Sunday, December 20, 2009

Late Afternoon Light, James St. Hamilton


16x20 Oil/Canvas
I have mentioned several times that I love architechture and old buildings. Hamilton has lots of great architecture, some of it in a bad state of disrepair. This is a wonderful old church with blueish stone. I debated whether or not to put the people in, but I liked the contrast between the vastness of the buildings and the people waiting at a bus stop.
Click on picture for a larger view

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yonge Street Patterns, Toronto


16x20 Oil on Canvas
I started this during our recent rainfall a couple of days ago. I liked the abstract quality of the signs and doorways and the buildings in the distance. The street was surprisingly devoid of cars. At the right hand side is the entrance way to the Zanaibar Club..a renowned "strip joint" that has been there for at least 50 years.
Click on image for a larger view.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Snow, Dundas On


8x10 Oil on Canvas
We definitely had a major weather change. We didn't get this much snow. Merely a dusting which may not last. I mentioned Richard Schmid in an earlier posting. I was able to find one of his  books in the library. It is from the 1970's and even then shows the great brush work and style that I aspire to. The book is full of interesting demonstrations and information. I would like to quote one of his passages:
"Trees are endlessly fascinating, and I regard them as almost personal friends. It is always hard to view trees dispassionately, as I must, in order to paint them. I once knew someone who failed utterly as a painter, because he always saw things as things and not as shapes of color.The fellow struggled for years but always kept seeing trees and branches instead of color value, shapes, and edges. Nature must be broken down in this abstract way in order to be interpreted in paint."
This is a lesson that has been difficult for me, but I am making some progress. I love old buildings, architecture, and trees etc. and I always want to paint "them" and all of their wonderful details. But they must be seen as only part of the whole, not as an entitys in themselves. Of course, if one is doing an illustration type picture, its a different story.
This house is in Dundas, down the street from where I live. It is a wonderful place with ginger bread and lots of detail. I tried to make it part of the scene.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bay and Dundas Street Rain, Toronto

To break in the new studio, I thought I would start small. I did a similar scene before, but wasn't pleased with it, so decided to do another. I am enjoying adding paint with a palette knife where I want the highlights to be stronger, more pure color. As I post this, it is pouring rain again, a system coming from Texas I believe. We would often have snow now instead of rain.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My New Studio Space!!!


Finally it is finished! I have to thank my husband who did an amazing job with a very difficult space. As I mentioned before, we are in the process of restoring this small 1850 stone cottage. Space is limited and I have been working in an 8x8 room. The attic had never been finished. It is about 6" 3" at its high point. We decided to leave the beams exposed, and Dave used foam insulation and pine wainscoting to cover. We are debating whether or not to leave the stone walls. Aesthetically I love them, but I'll decide when it is 25 below zero. He did an absolutely beautiful job, working in tiny backbreaking spaces. There are three skylights. This is the first time in my life that I have had a space dedicated to painting, so I am thrilled. I have spent the last few days moving and getting organized and now I am ready pick up the brushes and get at it! The round pillow in the foreground is our dog Bailey's bed, who must go where I go.
Thank you Dave!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Sun, James Street Hamilton



Before the snow falls, the December landscape is grey and brown and dreary. It is dark at 5:30.  It requires  just the right timing to catch the sinking sun as it casts a warm glow on these buildings on James Street in the Hammer. This is another value study, trying to focus on shapes and not the details. Still difficult to do.