Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wild and Tame


A new commission for a home outside Seattle. This contemporary house is surrounded by extraordinary rainforest and I chose to portray the two aspects of life there. The wildness of native plants - Douglas fir, maple and dogwood on the left - and the tamest of all hybridized garden plants -petunias and geranium on the right. The painting measures 90x30 inches on three panels. 




The client requested copper leaf. In fact I have had a surge of requests for copper this spring. It seems it is trending!


The client also requested hummingbirds.



The darkness of the copper combined with the shiny and unforgiving surface of the wooden panel required a bold painting style. I started with something more textured and gentle but, after much struggle, came to this almost cartoon inspired way of dealing with the drama of the materials.




I left a little texture in the copper leaf - but not as much as I usually do when I work on canvas. 


When I delivered this commission to its new home I felt so pleased to see it surrounded by equally bold dark wooden furniture and a picture window to the left of the painting showing the same giant trees featured in the painting. The copper glowed and looked perfect! What a good choice by my clients. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Composites of My Paintings

I just got back from an art licensing show in New York City where buyers look for artwork to use on fabrics, paper products, children's books and any other product they can print on. To get ready I designed these posters using pieces of my paintings and colouring them in Photoshop. It was so much fun! 




After they were printed I applied gold, silver and copper leaf to them by hand.


 




I liked the designs so much I made promotional cards to give away.


And of course I wore gold to match the gold leaf!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Eliot and Vine Mural


I just got back from Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I painted a 35 foot long mural for fabulous new restaurant Eliot and Vine. Full disclosure, it is owned by my wonderful friend Johanna Eliot. The mural tells the story of her life through the symbolism of plants. Each panel represents things like her parents, her children, her pets, her friends and her future dreams.












Lovely friends helped me to celebrate the mural installation. I am on the left and Johanna Eliot, the restaurant owner and my best friend since college, is beside me.

Friday, February 26, 2016

New Small Paintings with Silver

I have been painting smaller pieces using metallic leaf. These two measure only 8x10 inches. They sold the first time I showed them. 


Using the same colour pallet I painted these owls and love their graphic quality. They are a current favourite of mine.



This little owl also sold quickly. I have priced this series of paintings to make them affordable so this little guy was only $80. I want to make lots of these small wooden panel paintings using silver leaf while the winter days are dark. I love how they shine and cheer me up.


 More owls! Some of the brushwork turned out nicely on this one. 







I opened an Etsy shop this fall and decided to show my paintings in interior settings. I like how they look in these stock photos. Here is my Etsy shop. Why not visit and have a look around.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Garry Oaks


I was asked to make a painting for a friend's house in White Salmon on the Columbia River in Washington (Near Hood River). When I visited the scenery was spectacular but I was also excited to see so many Garry Oak trees with their oblong acorns and wonderful leaves. My friend wanted something simple and monochrome with silver and texture. The painting is four feet wide. 





This is the landscape that inspired me on that gorgeous September day. Oak trees ahead. 


Back in the studio I started with a sketch. Soon I switched to fatter brushes!

Monday, September 14, 2015

All Creatures Great and Small


I have been spending time in Jordan these past few years teaching art and craft design to farm women near the Dead Sea for UNESCO. I love the landscape of rocks and sand that can seem empty - until I take a closer look.

I haven't titled this yet but I was thinking about the wonder I feel when looking at the world from a different angle. The small child is vulnerable and alone but safe on the back of the mule...the desert is empty but full of life... I have seen all the small creatures and plants while by myself in the desert in Jordan.

This painting is about solitude I guess. But we are never isolated from our connection with nature if we take the time to look down at the ground that supports us. Am I saying that some of my best friends are bugs? (-:
This is oil on canvas and measures 30x24 inches.





Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Poppies and Peonies


This commission was a dream - peonies and poppies in shades of salmon pink. Everything is so pretty - I couldn't go wrong. But the challenge was to bring interest, texture and strength of shapes. I also kept the brush work spontaneous for a light hearted and expressive feeling. For variety I used both silver (aluminum) leaf and gold composite leaf and the canvas is a lightweight wrinkled cotton that adds texture too. This painting is four feet across. Thanks Katherine for asking for this fun painting.