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Showing posts from December, 2008

Plants in the Window 2

7"X9" Graphite on paper

Still without a computer. Happy New Year everyone!

That Darned Cat!

7"X9" Graphite on paper

Does anyone remember that movie? She is very uncooperative, won't sit still for five minutes.Still without a computer so I thought I would take the easy route and post something that can easily be scanned on J's laser scanner (b&w only). Also I spent most of the day agonizing about buying a new computer. The problem seems to go deeper than the video card, so I have been shopping around. Of course no sooner had I made up my mind than I was told that they are out of stock on that one, more in tomorrow, we shall see.

Boy thinking

5"X7" Oil on board
This isn't a good likeness, it looks more like my grandfather than my son. Still I do need to paint more portraits.
It has been a very stressful day. My computer has died, or at least its video card has, but it took me all day (and two monitor cables) to figure that out. Now I have to decide whether it is worth throwing any more good money after bad and fixing it, or do I bite the bullet and get that new laptop I have been dreaming of. My husband is letting me use his iMac to post this, very nice but out of my range I am afraid.

Robin's House

7"X9" Oil on board

This lovely home is the place we often stay in Montreal. As we didn't go this year I used a picture from last Christmas. The house is about 160 years old and classic Quebec style.

December Sky 2

7"X5" Oil on board

Weather continues mild, it can't last.

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Alan's House

9"X7" Oil on board

A new, slightly larger, format in honour of the fact that I have a little more time. Having been living in a winter wonderland for that last couple of weeks, it rained on Christmas Day and the temperature is still above freezing.

Christmas ACEO

2.5"X3.5" Acrylic on paper
To anyone brought up in the Christian tradition, whether a believer or not, this is a special time of year. This was another attempt on my part to paint the almost invisible. These figures are actually larger than life size, my crib/creche is very small! Happy Christmas everyone!

 $20 -Please contact me for more information.sarah[at]

Bright Candle

5"X7" Oil on board

Another of those tricky and possibly pointless challenges I set myself. I was in a hurry, partly because of the nature of the subject required that I finish before the candle burned away altogether, partly because it is Christmas Eve and there are other things I should be doing, like decorating my Christmas tree. It is nearly finished, honest.

Santas ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper

This tiny format is always an interesting challenge.

I am one step closer to getting the tree up. At least it is inside now and I will try to get the lights on this evening.

I walked to the mall this morning. It is about a ten minute walk and a 30 minute drive right now. That is five minutes to drive there and twenty-five to get into the parking lot. I am luck that I live close enough to walk.

 $20 -Please contact me for more information.sarah[at]


5"X7" Oil on board

I have been overdoing the landscapes a bit I think, and avoiding still-life for too long. I thought this would be a tricky subject, far enough outside my comfort zone to be worth a try. I am trying to stay with a seasonal theme, although the temptation to paint a tropical paradise is strong.
She belongs of course on top of the tree but, as usual, I don't have it up yet. I usually wait until the last minute so that my daughter can help decorate when she gets home. This year she will be in England but I still prefer the old tradition of up on Christmas Eve down on Epiphany. I always feel that we need the lift after Christmas more than before, and if we bring it into the house too soon it will be dead by Christmas.

December Morning 3

7"X5" Oil on board

Another feeble attempt to capture that magical light that we get so often in the early morning and late afternoon in the winter. The sky to the North is almost black, pregnant with snow, but the sun slants in underneath and briefly bathes everything in a golden glow.
Here we are at the solstice, the "first day of winter". It is hard to take that seriously when we already have over a foot of snow and several days when the temperature has dipped well below -10C.

December Sky

7"X5" Oil on board

Some subjects just seem to paint themselves, this is one. The sky over the orchards as I am driving home from work is often spectacular, but very hard to photograph.
We are between storms at the moment,another 15-20cm (6-8")expected tonight and tomorrow. I feel sorry for all those poor souls who are trying to get away for Christmas and am very glad that we are staying put this year. I am looking forward to going into semi-hibernation for a couple of weeks.

