Sunday, May 29, 2011

The First Commission is Finished!

I decided to work on the smaller commission of the school building first. I was asked to paint a picture of the front entrance of the school. The commission will be a gift for the principal who is leaving this school to open a brand new school nearby. It felt symbolic to me to paint the school at the end of the day as the sun sets behind the building.

I used quite a bit of artistic license from the reference photo, changing the sky and lighting levels and adding in the hanging baskets which do get put up but weren't out when the photo was taken. I also cut out quite a bit of the trees that almost covered the sky from this angle. I wanted a more open inviting look. This is a gallery wrapped painting so the painting continues around all four sides.

 I just need to fix and varnish it now and then it will be ready for my client.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Commissions are GO!

I have not one but two commissions to complete over the next month. I have finalised details with the clients and am now almost ready to paint.The first is going to be a gallery wrapped watercolour of a local school. I am hoping to create an evening feel with the light in the entrance way and the sun setting behind the building. This is my intial outline which has just met with approval today so tomorrow it will be drawn out on the watercolour paper and then stretched over 12 by 16 stretcher bars.

 The second commission has been stretched today onto a board ready for painting.  It is 18 by 26 inches and  is going to be varnished when finished so it can be framed without glass. The pencil marks at this stage are very light so I have had to increase the contrast for you to see the outline but there is a lot more detail here than in my initial drawing which is why I have chosen to show you this one. 

 Two very different paintings both of which will definitely keep me quiet over the next few weeks.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Name that Painting!

One of my close friends Mary Lou and my family have been busy helping me to think of titles for this painting.

Here are my favourite three:

1. The Naked Truth
2. Identity Crisis
3. Skin Deep

I would love to hear you thoughts on these and which you feel best conveys the ideas behind this painting.

I was after that edgy feel. I hope it makes the viewer take stock and question. Question what? I won't say any more. I think this is a painting for which we will each read our own message.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Contemplation WIP 2

I am really enjoying the creativity in this painting, just being able to develop ideas and not have to follow any reference photo. I do have a couple of photos that I am using but they are really just as lighting and anatomy reminders.

I am really trying to develop strong contrasts in this painting between light and dark, real and unreal. I want the viewer to question what is real and what is conceptual, to delve deep inside and question themselves as much as the painting.

I'm afraid the camera is struggling to capture the yellows in the skin tones which are warmer than they appear in the photo.

I will now begin work on the mask that is being held. I am planning to make this appear like a real face except for the edges which will be mask like.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Canvas Bookmarks for Sale!

Using some of my latest painting designs I've just finished making a huge batch of bookmarks ready for sale... locally and internationally. If you are interested in buying one please e mail me at either of these e mail addresses or Payment can be made via paypal which accepts most major credit cards if you do not have an existing paypal account.

You can own a truly original bookmark for only $5CDN including postage to Canada and the US or 3 bookmarks for $13 and for only $6CDN for one including postage to the rest of the world or $14 for three. They make great gifts to family and friends.

Each bookmark is printed with archival inks onto artist quality Canvas and varnished. They are presentation packaged in a crystal clear bag.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Contemplation WIP 1

This all began when I saw a white mask in the art shop. I love how it is moulded to look like a face and yet it is nothing but plastic, no inner feeling or emotion… so alien in a way to what I love so much about painting people. It got me thinking, so much so in fact that I had to go back into the store and buy one. 

I began to think about the idea of self analysis. Self analysis or assessment is, in essence a process by which you find out about yourself -- what you like, what you don't like, and how you tend to react to certain situations, what influences you to think and behave the way you do.

What image do you portray to others? Are you so used to depicting an image of who you think people want you to be that you have lost the essence of your true self? Have you worn the mask for so long that when you do take it off there is nothing underneath but a hollow shell? Are you ashamed of who you appear to be or who you really are so much so that you have difficulty looking at yourself? These questions were too emotionally charged not to try to put across in a painting. 

I wanted to play with this ‘mask’ idea, what is the mask and what is the real you? Is the real you the mask? What is left when you take off the mask of outward appearance? Anything or just an empty shell? It’s so good to just suspend disbelief on occasions and let creativity flow onto the paper. So instead of a person looking at the mask I thought why not have the mask looking at the person… but who is the mask and who is the person?

I’m only at the very early stages with this. The background is mostly done and the white mask is slowly appearing but there is still a lot left to do. I'm pleased with how the background is drawing the eye downwards in the direction of the hand and face. I so enjoy planning and creating the background to add atmosphere to the painting.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When you need a friend...

I've just finished the last of the three small gallery wrapped watercolours that I've been working on. I've called this one 'When you need a friend'.  We all need support from our friends at times. Sometimes to offer a listening ear or reassuring arm, other times just to let us know that we are on the right path. This was my inspiration for this painting.

 I liked the composition of the Teddies facing away because, to me, it felt more relevant to all of us. There isnt a face to link a character to, it could symbolize any of us at one time or another both being the person supported and the supporter for that is what true friendship is.