recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Radio Flyer Ranger Wagon & plein air

It’s cloud’s illusion I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all..Joni Mitchell

 June afternoon, Niagara escarpment, oil on canvas, 12x24in, sold

We have had some absolutely beautiful June days here. Cool and clear with big billowy clouds playing in the wind.

 Yesterday it was too windy  to fight with my easel if I were to work standing up, yet I wanted to do some observational studies. I opted to work small-and sitting down-and have a radio flyer wagon just for such occasions. I load it up with my usual painting gear but also bring along bungie cords and rocks. I can sit my full box easel across the top without opening the legs, then I simply place weights behind it. The rest of the wagon is used as a table and I can just ‘enjoy the ride’ without worrying about my easel falling over and my canvas escaping. Obviously I can't take this set up off location but it works perfectly when painting close to home.

Having said that, when we went out for our evening  plein air class we did have larger canvases so because of the wind we tied our easels to trees and chairs –managing to avert a few potentially dangerous gusts. Nothing worse than laying in that perfect stroke and having the wind pushing in from behind to move that stroke where it is not welcome.


So, a few small sketches and above, last year’s June clouds. 

(and yes, those specks in the paintings are wee bugs)

June afternoon sketch 1, 8x10in, acrylic on canvas, 2012

                    June afternoon sketch 2, acrylic on gessoed card, 4x6in, 2012

June afternoon sketch 3, acrylic on gessoed card, 4x6in, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

both sides now

Thin places,” the Celts call this space,
Both seen and unseen,
Where the door between this world
And the next is cracked open for a moment
And the light is not all on the other side. 
       Sharlande Sledge

I lár báire (between) oil/wax on canvas, 48x48in, 2012

There is a saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.

'In ancient Celtic spirituality the phrase “a thin place” was used to describe places and events where the divide between this world and the other narrows.  Places where the eternal and the divine more powerfully affect the soul.  Where events reveal more than what we can see, hear and touch.  Sometimes it’s the place in front of a work of art, all it needs is two people to stand in it.  Sometimes it’s a poem or a song, all it needs is two people to hear it.  The result is an experience that cannot be held in the body or the mind, it can only be held in the soul and it joins us together in a place of extraordinary belonging.' 
above quote  from a blog with the same name:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

encaustic painting workshop

 Below is another image continued  after demonstrating techniques at a recent encaustic 'mini' workshop. 

These shorter workshops are working out great, as people are busy with well, busy lives-yet they still have a nice chunk of time to immerse themselves in learning and playing.
 Little Voices of the Air, encaustic on found panel, 5, 6 x20in, 2012, sold
I incorporated image transfer, collage, glazing, layering and drawing into  the above image. In the encaustic painting  workshops, I will share these methods as well as  mono type and cold wax/oil techniques.

Even though I have  been working with this luscious medium for over 15 years I am still in wonder of it's versatility.

 Ancient and intriguing, this method of painting originated in Greece, where it was used for the earliest easel and mural painting. A heady combination of colour, melting wax and heat, encaustic mixes dry and oil pigments in hot beeswax. 

 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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

powers that be

I don’t know what it is about a lone tree on a hill but after researching their believed powers while in the UK  I am interested to know stories from other cultures. When I was in Scotland I learned about the magic Rowan tree (although it doesn't need a hill to cast it's spell) but Canada is a young country in comparison and I don’t know of any historical fact or fiction in regards to tree lore. I am interested in finding out. Obviously we are all affected by trees and the natural world but what is it about a solitary one in the distance and in between?

July, Niagara Escarpment, oil on canvas, 36x36in, 2011, sold 

This painting recently sold and I am feeling a little separation anxiety. It was one of my largest plein air paintings- worked entirely on location and with no touching up in the studio. I went out every afternoon (with similar light conditions) for about a week and it was one of those rare transcendental  experiences where the painting takes you somewhere divine. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cold wax workshop and hawthorn

Irish Hawthorn ... Crataegus monogyna .. Sceach Gheal

"Our native fairy tree. We have, sprinkled throughout our Irish myth and legend, many references to hawthorn and its connection with the fairy folk. 

To this very day, there are still farmers who plough a wide circle around lone hawthorn trees, avoiding all contact between tilling implement and root, for fear of offending the fairies that supposedly inhabit the tree. Now, I would be quick to dismiss all this as superstition but for the many tales of misfortune that befell farmers and contractors who took plough, digger or saw to a single hawthorn specimen.. ” James Kilkelly 

Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn 1), cold wax/oil on panel, 5x5in, 2012

Exploring the Surface: Painting with Cold Wax

There are openings for this Saturday's Workshop:

Encaustic painting is not always the most convenient way to work-especially if you have limited space or are travelling. Texture, depth, movement and fluidity can still be achieved via working with cold wax, oil paint and drawing materials. I will show you how to mix your own cold wax medium and share techniques and materials used for this versatile painting technique. Recommended for artists with some painting experience.

Saturday, June 9, 11am-3Pm

to register online via paypal or for more information please contact me.