Thursday, February 28, 2013

"The Neighbourhood" Primitive Urban Folk Art

While I'm in busy little people mode, following my antique store painting last week, I've produced another one. This is really familiar territory for me. Toronto (and most cities) have  little enclaves like this one, and I was comfortable walking around at all hours, and I didn't have to don proper clothes or fuss with my hair before I stepped out.

I used to live in a neighborhood just like this. It was just one corner, but it had everything you could want, all within a few steps of home. It’s much quieter where I am now. I miss that old hustle and bustle. Guess I could always go to the local mall, but it isn’t the same…

Don't forget to support local art, wherever you find it. And never be afraid to buy something you love. If the artist is unknown, all the better. You could be the first on the bandwagon. Art shouldn't intimidate, or make you feel you don't know enough about technique or style. It should jump out at you the moment you see it - grab your attention. That way you know it will always give you pleasure, right there on your own wall. And you'll never regret that cash outlay as the years pass. (I spent my electricity bill money on a lovely landscape once. I don't have any memory of finding the cash to pay the bill, but I managed to keep the lights on. And I still have the wonderful painting.)

See you next time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Country Antique Store" - Latest Original Primitive Figurative Folk Art Painting

I had so much fun painting this. I love antiques, have far too many pieces, small and large,  to make my regular overseas travels practical (I take everything with me, each trip) but can't help myself.

The prospect of discovering a little country shop full of history and atmosphere is almost mouth-watering. When we spot one, my pulses quicken as we park the car, even faster as we reach the door. I know I'm doomed as soon as I cross the threshold. At least one more thing to add to my chattels... But what a way to go.

So this painting is my idea of the delights of the antique hunt. It's better than the garden center in spring (by a tad), better than a quilters' sale, a used book store, or discovering a courtyard cafe that few know about.

I just wish I was a better photographer. I rarely get all my pictures unfuzzed. Out of four or five shots, only one or two will be truly crisp. On my original, that little sign in front of the dog is totally readable! At least buyers aren't disappointed when they receive my work. It seems they look so much better in the flesh, so to speak. Any tips?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Winter and Summer Folk Art Paintings

"Storm Home"
From a story by Garrison Keillor
Acrylic on 10 x 8 Stretched Canvas
 Until this week, I can't recall hearing the name Garrison Keillor, when someone commissioned a small painting based on one of his stories from his radio program "A Prairie Home Companion". The picture is my interpretation of "Storm Home", one of his delightfully-recounted memories of life in Minnesota when he was a kid. I had no trouble with the winter scene, of course, having lived through enough of them in Canada.

I haven't listened to radio in decades, so it figures I couldn't have heard his show, but I'm surprised I haven't heard of him, the man. He's a prolific writer, often controversial, but listening to his "down comforter" voice is better than any meditational practice I can think of.

"Provencal Morning"
Acrylic on 8 x 10 Stretched Canvas

I was feeling particularly clear-headed and positive when I painted "Provencal Morning". Minimalism, Spartanism -  neither is appealing to me most days (I am always surrounded by my own and others' art along with irresistable bric-a-brac) - but living in an abbey with a view like this, just for a little while, I could easily tolerate those bare, stone walls. (Hard to get a nail into them anyway, right?)

So this is my imaginary "Provencal Morning". I've been to Paris, but not to this beautiful area, and all my fantasies about it are based on Peter Mayle's book, "A Year in Provence", and his follow-up work. But I lived and breathed it for a while, researching the property market, looking for the perfect restorable gite, boring my friends with the subject, until life caught up with me and I bought yet another house locally.

I have a thing about houses...did I say?