Monday, February 22, 2010

Whistler Afternoon

Whistler Afternoon - 18x36"

One more before I'm gone for another week ... Here's the first snow-covered tree painting (not quite finished). In this one you can't really see the actual tree, just the snow, but I am attempting to hone my tree-style. Of course my inspiration was spending last weekend in Whistler and this is just the first painting of these trees. I plan to do more with different colour combinations. This is quite a textured painting - I did the drawing, applied the texture medium in the shape of the trees, and painted on this once it was dry. One qualifier: I haven't quite finished the sky - it needs another layer of paint and it's a bit bright so I'll tone it down. I'll finish it next week and post a photo of the finished painting then.

Later today we are heading over to Vancouver for the week. We have a few more tickets for Olympic events: Men's Aerials and Speed Skating. Looking forward to hanging with my friends and having a great time! See you next week ...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tofino sunrise

Sunrise at Low Tide - 20x20"

I know, it's not a snow painting. I have been working mainly on snow paintings this week, but this is one that I started before I went to Whistler and just recently had a chance to finish. It's from Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. My absolute favourite place! It's about a 4.5hr drive from Victoria, so a bit of a haul (half the drive is on a narrow winding highway). We go about 4 (or more) times a year, usually in the summer. We camp and surf, rain or shine. This is from North Chesterman's beach at sun rise, just before the sun peaked over the trees

If you are interested in this painting, please send me at email at

Friday, February 19, 2010

Whistler Inspired ...

Whistler Inukshuk - 6x12"

Valley Trail View - 12x12"

I told you to expect a few winter paintings! These two little ones I did yesterday. The inukshuk painting is a view as you go up to gondola on Whistler, just before you get to the very top. The sun wasn't yet above the mountains so it was a lovely dark purple-blue (it was probably about 7:30am, we went up for "Fresh Tracks" - early breakfast on top of the mountain and then you get to ski a few fresh runs before the general public is allowed up!). The second colourful tree painting is a view from the Valley Trail in between Blackcomb and Whistler, looking at the lower part of Blackcomb in late afternoon. We'd just finished skate skiing and were walking back to the village. The upper part of the mountain was clouded in fog but it was gorgeous lighting below. Both are acrylic on canvas.

If you are interested in purchasing one (or both) of these paintings, please send me an email at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympics in Whistler

Our Whistler Olympic experience was amazing! We snow camped for the first time, although it did rain in the village for the first few days, it finally turned to snow later on. Even when it was raining, it meant fantastic snow up on the mountains. We did two full days of skiing (I boarded one day, skiied the next), went to Luge on Saturday (a bit wet for that one), skate skiied for a few hours (first time for me, haven't sweat so much in a while!) and hung out in the village soaking up the fantastic atmosphere.

We ended up staying an extra day on Monday, as the men's downhill event was rescheduled for that day and it was gorgeous and beautiful. We went up with hill to ski and found a great free viewing spot at the side of the course. I took so many photos and now have a ton of snow-covered tree reference phtoos. Don't be surprised if you see lots of winter paintings coming up, including the first photo above - an inukshuk on top of Whistler Mountain.

These photos below were taken with our GoPro helmet camera. It's an amazing tiny camera with a fish-eye lens. Does photos and video. It has a waterproof casing so we can take it out surfing or windsurfing too. Great little gadget!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mural Mosaic - Unveiled !

Kunamokst Mural

Well, it's finally unveiled! How cool is this??? This is the west-coast themed Kunamokst Mural Mosaic that is now being displayed in West Vancouver for the duration of the 2010 Olympics. My painting is two squares above the baby whale's eye. Pretty much smack in the middle. If you go to their link, you can click on each individual square to see the before and after paintings and who did them. I haven't seen it in person yet but plan to visit it next week when we go to Vancouver for more Olympic events.

