Tuesday, July 28, 2015

March Sun on Queen, Toronto

24 x 30 oil on panel
This painting is another "repaint". I think it sat in the studio for two years. I wasn't crazy about the composition, but I did like the scene and I particularly liked the post snow storm sun that illuminated the snow in late afternoon March. But I couldn't figure out the colours. The buildings were dull and in shadow, and the building on the right is a dirty yellow and in shadow. I worked away at it. Basically the painting "beat me up and left me by the side of the road". 
Sometimes paintings are a "fight" to the bitter end. Some paintings paint themselves, and that is so amazing when it works. Other paintings resist and fight back. I think I have made progress on this one, but it still needs something..... as Jazz legend Clark Terry says, "Keep on Keepin' on." Check out the movie by the same name . It is an amazing story of perseverance and sharing of knowledge.
 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

January Snowstorm, Spadina Avenue, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on panel
 I have some shows coming up and I like to have a mix of subjects and seasons, so I'm sorry for the snow storm at this point in our short summer season.
I've wanted to do this scene for awhile. I like the composition with the streetcar, shelter, and people dominating the foreground. I wanted to keep the feel as realistic as possible, including the dirty messy snow and the refuse container that shows up in so many Toronto scenes. (I often take them out). No matter how often I paint snow, I'm still learning. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Repainting a finished painting...why we do it.

36 x 36 oil on panel
Lets talk about repainting an already completed painting. From my experience, if a painting sits out after completion, visible on a daily basis, it will get some corrections, or in this case a major repainting. I didn't like the middle area (marked this area in the original painting) and I also thought the painting lacked atmosphere. The colour temperature was wrong, especially in the said middle area. I couldn't remember my original colour palette, so I went ahead with the one I have been using lately. Ultramarine blue, alizarin, touch of ivory black, cadmium yellow, touch of cerulean hue, titanium white. The retouches became a major repainting because ALL of the colour temperature was wrong. Richard Schmid says that when paint looks like dirt on a painting, it means the temperature is wrong. So, here is the new with the old one as comparison. I didn't hate the umbrella painting so some of that remained unchanged.
Which one do you prefer? Just a warning, if anyone likes the old one better, I may have to stop painting forever. (Just being dramatic, I appreciate all comments.)

Do you repaint finished paintings, and if so, what inspires you to do so?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bay Street Blues

14 x 14 oil on canvas paper
I've mentioned this before, but doing studies on paper allows me to get the information down quickly and helps me stay "loose" and less contrived. I think it has something to do with the fact that its only "paper" and therefore just a study. That said, I always like the way they turn out and wish I would have been so spontaneous on a canvas or board. I'll get there..sometime.... .
I'm looking forward to trying this on a larger scale.

Friday, June 19, 2015

College and Spadina

 30 x 40 oil on canvas
This painting is still a work in progress. At 30 x 40 inches it is taking longer than I had hoped, but one can't force it. It takes what it takes. I need to add some streetcar lines, its always risky doing this as they need to be present, but not draw attention to themselves.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Late Afternoon Shadows, Bay Street

8 x 10 oil on panel
When I do a study, I don't know if I will do a larger painting from it. I like the composition and the colours of this image, and so I think it will work well on a larger scale
.The  sunlight shining down Queen Street is reflecting off of The Old City Hall tower and spilling onto the adjacent towers. Suits head home after a day in the financial district.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Waiting For a Streetcar on Spadina

12 x 12 oil on canvas
Waiting for a streetcar on a rainy day on Spadina in Toronto.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Rain on Yonge Street, Dundas Square, Toronto

24 x 24 oil on canvas
It was quite a downpour when I took this reference photo. I looked so drenched, someone wanted to take my photo. I have to admit it. I love the rain, the moodiness it creates and the atmosphere. Dundas Square on Yonge Street is our version of Times Square in New York. It is much smaller, but is interesting nonetheless. Large signs change the colours in the street. The Ed Mirvish theatre, formerly the Canon is visible on the right.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lunch Break, Bay Street at King

14 x 14 oil on paper
Sometimes I like to do studies on canvas paper. I often do a series of studies before I take on a larger painting. When doing an oil sketch, working on paper seems to allow me to maintain more looseness.
This scene is midday at Bay and King in front of the Bank of Montreal. (I don't have a thing for Don Draper of Madmen, but sometimes a similarity emerges).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rainy Saturday in Chinatown, Dundas Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I'm not sure why I keep revisiting Chinatown. The reds, greens, and yellows of the signage are a difficult combination when attempting to achieve colour harmony. This scene is in Toronto's Chinatown on Dundas. It was a very blustery rainy day and all colours were grey and misty.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Night Ride, 504 Streetcar on King

12 x 12 oil on board
 Night scenes are difficult. There is no set rule for warm and cool.(As far as I know...if anyone knows them, please let me know!) Just when I decided to put viridian in the drawer because it was too cool, I brought it back out for this scene.
The 504 streetcar stops for a night rider near the Kit Kat restaurant on King Street.
Thanks to John Tavares for the photo reference.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Suits at Bay and Wellington

12 x 12 oil on canvas
Lunch time at Bay and Wellington on a warm spring day. Another view of Toronto's financial district.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rain at Bay and Richmond, Toronto

8x10 oil on panel
Another study. This scene features the corner of Bay and Richmond in Toronto's financial district.

Monday, May 11, 2015

End of The Day, King Street, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on panel
When I want to start some larger paintings, I often do smaller studies to get a sense of how they will look when painted. I get to decide colour schemes, compositions etc.
A lone "suit" heads home after a day at work in Toronto's financial district. This scene is on King near Bay.
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

First Light, Bronte Harbour

16 x 20 oil on panel
Sailing season has finally arrived in Southern Ontario. The water freezes during the winter, so most boats are taken out of the water and stored "on the hard". (land). Boats are being launched and masts, rigging and sails put back. 
I took the reference photo for this painting at Bronte Harbour last September in the early morning light.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Boldbrush painting competition, Fav 15%

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I'm pleased that my painting, "Heading Home 510 Spadina Streetcar", was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the March 2015 BoldBrush Painting competition. Still hoping to get into the top winning category...just have to keep trying!!


 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wet Snow on Wellington Street

12 x 12 oil on board
After doing three shows in four months, it has been difficult getting back to the studio. I took some nice rain/snow photos the other day and was inspired to paint this scene. I liked the reflected lights on Wellington Street, walking past the TD Centre. I would like to paint this on a larger scale, so tried it first on a 12 x 12.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Sun on Spadina

24 x 24 oil on panel
This scene is definitely out of my comfort zone. Too many orange buildings, too much sun and a very busy composition. It started out as a painting for a client who wanted all of the Toronto iconic images: CN Tower, Streetcar, and a sunny day. I painted it about a year ago and didn't like it. It sat, with so many of my "disappointments" at the back of the studio on the floor. I decided to do a repaint. I am trying to work out a colour palette that works with a sunny scene. I approached it like a plein air painting, painting more freehand and loosely over the original painting. I'm still deciding if I like it or not.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Promise Of Spring

12 x 12 oil on panel
I'm not a great photographer, but I love to take photos. And its even better when I capture  scenes that tell a story. In this scene a young woman looks at the window display as she walks past The Hudson's Bay Store windows on Bay Street. The weather was cool and rainy, but the window displayed spring blossoms and warm weather...a promise of spring.