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Showing posts from March, 2008

Pink Orchid 2

5"X7" Water-soluble pencil on paper

It is always a challenge to find a suitable subject on these weekday evenings with poor light and limited time available. I decided to have another go at this lovely pink orchid that seems to just go on forever.


7"X5" Oil on panel

I have done enough fruit for a while I think.
I tried to keep this one loose, but then I got all tied up with reflections of silver on polished walnut and polished walnut on silver and reflections of reflections etc. So I decided it was time to stop.
The forsythia is from my garden, I brought them in to force. The only thing actually flowering outside are some brave snowdrops. I don't know what happened to my aconite, it would usually have been and gone by now but I see no sign of it. There should be some crocii too but I can't see them either. How much fell prey to the vicious winter and how much got stomped on last year when we were painting the house, I don't know.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop


7"X5" Oil on panel

My husband came back from grocery shopping today with two pineapples. Two might have made a better composition but one was challenge enough. Are we tired of fruit yet? Maybe I will do something else tomorrow.

This painting has been sold to a collector in Australia.

Two Blood Oranges

5"X7" Oil on panel
Here is the Friday fruit. These blood oranges had such a wonderfully nubbley texture I couldn't resist them. With apologies to Julian Merrow-Smith who did it so much better just a couple of weeks ago, but there are only so many subjects.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

The Seaway is Open

7"X5" Water-soluble Pencil on paper

It is always a bitter-sweet moment when the Welland Canal (part of the St. Lawrence Seaway) opens to marine traffic at the beginning of the year. On the one hand it is a true sign of Spring and the boats really are magnificent. On the other hand it means that we have to be prepared to get "bridged", a local term meaning stuck at the bridge for up to twenty minutes at a time. Or else we play the bridge-hopping game, similar to supermarket queue-hopping and subject to the same sod's law.
As I have to cross the canal on my way to and from work every day I get lots of practice at this guessing game. If I could just remember which local station it is that gives updates on the progress of the boats through the canal (and bring myself to listen to their selection of banal elevator music), I would miss out on some of this fun.

Cat in a Closet

5"X7" Graphitint and aquarelle on paper
In the very back of my closet there is a mending basket. This is a favourite place for Klein at this time of year because in the mornings, if the door is left open, there is a sunbeam. What more could a cat want than a basket, a closet and a sunbeam?

Bookcase & Curtain

7"X5" Graphitint & Aquarelle on paper

This little bookcase belonged to my mother-in-law. It belonged to her parents and probably dates from around 1912. It is pretty typically Edwardian. Oh the chap in the picture is the original owner. I am tired of trying to find a photo to paint from on the week-day evenings so I am going to try to do more of these "found" still-lifes. The light isn't great, but yet another challenge that is probably character building or something.

Cat on Chintz

5"X7" Graphitint on paper
Klein rarely cooperates when I want to paint her, but she managed to stay still long enough for this quick sketch tonight.

Bunny Eggs

3"X3" Oil on canvas

Even though my youngest are now seventeen, the Easter Bunny still pays a visit to our house every year. I am not sure why, they don't even like chocolate that much, it must be because she knows I do.
This tiny canvas was given to me some time ago and I have been waiting for an opportunity to use it. I needed a really small subject. It is "gallery wrapped" so theoretically doesn't need a frame but I can't imagine hanging it on the wall as is, it would disappear.

$20 + Shipping $8.00 Canada $9 US $10 Europe

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5"X7" Oil on canvas panel

More prosaically known as an eggplant on this side of the Atlantic, by English speakers at least, a continuation of the culinary theme. I considered using the dark background again for this one but chickened out. I was afraid it might disappear completely.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

Two Apples

5"X7" Oil on canvas panel
Red Delicious and Royal Gala.
Until a couple of months ago I don't think I had ever painted a vegetable or a piece of fruit, certainly not in oils, but I am beginning to understand why food has been such a popular subject for still life painting for so many centuries.
First of all of course it is perfect for my daily paintings because it is always readily available, tends to be a little less complicated than flowers but has myriad subtleties of tone and colour. Also there are the wonderful associations of taste and smell, I find that I can quite literally taste the fruit that I am painting and perhaps I am able sometimes able to depict that in paint. Can you paint a flavour? I would like to think so.


March Morning

5"X7" Graphitint on paper
Cold again today, but it was bright,at least this morning. The flooded orchards are all frozen over again. I enjoy the challenge of trying to convey this with a few slightly tinted pencils. Although, as usual, I did have to resort to regular water-soluble crayons for the very lightest colours.
Derwent has another fairly new product called "Inktense". There was an article about them on Empty Easel today. I bought some a while ago but haven't really used them yet. I will have to give them a go. The low-key palette of the graphitint pencils has suited the last few months but as we move into spring I am going to need something a little more bright I think.

It's Raining!

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

Rain is a marvelous thing! I said that to someone today and they said "Oh I guess you like this because it is like England". "No", I said "actually this is nothing like England, but it isn't snow!"

Gradually all the ugly grey piles beside the road are washing away and soon we will be able to see all those poor little bulbs that have been valiantly trying to flower underneath it all.

Adelsteins Scrap Yard

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

I am not sure why I am attracted to these scenes. I took this photograph earlier in the winter, there is more snow now.

We did have some rain today though, which has helped to wash some of it away. I shouldn't complain, we could be in Newfoundland where they are in the middle of yet another winter storm of mammoth proportions.

Winter Gulls

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

Back at work today. It's late and I am tired so I just took an image from my morning at Port Dalhousie last week. Gulls always amuse me.

Red Pelargonium

7"X5" Acrylic on canvas-paper

One last go with the acrylics and then I think I will put them away for a while. They don't seem to suit my working style very well. Even though this was a quick study, the paint dried on my palette before I finished using it. Perhaps I should change my style.