The past 5 days at Whistler was AMAZING! I will post photos soon as I have over 500 to go through (I'm a bit of a camera freak, carry it everywhere). What a fantastic experience ... Still recovering though (two days of skiing - first of the season, a short but sweaty session of learning to skate ski, viewing Luge and Men's Downhill, and the rest of hanging in the village). I started painting a few snow-themed paintings today! You will see them soon enough.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Nose Knows .... and off to Whistler for the Olympics!

The Nose Knows - 24x24"
acrylic on canvas

Well, here is my last post for a few days. This is yet another painting of Lucy (also known as "The Juice Dog", a morph from the rhyme of her name - Juicy Lucy). I took this photo last Thursday morning as she was relaxing on our couch and knew right away I was going to paint it. Of course all my other plans for specific paintings went out the window and I started on it the very next day. Here she is in all her nosey glory...

Tomorrow we are leaving early to get up to Whistler for 5 days. We have a few different Olympic event tickets, the first ones are for Men's Luge on Saturday in Whistler. I am so excited about being part of an Olympic event. As much as it's just a stupid amount of money spent on venues, security and other stuff when it could be much better spent on serious issues like homelessness, it will be amazing to be in the midst of all the excitement. Really it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The coolest part - we are snow camping! Whistler is rather over-priced right now, but this campground is a only short walk from the village and available for the low-low price of $25/night for a tent site. We are veteran campers and have no issues being in the snow. I even have down snow-booties. They have a great cafe and store at the campsite and it's also close to Meadow Park Arena, where there's a steam room, sauna, hot tub and pool. Who says we're roughing it? There will be 7-8 of us, on two sites side by side. But I don't really think we will be hanging out all that much at the campsite, as there will be so much going on in the village ... I'll post some photos when I get back ...



Vegas 16x20" SOLD

Vegas is a horse portrait I completed last month, for one of my clients who also had portraits painted of her chihuahua (Olive) and cat (Silver). I love painting horses, although I haven't had as many commissions of them as I have for dogs. When I was younger, I was completely horse-mad. I drew them non-stop, read about them all the time, and even ran around on all fours pretending I was one (... in my defense, that last one was only for a short while!). If I had a choice to be any animal, it would either be a horse or an eagle (I would also love to fly!). What would you choose?

Sunshine Award

I just received a Sunshine Blogger award from Mary Anne Cary (pastel and oil painter).
The rules for accepting this award are:
-Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
-Pass the award on to 12 other bloggers.
-Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
-Link to the person from whom you received this award.

Thank you Mary Anne, it means a lot coming from you as I love your work. If you hadn't already won this award, you would be one of the people I'd next pass it on to. You also nominated quite a few people whose work I also admire, we must have the same tastes.

I am very happy to pass this award along to the following, so they can also share the love ...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mural Mosaic Project - Kunamokst

Mussels & Anemone - 12x12"

the "before" panel (#96) ...

I am involved in the most amazing project - the Mural Mosaic project! Late last summer I was contacted by the coordinator of the project, Phil Alain, to see if I'd like to contribute to it. He was looking for artists to help with a large mural in the theme of the West Coast. The mural is to be called "Kunamokst" and it's final home will be on Galiano Island, here in BC. Basically, it's a huge mural made up of 231 smaller individual 12x12" paintings (kind of like those digital photos that are made of up of lots of small little photos). What a fantastic and fun project! There are some very well known artists participating, including Robert Batemen, Roy Henry Vickers and Wyland.

Of course I said YES! They showed me three panels and I got to chose one of them to paint on. The panels were pre-painted in the colours and patterns that go to make up the final image, but as of yet, no one but the organizers have seen the finished design! I was told to paint it with a west-coast theme but to keep to the colours and tones as closely as possible. You can see the before panel that I was sent above, as well as my finished painting. My painting of mussels and anemones was inspired by the many trips I have taken to the beaches of Vancouver Island. I've always been fascinated by the life that exists underwater (I actually have a BSc. degree in Zoology, where I took a ton of invertebrate zoology courses). The many tidal pools in the nooks and crannies of the rocks during the low tide are just a glimpse at this fascinating underwater world.

