Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Year

Always at the end of a year we have a tendency to reflect on what we have done and accomplished as well as look forward to new goals. Of course that is what I am doing now. It has been an excellent year for art. I have had the opportunity to get together with great artist friends, participate and learn in some wonderful art shows/events/workshops.There was the big art booth at the Tradex, Abbotsford in March, a great Art andWine tour with Laura in June, Artwalk in Sept,  Ramona and me on the road trip to Wyoming for SKB Art retreat and many more events.

This was my year for painting big. Two 6 foot paintings, a 5 foot one, one 4 foot and some smaller ones. I love painting big, not something that I expected at all. The challenge is awesome and it pulls some of the best work out of my finger tips.

 I am grateful to all of my new friends and clients who have welcomed my artwork into their homes. It is a honor to have my artwork become part of their lives.

Right now the cutest bear cub is climbing a poplar tree on my easel and I can hardly keep away from the canvas long enough to get ready for Christmas.

I am eagerly looking forward to 2011 as an exciting new year full of opportunities and lots of painting. The paintings that I am looking forward to creating are too numerous to mention, my head and heart are full of them.

To start the year I am lucky enough to be able to create several paintings that have very special meaning to the people they are being painted for. A commission painting is a wonderful collaboration between two hearts poured through the fibers of a brush to create a combined vision.

2011 will be an exciting, full and happy year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

It is a week before Christmas and all through the studio, work is in progress. Paintings on the easel do sit ready and waiting for my best work. Two more are leaning against the desk, in front of my delightfully warm pellet stove.  My mind is whirling with commissions and bear those are the projects now in the works.  As winter rolls round and the snow flakes dance down, I am entranced with painting and cookies. Cookies and paintings are a combination I like....not so good for my thighs but oooooh .... that was a great chocolaty bite.  I am sending out all my best wishes to you, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
With this I conclude my late night sugar induced poetically challenged blog.

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Rush

Welcome to December. It seems that instantly when it becomes December life speeds up. Well this December is no different. I am running around like a chicken chasing a really fast grasshopper named ART. I am leaping and dancing from one artist event to the next.

At the last minute in November, an artist girlfriend and I decided to put an Art Shoppe into the mall. With allot of work it is now up and running. It looks awesome with our paintings and 6 other artisans that include glasswork, pottery, jewelery and fabric sculpture. The shop is in the old Shopper Drug Mart Store next to the library in Pickadilly Mall, Salmon Arm, BC. We will be there till Christmas...stop on by for a visit.

Also just changed my website, please check it out
This website format is allot better for viewing comes up larger and clearer. I know that it will be an organic process with it growing and changing but here it is right now.

Now today is a work day down at the mall 3:00 to 9:00 but also I have an open studio tomorrow that is hosted by the Shuswap District Arts Council, so quickly cleaning and organizing that space for public viewing. It is ready......well yep I guess so. 

Yes, a painting on the easel, door prize artwork chosen, dust bunnies corralled, socks picked up and experimental painting hidden (not all experiments work.) It is all coming together!

Need to run buy some goodies...they were going to be home baked...but hey I figure, I will stick to what I do best...and I have been doing the goodies will be professionally made. 
I am wonderfully submerged in a multitude of artistic fun and loving every minute of it. I know that I will have to jump out of this pool of art and start thinking about Christmas shopping and decorating but not for a few more days.

Monday, November 8, 2010


One of my favorite things to look at, collect and ponder are rocks and stones.  Where ever I go there is an every changing landscape of petrology and geology. Rocks are interesting  and I really enjoy  observing and studying their varying attributes. My love of stones plays a big part in my paintings as well. My studio is lined with small collections of stones from places that I have visited as well as stones purchased for their beauty. I paint a whole series of paintings that I have named my StoneScapes. (you know not land scapes but instead...)
This is one that I have just been working on. I love to paint the solid texture of rock next to the fluid liquidity of water. One so hard and enduring until it meets the other and then stone gives way before the constant liquid caress of water. Just thinking about this painting's title, to your suggestions.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Starting with Coloured Gesso

Very short of time this week but when I can I have been playing with the affects of coloured Gesso on the paintings. Gesso is the absorbent ground that is painted onto the canvas before beginning your painting. I have been mixing both warm and cool tones of gesso and then watching how that alters the resulting painting. It is amazing how big a difference this causes. The colour of the gesso changes all the colours that you paint on top of it. This is what creates a unity to the painting. So that every part of the image stays connected by this back ground colour. I really believe that this is important in a painting. This is certainly not a new idea but most painters achieve this effect by glazing the gesso with a light coat of the warm or cool tone. I prefer to tint the gesso as you retain the absorbent tooth of the gesso rather than filling it all with a glaze. If you are a painter give it a try, you will like the effect.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Big Paintings Completed!

