Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Feeling very Honoured!

I had a phone call last week to say that I have been selected for Election as a signature member of the Canadian society of Painters in Watercolour CSPWC. I then had to take my paintings for verification by one of the selection committee which went really well. Now I’m just waiting for the paperwork and then I need to take the completed forms with the selected painting down into Toronto to be included in the National collection. Then I will be able to use CSPWC after my name. I feel very honoured.

When I was told which of my 6 paintings had been selected for the National collection it brought a tear to my eye because it is the one of my very good friend Denis who is sadly no longer with us. He had such a love for watercolour and his wish in my last phone conversation with him just before he died last year was that I use the painting of him as part of  my application this year. He would be so thrilled to know this painting will now be part of the permanent national Canadian collection of watercolours.

 Denis was so supportive of me when I was just starting out in watercolour and always believed in me. Thank you Denis. I can feel that you know this exciting news and are smiling.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seeing Double!

 I have finally managed to get the Teddy's varnished and framed. There are actually two paintings because I wanted to be able to paint a second following my own instructions to see if they were clear enough. This was a great exercise because it helped me to see the process from a different point of view and to then fill in any missing gaps in my explanations. It also helped me to realise the points where you might all panic thinking this is never going to work so i will hopefully be able to reassure you at these points :)  I am now busy writing my script for the DVD and will then begin the process of editing all the video clips and photos and compiling it all... I think I have a summer long project ahead of me :)

 I thought you might like to see the two versions.... Its a bit like the game 'spot the differences' for although they are both pretty much the same there will always be small changes that make each painting unique. Both are varnished with liquitex satin varnish. I just love the effect it has on the painting as it really seems to enhance the texture of the paper and give the painting a rich glow. The colours are not acurate in these photos but they do give you an idea of the effect the satin varnish creates and the overall effect of the gallery wrap.

The first painting I have left as a bare gallery wrap. I've simply then added two D rings to the two sides and attached some wire to them.

The second I have put in a floater frame. The canvas then sits inside this frame with the sides still partially visible.

 I have my next two paintings already drawn on the watercolour paper and stretched onto boards ready to paint. Hopefully I'll feel up to beginning one of them this week.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


When you are small there is no feeling more comforting and consoling than knowing you are in the arms of someone who loves you.

 "Mothers bring the arms of comfort to an insecure child in a world of uncertainty" Reed Markham

It was this idea that was my inspiration for this painting. I still have to fix and varnish it, but the painting itself is now finished. I'm planning to exhibit it in our  local Watercolour Society's exhibition which will take place the week before Mother's day. I hope it will be a popular one :)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Comfor-Ted WIP 2

Baby Ted is now finished and Mommy Ted is slowly appearing as I paint the fur texture and then glaze over.

I thought you would like to see a close up of the baby teddy. Cute isn't he :) You can get a better feel for the smooth graduations of colour of the background in the close up too.

Lots of fur still left to do on Mother Ted.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

'Comfor-Ted' WIP

Its taken me a couple of days to get the really rich dark background I was after for this painting.

I wanted to create a more sophisticated background because, although I am sure children will like this painting because of the subject matter, I also wanted it to appeal to adults. We all need to both comfort and be comforted whatever age we are, so the two teddies are my representation of us all. If I had gone for the more bold bright childlike colours, to me, it wouldn't have had that more universal appeal.

Today I have begun working on the baby Ted. I have the teddies beside me watching carefully as I begin to make them appear on the paper. Actually, it's really useful to have them close by just to be able to pick them up and look closely at the facial features or texture of the fur.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Playing with the English Language

Sorry I have been so long posting this update. Sometimes it takes a while to get from that initial idea to something tangible that I can actually show you. The idea that I have been developing is based on a play on words...  ending in Ted. Why Ted?... short for teddy of course :)

 I am doing this painting as a gallery wrapped watercolour. I have just finished the stretching process so its all ready to paint. I have taken a little longer than normal for this one because I have videod the whole wrapping process.

We have a local watercolour show coming up at the beginning of May (the week leading up to Mothers day) and I wanted to create a painting that captured the essance of what mothers were about but at the same time be more general too. So I've used the word comforted for inspiration.


I wanted to keep the composition really simple and plan to use the background and lighting to really enhance that warm cuddly feeling. I deliberately placed the 'mother' facing away because, to me,  it seems this way  to focus more on the feeling/ action. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the wall!

During the last few days of any year it seems like everwhere you turn people and news channels are reflecting on life and events. This got me thinking and I decided it would be a fun idea to explore in a painting. I liked the idea too of playing on the double meaning of 'reflect' so from here I began to play with mirrors.

 It takes me a while to formulate the image of what I want to create in my mind. I'm a pretty visual/ tactle learner so I like to explore and try ideas first hand to investigate possibilities especially when it involves scientific things like angles of reflections!

James, my trusty photographer, was waiting patiently while I was doing this and decided to have some fun while he waited. I thought you would enjoy seeing me in action in the very intial stages of an idea before I even put pencil to paper  ... and yes I'm lying on the  floor as this was the easist place to safely position two big mirrors. What a lot of Ona's there are !!!!

Luckily I won't be in my painting. My subject matter will actually be the teddy.

But why a Teddy???...I promise that I will explain this in my next post but for now I wanted to say that while I was playing with the teddy and mirrors another idea for a painting popped into my mind.... this happens sometimes... one thing leads to another.... so we decided to take both reference shots in the same photographic session. A very productive day :)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 New year Resolutions for a watercolour artist!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's traditional at the beginning of a new year to make resolutions and I thought it would be fun to think about all those quirky idiosyncracies that make us artists and with the help of my friends from Art Colony and those on facebook I have compiled a list  of 12 resolutions. Why twelve? ... one to break for each month of the year of course :)

 12 New year Resolutions for a watercolour artist!

1. I will try not to be late for a meeting or appointment because I suddenly knew exactly what that important detail of my latest painting was that I just had to fix it while it was fresh in my mind.

2. When I go out, I will refrain from always stopping and gazing at the world around me especially when I’m standing in the entrance of a public building or at the top or bottom of the escalator.

3. I will place my tea/coffee or other beverage on the opposite side to my paint water with a saucer  over the top.

4. I will not worry so much about the tidiness of my studio space and explain my deplorably bad housekeeping by saying, "it's a work-in-progress..."

5. I will refrain from using my calming strategy (reaching for my favourite softest brush and stroking against my cheek or hand while I think about how to fix the latest mistake) on the cat, dog or any other family members. It doesn’t seem to help to fix their mistakes!

6. I will try my hardest not to stare at people in a queue as I break their faces up into shadows and lines, colours and shapes and look for colours under the skin tones.

7. I will not bore my family by exclaiming that’s not just yellow that’s  raw sienna with a hint of quin gold and then glazed with a very pale wash of brown madder

8. I will not drive with a camera on the steering wheel to catch pieces of landscape and I will also pull over if I see something beautiful instead of driving all over the road as I gaze out my window!

9. I WILL stop and take a photo no matter what...instead of grieving over it, 10 miles down the road!!

10. I will remember to take off my coat before I start painting and end up getting the paint all over my sleeves!

11. I will not keep my eraser next to my healthy carrot stick snacks while sketching plein aire

12. I will market my latest abstract watercolour poured white socks as designer label originals and not just throw them in the washing machine.

lets all hope that 2012 will be filled with friendship, happiness and creativity. Happy New Year!