Another piece completed for Vancouver's Eastside Culture Crawl, Nov 17-20. I am really enjoying the whimsy in these paintings, grounded in actual still-life set ups. I have been referencing a book of textile designs for the curtain patterns.
I am getting ready for the 2016 Vancouver Eastside Culture Crawl which is held November 17, 18, 19 and 20…and this is a 'late entry'. It's too late to count on oils being dry enough so I am working on this acrylic series, as well as numerous small encaustic paintings. I already have more than enough work for display, but I still want to paint…hmmm…I think I have an addiction problem...
Here are the three recently posted paintings ("What If" 1, 2, and 3) turned from portrait format to landscape. Four possible orientations…hmmmm…
On another note…My Instagram account has forgotten my email address, and I have forgotten the password, anyway…nothing to do except create an entirely new account…rats.
Three of three. In not sold before, these pieces will be available at the Eastside Culture Crawl in November, which is coming up all too fast - more on that later. By November, people are wanting a bit of bright to offset the dark corners of rooms during the northwest coast winter.
Back to abstraction. This is one of a series of three. Aside from giving abstracts a title, there is the whole arena of how to hang these works. The orientation in which it is painted is not always 'the' way, as I rotate many paintings while working on them, and, as always, it is the viewer/purchaser who has to find the 'sweet' view. I like to people to take the work and make it their own.
I have done a number of abstracts lately and now have some time to start posting them. I am always hesitant to give a name to an abstract as the painting will 'talk' to viewers in different ways. Some will love the colour, or the rhythm, while others will see a message, patterns, temperature…so I try to leave space for interpretation. This piece is both lush and dramatic, and shows off two of my 300 favourite colours (smile).
These two small pet portraits were done as surprise gifts for friends. I love gifting paintings - it keeps my need to paint satisfied, makes others happy, and the paintings go live in another home. Just about as cool as making a sale…maybe even a bit better.
I have done a number of paintings along the same lines, but have never (yet) posted them. This piece is multi-layered; literally painted and then covered up many times. I keep painting, changing colours, and brush strokes, until it tells me it is done. Loads of fun with acrylics. I painted it with brushes, a painting knife, a stick, and (my favourite) a plastic fork. This piece is my last new one for the New Westminster Culture Crawl happening August 13 and 14.
Who knows what was said at this meeting? If a tree talks in the forest and no one is there to listen, does it matter? This painting has many layers of glazing - more pushing and pulling - and is finished with cold wax.
I have walked extensively in Great Britain, and this piece is reminiscent of long expanses along the West Highland Way in Scotland. Crofter's cottages 'next door', and yet seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I used the forbidding sky to enhance the sense of isolation. I think you have to really like your own company out here.
This is thick, juicy paint - layers and glazing - pushing and pulling…lots of fun to paint. Hopefully it will dry before the New Westminster Culture Crawl on August 13-14. I plan to tackle a couple of acrylic paintings before the event. Back to big and colourful?
A small study that really, really wants to be BIG…but not today. I first saw the white chalk cliffs of England's south coast when I was taking the ferry to England from Calais. They were much more impressive than in photographs, perhaps because I reflected on all the history that has passed those same cliffs. They must be simply dazzling in bright sunshine.
New work…I went through the Lake District on the Coast to Coast long distance walk a few years back. Dark mountains, black clouds, brilliant light, and many beautiful lakes. This scene evokes memories and I tried to paint it without too much fussing. I've been painting almost daily again, even though I've not made it into my studio in town (Vancouver) in days, as it is like a furnace in the building on these, the hottest days of the summer. My house, needless to say, is looking more studio-like by the day. EEK!
I did this from a photo I took while visiting Larisa Aukon in Phoenix this past January. She took me to many very cool places, some to take photos and draw, and other places to paint en plein air. This was one I knew I would tackle, but in the studio. I fiddled, and fiddled…but I am almost sure it is finished now!
The third of the series. The process involves many layers of plaster, paint, sanding, more plaster, stencils, more paint, and a cold wax finish, is definitely conducive to working in a series - all simultaneously. What is not apparent in the photos is that these pieces have a lot of texture, which, in combination with the buffed cold wax finish, makes them very 'touchable'…good thing the finish can be re-buffed.
The second in a series of three reflecting high density living, particularly in Vancouver, where the price of a tear-down house very often runs over a million dollars. With a constantly growing population, the only way to grow is up. Perhaps this is an aerial view of the roofs of high-rise boxes...
