Monday, April 21, 2014

Recollect-Ted WIP 1 and hopefully sharing a smile

Do you remember when I showed you a photo of two old Teds and a few other objects a few weeks ago? Click on the link if you want to see the photo again.

To quickly recap, in November of last year I agreed to help raise money for The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. There was a local TV auction and the person with the highest bid won the opportunity to work with me in developing my next Ted painting.  My lucky winner Helen chose to base the idea for the painting on her and her twin sisters two old Teds who have been with them since they were both two years old. She also loaned me an old photo of the two of them as children and a few other sentimental objects to encorporate into the painting. As I carefully unpacked the Teds, the old photograph and the other objects the idea of the two Teds recollecting a very special moment in their life when they were first adopted came to me.

I wanted create a background that was relatively plain but at the same time enhance the soft feminine feel that I want the painting to have so I chose to suggest a stitched quilt type texture.

The old framed photograph was a delight to paint. At about 3 by just over 6 inches it's almost a true miniature painting within the larger painting. I adapted the old reference photo slightly and added in Helen and Linda's two Teds as youngsters capturing that moment when they had just been adopted from Belfast zoo in Ireland by these 2 year old girls. Click on the photo to see the painting so far a little larger. I will be working on Linda's Ted next (the one behind the photograph).

I also want to share with you a fun e card that I made while waiting for the successive glazes of paint to dry on the background. I hope it makes you smile.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Incriminate-Ted to Feature in Splash 16

I am honoured to have a painting selected to be in this popular series of North Light books again this year. Splash 16, which will be published sometime in 2015, will be all about textures so I will have lots to write about with this painting. It was such a fun to create. I will never forget my poor husbands face when I asked him to put his camera inches away from my Ted while I drizzled maple syrup all over him. He was so afraid I was going to miss the bear and catch his camera instead. His expression was a picture!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Promotional Video

 I have created this short promotional video to share with potential clients who might be interested in getting a portrait painted or drawn of themselves, a family member or a pet. I hope you will enjoy it too though.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society Exhibition Acceptance

I was really pleased to get a letter in the mail yesterday to say that both  'Distort-Ted' and 'Rhythm 'n' Blues' have been juried into the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society Exhibition. The juror for this exhibition is John Salminen

You will be able to see the exhibition from May 9- June 6, 2014 at:

Artists Group Gallery
One Linwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14209

The Gallery Hours are : Tues - Fri: 11 am - 5 pm and Sat: 11 am - 3 pm


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finished Painting

I have just finished the painting that will be used for the wrap around cover of a publication.

Now I get to hand over all the hard work to my husband who has the job of photographing it and producing the colour matched digital file to be sent to the publishers for printing.

Thank you for all your e mails and messages as I have been working on this project. It was so lovely to be chosen to capture elements of where I live in a piece of artwork and I am glad you have all enjoyed watching it develop over the last few weeks.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Book Cover Project WIP 5 and Skylight Gallery Photo's

I'm progressing well with the bookcover commission and now just have the people left to paint.

I will post a photo of it once I am finished.

I also wanted to share with you a couple photos that James took yesterday evening of our reception at the Skylight Gallery. Its a beautiful venue and James managed to takes these photos early in the evening before it and we got busy so you could see the exhibition in context.

The exhibition will be open each weekday except Good Friday  from 8am-5pm until April 29th so please visit if you haven't already done so and you live close enough.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Cover Project WIP 4

I've been switching between two different areas over the last few days. As both are on opposite sides of the painting it allows me to work on one while I wait for a glaze to dry in the other area...the joy of a large painting. I still have a lot of work to do on the front cover section but the back cover section (the left hand side of the painting) is beginning to take shape, just the rest of the bus, all the tiny people to paint both of which will give my miniature brushes plenty of exercise.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Skylight Gallery Exhibition is Open

I hung the exhibition this morning at the Skylight Gallery in Aurora. My section of the exhibition comprises of 12 pieces, all of which have eyes or what we see as their main focus, hence the name 'Windows into the Soul'. Each painting or drawing though is also a window into my soul as the artist and into the viewer's soul as they look at the painting or drawing so I guess the title applies to this too. I took this quick photo this morning so those of you that are too far away to visit can see it too, albeit virtually.

I hope that those of you that are local can pop in and see the exhibition over the next 4 weeks. You are also welcome to come to the Artists reception on friday evening 7-9pm. (Use the 3rd floor entrance at the back of the building) I would love to see you.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Cover Project WIP 3

I managed to reach the end of the row of buildings  that will form the backdrop to the main focal points of each side of the cover today (just the roof section of the final building to complete). I also painted in the tiny geese and the hawk. Each bird is only about an inch in size so I used my miniature brushes to paint them.

The lighting on or in my buildings has been done to subtly show time passing through the day.  Dawn is to the left over the Oak Ridges Moraine. As you get near the centre of the painting we are moving towards the middle of the day and then as you reach the appartment building on the right hand side of the painting it is early evening.

I have now masked out the people on the left hand side so that I can block out the base colour on this section next as I have done with the road.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Bookcover Project WIP 2

I am working my way slowly along the back section painting in the trees and buildings.

