Monday, 25 September 2017

Summer Painting 2017

Happy Hippy Quail
Watercolour 8 X 10
Summer is often a busy time of year with family and friends dropping into our beautiful oasis in the Osoyoos desert. I started using acrylic paints this year, found an amazing mentor (Carollyne Sinclaire) and launched myself into capturing the breath taking valley landscape with its vineyards and mountains and lakes. It certainly helps that the inspiration for my paintings lies just outside my picture window! Carollyne walked me through invaluable exercises applying the conscientious contrast of values in my paintings (and so much more!). This spurred me on to be happily painting even if it was tiny little squares of blues and yellows to prove the colour wheel is correct - you get gorgeous greens! Fifty or more! All at my fingertips.

I started the painting, Tulameen River Afternoon as my first experiment in applying this knowledge about the mix-ability of greens. I also used glazing liquids to help with layering transparent pigments (like in my watercolour days!) as well as adding light to my mountains. Even my vineyards started to sparkle!

I then started my painting, Here Comes the Sun (thank you, Beatles!) and set out to capture one of the phenomenons I discovered when I first moved to Osoyoos: the unique halo of clouds that encircle the mountains in the morning and how the sun slowly chases the valley mist away and lights up the vineyards with golden hues so obvious you can almost see some giant paint brush move gently across the tips of the vines. Both pictures started with reference photos but I was soon painting from my memory and, I hope, a little from my heart. I am practicing this more and more to encourage my fingers to loosen up on the brush and let the paint move more naturally. Nature is filled with unpredictability. I want my paintings to reflect that.

My two Similkameen Sweep I and II  watercolours were painted in between the larger acrylic paintings to keep my inventory up at The ART Gallery Osoyoos Summer Artisan Market (affectionately known as SAM to the local artists!).  Both applied the principles about value contrast and focal points. The Vineyard by the Lake II turned out with a flick of my wrist - it really just flowed!  (PS I am now working on The Vineyard by the Lake III - no flick-of-the-wrist ease with this one!!)  All three of these paintings were sold in the market within a few weeks. So fun when there was no agony required for the ecstasy produced! The Vineyard painting found a home in Calgary - I couldn't stop grinning as I met the lovely couple who purchased the painting the day before they bought it.

In addition, some great news for this emerging artist: five paintings sold this summer (4 were watercolours!) and I believe the hard work is paying off as three of those five were works I completed during and after my sessions with Carollyne. I know someday I may become jaded a little with the mundane selling of another painting but then, again, they are all my "babies" as one point or another so.....maybe not!

So, with summer officially over, I present my summer work:

Note: My unsold paintings can be purchased from me through online payment and shipped (at your expense).  I do make trips to Calgary and Vancouver throughout the year and can transport to those locales if the timing works for you.  

Vineyard by the Lake II   Acrylic  6" x 12"  SOLD

Here Comes the Sun
Acrylic on 1.5" canvas
 20" X 24"  SOLD!!
Tulameen River Afternoon
Acrylic on 5/8" canvas
  16" X 20"  $250.00

Similkameen Sweep II     8" X 10"
Watercolour stretched on frame

Similkameen Sweep I     8" X 10"
Watercolour stretched on frame

Under the Canopy   8" X 10"
 Watercolour stretched on frame

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Updated Gallery of Paintings

Please contact me at if you are interested in more information about a painting. You can also access my paintings on Facebook at  or at  Hope to hear from you!

Peachy Spring

Winter Vienyard

Italian Dreamscape

Backyard Gang: Who's the New Guy   SOLD

Vineyard by the Lake 1


Muslim Market in Xien


Exotic Hummingbird

Afternoon Escape

Urban Family of Man


Golden Timbre SOLD

Golden Afternoon in Gyro Park

Peach Blossom Journey



Surely Today

Frosted 2

Here Comes the Sun

Vineyard by the Lake 2      Sold

A Tulameen River Afternoon

Rustico Ramblings

Cycling on Lakeshore Drive


Cycling on Cottonwood Drive

My First Sale and Some Musings on Art for Money

Having taken the plunge in October to show my pictures, I have now endured one show without a sale. Happily I jumped into the next one - Christmas Artisans Market - and, I was so excited to hear one painting sold last week!

