Monday, January 22, 2018

Standing Tall - favourite painting for 2017

This is the largest painting I have done and is also my favourite for 2017. It is 40" x 30". I finished this painting mid-December and loved it so much I had it framed. Swinton's Art Supply did a fabulous job considering the canvas support was warped (unknown to me). I recently picked it up and have put it in my front room.

I have been trying to paint on the canvases I have already bought and the shear size of this one scared me. Well I put my "big girl panties" on and went for it. With Doug's suggestions I was happy with the direction it was going and continued on. I was also not used to the large amount of paint I had to mix, especially for the water and sky. This was by far the most expensive painting I have done but very exciting to work this large (it was a like a full body work out)!

Standing Tall
39 1/2" x 29 1/2" Oil on canvas, framed

Friday, January 12, 2018

Canada Paradise

"Canadian Paradise"
Oil on board  21.5" x 21.5" with 2" painted sides

The photo reference for this large painting is from an annual hike that I do with a group of ladies. We go in the fall and the colours can be quite spectacular. The hikes fuel and drain my body and the company fills my heart.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Travel Sketching - SMA to Mexico City to Calgary

Our next adventure was to travel from San Miguel de Allende (SMA) by bus to Mexico City for our flight back home to Calgary. The bus ride was 3 1/2 hours long. As I get car sick I could only enjoy the view and take a few photos. I tried to sketch the back of the seats ahead but that was all I could do.

We took a cab from the Norte bus terminal to the International Airport then had a few hours wait before our flight. The airport had the wonderful sculptures of Rodrigo De la Sierra. They make you smile looking at them.

On our flight to Calgary, I sketched the views from the bus based on photos. It is quite interesting to sketch from the middle seat in cramped quarters. The entertainment screen did not work so I was happy to have something to pass some of the 4 1/2 hour flight.

Drawn in one continuous line.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Travel sketching - San Miguel de Allende (2)

I was lucky enough to join Colleen in her studio class with Ernesto Folch. Everyone was working on their own individual pieces (mostly abstract) in acrylic. It was a real treat to be a "fly on the wall" and hear the teaching and watch everyone work. One artist even stood on a stool to paint. I brought my water colours and worked on my journal.

A place not to be missed in SMA is the Aurora Fabrica, an old textile mill that is now a very large art gallery with a lot of studios, in fact to much to see in one day. The work is varied with textile, paintings, sculpture etc. Some are galleries as well as working studios. Two of my favorite Mexican artists are Juan Diaz Durian and Juan Zaragoza.

The trouble with sketching people is that they move to much or leave altogether! This was the case while we were waiting for our breakfast in this tiny restaurant. Unfortunately pencil sketches do not show up well on this cream coloured paper when photographed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Travel Sketching - San Miguel de Allende (1)

We traveled by bus from Rincon de Guayabitos to Puerto Vallarta. We then took an Interjet flight to Leon and finally a shuttle (cab) to our friend Colleen's in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico on Christmas Eve. We arrived to find Colleen busy making a late pasta supper complete with wine! Fireworks randomly going off kept us on our toes while we happily caught up.

We enjoyed walking around the city on Christmas Day and marveled at the huge number of people around the main square compared to a holiday we had there last November. The second sketch is of the view on our way to the main square. I found it inspiring every time I came around the corner.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Travel Sketches in Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico

 While waiting for our bus in Melaque to go to Rincon de Guayabitos I took out my trusty travel sketch book and worked on what I was looking at in the room. I tried not to pay to much attention to the person across from me as whenever I looked at her, she looked back. The top drawing is done with an ink pen only (no chance to erase).
The sketch on the right in done in ink pen and then watercolour added to it. Some of the homes are painted very brightly and seem to layer up on each other all the way up the hill. The view is from one of the decks in Gord's sister Leslie and Carl's winter hideaway in Rincon de Guayabitos.

Mexico travel sketches - Queretaro

On Boxing Day Colleen, Gord and I took the bus to spend the day in Queretaro and walked around all the squares in the old city centre. Every corner we turned brought a new view. There were old buildings, statues (sketch below) and a lot of indigenous women selling their homemade wares from big bags on their backs and filled baskets on their arms.

One of the best things we saw on this busy day was a celebration where they filled a "tent-like" shelter with ice shavings and families were building snowmen complete with carrots, buttons and scarves. Another  area was set up for snowball fights complete with face shields. A third area had a ride with tubes down an icy slope. The line ups were long and we could hear the delightful laughter far before we could see what was going on. Our laughter joined theirs!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Mexico travel sketches -Melaque 2

 These are some of the travel sketches I did while Gord and I were visiting Ken and Marg in Melaque Mexico. Although the sketches may seem rudimentary, they certainly bring back memories of the day, smells, feeling and weather just by looking at them.
My travel book is a gift I was given by our English friends in September. It has a Hogwarts logo in metal on the front and the pages are a real cream colour. It is beautiful for writing in but the pages are waxy and watercolour behaves very strangely which has also been an interesting challenge. The paint just beads and sits on top and gives a very interesting effect. Thank you Ken and Marg for showing us a great time in and around Melaque!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Mexico travel sketches - Melaque

 These are some of the travel sketches while we were in Melaque Mexico visiting with Ken and Marg. The first is a sketch that I did in a small format to work out a larger one I was going to give as a thank you gift (see previous post).

The middle sketch is of a pickle ball tournament we were in (our first). As usual the players were gracious and inclusive. We had a great time especially as Gord and his partner came in first for the men. It was a fun tournament and the prize (besides bragging rights) was a jar of pickled asparagus! 

 The third sketch is of a beautiful beach Ken and Marg took us to (Tenacatita). I had to correct the spelling on my page. It was stunning, calm and great for snorkeling.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Gratitude Gift in Melaque, Mexico

Gord and I joined my brother and sister-in-law (Ken and Marg) for a week in Melaque, Mexico. They had already been there for 3 weeks and we just did whatever they were doing including Spanish lessons. Juan Emmanuel was giving them private lessons for an hour each day so we joined in (I was way behind them but enjoyed trying to figure out what I could). I painted a small water colour sketch of their home in my sketch book. then painted a larger one and put it in a frame we brought. They were confused as to why I would paint their house, then extremely grateful when they realized it was a gift for them that I had personally painted. The bright white nose and marks on our heads is just the sunshine (great placement!). It was wonderful to get a photo with the whole family.

The painting on the right is the original ink and water colour sketch of their home, Our lesson was usually on the upper floor balcony. They also had rental units in the building and a laundry service.

We had a great time with Ken and Marg and the week flew by! Marg is also an artist so we were quick to bring out our sketch books whenever we could.