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Artists in Flux

The last month or so has been a contradiction of sorts. A whirlwind of action paired with periods of stillness.

A good example of this is the last 2 days. We explored our new town by checking out a variety of services and then plein air painted on the Harbour Quay docks. We stalked our new little home, watching it from afar and being still in the neighbourhood to feel it out. (Something we should have done before purchasing but the real estate market isn’t great for a slow walk right now.) The streets are wide, quiet and lazy on these hot summer days (5 degrees hotter generally than Victoria).

We learned that pretty much everything you need to do can be found within a few minutes drive and a cross town trip takes less than 10 minutes, peak travel times. Coming back into Victoria was quite the contrast with long waits at each main intersection.

That was a whirlwind moment.

And now a waiting moment. I’ve done as many online changes I can before the move, or at least for now. And packing duties are thinning out. It feels too early to do a final clean yet.

I completed a painting commission (whirlwind) and am pondering/researching how to monetize our art activities. I will dig into that more once we are settled (waiting).

Come to think of it, this dynamic plays out when plein air painting as well; a rush to set up and identify my subject, a quick structural sketch for a good foundation, initial blocking in to set the tone and then… slow, thoughtful colour mixing and laying the strokes down. Pondering from a distance. Checking focal points and light. Enjoying the moment.

This recent plein air session included some wonderful chatting and joking with locals. Being new to the area let’s us introduce ourselves as not just painters, but new neighbours. We get to ask the naive questions and provide a listening ear for those who are out for social interaction. We met Wyatt, who has been in the town since the seventies. He grinned knowingly when he asked us if we had ever experienced winter there. And assured us of the safety of our new home, despite the rough edges.

We are already falling for Port Alberni. Our painting adventures have new ground to cover!

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COVID-creations

Andrew and I were scheduled to have a 2-person show this summer. What with the COVID situation, the show was cancelled and yet… we still have all that work in our studio! I’ll show you what’s been happening on my side of the studio over the past year or so, below. Larger versions of this work can be found in Nature Work and Landscapes.

I’ve made progress on finding a surface that really works for me (Arches oil painting paper) and have started seeing a personal style develop. This is something most artists strive for and I’m very happy to see it and to push myself to keep on track with it.

All work is for sale (unless indicated). Please email Faye if you are interested.

Small Birds of BC – Series 1

View larger images in Nature Work.

Small Birds of BC – Series 2

View larger images in Nature Work.

The Mean One

Studio landscapes

A closer and more abstract view of the landscape and light we see in the forests here in BC. Working with colour and visual texture.
One of my favourites because of the contrasting light and balance of structural and organic details.
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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!