Monday, November 30, 2009

Just a reminder...

the next draw is Wednesday at 9:00pm.

Horses on a misty day

This was a piece I painted last week but didn't get around to posting because of the Santa series. But what do you know - it's overcast today as well. This is the first time I've ever drawn and painted a horse. In all these years! Surprising, really. How did I get away with that?
oil on panel / 6" x 8" / $65

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nick at Auvers (interactive quiz)

St. Nicholas Painting Quiz #2 (a Sunday thing for the month of December). So can you guess which artist inspired this piece?
Note to new readers: this painting is taken from a series I did imagining how various modern masters would have portrayed St. Nick had they been commissioned to paint his portrait (the titles hold a clue).
And yes, last week's answer was Andy Warhol. This one is fairly easy too I think. They'll get harder from here on in. Send in your answers!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa string - SOLD

This is my last day for the Santa series, although I will still be posting the St. Nicholas quiz on Sundays. These figures are made from what looks to be a type of pipe cleaner, with plastic heads and they're holding trees or wreaths. They are 4" high.
Notes from the collector: Definitely European. Probably vintage 30s. I love browsing antique shops. In December everything is overpriced. The rest of the year, it's in storage and it's fun to ask if they have anything. The friendly types of shop keepers will go back to their stock rooms and invariably come up with something.
6" x 8" / oil on panel / $65 / SOLD

Friday, November 27, 2009

1950s Santa - SOLD

This is my favourite from the week so far. Technically, I'm really happy with how it turned out. When I grabbed this one to paint, there was a hole in the back that made me assume it had been a piggy bank. I was wrong (you'll see what it was for a few sentences further). This Santa is also holding a cup in his left hand, maybe for small candies?
Notes from the collector: This guy came to me via a garage sale in front of a little house in Naramata B.C. If you turn him around, you'll see a hole that most people assume indicates a piggy bank. Actually it's a port for a small Christmas tree light. These were the mainstay of my youth. Most homes had them. Plastic was cutting edge technology and inexpensive.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65 / SOLD

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pensive St. Nick - SOLD

I was drawn to the world-weary look in his eyes. Or maybe he has that look just because it's darn tiring handing out all those gifts in one night. Ray Rempel, the collector, said: I've always kept my eye open for diversity in the collection. Namely, diversity in it's broadest sense-one of which would include ethnic diversity. Black Santa's aren't that easily found. I came across this guy on vacation and liked him as soon as I spied him. This figure is 11" high.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win-a-Daily-Painting Winner!

Congratulations to Lauren of Grimsby, Ontario who is the winner for Week 2! Lauren chose Wild Dandelions. I will send it right away. Thanks for entering!
Also, thank you to Mike, last weeks winner, who talked about Eat Drink Paint on his blog (and that was before he had even won). Mike writes about his experiences of being a stay-at-home-dad on his blog Trophy Husband and his wit and rants are perfect to enjoy over a cup of coffee. (BTW - I cut up all the names, fold them, toss in a bowl and have another family member pick, so it's all fair and square : )
The next draw will be held Wednesday, December 2 at 9pm. If you didn't win today, please send an email to be entered for next weeks draw. And tell your friends/relatives/parents/kids!

Avon Santa and a little buddy

Does anyone remember these old Avon perfume bottles? I don't know - maybe they still exist. I painted this one along with a tiny little wooden carving. It looks like a stacking doll but is a solid piece. The Avon bottle stands 3 1/2" high, the figure to the left, 1 3/4".
Notes from the collector: The Avon bottle is one of my satisfying finds. I feel that complete collections should depict all that is good about their subject matter. They should show an historical progression and development of the subject. And a part of that evolution is to represent what Father Christmas has endured throughout his history.
Like God, people have tried to put their face on him and to interpret him to their benefit and to commercialize the God of all good elves. I recall the Avon Santa of my youth sitting on a dressing table. Avon wasn't too far behind Coca Cola. Definitely one of the early interlopers.
6" x 6" / oil on canvas / $65

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Watering can St. Nick - SOLD

I guess this one would fall under kitchy ; ) I asked for the background on this figure and this is what the collector said: Collections, if left to their own ends, will follow the interests of the collector. Does this guy give you any clues about one of my favourite outdoor activities?
This figure is 4" high.
6"x6" / oil on panel / $65

Monday, November 23, 2009

West German Santa - SOLD

Uh-oh. I didn't mean for things to get so Christmassy! I sincerely apologize - especially to my friend (whose name rhymes with "lawn") who can't even stand saying the "C" word until a week before the event. But I'm the artist-of-the-month at the Grimsby Gallery Gift Shop for December and I thought it would be nice to have some daily pieces that related to the holiday season. So I have decided to do a series on the man-in-red.
My dad is a collector of St. Nicholas figures and likenesses. His collection is upwards of 600. It's pretty cool. There are Santa's of all sorts: antique, kitchy, retro, somber and jolly. I went there the other day and picked a number I'd like to paint this week.
Here's what I can tell you about this one. It was made in West Germany in the early 1900s and purchased at an antique store at the wharf in Seattle. It's 2 1/2" high.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Superstar Santa (interactive quiz)

On Sundays I take the day off and post something from my website. For the next several weeks I will be posting paintings I did a few years back on a St. Nicholas series. I imagined how modern masters would have painted St. Nicholas had they been commissioned to paint his portrait. When I show these I run it as an interactive exhibit. I have a list of the titles (which hold a clue) and people are invited to guess which famous artist inspired the piece. So we'll have a little fun with it. I'll start off with a nice easy one. Send me your guesses! Answer will be posted next Sunday.
acrylic, collage on canvas / 36" x 36"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Unlikely trio - SOLD

I wanted to paint the persimmon again before I ate it. I threw the asparagus into the mix not for any appetizing reasons - just because I liked the colours : ) I really need to fill that salt shaker for next time!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Persimmon - SOLD

The first time I tried a persimmon was at my Grandma's house in California. It kind of looked like a tomato, but not. They're in the grocery stores now for Christmas and I thought they would look good in a painting.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Win-a-Daily-Painting Winner!

