Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

"Cold Call", 8x8" encaustic on board

I know I have been gone for a long time, but I hope to return in the New Year with lots of new paintings, artistic insights and tips, and maybe a video or two if I can get that all figured out. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you reading my blog posts and generally being an engaged and generous viewer. You mean the world to me, and I am so fortunate to have you as friends.
I wish you the happiest, healthiest and loving Christmas imaginable.
Blessings my friends!

Share |

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

good post on plein air painting

I subscribe to thw wonderful Lori Putnam's blog and guest blogger and the famous daily painter Carol Marine wrote a wonderful post there about the difficulties of the plein air process and how she tried to overcome them. Give it a look here.
Share |

New Encaustics by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Indigo & Rust", 24x24" mixed media encaustic on finished cradled panel

As you know I have been playing with wax for the last few years, so I wanted to share with you two of my more recent paintings. This one has a piece of collage paper in the bottom that I made. I rusted some metal objects and printed them onto japaneese paper, then I folded the paper into patterns and dipped it into a vat of indigo. The paper was then collaged onto the panel with wax and wax added on top. The middle band is roofing ashphalt, and the top part is wax and pigment stick using a technique I learned from master 'ruster' Pam Nichols. There is also some collage paper on the upper right side.

"Sienna & Rust", 24x24" mixed media encaustic on finished cradled panel

This is the second piece I made in this series. Another piece of rusted, indigo dyed piece of paper is used in the lower section (this time the rust was from a large old gear). The ashphalt was used on the edges and the upper part was done in the same way as the first piece, and another piece of rusted paper was collaged to the surface. Then I incised the circles and filled them with orange and blue encaustic paint and added metalic copper to the outside ring.
One of the problems of encaustic is trying to get a good photo which shows all the depth in the work, and I think it is impossible. You really need to see these in person to appreciate them!

I am off in the morning for a private 3 day encaustic workshop with a hero of mine, Dale Roberts, in Philadelphia. Dale has several wonderful videos on Youtube that are accessible from his website, so if you are interested in encaustic and how it's done, you should check them out.  After the workshop I am off to the Big Apple with my son Evan for 4 days of art museums and live theatre. I know, poor me!

Share |

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mountain Plein Air by Sharon Lynn Williams

 "Rundle Fall", 12 x 12" plein air oil on panel
$575 beautifully framed

I had the pleasure of painiting at beautiful Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park last week. This is the iconic and world famous Rundle Mountain.

"Borgeau Fall", 12 x 12" plein air oil on panel
$575 beautifully framed

This is the view at the other end of the lake from Rundle. It was a gloriously warm day and the fall colours were brilliant.


Share |

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Plein Air: Fall in the Mountains, by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Rundle Ridge Fall", 9x12" plein air oil
$495 beautifully framed

I had the pleasure of painting in the mountains of Canmore, AB with two of my best painting buddies this week. The fall colours were astounding and the sky cloudless, which made it easier on the artists.

"Quarry Lake Fall", 12x12" plein air oil
$575 beautifully framed

This was actually the first painting of the day. This is called "Little Sister" because it is the lowest of the Three Sisters, but it is the biggest mass-wise of the three.  No wonder I keep getting them confused!

These are my 'partners in crime': Dee Poisson on the left and Patti Dyment on the right. Both are great painters and make me laugh!

Share |

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bear Grass Trails, plein air oil by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Bear Grass Trails", 9 x 12" plein air oil
$495 framed

This is a painting I did at Lake OHara, and it is one of the many on offer this weekend at the I Love Art Fundraiser in High River. The proceeds from the show go to update the Cancer Room so that people don't have to travel great distances for treatment. I am happy to participate in such a worthy cause.

Share |

Friday, September 18, 2015

Painting at Big Hawk Lake, Ontario

"Hawk Lake Shoreline", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

My hubby and I spent the last two weeks of August at our family cottage on Big Hawk Lake, which is about a half hour south of Algonquin Park in Ontario. This is a small slice of heaven, and I love to take my paints and set up a floating plein air set-up in our paddle boat with an anchor (tried the canoe but it was too tippy and subject to wind drift!). This year the weather was cool, windy and often rainy so I had to resort to taking photos to paint from in the protection of the cottage. This was the first one that I did -the spot is just around the shore from our place.

"The Island -Big Hawk Lake", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

My second painting was done at one of my favorite spots on the lake, that I call "The Island". I have painted this island many times and it always looks different. You can see the scattered showers advancing here. The water was quite high for this time of year, usually much more rock is visible.

"Feldspar, Moss & Lichen", 12x12" oil on panel

This is the directly across a little path of water from the painting location above. I am always struck by the coral-pink feldspar in some of the rocks on our lake, which is particulary prominant at this spot. I love how it contrasts with the yellow-green moss and the blue-green lichen that share their glory here.

"Colours Of Hawk Lake", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

This is another view of the same spot, just from a little further away. All the rain made the colours just sing! No chance of forest fires getting out of control in this area of the world. While in Ontario I kept reading about how the smoke from forest fires was keeping my friends in Calgary locked up in their homes. I really didn't mind the rain!

Share |

Monday, September 14, 2015

Return to Lake O'Hara, and weather!!

"View From Sargeant's Point", 12x12" plein air oil on panel
$575 framed

I had the great pleasure to return to Lake O'Hara in Yoho Provincial Park last week, which is my favorite place to paint on the planet. Unfortunately the weather was not ideal and we arrived in 4" of snow. The above painting was done on our last day as the weather was just beginning to clear.

"Along O'Hara's Shoreline", 9x12" plein air oil on panel
$495 framed

This was the painting I did on our first day. All the peaks were socked in, but the colour in the shore was incredible against all that gray. I was intrigued with the red moss that grew with the yellow-green -don't know why, but it was beautiful!

"Mt. Shaeffer Reflections", 12x12" plein air oil on panel
$575 framed

This was my effort on our third day. I love the way the reflections play on the colour of the lake, with the lake bottom showing up particularly in the areas of dark reflections. Hard to catch at the best of times and extremely challenging when painting plein air. But that's the kind of thing that challenges me and makes me coming back for more.

The first time I went to paint at Lake O'Hara in 2008 it was 25 degrees and sunny and we hiked and painted in our shorts and tee shirts. I have been back 5 more times since then, and haven't had that kind of luck again. Maybe next year...

Share |

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!


Share |

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.


Share |

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.

Share |

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!

Share |

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.
Share |

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!!
Share |

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!

Share |