Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"The Letter" - My Latest Colonial Portrait

The Letter is for Madam. She never gets letters. They are always for the master.

Good that he's visiting his bank today, so he won't be concerned.

Not that it's any of the maid's business, but it is a shame about the wax seal.

Cook is very good at steaming open envelopes...

I was in the mood for a bit of Colonial portraiture. At first I was going to have the maid carrying sherry, or tea things, on the tray, but suddenly the letter wanted to be there instead.

You've got to go with the muse...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Revamp - Improving My Painting "Small Talk"

I often go back to an earlier picture and revamp it. I'll change the color of a wall, for instance, or a girl's dress. Sometimes I just know when something isn't quite right.  If something  doesn't sell over a period of time, I question what the problem is. It can't be price, because I try my best to be reasonable. Certainly few artists recoup the time they spend on their art, and few expect to. We love what we do, and all we ask is that you love it too, enough to want to own it.

So I took my picture, "Small Talk", completed (I thought) in February, and added some more details. The Before and After pictures are below. I think it works much better now.

Before, with closed windows.

After, with open window and two young girls phone-chatting.

This is something I do all the time during the novel-writing, of course. In fact, it's exactly how I  produce a book. And we are never satisfied - always needing to add a bit more, tweak a paragraph or two. Right up until a book is published, I'm sure there are writers still longing to check out that third paragraph on page 201 that wasn't quite perfect.

And I do exactly the same thing with my paintings. I won't bore you with all the other revamps I've done to my work over the years, but there must have been a couple of dozen. And you will never know how many I've simply painted over completely, with a base of white paint, and done something brand new. Waste not, want not. Canvases are too expensive to be lying idle in the cupboard.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Neighborhood Yard Sale - It's That Time of Year

Everyone loves yard sales - car boot sales, garage sales, flea markets, whatever you call them. It's good to get there early to find the gems, but they say it's best to drop by just as they are packing up at the end of the day for real bargains. I seem to get them somewhere in between. "One man's trash is another man's...." Anyway, I dare you to leave without something.
It's some time since I produced such a busy, detailed 16 x 20 painting. I manage one about twice a year. This kind of art takes a particularly long time to paint, although only a very sharp eye will catch it all. I kept coming back to it, adding a bit of this, and a highlight here and there. This is painting out of pure sentiment, because I was feeling nostalgic for all the treasures I’ve found in the past.

Even as I look at this now, I am reminded that a friend is still waiting for me to do another quilt sale painting. Be patient a little longer please, Squeakie

Monday, March 5, 2012

The End of Summer in this Hemisphere - and My Painting Tribute.

Today I noticed that the light outside was changing, that first little nudge that summer is almost over. We don't get too, too cold here, but people tend to stop going to the beach anyway. In Toronto we would go down to the lake even when it was freezing.

This little painting is just 10 x 8, but - I hope - gives the impression of a full-sized window. I painted much the same thing some  years ago - in Toronto, and in the winter - but it was a huge canvas and really did look as if I had a shutter opening onto my own private beach.

Yet there was no glass of wine in that earlier picture. I wonder what that means?

"Beach Hut"
10 x 8 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Abigail" Small Colonial-Style Canvas - My Latest Painting

8 x 10 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I loved painting "Abigail". If there was a true market for these little works, I'd do them all day long, but, sadly, they appeal to only a small group. But I'll keep doing them. While I paint, I feel as if I've moved back into another time, a wandering artist who's stopped by at a big house to offer my services as a portraitist for the family.

That's how they used to do it...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gift for Jess...Her Horse "River"

This is my second horse picture. It's a gift for my horse-owner friend, Jess.

It's more difficult to reproduce a real animal, from a photograph, rather than allowing the imagination (and some general image research) to be given free rein (!) but I think "River" is lovely and as close as I could get to the original photograph.

I've attached the photo too, to prove the result.