Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Last Day of January!

Tom Allen, the morning host of Music And Company, CBC radio, has just reminded me that this is the last day of January. My last chance to make something of this first month of the New Year...As I survey the scene around me, it's pretty clear I haven't gotten around to cleaning this messy studio of mine...but I have painted, lots and that's really more important.

Here's the last little piece I've finished.

She's a sweet little angel set against a textured background that sparkles with Swarovski crystals.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh Really?

I was just about to head for bed and a book and I realized I hadn't posted my new work. So without any chatter, I'm just too tired to write anything, here they are.

I call this one "Oh Really?"

And this one is "You Were Saying..."

And now it's time to turn it off.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Marking a Day

I'm happy to say my "to do" list is one item shorter tonight. I've finished one of my commissions; I've sent a jpeg off to the collectors and they're happy, so I am too.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I've been so wrapped up in my work and own little life, I had forgotten that today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. In other years, I've done a special painting to mark the day. But this year, January 27th was upon me, before I was reminded by the media. But I will take a moment to remember.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Raise a Toast to Robbie Burns

There will be no haggis on my table tonight, but my ever faithful CBC radio has kept me company with the sounds of Robbie Burns. Such heartfelt and moving words and music it is. If you aren't convinced take a listen to Edith Wiens sing "Ae Fond Kiss" arranged by Healy Willan and of course written by Robert Burns.

"Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me."

~ Robert Burns

And there are more verses...but you should be too teary to read much further by now...

But on to art.

I'm worked on a commission today. Although very much a work in progress, the groundwork is there.

And so I'll leave you with another shot of my moon taken this morning from my studio window at 7:12 AM.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Morning Moon

This is a shot of the pale winter moon from my studio window at 7:12 this morning. The light was so beautiful I couldn't resist reaching for my camera. Within a few moments, the sun had chased all this enchanting atmosphere away...

Well, if I was in my studio at 7 am and it's now almost 9 pm, I do believe it is time to call it a day. I was busy printing a wholesale order today but managed to finish a small painting. It's called "With Praying Hands".

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Was A Young Maiden

More experimentation with a dark palette and glazing and another dark Madonna. Lots of texture and again, the halo is gold leaf. I've called this one "Was a Young Maiden".

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Black Madonna Painting For Today

It snowed all day today, sometimes great big fluffy flakes and sometimes more of that snow that looks almost like mist. It was beautiful light to paint by. But not the best I realized for taking pictures of my finished work. The browns are much richer than I'm seeing on my monitor. I call this Black Madonna "Divine Within." The background and halo are deeply textured and I've used gold leaf on halo.

There is a lovely woman and fantastic artist named Judy Vars. She writes a wonderful, entertaining and as I've learned, instructional blog. Her latest entries illustrate the process of "indirect painting". Her resulting paintings are gorgeous. Judy, you've almost convinced me it's time to start experimenting with oils again!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nibblefest Starts Tonight!

The business journalists and the economists are talking economic gloom and doom these days, so maybe everyone needs a little art to lighten the mood. Today is the 20th, which means it's time for another round of Nibblefest on eBay. Once a month, starting on the 20th, a group of eBay artists list a piece of art they've created on an agreed upon theme. And the listings all open at $0.99. This month the theme is "two animals combined to form one." I was stymied until I started looking through one of my Frida Kahlo books and remembered a piece she had done called "The Little Deer". It is a painful piece, her own portrait complete with antlers on the body of a deer's body riddled with arrows. My little folk piece is gentler, I didn't include the arrows, but rather "framed" the piece in a border of molded clay skulls finished in a faux silver.

While browsing through the "Diary of Frida Kahlo", I came across this entry "...Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing "man" has but I'm sure that animals suffer, and yet they do not exhibit their "pain" in "theatres" neither open nor "closed"(their "homes") and their pain is more real than any image that any man can "perform" xxxor or feel as painful._________

Strangely coincidental I saw five beautiful deer while out walking the dog this afternoon. They were quite close and not the least bit startled.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Opera, Angel Painting and Unfinished Frida

Even though it is Saturday and I had promised myself some time away from the computer and the easel, here I am still at it. As I've mentioned before, CBC Radio Two is my constant companion. My treat today was a broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera 1977 performance of La Boheme, staring Luciano Pavarotti and Renata Scotto. I'm a total "no nothing" in the field of opera, but as I believe Popeye the Sailor Man, that great philosopher said, "I knows what I likes." And I like opera. I love opera. I can't carry a tune and I struggled through grade school music classes, but I love opera and especially Puccini.

