Sunday, November 22, 2015

First Snowfall, King Street West

36 in x 48 in Oil on canvas
I'm enjoying painting on a larger scale, but as I've mentioned before, any mistakes are BIG mistakes. I did this painting a while back, but was not satisfied with the composition or the light, so I changed several things while doing a repaint. I added the crosswalk to create depth and included more people. The surrounding area is affected by the moving sign on the Canada Life Centre, highlighting nearby objects in pink, purple, or blue.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Christmas Wreath

16 x 20 oil on canvas
I will be doing the One of A Kind Christmas show again this year. Each year the show has a contest where artisans are invited to create something according to a chosen them. This year the theme is "Christmas Wreath". The creation must be in the artists medium and style. I thought of several ideas but after seeing an image on line of a young woman carrying a large wreath, I thought I would go with this idea. Doing the contest allows me to have a little fun. I liked accentuating the greens of the wreath.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Snow in Chinatown, Spadina Ave.

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I love Chinatown in Toronto. The colours, the activity, and the fact that it is always open. This blustery blizzardy day in January didn't deter Saturday shoppers.
This painting will be available at the One Of A Kind show in Toronto Nov 26.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Early Evening Shadows, Bay Street

24 x 24 oil on panel
This section of Bay Street is so challenging, yet I keep going back for more. The blend of blue buildings and orange/beige buildings make colour harmony very difficult. I gave it my best, but I'm still wondering about the strong blue in the foreground vehicle. The One of A Kind show is looming in the near future (Nov. 26) so taking breaks from painting is out of the question!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

T.G.I.F. Osgoode Hall, Queen Street

12 x 12 oil on panel
I love the colours and reflections of night. The wonderful fence at Osgoode Hall is visible to the right.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Snowy Day on Queen Street

30 x 40 Oil on canvas
I've been working on this one for a week, and I think its time to put it away to dry and come back for a look later. I still find it difficult to portray the large buildings and have them recede into the distance with the proper greys.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Colours of Night, King Street, Toronto

16 x 16 oil on canvas paper
This painting is another study on paper. I wanted to see if the colours would work ok together before doing it on a larger scale. I like the way it turned out. The light on the Standard Life Building at 121 King street West changes colours, illuminating the entire corner in pink, purple, or blue. I never tire of finding new compositions for this corner.
A wet snow was falling, adding to the atmosphere.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Autumn Rain, King Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I love autumn and the cooler temperatures that go with it. It also means winter is coming, but we won't talk about that yet.
This scene features an autumn rain on King Street. A Beck taxi dominates the foreground. I used slightly more saturated colours for this picture.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Late Day at the Office, King and University

36 x 36 oil on canvas
There were difficult colours in this picture. The Sun Life Centre had blue green highlights while the rest of the scene was mostly traffic and street lights. Blue/green is not my favorite choice, but I wanted to maintain the look of the Sun Life Centre. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Night Lights and Wet Snow on Wellington Street

12 x 12 oil on canvas
 I love the way the lights at night reflect off of the surrounding surfaces. The simple parking sign at the TD Centre created intense red shadows and the yellow car and street lights added to the mix. When I took this reference photo, it was a messy wet January snow. The large concrete wall along the TD centre added to the composition.
The Toronto Club is visible on the left, an historical building from the 1880's. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Gooderham, Flatiron Building in Rain

24 x 24 oil on panel
The Gooderham Building, also known as the Flatiron Building, is a very interesting and historical building.It is also extremely difficult to paint. It stands out in front of the new high rises, an imposing red brick building in front of the soft blues of the reflected glass.
I thought I would give it a try again...I think I need to blur the receding sides a bit more to accentuate the "triangular" shape of the building.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

March Sun, Spadina Ave, Toronto

12 x 12 oil on panel
After a snowfall, the sun can be brilliant.  On this day, the winter sun came out in full force, illuminating the buildings and wet streets. This scene is from Toronto's Chinatown, on Spadina Ave.
This painting will be available at The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Sept. 18, 19, 20.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Out of The Mist, King and Simcoe, Toronto

16 x 20 oil on canvas
Night time scenes are difficult. The only colours are from reflected light, and sometimes they turn the surrounding surfaces into garrishly ghostly colours, resulting for new neon and led lighting. The new greens of the stop lights are also a much more minty green than before. nonetheless, I keep working at it.
I really enjoy this corner in front of St Andrews Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe. The steam from the subway grates can almost be blinding on a cold evening. I have taken several shots here, but this reference photo is from Ben Roffelsen.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rain, East 20th Street, New York

16 x 20 oil on canvas
I thought I'd change things a bit, and do a scene of New York City. It was a change, adjusting to the yellows of the taxis, but I found them a little easier to incorporate into a scene than Toronto's turqoise and orange Beck taxi.
Thanks to Jacob Santiago for the photo reference for this painting. Check out his Instagram account Here.


Friday, July 31, 2015

Late Afternoon After The Snow, Bay and Queen

24 x 30 oil on cradled panel
I almost had this painting ready to recoat with gesso when I decided to take another go at it. The original painting was very "brown". I was using a lot of transparent red oxide at the time I did the painting and I have since taken it completely out of my colour palette. I am not a big fan of orange unless I can control the coolness or warmness of it. I mix most of my oranges and browns with alizarin, cad yellow dark, and blue (with touches of white as needed.)
This was an extremely challenging picture, as so many urban street scenes can be. It is all about what to leave out of the details and what to accentuate.My brain definitely is on overdrive with all the decisions to be made, as with all paintings.

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.