Friday, September 30, 2011

My Painting Accepted into Major Competition!

 "Morning Light", 9 x 12", plein air oil
Remember this little painting I did as a demo for a workshop way back in June? Well I am thrilled that it was accepted into the "Annual International Representational Show -AIRS" which is being held at the Federation Gallery on Granville Island in Vancouver. The show runs from October 4 through the 23rd, with the opening reception on Thursday October 6th from 6 to 8pm. I am so very proud to be in such wonderful company! I will get to see the show as we are heading out on October 3rd to take our son Christopher to live in Vancouver. This has sure been the summer of the escalating odometer :)

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 -Day #6 Recap and Finale

"Longs Peak from Lily Lake", 11 x 14", plein air oil
Wednesday was my last day of painting and I did this in the morning before the rain set in. Longs Peak is the 'fourteener' in the park (the peak is over 14,000 feet tall) and is a landmark for Estes Park. While I was painting this (mountain done, but waiting to put in the sky) a visitor to the lake stopped to give me a geography and history lesson on the mountain, which was very interesting if not long winded, and the clouds moved in during this time. I had to scramble to get a lighting condition that matched the now cloudy sky! One of the many hazards of plein air :)

 On Thursday I spent my last day finishing up any touches that were needed on all of my paintings that I did during the week. I knew I dare not wait until I was back home to do this, as I would have lost track of my inspiration at the time. Hand in time for the framed paintings was 8pm, and I got mine there at 7:30! Not the last one mind you, but close. I had ordered plein air frames from Dick Blick, and had them delivered to Estes Park before I left. They were really shabby in the finishing department, but luckily my dear hubby was able to touch them up before putting my paintings in. (don't know what I would have done without his help and support throughout this whole venture!) All the paintings were wet still, and I sprayed them with an aerosol retouch varnish, hoping that the paint would not run! I asked around and nobody seemed to know what the experts do to varnish their works done plein air when they have to hand them in before they have dried. It was necessary to do something as the thin, turpy darks had sunken quite a bit as they dried.

On Friday we took the day off and went for a wonderful hike up to a mountain pass. Here we are at the top. Now my legs were as tired as the rest of me!

 This is Odessa Lake which was well below the spot we were standing at above. Beautiful lake that was just shimmering in the clear atmosphere caused by a shower that ended just as we arrived.

Saturday was the last day of the competition.  The morning began with a 'Quick Paint' event in downtown's Riverside Park. I had scouted out possible painting spots and was very scared about the whole event. What if I fell flat on my face and created a mess? I stayed awake quite a while on Friday night fussing and praying about it, and finally around 2am I felt the Lord tell me to give it to Him and He would take care of it. So I did, and went right to sleep and slept like a baby. In the morning I set myself up on the bank of the river, and when the timer went, I dove right in with full confidence. We had 90 minutes to paint and frame our paintings. I was really happy with the way this turned out (why was I surprised?)

"Waiting", 12 x 9", plein air oil, SOLD
This is a very bad photo of my painting done during the quick draw. I had only a few moments to snap a photo, and obviously didn't do a very good job of it. The paintings then got slipped into their frames, were put on display on large panels in the centre of the park where the spectators got a good look. A few minutes later the live auction began. My number was 23 out of 34 and I just sat there and waited to see what would happen. Well, God really came through, as I got the third highest price at the auction at $700! I was surprised that many paintings got very low bids -the recession really has hit harder in the States than in Canada.

Saturday evening found us at the wrap up party and presentation of awards. If you want to see some of the winning paintings in the competition, you can look at this article from Plein Air Magazine or see the entire cast of winner's paintings here. I would have chosen the awards differently (especially the Quick Draw awards) but there were SO many wonderful paintings done by the fabulous artists in the competition. Lynda Vogel did an amazing job organizing the entire event, and the several opportunities given for the artists to meet each other were very appreciated. The entire experience was FANTASTIC, and I hope I will be invited back next year, but only if Dave will agree to join me!

To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 -Day #5 Recap

"Big Thompson River", 11 x 14", plein air oil

 I fell in love with the light in this scene and the 'S' in the river so decided to give it a go. There used to be a fly fisherman in it, but I took him out as I thought it needlessly complicated things. I think this was my favorite painting of the trip, and I entered it in the competition.

