Monday, October 20, 2014

First Snowfall, Toronto Streetcar

8 x 8 oil on board
Since I had "snow colours" on my palette, I decided to do another snow scene rather than scrape off the paint and waste it.  I called this "First Snowfall" because there is very little accumulation on the ground. I don't know if we are ever ready for the first snow fall. Many of us rush off to get out snow tires put on at the last moment, not to mention any names.
A young woman rushes to board a Toronto Streetcar in the early evening.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gooderham Building in Snow

24 x 24 oil on board
I really enjoy how snow changes a scene. Everything seems softer and quieter. I say that I like to convey a mood or atmoshere rather than just painting a picture of a building. Snow is the perfect way to achieve this.
The Gooderham Building is Toronto's Flat Iron Building, nestled at the intersection of Front and Wellington. The photo reference had cars in the foreground, but I left them out to change the feeling when looking at the picture.
I thought this picture would be fun to paint. Actually, it was unbelieveably difficult with so many nuances of hue. I'm not sure if its finished, but I need to leave it for a bit and stare at it from time to time to see what it needs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Enjoying the Scenery

8 x 8 oil on canvas
I was quite amused by this photo. It was obviously lunch or break time, but enjoying the scenery was not part of the plan. Having seen so many suit styles, its interesting to see the style so "retro". I particularly liked the pointed shoes.
Two young men walk down Bay Street on a sunny afternoon in Toronto.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

8 x 8 oil on canvas
I think it is almost impossible to take a photo of downtown Toronto without finding a beck taxi or streetcar in the picture. (The same goes for New York City and their yellow taxis). The colours can be challenging, but in this picture, the turquiose of the taxi and the highlights of the Sunlife Centre at 150 King Street West harmonized nicely.
This is late afternoon in the financial district of Toronto.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jazz at Massey Hall, Toronto

16 x 20 oil on canvas
Massey Hall is a wonderful music venue on Victoria Street in Toronto. Many famous people have played here, and the "Jazz at Massey Hall" comes from the Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie recording. Massey Hall was built in 1894 and has been hosting music events ever since.
I took this photo reference on a very rainy night, and liked how the sign illuminated the building and street in a glow of red. This view is from Shuter Street.
 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

T.G.I.F, Queen and University

12 x 12 oil on canvas
On an early rainy Friday evening, a "suit" walks down Queen near University, heading home after a day of work in the Financial District of Toronto. The wonderful wrought iron fence of the The Law Society is visible on the right, illuminated by passing cars and the various lights of the city.
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Afternoon Glare, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on canvas
We've been having some great summer weather even though it is autumn. We like to hang on to summer as long as possible. I added black to my palette again, using Ivory black, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, cad yellow med, cad yellow light, ultramarine blue, cad red. 
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.




 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Queen and Bay

24 x 24 oil on board
I have to admit that I am running out of ideas for titles.Or else, since I've increased my painting time, I don't have time to think of titles. I will be showing some work at a Gallery in Kitchener called the Artisan Zone. It is a beautiful space in a lovely old building and the owners are a very enthusiastic couple with lots of ideas.
I am enjoying painting these darker looser scenes, working on more interesting brush strokes, or mark making as it is also called. With mark making, one can use any tool to make an impression on a canvas. Sometimes I remove paint with a rag, or incorporate a knife. Some artists actually do oil paintings with brayers, all adding interest in a painting.
The Hudson's Bay Store windows are on the left in the painting. It is an amazing store that seems to go on forever. I always enjoy this corner and the scenes it provides. I did a 12 x 12 of this scene, but wanted to try it on a larger scale.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Left Over Paint

10 x 10 oil on canvas
I had a lot of left over paint from working most of the day and decided to work on this scene. I took the photo on Front Street in front of Biff's Bistro. I must admit, I can't think of a suitable title. My brain is not working at all in that direction. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Temperance Street in Winter

12 x 12 oil on board
I like to paint the atmosphere and feel of the city streets, but I also love the little details one finds in the city. For example, this street called Temperance has always intrigued me. I found a blog by James Bow who writes:

"The block bound by Yonge, Adelaide, Bay and Queen was owned by him, and when the city approached him in 1837 to help them build a new road west of Yonge between Richmond and Adelaide, he donated the land, with the stipulation that alcohol never be sold on the new street. Thus Temperance Street was born."

