Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Special Place

Sometimes you find a special place. A place that connects with you and assures you that all is wonderful with the world. This is a painting of such a place. It is a wild and natural spot where the water pools deep and dark between high stone banks. This water is so pure and clear as it rushes over the rocks that glow in the warm light and heads down stream.

This painting is called "Healing Waters."  It is 30x36 inches and is painted with acrylic on canvas. Thank you to my brother, Robert for the great kayak trips each year that include visiting such wonderful places as this.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Back!

Hello, it has been a while since I have blogged. Life interrupted the way it sometimes can, without taking into consideration what my plans are.
That's alright, work in the studio has resumed and I am happy to be well into a coyote painting. I love to paint animals that are really part of my daily life. Coyotes are one of  these. They are smart, illusive and so quick to adapt to what we the spirit of the wilderness they ghost through my yard and sing loudly  to me in the night. This painting is like a cross between my Out of the Dark series and my full colour paintings. The back ground is dark with a full light foreground. It certainly gives it a punch of drama. I will be posting it shortly as it is coming close to being complete.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jackson Hole Wyoming

Just returned from the heart of the Tetons, Jackson Hole Wyoming. Wow' what a place for a wildlife artist. The view in every direction is spectacular with the massive rock of the Tetons on one side and wild fields of grass on the other. Buffalo and pronghorn sighting on the drive from the airport.

 It is a small scenic town with more art galleries than anywhere I have ever seen and they are full of my favorites, wildlife and western themes. So pleased to see some of the artists that I know featured.

We were on a tight schedule because we were heading into an artist we were in and out as many galleries as we could fit in 4 hours. It was great fun and I definitely will be going back, with a portfolio.

Arch is made from shed antlers from local herds.

Amazing sculpture on the street.
After our run through the galleries we were off into the mountains for an awesome art retreat. Totally a stellar way to spend a week, in the scenic mountains of Wyoming with some the best artists on the continent.

As beautiful as it was there, BC is just as lovely and it is wonderful to be home. So now back to the easel all renewed and refreshed.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wild Art for Art Walk

Well it is the time of year when I collect up all the bits and pieces that make up my ever changing art booth and get ready for Art Walk in Winfield. I make my list and check it twice, three and four times. All the basics have to go plus beach rocks and pine cones for decorations. The nicest people come to Art Walk.

Usually I have a great helper with a truck but this year it is just me and my car. Ohh ....that is frustrating as I had hoped to include Bighorn Ridge.....but unless it rides on top of the car it is just a bit too big. I haven't given up yet....still thinking of how to work it.

 Here is your sneak peak at some of my new work that will be going to Art Walk.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What a Summer!

It has been a busy summer with lots of opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife. Cold and rainy or hot and windy...It has been fun and my camera has been out.

We had a great trip to observe Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep above Banff. Most exciting to see were the newborn Bighorn sheep.They are the cutest and most agile babies. They nimbly scamper up and down the rock faces and then abruptly just plop down anywhere to rest. Their mothers look haggard and untidy with their winter wool falling out. In the time we had we were unable to locate the male herd.

sheep photo

sheep photo

Then it was off to the game farm in Kamloops to paint a portrait of Shardik, their 36 year old grizzly. The game farm is known for its work in protecting and preserving British Columbia wildlife. Their animals are all rescued animals that could not survive in the wilderness. It was an experience to sit out side Shardik's pen and really observe him, (something that is difficult and perhaps dangerous  :)  to try in the wild.) Grizzlies normally live to about 25 years, so Shardik has reached a grand old age. I wanted to paint him this time rather than the 2 new grizzly cubs that have just arrived as he has been an important part of the bear experience at the park for so many years.