"Prickly Poppies", 4 x 6", plein air oil, SOLD

We were given a very tiny panel to paint to enter into the miniature competition. I found these wonderful poppies, that had the stems and leaves of our native thistle. I had never seen them before, so of course I had to paint them. Unfortunately it was quite windy this day, and it was a real challenge to capture the tissue thin petals as they cavorted around in the breezes.

"Still Standing", 9 x 12", plein air oil

I first saw these wonderfully gnarled trees near the very top of the pass on our first day in RMNP, and finally got a sunny day that wasn't too windy to paint them. You can tell that they had been scoured by the wind for many years, bleaching their trunks to white.

 You will have to wait for the rest of the recap (only 2 more painting days to go) and the finale, as I am off to paint at my most favorite place in the whole world I think, stunning Lake O'Hara , for the next four days. I know, lucky me! You can see the results of 2 other previous trips here, here, here and Sept to Oct 2008 blog posts. I will post the results of this trip after I finish with the competition report.


To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

You are Invited!

Federation of Canadian Artists 30th Anniversary Show

Seven of my paintings will be included in the 30th Anniversary, Federation of Canadian Artists Show. The show runs September 17 and 18 and is being held as part of the Calgary Art Walk. I will be doing an oil demonstration beginning at 12:30, until 2pm on Sunday, and would love to have an audience!
Hope to see you there :)

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 -Day #4 Recap

 "Lumpies Gossips", 12 x 9", plein air oil

On day 4 I began by painting in a very different geological part of the park. Here the rocks look like they were deposited like wet lumps of mud, one slouching into the next. I am sure there is a proper name and description of this phenomena, but it escapes me :) The ridge is appropriately called Lumpy Ridge. I found this grouping right beside the parking lot for the 'Lumpy Hike' (which Dave took while I was painting), and decided that the three looked like figures, two in conversation while the one on the right turns her back dejectedly, unwanted in this gossip session. Come on, I know you have all been there!!

Here I am hard at work/play with my palette knife again. This waterfall is called Alluvial Fan, and it was caused by a breach in the dam at a lake above. The resulting flood actually resulted in many deaths as the water swept through the nearby campsite and through the town. 
"Memorial", 14 x 11", plein air oil
I thought that this was a suitable title for the falls. It is interesting how the cause of such devastation can result in such a beautiful waterfall for all to enjoy. The title is how I felt about it. It was the second painting that I entered to be judged in the competition. I felt the knife work combined with the brushwork, the transparent versus the opaque, thick versus thin, made for an interesting painting on many levels.


To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 -Day #3 Recap

 "Sprague Lake Imaginings", 11 x 14", plein air oil

On day 3 (Sunday) I met with a few other wonderful painters at Sprague Lake, while Dave hiked up to the two peaks (Flattop and Hallets) in the painting. The painting wasn't going very well so I decided to throw caution to the wind and took out my palette knife to see if I could get something interesting happening with it. I was blown away by the experience, as it was the first time I had done an entire painting with a palette knife. I especially like the way the reflections in the water turned out. I found out that when using the knife, you either nail it or you don't, and messing with the results usually produces mud unless you use lots of paint and have a very light touch,
"Now and Then", 12 x 9", plein air oil

This photo is not the best as the paint was still wet when I shot it. This is one of the paintings that I left for the show in Estes Park, but not one that I submitted to be judged for the competition. I was happy to try a portrait of a wonderful Ponderosa Pine, and I became engaged with the fallen trees at its base -the circle of life and all that.


To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 Recap -Day #2

"Bear Lake View", 12 x 16", plein air oil

 On Saturday we hiked up the most popular trails in all of Estes Park. First you get to Bear Lake, a very short and easy hike, where this painting was done. The 'usual' view is of Hallet's Peak which is to the right of my chosen scene, but I liked the play of light on this one better.

"Dream Lake Imaginings", 12 x 16", plein air oil

Ater leaving Bear Lake you get to Nymph Lake which is a lovely little lake filled with beautiful yellow water lillies (named Nymphaea polysepal) -took lots of photos but didn't paint there. From there you go still higher and get to Dream Lake, where this second painting was done. Dave continued hiking even higher to 2 more lakes while he waited for me to finish. I wasn't acclimated to the high elevation at this point, so I was puffing quite a bit just to get here. (Dream lake sits at 9900 feet!) This painting was one of the three paintings that I submitted for the competition.

