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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sicamous Colours (or lack of), last painting of 2015

This is the view towards the town of Sicamous this morning. It looks like I took it in black and white but that is the view in colour. The painting below was done last fall, quite a contrast! Wishing everyone a celebratory end to 2015 and a happy and healthy start to 2016!

"Sicamous Colours"
8" x 10" en plein air, oil on board
#20117015  $75 unframed

This is an evening view towards town that I painted outside on our deck last fall. I painted this with a brush and palette knife.

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Sam" a Christmas present of a pet portrait

This pet portrait is of a Greyhound called Sam. Sam's owner did not know I was trying to get a photo of Sam to paint and surprise her for a Christmas gift. I had to enlist Anna (co-worker) to try to get a photo from Lorena without her knowing what was going on. After a couple of tries, Lorena sent a photo of Sam's face. The bottom of the mouth was missing in the photo but it was a very intriguing and challenging foreshortened view. I was happy with the result and Lorena was extremely appreciative. Love it when my art work is appreciated.

"Sam" a pet portrait
Oil on board 14" x 11 framed Christmas gift

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Simon" - a Christmas present

This is a Christmas present I painted of "Simon" for Evan. Simon was a friendly and very large dog who loved the outdoors and people. This was painted quite large to give Simon the presence he embodied.  I love painting pets as I think of the dog and owner through the whole process. Simon passed away this fall, the world feels just a little smaller without him.

Hoping everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas and to my artist friends...may your brushes be wet throughout the New Year!

Oil on board 20" x 16" - a framed gift.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Road Less Travelled

"Road Less Traveled"
6" x 8"
Oil on board

I love this little painting. I am in open studio time with Doug Swinton. He painted a quick rough demo of this one to show me how to make a road recede. I painted this after his demo and was thrilled with how it turned out. I hope to do a larger version some time.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Highway View

"Highway View"
12" x 12" Oil on board

I love, love, love the vivid colours in this one. I haven't worked in a square format for awhile and really enjoy it. I learned a lot painting on this one.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Orchard View

"Orchard View"
11" x 14"
Oil on board 

This was a lesson in perspective and how to work with greens. I started thinking the orchard trees would be my focal point but ended up enjoying the tall trees more.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Prairie Home

"Prairie Home"
9" x 12" Oil on board
 I love the feeling of this painting. This was painted last fall when my world felt like it was filled with warm colours. I realize I have a few paintings to post before the end of the year. I make a book of my blog for my own record and need to get a few more posted.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Susan Dorf workshop

I enjoyed a day of learning and sharing at a workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico taught by Susan Dorf. The one day workshop was called the "Artist's Journal Workshop 1". Michelle and I enjoyed the class with 9 other participants, a very full class. Susan had said that she was not going to critique anyone's work and appreciated if all artist's would refrain as well. It made for a quiet class but allowed less of the inner critic's voice. I wish this class had been offered when we first arrived so I could of started a journal of this holiday. Instead of dragging my painting materials on my next holiday I will take a sketch book, water colours and pens. I learned a lot and as always, just need to "do it".  Below are the exercises in my sketch book. Check out Susan's website and art at

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Afternoon Walk in San Miguel

"Afternoon Walk"
9" x 12" oil on canvas paper
A framed thank you gift

This is a typical street in the historical part of San Miguel de Allende. The roads and sidewalks are very narrow. A lot of the front house walls actually open into large, beautiful courtyards and garage pads. It took me a little while to figure it out as the homes seemed to have trees coming out of the roof tops. There are also a lot of beautiful roof top patios.

I left this painting in our condo suite for Colleen (the owner) as a thank you gift. We became wonderful friends and enjoyed a wide variety of sights, entertainment, laughter and travelling together. The colours are inside and on the outside of her building. The three of us had gone for a day trip to Guanajuato where I had purchased 2 "worm wood" frames to use as gifts here in Mexico. I would of loved to bring a dozen home...just have to visit and go shopping here again!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
9" x 12" Oil painting on canvas paper
A framed gift

At our first pickle ball excursion we met Bill who gave us a ride to his place, offered us a cold drink and soft chair stating "Mi casa es tu casa". We went to watch the Stampeder/Lion semi-final football game at his house which turned into a party. Bill went back to the USA for a few days but offered up his home to us to so we were able to watch the Stampeder/Edmonton game. His friendship was a gift and I wanted to honour that with a painting of his "casa".