The final unveiling of the Mural is on Saturday February 13th, in North Vancouver! (For details, click HERE). I wish I could be there and see the finished mural in person that day, but alas I will be in Whistler then as we have tickets for one of the Olympic events: Men's Luge (which I'm totally excited about!). It will be there on display for the duration of the Olympics, so I'm sure I'll get to see it at some point. If you are in Vancouver then, it would be a great event to attend, or at least to visit for the next few weeks. I think it will be there for the duration of the 2010 Olympics, before it gets moved to Galiano Island.

(Have a look at the link to the Mural Mosaic Project, the final mural will be visible after the unveiling ... You can click on each numbered square to see the before and final images, and who the artist is.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunrise Over East Sooke

Sunrise Over East Sooke 18x36"

This is one of those paintings that I worked on concurrently with others that I've already posted, and finished it earlier this week. I started on a red background, but maybe it would have looked a bit better on a black one (?). I used acrylics, the regular ones not the show drying ones. I always find that early on in my paintings, they go through a stage where I think "this is really terrible"! I often start with my darks and get lighter from there. But as soon as I add the final lights, all of a sudden it looks much better. I always feel a sense of relief at that point. That happened with this painting - I'm happy with how it turned out in the end.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Beached - 12x12"

Done! It was fun if a bit more detailed that I really like. My camera that I use doesn't properly represent purples, so you can't really see that some of the rocks have a purple tinge to them. I will take another photo when I've removed the chalk lines after letting it dry for a few days. I think I want to do this in a bigger format. One day. A problem I have is that I get so sidetracked and excited about all my new ideas that I often don't get around to my old ones. So we will see if I get around to doing this one again...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

half done

in progress ...

Well, I'm almost done this painting. Lots of detail, but still trying to keep it loose. It definitely makes it easier painting this on the black background. It's only 12x12", and I think that's making it more challenging than if I'd chosen a larger canvas. I'm sure at some point this will become a big painting! ... I won't have time to paint tomorrow, as I'm working at the Coast Collective (an arts collective gift shop & gallery here in Victoria). But it should be finished on Friday. I'm ready to start two dog paintings - one of my dog Lucy, a close up with her nose looking huge, and a commission of a papillion dog. The images are drawn on the canvases and ready to be painted!

rest stop tree

Rest Stop Tree        24x30

I've finally finished it! Here it is, in all it's glory. I'm still calling it by a rather boring name. I'll probably change it at some point, once inspiration hits!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

poisson rouge

Poisson Rouge    6x6    SOLD   

My first fish commission!  So far I've had lots of requests for dog paintings, not quite as many for cats, a few horses, but this is my first fish.  It's going to be a gift for Valentine's Day, commissioned by a friend for her boyfriend, of their betta fish.  It was fun to paint!

...And I have to include a gratuitous dog shot - Lucy the couch potato, with emphasis on her paws.  My faithful muse!  She looks old due to the grey on her muzzle, but is only 4.  There's a painting coming out of this pose, at some point.

Monday, February 1, 2010

mt. baker

Mt. Baker - 8x8" - SOLD

I jump around a lot! As you can see, this is not a continuation of my last posted painting, but I will be working on that tomorrow. I already mentioned that I like to work on more than one painting at a time, so today I worked on three (2 of them bigger ones), and finished one of them - this one, a nice small guy. I really like using the slower drying acrylics as I love being able to blend more compared to the regular acrylics, especially with these smaller paintings. Maybe I'm really an oil painter at heart? Haven't tried them though (yet). I think I'd be incredibly impatient with the slower drying and no doubt I'd drop it face down on my dirty studio floor. I'm sticking to acrylics, at least for now.
... This is Mt. Baker, which is a prominent feature visible to the southeast, in Washington State. The skiing there is amazing, I used to go there quite a bit when I lived closer to Vancouver. This is from a photo I took standing on the deck of the ferry two weekends ago when I was travelling to Vancouver.