Shardik photo

August is a great time to head to Vancouver island and the ocean. Whales, seals and otters are what I am on the look out for while my husband has his eyes on the water for salmon and halibut. It was a good trip with wonderful friends. We were fortunate enough to have a wonderful whale display close to our boat. The huge creature breached 5 times before turning on his side and waving his fin at us. It was an incredible experience to be so close. It happened too quickly to get any great photos but here is a friendly suntanning seal that agreed to stay put long enough for a photo.

island photo

Shardik the grizzly and my cougar painting are getting close to being complete, just a few more details. While I should be focused completing those two, a new painting is calling my name. A dainty fawn with lovely eyes is begging to be starting that painting now.
Pictures to be posted as soon as they are complete.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

International Artist Magazine

It is such a pleasure to be featured in the August/September issue of International Artist Magazine. They have included an 8 page spread on my artwork and creative process. Also as an extra bonus the front cover shows a small picture of me working on my 6 foot moose painting (upper right corner.) This is a great art magazine that focuses on international art and artists. The article shows my step by step artistic process for two paintings. What an honor to be in such a prestigious magazine. This should on news stands soon. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Water Babies

Here is the painting of the sea otters that I have been having so much fun painting. They are the happiest most inquisitive creatures that I have ever met. These are from Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island....We enjoy looking at them each year when we are on the island.
A group of otters is called a raft and often they hold paws as they
float on the waves to stay together. So check out my raft of otters.

Then as I was enjoying doing water babies....I continued and did a study of a mallard hen and her 6 chicks. The local fountain in Mcquire Lake is a wonderful place to spot mallards with their families....and as they are quite used to people they let me sit close to them and observe. These are quite the cutest babies at the pond.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hike the trails but find the deer in my own yard.

It was hot with gusts of wind towards the end of the day. We headed into the woods and up the hill. I felt the wonderful cool of the woods envelope me as we stepped into the shade. The harsh bright sunlight changed to a lovely tree dappled light.  Here we could hear the birds and as we hiked we listened to the stories that the birds were sharing. Solitary songbirds sang here and there. Raucous blackbirds yelled and fought over their supper.  Several hawks soared on thermals over the woods. We even thought we saw a buzzard circling high above our trail. My legs were tired at that point...but I don't think that I was that close to being I don't think he was there for me.

The woods are in full bloom with wild flowers of all types blooming every where...we were walking in natures was amazing. At top of our hike...we stopped to just look around and found a handful of wild strawberries and their amazing taste of summer.

As we came down the mountain we heard the call of an owl which led us on a wild owl search through the wild rose bushes. We never found the owl but I did indeed learn a new respect for wild rose bushes. My legs still reflecting on that wisdom this morning. Always in the woods we enjoy the chance to see what animals are it was birds, marmots and chipmucks.
But it wasn't till we were having a late supper at home that we were lucky enough to see two young deer as they snacked on our willow tree before heading into the neighboring old orchard.

On the easel I have a small painting of a mallard hen and her ducklings. I just jumped into this painting starting with the hen and have been adding ducklings here and there... painting this one in a kind of crazy unplanned way. My otter painting is basically complete and I am just studying it for a few days to see if I need to add anything to it. I will post these soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kayak Camping

My art is based on my deep appreciation for the outdoors and the plants and animals that live there. So it is really important to get out and seek out the experiences that I will later represent in my paintings.

Well at least that is my excuse for the great long weekend that I just spent on the water with my brother. It was a 5 hour kayak trip in the Kootneys paddling up an isolated chain of lakes to spend several nights camping on a 3 acre island. What a great way to spend time. Our island was in the center of the lake with 360 degrees of the most beautiful and peaceful views. The paddle was long but the destination was worth it.

The weather was most interesting but our camping gear stood up to the challenge of keeping us warm and dry. My brother is an excellent kayak paddler and a skilled outdoors man. We told stories, bragged outrageously about our past year's accomplishments and wrote the most excellent poetry around our campfire. That campfire survived the downpours and cooked our tinfoil wrapped dinners. Jiffy popcorn and Sweet Caroline toasted the rise of the moon at midnight on the solstice.

Thanks to my brother for a great time enjoying the Kootneys in a Kayak!