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Aldama Roundabout

"Aldama Roundabout" in San Miguel de Allende
12" x 9" oil on canvas

We walk past this car roundabout many times each day. I love the mix of concrete and nature with the sun warming it up. The funny shaped pillars or posts in front were used to tie horses to. Cobblestones are interesting to try to paint as well.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Old Versus New" in San Miguel de Allende

"Old Versus New" in San Miguel de Allende Mexico
12" x 9" Oil on canvas paper

I have really enjoyed strolling the streets and seeing the amazing differences in new/rebuilt buildings with their run down neighbours. You can tell what I find more interesting. Old windows filled in with bricks, tops of walls broken, plaster that has dropped off leaving the bare bricks, openings with no glass left and heavy bolted doors. Oh, the stories they could tell.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

San Miguel de Allende street scene

San Miguel de Allende quiet street scene.
12" x 9" oil on canvas paper

This is a typical street scene in the historical (Centro) part of the city. It looks like the trees are coming out of the roof but a lot of the front cement walls are really just large fences with beautiful courtyards inside. The building colours are historic and painted by city workers. Once out of the old historic neighborhood, houses and buildings can be painted any colour the owner wants.

Monday, November 16, 2015

El Charco 2

"El Charco 2"
En Plein Air, Oil on canvas paper, 9" x 12"

This is the second painting I did on this excursion with my painting partner Michelle. The light had changed and the water's colour changed from green to blue. I painted more of the vista and enjoyed the changing colours on the near hill and foreground cactus. progress

Friday, November 13, 2015

El Charco 1

"El Charco 1"
En Plein Air, 9" x 12" Oil on canvas paper

Jardin Botanico El Charco is a botanical garden on a hill whose springs supply the city with water and the site of the settlement originally founded by Franciscan friar Juan de San Miguel in 1542. Michelle, Gord and I hiked a long way around until we came to the main park buildings. Michelle and I found a spot in the shade to happily paint while Gord headed back. This was the first time I tried to do a painting on canvas paper and it was really different to work on. I really enjoyed the fall colours and the trees that were in the damned water. Michelle painted a beautiful water colour with a larger vista.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Casa Noble

"Casa Noble"
En Plein Air, Water colour 12" x 9"

I painted this while sitting at another table in the shade on our large deck in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We have done so much walking it was nice to sit and be still. This view is looking into our one bedroom apartment with the large kitchen door open on the left. There is another apartment above us. We can hear wonderful sounds of the school kids coming and going as well as local traffic and general life happening.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Almost There

"Almost There"
Oil on board 16" x 20"
#20116015  $300 unframed

This scene interested me because it was so atmospheric. The boats weren't in my photo but certainly added a visual interest.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fall Trees

"Fall Trees"
5" x 7" Oil on board

I am still learning on the correct value to make things come forward and recede. I am in love with the fall colours but have to work from photos as the season is to short in Calgary and all the leaves blow off to quickly.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Under The Apple Tree - en plein air

"Under The Apple Tree"
En Plein Air - Oil on board 
10" x 8" $75 unframed

I was looking for a shady place to paint outdoors (en plein air) this summer and found a perfect spot under our apple tree in Sicamous, B.C.. The view was a little awkward being so close and just above my head with the bright blue sky diminishing any details.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Alberta Culture Days - Fall Leighton View 2

This is the second painting I did at the Leighton Art Centre just outside of Calgary. It was a "Fall Paint-Out" for Alberta Culture Days. There were artists sprinkled all over the property and demo's were also held inside. It absolutely fills my soul being outside painting natures' beauty. All my senses are fully utilized.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Alberta Culture Days - Fall Leighton View 1

"Fall Leighton View 1"
En Plein Air Oil on board 12"x12"  $140 unframed

What a wonderful and varied day this was at the Leighton Centre just outside of Calgary. The Leighton Centre was celebrating Alberta Culture Days with a Fall Paint-Out. There was live music, en plein air painters as well as demos, talks and interactive art to enjoy. I managed a painting in the morning and one in the afternoon. The overcast lighting was challenging but I felt like I was in my element!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Oil on board  20" x 16"
$300 unframed

This painting is based on a photo taken by our son, Curtis while he was working in the Antarctic. Their plane was flying low over the huge, many storied high icebergs. I loved the sense of depth as well as the view that humans are close but there are still boundaries to Mother Nature. This painting has been entered into "Earth Matters" art contest.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kacie, Keelie and Kalli - a pet portrait

This is a pet portrait that Lavona commissioned (thank you!). I loved their bright collars and the differences in each dog's face. The top painting was just about finished so I asked for input and made a couple of minor changes. They were unsure of the vibrant pink background so I toned it down but still kept some of the pink coming through. It was hard to find a neutral colour (with the dogs all being neutral) without washing them out. The final painting is below.

