Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'm back with artists who have inspired me

I am very embarrassed that my last post was in March! I haven't forgotten about the blog, but life just got too busy and I had to let go of something, so the blog posting went. I have often thought "I should post..." but then the longer I was away from it, the harder it was to begin again. Then last week I was informed by Patience Brewster that August is Artist Appreciation Month, which was news to me. So in the spirit of that 'holiday' I was thinking about ALL the wonderful artists who have inspired me over my 30 year art carreer, and that is a very long list! Off the top of my head I would say these people began something new in me:
Brian Atyeo -I have taken 5 workshops with Brian and have learned something new each time, even though the basic principles of what he teaches remains the same. You can only grasp what you are ready to grasp! Brian also changed his way of painting while at the height of his carreer, fighting to retain his galleries. This was a huge risk for him and his family, and I think this speaks to his dedication to creating his work.
Stephen Quiller- I had the pleasure of taking a weekend workshop with Steve as well as a 10 day painting trip to Scotland in 2010. I learned all I know about colour from Steve, and spent 2 years just going through his wonderful books and experimenting with colour schemes.

Virginia Cobb was my first abstract teacher and has remained an inspiration to this day. (unfortunatley she doesn't allow her paintings to be coppied)

Dale Roberts and Willow Bader are my encaustic inspirations. I was fortunate to see Willow demonstrate this summer in her studio in Seattle, and I am super excited to take a semi-private workshop with Dale in October at his studio in Philadelphia!! Believe it or not, these last two paintings are done entirely in encaustic (pigmented hot wax)

So that is just a few of the excellent artists who have inspired me in my art carreer.
I will begin posting a couple of times a week again naow that I have started. So stay tuned, we have a lot to catch up on!


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

AHA Blog Talk Radio session by Sharon Lynn Williams

"French Countryside", 12 x 12" plein air oil painting
$575 beautifully framed

I am about to relive my trip to France in June of last year - Please join me on Artists Helping Artists Blog Talk Radio (AHA Radio) as my travelling buddy Brenda Pinnick and I recount our wild adventures heading off into the French countryside looking for adventure and wonderful painting spots. We will cover what it takes to 'just do it', what to take, what to do, and how to do it. Heading off on an adventure with someone you have only met online, to places you have never been, in a foreign country, with only a cursory knowledge of the language -some might say crazy, but we say 'what a ride!'

Above is the first painting I did on our 3 day trip, just outside Toulouse. We each painted facing in different directions, which was what we tended to do. Great that we could find places that inspired both of us!

I thought I would share some of my paintings from that journey as well as some photos I took along the way, just to whet your appetite to jump in and do it yourself.

Driving around in a rented car with a stick shift (I hadn't driven one in 30 years) with one eye on the GPS and the other on the surrounding gorgeous landscape was an adventure in itself. As soon as we spied something paint worthy, I would slam on the brakes and find a way to get to a spot we could park the car and set up. Once Brenda freed her fingernails from the dash, we jumped at the chance to capture the wonderful French light for posterity. This is me with my set-up.

And, you guessed it, this is Brenda. Did I mention that there are no shoulders on the back roads in France? So we parked the car in some precarious places. You should have seen the look on the faces of drivers passing by!

"Just Around The Corner", 12 x 12" plein air oil
$575 beautifully framed

This is the scene I was painting in the photo above, taken as I was completing the underpainting.

When we planned this adventure I just picked a central place that was equidistant from Albi (home of the Toulouse museum) and other places that I had heard were interesting sites. I chose a small hotel in a small town called Castres, and had very small expections. You can imagine our delighted surprise when the GPS led us onto old cobblestone streets leading to our hotel, with this view! I didn't then know that Castres is called the Venice of France, with good reason. Our hotel was wonderful as was the town, and we felt very safe wandering the streets at night.

I could have taken a thousand photos just like this one! We both have impressive stashes of paintable photos that would last a lifetime,  IF we never went out another day in our lives.

I had to show you my set-up from the front - palette by Open Box M, umbrella by Best Brella, carbon fibre tripod by Benro, breathable nitrile gloves (Atlas Nitrile Touch 370S -the BEST gloves for painting IMHO) and painting shirt from my hubby!

"Ferrieres, France", 12 x 12" plein air oil

This was painted on our last painting day of the trip, a small town in the middle of a VERY hilly circle tour we were on at the recommendation of our hotellier. Now I know why the French are very good at racecar driving on narrow twisty and steep roads!

On our last night in Castres we splurged for a special dinner at a wonderful little restaurant. The presentation of the meal was art in itself and the taste was even better. And the wine...

