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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Isabel's thank you gift

This is a painting of the building that Leslie and Carl are renting (top floor). I try to bring a frame to places we go/rent in case I have the time to paint a small picture to leave as a thank you gift.

I had made a sketch from the end of the pool in my sketch book and enjoyed it enough to do another one using real water colour paper and my water colour pencils to paint the same picture. Her building is painted the red/orange and yellow.

Isobel's family owns the building and she looks after the business and lives on the second floor. She was both gracious and generous allowing us to stay with Leslie and Carl from Dec 25 until Dec 30. She was happy with her gift and enjoyed showing it to her family members arriving for New Years.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Breakfast beach view and sketching

I sketched this view before and after breakfast from the Stephanie Villa restaurant, beach side. The beach was really filling up and the colourful umbrellas were everywhere. The surf was picking up as well so there was a real feeling of a lot of movement. We have never gone away over Christmas and this is sooooo much fun with all the busyness and people enjoying themselves in Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico.

Leslie (Gord's sister) and Carl have rented the top
apartment in Calle Gar4denias #9 in Rincon de Guayabitos and they have very generously shared it with us from Dec 25 until Dec 30. It is a few blocks from the beach and is a wonderful reprieve from the celebratory beach busyness. I sat at the end of the pool and sketched then painted the sketch with water colour pencils, what a glorious way to spend some quiet time!

I was sitting on the beach sketching when I looked up and a young vendor was intensely watching me. Gord asked him his name and age and we learned Ricardo was 8. He was so engrossed in what I was doing that I just kept sketching. I showed him my other drawings in my book and he seemed very pleased. Next time I come I will bring pencil crayons and colouring books to share!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sketching on a bus in Mexico

We had our family Christmas on December 23 as both of our kids and their partners were going to be able to come. Our plan was to head out to Sicamous B.C. until New Years, staying at our cabin there. With the weather cold and snowy, we started to dream of where else we could go. We have the wonderful opportunity to use our "parent benefits" with WestJet to travel inexpensively so we looked at where they flew and thought we might get to London, England. Getting there was no problem but coming home the flights were almost full. We talked to Leslie and Carl in Rincon de Guayabitos, they were happy for company and had an extra bedroom so off we went!! As our flight left at 1am, I did not feel like doing any sketching but decided to pass some time away on the bus from Puerto Vallarta to Rincon de Guayabitos. Couldn't see much forward so decided to draw what I could see (the inside of the bus). I was so excited to be in a warm climate again and on our way to visit with Leslie and Carl!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Lucy's gift

This painting was sent to England as a Christmas gift for Lucy. She was up very early one morning walking dogs and took photos of the beautiful sky and the reflection on Mara Lake. She was so excited she wanted to wake everyone to have a look. I know the colours look odd, but that is what they were.

 Lucy posted the photo on her travel blog and I painted it as a surprise. She made many friends, impressed people with her spirit and had a lot of adventures in Sicamous, B.C. She reminded us very much of our daughter.

"Lucy's Gift"
12" x 9" Oil on board framed


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jeneba's Gift - Walking In The Rain

"Walking In The Rain"    

12" x 12" Oil on board
#20125216 - a Christmas gift

This painting is a gift for Jeneba for Christmas. Our son Curtis took a photo of Jeneba walking on a boardwalk in B.C. I loved knowing it was Jeneba but the umbrella shielded the viewer from knowing who it was unless you know her. The walking in the rain, the slipperiness and shininess of the boardwalk, her rubber boots and umbrella were all enticing as an artist.

Bonus for me, this is the first painting she said anyone has done of and for her, she loved it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


8" X 10" Oil on canvas board

The photo reference used for this painting was taken by our son Curtis when he was working in the Arctic as a pilot for Kenn Borek Air. It was summer there so the view was quite different and the frozen water had broken into small chunks of ice. I love the barrenness of this one as well as the contrast with the warm and cools.

