Sunday, August 25, 2013

New York, New York

I recently spent a very busy, culture filled week in New York City. I love New York... I went here once with my parents as a teenager and have been wanting to go back ever since. I took well over 500 photos (isn't digital photography wonderful?), so this will be a first installment. The architecture is absolutely wonderful. The fact that those fantastic buildings have been preserved and restored (and not torn down) is truly amazing... definitely had some forward thinking politicians at some point in their history. And I can see how the influence of all that art deco might find itself creeping into some of my projects. 
This would only happen to me... suitcase came flying
off the conveyor belt, doing a backflip onto the centre section.
Had to find someone in baggage handling to retrieve it for me.

The trip started off on a bit of a panic-stricken note... We had decided to fly from Buffalo instead of Toronto, mainly because of cost. Seemed easy enough, but crossing the border proved to be very time consuming. To the point of having us actually running through the airport to get there before they shut the gate, like you would see in a movie. Thankfully we made it... only to have a small mishap with our luggage on the other end. All sorted, we caught a train out to the apartment we rented in Brooklyn for the week, and then off to see the city.
New York Skyline from the top of the Rockefeller  Centre
The Empire State at night

Brooklyn Bridge

Duke honoured in NYC with a statue in
Central Park

He even has a street named after him
The Apollo theatre in Harlem,
where Ella Fitzgerald got her start.
Street Art in Little Italy

Van Gogh at the Met. Apparently, you are supposed
to stand BEHIND the line. But look at this brushwork...
it's just asking you to get up close.

Memorial at Ground 0. 

This guy played in the pouring rain to entertain us as we waited in line to get into the MET.
He's so going to be a painting.  :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Singin' the Blues

"Singin' the Blues"
18x24 Acrylic on Canvas
I spent the last week in New York City. I was exhausted, overworked and stressed out... and after a week of cultural saturation, I'm completely exhausted, but refreshed. I went to the Met and the Guggenheim to look at the masterful art, toured around looking at the amazing architecture, caught some live music and just generally soaked it all in. It was fantastic. I have about 400+ photos to wade through... I'll have them sorted out by next week and write a nice long post.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Reaching For Infinity
18x24" Acrylic on Canvas
I finished something... finally. I've had up to 8 canvases on the go for much of the last 2 months. Painted and painted over, with a few sitting at that almost finished point with one area that I just can't get right. It's been faces for the most part. Something looking just enough off that I can't let it go. This piece has had the face repainted 4 times. I'm happy with it now... the expression is what I was after... though it is perhaps a little more detailed than I wanted. I was going for something a bit more indistinct. Maybe I'll have to give the pose another try. My husband suggested turning it to horizontal... and that might be intriguing. I'm thinking of doing a few canvases based around water. Since water has dominated my life the last little while, I wasn't surprised to see it coming up in the creative exercises I was doing. This pose could work well around that theme, perhaps with the angle of the head changed slightly. Gliding or swimming... flowing... not sure yet, but maybe...

a stencil I cut from a plastic sheet.
I figure since I seem to have a
fascination with hummingbirds, I
will use this one again.
I've been taking some photos of my working process... mostly because I've been asked to teach a class at this year's "Doors Open" event at the Art Gallery of Lambeth. I have never taught adults, though I've volunteered in my son's classroom in his younger years and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the kids. I figured I should get the process nailed down.... even though it changes with each piece, I do have a basic process I go through with pretty much every canvas.

Work in progress
I tend to like working with stencils. I make these stencils myself... usually I will size my drawings on the computer and cut them out of paper, or if i think it's something I will use repeatedly I will cut it out of these little plastic sheets I get at DeSerres (they are in the baking section, not the art supply section. You can find some seriously awesome tools in baking sections). This particular drawing I also used to carve myself a stamp. In this photo you can see difference between the stencil and the stamp. I like the roughness I can get with a stamp. It's always more evident on stretched canvas because there is no hard backing. If I want a clear impression I will lay the canvas on the floor and put a hard cover book underneath it.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to walk through during my class, but I've got to start thinking about it. It would be kinda fun to just wing it and work through a small piece on the fly... but I don't know if the organizers would like that too much. I'll probably be painting on site most of the weekend, so I might leave that for my demo. Sometimes working from my gut gets much more interesting results. If you happen to be in London on Sept. 28 or 29th, stop in and say hello. I'll be there all weekend.

Oh, and I've finally got my website online. Want to check it out? I'm at