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Archive for August, 2010

Potato - study 1

It seems like it has taken forever for me to finish this painting. Not that I’ve been working on it much – just looking, trying to decide what to do with it. I’m not quite happy with it, but I don’t know what to change. I’ve tried a few things and now I feel like it’s on the verge of being overworked. I think the best thing to do now is to move on to another painting.

I have a couple of ideas. We stopped at the farm the other day and got some colourful zucchinis and beautiful (and tasty) garlic that will definitely end up in a painting. Just look at it:

I would also like to do a little study of tiger lily leaves that I’ve been noticing around my neighbourhood. I like how some curve around perfectly and how others seem to reach the ground by bending at a series of angles – and the pattern of shadows they all make together. I am really drawn to the patterns of nature and how they can be random and organized at the same time. Time to go sketch out some ideas.

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Small Reminders

As you can see, I have been attempting to get some work done on the potatoes. Although I am not ready to comment on my progress just yet, I thought I could talk a little about my work environment.

Our apartment is not very big, so if I want to paint, I have to paint in the kitchen. Slightly inconvenient, but not a big deal. A bigger challenge is trying to find the time to paint with two small children in the house, especially in the summer when they are not in school/preschool. Usually I can find some time in the evenings. Or, like yesterday, if the kids are playing well, I often pull out my paints and attempt to get something done.

Invariably, I get in about 10 minutes of work before someone comes in and says, “Mommy, can I paint?” Of course the answer must be yes, so I get out the watercolours. Then they ask for stamps, then they take out the stencils, and lastly, the markers. They get lots of art done. I try to get a bit done too, amidst the chatter and activity. As distracting as they can be, the kids approach to art offers me some important reminders. The easy way they work with the materials reminds me not to take myself or my work too seriously. Their joy in the experimentation reminds me not to be too safe with my art. I should be trying new things as fearlessly as they do – just to see what might happen.

One day I hope to have a studio of my own where I can really focus on my art. And I will happily share it.

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Strawberries - study 1

So here is my study of the strawberries. I finished it last week and it is now in the show at Small Ritual.

I don’t usually work this small (8” x 8”), but it allowed me to really focus in on the berries (which is the whole point of the study, isn’t it?). This small size felt freeing to me. There wasn’t the usual burden of expectation of a larger painting. If it worked, fine. If not, well it only took a few hours. It also reminded me of the frame of mind I should always have when painting, and that’s to think of every painting as a study. It really takes the pressure off and let’s me enjoy the process, rather than getting too concerned with the end result. (Easier said than done).

Anyway, about the strawberries… I am happy with how this turned out, but perhaps if I do another one I would try to loosen up a little. I had intended for my reds to be brighter and to have a more expressive brush stroke. It’s funny how the painting seems to have its own direction, separate from my intentions. Now it’s time to move on to potatoes!

Buy this painting

Buy a print

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Small Ritual

Yesterday I put up 16 paintings at the Small Ritual Coffee Society — a relaxed, neighbourly coffee shop in White Rock. We had the opening yesterday evening.

Music was played. Coffee was enjoyed.

The crowd

Checkers were played.

Me, relaxing after the work was done.

The art work will be up through the month of August, so stop by for a coffee if you get a chance.

I love the book shelf - take one, leave one.

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I want to share with you one of my favourite places to escape the city. Westham Island Herb Farm is located just outside of Delta, BC. We usually go at least a couple of times in the summer and would not miss the Pumpkin Patch in October. The kids love to see the chickens and pet the donkeys. I love walking through the garden to see what’s ready, and stopping at the cute little general store for some honey and jelly. In addition to the fresh produce, I always come back with lots of painting ideas. The painting in my previous post was inspired by our strawberry run to the farm in June. I have included here three more paintings from the farm (and more to come, I’m sure).

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