Tuesday, September 29, 2009

hill country life

This is the final painting in the Texas Hill Country trio. They are each 25.25" x 37.25" in acrylic on 300gsm Arches Cover cut to 30" x 40". These are the preliminary sketches and here's a slideshow where you can watch this final painting come to life. It was a fun challenge to create these specifically for a designer's site specifications (size, colour palette, imagery), yet based on earlier work of mine. Freedom with guidelines. Or, as Robert Genn likes to say, "I play better tennis because there's a court."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

art without the artist

Remember the '60s notion of the two-hour workday and the mechanization of all mundane tasks? As an art-making hausfrau, I'm liking the idea of doing the vacuuming while making art at home ... when I'm actually down at the local Starbucks with my latte and Sudoku!

Or maybe I could get the local paintball addicts to do it for me?

And if you think a bunch of guys with paintball guns re-creating Warhol's Marilyn is a good use of technology, how about paintball without the testosterone-pumped camo boys, recreating the Mona Lisa in 80 milliseconds? Now that's a little more Jetsons!

P.S. Thanks for the links, Rudy. I needed a fix.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I use pattern in my artwork a lot. As a matter of fact, just choosing from all the patterns in my paintings and drawings to make this digital mosaic was too hard, so I chose ones with the same approximate shape: raindrops, deer hoofprints and stylized seashells. More over at Illustration Friday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

piano bar at frogstone grill

Thursday, September 17, 2009

roots in hill country

It's been one of those weeks ~ stressful yet productive. I hung the show at the Frogstone Grill on Monday, spent all day Tuesday at an excellent ADHD workshop at Children's Hospital, then finished this large painting yesterday. I am having to stop myself from further tweaking -- so tempting to just keep working on it! -- but as I am under a deadline I need to be as smart as possible with my time right now. Never my strong suit!

I need to switch out a painting at the Frogstone Grill tomorrow and will get some photos then. I don't have time to even think about arranging anything like an opening (plus the fact that it's another on my laundry list of lousy skills) but if you're in that part of town for the next six weeks or so please drop in to the piano bar for some good music and fine art! My work will remain hanging until October 26th.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

labouring day

winter rest
Putting in a 12-hour workday on a warm, beautiful Sunday is just plain wrong, but the Texas paintings are coming along and I did this little bitty drawing (4" x 4"), and framed it, as well. Tomorrow I will hang a solo show in the piano lounge of The Frogstone Grill ("Live Music and Artists") in Coquitlam. More on that tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

art's dinosaur

Drying Dishes, pencil drawing

Hazel Dooney has written an excellent piece on the decline and fall of the gallery system and why it doesn't work any more. As an artist whose experiences have caused me to become increasingly frustrated with commercial galleries, I really needed to read this. But, rather than dilute it with my own feedback, just go read it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

oceans revisited

oceans fouroceans seven

Just a quick and shameless plug before I immerse myself in paint. There are still two drawings (two of my favourites actually) left over from this series and I have just posted them for sale here.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Drift, gouache on illustration board, 16" x 20"

A couple of days ago, Greg, Coco and I went for a hike (Coco actually flushed out an owl) and finished up at the nearest Starbucks. On my coffee cup was the following quote:

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life. – Anne Morriss

I liked it. Twenty years ago I might have argued with it, but since that time, experience has taught me otherwise. Long-term commitment has been a struggle for me, but I made the uncharacteristically wise decision early on to hook up with a commitment-minded person. Greg has taught me about stick-with-it-ness. Sometimes I've considered it borderline obsessiveness (and sometimes it even has been!), but I know now that without his deep and grounding influence I might have thrown in the towel (in many types of situations) more often than I'd care to admit. It's taken a long time to see that long-term commitment really is liberating, particularly when it comes to work and relationships. I think that even the hoard v. purge struggle in which Greg and I regularly engage is a reflection of this. The above painting, for example, was done over 25 years ago, the summer before I took my first painting course. (I took art in school before going to university but never took any dedicated painting classes before second year.) I have wanted to toss it out countless times over the years but Greg hasn't let me. Today I looked at it with new eyes and was really glad he'd stepped in. Great art it's not, but it is a testament to where I started and I've even come to like it. I've committed to painting for eight years now (and to Greg for 22) and am starting to feel like I've finally learned a thing or two.

Check out the short video Heather posted today on dealing with the resistance that can kill commitment.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

wild hill country

C'est fini!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

wild hill country 3

There's quite a dramatic change between yesterday and today even though the only major work I did was (a) paint the birds, deer and hoofprints, and (b) paint the backgrounds of the cool-toned areas (behind the deer, birds and leaves). It now looks like a dark, cool-toned painting but that will change again as tomorrow's job is to finish off the lighter, warm-toned areas. Many moons ago, when I painted in oils, I liked to create fresh-looking gradations by blending the paint directly on the canvas. I still do that to some extent with acrylic paint, as you can see in the pale blue and pale green sections, but have learned to work very rapidly because the paint dries so quickly.