Our usual day consisted of getting me somewhere to paint, while hubby Dave either hiked up a mountain or went cycling on his new road bike. Then we met again and moved to a new location or two. We did this every day until dinner time and then we were both ready for a bit of a rest in our wonderful little cottage we had rented, right on the Big Thompson River in Estes Park. After the first day, the weather was warm and sunny, although a bit windy, for the most part.

Stay tuned for Day #3!
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Plein Air Rockies 2011 Recap -Day #1

 "Breaking Weather", 11 x 14", plein air oil

This is my first painting of the Plein Air Rockies 2011 competition held at Estes Park, Colorado. We were lucky enough to get my boards all stamped on Thursday night, which meant a full week of painting lay ahead. The weather was very overcast that first day, and I was thanking God that I had decided to arrive a day early, just in case the bad weather held out all week. The sun was trying to stream out between the clouds, which left a wonderful pattern that I tried to capture in this painting. The landscape is full of beautiful Ponderosa Pines, which I just love, but don't grow around Calgary and Banff.

"Colorado Headwaters", 9 x 12", plein air oil on board

 We drove this amazing road which takes you all the way up to the top of the mountain range to tundra, a climb of over 5,000 feet. On the way down the other side this scene caught my eye -the variety of greens were amazing against the maroon mountainsides. Hard to believe that this is the beginning of the mighty Colorado River. Just got this one finished when the heavens opened up and the rain began to fall...

Stay tuned for day #2 tomorrow!
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Maligne Lake Paintings

"Maligne Lake View", 6 x 8", plein air oil
not for sale (see below)

This painting was done at the end of a day canoeing. It was about 6pm and the light off this wonderful, yet unnamed mountain at the end of Maligne Lake caught my eye. So I set up and did a quick painting instead of enjoying happy hour -actually I think I enjoyed my hour more than anyone else! Our friends have an 18 year old niece visiting from Denmark and she really wants this painting. I made her a deal that I would give it to her if she would model for me. We are both excited about the prospects!

"Spirit Island Affair", 8 x 10", plein air oil
$495 beautifully framed, free shipping and handling

I was so lucky to be able to paddle over to Spirit Island to paint before the tour boats arrived to get a chance to paint this most magical of all places. The boats did arrive shortly after I set up, but the passengers only had 10 minutes to take in the island before being herded back on board. I heard the word 'beautiful' in many different languages that morning, and thankfully many of them were saying it about my painting!

We headed back to the end of the lake and the end of our adventure in the afternoon. The road trip home was filled with amazingly beautiful mountains and glaciers. If you ever get a chance to travel highway 93 from Jasper to Banff, take it. The views are most spectacular going in that direction IMO. The setting sun bounced off the snowfields and made everything glow. I took hundreds of photos during my trip, and while I don't like to paint from photos, I might just have to make some exceptions this winter :)

To purchase this painting, or commission your own painting, please email me.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maligne Lake Magic!

"Mt. Charlton -Maligne Lake", 6 x 8", plein air oil
$350 beautifully framed, free shipping and handling

 This past long weekend we went on a canoe trip to Maligne Lake in Jasper Provincial Park. I had been on a painting trip to the lake many years ago with famous Canadian painter Doris McCarthy, and have wanted to return ever since. The weather was bleak on Friday as we paddled in our cool, folding Klepper kayak the 21.3 km up the lake to our camp spot at Coronet Creek in the rain, wind and waves (luckily the wind was at our back!). We awoke the next morning to a bright blue sky and a fresh dusting of snow on the mountaintops, and the beautiful weather continued until our return home on Monday night. The painting above was my first of the trip, and is the view from the end of our beach. I just loved the swirling rhythm in the rock and the glacier running down on the right of the peak.

 "Monkhead -Maligne Lake", 8 x 10", plein air oil
$150 unframed

 This scene is further down the lake from our first camp spot, a picnic spot we stopped at on our way to our second camping location. The campgrounds only hold 8 tent sites, so it is very quiet, allowing the wildlife to join us. Grizzly bears, many dear, spruce grouse, porcupines, bald eagles and dozens of chipmunks and squirrels were seen by our group. The mountains spill down into the lake, the many glaciers topping them causing the water to have an unbelievably turquoise colour.

Stay tuned for a couple more paintings from this amazing place tomorrow!
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