May 23, 2012
Whine Alert! I threw my back out and even my regular swimming routine isn’t helping restore things. It has been over a week and sitting at the computer only seems to aggravate it. Oddly, standing offers the most relief, so I’ve been painting.
My apologies for not leaving comments on my favourite sites. Even this just sitting here is causing shooting pains.
This pair of Barn Owls is from a photo on the BBC Website, without credits as to whom the photographer was/is. I’m in the process of offering compensation for my using the image as reference.
The Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is, oddly enough, common in a great many countries but not here in Canada. From Wikipedia: ”. . . It is known by many other names, which may refer to the appearance, call, habitat or the eerie, silent flight: White Owl, Silver Owl, Demon Owl, Ghost Owl, Death Owl, Night Owl, Rat Owl, Church Owl, Cave Owl, Stone Owl, Monkey-faced Owl, Hissing Owl, Hobgoblin or Hobby Owl, Dobby Owl, White-breasted Owl, Golden Owl, Scritch Owl, Screech Owl, Straw Owl, Barnyard Owl and Delicate Owl. “Golden Owl” might also refer to the related Golden Masked Owl (T. aurantia). “Hissing Owl” and, particularly in the USA, “screech owl”, referring to the piercing calls of these birds. . . “
The finished piece–a birthday gift for my friend Shiela
Thank you for your patience and support. I’ll be seeing my doctor soon, and hopefully we’ll get to the cause of the problem.
May 6, 2012
This little painting (6″ x 7.5″) is of Jamieson Creek, which is not even ten minutes drive from our front door. This is a desert-like region, featuring its own local cacti (which I discovered by way of my hand), and is called The Sunshine Capital of Canada. Water, while not scarce, has usage restrictions and homes are now being installed with water meters.
So to have the Jamieson splashing over and around rocks and fallen timbers is a great joy. It is the epitome of the ‘laughing brook’ of literature, and compliments the broad, slow-moving Thompson Rivers which run through town. Were it not for our rivers, Kamloops would be uninhabitable. Right now the creek and rivers are swelling from the melt-off of mountain snows. Kamloops itself is some 4,000 ft in elevation, the mountain snows are up that much higher, and June is when the river level is at its peak.
This painting was on the wall no longer than ten minutes before it was sold. My colleague in art, Lynda Jones, thought it complimented her pottery so well she went with her impulses. And that made my day.
May 5, 2012
It was an honour being asked by Lynda Jones to share her spotlight as Featured Artist at our Old Courthouse Gallery here in my city of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Lynda is a potter whose studio is in Falkland, B. C.– a potter of ever-increasing recognition, most notably for her astonishingly beautiful smoke-fired pottery which can be seen in more detail here: http://www.okanaganpotters.ca/ljonesgallery.html.
Our Opening on May 1st came off well even though the wall socket we’d plugged the coffee and tea into was busted and we didn’t know until we were due to serve it. But once extension cords were found, a good time was had by all.
That same day, a quarterly magazine, ‘Currents’ published this very generous feature . . .
Publicity like this is very helpful and makes it all the more necessary for me to remember that watercolour is my hobby, and a medium I struggle mightily with. All I can hope for is the chance to keep learning from my continual mistakes, while trying to improve in incremental steps.
Yesterday I was very happy to learn that the owner of the ‘Dr. M. S. Wade House’ (see ‘previous entries’ below) is very taken with my rendition of her home. She’s lived in it for more than 35 years and rues the day she’ll ever have to move out–but says if and when she does, she’ll now have my painting to bring back the memories. And as a painter, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
April 25, 2012
D Day for me is May 1st. That is when Lynda Jones and I are teaming up to be The Featured Artists at The Old Courthouse Gallery here in Kamloops. Lynda is a rare and amazing potter who specializes in highly burnished smoke-fired pieces and counts among her collectors the former U. S. President Clinton.
Here is the fantastic poster she has designed:
The Local Cliffs subject I’ve been doing studies of has finally been completed as a work I’m satisfied enough to allow to be matted and framed.
One thing I’ve learned through doing it, is that this small size of 7.5″ x 9″ is very pleasing for me. It is large enough to include a good amount of detailing, and small enough to get finished in a timely way.
And now it is on to getting painting #2 for the show done before our May 1st opening. Thank you for your previous comments which helped me in producing the final result!
April 15, 2012
About ten minutes from our house is ’Cinnamon Ridge’. These are cliffs with very distinctive geologic caves and ‘hoodoos’ caused by wind erosion. Though not around at the time (I was but a gleam in my parents’ eye) 50 million years ago, the Kamloops region of British Columbia (from the Native word Tk’emlups–’where rivers meet’) was the source of great volcanic activity, and formed the seafloor of the ancestral Pacific Ocean.
Not far from Cinnamon Ridge is a loose shale shelf where my friends go to collect fossils. These fossils indeed prove this area which is so very dry, was once water-covered.
I’ve now done two studies of Cinnamon Ridge (so named because of its rich colour). The first is a small watercolour sketch about 4″ x 8″
The second is a more detailed and focused piece around 8.5″ x 12″. It has some issues as far as values go (it’s a bit too light and lacking in contrast), as well as a composition issue having to do with the train signal being much too far to the left.
And here is the photo both studies are based on:
The final painting must be ready for hanging on May 1st. So I am now about to do Study III, which will hopefully end up graduating from being a study to being worthy of mat and frame.
Painting is much like cooking. Too little salt is as much a turn-off as too much. Getting things just right wasn’t just a problem for Goldilocks.
April 5, 2012
If you follow this blog, you are aware that my favourite subjects for miniatures are birds. At this time of year the male American Goldfinches are moulting from their muted Winter coats and emerging as the amazingly-yellow, black and white stunners they are in Summer months.
They, and the other Finches and Juncos, are the overwhelmingly-frequent users of our feeders in the big Red Maple in our yard.
Because songbirds are so precious and lively and lovely, I feel compelled to ask you to please link onto this story from ‘The Guardian’: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/grrlscientist/2012/mar/21/2
[Be warned: this is NOT a feel-good article--but it is an important one]
Forgive me for this departure from my norm in postings.
March 11, 2012
These two frames were recently given to me by my friend Shiela, and truly are the smallest I’ve ever come across. Measuring 1.5″ x 1.5″, or 3.5cm x 3.5cm, the paintings themselves had to be 1″ x 1″ or 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm in order to fit within the glass.
I used as subjects, birds based on the photographs of Cornel Apostol at http://apostolcornel.wordpress.com, who has introduced me to species we don’t have here, but ones he has at his feeders in Romania. I believe the first one is a Chaffinch or ‘fringilla coeleb’ and the one on the right is a Great Tit, or ‘parus major’.