Saturday, March 31, 2012

'Meh' wins award in PWS member exhibition!

I had notification yesterday evening to say that my painting 'Meh!' has won an Honorable Mention and a $75 award in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society  members exhibition.

The juror commented

"Remarkable rendering! The delightful expression on the child's face makes me smile. The detail and delicate values used are wonderful."

You can see the on line exhibit by clicking on this link  There are some amazing paintings in the on line gallery  so I'm very proud and pleased to be selected for one of the 10 awards 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Time Warp WIP1

The idea for this next painting began with a photo of Alexander that we took last summer.  I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to paint it. I wanted it to be a fun painting with a twist because of his quirky facial expression I guess, but I just didnt know what to do with it so I put it away and put the portrait on my future 'to do' list.

Then the other day...maybe it was because I was looking at the work of Escher recently or maybe it was my  muse deciding to have some fun but early Sunday morning  I woke up and just knew what to do with the portrait. I wanted to play with the Droste effect creating a spiralling background in which I could put Alex in a time warp back through his childhood. I spent most of Sunday curled up on the sofa looking through photos of Alex for my other references and then yesterday and today drawing it out.

If you look closely at the outline you  hopefully can see more than one Alex  as the clock spirals back in time.  But how many are there? Its hard at the outline stage I know, especially as you only have a small jpg to look at but have a look and see how many you can find.

Many people ask me where I get my ideas for paintings from. I love the play with words and phrases as a stepping stone. I also use photos I've taken to inspire me. Sometimes its just a concept or emotion... there isnt one single way in. For this painting the stepping stone was the photo of Alex but the actual idea came from thinking about the droste effect.

Of course ideas never appear on demand. Usually you try and try to develop an idea and it just doesn't materialize and then when you are least expecting it... there it is ... as clear as day. I call my muse my pixie because she loves to tease and then give me ideas at the most awkward times.(Its easier to blame a mischevious pixie when I get ideas at strange times (grin)  I've learnt to always carry a small notebook and pencil with me so at least I can write the ideas down even if I can't do anything else right then.

So I suppose my advice to artists is... don't blinker yourself to ideas by just thinking that a photo is the only 'way in'. 'Life' is your way in, in all its shapes and forms. Everything happens for a purpose and could potentially be your stepping stone to a new painting. It's exasperating, confusing and exillerating working out how to use what life throws at you but fun too.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

The trials of framing big!

James has been busy framing again today. Its amazing the technical difficulties you run into when framing big... no where is big enough to work on easily, your arms aren't quite long enough to reach the full length of the mat cutter, the measurement guidelines run out before this size and theres more surface area to aquire dog hairs and fluff which you dont realise are there until just after you have put the points in the back of the frame! But he triumphed in the end!

So as promised here is a photo of Rebecca with the painting 'Imagine'. The frame is a warm silver.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


 I couldn't resist playing with this idea. The hardest part was definitely working out how I could tessellate Teddies! This painting is a smallish one at 22 by 13 inches.

I wanted a fun feel  so based the colour palette for this painting on the compliments blue/orange and purple/yellow.

I was thinking about all those times that children are asked to create tessellating patterns at school as I painted this! WOWWW its hard to do! 

Bear is busy creating this masterpiece when little Ted decides she is just the right size to become a Tessella-Ted :)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two framed, One to go!

My husband James has been working hard this weekend getting 'Baby on Board' and "Spinning a Tale' matted and framed. He took this photo of me with both paintings once he had finished.

I'm really pleased with how they both look. Thanks to Steve at 'The Framing Depot' for cutting the frames for us.

James will frame the last painting 'Imagine' next weekend.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Imagine' selected for NWWS 72nd International Exhibition

Mail from the US to Canada takes so long... I still haven't received the official letter yet but the exhibition chairperson Charlette has confirmed by e mail today that my painting 'Imagine' has been selected for the North West Watercolor Society 72nd International Exhibition. I'm so pleased.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Flyers for Juried show and Finished Commission

Here is the flyer for our local watercolour society juried show. Its very exciting to see them. Do you recognise the painting on the front? It's great to see one of my paintings put to such a good use :)

I also finished painting a small commission this morning. Its a challenge to be able to create something that you know will be so cherished but at the same time something that you are not emotionally attached to as an artist. When I paint my children or my dogs or someone I know, so much emotion goes into the painting...I really do paint from the heart not the hand, but when I paint for a client I try instead to paint from their heart. It is their vision and feelings that I try to convey from what they tell me about the animal or person and what I can see from the reference photos.

This is a small gallery wrap of a dog called Zoe. She is 20 years old now. I wanted to capture her love for her owner. Eyes truly are the window to the soul. Zoe's eyes might be clouded with age but to me they show such unconditional love but at the same time that young spirit at heart who still wants to play.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Louisianna Watercolor Society 42nd International Exhibition Acceptance

I'm busy working on a small commission at the moment. Hopefully I will be able to share it with you towards the end of this week. Its of a very loved dog called Zoe who is now 20 years old.

In the mean time I wanted to share some good news that I received today. I had an e mail today to let me know that 'Spinning a Tale' has been accepted into the Louisianna Watercolor Society 42nd International Exhibition. This was well timed as I was planning to visit my frame supplier tomorrow to choose frames for Baby on Board and Interes-ted. Now I have a third to add to the list :)