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" ..

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jazz and Art Show at Petroff Gallery

36 x 48 oil on canvas
I have been away from the studio for a bit, spending time with visiting family and various other summer time commitments. I hope to get back to steady painting very soon. In the meantime, I wanted to mention the Jazz and Art show that is presently on at Petroff Gallery. The show runs until August 8 and features some great paintings, glass, jewellery and  sculpture. It is a beautiful setting on Eglinton Avenue in a renovated bank. I was very impressed with how they combined the colours of my paintings with the other items for sale. Stop in and have a look

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...No. 1 Spadina Crescent

36 x 36 oil on canvas
I never knew where the expression "Dark and Stormy Night" originated until I looked it up and found it to have been written in 1830 by Edward Bulwar Lytton, an English novelist. I couldn't get the expression out of my head while I was painting. It was known as a melodramtic style of writing and has since become a cliche.
I did a similar painting to this a while back and wanted to do it on a larger scale. The Gothic Revival building in the background is part of the University of Toronto, built in 1875. It is situated at no 1 Spadina Crescent.
To establish a dark moody feeling, I used a palette of Viridian, Cadmium red, Ivory Black, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, and Titanium white.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

And Now for something completely different...

Toronto Victorian and Garden
8 x 8 oil on canvas
 I don't normally do this type of scene. But I do love old houses and gardens so I thought I would have some fun with colour.
Toronto has some amazing older homes and I hope to get around to painting more of them this summer...and hopefully include some gardens at the same time.

Thanks to Ben Reffelsen for the photo reference.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Seriously?....

24 x 24 oil on canvas
I know, why am I painting snow? My daughter came into the studio and "seriously?" is pretty much what she said. I asked her what she thought and she just said "I don't know..I can't even relate." Fair enough...we had a tough winter this past year. 
Whenever I do a show, I like to have a variety of paintings and I was low on the snow scenes, so I thought I would do this one. I have done this scene on a smaller scale, and wanted to do it a little larger. I have to admit that I love snow. And I loved the atmosphere on the day that I took the reference photo.
This scene is on Spadina during a blustery snowy day. This painting will be available at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square July 4,5,6.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thursday Night Jazz at The Rex, Queen Street

30 x 48 Oil on Canvas
This is another Jazz themed painting for the Jazz show at Petroff Gallery July 19th. Queen Street in Toronto still has many older small buildings mixed with larger newer ones. (As most streets in downtown Toronto).Of course the smaller older ones are always more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly. 
The Rex Hotel is a great venue for jazz. I took the photo reference on a Thursday evening as patrons were arriving to catch the shows.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jazz Bistro, Victoria Street, Toronto

36 x 48 oil on canvas
  As I mentioned in a  previous post, Petroff Gallery, using the Beaches Jazz festival as inspiration, is putting together an exhibition of works inspired by or representative of jazz music. I chose one of the two studies I did of The Jazz Bistro and painted it on a much larger scale. A lot of the painting was a study in greys and deciding which ones wouldn't contrast with the yellows, reds, and greens. it was a lot more difficult than I thought and the problem solving revolved around maintaining proper colour temperature. 
The Jazz Bistro and Senator Restaurant are located in some great older buildings on Victoria Street in Toronto. They really hold their own against the monolithic Rogers Building next door. I can't believe how much the Toronto streetscape changes from year to year. I hate to see the old buildings come down and I hope these two will hang around for a long time to come.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Jazz Bistro, Toronto

8 x 10 oil on canvas
Using the Beaches Jazz Festival as inspiration, this coming July Petroff Gallery is putting together an exhibition of works inspired by or representative of jazz music. I have decided to participate and paint images of Jazz venues in Toronto.
The Jazz Bistro on Victoria Street is an interesing location, situalted next to the famous Senator Restaurant. I did two versions and must decide which will work best on a 36 x 48 scale.
 Which composition do you prefer?

 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chinatown Rain, Dundas And Spadina

36 x 48 Oil on canvas
I did this painting over a year ago and didn't like it. The composition was off, and it was difficult to bring it all together. Plus, the people were walking from side to side adding to the compostion difficulties. It was a large canvas covered in paint and it sat in the studio staring at me. I decided to put it on the easel. What I loved about this scene was the busy activity at this corner of Spadina. Streetcars continually pass both ways, shoppers are everywhere, and the sounds and sights of Chinatown pervade the scene. So, I decided to rework it, changing the people and numerous other elements. The composition still isn't the best, but I think I've captured some of the atmosphere and activity of Chinatown on Spadina.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Beck Taxi on Yonge

30 x 30 oil on canvas
I really liked the composition on the 6 x 6 painting I did a while back. I decided to try it on a larger scale. One of the difficulties when going larger is the tendency to tighten up and start adding more detail. I worked at leaving it loose and spontaneous, using a lot of squinting and larger brush strokes to maintain the atmosphere rather than focusing on the details.
This scene features a Beck Taxi going south on Yonge Street with Dundas Square in the background.