This is my Christmas montage....from store windows in New York to our very own Main Street, the warmth of a kitchen in a baking frenzy and a single tree in our backyard at twilight. It all goes by so fast! Until next year.....
I had a few really good Aha! moments this year, and I hope to keep the momentum up in the year ahead. I'm just approaching my 100th small format painting! I selected a few of these in my first ever 2013 Calendar available in my Etsy shop.
It's funny, I never set out to paint cats in particular. But they languish and pose so beautifully, how could I not? Just a few of the cats I painted this year....with more to come judging from the growing collection of photos I've been sorting through.
...and this is why I haven't been posting paintings lately. The art to fabric project I've been working on has kept me busy especially as Christmas approached. Taking sketches of local places (beautiful Hudson on the Lake of Two Mountains), I created a "toile" design for fabric and have been happily sewing these into pillows. The second image is of some teacups and florals
inspired by a favorite tearoom/florist here in town (Mademoiselle Clifford).
The design was adjusted here to reflect the favorite colors of two little misses by the names of Madeleine and Lily who are in to fuschia and purple and Alice in Wonderland. I have so many ideas for the new year using these fabrics!
I do miss blogging at this time of year. It gets so busy... but for good reason. Inspite of three power outages in three days, I managed to finish this trio of paintings. My favorite is the one on the far right. Long hair cats are a bit of a challenge and I am constantly switching between "brights" and chisel edge brushes. Delivery is tomorrow and then it's Christmas!
No, not a mistake....the title is correct. This is the first of a trio of "ragdoll" cats that I have painted this week. I hadn't heard of this type of cat until recently. Distinguishing features are their beautiful fur and blue eyes.
I worked on some new sketches to add to my fabric project. I will likely add more new dog breeds like Yorkies and Dachsunds. The ones you see here are
from the top, German Pointer, lower left, a Nova Scotia Duck Toller Retriever,
and a Boxer.
I can never get over how quickly time flies once November is over!. It's already too late to add to my Etsy shop and shipping will be hard to predict.
Luckily my project is a local one and is doing well with more new plans for it in 2013.
This morning I prepped three new 6" x 6"'s too so I will start my day tomorrow by working on these oils...a commission to paint three beautiful
Ragdoll cats. This is a breed I had only recently became aware of. All Ragdoll
cats have blue eyes and beautiful long hair so they will be a pleasure to paint.
So I have dogs to sketch and cats to paint!.....and Christmas presents to shop for, baking to do, wrapping gifts, cards to wri.............
And as time is flying...I have added a link to my 2013 Calendar available in
my Etsy shop. It is at the top of the list of links to the left.
Well it has been a busy month and now it's time to switch gears. This past month was sort of an official outing of my Sketchbook project which was exciting. The response was terrific and many pillows were sold. The potential
for expanding on this idea is established. I am starting to miss the painting of the small formats though so I will be prepping sketches for that this week.
When painting smaller formats, I rarely stray from the 6" x 6" size but thought I'd repeat this subject at 8" x 8" size on a deep stretched canvas this time. I have one more 11" x 14" I'd like to do with pumpkins as the theme before I move on to other subjects. I am enamoured of the colour orange these days. Both are available on my Etsy site.
In addition to the calendar I prepared using sketches from my home town, I created more sketches with a tea theme to use in our local tearoom. This worked very well as fabric for pillow panels and I'll also (eventually) make a repeat pattern to use on fabric which can be bought by the meter (or yard if you're in the U.S.) Can you tell I'm having fun!?
Okay, I'm getting my orange fix satisfied this month by painting pumpkins. This little size was just to whet my appetite for a larger format. I look outside and the yard is ablaze with golden leaves and the pumpkins on my front porch are being nibbled on by squirrels. It's a good thing I've taken all my reference photos already!
I thought the corn would be the most difficult but the corn husks were the real challenge. There is a lot of color in these. Everything from cadmium oranges to purples and corals and the color reflected from the kernels. But that's okay...I want to do it all over again!