So many wonderful memories! Be sure to tune in to hear the show which will be archived at the link above to hear more with the lovely Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry, the hosts of the show.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"A Good Day In The Mountains", oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"A Good Day In The Mountains", 12x12" oil on board
$575 beautifully framed

I did this studio painting this fall from a photo I took at Lake O'Hara. The guy hiking happens to be my dear hubby, who generously helps me carry my stuff up the sides of mountains so that I can paint in the most incredible places. Then he goes off for a hike 'up something' and returns to help me home again. Have I said how incredibly blessed I am?

I am so pleased to announce that I will be on Artists Helping Artists (AHA) Blog Talk Radio on Thursday with my painting buddy that I met in France . We will be sharing about our adventure after Dreama's workshop as we hit the road for some plein air bliss. You don't want to miss it, but if you do, the show is archived on the site so you can catch it at a later time.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

"Creekside Winter" encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Winter Colour", 10x14" encaustic on cradled panel
$450.00 framed 

I have been on a real roll with my encaustic painting. I have been working from old paintings, and this one came from a really old watercolour that I loved -so glad that over the years I have always taken the time to document all of my work! I made a large version of this painting because I was so pleased with how the smaller one turned out, and it is posted below. 

"Creekside Winter", 18x24" encaustic on cradled panel, sides stained

I am happy to announce that this painting was one of 5 accepted into the next Federation of Canadian Artists' show coming up (please see invitation below)

Hope to see you there!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Winter Reflections", encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Winter Reflections", 24 x 24" encaustic on cradled panel

I was so excited by the last encaustic painting I posted, "More Colours of Winter", I felt it deserved a mate, so I made this one to line up exactly with the first one. I found out the other day that "Winter Reflections" was sold by the lovely Janet Armstrong at Just Imajan Gallery in Cochrane, AB.  To top that off,  I just found out that the owners came back today to purchase the other painting, so now they have a matching set! I am over the moon and SO encouraged to continue in the hot wax. Luckily we have a long winter before the plein air season begins, so I have lots of time to explore.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"More Colours of Winter" encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"More Colours Of Winter", 24x24" encaustic on cradled panel

I have not been very good at keeping my blog up to date this year, and I am trying to rectify that situation. I have been trying to balance not sending you too much email (for those who have generously subscribed to my blog) with keeping you up to date on what I have been up to in my art career. I have just cancelled my membership in the two online art galleries that I have been in for the past 3 years, as they just weren't worth the expense -it seems that there are way too many folks out there who want to pay so little for original works of art, and I just can't and don't wish to compete. I work hard in my career, and it deserves to be compensated -if I don't respect my own value, then how can I expect others to?

I have been spending time almost daily in my studio working in encaustic -inside winter work -it is a fascinating medium. Basically I make my own paint (beeswax, damar resin for hardening and powder pigments). The paint is then kept molten on a griddle at about 200 degrees. You apply the paint with natural hair brushes, and the paint cools and hardens as soon as the heat source is removed. Each layer of wax must be fused with the previous ones (I use a heat gun or butane torch) so that the layers will not delaminate -here is where the tricky part lies -if you heat too much the bottom layers become molten and rise up through the new layers (an effect which leaves very cool effect, but control is totally lacking). I love the way the molten wax flows, a lot like watercolour, my first love. The advantage is that you can can continue to work on a piece because the layers cool so quickly, there is no drying time involved, unlike oils. The colours are incredibly vibrant and the luminosity of all those layers is something that is totally unique to the medium. Many people work in abstract fashion in encaustics, I believe because of the limitations of control -also many come to encaustics without a full understanding of art -anyone can do it, but not everyone can make 'art' with it! I have been spending hours and hours learning the ins and outs of the medium, seeing what I can do with what I already know about creating a painting. It is tremendously exciting now that I am getting the results I want to achieve. My goal is to use the medium to create paintings that bridge all of my other interests -my plein air oil landscapes, watercolour 'puddling of colour' effects and my work in collage (encaustic is a wonderful medium for collage as the wax acts like a glue). I have also begun to work larger, which brings its own challenges.

Todays post is based on a watercolour painting that I did a number of years ago that I just loved. At this point, I am recreating some of my most favorite paintings done in other mediums. It is enough for now to concentrate on the medium rather than adding all the other challenges involved in making a good composition with solid colour harmony! Here is the original watercolour FYI:

"The Colours Of Winter", 19x19" watercolour, SOLD

So the artistic journey continues -please stay tuned for more!!
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Winter Splendour" first painitng of 2015, by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Winter Splendour", 12 x 12" oil on board
$575 framed
click here to purchase

When I was out for a walk the other day the sun was going down, and I must say I was simply blown away by the spectacular sunset. This time of year, it seems every evening presents a show, almost as an appology for the snow and cold. I was trying to capture the transparency of the sky underlying the magnificently coloured clouds. What fun!

