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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Downtown Rain

12 x 12 oil on canvas
I have several paintings in the studio that I am not happy with, so I have been painting over them with an old tube of white oil paint to reuse the canvas. This particular canvas I actually had to carefully use a razor scraper to get all the annoying bits of paint off.
Its a rainy day today, so I decided to do a quick downtown rainy image. I kept the painting time to two and a half hours. (Actually it is time to stop painting, take off the painting smock and put on the cooking apron.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Late Afternoon Shadows, Financial District, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on paper
This is a study for a potential larger painting. I often work on paper and if I like the study enough I will glue it onto a cradled panel to make it more suitable for selling.
This image is late afternoon in the Financial District in Toronto.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Queen Street Shoppers

12 x 12 oil on board
Staying with the theme of "Summer in the City" I couldn't resist doing this group of shoppers crossing Queen Street with the late afternoon reflections. Some paintings I just have to do because the subject is "fun". Although they are generally just as difficult as what we might call "more serious". I may add a little blue to the shadows...still wondering about the temperature in relation to the warm yellow of the road.
This scene is from Queen Street in Toronto.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer In the City, Toronto On

12 x 12 oil on board
Its hard to believe that summer is half over, but there are lots of great days left. This scene features downtown Toronto on a sunny summer day. I took a  break from rainy scenes and also added some colours to my usual palette of:Ultramarine blue, Alizarin crimson, transparent oxide red, cadmium yellow deep, cadmium red, viridian. I added cadmium orange, cad yellow light, and cad red light.
Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sirius Lee Social, Mcdonald Marine, Hamilton

11 x 14 oil on panel
In a boat yard, there are always boats that don't make it into the water when summer arrives and so they spend the season "on the hard". This painting features the early morning light, glinting off of the boats, their masts and lines and creating sparkles on the water.
The small boat club, Hamilton Bay Sailing Club always has interesting names for their boats. The boat in the foreground is a "Sirius" and so it was aptly named "Sirius Lee Social".

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Time Well Wasted, Macdonald Marine, Hamilton

11 x 14 oil on canvas
We have a small sailboat in Hamilton Harbour and spend part of the summer around boats. Every summer, I like to do a few marina scenes. This scene features the dock across from us just after a rain. The dark clouds were receding and a bit of light trying to break through. I like the name of the middle boat "Time Well Wasted" ..