Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cold Morning

Acrylic painting done many years ago and given to my parents...

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Watching the Sale

Done from a photo taken at the carriage horse sale at St Jacobs this past April. I cheated and didn't have to draw their faces...

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Singapore Elephant

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Backyard Scene

This little guy spends a lot of time in my back yard. The angle of the photo of the drawing makes his ears look shorter than they actually are in the sketch.

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A friend's boxer puppy... He jumped up and touched my forehead with his nose the second after the shutter snapped for the photo I drew this from...

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Sunlit Snowman

Built him a year ago...

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Little Ed

I drove past this pony almost every day. I stopped to take some photos of him ages ago and he has finally made it into a drawing.

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Guard Donkey

This little donkey is actually the next door neighbor of Little Ed. They share a fence. The donkey looks after a heard of cattle...

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Monday, December 19, 2011


Sketch of Joe the Pig - his real name. Met him at the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials...

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Woody Wants a Peanut

Decided to go for a walk out at Lemoine's today - cold weather and all. Mitts and a hat and you're all set right? We took peanuts and sunflower seeds for the birds. Strangely there weren't that many chickadees in the market for seeds today. A half dozen fat squirrels were around and we saw three nuthatches who are very polite little fellows. But the craziest was this little woodpecker. He wanted a peanut so bad but couldn't figure out how to land on a hand. Misty finally held it up to him and he took it from her palm while he held onto the tree trunk.

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Location:Lemoine's Point

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sailing Study

Study for another painting. Prompted by Daily Paintworks challenge for this week - paint reflections...
Picture I painted from was taken 18 months ago on Lake Ontario near Kingston.

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Garbage Picker

Was out walking one morning in late summer and saw this crow on the garbage bag. Really grainy photo on my iPhone so the crow in the sketch is getting replaced with the one I worked out afterwards that is above the sketch.

Just need to decide on size... And then match the two up...

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Psychedelic Fish Head

Was walking with a friend at Lemoine's Point and he found this dead fish head on the beach. The way the light was hitting it was honestly quite beautiful. Working on a painting of it...

Not finished yet although I've been told to spray it and leave it be... Gotta work on it a but more...

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sketched this from a picture I took on my walk. The way the light was hitting the porch, paper and boots caught my eye. The boots and door are red...

Will be a painting at some point...

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Monday, November 28, 2011


Painted this after visiting Ottawa to see the National Gallery which was closed. Weird day. Quiet...
This is the bridge over the canal that everyone paints the skaters with the Parliament buildings in the background. The work is all done from the other side... We saw the light as we walked by on the Parliament Hill side of the bridge. The canal was almost drained and the reflection of the bridge made an almost perfect circle with the sea gulls in the mud at the bottom of the reflection catching the light.

Wormhole (11x14, soft pastel. NFS)

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Dining Room

I walk by here every day and see this table in the park. I very rarely, no matter what day or time of day, see anyone sitting at it. This morning the light on it was beautiful and I had to take a picture of it.

It had rained off and on all night. The light was golden and the fallen leaves gave it a carpet with colours I'd die to have in my own dining room.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Pampas Grass

Between two rows of houses is this patch if pampas grass. The blades and seed pods are easily 8 feet tall. There could've been an elephant hiding in there all summer and no on would have been the wiser. I see it on my walk every day and think about how to get a creative picture of it.

I guess sometimes it's all about waiting for the right moment and having patience because this is what presented itself this morning. A ray of sunlight pushing through the light morning fog between two houses to bathe only three of the seed heads in golden light while leaving the rest of the scene in shadow except for where the sun hit the cut grass in the foreground. An artist's dream!

Makes me want to work on my patience bone.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Breakfast

There are lots of things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. One is that I have a home and enough to eat.

Met a homeless man this morning on Princess St and gave him breakfast money. After hearing Myra speak at Trinity Bible Church last week about her ministry knitting blankets and hats for homeless people it makes you look a second time. He had the dark clothing that just blends in... All of that. I couldn't not give him something.

Saw these morning glories in the lovely light in front of an old brick mansion on a wrought iron fence and the small wasps visiting for breakfast and had to take a picture to remind myself how lucky I am.

Thanksgiving this year has the potential to be incredibly sad and lonely but thankfully I'm being blessed with all sorts of wonders that lift my spirits and leave me grateful to be me.

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Location:Brock St,Kingston,Canada

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thankful for Dahlias

I have seen these dahlias on my street for days now & have wanted to take a photo if them but couldn't until today.

I stopped and knocked on the door to ask if I could and a very nice older Italian couple gave me the permission I was after. And now that I know how to post a photo on my blog from my phone I am doubly happy!

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lemoine Point 3

Here I am again by the water.

I thought it would be too painful to be by the water but I'm finding that I can't stay away from it.

No power boats - not yet.

But I sit here on the shore of Lake Ontario and watch the sail boats tacking in front of me and I am enthralled. The idea of riding in one scares me but I am transfixed by their speed and grace from my perch on a rock here on shore.

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Location:Lemoine Point Conservation Area

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stepping Out

Stepping Out (8x10, soft pastel)

Did this painting today. I did the pencil sketch for this months ago. The photo it was done from was taken almost a year ago. I'm very lucky in that I have some neighbours with a mixture of farm animals that allow me to go up and take photos of the animals. The idea for this painting has been with me for a loooooong time and finally today I decided to do the painting.

When I looked at the sketch I realised that if I did the composition correctly it could look almost as if this chicken were about to step right out of the picture.

It is done on red paper and I like the way in some places that red comes through the painting and the underpainting to give a bit of a glow to the entire piece.

