Saturday, December 19, 2015

Cheap Brushes

These are the cheap brushes that I use for mixing my colours.  I put some paint into a container and use a plastic spoon or a little whisk to get started, but in the end I grab a brush like this because it does the job so well.  Recently I realized I could actually apply the paint to the canvas with them also.  However, there is no pleasure in the application; it is quite scratchy and rough.  A good brush with good bristles slides over the canvas in a luscious way.    

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Friends

Jane Crow took this photo at the opening of my exhibition in Calgary on Saturday.  I met both these two good friends many years ago at Emma Lake, the professional artists workshop in northern Saskatchewan.  Barbara Ballachey, when she is not voyaging around the world, lives and paints in Calgary;  she and I have travelled many times together to attend exhibitions in New York and London.  Michael Matthews hales originally from Calgary, but he and his partner Jane, also a painter, do their creating part of the year in Harrogate, B. C. and the other part in Syracuse, New York.  They both also travel extensively, and took the time to join us last fall to see the Matisse Cut-Outs Show at the Museum of Modern Art.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

'Round About Midnight' Exhibition

I am off to Calgary for the opening of my show there on Saturday (September 19, 2015) at Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art.  The paintings are not of any particular place; they are more about memories of different occasions and moments.  However, it is hard for me to believe when I first visited this particular lake in Northern Saskatchewan what it would be the start of:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Slim Aarons, Legendary American Photographer

In the Globe and Mail recently, the daughter of a famous American photographer shared stories about  working and travelling with her father, Slim Aarons.  He photographed famous Americans enjoying the good life in luxurious settings such as Beverly Hills, New York, and Palm Springs.

Here is a photo he once took of me enjoying 'the good life', at The Triangle workshop in Upstate New York:

P.S.  The painting isn't finished yet and I look exhausted!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Magpie by Monet

People often have a mistaken idea about the life painters lead.  This is pointed out by Jeffrey Meyers in The New Criterion of March 2015.

Writing about the beautiful painting The Magpie by Monet, Jeffrey Meyers points out that the usual romantic descriptions of this painting are not anywhere near the truth.  Suffering through an extremely cold winter in 1868-9, Monet and his family lived in extreme poverty.  Despite the harsh conditions, he still went out to paint and was to be seen clothed in many overcoats, gloves and with a heater by his side.  This beautiful painting that he managed to create out of such hardship was rejected by the Official Salon of 1869.  The critics wax on poetically about the subtle effects of  the colour on the snow, but they ignore the ominous presence of the blackbird and what it portends.
Jeffrey Meyers Article on The Magpie

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some of Lorna's Picks

Recently I invited myself over to a friend's apartment because she told me she had hung one of my paintings and was very pleased with the way it looked.  I was surprised to see how many pieces she has collected from me over the years.  There were quite a few still lives, two of them from the 'Studio Picnics' series, such as this one:

The painting she was so excited about was her most recent purchase from my 'Dock' series, and I had to admit it looked very happy where she has hung it:

I started the Dock series in 2009, whereas the Studio Picnics are from the late 1980's.  Lorna has been a loyal fan.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Group Exhibition

Two of my paintings are hanging in a group exhibition at Art Placement in Saskatoon this month.  They are part of a series of small canvases I embarked upon when I started to use my new studio last year.  Each of them is 16 x 20 inches, and painted in oil paint.  Using a smaller scale and a different medium were a way to challenge myself and it did make me miserable for a while.  In the end the struggle always makes them more interesting.

The imagery came from my road trip paintings that I have been working up in strong colour,  on a large scale and with a simplified motif.