For me, nature is where I reconnect with myself. The smoke of the campfire lifts my worries and stress then lets them drift away on the prevailing wind.  So now refreshed and inspired I return to the studio.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Otters in the Water

Well all my recent commissions are complete and on their way to their new homes. I am honored to have had the opportunity to create art that combines two visions into one. It is the chance to paint a gift from the heart, a painting that is painted for one special person with allot of thought into who they are and what they love. This last painting was a lovely Nelly Moser clematis on a trellis with a hummingbird hovering over the flowers. The title is "Embrace." It was painted for a very special mom who is so appreciated by her children for the warm embrace of love she has always shared with them.

Now I am into a great fun painting. This is a family of sea otters.....with their happy little inquisitive faces peering back at me from the water. It is 24x36 in acrylic.  I think these creatures are such lively joyful creatures that I just had to paint this family. I have been lucky to see them any number of times at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. They always seem as happy to see me as I am to see them.

Watch for this painting to be shown here soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

2 owlets this year

We finally were lucky enough to see the second owlet. He has taken a bit longer to learn to fly so was hidden from us. So pleased to finally see both of them. This makes the parents job a bit harder for sure.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Watching You"

My owl painting is complete and I have just had my first owlet sighting of the year. The day I signed this painting I finally saw this year's baby owl - definitely a good day.
It was at dusk that we spotted the single large fuzzy Great Horned owlet. He is about 12" high with light gray fuzz and eyes the size of grapes. He was standing with a wide stance on the top of a fence post. His mom and dad were above in the trees. Lil Fuzzy peered intently at us, then ignored us and then studied us again. We are old friends of his parents so we slowly and politely approached to a nice viewing spot and crouched down to observe. It was so satisfying to finally see who has been high in the nest this spring. The owlet is healthy and strong. It will be fun to watch him grow.
Here is my painting "Watching you."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time for Owls

This is the time of year when we start to watch for the owls in our area. We have several mated pairs of Great Horned Owls close and it is a special part of our spring and early summer hikes to watch for signs of them. It is great when the young owlets are finally visible in their nursery trees and we get the chance to watch them learn about life. This year we are just wondering if the cold spring will delay the laying and hatching of the eggs.

To celebrate spring I have started a painting of a Great Horned Owl with its owlet. Watch for the completed painting to be posted here soon

Because these owl nests are too high and protected for us to get good look, we see first see the owlets when they are able to fly around their nursery area. By this time these baby owls are huge fuzzy birds almost as big as their parents. They are incredibly cute with an interest in everything. Owlet heads swivel, bob and extend up and down while their large eyes peer at you. 

So we are on Owl watch now and will update you all when we have our first baby owl sighting....maybe even have pictures for the blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back to Hiking

It is awesome when the snow finally goes and the mountain trails open back up for hiking. To be able to get out into the woods and see nature close up is just the best. The trails are still slick in spots and there are large puddles, streams and snow piles to jump and clamber over.

Yesterday I was up on Enderby Cliffs looking out over the valley.  The air was clear and the view was amazing. From several different view points you can see all the way to Okanagan Lake one way and to Salmon Arm Fly Hills the other way. Below you the Shuswap River curls and twists in a beautiful pattern of reflected sunlight in the midst of a multi coloured patchwork of farmer's fields.

Animal sightings were limited to chipmunks, grouse, and magpies, that was possibly due to a local yellow lab that decided to join us. A handsome blond dog, he ran up ahead and then doubled back for us, all the while watching for any sign of life that he could joyously chase into the woods. After our hike he turned into the gate of the house at the bottom of the trail, leaving us to suppose that he might daily pick a lucky couple of hikers to accompany him on his jaunt.

Enderby Cliff is well worth the several hours that it takes to hike. They have altered the path, making it substantially easier and they are working on a restoration program on the old trail as erosion was damaging the hillside in that area.

