Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

A big part of Christmas for me is the tree. Always has been. It doesn't have to be real, or big, or perfectly rounded. It is the decorations that are important. Many have been given to me. They don't match, some are hand made by my children. Others tell stories, such as the one armed toy soldier or the pig fairy that make me giggle every time I see them.

Though I admire the perfectly decorated tree, with the theme ornaments placed just so, that is not my tree. My tree represents my family, my friends,  and Christmas past.

I get that sentimentality from my mother Gladys. I remember the many handmade and store bought ornaments that adorned our tree at home and I know each had meaning for her. I remember one particular Christmas she came home from shopping, excited by store bought ornaments she had found. She bought them at an after Christmas sale and had to wait until the next year to hang them on the tree.

I am so fortunate to be able to hang them on my tree now.

Happy Holidays

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adsum Mystery Art Show and Sale 2011

Last night I attended the Adsum for Women & Children Mystery Art Show and Sale. Every year this event is held at FRED Salon, Cafe, and Gallery in support of Adsum for Women & Children.  Numerous artists donate art to the show. The identity of the artist is not on the piece and is only revealed when it is purchased. I participated last year but was unable to go.

What a wonderful event! The art was amazing, and it was neat to see people lined up to buy the art. New, emerging, and established artists participated. The work was beautiful and inspiring. The piece I submitted sold and I was fortunate to meet the lovely couple that purchased it.

Submerged - 12 x 12 - Acrylic on Canvas

My piece at FRED 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Real

Since I have started painting a year and a half ago, I have been exploring various techniques and styles. I am still trying to find one that really speaks to me. I do see a style emerging, though I don't think it is completely obvious, yet.

I decided that I really needed a challenge that was different than what I have been doing, just to help me solve problems of depth, perspective, and movement.

I chose to do a painting based on a photograph I took this summer while on vacation. I enjoyed doing this painting even though there were numerous problems to solve. I also had to ask myself a lot of questions as the picture was emerging on the canvas such as: "Do I want it to be a real representation of the photo?",  "Do I want it to be loose, relaxed?"

I think I ended up settling somewhere in between, leaning toward the realism side.

I am pleased with how it turn out and subsequently learned a great deal; however I am not sure if there will be many more like it.

Liscombe Falls, Nova Scotia...

Liscombe Falls, NS - Acrylic on Canvas - 12 X 12

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Pet Portrait

We have a new addition to our family.

There are no cats or dogs in our house as my husband and I are both allergic, so our pet options are limited.

My daughter has been asking for a fish for quite awhile now, and received a goldfish for her birthday. She was thrilled and has been taking very good care of her fish named Enigo Montoya.

I am happy to report that he has been in our care for a month now and is doing very well.

Our new pet has inspired me to do my first pet portrait...

Acrylic on Canvas - 8 X 8

Monday, October 10, 2011

It is hard to believe that it is almost the middle of October already! This week is turning out to be a busy week.  Thursday, October 13th is the opening for the Mosaic for Mental Health, such a great cause and a fun evening.

On Saturday, I have been asked to be a part of a special feature of Women Artists "Women and Paint" and "Women Write and Sing" at the Maryvale Moon Cafe and Art in Dartmouth NS. There are three visual artists, myself included, that will give an artist talk for the first hour. The next few hours will be filled with wonderful music from numerous singer/songwriters. It should be a great afternoon.

Here is a new piece I just completed that I will be showing on Saturday. I will discuss the inspiration behind the painting during the artist talk. This painting has been in my head for many years and I finally decided to put it on canvas.

Purple Tree - Acrylic on canvas - 16 X 20

I am also attending the Nocturne Halifax - Art at Night on Saturday.  I am really looking forward to going and seeing all of the wonderful exhibits in Halifax and Dartmouth. It promises to be an awesome time.

Hope to see you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The 13th Annual Mosaic for Mental Health

The 13th Annual Mosaic for Mental Health is here again. It is a fundraiser that happens annually to support the Canadian Mental Health Association, Halifax - Dartmouth Branch. This year is my second time submitting artwork.

The art is completed by a variety of artists of all levels on 6 x 6 masonite tiles. All tiles are $25.00. The exhibition opens on October 13th and ends on October 30th, 2011. It is hosted by the The Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing, Dartmouth,  NS.

