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Showing posts from February, 2009

Terminal 1

7"X5.5" pen on paper

Well I am back. I did take my laptop to England but it wasn't really convenient to scan and post there so I just concentrated on filling my sketchbook. I will be posting some of theses here over the next couple of weeks. I took some reference photos too, so I may make some paintings of these. I took my watercolour pochade with me but didn't get around to using it at all.
Here is the first sketch, the long wait in Terminal 1 for boarding. I won't subject you to all of these but I may place some of them in my Urban Sketches Flickr set.

Flower Ladies

14"X11"Oil on board

Another old Worthing picture. These ladies (or their mothers or grandmothers) have been standing outside Woolworths selling flowers for as long as I can remember. They were there when my mother was a child too, she was born and grew up in Montague Place just behind where they stand here. Woolworths is closed now, I wonder if they are still there.

Worthing Beach

12"X9" Watercolour on paper

This is very old indeed. I might actually be in Worthing when this gets posted.

February Light 3

5"X7"Oil on canvas

Another from the archive. I have had this coffee pot since I first arrived in Vancouver, many years ago. I think it was the first household item I bought

February Light 2

6"X9"Oil on canvas

One from the Archive, done in the spirit of Daily painting even if it was done before I started this blog.

Garlic on a Green Cloth

7"X5" Oil on panel

Sometimes I wonder what on earth I was thinking. What an odd choice of colour.


Valentine's Tulips

7"X5" Oil on panel

We aren't big on Hallmark occasions in this house, but I saw these in the farm market yesterday and bought them for the men in my life. I do find flowers a challenge to paint in oils. I used to do a lot of intricate watercolour botanicals, very different from this. I may return to them one day but in the mean time my daily painting practice seems to be taking me in a very different direction. Each day I seem to be reaching for something a little beyond my grasp, something that takes me in a new direction.
Next week I will be in London and I am not sure what I am going to do about this blog. I plan to take my sketchbooks with me, maybe my watercolour pochade too but I haven't decided whether to take my laptop so I may or may not be posting. I will probably schedule a few posts with some archival material.
I am certainly looking forward to lots of enriching gallery viewing and I am going to have to be very careful not to spend too much in the art supply…

Navy Hall 2

3.5"X3" Watercolour on paper

This tiny plein air watercolour is from a couple of years ago but I think it was about this time of year. I have written about this building before here. It dates from around 1812.

Queen Street Niagara-on-the-Lake

5"X3" Marker on paper

Another one for the Urban Sketchers Flickr group. Actually I feel like a bit of a fraud presenting Niagara-on-the-Lake pictures as "urban", it is such a very small town. However, it is the best I can come up with right now as that is where I am every day. I got a window seat at the Epicurean today, I am not brave enough to sketch outside yet. It has been very mild for several days and we have had a fair bit of rain which has washed much of the snow away, although there are still a few piles of dirty slush as in the foreground of this picture. The weather is changing again now and temperatures are plumetting again. I was talking to some people who drove up from Buffalo today where the schools are closed because of snow and sleet and dreadful road conditions. I guess we get it next.

Drawing in the Dark

5"X3" Marker on paper

Don't laugh. On the other hand, laugh if you want to. At the concert last night I took my moleskin with the thought of doing some sketches while the wonderful Eden Stell Duo were playing. Usually the lights remain quite high in the church but not this time. I tried to do some quick gesture drawings and this was unfortunately the best of them. For want of anything else to post today I thought I would share it. Is this Mark Eden or Christopher Stell? Who knows? They really are a remarkable pair of musicians as well as extremely nice guys and entertaining performers. I highly recommend that you go to see them if you get a chance. They are playing in New York on Friday and in Toronto on Saturday, check their website for more information.

Waiting in Line

7"X5.5" Marker on Paper

In Starbucks again on the weekend, I lucked out and got an armchair. I really need to practise these quick figure studies more, I am not good at the moving targets. Tonight I tried to sketch at the guitar concert but just as I was getting into it the lights went out. I tried drawing in the dark, the results were interesting but not terribly representational. I wonder how Al Hirchfeld did it?

