Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

"Hisami"18 x 24, oil

This is one of three pieces inspired by some black and white Japanese postcards in my collection. I spiced up the frou-frou details and worked at keeping much of the context abstracted. The traditional style of geisha portraits calls for clean lines, which I applied when working the face, however I used more loose, and less formal, brush marks throughout the rest of the piece.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

144 Square, oil on canvas - Review of oil paint brands by ( has done a review of many popular brands of oil paints, from student grades to the highest brands of handmade paints. I have used various colours in most of the brands and found the reviews to be pretty spot-on. While many artists swear by the high end handmade paints, some of them are very stiff and require oil to be mixed into them to make them more workable, while other brands are too oily, and some are perfect right out of the tube. Some of the colours are simply so luscious that they are well worth the effort to either soften up, or soak up excess oil, but usually I want to get right into painting. My own preferences are for Winsor and Newton, Gamblin, M Graham, and Rembrandt, with special colours in Old Holland, Holbein, and Williamsburg. Different things work for different work and I like to stay flexible with my selections.

When it comes to 'student grade' oils, many workshop instructors stress in BOLD type for students to avoid such a choice, yet many fine, successful artists use Winton Oils (Winsor and Newton student grade) when covering large canvases. I spot the tubes in videos of studio visits. I have used them for background work on larger pieces and they have worked well. The pigment load is definitely not what you find in the artist quality, but there is a place for them.

Materials choices are highly personal and the Wonderstreet review is very useful, particularly for painters starting out in oils.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Tulips in the Spotted Jug" 16 x 20, oil

Something just for fun. The tulips, table, jug and oranges were the still life, and the rest was just fun.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"Song of The Sandias" 8 x 10 oil (LPNM Challenge 7)

I've spent the last two months completing a number of commissioned pieces and I have fallen a bit behind on the Let's Paint New Mexico Challenge, hosted by the wonderfully talented New Mexico artist, and my friend,  Dee Sanchez. I've skipped ahead and done this, the most recent one. Now I'll try to backtrack and catch a couple more. The approach is loose and juicy, with LOTS of paint.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Diversion I and II", 24 x 36, oil (Commissions)

Paintings 2 and 3 of the commissioned trio. The paintings are continued on the wrap around canvas which is not my 'normal' (ha!) process, but it looked quite effective on these pieces.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"Oasis" 36 x 24, oil (Commissioned)

This is one of three pieces recently commissioned by a downtown corporate office. One area in the large collection of offices is sorely lacking natural light, and the staff asked me for some colour. This piece will hang alone, while the other two will share a wall, but with a division between. See the next post...(All three were delivered today and were well-received, thankfully).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"Sweet Dreams" 18 x 24, oil on Canvas (17-5)

I could have named this one "Wishing and Hoping", but I'll use that for another piece. The news is playing in the background and this scene is more enticing than ever.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Off Road, NM" 6 x 6, oil on gesso board (17-4)

A second painting for the 2017 "Let's Paint, New Mexico" Challenge hosted by NM artist, Dee Sanchez. I am keeping them small and loose. Takes longer than one might think! Each brush mark 'counts'.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sentinel 30 x 30, oil (17-3)

I took the source photo for this painting a few years ago along the Northern California Coast. I have painted it once before, on a smaller scale, but this bigger format, with a shifted composition, was fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Heaven Sent (17-2)

The Wainwright Coast to Coast walk across England is just shy of 200 miles in length. The range of scenery from St. Bees to Robin Hood Bay is vast and this is from one of my favourite photographs (one of my 500-1000 FAVOURITES). I used the photo as my screen saver for my last year at work, and it made each day a bit nicer. Beauty is like that. 8 x 10, oil.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Blaze (17-1)

A 9 x 12 oil sketch done from a photograph as it's just too cold to get out to paint right now. My plein air kit sits packed and ready for more action in 2017, but it is an exceptionally cold winter here - the coldest (and with the most snow) in a decade, which, curiously, follows the hottest summer. Hmmm...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blue Cat

This is a 'just because' painting. I did the sketch as a pencil drawing and then thought, 'why not'. And I was in a blue and orange mood. I like to think this new year will be filled with lots of 'why not', and 'just because' work. Available.