Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Night before Christmas

"His eyes-how they twinkled, his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!"

Christmas Eve is a time full of magic and wonder for everyone but especially for young children. The twinkling lights and shiny baubles which glow, sparkle and shimmer have this baby entranced. His beloved Teddy is discarded for the moment in favor of a colourful Santa bauble which he has pulled from the tree. As he looks in wonder at this bauble he is unaware that a very special visitor has arrived.

This is the last of the Christmas paintings for this year. It is painted in watercolor on fabriano hot press paper and is 12 by 18 inches. I am sure the series will continue next year.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The First Taste of Winter

Here is the second of my Christmas Treasures card designs.

Young children put nearly everything in their mouth and I thought it would be fun to play with the saying "The first taste of winter". I decided to paint a toddler tasting the snow. I wanted to capture that feeling of a cold day contrasting against the warm cuddly soft clothes and also that sense of uncertainty in the child's eyes as she put the cold snow to her mouth. I played around with many different ways of doing the snow and ended up using salt for the background. Then, of course being me, I painted every individual closer snowflake.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Ribbons and Bows

I have finally finished the painting and will be printing it onto cards very soon. All of my cards have blank inserts ready for you to write the greeting of your choice and some information about the inspiration behind the painting on the back. For this painting I have written...

When you have a very young child in the family, the temptation to shower them with gifts at Christmas is enormous but when Christmas arrives you discover that what interests them most is the colourful wrapping paper and bows. This young child is fascinated by a discarded Christmas bag full of bows and ribbons. Unconcerned about anything other than this moment in time he is full of curiosity and wonder.

"yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That is why it's called the present" (Bil Keane).

Whether you have children or not pause a while this Christmas and savor each small colorful moment in time.

Thank you for following along with me as I painted this.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

So Curious a Baby

For those of you that are following the progress of the painting of the baby here is another update. Over the last couple of days I have been painting the bows, slipper and bag. I have also begun to put some of the reflected colour on what will be the wooden floor. Lots of work still to do but its beginning to take shape.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Today's update

Here is an update on my progress with the christmas painting. So far I have had suggestions of 'Bows and ribbons', 'Wrappings and Bows' and 'Christmas all Unwrapped' for possible titles. Don't forget to post your idea either here on the blog or you can e mail it to me. The floor only has its initial washes, no detail as yet. First I need to finish painting the clothes and objects that will reflect their colour onto the floor.

Thank you for following my progress


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Progress Report

I thought I would update you on my progress with the painting. I have now been working on it for 3 days and have lost count on the number of hours. I 'm having a lot of fun with the different textures though, the flimsy material of the drapes which let the light of some christmas lights shine through, the nylon versus plush velvet of the waistcoat and now the very fine fly away hair of the baby.

It's good to hear you are all following my progress


Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Painting in Progress!

I haven't shown you what's on the easel in ages. I am taking a break from my eye series of paintings and have just begun a small mini series of paintings to use as designs on Christmas cards. Follow me over the next week or so as I paint the first of these. I haven't thought of a name for the painting yet so please let me know if you have any ideas.

The painting is based on a photo of my son at about 17 months. He enjoyed his many presents but what he liked best and what kept him occupied for hours was a bag full of all the colourful bows and ribbons. I am sure that any of you who have ever had or known young children will be able to identify with this.

So here is the outline

Over the next week or so I will add regular updates so that you can follow my progress.

I look forward to painting with you all as my audience.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

After the Storm

The inspiration for my latest painting came from a quote by Byron. “The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, tints tomorrow with prophetic ray”

I would like you to imagine that you are the first to venture out. As you walk along the deserted shoreline watching the storm clouds dissipate you see an old wooden boat, still damp from the rain glistening as golden rays of sun light up the sky. Alone now on the deserted beach there is a sense of a new beginning, a chance to start afresh as the golden rays of sun seem almost to be symbolically washing away the stormy purple past.

It is painted using watercolors and the detail in the sky, on the beach and in the boat is added in black pen. The black pen really helped me to enhance the dramatic feeling of the sky. Here is a close up so that you can see the effect that it gives.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The meaning of the ASL signs

I have been asked by a number of people if I could list the feelings that the ASL hand signs are communicating. The sign in the middle of the pupil means isolation. Starting directly above this sign with the two hands outstretched and going clockwise around the iris are the feelings of

1. being scared when isolated

2. how oppressed they feel if isolated

3. that friendships can be built when people understand them

4. how signing helps them to carry on

5. how barriers can be broken down

6. how it provides a way they can communicate and ease frustration

7. how it provides a way to express their feelings

8. how it helps to avoid confusion

and lastly

9. how they can express their love for others close to them

I am now painting in the hands themselves so that they become almost part of the iris. For me this feels symbolic because for people who use sign language the importance of their eyes and hands are so interlinked and they use them 'as one'. Understanding is not possible without both.

Don't forget to click on the picture in the previous post to see the progress that has been made in the picture as a whole so far.

Friday, February 22, 2008

An Exciting Project

I am really enjoying developing the latest picture in my 'Talking Hands' series of art and wanted to share my progress with you.

Update March 1 The painting is finished. Click on the picture above to watch the stages in it's development.

As a teacher of the Deaf I am very aware of how communication is the key not only to learning, but to everything we experience in life. For the development of this piece I am working closely with a few of my colleagues and also three of the teenage students who are deaf. To this group of students sign language is an essential addition to their use of hearing aids and FM equipment.

I asked them what signing meant to them and how they felt in situations when they did not have an interpretor. The sign that encapsulated how they felt in situations like this was the ASL sign for isolation. I also asked them to express in sign how having ASL made such a huge difference to them. They gave me the signs for love, friendship, communication, feelings, and the ability to carry on. They also expressed how people understanding and using sign helped them to feel less confused, oppressed, scared and how it helped to break down barriers. One student also expressed how her eyes were also so important to her. She described how her mother always told her that her eyes were so beautifully big and round because she was using them to take in so much information. I wanted to incorporate this into the picture too.

I have used the iris and pupil of the eye as a basis for my picture. In the central pupil section I have placed the sign for isolation. The blackness of the pupil around this sign will symbolize the darkness that these students feel when ASL is not available. In the iris section I have drawn the other signs that they suggested. I have also drawn many waving hands in the background symbolizing the support they feel when signing is available. This section will be in color.

I hope you will enjoy following the progress of this piece over the coming couple of weeks.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Follow Your Dream

Being and artist is my dream and I hope you will enjoy following along with me as I work towards my dream. This is a painting I have called 'Follow your Dream' which I painted for my husband. It captures a moment in time as a Bald Eagle soars silently and effortlessly through the spectacular scenery of the Rocky mountains of Canada. Following his dream the glider pilot seeks inspiration from this magnificent creature.