It has been a great art summer. It was a pleasure to have the sunlight in the studio where I have been busy working on several small and some large artwork. My husband Neil loves fishing and does manage to find a bit of time to fish, (maybe more than a bit!) I knew I had to paint another fishing painting… I completed the second of my fishing series “Gone Fishing #2.”This one is of a river rod and reel on the beach rocks.
Then because I am very pleased that my big moose painting is headed for a good home, I started/finished another really big one (kind of crazy I know) - Misty Morning is a soft painting of a mare under a cottonwood tree in the misty morning light. It is 4 foot by 6 foot and it brings back memories of my very first horse. I am a horse lover.

Summer is an excellent time for me to collect inspirations and experiences that may become paintings. I was delighted to have the opportunity to study and photograph the big horned sheep of the Rocky Mountains. In one day of hiking I was able to observe both the females and their young in one herd and the rams in another. It was amazing how close Neil and I were able to get to the big males…they really did not seem concerned at all. This inspired an “Out of the Dark painting called Ram’s Ridge (3 foot x 5 foot.) It is of three big horned sheep that are resting on the top of a mountain ridge. It was a wonderful challenge to create the textures that make these creatures so unique, the mature curled horns, the thick hair and their intelligent eyes.
Just wanted to share this completed work with you.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Well Art-walk has come and gone. It was wonderful. The work that goes into the set up and presentation of the Winfield Art-walk is amazing. The organizing committee think of everything. It was extremely well attended and I enjoyed it immensely. My booth came together and my new look (a bit more country) went over well.
This show was the deadline I had set for myself to complete my two big paintings. I made it....although if you leaned in close to those two canvases you could smell the varnish. They and my other paintings were really well received by everyone and I was very pleased to make the top ten artists of the Art Walk. So today back home, a bit tuckered out but happy to have successfully completed my last planning my new one.
Always happy planning.....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Island trip

Just back from a wonderful island trip. We stayed right on the water at Critter Cove in Nooka Sound. It is amazing all the life that exists and multiplies in and near the ocean. During the 3 day trip we saw humpback whales, rafts of otters (that is what a group of otters is called - I googled it) seals and bears .......and of course fish of all types. Here is the photo of one group of otters. The weather was amazing ....always a bonus when visiting Vancouver Island where rain is more of the norm. The ocean was calm and beautiful.....alas not really calm enough for my stomach....but hey when I see a whale...I forget all about being green about the gills. I have painted otters and bears before ....but now have more great reference for the future. Right now I am still working on the 2 large canvases....getting them ready for Art Walk. The one is called Misty Morning and is a gentle painting of a horse under a tree in the mist.....I could have called it Christy in the Morning as it reminds me of the first horse Christy my brothers and I had. The other big one is of three big rams on a ridge. I have been jumping back and forth.....painting on one and then the other. Wish me speedy painting as time is marching along.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Big paintings

This was the week to start some big paintings......two. I am hoping that they will balance each other with the one giving me a break from the other. So far it just seems like allot of work no matter which way you look in the studio. I love my ideas though and they are starting to take off. It is funny how the idea can come to you full blown or just grow slowly as you work. In this case I have one of each. The big painting at 4feet by 6 feet has been wandering around in my head for awhile....the smaller one is developing a bit differently than I had first planned. They both are dark backgrounds with one staying dark and the other becoming misty and light. The one will have a horse in it and the other 3 big horned sheep. So that is enough information to tantalize you. Hopefully by next post I will have some pictures to show you also. So back to the Easel.

Friday, July 30, 2010


As a wildlife artist I am always looking for wildlife and it has been a great week. I try to get at least 3 or 4 hikes in every week. I love to hike in the woods. I say it is for the health benefits but really it is for the chance to get out into the trees to feel the quiet, under the leafy canopy and just absorb the wilderness. Usually I will see chipmunks, squirrels and birds. But this week has been stellar, I have seen 3 black bears. Two of our hikes brought us within 20 yards of a beautiful glossy black bear. The third I saw from our boat as we were boat camping. It was a young cinnamon bear as he came to the waterline to drink. I love the opportunity to watch bears in their own element. Seeing them becomes the birthplace for my paintings....maybe not this week or month, but I store the experience, savour it and someday......

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Patterson Award

I am delighted to say that I am the recipient of the John Edgar Patterson award for my painting "Steady and Swift." This is the top award for the Shuswap Lake Festival of the Arts.
It is a really pleasure to join the wonderful artists who have won this before me.

