Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looking at Heaven

Looking at Heaven - 30x30", acrylic

If you know Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, you will understand the title. This is from a summer hike on Whistler Mountain, up by Harmony Lake (of which I've done another painting recently - see it here). Blackcomb is right beside Whistler, across the valley (Singing Pass). The ski runs in the distance of this painting are collectively called "7th Heaven". Hence the name...

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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pug Reflections

Pug Reflections - 24x24", acrylic

Pugs are pretty darn cute. I love all those face wrinkles. I did this painting on a canvas that I randomly textured, adding some fun grooves with a comb.

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

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sombrio River

Sombrio River - 16x16" SOLD

At one of the beaches where we go surfing is a suspension bridge that crosses over the river. This is where I was taking the photo I used as the reference for this scene. Late in the afternoon the river is in shadow, but the distant beach is still lit by the lowering sun. At low tide the river doesn't look like much if there hasn't been any rain or melt water. But the rocks made for an interesting foreground here. A little bit of white wash from the surf is showing in the distance.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Afternoon at the Beach

Afternoon at the Beach - 10x10", acrylic.

My last post was from a photo taken from Whiffen Spit - so is this one. It might be from the same day, I can't remember now. Lucy is always with me when I go there and she was just having a blast running around on the beach, checking out all the great stinky beach smells (and occassionally rolling in them, much to my dismay). Another limited palette painting, same colours as in "The Gathering".

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

Monday, March 22, 2010

Evening Reflections

Evening Reflections - 16x20", acrylic

In Sooke there is a thin spit of land that divides the ocean from Sooke Harbour called Whiffen Spit. (Check out this cool interactive map with 360 degree photo views - click here). It goes out about a km and then back and is hugely popular as a place to walk your dog or just for a fresh air stroll. I go there quite regularly with my dog Lucy, rain or shine. Sometimes the best days to walk there are the super windy/rainy/stormy days! But the nice calm days are great too. I've done quite a few paintings of this area. This painting is from one of those calm days, when the tide was getting low in the evening. The mountains in the background are the Olympic range in Washington state, looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Gathering

The Gathering - 12x16", acrylic

I used a limited palette with this one, pretty much just burnt sienna and phthalo blue, with just a little bit of ochre and cadmium yellow. And of course white. Used a randomly textured background painted red and left lots of it showing through. I decided to paint the edges a simlar red to finish, rather than a darker colour. I quite like the finished look...

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

Laughing Crow

Laughing Crow - 12x12", acrylic

I've always loved crows. I took this photo ages ago meaning to paint it, but forgot about it until I recently re-discovered it. I used a cradled board that I'd glued a sheet of textured paper to, painted the ground black and started the painting. I did subtle differences in colour of the background blue in each solid area. The finished texture is really fun!

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

Monday, March 15, 2010

Harbour View

Harbour View - 12x24", acrylic on canvas

Here's a painting I completed last week, just two days before putting it up on display at my latest venue: Pedro's Organic Coffee House on Granville Island (in Vancouver). It's quite a textured painting. I drew the image on the canvas, applied the texture gel following the contours of the drawing and let it dry. Then I toned the whole canvas with red and painted on top, leaving some of the red showing through. In person (always better than a photo) it looks quite 3D-ish! I took this photo in January, on a gorgeous sunny but chilly day while walking along Kit's Beach with a friend. I love seeing these cargo ships in the harbour - it's such a typical view for Vancouver.

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

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SPCA Just Desserts

Last night was the big "Just Desserts" fundraiser for the SPCA. There were vendors there who donated beer and wine, and of course the desserts and other nibblies were all donated by local caterers and other companies! Is there such a thing as having too much chocolate? (I have to say yes - I ate waaaaay too much). There was tons of great stuff to bid on in the silent auction, and they also had a live auction for some of the big ticket items. My three little dog and cat paintings in the silent auction each went for more than their listed value. The photo above is of the extra t-shirt fundraiser that they put together, using some of my painting images. It was rather exciting to see my paintings on the T's! It sounds like the SPCA was able to raise quite a bit of money - Yeah for them.

