Friday, September 20, 2013

Encaustic painting "Iris" and demo this Saturday!

"Iris", 12x12" mixed media encaustic
$495 -click here to purchase

I have been playing around with encaustic since Christmas, and am really enjoying the ride. In this painting I collaged an original watercolour painting onto the cradled board and then made a textured encaustic border for it. It is an interesting combination of implied texture (in the atercolour) with actual texture.

I will be doing an encaustic demonstration tomorrow (Saturday) at Atlantis Fine Framing (4515 Manhattan Rd SE) from 10am to 3:30pm, along with demos by Ken Bourassa and Tracy Proctor. I am honored to be included with such talented encaustic artists, and to take part in the Calgary Artwalk event!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -wrap up

"Bagno Sunshine", 6x16" plein air watercolor

This was my last demo of the workshop. It was done on my new block of Cartiera Magnani 'Portofino' hot pressed paper. This paper is absolutely wonderful for the pen and watercolour paintings, but also works great for regular painting. Look who came to check things out during the demo -could it be Dreama's cat Eddie??? I heard he was spying on her while she is in Italy...

Then I did this pen & ink & watercolour on our last day in Bagno Vignoni ( I posted a photo of the scene on day 10)

So that wraps up our trip. It was a wonderful workshop filled with sunshine and wonderful artists. Here is a photo of our small but happy group:

So I will leave you with our last sunset, this one taken from the plane on the way home.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -last day!

"Montigiovi Remembrance", 12x16" oil and collage

I was "playing painting" with great friend and fellow traveller,Lori, the other day after being out painting in the morning. We had made some collage surfaces using old posters that Lori had torn off walls on our journey. Then we went into them with oils, what a blast! I have done this a lot using acrylics, but the oils were so much more fun -easily blended and great opaque through transparent coverage. I will definitely be doing more of this : )

I can't believe it, but the last day of our wonderful workshop has come and gone. We are to be up at 5:45am and will be home at 9pm Calgary time (8 hr time difference)-LONG day!

Here is a watercolour card that I made to thank our wonderful driver, Joe.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me- it has been so fun and rewarding.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 12

"Montepulciano", 6x16", pen & ink & watercolor

Guess where we went today? (Hint -see title!) what a great day we had -we have been so blessed by the weather during our trip. It did sprinkle a touch today, so we HAD to duck into a shop that sold lovely Italian leather handbags, what's a girl to do? - just sayin!

Here are some photos if the amazing medieval city:
(Please note: the photos are for your viewing pleasure only, copyright belongs to me)

Me just in case you haven't had enough of the incredible sunsets here, here is tonight's spectacular:


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 11

"Le Casacce", 8x10" plein air oil on arches oil paper

Today was a 'home' day, so I painted this for our wonderful host Enrico - I hope he likes it! Here is a photo of the scene before me, FYI:

I will leave you with another fabulous Tuscan sunsets:


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuscany Workshop - day 10

"Bagno Vignoni View", 

Today we went to the gorgeous Bagno Vignoni. It looked like it might rain, but it passed over, and the resulting day was glorious. I did this pen & ink & wc sketch on my new pad of hot pressed watercolour paper, which was perfect for this approach. 
Here is my sketch before adding the watercolour 

I also did a watercolour demo (without the pen) on this paper that I will pst tomorrow, so stay tuned. 

Here is a photo from Bagno showing an artist's installation of painted marine floats in the pool


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 9!

"Welcome Home", 8x10" Plein air oil on Arches Oil Paper mounted on board

Today we visited the wonderful medieval hill town of Catiglione D'Orcia. (You should really Google image it!) I did the above demo using fab artist, Dreama Tolle Perry's technique (you should Google her as well to see her joy filled work). It started with a wet transparent under painting, shown below:

Here is a photo of the scene, FYI

And here is a photo of the fabulous Piazza Il Vecchieta, the original paving and well dating back to 1618 ( the light house on the right was a much latter addition)

Boy, I wish you could be here sharing this adventure with me! And thanks to all of you who have taken the time and effort to comment and let me know you are enjoying the journey vicariously. Cornelia, from Germany, kindly wrote to tell me that the pine trees in yesterday's post are called Stone Pines, how great is that! Thanks for the info - reminds me of a story book my kids loved called Stone Soup : )


Monday, September 9, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 8

Today there was a huge market at nearby Castel Del Piano, so we thought we would take it in, even though it was supposed to be our day of rest. There is an awesome piazza there with a 1st world war memorial, surrounded by these incredible pine trees. They grow to incredible heights with no lower branches - if you know the name of them, please let us know!

Here is a decoration on a meat vendor booth at the market;

I thought you'd get a kick out of that, but I wouldn't want a slice on my panini!