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Catching Up!

"December's Colours", 8x10" plein air oil on board
$395 beautifully framed,
click here to purchase

First off, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the very best in 2015! I have not posted lately with the birth of our new (and first) grandson plus the business of the holidays. Plus I have been inundated with email trying to sell me things I don't need or want, so thought you wouldn't want more email either (although I do hope you like my paintings!). We have not had much snow here so far this winter, so I thought I would post some earlier unshared paintings that feature snow as their subject.
Last year we had a ton of snow in December, and since the fall folliage was still remaining on some of the trees and bushes, I was happy to get out and capture some of that colour and contrast.

"Elbow River Winter Colour", 9 x 12" plein air oil
$495 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

I painted this in 2012 before the big flood which changed everything! Now the banks are yards and yards of gravel and downed trees.

"K-Country", 12x16" oil on board

I did this one from memory when we got home from cross country skiing in Kananaskis country. It is the view from the bridge leading into the Kananaskis Lodge.

"Winter Fields", 8 x 10" plein air oil
$395 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

I find winter trees a real challenge to paint, but felt I got really close with this one.

"Winter Road", 6 x 8" oil on board
$295 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

You have got to love the winter skies here in Alberta!

"Winter's Textures", 8 x 10" plein air oil on board

This is an impasto palette knife painting that I did right away after experiencing the scene on a walk. As I have had so much experience plein air painting, I find that I can take a mental snapshot and complete it at home, as long as I do it while it is fresh in my mind.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lake O'Hara Paint-out by Sharon Lynn Williams

 "Lake O'Hara Splendor", 12x 12" plein air oil on board

This September saw my plein air buddies and I painting once again at the magnificent Lake O'Hara in BC. This was my effort on our first day -the sun was out and it was GLORIOUS! I have painted from this place before, but never in such wonderful light. See previous year's efforts in the snow here,  here, and here. This was the first painting to sell at my current show at Fallen Leaf Gallery in Canmore.

"Opabin Lake", 9 x 12" plein air oil on board
Buy with Paypal

Opabin plateau holds the most number of mind blowing painting locations that I have ever seen. This is my first try at this scene, but it won't be my last!

"Larch And Odaray", 12 x 12" plein air oil on board
$575.00 beautifully framed
Buy With Paypal

This was my last painting of the trip as the rain blew in for the next 2 days, and it was just too cold and wet to paint outside, and too dark in the Elizabeth Parker hut. Seems to be the story of our paintouts - half the time it is glorious, and the other half, not so much!
I was really taken by this scene. It seemed to be a battle of beauty between the larch showing off its fall glory and the majestic Mt Odaray in the background.

The las two paintings are still available at Fallen Leaf Gallery in Canmore, and should be there until the end of December -unless one of you grabs it!


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Bow Valley Provincial Park Paintout by Sharon Lynn Williams

 "Autumn Middle Lake" 12 x 12" plein air oil on board
$575.00 beautifully framed
Click here to purchase

I was happy to meet my Canmore painting buddy at Bow Valley Provincial park this fall on a glorious but windy day. Both of these paintings were painted within 20 feet of each other, just pointing in a different direction.

"Yamnuska Autumn", 12 x 12" plein air oil on board
$575.00 beautifully framed
Click here to purchase

The time came for the second painting and the morning haze had burned off leaving a glowing blue sky, but the wind had also picked up quite a bit. I was practically standing in the water for this one, trying to find a spot out of the breeze.

Both of these paintings are currently at Fallen Leaf Gallery in Canmore until the end of the month.


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Painting Trip To Mt Assiniboine by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Mt Assiniboine", 12 x 12" plein air oil
$575 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

I was fortuntate to return this summer to Mt Assiniboine for a 4 day painting trip. I love this area as the views are easily accessible and extremely beautiful. This peak is the tallest in the area. Normally one would hike 20km in to get here, but we cheated and took a helicopter in!

"Meadow Lark", 9x12" plein air oil
$495 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

The evening light on our first day at Mt Assiniboine National Park really lit up the colour on this meandering creek.

"Wonder Peak". 6x8" plein air oil UNFRAMED
On auction at DPW beginning at $150
click here to bid

More evening light, this on our second day. You can hike over Wonder Pass for more beautiful views, but I chose to paint rather than hike.

"Mountain Meadow", 9x9" plein air oil

Another quick one as the sun was reaching the horizon, setting the landscape ablaze with colour.

These paintings are in my new show in Canmore at Fallen Leaf Gallery. My good friend and painting buddy Patti Dyment and I are having a show of our plein air paintings, most of which we did together this summer. Hope you can drop in to see it!


