Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sienna & Bacchus

the last 2 for Xmas
these were fun - Sienna is in my favorite colour combo and Bacchus
was just fun - hair guy isn't he?

Finishing up ended harder then expected because my oldest boy Larry (11 years old only), died of a heart attack Friday afternoon. While I had trouble sitting down and getting at it, the painting of Bacchus was actually cathartic since I was completely focused on the mission.

I will paint another portrait of Larry in a few weeks - I have an excellent photo to work from .....

Monday, December 7, 2009

and another .... meet Mister

This guy is a commission for a friend - Mister is a sweety, although a big boy.
His colouring gave me troubles - this is the second version and it's ready for delivery.
He is the usual 8"x10" watercolour on Fabriano 140 lb paper.

I just received another 2 commissions of dogs so I'm madly drawing away!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

aren't I pretty?

I did this pup for our local Xmas show - the photo came from a reference library on Wetcanvas, an art website I belong to so I don't have info on this pup - but he/she sure is cute! I haven't decided whether it needs a background yet.

Friday, November 27, 2009


This guy was fun to paint - now I have to decide if he needs a background

Sunday, November 22, 2009


this white pup was such a breeze after the headaches of the black lab
So - 2 pups in 2 days - day and a half for the lab; a short afternoon for Stella!

black lab, Yogi

and I thought white animals where tough!!

This black lab changed my mind on that. I spent a lot of time trying to make the darks darker, until they were finally lifting with every stroke I took. Then came the headache with the background. I tried a blue - brown mix; my favorite. Unfortunately that was too close in value to the dog so I tried scrubbing it out!! Not happening - some of my pigment choices were staining, to my chagrin. I tried to wash a brown/sienna over the blues - very strong, so washed that back as much as I could. Next step: thinned gesso to tone down the background - finally success, although I may still put more white into the background - the browns keep lifting inot the white - whew!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I don't know the details (sex or breed or name) of this pup. Another commission for Tracy - waiting to see if it is done.

8 1/2 x 10 watercolour on arches 140lb

Monday, November 16, 2009

golden for Tracy

I got this fellow nearly finished today - had coniptions because he was becoming VERY yellow.
then the background refused to behave - I wanted it to be a soft contrast from dog to background
with some lost and found edges .....
I still need to improve the rounding of his (our) right temple and also lose some of that hard edge on that cheek as well.
Along the way I made some interesting discoveries about the staining cproperties of some of my colours!!
Either I need to learn which is which (fat chance there) or do a whole new palette with non staining - correcting is much easier with those .... = l

Molly finished

Molly's mom was kind enough to send me a photo of the painting when it arrived - I naturally forgot to take one myself! My only excuse is that I am still brain damaged from this #$%$# cold 3 weeks later

She is darker and brighter in real life - in the photo she is in a plastic sleeve thingy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

xmas cards

I am getting ready for a local art event called "First Friday". The downtown galleries hold their openings on the first Friday of every month and one of my friends asked me to participate in a Xmas show for the first Friday in December. I needed to get a couple of paintings, with cards of the same image ready for this show.I got these 2 ready and now all I have to do is get cards printed and the larger one framed! Whew!

Acrylic on Canvas
16" x 8"
Silent Night

Acrylic on Canvas
Sleeping spirits

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Molly in progress

This pup is in progress - needs the chest resolved before I get to the background -I might be making her too brown - will have to ask the client.
9 x 12

Saturday, October 31, 2009

okay - bigger is DEFINITELY easier

This guy is a commission I'm working on - he is 10x12 and SO much easier to do then poor itty bitty Maggie was. She was 9" square, and with the whole body there - she seemed tiny to me.
I still have to decide what I want to do with the background; and his right (viewer's) cheek needs a bit of adjustment.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

catching up!

I finally got down to doing all the things I had left on a pile over the summer. First, I started my commission of "Maggie", a white little girl; my first white pet!!
It still needs work - I have to figure out how to make her seem more believably white rather then grey - I plan on increasing the values in the background, hoping to have her read as white once I'm done. I'm satisfied with the likeness and character I've captured so far.

