Saturday, February 28, 2009

Great news!

I haven't been painting this week as we are planning a three week trip to Australia, and this is a lot of work. Plus, to tell you the truth, I am kind of burnt out with all the teaching that I have been doing lately. But I wanted to share some good news with you -I was just notified that I have been given signature status in the International Plein Air Painters (IPAP)! So now I have some more initials after my name (I already have AFCA and ASA) which is really not that big of a deal in a marketing sense, but it does indicate a level of acceptance from my peers. The public buys art that it likes for a host of sometimes strange reasons, so it is hard to build up one's reputation as an artist based on sales alone. The granting of signature status in an international organization is a great perk to me. My work was reviewed by a 7 member advisory panel, and all the work submitted must have been done 90% en plein air. They commented that they thought I had "a good range of paintings, with great use of colour and value". Yipee!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Edmonton workshop photo

These are my Edmonton workshop students. It was a very small group, but we had fun. Just look at those great shapes -I am talking about the paintings of course : )

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Edmonton Workshop Demo

"From Nakota Lodge", watercolour, 15 x 11"
This is my first demo from the Edmonton workshop. We spent the morning mining our photo reference to get different ideas for paintings, focusing on making strong shapes (good variety of interlocking shapes in different sizes). We then applied different value patterns to the thumbnail to get a good plan to follow, allowing us to be loose with our colourful washes. Lastly we studied different colour schemes to try to get the mood we wanted to portray in the painting. This entire process is well laid out in my instructional DVD -see the link on the right side of this page.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Acrylic demo

"Costal Colour", acrylic, 14 x 10"
This is the demo that I did for the Chestemere workshop yesterday. I used fluid acrylics on watercolour paper. Fluid acrylics are fabulous for artists with a watercolour background, as they can be used with traditional watercolour techniques (except lifting), and then can be used translucently and opaquely like traditional acrylics. They also have the advantage that the colour dries as rich as it was when it was wet. I used a split complimentary palette of DaVinci's Leaf Green fluid acrylic, Golden's Dioxazine Purple fluid acrylic, and Grahams' Cadmium Orange tube acrylic (you can use tube acrylics like fluids by diluting them with water -just make sure to use an absorbant surface). I am off to teach my watercolour workshop in Edmonton, so will post when I get back, when I will post the value drawing for this painting and a previous version I did in a different colour scheme.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Figure drawing unit

Last night I began my figure unit with our wonderful model Dorothy. Many of my students have never drawn the model from life before, so this was a new and somewhat terrifying experience. These are a couple of my 3-5 minute pose drawings. They are 18 x 25" in size, and done in charcoal. I am quite rusty as I have not drawn the figure from life myself since this time last year. I am excited to see what new skills I bring to the task this time around.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yeah! They're here!

I was so blessed to be sitting at my kitchen table this morning and notice several hundred Cedar Waxwings that swept into my backyard and demolished all the berries on my mountain ash tree in less than 30 minutes. What an incredible sight! Although the tree does look kind of bare now...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another still life painting

"Tea Time ii", watercolour, 11.5 x 8"
My Wednesday afternoon advanced class liked the way the first 'Tea Time' was painted, that they demanded their own demo. So I did it again, this time changing the colour. It was interesting to see how the two are so different in feeling. We are studying the effects different colour schemes make in a painting, so this was a great challenge. I had lots of great suggestions from the class while I was trying to work out some of the difficulties, all of which I used. It is great to 'paint by committee' sometimes.
I wanted to mention again that there is still room in an exciting watercolour workshop I am teaching next weekend, February 21 & 22, in Edmonton, Alberta. Please email Gisele at or call 780-461-3427 for more information. Come and play with colour with me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

new demo painting and upcoming workshop

This was my demo for my Wednesday morning watercolour class -similar class to my Tuesday night one. Doreen volunteered her drawing for the demo, thanks. More pure colour, wet juicy paint and single application of colour creating the luminosity. I should have taken more care with the label on the bottle as it kind of flattened out the shape too much -the text should have followed the contour of the bottle better. Suggestions of detail are a bit tricky when working wet-on-wet, if you overdo it you lose the spontenaity; and if you are sloppy, it shows! Also the top of the bottle is somewhat less than symetrical -however it was the application of paint that I was most concerned about showing after all.

I wanted to let you know that there is still room in an exciting watercolour workshop I am teaching next weekend, February 21 & 22, in Edmonton, Alberta. Please email Gisele at for more information. This could be YOUR opportunity to be a loose woman (or man).

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Watercolour Demo

"Tea Time i", watercolour, 11.5 x 8"
This is my demonstration painting for my Tuesday nights' watercolour class, as we finish our unit on still life. From our shaded compositional sketch (made from life), we used strong, full strength colour, making sure that the value of colour applied was the final value we wanted. The actual colour of the objects were not taken in to account -this was actually a white pot and cup. No glazing here! The pure colour, wet juicy paint and single application of colour creates the luminosity. Makes you want to splash in some watercolour, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More workshop photos

These are my wonderful workshop participants from my watercolour workshop that I taught last weekend in Fernie, BC. Just look at all that glorious colour! I am now teaching across the western half of the country from Manitoba to British Columbia, and am going to many smaller centres as well as major cities. For an updated listing of my upcoming workshops please go here and click on the classes link, and then on the workshops link.

untitled, 7 x 11", watercolour
This is my second demo from the workshop. It was a quick one that I did from Donna's value sketch. I think I left those Fernie women a lot looser than they were when I got there! (in their watercolours of course)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fernie workshop demo #1

Untitled, 15 x 11", watercolour
This is the first demonstration painting I did for the lovely women in my Fernie, BC workshop this past weekend. We spent the first day making value/shape patterns from photo reference, exploring the possibilities that each photo presented in an effort to make a personal statement rather than simply to copy the photo. The second morning I did this colourful watercolour from my value sketch, which enabled my colour to be loose, vibrant and fresh. Gotta love that red tree.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

new oil painting

"Early Evening Colour", oil painting, 12 x 24"
This is a new painting that I just finished. It is of a scene that I pass every the time I go to the mountains, right beside the highway. I have always loved the shapes, but when I saw the early evening light on it this fall, I was smitten. I did this from a photo I took, while remembering exactly what it 'felt' like to be there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New collage painting

"Life's Energy", collage and acrylic, 7 x 8"
This is the first painting that I made with the papers I painted (displayed on this blog Jan 24th/09). The design is one that I adapted from a 'viewfinder design', which is an abstract design found by looking at newspapers or magazine using an empty slide mount as a frame. Design is very personal, and everyone will have their own innate sense of what their preferences are. As I look over most of my viewfinder designs, I find I am attracted to large value ranges and to a dominance of curvilinear shapes, offset by some geometric shapes.