I'm never one to get anything done ahead of time, but this was one project that I was too excited about! I will have this 2013 calendar featuring a sampler of my daily paintings in my Etsy shop. I love how it turned out. Printed at 5" x 7" on satin finish card stock, the images can be framed when the month is over.
Fall means so many good things. Apples and pumpkins and falling leaves and all those wonderful colors. I took this image last year at this time and was longing to paint it and was just able to get around to it this past week just in time for the once a year studio tour (happening right now!). This one is my favourite of the small formats. It has the type of brush stroke I've been trying to acquire.
Here is a preview of my latest project! The 2013 calendar will have a sampling of the "daily" paintings I've been working on, printed on a beautiful satin finish cardstock at 5" x 7". The photo above shows the images displayed side by side but I will post more photos of the actual calendar soon.
The original March and October paintings are still available at $90 for October and $75 for March.
Available here, payable through Paypal or through my Etsy shop. (soon to be added). The calendar will be $20 plus shipping.
Although the cherries are certainly the subject of this painting, I've had it in mind to introduce more fabrics into my paintings. I've seen beautifully rendered textures and patterns in oil paintings and I may start taking photos with that in mind. Always wanted to paint cherries with all their little reflections and the delicious reds...........done!
I've always wanted to create some calendars with my art work and this one came together as a by product of the fabrics I've been designing from sketches I've done in and around my home town of Hudson on the Lake of Two Mountains (half way between Montreal and Ottawa). I enjoy the view across the lake as I drive home and am always inspired no matter what season or weather. I've had this one printed on a cotton twill, finished the edges and added a dowel for hanging. I'm enjoying this application of art to fabric
The second image below was designed for the Nichoir Bird Rehabilitation centre we have here to help raise funds to build a proper new facility. Also
printed on cotton twill and finished as the one above. If interested, please
email me. The price is $20 plus shipping payable through Paypal and 20% goes
I was asked by a friend of my son's to paint this painting from a photograph taken at her friend's wedding a year or so ago. It was a very busy photograph with people in the background and these photographs are not usually suitable subject matter for oil paintings but I'm always up for a challenge. The format is small at 6" x 8" but the only way to know whether I could do it was to just get started.
My beginning was pleasant enough and moved along and I was encouraged to continue. The second photo is at 95% finished and I've decided to let it sit for a day or so but I'm already itching to correct and finish it. I'd like to make the brushstrokes in the background less busy, lighten the bride's shoulder, finish the mother's hairline and a touch more on the glasses. I'm so happy with the results so far and grateful to this friend for the opportunity to discover the things which I thought beyond my abilities.
And my title?.......a mother's hand and the gesture speak volumes but especially that I have just discovered that the mother in this image has just recently passed away.
These little unassuming birds inspire me. Last year I had made the necklace in the second photo. Silver and my handcrafted glass bead dangles from a
copper focal piece that contains a resin filled bezel with a photo of this
chickadee. The painting was just completed yesterday. I think it translated well in both mediums. Simple enough to be reduced to a tiny size for the jewellery piece and fun to paint the 6" x 6" canvas of this chickadee on a snowy branch.
Here is the final digital collage of my most recent sketches of Hudson scenes.
This time focusing on a sailing theme. Can't wait to see this one printed on
fabric. My plan for the moment is to have a series of four as pillows with an
allover print to accompany it and be able to add elements according to interest. So far so good... I am enjoying the prep work a great deal. Sketching is something I'm not accustomed to, so it is rewarding to collect
these into something usable other than leaving the sketches on the shelf.
This is the scene I photograph often (as seen in the previous post) of the church across the Lake of Two Mountains in Oka. Every time I drive home along the lake, I see something worth photographing. The change of seasons or even the time of day, provide new ways of seeing the landscape on either side of the road; farms on one side and the lake on the other. Early this summer a family of geese stayed behind rather than continue on their northern journey and raised their goslings on the small lake near my home, which prompted me to photograph and sketch them. I thought I'd have a little
fun and morph my sketch with one of my photographs.