I have worked in the mental health field for over 15 years, volunteered, and have also utilized mental health services, so this cause is very important to me. 

Please come out and support the great work CMHA does.

Reflections - Acrylic on 6 x 6 Masonite Tile

Beauty in the Blues - Acrylic on 6 x 6 Masonite Tile

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Maryvale Moon Cafe and Art

Have I said it before? Twitter is a wonderful place. I have learned of so many wonderful opportunities. I have met great people both online and in real life. The local twitter scene is full of interesting people including talented artists, musicians, and writers.

A few weeks ago I went to Maryvale Moon Cafe and Art to listen to a wonderful local singer songwriter. I had a great time and loved the atmosphere, it also gave me the opportunity to try a new local business that focuses on great food, art, and music.

I am happy to report that my art is now hanging alongside several other local artists in the cafe.

Maryvale Moon Cafe and Art

My artwork

Beautiful Artwork by other local artists

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art vs. Craft Halifax

It is so wonderful to have something to work toward. It seems since I have started painting, there has been an event, a show, something around the corner.

This Saturday I am participating in another art and craft show at the Halifax Forum called Art vs. Craft. If you are in the area, check it out. There will be around 40 vendors and lots of variety.

Here are some of the paintings I will be selling.

"Serenity" and " Solitude" Acrylic on Canvas - 6 X 6

" Rhythm" Acrylic on Canvas - 6 X 6

"Blue Moon" Acrylic on textured gesso watercolour board

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Urban Lights

The lights at night continue to be a magical time and an inspiration for me, particularly the reflections on the water. I wanted to continue with the theme of the harbour at night and did another painting for my Night Harbour Series.  This painting has a different feel, more vibrant perhaps. It is also my largest painting yet, measuring 18 x 24.

Urban Lights
18 X 24 - Oil on Canvas

I don't think I am done with this series yet...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Willow Tree Art Gallery

I can't believe it has been almost a year since I started painting. If you have been following my posts, you know that it's been a busy year for a newbie like myself. I am finding that the most important thing I have learned is to believe in your own talent, no matter what.

The next important thing I have learned is to put yourself out there. (Not always easy to do, but if you don't then what?)

Today I dropped off six paintings to Willow Tree Art Gallery in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. A lovely gallery, about 45 minutes from Halifax. It is open on the weekends, 12-5 pm or by appointment. I am thrilled to be a part of this lovely little gallery with a wonderful variety of work. Kevin Cameron is the owner and a talented artist.

If you are in the area, drop by and have a look.

"Tulip" and "Foggy Night" - Willow Tree Art Gallery

"Birthday Bouquet" and "Daisy" - Willow Tree Art Gallery

"Harbour View" - Willow Tree Art Gallery

"New Morning" - Willow Tree Art Gallery

Monday, July 4, 2011

I was able to spend some time today painting and completed another night scene. This time I decided to leave the details out. I have been doing a lot of realistic paintings lately and needed to loosen up to express myself more freely.

I decided not to title this one quite yet. I wanted to make sure that I left it up to the viewer to decide what is going on in the scene.

Foggy Night12 X 12 Oil on Canvas

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Canada Day 2011 Boardwalk Artists at Alderney Landing is this Friday and I have been busy getting ready for it. If you are in the area, please stop by my table and say hello, I would love to hear from you!

Here is a new acrylic painting I completed the other night. I recently had a birthday and this painting was inspired by lovely flowers I received from a friend.

Acrylic on Canvas, 12 X 12

Have I mentioned how much I love flowers...?

Monday, June 20, 2011

It has been a wet, rainy, spring here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. We are beginning to see the sun but went many days without it. I guess the weather has inspired me to paint pictures of flowers, since I have not been able to spend a great deal of time in the garden.

I thought I would play around with the acrylics again. I only have a limited palette so it has been a learning experience regarding colour choices. Also the quick drying time has been a bit of a challenge but I think I am getting the hang of it.

Acrylic on Canvas - 5 X 7

Pink Rose
Acrylic on Canvas - 6 X 6

I used the same reference of a rose for the next painting. I used oil paints this time and incorporated it into another painting.

