Monday, May 31, 2010

Tofino Sunset

Tofino Sunset - 14 x 18", acrylic

It was great to be back in the studio again this past weekend, after a few weeks of no painting at all (can you say "withdrawal"?). Of course I had to do a Tofino painting since I was just there soaking in it's gloriousness. This one is done on a cradled board textured first with an acrylic medium, then painted overtop. It's based on the sunset view from our campsite at Green Point (the provincial campground). There's no better place to camp!

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

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sooke Harbour House art show

I am excited to announce a show I'm in for the month of June! It's at the Sooke Harbour House, which is a luxury boutique hotel on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, and features spa, fine dining, and of course an amazing selection of art throughout the hotel hallways and rooms. Myself and another artist, Desiree Bond, will be the feature artists here for the next month.

The show is already up - we dropped off our paintings this past week and they were hung right away. Our paintings are in the room just off to the left as you come through the main entrance. Although we both have a passion to paint the westcoast, our styles are vastly different. I paint in a bold and impressionistic style, while Desiree's paintings are softer with a strong drawing element to them. It makes a great show having both together.

The opening reception is Sunday June 6th, 1- 4 pm (refreshments will be available). It’s West Coast art in a stunning West Coast Setting...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Just came back from another amazing trip to Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver island. Love love love this place! We camped, surfed and ate way too much. It was overcast mostly, but pretty dry - we only had full-on rain the last day (which does make the tear-down of the tarps a bit messy). Saturday night was our Seafood Extravaganza! We don't skimp on the quality of food when we camp, if anything it's more gourmet than what we eat at home!!!

We did a free day trip to a private island - Clayoquot or Stubbs Island - that is only open for two days a year to the public. What a GORGEOUS place that is! The early Tofino settlers from 90 years ago planted tons of rhodo gardens there - now they are huge! Beautiful house, gardens, greenhouse (fully self sufficient in terms of food), beaches and forests. I'm so glad we got the chance to see it.

I'm sure I'll be painting some of these scenes. There's no end to my inspiration in Tofino!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who voted for my painting "The Nose Knows" in the dog art wine label contest. However, I just found out that I did NOT make the final 10 ... Sigh! It would have been pretty darn awesome to have a chance to have a wine label made out of Lucy's painting. I can't say that I'm not disappointed. But it was so fantastic to see all the cool paintings that people entered (77 in all!). What an amazing group of artists, with so many different styles.

Best of luck to the remaining 10 finalists in the
Mutt Lynch Winery label contest!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I need your vote!!!


I have entered this painting of my dog Lucy into a Dog Art Wine Label contest, and I need your vote to help me get to the final 10! It's based on popular vote, so the 10 paintings with the most votes go on to the final round - from then on it's up to the judges. Last year I didn't quite make it. With your help, I'm hoping I'm a bit more popular this year.

Click *** HERE *** and vote for entry #2!!!
There are 7 days of voting.
Vote May 19 - 25.
If you are on facebook, go to my Art Page and share the voting link with your friends.
Get them to vote too!

(I don't sound too desperate, do I?)

The contest is for Mutt Lynch winery in California. The winner gets a case of this wine with the winning label on it (Lucy's?). If I win, maybe I can share it with all of my fans ... a wine party in Sooke!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eagles and Robins

Well, didn't get as much done on the eagle painting as I was hoping I would yesterday (got a little distracted by some gardening). But it's getting close! Just have to work on the leaves and touch up the branches, then the background. The background will be a bit of a challenge - it's pretty big. I do want to vary the colour a bit but not too much (brighter behind the eagle), but also keep it interesting with brush strokes. Not yet sure of my strategy. I could do it in one of three ways - horizontal strokes, vertical strokes, or random. What do you think? Suggestions are welcome ...

We have a robin's nest in the rafters just above my studio door! For the past few weeks I've been carefully and quietly going in and out of the studio, not wanting to disturb momma robin too much. She still flew away every time the door opened, no matter how slowly, but she didn't berate me for it - just flew into a nearby tree and watched. My boyfriend had a look a while ago - three babies and one egg. The past few days I have only seen momma in there to feed the chick(s). Only one baby appears to be left, and it's pretty big! Yesterday it was perched on the edge of the nest all day, waiting for food. No tail feathers yet, probably can't fly. I was extra quiet, not wanting to startle it out of the nest into the waiting claws of the neighbourhood cats...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eagle painting in progress

Eagle painting in progress - 24x36"

I have had this painting drawn out for ages but haven't had time work on it. I am always eager to work on a new painting, but as I've mentioned before the last few months have been very busy with me having taken on a part time job that was taking up more than part time (now settling into a better schedule). And I had three commissions to work on first, so this one took a bit of a back seat.

