Tag Archives: wip

Painting Story

sepia glazeDuring the course of a painting there are many choices to make along the way, much like life. As Joni Mitchell says in her song ‘Blue’; “Songs are like tattoos, you know I’ve been to sea before.

A story, our story, the story of a painting. And then there is the question of ending. What is the best sort of finish? Have I said all I want to say? Save something for the next painting … perhaps.

sepia glaze2The story behind this painting is that it was not quite finished when I decided to use it as the signature piece for the show. I played around in photo-shop, and decided I liked the sepia tone for the poster.

At first I thought it would be fun to have the painting a bit different than the invite. But as time grew closer to the show, I decided to glaze it to match the digital version. This glaze took two coats to achieve the desired effect.

transmutationAlthough I was unsure of the repercussions at the time, I took a chance. And this turned out to be a good thing. As the sepia covered the entire painting, then a second coat, it seemed to exemplify the meaning of the painting.

It takes a very long time to get down the the inner essence of ourselves as a creator, so that what we emit is the most authentic pure version of our vision.

I feel a shift occurring in myself, which at first tells me my reasons for making art appear to have changed. However that may not be true. It may be a truer statement to say that my consciousness about making art has changed. Whatever the reason, I feel my art-making is melding with my soul’s purpose.

Life Imitating Art

Laying a good foundation is bound to produce stunning results. Life imitating art. The more I paint, the more I think Oscar Wilde was right.

lush umber layerHere are my two umber layers. I believe I have done them in reverse order. Paying no mind to that, I remind myself I am doing what works for me.

The first umber layer, more fluid, helps to establish the values, lights and darks.

lush umber layer paintingIn the second, one pays more attention to detail. So I have used the paint a tiny bit thicker without adding texture at this point. The warm tone seen here will be shortlived when I begin the next layer.

In the dead layer, not seen here yet, I will be adding thinly painted shadows, and thickly painted highlights. The overall tone of the next layer will be a cool gray colour, as if bathed in moonlight. On this piece, the dead layer may take a while. Detail, not discerned in choosing this subject matter, becomes apparent to me the deeper I go.

Something is beginning to take form here in my mind. Each step prepares us for what is next to come. I feel a case of spring fever coming on, a balmy nine degrees Celsius is predicted for today. I won’t be surprised at all if we hit double digits. So everyone have a super-fantastic-delicious weekend!

Behind Glass


LusciousI am going to share with you a sneak peak at the newest luscious painting plan. This is a two foot by three foot piece.

At the moment this is just the pencil sketch on the canvas, possibly a little difficult to discern. You will notice I have used a grid to transfer the image to the canvas.

The reference image, garden peonies in a vase, is a photo I took last summer. I really like the idea of this being a horizontal painting. Most often when I see of a vase of flowers it is often a vertical placement. I have been debating which approach to take with this one, whether to under paint or not. Stay tuned.

MagpieIsn’t it something to see all the amazing resources available to us through the miracle of the Internet?

Whether it is a tutorial, a video, a group web class, a group meditation, or social networking, nearly anything your heart desires is right at your fingertips.

I can say my exposure to computers and to the Internet has really contributed in a big way to my growth, both as an artist, and as a person. An acceleration of awareness has occurred that would have been otherwise impossible. So much to see and experience, with people unselfishly sharing their knowledge. To think that six years ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you where the on switch was.

MoonriseThe moon was up early this afternoon, and I got a lucky picture of it just before it clouded over. And to complement the moon in Taurus, as moonwoman stated in her article about moon energies I have been doing paperwork today. I am determined to sort out my affairs, so I can move forward, in spite of myself.

It is snowing soft sticky snow, which clumps to the trees, swaying on a background of pale luminous gray. Though late, I have just made a hot steaming cup of tea to warm my insides before crawling in under the duvet to read. A second glance out my window reveals near blizzard conditions. It’s a luscious life.

“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
~Nelson Mandela

Wall Play

Wall Play


All right … the fun begins … in the first shot you can see the blank wall. The job begins by covering almost everything in a plastic drop cloth. The the base boards and mouldings are taped off.



mural beginningsThe little guy, Elijah, is my helper. His weapon of choice was a double mini faux roller. I had him begin by blocking in colour below the horizon.

I took my large cut-in brush slightly blending the two colours with short quick strokes.

I then set him up on his little work table with the colouring pages I had fortunately had the foresight to bring along with some coloured pencils. He was so excited he spent most of the day, in between tasks hopping around on one leg, arms and hands flailing in the air. LOL.

muralBeing my first mural I wanted a clear idea in mind before I began. This involved a long period of visual study. Using bits and pieces from each reference picture, incorporated with a mental picture in my mind’s eye. I tried to reproduce the colour variegation of skies, clouds, and rainbows.

I begin putting in some colour variations above the horizon working up toward the clouds. My study of the sky colours came in handy, being this is my first mural. From numerous reference photos, taking advantage of different sky variations and cloud formations.

mural cloudsmural14sm

Now it’s time to start blocking in the clouds, with a basic idea of the approximate size and where I wanted to see them. I am also taking the mural into the corners on both ends, as you can see, to give more of a three dimensional effect.

With colour washes, I mark the areas where the rainbow pokes through the clouds, and where it hides behind the clouds. The most difficult part of painting a rainbow is remembering the complex colour sequence.

mural rainbow cloudsThings are taking shape at this point, after several hours of work. This is a large area to cover, and the biggest painting I have ever done. I realize at this point I am tired, and the project will not be finished in one day.

And you cannot believe the mess I had going! Trays of paint, and glazes, scattered paint tubes, brushes, rags, rollers and sponges. The drop sheet in one large spot was covered in yellow ochre. Apparently I had stepped on the partially uncapped tube and it was
e v e r y w h e r e !!! And I was covered in paint splotches from head to toe. Just now I am trying to find professional help for the incurably messy.

murals actionElijah piped up, “So this is your first mural.”
I said, “Yes, aren’t you lucky.”
He then decided my next project was going to be an entire house, after which I would be doing City Hall. LOL.

After cleanup, which took a while, we had a lovely dinner, and a good visit. Unfortunately you will not see the finished mural until about mid-January, when my patrons return from a three week holiday.

I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed this. When I first began, a feeling of soaring came over me as if I were about to take flight. At that moment that I understood why children like to draw on walls. I now know this will be the first of many murals. It was exhilarating and very freeing. A highly recommended form of therapy.