previous art-making experience as well as returning artists who want to further explore this alluring and tactile medium.
Below are a few examples of the versatility of encaustic painting.

 *These encaustic tapestries are from a 1998 series that I embarked on after  becoming interested in ancient cultural icons-please excuse the glarey photos.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Today was a very changeable day. The wind was throwing leaves from the trees and the sky was trying to catch them.

I've been working all week on a large painting in the studio and trying my darned-est to ignore the fast-changing colours of the land outside.

I did need a break though-what I find about working on large paintings are the continuous choices and decision making throughout the process-from start to finish. I require complete concentration so I can fully engage with the work so schedule at least 7 hours per session for large scale paintings. This exhausts me after a few days and I find I have to switch gears.

Time away from the work is just as important as the work itself, allowing for consideration re where I will go with the work and why, as well as reflect on and distill what I have learned from the process.

so in the meantime....

Today the strong winds were dancing with boughs and branches before throwing last leaves to the ground - I just had to catch the whirling remains before they, too, surrendered to the season.

oil on canvas
11x14in, 2011

*for those who follow my work this will look familiar. It is the view from my studio window and I have painted -and will paint-it many times. These same trees are featured on top of this blog, but on a foggy November day.


Saturday, October 8, 2011


Day is the hero's shield,
Achilles' field,
The light days are the angels.
We the seed.

Against eternal light and gorgon's face
Day is the shield
And we the grass
Native to fields of iron, and skies of brass.

Kathleen Raine

October, Remains of the Day
oil on canvas
30x30in, 2011, available

I’ve had my eye on this field since Spring. It is behind my property and through the years, different crops have been planted. When my neighbour told me that it was soy this season, my heart jumped. I love the russet colours and mottled texture that it becomes in the fall. (I prefer to think that it isn’t GMA)

As lagged as I am from my trip, I just had to get out and paint. To to be greeted with perfect fall weather-warm, sunny, low breeze and no bugs-irresistible- there won't be many left..


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Amsterdam with Van Gogh & Rembrandt


When I planned my recent journey to Germany, I also, with a lot of help, mapped out a detour before heading home and made a train ride pilgrimage to Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh Museum.

I have experienced Van Goghs’ work 'live' in California as well as here in Canada but needless to say I was so very moved by the body of work presented in this museum. So much so that I held back tears more than once.   

Like many artists who depict the natural world, I feel a symbiotic connection with Van Gogh.  Throughout the years I have developed a deep regard for his unwavering faith in his work and his courage to continue on in his own path-despite the onslaught of  obstacles that he endured. And when he could endure no more, he took his life rather than take a different road. I admire a lot of artists who go out in the land and paint;  but only a  few I feel deeply in regards to how they become one with the land with such raw, honest emotion.

It was fascinating to view Van Goghs’ influences (so much more than I realized re Japanese), the artists who influenced him, and artists that were influenced by him. It was also riveting to follow his earlier dark works as they brightened in their chroma and varied in malleable application. I was also quite pleased to see works that I have never seen in print (and through the years I thought that I had seen them all!).

  In all the works depicted, I found his self portraits to be unnerving-I can’t put into words the expression in his eyes –but I think if I did not know anything about him, I could see everything in them.

A while back I posted a note about a new website that depicts all of Van Gogh’s letters-here is an excerpt from the museum’s site. 

The letters of Vincent van Gogh

October 2009 saw the culmination of the extensive and prestigious Van Gogh Letters Project. Fifteen years of research into the correspondence of Vincent van Gogh by the Van Gogh Museum and the Huygens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences will be crowned by this special exhibition, the launch of a freely accessible website encompassing the complete research results and the publication of a six volume book in three languages. Various aspects of Van Gogh's letters are also highlighted in the iPhone application and the Van Gogh blog.

I also visited the Rijksmuseum,  which houses many of Rembrandts' works, as well as Vermeer and many Dutch masters. Rembrandt lived and painted in Amsterdam so it was really a thrill to be here and  experience this exhibition. 

It also holds artists whose work was inspired by Rembrandt and I was interested to see  the influence he had on Degas and his development as an artist. Depicted were small portraits and etchings of Rembrandt rendered by Degas, presented with works rendered by Rembrandt.

*thanks to Liah, Mat & Mogi for the  journey