But I'm happy to report that most of the progress on this painting has been done this past week, and I'm going to work on it more today. It's not from one of my photos. The actual photographer is someone who my boyfriend is working for (as a painting contractor - yes we are both painters, but in a different way!). I asked his permission to use this photo for a painting - it's such a fantastic shot with the eagle in a great pose and it really spoke to me. Also, as I don't have great camera gear it's not often that I get a chance to paint an eagle that shows such detail! I'm excited to see how this painting progresses...

Friday, May 14, 2010


Reuben - 16x16", acrylic

Another pet portrait commission finished. I am delivering it today and can't wait to see the reaction to the finished painting. Sadly, Reuben passed away last year and is greatly missed by his human family. What a wonderful way for them to remember him ...

When I get a pet's photo to work from, I sample many different colours for the background and fur, and send these to the owner for them to choose from. Sometimes the choice can be hard to make! When Reuben's owner told me what colours she was thinking of for the painting (reds and pinks) I sampled these but also included others such as blues, purples and greens. She told that the blue and green version really fit his personality best - that's what we went with. I think he looks great with these colours!

See my pet portrait website for the before and after photos...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Trail in the Woods

Trail in the Woods - 8x10", acrylic

Here is the third plein air painting from Sunday...

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Final paintings ...

I have done a bit of tweaking, as I said I was going to in my last post. I did 3 plein air paintings in total on Sunday, although I only posted two of them last time. Here are the "after" shots of the ones that I already posted. I added a bit more colour and upped the highlights. You will have to wait until tomorrow to see the third painting ...

after ... Royal Roads Cedar, 9x12"

after ... Afternoon Light, 10x10"

If you are interested in these paintings, please send me an email at

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Paintings from the Mother's Day Paint-In ...

Afternoon Light - 10x10", acrylic

Royal Roads Cedar - 9x12", acrylic

Had a blast today! Finally got out into the sunshine (although it was a bit hazy and cool with the breeze) and did some plein air painting. There were a lot of painters out there. I was painting by two other fantastic painters who have loads of plein air experience: Jim McFarland and Keith Levang. Their work is great, check out their sites by clicking on their names. They were a lot of fun to paint with!

I mentioned before that painting outside without a reference photo really wasn't my thing, but I quite enjoyed myself today. My previous attempts last year weren't all that successful, but towards the end of those sessions I realized that I was trying to paint in a different style than how I paint in the studio. Why? I have no idea. But once I stopped trying to do that, the paintings started to turn out a bit better. I know these aren't masterpieces, but they are better than I expected. I'm sure I'll tweak them up a bit in the studio...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Royal Roads Mother's Day Paint-In

I'm going to be at the Royal Roads Mother's Day Paint-In tomorrow, 12-4pm. It will be a gorgeous day, so come out and walk around and see the different artists and artisans. I will be set up with my easel doing some plein air painting, as will many other artists. There is a gorgeous forest walk you can do from the grounds of Royal Roads University to the Coast Collective, which is the arts collective I'm part of. Artists will be set up along that walk. Many of them (including me) will have paintings for sale in a room set up at the Coast Collective, and there is a gallery show and gift shop there too. Well worth the walk!!!!

Painting outside is not really my forte. I've done it a few times with mediocre results. I do realize that it takes a lot of practice to get good at interpreting light/shadows/colours without the help of a camera and printer, and I really do need to give it more attention and time. But I quite like the controlled environment of my studio. Tomorrow I will attempt painting what I see, but just in case I get discouraged, I have a few back-up reference photos printed out that are on my to-paint list!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Spaces in Between

The Spaces in Between - 18x24" SOLD

I just found out that this painting has just sold from the Cedar Corner Art Gallery in Tofino. If you are in Tofino, this gallery is very much worth the visit - it's a beautiful space with some fanastic art in it.

Tofino is my absolute favourite place! I know I've mentioned this before, but can't resist saying it again. This painting is the actual view from one of the campsites that we've stayed at before, at Greenpoint Provincial Campground. How great is that? It's the best campsite in Tofino!!!! You can hear the waves crashing on the beach at night and what a great view to have first thing in the morning. I have a few sunset photos from this spot that I'm sure I'll paint at some point...

And I'm totally excited, because for the May long weekend in less than two weeks we are going to be there! We will be staying at this campground, but not sure if we will get this fantastic spot again. It's randomly assigned and you can't request specific sites. Too bad - if we could, this one would be always taken by us.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cedar on Yellow

Cedar on Yellow - 9x12", acrylic

I had a bunch of paint left over from some recent paintings, so I just did this one off the top of my head. It was fun to do! I love yellow skies, and purple and yellow together are one of my favourite combinations...

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