Another piece after the workshop with Pat Wheeler, this is on an cradled wood panel and it is highly textured with carving, many layers of paint intermixed with layers of plaster and sanding, and finished with coats of cold wax buffed to a nice sheen.
The first of a series of three pieces reflecting "High Density", which is a huge issue in Vancouver where the only place for the city to grow is UP. They are constantly squeezing more people in an area that was planned for half as many. Affordability, livability…it all makes for challenges and change. This is 12 x 12 x 1.5 deep cradled wood panel, acrylic and plaster, finished with a cold wax polish.
I recently attended a five day workshop with Pat Wheeler, hosted by Vancouver Island Art Workshops. It was hard physical work with much plastering, sanding, painting, sanding, plastering, transferring, sanding, waxing…well, you get the picture. I worked on 1 1/2" cradled wood panels, all of which (from 12 x 12 to 24 x 24) were hand made, saving huge amounts of money. Okay, my husband shared the wood cutting for the sides. I had the surfaces cut at the lumber yard. (If you think you cannot 'do' this, I would add that it was all done by hand - no power tools. I've made pochade boxes the same way. Lumber yard cuts, and then hand work.) Anyway, back to the art…this piece evolved to represent the dreaded forest fires this spring, particularly in Alberta. It is very textured, with deep carving. It has multiple layers of paint and plaster, and is finished with coats of cold wax, polished to a soft sheen. It's always inspiring to step outside my own box.
I made it to Van Dusen Gardens last week in time to do this plein air painting of the cherry blossoms before they are done. I worked at seeing the shapes and not the millions of petals and, when I looked the next day, I thought "cotton candy"! This is 8 x 10 and done in oil.
This was from one of hundreds of bird photos I've been admiring on Facebook. They have turned me into somewhat of a bird junkie! I painted it this afternoon, all in one go, right after I finished an alla prima gesture portrait, as I painted along with a Jeffrey Watts video. I'll post that tomorrow, just so we can track my progress as I work through all the samples he has on the video. All in all, it was a satisfying day in the studio.
This is "Maddie" on her first birthday. I was told they all had ice cream, too. Pet portraits are a favourite commission for me as I have never met a dog I didn't like. I think they ALL should be immortalized in portraits. Cats too…and hamsters…and birdies…too many fun paintings. Contact me if you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait (they are amazing gifts), and check out my website (www.cecilam.com) to see more. Feel free to share this post!
This sketch was painted overlooking Camelback in Phoenix, from the side of a road up on a hill just as the sun was going down. It was a fast a furious plein air session. That week long trip just made me want to get outside and paint some more…as soon as the Vancouver rain lets up.
I recently spent a week plein air painting around the Phoenix area with my friend Larisa Aukon. She is a resident of Phoenix and knows some amazing place. This sketch was done from a site en route to the Tonto National Forest, which we visited on two occasions. This was a small slice of a huge vista, and the shadows on the snow changed almost by the second as the sky was bright blue, with just a small group of clouds over the peaks. This was recently posted to Facebook as number one in a challenge to post five paintings in five days.
Inspired by a picture I took while visiting on Gabriola Island, this piece was challenging to photograph - adjusting the blues just made me blue. I've been painting more this week in preparation for my trip to paint in the Phoenix area with my friend, Larisa Aukon, and her boxer, Kylie. Larisa is a master artist and I am looking forward to interesting and diverse painting subjects as we traipse around for the next week. I am TRYING to adhere to "lay down a stroke…and leave it"…ha!
First of all, thank you for reading my little blog. I'm dreadful at self promotion, so if you ever want to share the blog or images with friends, or re-post, please feel free. I retreated to the studio this morning to finish this small (8" x 10") painting, paying attention to laying down the paint and leaving it without too much 'noodling'. This piece is oil on Arches oil paper and is suitable for framing in a standard frame - without glass. My goal was to have my Etsy shop set up by the end of January, but that has been pushed back a couple of weeks, however this piece with be available on Daily Paintworks, or through contacting me. I am also getting organized to offer small group classes in my Vancouver studio this spring. I am planning to offer two 2 day introduction classes - one in acrylic and one in oil - with all materials provided for $150 per class. Contact me if you are interested. I can also arrange custom workshops for you and your friends.
This 18 x 24 oil pet portrait was a commissioned piece after the Eastside Culture Crawl in November, 2015. It was a Christmas gift for the client's spouse and so could not be shared before the 25th. Unfortunately there is an easel shadow on the top, and I never got to take a better photo, but I am pleased with the overall result - Connor is one handsome dog!