Effervescent Rose
Oil on Canvas - 6 X 6

June has been a busy, rainy, month and as a result there have been many opportunities to paint.

I have been getting ready for the Canada Day Boardwalk Artists, July 1, 2011. I will have a table, along with many other local artists at Alderney Landing on the waterfront in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  Here are two of the paintings that I have completed for this event.

These two paintings are part of a series and go with my previous paintings; Morning Meditation and Moonlit Dreams.

They represent my ideal "go to" place, an escape. This place does not exist...yet. Maybe someday.

Moonlight Sanctuary
8x8 Oil on Canvas

Morning Sanctuary
8x8 Oil on Canvas

I can dream can't I...

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Morning Meditation"

I have been trying to get away from painting strictly from photographs. I have been using my visual journal to sketch out ideas and work on perspective. I really liked painting on the round canvas and decided to do another one.

This one was inspired by my previous painting "Moonlit Dreams" and I wanted continue with the figure of the girl in my paintings.

Using what I had learned from painting previous sunrises, the colour and style for this painting emerged.

Morning Mediation - Oil onCanvas
10 inch round

Monday, May 23, 2011

I have recently  finished the online Strathmore Visual Journal Workshop. The workshop has been great and I have met some really creative artists online. Everyone has been so supportive.

I have done a number of entries and I must say that  I really like journalling. I have found that I can have fun, and try out new techniques focussing mainly on the process rather than the outcome. That in itself is freeing. Not every entry is a masterpiece, but it definitely is a learning experience.

While I have been doing this, my 7 year old daughter has been doing a journal too. I love watching her creativity, the way she just goes for it, not caring if the result is perfect or looks a certain way.
She is certainly teaching her mother a few things!


"Change" My daughter made the heart 
as a gift for my journal inspiring the rest of the page.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Visual Journal

This week I started on an on-line visual workshop with Strathmore Visual Journal Workshops. I am hoping it will help with developing my creativity.

It will be interesting to see how the pages progress from beginning to end, a bit of an experiment. I plan to post my pages periodically. So far it has been fun especially working with a variety of media.

Here is my first attempt.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

"It Never Hurts to Ask..."

I have always been told this by my mother, grandmother, friends but for some reason I have hesitated many times, held back by shyness,  or the possibility of no. Well this time I asked.

I have many of my mother's paintings and I have been trying to decide what to do with them. I have picked out my favourites, saved some for family, but there are still quite a few left. Some are damaged as they are 30 years old, but I can't bear to part with them.

My mother was a teacher, and also worked as a guidance counsellor. She worked for a number of years at a  High School in a small town in Nova Scotia. It was because of her work there that she took up painting. She took lessons from her friend and the art teacher at the school. The school now has an Art Gallery named after the art teacher.

I contacted the gallery and offered to donate one of my mother's paintings and they accepted! I am so thrilled. What a wonderful place to hang one of her paintings in a school she worked hard in, in the gallery named after her good friend. So fitting.

Happy Mother's Day.

Artist Gladys - Oil on Panel - 1981

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Moon in May...

I returned back to work this week after an amazing year home with my baby girl. So fortunate to have the time off. Since I was going back to work I wanted to do a new painting and decided to try to paint a scene I imagined rather than one I had experienced.

This is the first time I did my own composition and it came out completely different than the original plan! I picked up a round canvas and really wanted to do something with it. Initially, I first thought of painting a spring scene of flowers, but the canvas reminded me of a porthole, which inspired a scene of the ocean. I decided to continue with the theme of nighttime and which led to the full moon reflecting on the water.

Funny how our mind works.

Here is the result...

Moonlit Dreams - Oil on Canvas
10 inch round

Friday, April 29, 2011

Night Harbour

Have you ever spent a few moments just watching how the lights reflect on the water at night? I am drawn to photos and other art work of night scenes. So, always overestimating my capabilities, I decided to try and complete a few paintings of the the city lights reflecting on the harbour.

The first painting I completed, was for a silent auction fundraiser to raise money for the Nova Scotia's Provincial Men's Choir;  Nova Voce. I am happy to report that the painting sold.

