Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back in Alberta

Evening Skies Over Barley Fields
Oil on board, 8 x 10

I am back in Okotoks visiting my sister and painting. Albertans and former Albertans (like me) are enjoying a lusciously green summer here courtesy of the almost daily summer storms. Farmers need heat and sun for the crops to ripen. I will paint them whatever colour they are.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Cat Who Lives Under the Bed

Oil on Board
6 x 8"

Roxie is our shy cat who won't come out from under the bed when visitors are in the house. Some have doubted that she exists, but here is proof. The skittish thing is small and sweet and I love her dearly.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where Did That Slice Come From?

Oil on Canvas
8" x 6"

Back to painting basic still life setups and using lots of colour: cadmium red, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, ultramarine blue and pthalo blue. The background colour was tough to nail on this one. Is it teal or turquoise? Whatever I call it, I think I'll avoid it as a background in the future.  Enjoy your weekend. Thunder and lightening here at the moment. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Jessica Listening
Pencil on paper 9 x 12

Jessica, a fearless painter, was my fellow student in a recent workshop. The atmosphere in the room was peaceful and inpiring as we listened. The light streamed into our classroom from two large windows.  Thanks again to Carol Marine for her superb instruction.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

White Shepherd Dog

Pencil on paper 8 x 10

Way back last September (I confess), I offered to paint a picture of Max, the family dog belonging to my sister and brother-in-law. It was offered as a birthday gift. I forgot to tell my sister that I meant her 2011 birthday.

Max is an old-timer White Shepherd. He is blind, has arthritis in his hips and despite the fact that he sheds his thick white fur in clumps, he is allowed to roam around inside the house. If we humans move a piece of furniture, Max bumps into it the first time, but immediately learns to avoid a second collision. His head is as high as the kitchen counter and when I look at him straight on, I think of the big bad wolf. But, he is a gentle soul and he likes nothing more than a good scratch with a little conversation or a story at bedtime. I care about Max like he is my doggie-nephew and I am sure he likes me as his human-aunt.

This drawing is in preparation for the painting of Max.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Bird #2

Yellow Hornbill
Oil on Board 8" x 8 "

Another South African bird today, officially called a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill.

The painting is based on a photo I took in Kruger National Park. This bird was about a foot long from tip of the beak to the end of the tail. He made me think of Zazu, the yellow hornbill in the musical The Lion King. 

What felt like 15 minutes of painting was really about two hours, an indication of my joyful concentration. Along with the blue starling I painted on Wednesday, the hornbill made a cameo appearance in my video: Three Minute Tour of Kruger Park.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Full of Colour

Little Blue Starling
Oil on board 6 x 6

How exhilarating to be using colour again. I attended a Carol Marine painting workshop in Red Deer Alberta last week and scooped up buckets of information. Carol is one proficient painter and a great teacher. The painting is based on a photo I took in South Africa last year.  Starlings in Canada pale in comparison to Little Blue, at least any that I've seen in our western provinces.