I remember the moment I discovered opera, in a most pedestrian way. We had taken the kids to the Festival of Fire in 1993. We had neglected to buy tickets that would provide seating, so there we were scurrying around with four kids in tow trying to find the best view of the fireworks over the Toronto waterfront. As I recall, at least one of them was crying, it was hard to find an unobstructed view, but the sky was filled with fire and the air was filled with Pavarotti and well, "friends". I was converted on the spot! I went out and bought "Pavarotti and Friends" as soon as I could. I know the whole stadium opera thing has many detractors, but for me, it worked. It wasn't long before I had graduated to listening to Pavarotti sans "friends". And one of these days I will make it to the Four Seasons Centre and maybe even the Met, but for now, I have to be satisfied with Saturday Afternoon At the Opera on the radio.

Well, I guess I should talk about the "other" art - painting. I'm working on a couple of Frida à la Klimt pieces, one large, one small. I hope to have at least one finished tomorrow, but here they are in progress.

And I managed to finish an angel painting...

It's called "The Dreams of Angels, is on 15 x 30 inch canvas and as you may be able to see had plenty of texture and metallic copper and gold.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Valentine Angel Painting for Today

As I've been making my way through my supplies, I realize that I have stacks of 8 x 10 in canvas. So you're going to be seeing a lot of smaller paintings for the next month. Although I don't like the extra weight of wood when we haul the art around to shows, I do love to paint on wood. So this week when I received a request for a painting on a wooden "box frame" I had to do a bit of googling to find out just what I need to do. I've already put my request in to hubby to fire up the saw and build the first couple frames. I can't wait to get started on the first experiment.

But in the meantime, there is one less unused 8 x 10 in canvas in my studio. I call it "A Valentine Tale", and it's romantic and sweet with a row of hearts I used texture paint and a stencil to create running down one side. It's always hard to see, but I've used liquid gold leaf on her halo.

With Valentine's day so close, I decided to run this as an auction on eBay.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Romantic Celtic Princess Painting For Today

As you know, one of the places to find my work is on eBay. And you may recall that on the 20th of each month a group of eBay artists have a contest we call Nibblefest. Each participating artist creates a piece, according to a theme. Each piece must be listed for the crazy low price of $0.99! Then we all hope that we get lots of bids! This month the theme is "combine two or more animals to make one." I thought about a mermaid, but I had just painted one, so decided to go in a different direction...I'm not quite finished but will share my entry on the 20th.

In the meantime, I finished a sweet little romantic girl. I think she's a Celtic princess of some sort. I used the same sort of faux finish I've been working with for the last week or so and anchored the four corners with Celtic spirals, I made from clay.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Naive Girl and Dove Painting

I didn't think my posts could get much shorter than yesterday, but here I am wondering what the heck could I possibly say other than "well, here's what I painted today." And well, not much apparently. I started a couple of pieces today, but none of them are really ready to share. So, instead I'll just post the piece I'm putting up for auction on eBay. It's a naive piece that I've had hanging in my house and thought it was time to send it out into the world.

It's a nice big painting 16 x 20 in, I find it rather serene and calming.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Short Post For Sure, Angel and Black Cat Painting

This is a short post for sure. I finished one little painting today, which I'm just about to list on eBay. It's a little one, 5 x 7 in on 3/4 inch ply wood, but kind of cute and cheerful I think.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fair Madonna, Taking A Chance

I'm especially out of words tonight so will just get on to my work. It was a day for finishing a couple of pieces that had been started and left alone for a day or two. I finished another small canvas using the faux copper texture to create a "frame". I was listening to a folk roots singer on CBC by the name of Amelia Curran I liked her music and her name, so I called this little piece "Amelia".