... Now, go out and adopt some dogs and cats!

On a different note, I'm starting a 2 day/week job tomorrow. I'm quite looking forward to it! The only downside is that I won't be able to paint every day now. But I will post as often as I can, as I'm still planning on doing tons of painting.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pet Week - SPCA donations

Where's My Dinner? 8x8" acrylic SOLD

Heartbeat at my Feet 8x8" acrylic SOLD

A fitting end to Pet Week (my own invention, just in case you are wondering). These are the two paintings that I'm donating to the SPCA fundraiser "Just Desserts". It's taking place tomorrow evening in Victoria. They will be part of the silent auction, along with the Red Cat painting posted about earlier this week. I am really looking forward to the event. I'll let you know how it goes next week...

Pet Week - Maia

Maia 16x16" SOLD

What a gorgeous border collie Maia was! Her owners had purchased one of my landscape paintings during the summer so were already aware of my work. When Maia passed away in the fall, I was contacted by one of them to paint this as a Christmas gift for the other. I was told that she had a big and mischievous personality - you can really see it in the photo I was given to do this painting. I love how half her face was in shadow. Some paintings take more time than others. This was one that just seemed to get painted by itself.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pet Week - Tango and Wyatt

Tango 8x10", acrylic SOLD

Wyatt 8x10", acrylic SOLD

These are my brother's two dogs, Tango and Wyatt. Both were adopted from the SPCA when they were about a year old. Both are shepherd crosses, they think Wyatt is possibly crossed with a beagle or hound type dog (I love his wonky ears!). It's amazing how old they are for big dogs - Tango is 15 and Wyatt is an amazing 17!!! They really are starting to show it though and have slowed down quite a bit over the past year. Gorgeous dogs and wonderful personalities. I painted these two for him and his girlfriend for this past Christmas.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pet Week - Purple Dog

Purple Dog 20x20" SOLD

Of course I can't post pet portraits without including one that I did of my dog Lucy. She is a black lab cross (? not sure what she's crossed with, but it's something tall, skinny and fast), now 4 years old. We got her through a local rescue organization as a puppy. She was from an unwanted litter of 10 from a small town on northern Vancouver Island. When they were old enough to be separated from their mother they were sent to Victoria for fostering until they were ready for adoption at 9wks. She is a great dog. Of course we are all biased about our own pets, but I think she's pretty darn smart. And mischievous! This painting was juried into the Sidney Fine Art Show 2009, where it sold. I was a little sad to see this one go, but no doubt I'll do more paintings of her. (Actually, I already have! To see it, click here).

Below are a few photos of Lucy from this past Christmas. We did an overnight stay at a friend's cabin up on Hollyburn Mtn (Cypress) just north of Vancouver. We have to hike to get to the cabin in the snow (although there was not much this year). She wore a pack for the first time to carry in her own food and blanket - she didn't even seem to notice it. The other photo is of her on her first little boat trip - she was a bit nervous here but just looked to us for assurance and was fine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pet Week - Red Cat, Blue Cat

Red Cat - 10x10", acrylic on canvas SOLD

This week is "Pet Week". I will be posting some of my pet portraits, past and present. Coming up on Saturday March 13th, the Victoria SPCA is holding their annual "Just Desserts" gala fundraiser. It's a fantastic evening of sweets and savory (with lots of chocolate!), beer, wine, coffee and tea, all donated by local Vancouver Island businesses. It's being held in /A Vancouver Island Television studio (formerly A Channel) in downtown Victoria, which is a very cool venue.

I am quite excited about my involvement! I am donating three small paintings to their silent auction (two dogs and one cat), as well as decorating the venue with some of my other dog and cat paintings. If any of these other paintings sell, I will donate 20% the SPCA. As well, there is going to be a shelter buddy raffle, with T-shirts being sold to raise more money. Each of the T-shirts will have one of 4 of my paintings on the front for people to choose from (two dogs, two cats) with the SPCA logo on the sleeve.