I wanted to add a few more sketches to the fabric project I started earlier this year. Local landmarks and scenes have been photographed and slowly I'm getting around to sketching them. Here is a prototype...
Now that I've assembled the various sketches I will adjust and re-sketch the elements I need before having the fabric printed.
Wow! It's been a while....but it's been busy in a good way. At the beginning of August, I had the opportunity to display some of my small format paintings at the tea room here in Hudson (Mademoiselle Clifford's Florist and Tea Room on Cameron). It's the perfect setting for paintings with a floral theme.
Since then, I was invited to display them here on a continuing basis and I gladly accepted.
Not exactly my "favorite recipe" as my cooking skills have developed a little more than that over the years but this recipe I've had since I was 16 and I'll leave you guessing how long that might be. Worthy of an illustration at least.
I always have fun planning what to do for the "They Draw and Cook" website but actually getting around to it takes me awhile. This is only my second published to that site and I'd like to think I will be doing more soon.
The last of the red tulip series. I had this wonderful wine red distressed frame and after completing several in the 6 x 6 x 1.5 format I realized I really should do one for this frame....and then that's it for tulips.
In fact this week I've been working with watercolors mostly. There's something about summer, gardens, and the immediacy of watercolor that I enjoy right now.
I missed the June calendar so I made sure to make time to create one for July. My interest this year has been to use other media and this is a good example. The pattern in the top half is a stamp I carved, scanned in and altered to fit. Some photographs of the flowers in my garden layered with pencil sketches of my vintage bistro chair and an old watering can. I am so enjoying working digitally and putting all these together. If you wish, just click on the image to expand and drag to your desktop where you can then take into your desktop appearance panel to use for the month. (Please let me know if there are problems fitting onto your desktop monitor, for example, if the image is cutoff at the left or along the bottom. I can re-size it for different monitor sizes).
Ever since I saw a version of this at Anthropologie, I knew I had to make one. (a patchwork of past paintings) I had already stripped canvases from the stretcher bars of paintings that were never finished and had rolled away for some other purpose so I had only to find a chair. And lo and behold my local Saturday morning thrift shop had exactly what I needed. I love it when projects come together like that. This was a big hit at the art exhibition this past weekend and "yes" I would sit on it!
Well I'm cleaning up my files (and they do need cleaning up) in the days after doing an exhibition. I love this part. Time to reflect on the successes (or not) of the ideas that became reality; a time to decide on what to pursue or leave behind (to be filed under "what was I thinking"). I'll share more of the past weekend in later posts after I've uploaded photos of finished works but I came across this one and I am so happy to see these brushstrokes which may come easily to some artists but that I struggle to achieve due to excessive puttering.
I've been working on something new and am excited to finally have the finished product in my hands. A "toile"* design depicting Hudson. Snippets taken from my sketchbook of Hudson scenes like the drive along Chemin de l'anse toward the town with the view of Oka across the Lake of Two Mountains,
horses grazing in the fields, the ducks on Pine Lake, the bunnies in our backyards and the birds and bees that frequent our gardens, the fences and flowers that abound everywhere. The first fabric I have developed is formatted for 16" pillows and there will be (soon) the companion fabric showing more of these Hudson scenes that we call home.
Black toile design on Cotton/Linen fabric in white.
Other colors will be available upon request.
Toile de Jouy, sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile", is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single color, most often black, dark red, or blue. Greens, browns, and magenta toile patterns are less common, but not unheard of. Toile is most associated with fabrics (curtains and upholstery in particular, especially chintz), though toile wallpaper is also popular. Toile can also be used on teapots, beddings, clothing, etc. In upper-class (primarily American, but also northern European) society, toile is often seen on dresses or aprons used at such events as country-themed garden parties or tea parties.