It was time for a small celebration today when I reached half way as I am now moving from what will be the front to the back cover. The painting is about 37 inches across but a lot of the elements are pretty small. I am imagining a late summer's day as I paint, a nice way to take my self away from the cold snow that is still very much with us at the moment.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Cover project WIP 1

I thought I would update you with my progress on the painting for the front and back cover of the publication that I am working on. I don't paint skies often but they are a lot of fun to create. I guess, for me, its a feeling of freedom, as I am not working to capture a likeness as I have to in my portrait work. The only restraints I had were to include 3 key colours that appear in the organisations logo (blue, green and yellow) in the painting which helped me form the basis of my colour palette.

I wanted to create a strong sense of light in the sky. Again it has to work as a 'whole' but also as two separate halves (the dividing line is right where the pine tree is in the middle of the painting). I also had to remember that the title text would be overalyed onto the sky section so had to keep key areas plain. I am really pleased with the effect created.

I have also just begun to create the distant hills  and will continue to work on this area and the trees  tomorrow. Its fun as the drawing begins to come to life.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

IWS 30th National Exhibition Acceptance

I am very pleased to let you know that my painting 'Coded Thoughts' will be travelling soon to the 30th Illinois Watercolor Society National Exhibition which will be held at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, Illinois.

Only Fifty five paintings were selected for this exhibition by the juror Lenox Wallace. I am honored that Coded Thoughts will be one of these.


Friday, March 21, 2014

The book project

Its been a challenging but very exciting couple of weeks for me as an artist as I have been working with my clients on the development of the outline for the cover of a publication about Richmond Hill my local town. The first challenge wasn't so much in the physical drawing of the various elements (well maybe a little in the sheer amount that I have drawn over the last 2 weeks) but was actually more because of the restrictions of getting everything to fit in the allowed available physical space in an interesting, engaging way that people who live in the area of Richmond Hill could relate to and to convey a story about the town both geographically, and environmentally.

The finished painting will be a wraparound front and back cover of the publication but it will also be framed as one finished painting. The completed painting therefore has to work both when viewed  as two separate halves and as a whole (my third challenge).

Today I got final approval of the outline so I can begin to transfer my image which at the moment is a series of separate drawn layers on photoshop onto the watercolour paper ready to paint.  I work this way on such a complicated piece because by drawing each element separately and scanning them into the computer I can then adjust sizes and orientation of things without having to redraw each time I needed to move an object, building or person. Its an awesome compositional tool for those fine adjustments and the not so fine ones and essential when I only have a timeframe of a month from concept to finished piece. So here are a couple of the quickly sketched elements I will be including...

Firstly a very popular Richmond Hill landmark which will appear somewhere on the back cover. Anyone who lives locally recognise it???

and secondly,  giving a young tree a new home which will be the main focus of the front cover section.

Thank you to several of my friends for providing me with their photographs to use as references when my own photo library failed to give me what I needed (It's very hard when asked to create a summer themed painting when the ground is still covered in snow... yes, this was yet another challenge).

I now have just three weeks to get the whole illustration properly drawn out onto the watercolour paper and painted. I've made a start!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

'The Teds' help to bring a little Sunshine

I am currently working on two projects. One is in the planning stages but is a very exciting opportunity for me as an artist. It involves me designing and painting the illustration for the front cover of an important publication.  I will let you know more about this as the project progresses further.

The second project that I am working on is something that actually began back in November of last year when I agreed to help raise money for The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. The Sunshine Foundation of Canada is a national charitable organization that makes dreams come true for children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. There was a local TV auction back in December and perso with the highest bid won the opportunity to work with me in developing an idea for my next Ted painting.  One of their own Teds can be used as my 'model' for the painting. I can also incorporate a selection of objects that hold a special meaning for them into the painting. They might even be able to feature in the painting too and help create its story.

My lucky winner Helen has been wonderful to work with so far.  Over the last couple of months we have been communicating by e mail and have met on a couple of occasions too. Over the last week she has loaned me some very special things to photograph that I am going to try to encorporate into  the painting. This is a quick photograph of the Teds and other objects just after I unpacked them.

Aren't the two old Teds gorgeous? There are two because Helen has a twin sister. You can see both of them as young children in the photo within the photo. The Teds are their two very well loved childhood Teds.  In the photo you can also see a heart shaped locket and a pocket watch both of which also hold dear memories for them. I can't wait to draw everything out so I can begin to bring our idea to life on the paper.

Don't forget to pop back or even better sign up for e mail notification on this blog so you dont miss updates on my progress with  this Ted painting and my other project. I am going to include a direct link to The Sunshine Foundation of Canada's donation page each time I post an update on the Ted painting.

If you enjoy the Ted series please donate a little to help dreams come true for these children, their Teds would be very greatful if you did!  So Donate here and be a dream maker!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Your Invitation to....

I have been busy getting things framed and exhibition labels made ready for  next month at the Skylight Gallery in Aurora, Ontario. I would love to see you at the Artists reception if you are able to make it.

  The theme for my section of the exhibition is 'Windows into the Soul'. Eyes tell such a story about a person or animal, what they feel and what they can see around them. I love painting and drawing them too. I am sharing the exhibition space with another local artist Patricia Duke  who will be exhibiting work based around the theme of the arctic.

Both Pat and I will be at the reception on Friday April 4th from 7-9pm and will be happy to talk to you about our paintings and drawings. I will also have my art greetings cards, Ted series trading cards and bookmarks for sale at the reception.

Hope to see you there!