Size Matters

My last post was a while ago but it’s interesting that it ends off saying that I wanted to paint bigger… because I’m painting bigger now! Well, sometimes. Painting en plein air with a large panel is difficult because you turn into a human kite. So mostly I’m bigger in the studio. I have been working on a few low tide scenes. All that variation in colour and texture is so fun to play with, it allows me to add more colour and use the palette knife on the more hard-edged stones and the depth of field helps me to work on composition – drawing the viewer’s eye into the scene. It’s all just huge fun.

Here’s a piece in progress (below). I believe I have just a bit more work to do – on the upper left side rocks. Since it’s so big, it has taken several long studio sessions and as I am back at work after vacation now, even more 1 hour sessions after work. I’m using a solvent-free medium rather than linseed oil to loosen the paint and it creates the ability for me to use transparent layers of colour. Very nice. However, if you use too much of it, the medium won’t layer on top of itself anymore – it just pools. Live and learn, people. Live and learn.

The Sidney Fine Arts Show is being adjudicated right now so we’ll see if either my work or Andrew’s is accepted. Hopefully both!

Dry Spell

The temperatures, smells, blooms and pollen of an early summer have arrived with sunshine stretching out into the week. This is the time of year when I am preparing for summer and fall art show submissions, which means not much art gets made. However this year is particularly slow in the “create” mode. It’s been and continues to be a full spring of life’s surprises. I wish I could say they were all welcome.

Something which is welcome is the upcoming Al Frescoes plein air painting show at the Coast Collective, which opens tomorrow (Opening night is Thursday, May 17). Both Andrew and I have 2 pieces in the show. Mine were both painted in Jasper last summer. I rarely get the chance to paint with the group due to my work schedule so I’m grateful they still let me show with them. Andrew helped put the show up yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing it on Thursday night. I hope to see everyone there!

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Summer Small Works show opens Thursday, June 7. I have 3 of my favourite small character portraits in the show. This is always a great chance to pick up a lovely little piece at a reasonable price. I hope to see you there as well!

 

So, even though it feels like not much has been happening in the studio, the shows are ramping up. Submissions into the Sooke Fine Arts show have been done and I am preparing for what will be submitted into the Sidney Fine Arts show. This is another busy exhibiting summer and I intend to spend the majority of my month-long summer vacation either outside painting en plein air or inside enjoying the studio. Sigh. I can’t wait!

Hello Hiatus

It has been a month or so since I posted here. And a month or so since I was in front of the easel. I did make a couple short-lived attempts and we went plein air painting last Saturday. It has been a forced hiatus due to a death in the family. Life interrupts life sometimes.

And now that I am back it is that time of year to start choosing and prepping work for the summer art season. Small works at the AGGV, Sooke Fine Arts and Sidney Fine Arts. They were all fruitful for me last year so let’s do it again! A new one is the Al Frescoes annual show into which I *think* I will put a couple landscapes. I don’t paint with them often because I work Friday mornings. And those will likely be the only landscapes I show this year. This year is all about the portrait! Both painted and drawn. Big portrait year, this one.

In January I bought and prepped 10, 5″ x 7″ panels and rather randomly started painting these tiny portraits. Randomly, without much intent at all except that I had been doing all those charcoal portraits… these are my favourites:

 

And so, now that life has settled back into routine, in between prepping for the shows, I want to get back into the large charcoal portraits. I just need some subjects to photograph. And time. As usual. Goodbye hiatus.