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Showing posts from 2019

Vines Contre Jour

6"X8" Oil on board
A couple of years ago the Niagara Artists’ Centre annual fundraiser Small Feats experimented with offering smaller, 6”X8”, paintings as well as the usual square foot works. As I was swamped with work at the time I decided to go with this size. None of mine sold and I guess it wasn’t generally very successful because they didn’t repeat this size the following year.
At the time I forgot (or didn’t have time) to scan and post them and I just remembered them now that another of my favourite local arts organizations is looking for donations.
This one will be available at the Carousel Caravan silent auction. It is valued at $100 but starting bid will probably be around $10, so you may be able to pick up a bargain.

Peaches 2019

5"X7" Oil on board
Almost every year I torture myself by attempting to capture a realistic likeness of our delicious, fresh Niagara peaches. Here is this year's effort and below are some of my previous attempts.


Harlesden Garden

In London, I spent my first day decompressing and sketching in the garden.

Window Sketches

I am a big fan and follower of the urban sketchers group, but I am too much of a wuss to spend much time at it myself through the Ontario winter. I have to make do with these views through my windows.


Interiors

When it is too cold to paint outside we have to make do with what we have.


Still Life

Artist Steven Reddy is a member of the Urban Sketchers group and also teaches a couple of online courses through Bluprint (aka Craftsy).
I find his technique interesting but have never had the courage to adopt his quirky, almost cartoonish style. However, I do find that there is something liberating about using these direct pen contour lines, with little or no preliminary drawing. Perspective isn't always accurate and shapes are sometimes a bit skewed, but the finished result makes for a strong, illustrative drawing.













There is always the Cat

Her name is Marigold and her purpose in life is to torment the dog.  She is also an escape artist. She has made a (cat sized) hole in the top of the screen door (twice) and she escaped into the ceiling at the vet’s office. It took them an hour to get her back down. When she wants to come inside she climbs up to the 2nd floor bathroom window. She has to scale several roofs to get there and she can’t come in that way, but she yells at whoever is in there to let them know that they need to come down to open the door.




Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

I haven’t been doing as much painting recently, but still drawing and sketching.
Quite often it is the dog who gets to star. I really should make an effort to do some action sketches. Letting the sleeping dog lie is all very well but they get a bit repetitive.

A Path not Taken

12”X12" Oil on canvas

This is the last of the 12x12s I have painted over the past few weeks, and it will also be submitted to the NAC show.
Although this one also started out as a real place it became somewhat mystical as I was painting it  and I decided that it would go well with my two commuting pictures.
Commuting to work every day through the countryside and farmland is a big improvement over highway and city driving (except in the winter when the roads are the last to be cleared), but there is still no time to stop and explore those other paths that look so much more interesting.

I plan to go back to my postcard sized format for a while and doing lots of drawing , some of which I may post here.

Morning Commute

12”X12” Oil on canvas

It’s about 7:30 am, somewhere between St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake, late Summer.

This is one that I think I will submit to the Small Feats show at NAC on April 6. All 12x12 paintings will be offered for $200 with some or all proceeds going to the Niagara Artists Centre

Evening Commute

12"X12" Oil on canvas

I seem to have spent my entire adult life living west of my place of work. This means that for about three months of the year I am driving into the sun in the mornings or the evenings (or both).
Driving from Niagara-on-the-Lake to St. Catharines requires crossing the Welland Canal. There are several lift bridges as well as a high-level "Skyway". This is the Lakeshore Rd. bridge, by Lock 1. The date would be somewhere in early November.
I think I will submit this one to the "Small Feats" NAC fundraiser.

Snow Trees

12"X12" Oil on canvas

Niagara is still full of fruit farms, although they are fast being replaced by vineyards.

I can’t remember what sort of trees these were. In the winter they all bear the same fruit.

Smugglers’ Cove (again)

12"X12" Oil on canvas

I painted this in a smaller format a few years ago, all of these pieces are based on smaller oil sketches..

This is one of those almost secret spots in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Tucked down a steep path, on the bank of the river, there is a small marina here. From the name we can assume it was used for more nefarious purposed at one time. The far bank is Youngstown NY.

A Long View from Short Hills

12”X12” Oil on canvas

Here is another “LP sized” painting.  Short Hills is a Provincial Park located between St. Catharines and Pelham (in the Niagara Region). It is especially spectacular in the Fall

Whirligigs

12"X12" Oil on canvas

I'm back (maybe)

I finally have some time on my hands and am able to paint again with some regularity, so perhaps I can post a little more frequently too.

Every April, NAC (Niagara Artists Centre) hold a fund-raiser called "Small Feats". I have posted about it before but I haven't submitted anything for a couple of years. Over the past couple of weeks I have painted 7 square foot paintings with a view to choosing 3 to submit for consideration. I think I already know which ones I will submit, but I will post them all here anyway. They all have a Niagara theme, as do most of my paintings.

This one shows a couple of the wind machines that guard our vineyards against late and early frost. Everywhere else in the world a windmill usually generates electricity, here in wine country they actually require propane to run.