Between Shifts

5.5"X7"Marker on paper

Every bar, café, restaurant and bistro has a table close to the kitchen where the staff hang out. Once it would have had an over-full ashtray and a cigarette left smouldering or carefully extinguished to be lit again. Here sits the chef, making a list of supplies needed, planning next week's menu or writing to his mother, who knows? The Epicurean is a nice place to go at lunchtime with lovely big southern windows flooding the back section with sunlight. At this time of year there is always lots of room for me to sit and draw undisturbed too.


5"X7" Oil on panel

I am a sucker for Spring flowers, especially in February. These came from the market yesterday and the hammered copper pot is one I have had for ages, it provides a good disguise for the nasty green plastic one it came with.

Gala & Delicious

7"X5" Oil on panel

My husband came home with these wonderful deep purple Red Delicious. I have never seen them that colour before so I had to try to paint one. I included a Royal Gala to show that there really isn't anything wrong with your monitor. I did a WIP with this one, if you would like to see the pictures go here.

Buy Now $50 + S&H

February Light

10"X 8" Oil on canvas

Dipping into the archive for this one. I did it about three years ago, before I had any idea about blogs, but in the spirit of daily painting. I was trying to paint regularly alla prima. Often they were little found still-lifes like this one, short on composition but long on spontaneity. I am very fond of the old vinegar jug which I use for my plant water, I have painted it several times. The rosemary "Christmas tree" didn't survive, I have great difficulty keeping rosemary alive through the winter I am not sure why, most things do OK.

February Evening

7"X5" Watercolour on paper

Still very cold but going up to 7C with rain this weekend apparently.

In case anyone is interested, when I can't work from life, I take a very low resolution picture with my cell phone, look at the thumbnails to see what composition seems most effective and then work something up from there. The ones I like best I may work up further at some point, although my painting a month resolution is already falling by the wayside. I have abandoned January for the time being beacuse I am very dissatisfied with it, and I don't have much of February left. I am going to be in England for the latter part of the month and won't be doing any larger paintings while I am there. I do hope to do some skething though and I will take my watercolour pochade with me.

The Road Home

7"X5" Watercolour on paper
Actually I drive East in the mornings and West in the evenings, so it might just as well be the road there. It always amazes me that there aren't more accidents as this time of year. The sun is almost totally blinding at one point in my journey, directly in front of me and too low for the sun-visor to do any good. Still, it won't be long, the days are getting longer even if it is still -12C.


3.5"X5.5" Marker on paper
J. did his annual faculty concert at Brock U. today. I actually managed to get there for the first time in about ten years. I wimped out on the hands, the rest was pretty easy, a sitting target in fact.
For any locals out there, there will be a wonderful concert at St Barnabas Anglican Church on Queenston Street, St. Catharines, next Tuesday (Feb 10) at 7:30. The Eden Stell Duo from England are one of the best guitar ensembles in the world. Go here for more information.

Tree Study

5.5"X7" Marker on paper

I love drawing winter trees, they are both a challenging and a forgiving study. It is easy to get lost in the detail, but it doesn't really matter too much if you do.
Today is Groundhog Day, a quaint North American tradition that holds that if the groundhog sees his shadow when he comes out of his hole on Groundhog Day we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. There are actually official groundhogs all over the continent with names like Wiareton Willy and Punxsutawney Phil. I think it is all a bit of a moot point in Ontario where Spring is unlikely to show itself until the end of March no matter what Willy does.
This day is also Candlemas in the Christan calender and Imbolc in the pagan Celtic calendar. Whichever way you cut it we are at the very midpoint of winter, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Things have to get better from here.

Two Mushrooms

7"X5" Oil on panel
Looking around for something I haven't painted before, I came across these lovely big mushrooms. They are what they call "Portabellos" nowadays but they are really just a large variety of field mushrooms.
I decided to sign this with my rubber tipped scraping tool (don't know what you call it). I haven't been signing my paintings on the front because they are so small, but I have been rethinking this policy. I have been trying to buy some Sharpie oil-paint markers, because it occurred to me that they would be a good way to sign these small paintings, but they don't seem to be available at any of the art stores within 100 km of here. I have found them online but both suppliers, one Canadian and on US, charge a minimum of $25 for shipping. I just can't bring myself to pay $25 t0 ship a $4 marker.