Kacie, Keelie and Kalli - sold
11" x 14" Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas with image over the sides and bottom.
The response to the gifted painting "... to share with you the bride was so excited with my gift of the dane painting...she had tears in her eyes!  My son too was  thrilled and says.." wow" that looks exactly like her!!"
So grateful for the feedback, thanks Lavona!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mia Moo - a pet portrait

"Mia Moo"    SOLD
9" x 9" Acrylic on gallery wrap (with painted sides)

This wonderful Great Dane was a commission that was going to be given as a gift. This beauty's attitude really came through in the photo I was given...what a great way to spend my birthday. It was fun using so many colours even though Mia Moo is black and white, I did not use black! I just love her name! I also worked on another commission that I will post later.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Purple Dance

Purple Dance
Plein Air Oil on canvas board 8" x 10"
$75 unframed      #20013915

Instead of a vista, this time I looked for something closer at hand. These flowers were in the arched gate entrance to the back yard in Sicamous. It felt strange setting up my easel in the driveway, but enjoyed the fact I didn't have to pack everything so far.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sicamous Public Beach View

I found a shady spot under a very large tree next to the sandy public beach. The sky started out clear but quickly turned very smokey resulting in very pale muted background mountains and hills and a very flat view. It a very peaceful scene and as I was painting early in the morning, the beach was empty except for 1 family so very calm and peaceful as well. The view is just left of my easel with the channel marker for the boats going in and out of the channel.

Sicamous Public Beach View
8" x 10" Plein Air Oil on canvas board
$75 unframed   #20010915

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Knitted Tree Project

I was at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery and they had this write up about a community Knitted Tree Project that will be put together in the Fall. There are skeins of wool and they want people to knit leaves or branches. I had time to kill so I went to the thrift store, bought a pair of knitting needles, found a park bench and knitted away. When I went back for my meeting, I had the leaf above to add to the project. What fun to be part of a community project! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sicamous Creek Falls 2 and 3

These are the second and third paintings that I did on a very hot day in August. I was completely unaware of the audience I had watching me from the large rocks above me and was quite startled when they started talking to me! I loved the green colour of the water with the algae on the rocks below, a very shady undisturbed area.

Sicamous Creek Falls 2
Plein Air, Oil on board 5" x 7"
#20019815     $20 unframed

Sicamous Creek Falls 3
Plein Air, Oil on gallery wrapped canvas 9" x 9" (see painted top below)
#20019815A         $80 no framing required

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sicamous Creek Falls

I painted standing just below these falls. It was pleasantly cool in the shade with the spray heading my way, perfect for a very hot August day. The water pooling was a very interesting green from the mossy rocks below. I was having so much fun enjoying myself that I painted 2 other small paintings using a variety of different colours for the under painting (next posting).

Sicamous Creek Falls
12" x 9" Oil on board plein air
$100 unframed  #20014815

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hyde Mountain Golf Course, Sicamous B.C.

"Hyde Mountain Golf Course view of Mara Lake"
10" x 8" oil on canvas board
$75 unframed

The view is absolutely stunning from the deck of the Hyde Mountain Golf Course. I went up early and set up my easel at the edge of the deck soaking in the beautiful view of Mara Lake below and beyond. It was very smokey which added a real pink haze to the sky and water. As the sun was trying to burn through the colours were changing quickly and lightening up. There were no golfers having breakfast yet so I had the deck all to myself and happily painted away.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Toys

"Summer Toys"
Oil on Gallery Wrapped canvas with painted sides (framing not required)
18" x 36"       $500

This painting is from a photo I had taken on Whidbey Island. I worked on it in Kelowna while I was looking after my convalescing Mom last winter. I was using the new Opus Artist Quality oil paints for the first time. They were interesting to mix with and the colours were slightly muted but I was happy with the result.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Smokey Enderby Cliffs

 I stopped in Enderby after the opening night of the 27th Annual Ribbon Show in the Armstrong Spallumcheen Art Gallery. It was still smokey from the forest fires which gave the Enderby cliff's really interesting colours. I found a spot near where people come out from rafting the river, enjoying all the happy voices. Between the smoke and the fading sun I had to paint quickly to capture the colours before they muted away. The top picture is the painting in progress and you can still see a little of the beautiful colours in the cliffs in the background. I worked on the foreground when the light was fading and the water colours were muted. Generally forest fires are not enjoyed but they do change the colours and soften shapes...another wonderful evening in B.C.

"Smokey Enderby Cliffs"
8" x 10" plein air oil on board
$75 unframed

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sparkling Hill Resort Plein Air

"Sparkling Hill View"
8" x 10" Oil on board
$75 unframed

On my way to Kelowna at the end of May, I stopped at the Sparkling Hill Resort to paint the gorgeous views. I found a shady spot on a walking path just below the entrance and filled my senses with the sounds, sights and smells of this beautiful location. The colours were a wonderful variety with the hills in purples and oranges and the grasses a vivid yellow green. I turned my easel slightly to the left and had a completely different view to paint the second painting. It felt like the world and time stopped while I painted, I felt so lucky.

"Sparkling Hill View 2"
8" x 10" Oil on board
&75 unframed

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blooming Pink

"Blooming Pink"
Plein Air Acrylic on Board
8" x 8" unframed  $65

The second photo is of my plein air set up in our Sicamous yard. I would like to be able to paint plein air (outdoors on site) with acrylic because of it's drying factor when done. The trouble I have is it dries on the brush before I can get it on the canvas. I love the wow factor in the colours but need more practice blending. Fortunately Sicamous is rich in colours and subjects so I won't run out of things to try painting with acrylic.