This brave geranium has been sitting in my window all winter. It has just started flowering and clashes magnificently with the pink orchid. Anything to take my mind off the fact that it SNOWED AGAIN LAST NIGHT!


5"X7" Acrylic on canvas-paper

Another experiment for me. I haven't worked in acrylic for years. Hard to get used to after using oils, the quick drying is a challenge. I may do some more though, challenge is good.


8"X10" Watercolour (& body colour) on paper

When it is +8C out there but there is still 30cm of snow to melt, it's pretty hard to find a dry place to sit. The hood of a truck, still warm, serves very well. One might even be willing to share with a close friend.

I don't usually use body colour with watercolour but I needed to use a little chinese white to rescue the grey cat's face, so I added a few more spashes for balance.


8"X10" Watercolour on paper

I was determined to paint outside today, rain was forecast for later in the day, so how cold could it be? I went down to the lake, only to discover that whatever precipitation that pregnant sky was about to unleash, it wasn't going to be rain. It must have been at least -5C (about 22-23 F), far too cold for this wuss to paint. So I took some pictures and came home. I haven't done much true watercolour for a while, so I didn't really achieve the effect I was looking for. Oh well, I needed a change.


I decided I had to have another kick at the can. One thing about seeing your work on the screen, it really serves to bring the faults to the fore. I mostly just darkened the sky, this is a little closer to what I wanted. The sky still looks a little too blue on my screen, it is more grey in the original.

Bunch of Bananas

5"X7" Oil on panel

OK so the fruity theme is growing a little stale (no pun intended), but I am finding food eminently satisfying to paint. I may do a couple more before moving on. I am really itching to get outside but there is still about 30 cm (1 ft) of snow even though it is quite mild today. I am looking forward to all the aconite, snowdrops and crocii that remain hidden under their protective blanket right now, but should be ready to burst into flower as soon as the snow melts.SOLD


5"X7" Oil on panel
My mouth was watering the whole time that I was painting this. That delicious smell of oranges is hard to resist.

Cream & Sugar?

7"X5" Oil on Panel

Trying to take advantage of natural light this week, as I am taking the last of my 2007 vacation time. The trouble with natural light of course is that it will not stay still.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

Two Mangoes

5"X7" Oil on Panel

Continuing to ignore the weather (about 30-50 cm of snow over the last few days) I am sticking with a fruity theme.

Pink Tulip

6"X4" Oil on panel

Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that we are in the middle of a winter storm of epic proportions, I decided to ignore the winter theme and catch the last day of this pretty tulip. Tomorrow it will be all done, I think.
I haven't been very happy with any of the flowers I have done recently, this one is no exception. As the weather improves and the subject matter is more available, I will have to make sure to get lots of practice.


Three More Onions

5"X7" Oil on panel

Encouraged by last week's onions, and fed up with the state of the weather, (30 cm more snow predicted for this weekend, that's about 1 ft for the metrically challenged), I decided to have another go at some onions.
I also had quite a lot of carmine left over from the orchids and didn't want it to go to waste.


7"X5" Graphitint on paper

I have to confess to suffering snow-blower envy from time to time. Yesterday morning, after spending one and a half hours digging out, might have been one of those times.
The temperature was 3C this evening but is forecast to go back down to -4C tonight with another storm on the way. Will it ever end?

More Snow

7"X5" Graphitint on paper

It's the boys' birthday today, 17 years old. Why is March always so miserable?
We had another storm last night, it dumped another 15 cm (6 ins) of wet heavy snow. It took us nearly an hour and a half to dig out. Only the main streets have been ploughed even now.
How long until Spring?

Man on Laker 2

7"X5" Graphitint and Aquarelle on paper

I have tried to remain pretty seasonal with these paintings, at least since about my tenth post. If I am not actually painting from life or from a photo taken within the week, I have tried to use references that were taken at the same time of year. This is a little out of order. Although this picture was taken in March, it must have been quite a bit later in the month because the canal isn't open yet and right now it is hard to imagine that it will be soon. Although we had a Spring thaw yesterday, it froze again overnight and tonight we have an ice-storm.
I am starting to lose patience with the Graphitint pencils. They are very good for muted low key drawings, but for bright colours and for true darks they fall down. Although the darks do look better in reality than they do when they are scanned. The scanner seems to reflect light off the paper behind the pencil (does that make sense?). As soon as the weather warms up I am going to …

Over the River

5"X7" Graphitint on paper

Living here on the border, "over the river" takes on a special meaning. It means "them" everything unCanadian. It means shopping duty free, border guards with guns, voting for Bush.
It also means, Youngstown, New York, a charming little town, right at the mouth of the Niagara River, so close to Niagara-on-the Lake that I could easily swim to it. That is if I wanted to swim in water only a few miles down river from Love Canal. Does anyone even remember Love Canal these days?

Pink Orchid

5"X7" Oil on panel

For me there is a point in every painting I do, usually about halfway through, when I ask myself: "What was I thinking? Did I really think I would be able to paint this?" On a good day, about ten minutes later it falls into place. This happens with a kind of "pop", suddenly I can see where I am going and how to get there.
This was not one of those days.
This lovely flower has been blooming away in the window of my bedroom/studio for nearly a month, calling "paint me, paint me". I could no longer resist but probably should have listened to my inner voices. Next time I try to paint an orchid I am going to go in even closer and concentrate on a highly magnified section, maybe if I can get that right I will be ready to try something like this again.

This painting can be purchased in my Etsy shop

Three Onions

5"X7" Oil on panel

I built myself a shadow box today, out of old foamcore. I tried to find advice on the internet, but most of my searches just returned craft sites creating shadow box frames for displaying collections, all the rage apparently. This will do me for now. Today's vegetable, the humble onion.