This scene features Temperance and Bay on a winter day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

College and Spadina, Misty Rain

24 x 24 oil on canvas
I have a stack of canvases in the studio that are "duds"...paintings that I couldn't get to work for various reasons. I did this painting about three years ago but hated it. Looking at it while waiting for gesso to dry, I thought I would take another shot at it. The canvas was heavily textured, so to make it work I used a lot of knife work to even things out. I think I like it better. I have always found green to be a difficult colour to work with and this was no exception.
This is a misty rainy day at College and Spadina.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Winter Rain, University Ave, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on board
I toned down the colour in this scene and returned to a more subtle palette.
A young woman heads home from work during a winter rain.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Night Rain at King and York

12 x 12 oil on canvas
There are some street corners that always put on a show. This corner of King Street West at York changes colour as the sign on the Standard Life Building turns. I have several photos featuring different colour patterns. It was a challenging scene to paint.
People head home from work on a rainy night in the Financial District.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reflections in Red and Blue, Queen and University

24 x 24 oil on canvas
Traffic heads up Queen Street past the Sheriton Centre for the Performing Arts on a rainy evening in Toronto.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Red Lights on King, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on canvas
Red signage and pouring rain bathed this cityscape in reds on a cold rainy night in Toronto's Entertainment District. The Kit Kat Restaurant sign dominates the top middle of the picture.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Winter Blues, Financial District, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on panel
I have some shows coming up and I want to work on some studies for larger paintings. I find that it really helps to do a smaller painting when there will be so much time, paint, and energy to go into the finished product.
I took this scene last January in the early evening when it was minus 20 celcius. The air was clear and the sky very blue. The blue reflected on many of the surfaces. In spite of the cold, there was a lot of interesting light and reflections.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Evening Commute on King

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I have done this image before but thought I would do it iagain with a different colour palette..This young lady is heading home, crossing King Street, dwarfed by the streetcar waiting at a stop light. I often cross the same street several times as I take photos, hoping for some interesting images. This time it paid off.
The Princess of Wales theatre is visible on the left.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Walking in the Rain No.1

8 x 8 oil on canvas
I really enjoy taking photographs. They aren't always the best quality, but I don't need a lot of detail to use them as reference for painting. I find so many interesting people in the background of these pictures, and I have often thought of compiling them into a group of paintings called "Just Walking in the Rain".
I really enjoyed this picture. The young woman appeared to be out for a fitness walk while the Basset Hound looked completely dejected. I guess we don't all like walking in the rain.
This woman and her dog are walking  in front of the Gooderham building preparing to cross Front Street.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Evening Rain, Queen and Yongs

11x14 oil on panel
I know I couldn't leave this painting alone. I wasn't happy with the atmosphere. The photo reference was a lot more "glowy" and atmospheric and looked more like a rainy day. So, of course I left it on the easel and ended up reworking it. I still find turquiose and orange to be  difficult colours when attempting harmony and proper value. Hopefully I learned something from the experience.
Which painting do you prefer? I would love to learn from your comments.
 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

11 x 14 oil on canvas
I'm having some fun doing quick paintings (under three hours) and adding some colour. I often use a limited palette to achieve a dark moody look, but I decided to brighten things up a bit. This scene had a lot of turquoise blue in it so I found a tube of cobalt teal in a paint drawer and added that. Its more difficult maintaining proper values with more colour (for me anyway). I will look at the same scene in black and white to make sure I am not deviating from my value sketch.
This scene is at Queen and Yonge and features the pathway above Queen Street.