Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow in Chinatown, Dundas Street

24 x 24 oil on canvas
This picture is pretty much the weather we had yesterday with blowing snow and not so great driving conditions. Anyone who lives in an area that gets snow, knows that snow doesn't stay white for long. It turns into a brown salty slushy mess. 
This scene is in Toronto's Chinatown, along Dundas Street.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Toronto Financial District, Summer

32 x 40 oil on canvas
This painting proved to be very dificult, mostly due to working out the temperature and colours of the sidewalk and road. I also kept thinking that there should have been more dark value to balance it out. 
This scene is from Bay Street in the Financial District of Toronto, the Deloitte Building on the left.

 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Urban Forest in Winter, Queen Street

24 x 30 oil on board
I love trees and I especially love urban trees and how they affect our surroundings. Trees are difficult subjects to paint when trying to portray the "big picture" as opposed to painting  a picture of a tree. Almost all of the detail is lost and blurred.
This was very difficult to paint, but I loved the small forest of trees at the corner of Queen and University where the beautiful wrought iron fence passes in front of the Law Society Building. It was pretty much a snowstorm when I took this reference photo which created a subtle light everywhere.
I never know when to stop, so decided to leave it alone for a bit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Midday Sun, Bay and Richmond, Toronto

24 x 24 oil on board
Another painting in my foray into sunny scenes. I am not leaving the rain and snow behind...I love weather events, but I was in the mood for a change. Maybe it's the -18 C (about 0 F) weather were having. I tried a little different composition, including the yellow crosswalk.
This scene is at the corner of Bay Street and Richmond.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Early Morning Traffic, University Avenue

20 x 24 oil on canvas
I usually like to paint images that reflect the present mood of the day..a typical January cold snowy atmosphere. For my upcoming show at the Artist Project I want to include some sunny city scenes in the Financial District of Toronto and so I will be exploring a new colour palette and doing some studies, trying to create the early morning or late afternoon atmosphere in a busy city.
For my first attempt, I chose a difficult subject with the darkness dominating the foreground. And the other usual complex issues of what details to add and what to leave out. I will have to live with it for awhile and see if I like the result.
 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Heading Home, Cold Toronto Evening

11 x 14 oil on canvas
When my Christmas art show  ends in early December, I think that I will get back into the studio right away and get back to work. But then family and Seasonal celebrations happen, and shopping happens, and renovations happen, and then of course I got the worst cold i"ve had in a long time.So now, a month later its time to dive in and get some painting done!
We are having some very cold weather, going to minus 18 C tonight. When it gets cold, the steam from grates escapes into the street, sometimes completely limiting visibility for a short time. 
A young woman with some great boots waits at a transit stop on a cold Toronto evening.
Thanks Chris Lally, Barbara Muir and Karen Werner for your comments on my previous post.

Thanks to Ben Roffelsen for the photo reference.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Years Goal:Find Coffee

8x8 oil on canvas
Happy New Year and all the best for 2015!

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.