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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Leighton Christmas Sale Invite

3 Is Not A Crowd
11" x 14" Oil on canvas
Photo reference by Mya Helena

This painting (and a wide variety) of 14 others are going in the Leighton Art Centre Annual "Christmas in the Country Art Sale". There will be over a thousand pieces of fine craft and unframed artworks by local artists. Each artist can put up to 15 pieces of unframed art in a named bin. The prices reflect unframed work. It is worth the drive to see the spectacular views, free admission and a crazy amount of original art. Two weekends of Christmas Cheer - Nov 4 & 5 and 11 & 12.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harvest Ready - Grape Escape Series - #11

"Harvest Ready"
"24 x 18 " Oil on panel
#11 in Grape Escape Series
Photo Reference by Joan Keating

This is the last painting in this series. I started painting grapes as a distraction from watching the sump pumps and preparing for a flood on Mara Lake this spring. When I asked my friend Joan Keating to help name my paintings, she also supplied more photos from her travels. Her husband Ross suggested I paint a grape rolling away and title it "Grape Escape", voila I had the series title! This series was a mental escape.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Bounty - Grape Escape Series - #10

"Fall Bounty"
Grape Escape Series - #10
16" x 20" Oil on canvas
Reference photo by Joan Keating

I really enjoyed exploring with a wider range of colours and shapes in this painting. The posts with bright tape holding the trunk upright really caught my eye. It was interesting trying to get a sense of depth with size and colour.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2 Art Shows This Saturday

You are invited to both art shows this Saturday. Free parking, entry and door prize ballot for original art.
The Federation of Canadian Artists show (left invite) is a juried show and all 4 of my paintings were juried in. I will be helping with the setting up of this show but will not be in attendance. There will be a lot of artists there to help or answer any questions. The paintings for this show were juried (images on line) through Vancouver FCA.

The Calgary Sketch Club (invite on the right) is not a juried show. I will have 10 paintings in this show and art cards for sale. As I try to alternate shows, I will be in attendance at this show all day.

You will be amazed at the variety of beautiful original art work at both shows. If you are in Calgary, know you are invited and welcome to go to either or both shows.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Epoch - Grape Escape Series - #9

#9 in Grape Escape Series
8" x 10" Oil on canvas board

I painted this painting as a demo on how to "start" a plein air oil painting. This was not done en plein air (outdoors on location) but I brought my plein air easel and showed how I set up. I was not satisfied with my under painting or "start" when I got home so I wiped half of it out (see below) and started again. I took pictures so I could show the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club how you can wipe out an oil painting unlike acrylic where you paint over.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Final Travel Sketches in the UK - #6

 These are my sketches of the fun that Gord, Lucy and I had in Edinburgh Scotland. From a full regalia bagpiper, a foot high veggie burger, my first scotch, dressing up in period clothing at the National Museum of Scotland, funky outdoor music and learning about the royal Britannia ship were just some of the fun.

 Our last 2 nights were with the Hart's in their home. We were tired from Edinburgh so the last day was spent leisurely. We walked along the canals, enjoyed walking and having a coffee break in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens and walking through the beautiful park.
Barbara eagerly taught us how to play Rummikub. The first time she handily beat us (Gord and I played as one), and Lucy won the second game. The last night Barbara won again! We brought a crib game as a gift (in the shape of a bear) and only had time to teach Peter one game. I think challenges for both games will be played in the future.  It was a very different holiday for us and very enjoyable. We came home happily tired.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Two birds that made it through Canadian Thanksgiving! Top is alcohol ink, bottom is an oil painting. I was lucky enough to be able to celebrate with lots of family in Sicamous, B.C. this year. Safe travels to everyone travelling home.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Travel Sketches in the UK #5

I celebrated my birthday at the Hart's home. I woke up to banners on the doors, balloons and presents!! We had a delicious celebratory barbeque with their friends Wanda and Steve. It was a very memorable birthday!

 We tried a variety of foods, a clotted cream tea (Gord in Shaftebury), curries (Indian and Thai), Full English Breakfast etc. A favourite dining spot was "Spoons" or Wetherspoons when we were travelling. Menu and grocery store items had the most common food allergens bolded so it was easy for me to feel comfortable with what I ate with my cow dairy allergy. I enjoyed a lot of latte coffees.
Barbara had also bought items I had never tried that were dairy free (very thoughtful).
Shaftesbury was high on our list. Our our fireplace in Sicamous is a large framed photo of this famous street that Gord's Dad had been given as a retirement gift. We now have a photo to add in the corner of the big one.

This sketch is a view from our AirBnB apartment balcony overlooking the river in Edinburgh Scotland. Lucy, Gord and I flew there for a 3 night stay. We packed in a lot of the sights while there and really enjoyed ourselves.

I painted a night time view of this scene and left it in a frame in the apartment as a thank you gift.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Travel Sketches in the UK #4

Lacock chocolate shop

 We did a lot of travelling with Peter and Lucy. What a difference it makes when you can travel by car and stop where you want. We did not waste any time as well as we were taken right to the spots we were most interested in.

I was fascinated by all the history, stone work, beautiful land and the variety of sights to see.

Lucy, Gord and I walked up to Corfe Castle and the view was amazing. The houses in the town below were made from the castle rocks.


We saw so many sights including a bi-plane with a wing walker when we pulled over. We walked to Hengistbury Head and really enjoyed looking at all the crowded cabins (really an updated shed in size) along the water. The grass, sand and dunes were really visually relaxing after the bright coloured cabins.

We had another beautiful view in Lulworth and even managed to get some dog playing time in.
Tyneham had a spooky feel to it. The government took the town of 228 people over for training in 1943 and never gave it back. A note was left on the church door "Please treat the church and houses with care; we have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Travel Sketches in the UK #3

 Some of these sketches went from Urban Sketching (done on location) to holiday sketches done in the evening or early morning. The sketch above is in Bradford On Avon. The AirBnB place we stayed on was just on the left of this bridge. We traveled over this bridge multiple times a day.
We biked along the canal system to Bath and I toured the Roman Baths while Gord toured the city to find all the places we wanted to see together.
The canal boat below is the Barbara McLellan that takes people for tours up and down the canal system.

We met Jacqueline Redfern as we biked past her canal boat. Jacqueline and her husband retired, sold everything, bought a channel boat and they have traveled and lived on the channels for 3 years. They are now living the dream they didn't know they had. Loved her art and the whole concept...Gord is now worried. You can check out her art at