He gave me the history and the names this area is called. The Inuit call this area "Aujuittuq" which means "place that never thaws". The name of the area by non-Inuit is called Grise Fiord (which means "Pig Inlet" in Norwegian). It was named by an explorer because of the walruses.

Friday, December 23, 2016

"I'm Not Suppose To Tell Anyone, But..."

"Talk" about fun to do! Wild colours and wild conversations. We have all been at both ends, the speaker of secrets and the receiver of secrets we may not of wanted to hear. Now we are the unwilling keeper of the "secret". When I was painting this one, I was going to call it "Office Politics" but then thought the concept was more general than that. Did you notice the speaker has her fingers crossed?

"I'm Not Suppose To Tell Anyone, But..."
16" x 12" Acrylic on canvas with black painted sides

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Canola Field & Canola Field 2

I used a photo reference and really enjoyed painting this one. The feeling of a large space with a big sky really held my interest.

"Canola Fields"
9" x 12" Oil on board

I enjoyed painting the one above so I thought I would paint it on a larger scale and on canvas this time instead of board. It had a completely different feel as you can see in my colour choices and shapes.I love the lines of the fields with the trees and buildings dividing them. The larger sky was fun to do.

"Canola Fields 2"
16" x 20" Oil on canvas

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Open Country

The expansive view of this painting from the grass in front, fields, hills, mountains to the open sky really peaked my interest. I had a hard time starting this one, just couldn't seem to settle down, like I had to much energy for such a calming scene. I finally had to cover the board with Red Iron Oxide to get rid of all the starting/drawing paint marks and start again, that seemed to help. Once I got started it started to flow.

"Open Country"
Oil on board 9" x 19 7/8" in thin silver frame

Monday, December 19, 2016

Paddling The Shuswap

This painting was done with the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club in Sicamous. Leanne Spanza taught a workshop for the group awhile back and not all could attend so Betty showed us Leanne's technique and away we went. It was certainly different for me to paint in this style but doing a water scene is always enjoyable in any style. Leanne's technique looks simple enough until you try to do it, enjoyed the learning there.

"Paddling The Shuswap"
16" x 12"
Acrylic on canvas

Sunday, December 18, 2016


This was a very fun rooster painting to do. Apparently strutting his stuff was not very successful with the hens for this little guy, but with a little practice and time I am sure he will do fine.  Michelle Grant had some photos for sale, this reference was well worth the $2. Her photos were beautiful and varied.

10" x 10" Oil on board

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ruby Sunflowers

This painting is from a  photo taken by my friend Sue Bingham of sunflowers in her garden. I love the colouring in them as they reminded me of rubies, not the standard yellow/orange variety.

"Ruby Sunflowers"
9" x 12" Oil on board

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Country Drive

Country Drive is an oil painting that I had painted awhile ago but was not happy with it. Calgary Sketch Club had a critique night and after hearing some suggestions I took it home and applied a couple of them. It is amazing what someone else can see but you can't until it is pointed out. I am
very happy with it now!

"Country Drive"
20" x 16" Oil on board

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Forgotten San Miguel de Allende sketches

Now back from our holidays, I was going through my sketch book and thought I would post sketches that I did on the holiday but did not put on my blog. As I make a book at the end of the year of my blog posts, I wanted to add these.

Above - Guanajuato
Flower and butterfly - drawn during flight

Above - Nov 11 - Remembrance Day

Monday, December 12, 2016

San Miguel de Allende - parting gift

Something I started years ago, was to leave a painting or card for my hosts that I painted while I was visiting or renting. I sat on the curb down and across from our rental house on San Rafael Norte and painted this water colour. The sidewalks are so narrow, I had to turn my feet sideways to make room to let the cars pass. I was certainly getting interesting looks as it seemed everyone was driving home from work! We packed a mat and metal frame from home but the glass broke in our travels, hopefully the owners can get another one cut.