I feel so risque using coloured paper! Until yesterday I had only painted on black paper.

This would have gone better and easier if I had chosen the same colour to underpaint the chicken's right side as I had for the deepest parts of the barn behind it. I chose a lighter colour and had to fight with things a bit to get as dark as I wanted it to be.

But I'm happy with how it turned out and just ordered a bunch more coloured Mi Tentes papers to try. I feel bad for the stash of black that I have. It may be hanging around twiddling it's thumbs for awhile now...

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Knee Deep (8x10, soft pastel)

This was a halleluja moment for me...

I have read and read about underpainting as a technique for painting with soft pastels and have never tried it. Alchohol - ethanol - is supposed to work. I searched for some but I was out of that. Hopefully no first aid will be needed in our house until I get some more. I remembered reading somewhere in the last week that you could use mineral spirits. I had some of those and so I dug them out and used my rubber silicone brush thingies from the art supply store.

I laid down my first layer of pastel on an orange (!!!) paper and then spread the mineral spirits with the silicone "brushes".

I just went from there with this painting.

These dairy cows were grazing one day as I was driving by just near sunset and I had to stop and take a picture. The idea for this painting has been in my head for a long time and I'm glad to finally have put it on paper.

Underpainting is definitely in my future!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Lookout

The Lookout (5x7, soft pastel)

This is the second painting I did for the February Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffey. This month he took us too Romania. There were many things that caught my eye but this horse and the valley below him grabbed my attention.

It was less of a struggle than my first painting.

The horse sort of looks like a horse. At least My Tool Man knew that it was a horse...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Round 3

Romanian Valley (5x7 soft pastel)

This painting was done for the February Virtual Paintout in Romania.

I was going to say that the pastels and paper had a TKO on me... but then I changed my mind.

This is the third time I painted this and I can see improvements in this last version and I learned some things. There are some problems with the trees but...

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hello! (5x5 soft Pastel)

This little fellow showed up in my window yesterday. He was peering in my front room window at me and so I decided to take his photo and do a painting of him.

This little painting went through 3 incarnations tonight. The first one is on the back of the final version. I wasn't happy with it. So I did the one below. I just took the fat side of some pastels and drew very spontaneously and made big marks, trying to leave out all the minute detail. It loosened me up and I started over. The result was Hello!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Robin Sketch - Starbucks sketch #2

This little robin sketch is the second sketch I've done from photos I have on my ipod. I want to try and do something everyday if I can and these little sketches are at least a way to keep up my practice of drawing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sketch of Three Ladies - Starbucks sketch #1

This is a sketch I did at Starbucks today. I seem to have accidentally joined a little group that vaguely reminds me of Cheers! only it's located in Starbucks! The people are incredibly funny and have been gracious enough to allow me to join in. I don't say much. I mostly just listen to all the conversation and sketch something off of my ipod. Today I did these three sheep. I hope eventually to turn it into a pastel painting.

We'll see I guess.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant (5x5 soft pastel)

This was done from a photo I took of an elephant in Singapore.

Monday, January 31, 2011

On A Street In The Town

On A Street In The Town (7x7 soft pastel)

This is a second painting I did for the January Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffey. This month he sent us all to Boston, Mass.

I just watched the movie The Town a couple of days ago so I went to The Town, Charlestown, in Boston and was blown away by the houses there. The architecture is so simple and old fashioned and the colours of the houses were delightful.

I chose this house in Charlestown as my subject. What first caught my eye was the blue colour of the house and the bright yellow flowers in the window boxes. And the flowers on the steps were such a sweet touch. The way the light played in the stoop and along the siding of the house and on the sidewalk clinched it for me. This was the scene I wanted to paint.

I struggle with the city scapes in the Virtual Paintout. I struggle with landscapes too. I want to include too much it seems. The odd angles of the streets themselves bother me as well as the inability to get back and see the entire buidling. Which isn't how you see in real life anyways but I realised that this was my problem and I needed to learn to choose what I was going to paint more critically. To think more critically about my composition.

What got me going on this composition was an article in The Pastel Journal about James Kimak who loves to paint scenes of New York. He embraces the streets and odd angles and in some of his paintings he focuses on just one door and step or only a part of a building. It was like a light went off for me.

I went back and found my chosen address and drew a line drawing sketch of it being very cognisant of where I wanted the edges of the painting to be.

Then I just painted! I focused on trying to keep it simple and stepping back to look at what I'd done so I didn't overwork it, trying to get the lights and darks right. I wish it was a bit lighter between the two houses but...

I've also been trying to focus on having crisp edges in the focal area and being a bit freer and looser with the edges in the rest of the painting. That is the trick with working from a photo... everything is in sharp focus most of the time and it means you lose depth and if you paint everything with that much detail it seems to look wrong. I want to paint painterly and not photrealistically.

I have been paying attention lately to what makes depth when I look at things and that slightly out of focus look of everything except what is the center of your attention makes the world 3D. For me anyways. There was an excellent article/demo in the month's issue of American Drawing that really brings that out. So I have been trying to focus on painting that way as well. I hope I managed that with this paining and the one I did before it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Autunm Lake Near Boston

Autumn Lake Near Boston(9x7 soft pastel)

This was done for the January Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffey. This month he chose to send us to Boston and the surrounding areas. Thanks for another great challenge Bill!

I chose this location for my painting, a lake on Forest Grove near Boston. The fall colours and light and reflections caught my eye.

I am not a landscape painter but want to try and get better at this type of painting and so I am trying to practice. This is version 2. The colours are richer in real life and it looks better if you stand back from it at least 5 feet. The black squares are the texture of the mi tentes paper.