My next big job is to update my records of the paintings I've done over the last bit. I have them all on my computer, but I've found that I need a hard copy record as well - keeps them in chronological order.
I'm also busily creating an account on Yessy - an art sales site: It looks to be a well organized set up with a modest yearly fee - $59 with 100% of your sales coming to you.It looks worth a try.

Tomorrow I hope to finish Maggie and start my next commission, Mac. I'll keep you updated as much as I can.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

golf season is ending .....

I became a golfing addict this summer - not that I'm very good at it, but it is fun and good exercise - hopefully it will keep my cholesterol levels in good enough control to please my doctor. I have adult onset diabetis and watching cholesterol is included in the control of blood sugar. I am border line with both - so that diet and exercise will keep me pill free.
My handicap is very bad - 48 - but I am hoping to improve. My goal this summer was to break 120 - which I did 3 times - so there is hope! I was playing anywhere from 3 to 5 times a week - always 18, always walking. Boy is my ass in shape!
The down side of all this healthy stuff was that my feet got sore as hell!!! And - I needed a nap most afternoons lololol.
The only painting I've done as a result is a bit of plein aire sketching in Northern Ontario - Gloucester Pool area near Georgian Bay.
We had a cool week but the area is beautiful.
These are done in my moleskin sketch/paint pad - 5" x 8".

I did do a couple of animals to keep in practise - a close up of a kitty and a sketch of a pup which I will later paint........

I am almost ready to start my commission for Tracy - cute white doggie for her mum ... shhhhh

Friday, June 26, 2009


I finally got around to painting the second orange boy. I was away from the paintbrush for too long and so this one is stiffer - but he IS a more serious boy then his brother Pi. I had a lot of trouble from the start. The colours wouldn't behave and were difficult to move to create value. I started with quinacrodone sienna which settled very flat and even - not an effect I care for so I switched to burnt sienna and quin gold for my major oranges. The background gave me the willies as well. I wanted some burgandy in it since in real life he was sitting on a burgandy leather chair with a denim cushion. The burgandy didn't give me the effect I wanted so I went over it with ultra blue and burnt sienna - the paint wasn't dry enough and so I got some odd blossoms - urgh! As you can see, it's still wet! When it dries completely, I will look at touching up some of the worst of the bleeds - particularly the one on the left above the cushion.

10 x 13 watercolour

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pi - short for pirate

Here is my pet for this week. Pi is the smaller of my 2 orange boys - he is a coy young thing - doesn't like to be held, but really likes other types attention. I took a photo of him in his kitty condo and used it as the reference for this painting. The orange colour of his fur gave me fits trying to match it as did the white jaw and chin. His irises should be dark/black but I sort of liked this paler look and left them as is. When I took the photo, they reflected the flash and showed up as yellow!!
I'm really enjoying these animal portraits - it is fun to challenge myself with each new one.
10 x 10 w/c on 140lb fabriano

Friday, May 8, 2009

Heather's Mac

My first dog is my friend's springer spaniel, Mac. He was napping in the sun.

1o x 9 w/c on 140 arches

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Iggy's turn

10 x 12 watercolour
I think this does it for my practice of cats. I'll have to find some photos of dogs next.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

second version

Larry too, on hot press paper (really smooth) different expression.
9 x 10

Friday, April 24, 2009

Practise session

9 x 12 watercolour on Arches 140lb paper
I thought I might try animal portraits to display at our fall studio tours. This handsome boy is my oldest kitty - Larry.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Floral My Way

I was inspired to try my hand at a floral in this newish style I've been working with. As expected, it turned out full of motion and colour, although I was trying for a subdued effect. Hmm! I guess I just can't fight my current muse.

This is 22" x 22", on hot press w/c paper that has been gessoed and had applications of GAC between layers of acrylic pigment.

I'm going to try another in which I don't have pencil lines showing! I found them distracting but didn't think about that until way past time to remove them! (rolling eyes icon here!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

cycles 5 - in progress

this is were it started

This is were it is right now

22 x 22 on paper using fluid acrylics and various media - glass bead gel, gesso and gac 500
I'm not quite sure were to go next - the diagonal division between the larger circles is bothersome so I have posted it on the CWF for some suggestions. Any ideas?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

and starts keep going .....