"San Rafael Norte 6"
Water colour, ink, matted and framed

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cycle In Style

This painting was really fun to do. Both my husband and I enjoy cycling and the outfits we see are very interesting - from spandex, work clothes to "out for the night". These lovely ladies are in the "out for the night" category and having fun. I decided to put the bike rental sign in Swedish as that is one of the places we would like to visit and cycle. This painting is quite textured but the camera flattens it out.

"Cycle In Style"
12" x 16" Acrylic on canvas

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Prairie Home 2

"Prairie Home 2"
12" x 9" Oil on board

This painting was done from a photo taken by Doug Swinton. I loved the side way view of the house and felt the yellows and blues gave it a warm, well lived in feel.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Red Marsh

 Time to hurry and post some paintings I did before our holiday as I am hoping our son will make me another book of my year of painting from my blog postings (as a Christmas present).

"Red Marsh"
12" x 9" Oil on board

The painting on the top is the finished painting. The photo below is the painting (almost finished) with the photo reference on my easel. I liked the feel of the photo so worked on it in a class I am taking with Doug Swinton. I found this painting very challenging, but am happy with the finished painting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sketching on flight #2 home - part 2

I had brought my sketch book, ink pens, water colour paint and pencils to challenge myself to try to do 30 sketches during this holiday to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I surpassed my goal and drew 44 sketches in part by joining up with the Urban Sketchers San Miguel de Allende and sketching with the group weekly. It inspired me to sketch just about every day and on some days, multiple sketches. I will finish this sketch book then move on to a couple I made in Mexico with water colour paper (thanks for showing me how and where Judy!).

This sketch was challenging in that it was done in one continuous line in ink. We were on our last flight home (Houston to Calgary) after a holiday to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was sitting in a middle seat so my physical space was limited. I decided to draw from a photo on my phone of a market place booth. Drawing with the planes vibration was already shaky so it did not matter.

This sketch is of another cute napkin I was given. My views were very limited therefore so was my subject matter. With the lack of elbow room, I did not attempt to colour either of these in.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sketching on flight #2 home, part 1

Houston, USA to Calgary was our second flight. I found sketching while in a middle seat difficult as I had to keep my elbows in (both people on either side had the arm rest) but I had a lot of time to kill. I sketched the contents on my tray table but wasn't able to colour it due to the lack of elbow room.

The second thing to catch my eye was the cute napkin under my cup. I pulled out one water colour pencil for this one but did not use water. United does have great napkins.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sketching on flight #1 home

The following sketches were done on our first leg of flying home from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We were picked up by at shuttle at 6 a.m. for the 1 1/2 hour drive to the Leon, Mexico airport. We flew from Leon to Houston, roughly a 3 hour flight. The first sketch I tried to colour in with water colour pencils but was not happy with the way in worked on the 60 lb sketch paper. I had packed my brush in my checked suitcase so tried to activate them with water on my finger or the pencils.

The second sketch was done after looking out the window and singing "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", the clouds were all different shapes. I had started it on the first leg and finished it on the second flight.

Friday, December 2, 2016

San Antonio Church and Plaza sketches

Our our last day in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I was lucky enough to be able to join the Urban Sketchers San Miguel de Allende on their weekly outing. This time we met in the San Antonio Church and plaza. Children were also off school so the plaza was very busy and active. The children were especially interested in what we were doing and a few posed for one of the sketchers.

I decided to be brave and try some of the people. I thought these 3 men were interested and the two "bookends" were sketchers. The middle person was waiting for his child to play for awhile and then decided to leave when he felt me looking at him. Sketching "sketchers" works so much better as you know they will be fairly still for awhile.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sketching another roof terrace view

This is another sketch done from our roof top terrace of San Miguel de Allende. There is such a fabulous view and the architecture is so varied that I could probably draw a different point of view daily. We haven't been able to spend as much time as we would like due to the unseasonably cool and windy weather this month. I wish our holiday was longer!