Harbour at Night
11 X14
Oil on Canvas

The second painting I did is a close up of the one above. I chose to  play around with acrylics again and completed a 4X5 painting.

Harbour View
4 x 5 Acrylic On Canvas

The next one I completed, used a slightly different palette with less oranges and reds.

Harbour Lights
11x14 Oil on Canvas

I decided to call the three paintings "Night Harbour Series". The shimmering of the water was a challenge, but I like the way they turned out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stomping Through the Tulips

A few years ago, when my daughter was four, she really wanted to paint a large picture with me and asked if I would buy some large canvases. I was interested in starting to paint again so I bought one canvas for each of us and some acrylic paints.

She did a wonderful job. I love children's artwork, they are so creative. 

This is her painting. 

The Rainbow and the Flood - Acrylic and Finger Paint
For my painting I decided to try and paint a picture of tulips. At that time I was pretty proud of the painting when it was completed. I hung it up at my office at work, then I hung it up at home for awhile. I had really liked the colour choices I had picked. 

Tulips  - Acrylic

I came across this painting again a few weeks ago. It is funny but now that I have been painting for several months, I no longer felt the same connection to it. I was just going to paint a completely different picture over it. 

I changed my mind and decided to try and redo the same painting. I used acrylics again and then finished it with oil paint.

This is the result...

Tulips - Mixed Media
16 X 20

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Painted Garden

It's the beginning of April, spring is here, though the weather doesn't seem to be warming up that quickly. I may also be a little impatient. The days are longer which I am enjoying.

I am looking forward to getting into the garden to plant a few flowers, though that still seems like a long way off. Because I can't plant any flowers yet, I have been busy painting them. I have done three more small paintings which I have really enjoyed doing.

The first painting was inspired by a photograph I saw in a magazine of crabapple blossoms. I contacted the photographer to obtain her permission to use her image. Her name is Virginia MacDonald and her work is amazing, particularly her personal work.

Night Garden - 5 X 4 Oil on Canvas

The second painting was from an image I took last summer of a hummingbird in my garden enjoying the honeysuckle. He visits often but completely ignores my very pretty, awesome feeder. I guess there is nothing like the real thing. I decided to play around with this one a bit and try something different.
The Hummingbird and the Honeysuckle
8 X 10 Oil on Panel

The third painting has  more meaning for me. I love daffodils, and always buy them each spring from the Canadian Cancer Society. This is a cause I feel strongly about so this year I decided to volunteer to sell them for a few hours, I really enjoyed myself and was happy to participate. The month of April is considered Daffodil Month, in honour of Spring and Daffodil Month, here is my latest painting.

Daffodil - 6 X 6 Oil on Canvas

Well, if I can't have my garden yet, I am just going to paint one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Forward

Spring is around the corner. I cannot wait. I love spring though it means I will be back to work soon. I have been very fortunate to have a wonderful year off with my baby.

I do have a bit of spring fever. I have already completed a hefty round of spring cleaning. I am also looking forward to working in my garden. I adore flowers, all kinds, so my garden is usually full of them.

Here is one that was inspired by the dahlia's in my garden last year.

Dahlia - 4x5 - Oil on Canvas 

I also love to watch the sunrise, though I am not typically a morning person, I am usually up pretty early so the opportunity presents itself. I don't live on the ocean, but I am lucky to live close by so my new work is of the sun rising on the ocean.

Violet Sea - 2 1/2 x 2 1/2  - Mini Oil on Canvas

Teal Waters - 2 1/2 x 2 1/2  - Mini Oil on Canvas

New Morning - 6 X 6 - Oil on Canvas

Having a look at my recent paintings, I have noticed that they have less muted tones and are more colourful. I have been thinking about this and it seems that it reflects my desire for warmer weather and the brightness of spring.

Feel free to comment, say hi or ask questions. I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beautiful Nova Scotia

Last week I had the opportunity to go away with my family for a few days.  My husband and I packed up the kids and headed to a resort near the ocean.  The resort is located on the Southern Shore of Nova Scotia. Though it was cold outside, the sun was shining and the view of the water was beautiful.

So nice to get away and to be able to drive only an hour and a half to get there.

Winter Sun - Oil on Panel - 5 X 7