MY RECENT PROJECTS
THE COMPANY OF BIRDS
MARCH -JULY 2020
Migrating birds gave me hope during a time of isolation.
Birds remind us that the natural world is constant and continues. They bring others joy as I paint them. They gave me purpose and reason to connect and collaborate with others during the pandemic lock down. They are a joy to create, so I keep going.
WANDA'S PIE IN THE SKY
This scene comes from a photo I took in October of 2019. It depicts a space within my favourite place in Toronto, Kensington Market. Everyone in the scene is in their own world, together but isolated. It was a slice of normal before our lives were turned upside down by the pandemic. I hope we can return here again for a slice of pie soon. It is currently on the wall at Et al Cafe at York University. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36.
WIRE THE SKY TO THE STONE
This painting was featured at the Ontario Society of Artists Emerging Artist Show in January 2020. It was also featured at the York University Art Walk in February, where it was sold just before the pandemic hit.
Textures of a Toronto cityscape was my focus, the title comes from a lyric in an Ian North Song, "Mighty Fall". I used experimental techniques and ripped up painted canvas, assembled and rearranged for this composition which depicts the corner of Queen and Bathurst streets, facing west. I painted the sky and the wires directly onto the wood. Acrylic on wood, paint and canvas collage, 48x36.
This assignment was a study candy. We had to create a unique and bright scene with candy and I chose lollipops in their wrappers. I enjoyed this exercise and I developed each section with a focus on space and landscapes. Acrylic on canvas, 36x36.
In the spirit of spring, I was inspired to rescue an old study. I love to paint flowers close-up. Someone posted on social media that "now I know how a honeybee feels"...exactly what I was going for!
Soon to be part of the Sunnybrook Hospital Art Show, (May 11-June 22nd), this composition comes from a trip I took in spring of 2018 to MacGregor Point Provincial Park, on Lake Huron. I often go hiking and camping and sometimes during my adventures, certain objects and subjects catch my eye or hold special meaning. I take a snap shot for reference later, unless I'm lucky enough to be on a deliberate plein air expedition and the weather is warm enough so that my hands and paints don't freeze. (True story)
The three rocks with water swirling and waves crashing represent the natural flow and force of nature. I spend time in nature to connect with this flow and I'm reminded that we are all connected through the natural energy of this world. I explore themes of existence, truth, identity, reality and sometimes distortions of reality. I believe the nature of painting watercolour can be as meditative and therapeutic as a walk in nature.
OSMOSIS BUDDY PROGRAM
An initiative led by the International Watercolour Society Canada, I have made a year-long commitment to my 5-year old buddy Ella.
The Society provides us with a monthly watercolour assignment and we work together to learn about colour theory, watercolour tools, composition and expression. The results have been rewarding, fun and colourful.
This is the final result of a commission for a friend. Milo the dog has quite the personality and I tried to convey his cheerful and energetic mood. The challenge with this composition was the background. I made a deliberate decision to leave the background as a vague collection of shapes. He is sitting in the passenger seat with his back against the seat belt, but he could really be sitting anywhere with a scenic window view from his bed. I enjoyed this project and I welcome more pet pictures in the future.
Our new semester of classes got off to a great start. Our first workshop was Birches for Beginners. I love this exercise because the possibilities are endless and beginners can handle the subject quickly with great results. There are always "happy accidents" and I try to incorporate a wide range of techniques with a limited palette so students are exposed to a variety of options that will make their colours sing.
This is the second piece in a wildlife series I am working on. This is a study and the subject will be attempted again with a different colour palette.
This painting was inspired by a photo I took while visiting Sandbanks in the late summer of 2018. We parked our camper at the top of the hill and this was our view. I remember seeing the sky lighting up the colours on the lawn and grabbed my camera. The children and dog in this painting are part of our extended family, which made this project extra special. This painting represents the importance of enjoying time with family and creating life-long memories and opportunities for meaningful connection.
SARDINES, PLAYA DEL MARO
These sardines are a delicious snapshot of our time in southern Spain in June, 2015. This painting is the subject of my blog for post for February discussing the challenges of choosing a subject. It is my first cooked fish dish, and achieving bold luminosity was my ultimate focus. I had to attempt this painting twice and I certainly learned the value of patience while taking this new type of subject on. The notable challenges were balancing the colours and getting the right contrast volume of tones. I learned so much about watercolour during my time on this subject, and I think this is a good example of the style I am developing which is a push and pull between realism and my own brand of impressionism.
ALGONQUIN MOOSE COLOURS
I am very excited about this new project. Without giving away too much, I will say that this is the first in a series of wildlife paintings I am working on this year. It is a collaboration with a nature photographer from the north and has been inspired by wildlife stories. There are plans for a wildlife story book release in 2020. Stay tuned for more updates on this project.
CASCATE DEL MULINO 1
These are the first 2 in a 4-part mini series exploring the mood and feeling of place. I experimented with shape and colour to evoke peace of mind, warmth and joy. The inspiration was Tuscany, during our trip to Italy late spring, 2017. I remember this particular spot in Saturnia, as it was the highlight of our trip. If you search this place on the Internet (or even better to visit in person), you will see the majestic beauty of these natural thermal baths. The surrounding area was like a heavenly dream.
CASCATE DEL MULINO 2
I learned to drive a standard vehicle on through the steep and winding hills of Tuscany, which I don't recommend and was challenging to say the least. We stopped often at the top of each turn to take in the beauty. We held our breath when drivers passed us around blind corners at high speeds. I remember the excitement of driving along the lines weaving through this painting. Everywhere we went, there was a new and equally beautiful inspiration. This painting represents seeing the falls from a distance and the blue waters quilted into the vista from a distance. This is my favourite painting of the Tuscany: Land and Sky collection. See the entire collection of 28 paintings on my Etsy Store by clicking the link at the top right hand side of this web page.side of this web page.
To find out more about my recent collections, get in touch today.