Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Oil on Canvas
6 x 8

I've taken to carrying a plastic bag and small pair of scissors in my pocket when heading out for my neighbourhood walk, just in case I see something suitable to go into a still life setup. Starting off at a brisk pace and focused on getting cardio benefits, I can soon be distracted by some gem of nature, like berries or ferns. So, I will slow down to clip off bits of  plants and flowers and drop them in my bag. Not so natural, but still intriguing was one of my finds yesterday, an empty rum bottle, 92 proof, with a hula girl on the label. The small (375 ml), flat bottle is what we used to call a mickey - a Canadian term, perhaps out of use now. I wonder what a current term is for those little flat bottles. Any ideas out there? 

Today's painting title is from the often-covered folk song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? written by Pete Seeger. My link takes you to Johnny Rivers' great version.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Brown-eyed Susans

Oil on Canvas  6"x 6"

On Monday, when I showed my never-misses-a-beat hubby, Ian, the Pass the Salt painting, he pointed out that I've painted that salt shaker/tomato combination before.

"I know," I said, barely concealing a childish whine.

"Give me something new," he said.

As he turned back to his laptop, I rolled my eyes ever so slightly. In the moment of such an interchange, it is hard to say your partner is right, but that afternoon, I visited a consignment store to search for new still life objects.

This chubby copper vase appealed to me and on my next morning walk, I picked a few stems from the last stand of "brown-eyed susans". That was my mom's name for rudbeckia and I thought of her while I painted them. She still likes flowers despite losing a grasp on reality due to her Alzheimer's disease.

Thanks, Ian for being honest with your reactions to my paintings. I promise to never roll my eyes at you again. (Fingers crossed behind my back).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pass the Salt, Please

Oil on Canvas
6 x 6

Perhaps you've noticed - I'm getting back into the swing of still life paintings by working on almost-daily small format pieces. This salt shaker has special meaning for me as it comes from North Mart in Iqaluit where my oldest daughter, Anna, lives, far away from Vancouver. Another place far away is Romania. What's the connection there? Well, my blog statistics show that I had 56 viewers from Romania last week! I haven't been able to figure out why yet. Maybe a Romanian blogger posted a link to my blog.

Greetings to all you Romanians and other world citizens reading this. Enjoy the last week of October. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Big Apple

Oil on Canvas Board
6 x 8

A short note today. Composition and ellipses were both my focus on this one. I enjoyed painting the cast shadows of the fruit and the reflections in the blue jar. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Debbie's Deceptively Cheery Apples

Oil on Board, 6 x 8

This week, I've been painting simple still lifes in the makeshift studio that I set up at my sister's house. Debbie's guest room has a perfect north facing window that allows me to paint in natural light, without spotlights or overheads. The crab apple tree, laden with dozens of the yellow-green beauties, is right outside that window. The apples look cheery and inviting, but they are far too sour to eat.

A tip of the hat to accomplished artist Carol Marine, whose influence shows clearly in this painting.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Power to the People

Oil on Wood Panel
6 x 8"

The raised fist has been a symbol for many causes throughout history, often standing for human rights of the oppressed. I started this painting as something playful - thinking of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors, but the image took on a more powerful feeling. As I was considering a title for the finished piece, the first thing that came to mind was John Lennon's song, Power to the People.

This week, I am delighted to be the host of a painters' challenge on the Daily Paintworks website. My raised fist formed the basis of The Hand Challenge.