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Showing posts from 2014

NOTL Apothecary

5"X7" Acrylic on board.

Another fine old building in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Niagara Apothecary operates as a museum and is open to the public during the summer months.

The Sign of the Pineapple

7"X5"Acrylic on board

I took a bunch of reference photos in Niagara-on-the-Lake a couple of years ago, with the intention of putting together a panorama of Queen Street. It never happened so I thought I might as well use some of them for studies at least.

For as long as I can remember this store has been called "The Owl and the Pussycat", but I have it on good authority that it used to be "The Sign of the Pineapple", for fairly obvious reasons. I am not sure what is the origin of the pineapple, but it is a lovely old building dating from the early 19th century.

St. Cyril and St. Methodius

8"X5" pen and ink and water soluble pencil on paper. 

Went urban sketching today with two new acquaintances, Janice and Janet. It was a perfect day and this was really quite a good location. We were able to sit in the shade in an empty parking lot.

If anyone local (Niagara) would like to join us on future dates, let me know and I will keep you updated. I actually tried to organize a Niagara Urban Sketchers group a couple of years ago but dropped the ball. Well done Janice for making this happen.

Peach, Plate and Gargoyle

8"X10" Oil on canvas.

My muse has eluded me recently. I have lots of excuses for not painting but none of them really stand up to scrutiny.

I made a new shadow box today, so I will see if I can use it for some still lifes and try to get my painting muscles back into shape.

Of course more than half the battle is just choosing something to paint. I just grabbed the first three things that came to hand. A little odd, and fairly challenging. Peaches are one of the hardest fruits to paint, in my opinion, but so delicious.


6"X8" Charcoal & chalk on grey paper

Not only does Maddie hate being photographed, she doesn't even like to be sketched and will usually hide if she sees me with a pencil in my hand.
Needless to say, the only pictures I have managed to make of her have been while she was asleep. Even these had to be pretty quick as I think that she can smell my focused attention and will usually wake up, give me an accusing look and slink off.

Niagara Spring

10"X20"Oil on canvas

It has been a long time since I posted. I have been slowly putting together a series of Niagara panoramas. This one is for Spring.

House Across the Street

8"X8" Watercolour on paper.

My muse seems to have completely deserted me recently. Time to get back to basics.

I love to sit on my front porch at this time of year. I wish I had a better view but it could be worse too.

Small Feats #3 Niagara Sky 3

12"X12" Oil on canvas.

OK, This is the last of my "Small Feats" entries. The event is tomorrow, April 12. So all you Niagara residents get on down to Niagara Artists Centre, 354 St.Paul Street, St. Catharines.
Doors open at 8:00PM

Click here for a preview of all the artwork on offer.

Puerto Rico Seascape ACEO

2.5"X3.5" Acrylic on paper

Here is another small colour study. Already the memory is failing. Sun and sea being replaced by brown and grey. Still, I have snowdrops, irises and croci in my garden.

Small Feats #2 - Niagara Sky 2

12"X12" Oil on canvas.

This is my second submission to Small Feats 2014. Niagara Common in August. Queen Anne's Lace and Chicory

Black Eagle Sunset ACEO

2.5"X3.5" Acrylic on paper.

During my recent visit to Puerto Rico I did very little painting, relying instead on sketches, snapshots and colour notes. The colour notes are necessary because the camera rarely records colours acurately. This is especially true of skies, and sunsets and sunrises in particular.

We ate one night at the Capo LLena, a very nice restaurant at Black Eagle in Rincon. The food is good and the service friendly, but its main claim to fame is the spectacular view from the dining patio.

As well as taking some photographs, I made a point of making colour notes because I knew that the deep scarlet-orange of the sun would be completely washed out in the pictures. I still haven't really been able to get it right, but here I have tried to convey what I remember.

Small Feats #1 - Niagara Sky 1

12"X12" Oil on canvas

Every year the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) holds a very successful fundraiser called "Small Feats". Members of the collective submit 1-3 artworks, 12"x12". They can be in any medium and on any support, so long as they fit the size requirement. They will be sold for $200 with half or all of the proceeds going to NAC. The event is on April 12.

I took part a couple of years ago and have submitted 3 works again this year. I don't know if they will all be used, it depends how many participants they have, but I will post them here anyway over the next few days.

This is a very classic Niagara scene, a dramatic winter sky over the sleeping vineyards.

March Morning ACEO

2.5"X3.5" Oil & pencil on paper.

Another tiny seasonal study.

March Rains ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Oil and pencil on paper.

This is wishful thinking really, far more snow still on the ground this year. Still, with temperatures hovering around freezing, there is hope that Spring will arrive eventually.

Winter Clock Tower

5"X7" Acrylic on board

I have to admit that Niagara-on-the-Lake is very pretty in the snow.

Winter Evening

5"X7" Acrylic on board

This may look like a Kincadian fantasy, but it is actually based on a photograph, taken somewhere in rural Niagara.

Mind you, If I were so lucky as to have Thomas Kincaid's financial success, I think I could learn to swallow what little artistic pride I possess.

 Sure enough, Google did it again.

Winter Trees

5"X7" Acrylic on board

I find myself rather obsessed by the weather this year. It has certainly been the coldest and snowiest that I can remember. This picture is rather dull and monochromatic, but that is just the way it is.

 After I posted this I went into my Google web albums (where the attached images are stored) and saw that Google was offering this "enhancement". I have to admit that it is an improvement. How it decided that this image needed snow, I don't know. Was it based on the tags I added to the post?, something to do with the colour scheme?

Primrose Still-ife

5"X7"Acrylic on board

With a nod to Julian Merrow-Smith and Duane Kaiser, both of whom do this sort of thing much better than I do. It is fun, and excellent practice, painting these little still-lifes of assorted everyday articles. Well the chocolate pot isn't really an everyday article, but it belonged to my mother-in-law and has been sitting in my house for more than 20 years.

African Violet ACEO #3

2.5"X3.5" Acrylic in paper.

$20 USD (S&H included)

More floral paintings for Valentine's Day can be found here.

African Violet ACEO #2

2.5"X3.5" Acrylic in paper.

And here is another. Slip it in a card or put it in a frame, with or without a mat. Say it with flowers.

$20 USD, S&H included

African Violet ACEO

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on paper

ACEO stands for “Art Cards, Editions and Originals”. These cards have one main rule – they are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches – the size of a trading card. This term was apparently coined on Ebay when people started selling ATCs (art trading cards) which were originally conceived to be traded only and never sold.

$20 USD S&H included


7"X5" Acrylic on board

Also known as the Peruvian Lily. This is another one for Valentines Day.
These are wonderfully long-lasting cut flowers, native to South America. I bought these in the market on Saturday, discounted to $2.00 a bunch because they weren't fresh bu after 3 days with a spoonful of sugar in the water they are still showing no signs of flagging. I bargain I think.

For even more long-lasting pleasure, buy this painting, $75 (+$10 S&H) and it is yours for ever.


7"X5" Acrylic on board

Well Christmas is over and Valentines Day is the next big date.
Fresh flowers don't last, chocolates are eaten. Why not send a more permanent keepsake to your sweetheart? Small, inexpensive to frame and ship, only $75 each (+$10 S&H), my flower paintings make the perfect gift. I have several on my Zibbet page (an alternative to Etsy which I am trying for a while) and I am going to be painting more over the next few weeks.