Here are the previous group, primped and finished - ready to go! I have entered these in an "online" exhibition and am waiting to hear about the results. Now I will look around for other juried shows that might suit my style and enter those - it's time!

This afternoon I meet with the local group of painting enthusiasts. These are the people I demonstrate for occasionally They are mostly interested in representational work so I don't usually show them my abstract pieces. I will take along some of my "beginnings" so that I have something to work on. The one below on the left needs serious thought!! On the left: waterfall (?) 9 x 12; on the right cyles 5 (maybe) 11 x 11.

I don't take large pieces to work on because I get interrupted frequently for advice on works by the others in the group - it's tough to keep a mental flow going so small pieces are easier to work with.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

another play result - in progress

This is just a beginning - full sheet watercolour paper - using acrylics and texturing devices: saran, bubble wrap, wax paper and plastic mat. Now I need to sort out shapes and balance the textures. Also, this will need a value plan to create movement thru the piece. The inspiration was Pat Dew's video "Creative Discoveries in Watermedia".

Monday, February 23, 2009

play days

This is 12x 12 acrylic on paper which I will later mount on canvas. Another for the "cycles" group - this started with a gessoed surface and texture stamps with further work on the circles so that there are both positive and negative shapes flowing through the whole.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

cycles 3

Another in the "cycles" series I've fallen into, this one took a bit longer to resolve but I'm fairly satisfied with it now. It had been sitting since Monday and I went back to it at 10:30 last night just to think but instead a "what if I try ...?" moment turned into a resolution! Yah!

Monday, February 16, 2009

"cycles" continued

I started another 4 paintings based on the one from last week. I kept to the 12" square format but altered the starting surfaces. Some had gesso on them already and I added wax scribble/line to all 4. I laid the colours in, in a circular pattern and enhanced them with textures. When the washes dried, I randomly used GAC over the top of the colour and when that dried - bumped up the contrast with darker colours. This one is a success!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

play time

I was finishing up some of the earlier paintings I've posted and decided I wanted to play a bit. Having just been on the CWMF site, I was thinking about the various experiments I had done in Mary Todd Beam's workshops.
This is acrylic and wax crayon on 11" x 11" watercolour paper.
I stamped some various textures into this as I worked. I had intended to do some graphite lines as well - had started then decided to erase some - low and behold, the wax lines re emerged! They had become very subdued after the paint and stamping. I'm letting it sit for a bit to see if I think it needs anything more.


I was playing with my computer (iMac) and its' photo booth - there are all sorts of options for ways to play with your image - you take a photo of yourself! Andy Warhol would enjoy these.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

again with the flowers

another not so spontaneous attemp at loose flora - this one did NOT flow off the brush - it took about 8 hours to get it to this point and I still am not totally thrilled with it - but at least I'm painting!
16 x 20 acrylic on canvas

Thursday, January 29, 2009

paint drying activity

I was alternating between on 2 large canvases and needed to let them both dry. I decided to do an impromptu floral inspired by Lauren's from January 20th (artwork and art play) I got so engrossed with the flowers that my composition got rather lop sided - the upper left shows the ghosts that I had to subdue - the poor pot was definitely going to tip over!!

16 x 20 canvas panel and fluid acrylics

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

in progress

This is one I'm still working through. The linear quality was my motive but now I'm looking at the values and textures. Not sure where it will end up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

sacred vessels

I did these as demonstrations of a layering technique that uses a mono print, layers of Gac 100, washes/glazes of Golden fluids and a masking technique. They are 7 1/2" x 11" on watercolour paper. These were fun to do and let me play with different container shapes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

new beginings

My friend Patti and I are playing Scrabble online and in between - running off to paint :-)
We have more snow again - this year it has built up to about this much and then melted completely, three times now.

I have finished the "jug" painting and also think this one is close - I'll give it a couple of days.
16 x 20; gel medium and glass bead gel and Golden fluids

I was going for the feel of flotsam in the water, washing onto the beach

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I recently was asked to make a presentation on gels and pastes to a local group. I created several samples and when I was putting things in order after the presentation, this one caught my eye - I added colour and texture and here it is! The label was for the presentation and still shows.
7 x 11 acrylics