And I got a bit of a start on a nice big canvas, another one reflecting my love of the work of Jean Paul Lemieux. We'll see where it goes.

And I'm still taking that grand leap of faith, listing my work on eBay with low opening bids. I've got my fingers crossed for this one. It's called "Purity In Faith"; this time I painted the Madonna with the fairest of skin, blue eyes and blond hair, quite different than my usual dark haired depiction.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Time for Valentine Hearts

Valentine usually comes and goes before I get around to painting anything specifically for that romantic day. So, to make sure I don't do the same thing this year, I've painted another little angel with hearts on her robe. I've used the same faux textured border and Swarovski crystals as in previous pieces and once again contrasted the rich teal with a coral tinged red. Kinda whimsical and romantic, I think...

I've listed this one on eBay with a low opening bid, so hope you have a second to take a peek.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Two New Paintings For Today

It's late afternoon on Saturday and it's just about time to put my paints away and turn off this machine for the night. But before I go, here are two pieces that I finished today. I haven't named either one of them...I'm hoping that will come to me tonight.

The first one is another in the romantic angel series I started before Christmas. It has sort of a Valentine theme, with hearts on the angel's red robe. I used gold leaf on her halo and studded the stars with Swarovski crystals.

The second piece is more of a contemporary folk'll see the influence of Jean Paul Lemieux, for sure. I used the palette night to create texture in the grassy background and the big cotton ball clouds.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Return To Romance Mermaid Painting for Today

Friday night and I'm just about ready to snuggle up with the cat and call it a day. But before I finally shut the door on my studio, I've got a new piece. It's called "Return to Romance" and is just a sweet simple little mermaid done in a whimsical folk style. I've used the same faux finish technique as I described in yesterday's post.

I've also put another piece at auction on eBay with a ridiculous opening bid of only $0.99 and no reserve! Yep, I'm serious about cleaning out my studio! It's called "Oh Little Bird".

I just wanted to say a little thanks to all who have subscribed to my blog, I'll try to keep the posts short and the new work coming.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cyber Housecleaning and First eBay Auction for 2008

I'd love to say I have a brand new piece finished and ready to post, but today was one of those necessary "admin" days. Even though my studio desperately needs a complete cleaning, I decided that my website needed the attention as much if not more. So now all those images that had been in my "New Work 2007" page are now displayed by their rightful category and I have a brand new page ready for all the work I hope to do in 2008.

I hope to have a new piece to post tomorrow, but in the meantime, I'll be running my first auction on eBay tonight starting at $9.99!

So drop by my store and have a look.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yes, I'm A Daily Painter

As seems to be the case, as soon as I open my blog, I'm stricken with writer's cramp. No matter what my best intentions are, I usually post my blog too near the end of the day and every even remotely interesting thought that I might have had has long since fled my consciousness. So I'll just go ahead and post my work. I finished the Frida I had started on Monday and have another Frida that I think is finished...I might add a flower or two to her dress, but I want to leave it for a day or two to think about it. All of these shots were done indoors with "night portrait" setting so the picture quality is low, but at least confirms I have indeed been at my easel.

I've used texture medium and a faux bronze finish to create a "frame". I like the contrast with the teal background.

And here's the Frida from Monday, finished I think...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Christmas Past and Present

Where to start when I've been gone for so long from my little blog? Christmas flew by me. The Originals show was great fun, long hours, but once again I had wonderful neighbours, caught up with some old friends and made some new ones. Before another day goes by, I want to say a sincere thanks to everyone who supported my art during the past year. "Thank you".

The Originals show was a perfect way to end 2007. As I chatted with folks I learned that many have been attending for years, they wait to do their Christmas shopping there and truly support the arts and crafts community. Many stopped by more than once even when the wheather wasn't exactly co-operating.

So, here we are in 2008, the first week already gone. I've been back in my studio most of the week, but not much to show just yet. I've posted a Frida in progress below. With any luck week two of 2008 will prove more productive. So Happy Christmas to all who keep the Gregorian Calendar, and it's back to work for me!

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