Congratulations to Mike of Manitoba. He is the winner of Week 1's Win-a-Daily-Painting draw. Mike picked today's painting, Hot and Sour. I will put it in the mail as soon as it's dry enough to ship. Thanks for entering! The next draw will be held next Wednesday, November 25. To everyone else who entered, please feel free to submit your name for next week's draw as well.

Hot & Sour - Won in draw

My fear of glass is almost a distant memory : ) I decided to throw caution to the wind and try a salt shaker again (the last time was a failed attempt in June). I like it! I had the lemon and the salt shaker set up and was thinking about finally being able to post a catchy title regarding Tequila (hate the stuff!) but then my little peppers were still in my studio and they looked so nice up against the lemon that I threw one in.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65 / Won in draw

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just a reminder...

Tomorrow at 9pm eastern is the first draw (of 5) for a free painting. Details to the right!

Pomegranate Love

Is there a more luscious-looking fruit than the pomegranate? All rough and tumble on the outside and a sparkling mass of rubies on the inside! I love the contrast, the decadence and of course the pleasure of crunching into the jewelled berries once you break it open. Yum!
6" x 6" / oil on panel /$65

Monday, November 16, 2009

Garden mums on datebook

A few small mums I picked from the garden this morning on the way to the studio. I set them on my datebook because I liked the colour combination. I heard IKEA has some inexpensive little vases/dishes that would be good for set-ups. I'll have to make a trip. This glass vase has been the star of the show for a while now.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / n/a

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Don't forget to take sometime and browse through the blog, find a painting you'd like to win and email me. The first draw is in 3 more days. Tell your friends! It is open to everyone - not just those residing in Canada. Details on the right.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pretty in Pink - SOLD

This is the one petunia that was left blooming in the outdoor pot. Paired with a couple of those button mums, it makes a nice combination!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Friday, November 13, 2009

Troy Field

Today was a P.A. day, so I didn't have a chance to get out and paint. In lieu of that I am posting a piece from my website that I painted a number of years ago. It's a favourite of mine. I like the looser feel, that I didn't spell everything out, and the movement throughout the piece. It brings me peace : )
acrylic on canvas / 8" x 10"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little rays of hope

I went through two tries of painting hickory nuts. Once on their own, the second being a few tossed in a bowl. I had to wipe them both off, the second one after I'd almost completed it. Clearly it wasn't happening. By this point I was frustrated beyond measure. Then I spied these little globe mums (or whatever they are) sitting in my studio, still hanging on, offering a quiet ray of hope. I grabbed it.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65 / n/a

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Win-a-Daily is back! Would you like to win a painting for yourself or to give as a gift? Scroll through my blog, email me with which painting you would like to win, and cross your fingers! The first draw will be next Wednesday, November 18. Please read the blurb on the right for further details. Good luck!

Study of a thistle

This is a large bulbous thistle found on a hike. It's much fatter and rounder than the usual suspects you see scattered in the fields this time of year. Quite sculptural.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pond in scrubby field - Won in draw

A fall field full of scrubby wild grasses and weeds. Still getting used to oils, especially painting landscape. I'm finding in can turn muddy quite quickly. Another reason to try and get the right colour down the first time.
6" x 8" / oil on panel / $65 / Won in draw

Monday, November 9, 2009


Okay - tonight I'm not really playing fair ; ) I was out in a vineyard today working on a piece that is 24" x 48". I thought I'd taken a photo of it on its own, but apparently not. Today I got the preliminary drawing done. For me, it is the most vital part. That is where you have to capture the energy of the subject and composition of the piece. If it has good bones, you can move forward. If you don't feel good about it at this stage, no amount of icing can make it better. You can see a preliminary painting at a similar stage on the September 16th post.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Autumn Hills

There are quotes more applicable to this painting than the one I've posted below, but I came across this verse today and just loved it. I've never heard this song but will do a search for it.
6"x 6" / oil on panel / $65
The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.
Johnny Mercer
Much-recorded song Autumn Leaves. Originally a French song Les Feuilles Mortes with lyrics by poet Jacques Prevért.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mist on the hill

It's been cold and overcast with a lot of drizzle and mist. Still, it's beautiful.
6" x 6" / oil on canvas / $65

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunshine all around - SOLD

The same flowers in a different setting. I put the vase on a yellow cloth, playing with an all-yellow theme. I think we all need some golden tones in the grey month of November!
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65 / SOLD

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunshine on a grey day

After leaving these flowers for a couple of days, I went to my studio this morning and they were still in great shape. Nature of that type of flower I guess : ) They were a nice burst of sunny yellow on a cloudy day.
6" x 6" / oil on panel / $65 / Won in draw

Monday, November 2, 2009

Auditorium Circle, Grimsby Beach

This is a rowboat like no other, parked in front of a house at the historic Grimsby Beach. I painted it for a show called Local Produce: Visions of Main Street being held at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery Nov.6-Dec.6, 2009. Grimsby Beach has a number of brightly painted cottages complete with gingerbread trim. Imagine your new box of 64 Crayola crayons being melted down and splashed across old-time cottages, and you're getting close : ) It's a wonderland.
18"x24" / acrylic on canvas