Large Art Work

Painting the large art work like my moose has issues that are slightly different than normal sized work. Most of them as you would expect have to do with the size and weight. First you have to realize that the canvas can only be pushed up as high as your ceiling will allow. That seems just like common sense but it can catch you by surprise when you want to work on the bottom corner of it and the top is touching the ceiling. My normal easel doesn't really do a good job of holding it in the horizontal position.....(may be because my easel is mad at me because of the gesso mishap) but it is very tippy. It is a good idea to clamp this in if your easel can, if not watch bumping the out side edges while working. The painting work can be hard on your back as for some of it you have to bend. Also big paintings are more difficult to the size makes it difficult to spray your varnish in one swoop side to side. For my" Out of the Dark Moose" I had a shipping box made (thank you Neil) to protect this painting in transit. The box is huge and heavy but protects the painting wonderfully. So painting big has been a bit of an effort.... but all of it is worth it when you see the end result.

Home for the Moose

My big black moose painting has found the perfect home. He will be traveling to a magnificent log cabin which is just being completed. The owners are the nicest people who have built this cabin as a place to relax and enjoy nature. They have furnished it with beautiful iron work and the main door is an amazing carving of a moose with an iron antler handle. The log cabin is a work of art that is a delightful home for my painting.

Summer heat is here

Well summer took a while to arrive this year but it is definitely here now. The studio with it's big bright windows is just sucking the heat in. My studio is one of my favorite room to be in but now its best attributes are causing the temperatures to rise. I have taken to painting earlier in the day and try to escape the studio by 2:00 when the sunlight starts to blast in. A window treatment help but still the studio days are much shorter at this time of the year. The paint also drys so quickly as to make work difficult.

Out of the Dark Moose

This is my largest painting to date. It is 4 feet by 6 feet. I wanted to paint a big magnificent moose and this was the way to properly reflect the size of him. It is amazing when you get a chance to see a moose in nature and I wanted my painting to reflect that feeling of awe. So the focus of the painting is the huge rack of antlers being lit by the sunlight against the dark woods. The mist is weaving through the trees behind the moose. It was a great project and very satisfying to complete.

Gesso explosion

This is a quick post on what not to do. Do Not....I repeat Do Not drop an open container of white gesso in front of your new easel......there by changing the color of it a kind of dirty white as the unfinished wood sucked up the gesso like lemonade. The gesso managed to smack down and shoot it self all over the floor (10 foot spray) covering a section of wall, one original painting, one glass frame, the pellet stove, my compressor and did I mention my beautiful new easel. It was like I had thrown thick pudding all over the end of the room.This changed my painting afternoon into a cleaning afternoon. With a great deal of scrubbing I have removed the gesso from most of what it came off the original with ease (thank goodness) but everything else was serious work......the floor has some white seams which will require further work.....but most has cleaned up OK. ....well I do notice that I have some on my knee, top of my foot, wrist and shirt.

Great Art Friends

Just want to take a moment and say how much I appreciate my great art friends. These are the people who are always ready to share in an art adventure, who get as excited as I do about a new paint colour or canvas, who readily share their knowledge and passion about art, who delight in long marketing talks and abstract conversations on art. I want to thank this long list of great art friends and say you guys are all great! Happy Painting to you all.

Out of the Dark series

My "Out of the Dark" series is all based on what you can see at dawn and dusk, when the light is soft. These paintings are of animals that are just caressed by those first or last remaining rays of light. These paintings are formed by the light and dark. It is as if I am sculpting the image out of the dark. I want to create the feeling of amazement when you see a bear as it steps free of the darkness of the woods, or a fawn as it peers back at you from the side of a meadow.

Storm Cloud Series

The Storm Cloud series right now consists of "Cougar Ridge" which features a beautiful cougar gracefully stalking down a rocky ridge. His face is still and focused and looking just past the viewer. Number two in this series is "Cloud Watcher" which is a mountain panorama with storm clouds wrapped around. On a solitary rock, a mountain goat stares out over the valley cloud.
The third is a Kestrel Hawk on a fence post under gray stormy clouds. Tendrils of flowering honey suckle wrap up the post and reach toward the resting hawk. In each of these paintings the clouds set both the feeling, tone and color for the painting.

Busy Summer

It has been a busy spring and summer with lot of projects. In the studio, my Storm Cloud series has progressed to three painting. My focus for this series is the dark stormy skies behind the wildlife subject. The sky gives more emotion to the painting, giving it a depth that sunny skies would not.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Art blogging

Welcome to my art blog. I have decided to share part of my art creation process with you.

I want to tell you what I am thinking when I start an art project and how I plan the process.