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Painting in the Purcells -by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Mt. Sir Donald", 12 x 12" plein air oil

This summer Dave and I splurged and took a hellicopter trip into the Purcell Mountain Lodge, just outside of Golden BC. I say splurged because the lodge is a 5 star resort in all manner of ways. The food was magnificent and plentiful, the accomodations luxurious (complete with hot showers and a sauna -unheard of in our usual back country trips) and the views were to die for. There were knowledgeable guides to take hikers far and wide, but for me, the best part was that BC painter Charlie Easton was doing an artist residency there at the same time, so I had someone super to paint with. Because of Charlie, I was allowed to go off and paint to my hearts content, with a radio in case I spotted the resident grizzly bear.

This first painting is my favorite from the trip. It features the famous peak of Mt Sir Donald, the tallest peak in the Purcells. While we were there we were treated to an avalanche spotting coming off the top -no where close to where we were. There is a huge valley just past the trees in the painting (the lodge sits on a plateau), but it makes the view look like the mountains are just coming out of nowhere.

"High Alpine Evening", 9 x 12" plein air oil
$495.00 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

I painted this on our first evening at the lodge. I just loved how the colours just popped in the low angled light.

"The Burn", 9 x 12" plein air oil

One of our hikes let to this beautiful area that is recovering from a forest fire. I thought the twisted branches of the dead trees played with the silhouettes of the range behind, the burned evergreens that didn't drop their now red needles and the everpresent Fireweed which pops up after such an event.

"Changing Weather", 9 x 12" plein air oil
$200 unframed
click here to purchase

Our third day was rainy, but I was able to paint this from the deck of the lodge as the clouds were breaking up and the sun was returning.

"Wonder Falls", 12 x 12" plein air oil
$575.00 beautifully framed
click here to purchase

On our last day at the lodge, my hubby joined me for a big hike/paint session. Can you see the tiny line of white at the bottom of the previous painting? That is this waterfall, so you can tell how far a walk it was. What you can't tell is that you have to hike 300m down to the valley floor and 300m up the side of the next mountain to get here (and back again of course!) I was thankful for a chance to rest paint here.The colours of the rock and the moss were electric.

This was a very expensive holiday, but I think it was totally worth every penny.


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Acrylic Explorations by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Nest", 8x10" acrylic on clayboard

In April I was thrilled to study with Linda Kemp, a wonderful artist from Ontario. She is a very accomplished artist who's primary medium is watercolour (she's the master of negative painting!) and now is working in acrylic in a similar way, but with the addition on opaque paint. I have never used Ampersand's clayboard before and found it an interesting but expensive surface.

"Koi Pond", 15 x 15" acrylic on canvas mounted on 16x16" gallery wrap canvas
Please click here to purchase

This one is built out of many, many layers of opaque and transparent paint. I like the movement in it as well as the irridescent glaze on the underwater fish.

"Leaf Patterns", 14 x 14" acrylic on gallery wrap canvas

Another one with multiple layers and glazing, this time on a canvas that I had textured with varying thickness and splatters of gesso, in order to add some surface interest to the painting. I really enjoyed the play of transparent with the opaque areas and the depth that this technique brings.

"Summer Evening", 14 x 14" acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
$595, painted around edges so no frame required
Please click here to purchase

This is the last painting of this series. After making a very involved and visually textured surface, I began to see some tree shapes in the washes. I went with that idea and painted the sky and water, leaving the trees. Got to love negative painting, especially when it turns out so positively great!!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bow Lake Artist Residency plein air paintings by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Surveying Paradise", 12x16" plein air oil on Arches oil paper mounted on board
$695 Beautifully FRAMED
Please click here to purchase

I am way behind in posting so I thought I would put all the paintings together that I did while at an Artists Residency at Numtijah Lodge at Bow Lake. Bow Lake is a truly magical place and the lodge has quite a lovely ambiance. I shared this residency with my plein air painting buddy, the talented Patti Dyment -check out her lovely work!!

"Fireweed at Bow Lake", 12 x 12" plein air oil on board
$575 Beautifully FRAMED
Please click here to purchase

The fireweed really put on a show this year and made a lovely forground for Crowfoot Glacier.

"Threatening Rain", 9x12" plein air oil on board
$495 Beautifully FRAMED
Please click here to purchase

We took a short drive from Bow Lake one evening and caught the late sun on some peaks. It was threatening rain, as it did all weekend, but it seems we were blessed as it was raining all around us, but never on us!

"Back Country", 12x9" plein air oil on multimedia artboard mounted on panel
$495 Beautifully FRAMED
Please click here to purchase

This was my last painting for the residency. The sky was overcast and sprinkles came and went. This is not really in the 'back country' as it is at the side of the lake, but the title seemed appropriate. So many wonderful jewels in the Canadian Rockies for hikers to come upon.

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