Little House Big Tree 3

4.5"X6.5" Pencil on paper

Well the storm has hit. It is hard to tell just how much snow has fallen because it is very windy and there are deep drifts. This little house across the street has about 20cm (8") on the porch but very little on the main roof. This is a sign of a poorly insulated attic. I did go to work today but came home early and drove very slowly, snow tires are a marvelous thing. I am now off for two weeks and hope to do some serious painting (or perhaps just frivolous painting but lots of it)!
My English readers will notice that "tire" is one of those words where we share our spelling with the Americans, unlike colour, centre etc. which my browser always puts a red line under.

Morning on the Canal 4

7"X5" WC pencil on paper

Usually by the time it gets this cold the canal has been drained, but the boats are still trying to get through the Seaway before it closes. The water is gelid, so cold that it barely ripples with the breeze. Tonight we are supposed to get a major storm. Everyone is hunkering down expecting the worst, wishing they had more of their Christmas shopping done already.

Winter Fields

7"X5" Marker on paper

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while may have noticed that there are fewer and fewer of those "Buy Now" buttons. Some of my paintings are still for sale, I will put a few more on Etsy soon and others you can contact me if you are interested. When I started this blog my main purpose was to use it for studies, and largely that is what I have done. The little oils are studies in detail, the others mostly studies in composition, like this one and the last couple. Often they don't work, but sometimes I will do something that I like enough that I know I want to do something more with it someday. I found that by putting them up for sale, that was becoming my focus and I would get stressed when I was posting something that I didn't feel was good enough or finished enough to sell. I am almost through my first year and I am still thinking about how I might change the rules as I move into year two. I definitely must leave mys…

Winter Trees 2

7.5"X5" Marker on paper

This is a great time of year to be studying trees, such interesting shapes and shades of grey. Using these markers I have to be sure not to let my pen linger too long or I get blobs, keeps me on my toes.

Winter Trees

7"X5" Marker on paper

Another Monday. +8C this morning, -8C this evening. Can't complain though it was -44C in Winnipeg today.


5"X7" Oil on board
There are many little corners of this house that I would like to paint, places where the light is especially nice or bits of shabby old furniture that I am particularly fond of. I was a fan of "shabby chic" long before I knew it had a name and this house is the ultimate showcase for the style. This is rather an odd little composition, it is hard to find a good spot to paint that isn't a thoroughfare. I do like painting interiors though and need the practice. For some very fine interiors you should visit Sheila Vaughan's blog.

I am very chuffed to have been featured on Shed Style. Author Debra Prinzing has recently published Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, to great reviews, check it out. This is the second shed themed blog to have mentioned my painting (the other was Shedworking a couple of weeks ago). I do have rather a thing for sheds, both the elegant and the dilapidated and one day would love to become a "shedworker" too.…


7"X5" Oil on board
It is hard to find good holly here. This is imported from Oregon, so it tends to be a bit flat when it arrives and half the berries are squashed.
I am not sure what I was trying to achieve with this one. I always find foliage a challenge to paint in oil, especially dark, glossy foliage, and I was painting this in artificial light in the end which is always a mistake for me.

Lonely Shed

7"X5" WC pencil on paper

I am using a new paper today and I am not sure that I like it, it doesn't seem to work as well with this medium anyway. Maybe I just need to get used to it. I probably should have painted the moon tonight, it is rather spectacular. I am not sure that it looks bigger, but it is certainly bright.

December Morning 2

7"X5" WC pencil on paper

Lake Ontario, looking towards Toronto, about 9 a.m. early December.

Track Meet 3

7"X5" Graphite on paper

Another sketch left over from the weekend.

Camel ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper

Another one of the little African soapstone carvings and part of a series of Christmas ornaments.

 $20 -Please contact me for more information.sarah[at]

Track Meet 2

7"X5" Graphite on paper

Being Monday, I am pressed for time. I am posting another of the sketches I did on the weekend at the track meet at York U.

December Morning

7"X5" Oil on board
This one turned out even more "impressionistic" than I intended. It wasn't helped by the fact that I dropped it as I was taking it down to photograph. Not only did it land "butter side down", it landed on my palette!

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Track Meet

7"X5" Graphite on paper

I didn't have time to paint today because I went to an indoor track meet with my sons. I took my sketchbook along because I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some figure studies. I had forgotten that from the gallery the runners are so far away as to be almost invisible. So I mostly contented myself with the spectators. I actually really enjoyed drawing them, they tend to sit still and by painting them from behind I rarely had to worry about faces. I did a few of these, I may post some more later in the week if I get desperate.