Its great to be back in my hiking boots and back on the trails.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep

The sun highlights the ridges and hard curve of their massive horns as they are sky lined against the distant blue of craggy peaks. This is an agile creature that lives on the ridges and peaks of our Canadian mountains.
Last spring I was lucky enough to hike up into the mountains above Golden BC. There we found two groups of Big Horn Sheep. We first found the females and young and were able to observe them as they rested in the sun. We respected the fact that the females did not want us to approach too close and used our binoculars and photo equipment to watch them from a distance.

Several miles away we found the males and were able to climb right up with them and take the time to really study them. The males were comfortable with our presence and allowed us to approach them. Many wonderful photos resulted but most importantly was the feeling of being in the midst of them.

Two large paintings (3x5 feet) have resulted from that experience both based on the same drawings. The first is an "Out of the Dark" painting called "Ram's Ridge" with the dark charcoal coloured background with a light rendering of these rams.

The second painting "Bighorn Ridge", just completed is in full colour and has an entirely different feel to it.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to express my Bighorn sheep experience in paints.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Its all in the Details.

Its all in the Details. Its an old saying and for me artistically totally correct. In my art work of course I need to have the overall plan for the painting and I need to block in my shapes and have a good idea for the colour composition but in the end for me - it is all in the details.

What attracted me to paint that big horn sheep? It is the impact of seeing him in his natural setting. Both the animal and the setting are made up of such incredible details.  His gnarled horned curved and curling, his hair and features presented front of in the natural elements of grass and rock, mountain and sky. Those details call to me to pay the attention to them and render them as true to life as I can. To respect their intricate shapes and textures and do my best to represent them.

Right now working on that big horn sheep painting, the textures and details are singing to me. Watch for the finished painting sometime soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lil Bear Cub

This painting has been a fun one.  A bright blue sky is a great backdrop to the kind of cuteness that you can only see in a bear cub. This cub and his brother shot up a tree while his mom and the other cub ran just over the hill.  Looking a bit perplexed, he peers down from his safe spot. 

This painting was created using Golden and Liquitex acrylics on canvas. It is full of representations of the textures of nature...the clear blue of the sky and its soft light clouds, the fuzzy texture of fur and linear bark, bear feet and nails....even the little twigs have their own texture. It is a pleasure to create all those varying textures with a paint brush.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February - the month for love

It is February- the month for love. Not only the love of my life (my husband ) but also the love of life. It is a month to focus and do what I love to do. For me that is painting and dreaming. I am painting in an effort to share a dream. Trying to fill a painted image with an illusive feeling is difficult, but it can and does happen.

 It is possible to share what you feel with another using only paint and canvas. In February, I try to get back to my basics, to rebalance what I am doing artistically and check to see that I am still doing what I love to do. That I am still painting what my heart sees. It is a chance to fall deeper in love with magic of art. The world outside is cold and snowy but inside my studio it is warm and full of promise - the promise of many unpainted and yet unshared dreams.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Whale & Turtle Watching in the Sun.

 One of the great parts of creating Nature Art is getting out and experiencing nature, finding and observing creatures in their own environments. Letting the animals themselves teach me their secrets. These past two weeks I have been an eager learner. I have been on the Hawaiian islands studying the sea turtles and the humpback whales. It was amazing experience to swim with the turtles in the beautiful coral reefs. Massive beds of coral growing in many different colours and shapes with accents of black and pencil slate urchins.

I spent hours swimming with the turtles while the song of the whales gently echoed in my water filled ears. I would enjoy the warm waters till too tired to swim. Then retreat to the beach equipped with high powered binoculars I then observed the whales blow, slap and breach in the ocean passage between islands. It was a phenomenal chance to see them in their breeding and birthing area. A boat trip allowed me an even closer observation of the whales exhibiting all different behaviors. Humpback whales circle and enjoy the warm waters of Hawaii as a shallow safe place to give birth and breed. 

Turtles and whales will definitely require further study, not only because they are unique incredible creatures but also because it is just so much fun!