"Red Cat" above is the cat painting that will be in the silent auction. "Blue Cat" below is not going to be at this event, as it's destined to be displayed at another of my exhibits coming up...

Good luck to the SPCA for success at this event!

Blue Cat - 8x8", acrylic on board

If you are intersted in the Blue Cat painting, please send me an email at

Friday, March 5, 2010

Whistler Afternoon - finished!

Whistler Afternoon - 18x36", acrylic

Just got back from surfing. There were great waves but a bugger of a current to contend with. The local breaks are point breaks, which means that the wave breaks in one general area. So when there is a lot of current, it's constant paddling just to stay in the right spot to catch them and if you are too slow you end up drifting right into the impact zone. I had a rather short session as only about 45min into it, I got caught too close on the inside and the force of the wave broke my leash. Crap. Bloody long and slightly freaky swim back into shore through some crazy break, the whole time in the impact zone. At least my board was undamaged, washed up on the beach. So I just sat on the beach, watched the gorgeous sunset and waited for my boyfriend to finish his session (a long and frustrating wait, but still enjoyable).

Before we left for surfing I finished this painting. Really toned down the rather orange sky to a lighter yellow orange. The colours of the snow in this photo are more true to the painting than the last one I posted - better camera. I loved working with the texture and painting on top of it. I'll be doing this again ... similar paintings with different colour combos.
Speaking of cameras, if you are an artist and take photos of your own artwork, I would love to hear what camera and set up you use! I have issues getting the colours true with the one I use (a digital point and shoot, but a higher end one) and I'm thinking about upgrading to a better one...

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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trout Unlimited fundraiser

Bow River Brown - 24x30" acrylic SOLD

Here is my latest: This is my donation for a fundraiser with an organization called Trout Unlimited. They work to conserve, protect and restore Canada's freshwater ecosystems and their resources for current and future generations. They are having a fundraiser event on March 18th in Calgary so this is where this painting is destined ... I know I usually paint landscapes, but I have always had a fascination for fish. At one point I used to collect anything fish-related! I have a friend in Calgary who is helping to organize the event and this is a photo from one of his many fishing trips. What a beautiful trout! I used the slower drying acrylics to do the background water and regular acrylics for the trout. The trickiest part? Getting the colours of the fingers right. My brain kept on making me paint it differently than it looked in my photo. Just kind of reinforces my instinct to stay away from painting people. (Although I do know that the more I do it the easier it would get, I just have no desire to at this point).

I'll let you in on a little secret of mine - often when I'm doing a painting, I do another smaller one at the same time, using the same paint colours that I've already mixed. It doesn't take any time at all, as my brain is already trained from working on the larger painting ... And I get an extra painting out of it. Here is the smaller version (no fingers in this one!).

Trout - 6x8" acrylic SOLD

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Olympics in Vancouver

We had a great time in Vancouver last week. Got to see some great events and hung out with friends and family. Wow - I can't believe Vancouver pulled it off. Transit was so smooth, the crowds were crazy big but never really got out of control. However, there were line-ups everywhere - they were so long that I didn't really get to do everthing I'd have liked to. Oh well. What a great ending to the games - we won Hockey Gold! ... The coolest part? Seeing everyone everywhere wearing Canadian red! We are not normally so crazily patriotic here at home (just a bit when we travel) and it was so amazing to see this. I met so many people from other countries, it was such a friendly international crowd.

But, I'm very glad to be home, away from the masses of people, back to my studio. Get ready to see some more paintings !

Coast Collective Gallery - "Connections" show

Associate Members of the Coast Collective (of which I am one) have come together for a special showing of their work called "Connections". Over 30 artists, over 90 original works of art in glass, metal, fabric, photography, watercolour, acrylic (that's me!) and encaustic. A diverse and beautiful show you won't want to miss.

Come out to the Opening Reception -
Saturday March 6th, 2-4pm.
I would love to see you there!
The show runs from March 4 to March 14.

3221 Heatherbell Rd
Colwood (Victoria), BC