Thanks to you, I now am the proud user of Snapseed -just the program I needed for my phone to do some great photo editing, and its free to boot. Try it out -simple to use with tons of ways to make your photos really sing. To thank you I will close with tonight's sunset, made to look just like I saw it with Snapseed!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 7

Today we painted the view up to the medieval town of Montigiovi. This is my pen & ink & watercolor sketch, incorporating many layers to get the dark contrast I love. In case you are interested, I have included the unpainted ink sketch below:

Here is a photo of the town so you can see what I did:


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -Day 5&6

"St. Antimo Abbey", 8x10" Plein air oil

PLEASE NOTE: I went back into this painting when I got home as it seemed to have 2 focal points! By this I mean that it was hard to tell whether the painting was about the grape vines or about the abbey. So I enlarged the vines and made them overlap the abbey, greyed the colour in the abbey and made the tall cypress bluer to send them into the background. I also rephotographed the painting so that you could see the actual colour!!

Sorry, but I was just having too much darn fun to post yesterday, but above is the oil I did at the Abbey. We were able to go in for a service and hear the monks do Gregorian chants, while sunbeams streamed through the windows (no stained glass here unfortunately)

Today we drove to Pienza, which I think is my favorite Italian town, after Assisi of course -such an amazing spirit in that place. St Francis would be pleased!

We spent our day doing pen & ink & watercolour sketching. Here are a few of mine (which are way too blue, but I didn't have image editing software on my phone at this point!):

The above one was done while I sat at a lovely cafe, under a large white umbrella, while sipping a birra (Italian for beer) and munching on a Calabrese salad -yum!

These sketches have a blue cast because I took them in the shade and, again, I don't have a photo editing program on my phone yet -which reminds me - any suggestions for a good iPhone app for this???


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 4

"Sabrina's Grapes", 12 x 16" watercolour
$80 at DPW

Guess where we painted today?? I was in such a rush to get to the van, I forgot my oil palette! Luckily I had my watercolours with me, and I truly believe that there are no accidents in life - I had so much fun painting this.

Here are Earl and Pat painting in the vineyard

And Carol and Linda:

And here is Elaine:

And to give you a 'taste':


Tuscany Workshop -day 3

We were all so tired from yesterday's long drive that we decided to stay at the villa today. It was another gorgeous day in paradise, with a high of 86F and not a cloud in the sky. We painted outside in the shade of the olive trees after I did an oil demonstration on our terrace (jealous yet?) shown below.

I really struggled with the subject but loved what was happening in the lower part of the painting, so ended up scraping out the top third and repainted it to better match the style of the bottom. We have been having some amazing evening light here, and that came through in my solution. Good to show my students how to scrape back and try it again. I love modeling my failures and my attempts to figure it all out -I have learned the most from that process.

Here is my sunflower painting from yesterday - the painting isn't really this dark but I don't have photo editing on my phone -but you get the drift : )


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuscany Workshop -day 2

Today was a very full day -up at 6:30 and on the road by 8am, on twisty, windy roads (barely wide enough for 2 cars, and several near misses as the confidant Italian drivers would pass on blind corners). We drove for 1 1/2 hrs to a wonderful part of the Tuscan countryside where we painted fields of sunflowers in front of vineyards ripe for the harvest and olive orchards in fruit. After we got yelled at for being on private property and told that photos were ok, but not painters (humm?), we continued to drive another hour to visit Cortona, where some of us sketched while others just enjoyed strolling the ancient streets and alleys  and taking copious photos for, hopefully, future masterpieces. It was 86 F so we were pretty pooped, but not too pooped to stop at Montepulciano to have a peek, and buy Italian leather purses! We got home in just enough time to shower before dinner at 8pm. Tonight's 4 course dinner wasn't my favorite as rabbit was on the menu, but as desert was cheesecake, I didn't starve : P
Here is Lori doing a sketch in Cortona,

And here is our fearless driver Joe doing a value sketch. (The beer was needed- remember I told you how hot it was?)

I didn't have a chance to snap photos of folks' artwork, but I will catch you up on that tomorrow!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Tuscany Workshop-day 1

Today was the first day of my Tuscany workshop, being held at the lovely Le Casacce villa near Seggiano, Italy. 

This was my third pen & ink & watercolour sketch of the day (but it was the best one and as my online galleries pull the first image for their posts, I always chose the best image to go first!!) We had taken a drive to a little village near the villa, saw this scene and knew we had to give it a go. 

This was actually my first demo, done quickly with much explanation for my students. It is the view to the patio from the grounds by the pool (unfortunately in heated!)

Here are, from left to right, Joe, Linda, Earl and Pat working away on their first sketches. You can see the pool in the background : )

This was my attempt to do the resident donkey - I have never done a horse, much less a donkey, from life before, and I am afraid I didn't nail his anatomy. But not bad considering he wouldn't stay still and I was drawing with a Sharpie marker!! 

So that was it for day one - tune in tomorrow for day 2!

Enjoy 😃