My Frosted II painting (smaller than Frosted I) sold last week and is on its way to Penticton.

Many of my hand-painted cards have also sold - especially the bicycle ones:

 and my quail ones:

So, you might ask, is this now about the money and not so much about the art? A sale ripples through our little pod of artists like nothing else. We support, critique and promote each others paintings with little held back and - hoping this is true for all - we also celebrate each others' successes. That is much easier when I attribute all the good and bad points of my own paintings to my creative ego - Imp (see previous blog) - and shoo away the accolades from my own easily-bruised one!! Still, the question about this being about the money does come up often in our little community. Some artists claim that they aren't doing it for the money - and, that is true for us. However, we sell our paintings for many reasons so the money does play into it.

1. Cost - beyond the hours of painting there are costs that many in the public would not figure in. Paint can run up to $20/tube; paper to $20/sheet. There are finishing products that also add up over time and consignment fees at the galleries showing your work.
2. Framing - not cheap! Period!
3. Market - it is difficult to read the market and still let your creativity run loose. Once you have invested the time and money into the materials. it is a certainty that not all pieces will sell - ever! So, spreading the costs over the few that do sell is the trick. To boil that down, a card priced at $5 is barely recouping the cost of production plus the inevitable non-sales that end up in the bottom of your painting box.
4. More market - letting the market dictate your creation is a downer. Every artist needs to find that balance - create freely but create with the idea of the market you will be selling within (sometimes). The expanded online interconnection is an artist's dream come true! The market is only limited by the time and expertise to project your images out there. So, those pieces that might appeal to an urban dweller with eclectic tastes can be reached even if your local gallery is frequented by potential clients looking for more realism or just a souvenir to take home from their vacation.
5. Storage - after awhile, I am told (as I have not arrived at this particular place!) - becomes a problem, We all have limitations to how much art can reside in our home studio or even in an offsite studio. Eventually something has to give - and if your family and friends are getting sick of your "giving", selling does make more sense.

So, is it about the money? No - and yes. You decide. Me? Well, I am going to slide my desk chair two feet to the right and get back to creating my new painting - a surrealistic forest that is definitely driven by Imp with little consideration for money - yet. See, it is a mystery like the 'chicken and the egg' - but, either way - worth the fun!

So, get out there, find your creative ego 

where ever she or he is hiding and get creating!! 

It can't hurt and it just might fill you with JOY!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Pre-Show Jitters

Well, as of yesterday, I decided I was going to take the plunge - yep, up to the elbows in Ultramarine Blue and Quinacridone Magenta! I am going to show some of my paintings in an upcoming show at our local gallery.  No big deal. A tiny step. Going public in my home town in front of people who know me .... YIKES!

Truly, I am a little nervous about hanging my "babies" up on public display where all kinds of hurtful words could be hurled their direction. And yet, ego, according to Elizabeth Gilbert in her book, Big Magic, is like a separate little genius popping on to my "creating table" once in a while and snapping ideas into the painterly quadrant of my brain - or not. It is not my genius or ability or lack there of - it is hers! I should try to catch a glimpse of her one of these days, hovering over my right shoulder, whispering blue or red or lemon yellow into my ear as the paint brushes jump into my fingers. But alas, every time I turn around to catch her in the act, she giggles and disappears. So, I have decided to give my creative ego - I am naming her Imp - full accolades and 100% of all the downside comments as well! I am an innocent bystander just willing to get my hands dirty all for the sake of creating something that is mine - I mean, hers!

I am in a bit of a quandary as to what to hang next month. I dropped a big bundle of moo-la yesterday buying gallery-standard frames and mats and framing tape. If I hear one more person walking through our gallery poo-pooing the cost of a card or painting I may just pull out my latest cash register receipt and ask them to sign a Declaration of Understanding of the True Cost of Art. Outside of the workshops even the most amateurish of us take!

I have been picking the brains of several of my experienced artist friends and they have been so helpful. Ideas about less expensive framing, pricing and choosing have taken just a question by email to source. Thank you - each one of you!

Here are some of the pictures I am considering. I only get to choose three. Which ones would you suggest?

Winter Reflections at Vaseux Lake

Plum Delicious

Backyard Gang

Frozen Transition

Frosty Fillagree

Surely Today

Vino Rouge