Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bramble House

This was a lovely commission for a lovely new restaurant. Bramble House is situated in a historic home on Vashon Island near Seattle.

When I visited the site Lia and I discussed a painting of brambles, of course, and her childhood memories of exploring tangles and tunnels of the creeping vines that grow in their native version on the island. She also showed me a small crabapple tree growing in the restaurant garden and expressed how drawn she was to it and its many and varied lichens. She loved how the tree changed with the seasons.

So we decided to paint this little tree as a centerpiece with a tangle of native blackberry vines forming a sort of protective tunnel around it. On the left is spring with white blossom falling through the air. On the right is early winter with snow falling onto the crab apples.

The painting hangs above the mantle piece in the restaurant dining room where the copper leaf reflects the warmth of the historic wood.

Three Amazing Dogs

Copper leaf, a woodland setting and three amazing dogs. This four foot painting is a commissioned portrait of beloved pets and an equally amazing back yard of old growth trees. 

I took inspiration from this dog's wonderful spots to splash some paint around. 

I struggled to capture the expression and liveliness of this little guy. 

Huckelberry doesn't approve of me painting dogs. It doesn't stop him from spending every possible minute with me in the studio though. He loves it up there.

Wonderful Spots

In preparation for a larger painting of three family dogs I couldn't resist painting Madison on her own with her wonderful black and white spots.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Chalk Wall for a Party

I was hired to create a steam punk themed drawing for a corporate party in San Fransisco and had a ball. I love drawing in chalk.

As well as two large walls I made flower arrangements to match the theme.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Rusty, Lucy, Corbin and Jake

This is the most over the top pet portrait I have ever done - and I love it! Even the chickens are portraits. Rusty and Lucy are the dogs on the left and Jake and Corbin are the cats on the right. The clients have collected my work for a few years and I finally got to see the amazing backyard farm they have created. It is so full of fabulous plants I could have painted every day for the rest of the summer. 

Rich with his amazing lilies. These aren't even the giant ones!

Lucy and Kurt examine the finished painting. 

Dogs at the Beach

What a treat to paint these contrasting poodles in their dreamy water setting. I love the black dreads of this one. These are portraits for a friend.

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!