Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Afternoon Traffic in Red and Gold

8 x 8 oil on cradled panel
Last minute show details are taking up too much time, so I decided to take some time and paint something fun and small. The reflected sun peaks through buildings and illuminates the afternoon traffic in downtown Toronto. The Streetcar and Co-op taxi made a nice arrangement of reds. I thought I should paint another taxi besides the Beck Taxi that dominates many of my paintings.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Santa's workshop, Hudson's Bay Store, Queen Street

16 x 20 oil on canvas
Every year the One Of A Kind Show in Toronto holds a contest for all artisans and artists to participate in. This year the contest theme was "Santa's Workshop". The entry must be in the artist's style and medium. When deciding what to do, I thought a Toronto scene featuring the spirit of giving would be something that I could work with.
The Hudson't Bay Store on Queen Street always has their windows dressed up for the holidays. I decided to feature these windows with Santa ringing the bell for the Salvation Army donation drive.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sun After the Snowfall, Yonge Street

24 x 24 oil on board
This has been a difficult painting to work on, so I am going to leave it for a bit before I decide what might need changing/improving.
I don't know what it is about the clarity of the sun after a snowstorm. The air seems clear and the blues in the sky can be stunning. It probably has something to do with the reflections on the white snow. This image is from later in the afternoon as the sun sinks behind buildings in the downtown core of Toronto. Some sunlight makes its way through the buildings to highlight the snow in the foreground.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

After the Snow, Queen and McCaul

24 x 24 oil on canvas
It actually snowed a bit today. Not as much as in this scene but lots of flakes coming down. Very unusual for this time of year. It still makes it easier to paint snow scenes.
Streetcars wait at a red light at Queen and McCaul while pedestrians cross the street. The triangle shapes of the Rex hotel are visible on the left.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Night At the Opera, Queen Street, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on canvas
The colour scheme of this scene was challenging with the mix of greens and reds. As long as I kept the green cool, it seemed to work.
A sophisticated looking couple cross University Ave. going to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts to see Verdi's Falstaff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Dreamed in Pink and Purple, King Street, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on canvas
I've painted this corner before.The rotating light on the Standard Life Building changes the colours on everything around it. It is a perfect example of how light changes the colours of what we see and perceive. I captured this photo as the light was pink/purple.
The colours this young woman was wearing added a nice moody feel to the scene. She is crossing York Street during a misty rain.
 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Heading Back to work, Bay Street

12 x 12 oil on panel
I had a feeling this one would be tough with the opposing colours on either side of the street. The road, middle sidewalk, and right sidewalk were all different colours. I was tempted to add some cooler blue temperature to the pillars on the left, but I didn't want to change their colour too much. I let my" artist" side dominate decisions that should have been made by my "design" side. We can't help it. sometimes we "need" to add that light standard even though we know it messes with the design of a painting.
As Mike Svob says in his book, "Let your artist/design side boss your artist/drawing side around. In other words, try to make decisions that work for the picture/painting. 
I think parts of the painting work really well, others may need some adjusting.
A "suit" heads back to work on Bay Street in the financial district of Toronto.
 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Riding The Red Rocket

8 x 10 oil on panel
I love trains. There is something romantic about them that survives from a different era. And in spite of the traffic jams and some discomfort, the Toronto Streetcar still maintains that special something we love about trains. Torontos' streetcars will be chaniging between 2014 and 2018. I don't like change, but I think I can adjust to liking them as well.
Passengers board the 504 on a stormy night. 
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Rain, King Street, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on board
I was happy to get some photos as the leaves are turning. We have had lots of rain so getting a rainy scene wasn't too difficult. The yellow leaves made the scene. 
The Beautiful Church on Simcoe Street is visible on the top right hand side.

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.