Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lily Pond-October

On Barron Canyon Road are many beautiful spots along the way to Algonquin Park, and this is one of my favorites.  I have stopped here and painted several times and photographed the scene at many times of the year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Late Afternoon, November

This has been an interesting week, I had my email hacked into and then received all sorts of phone calls from friends asking me if I needed money.  The hacker used my email address, changed the user name slightly and solicited money from people on the contact list from my email.  I hope no one has fallen for the scheme, and have recognized it was not me who wrote the request.  Now I have the challenging task of notifying people of my new email address.  Oh well, all in a day, in this techno world in which we live.
The sketch is from a trip up the Ottawa River a few weeks ago, I seemed not to have time to post it until tonight.  The light was extremely warm, as it was late in the day just before sunset.  It got really cold moments after the sunset and hot sweet tea brought by Marina was so appreciated.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Near Tofino

This is a much larger piece than I usually paint.  The inspiration was from a photograph that Marina took near Tofino this summer.   We decided to do the challenge of Gloria Zucaro this week, to paint in the style of a famous artist and since we both admire Lawren Harris we chose the same reference to see how we each would be influenced.  It was really fun to try to paint like you "think" somebody else would have done.  We both learned a lot and and had a wonderful afternoon.  To see Marina's painting of the same subject go to her website from the link of my blog list.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


And now for something completely different.  Shelly Ross suggested painting your toaster for this weeks Daily Paintworks Challenge.  It is a great idea, the really reflective surface of the metal was exciting to paint.  I was surprized when I looked at the toaster at all of things in the room I could see including the pink stripe on the corner which is me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birches at Crooked Slide

I painted this and had some trouble again with photographing.  When I have a lot of blue in the picture the camera seems to add even more blue to places where it really dosen't belong.  Despite the slight squew to blue the colours are fairly accurate.  I love painting the landscape in Ontario, it is so unbeliveably beautiful here.

East of Meath Hill

This sketch is from the same painting day as the Snake River sketch.  Marina and I drove down some back roads looking for interesting compositions.  It was the beautiful yellow poplars against the dark forest interior that caught our eye on this one.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grey Day on the Snake River

This post has been a long time in coming, we have had a lot of cloudy weather and I have had difficulty in having enough sunny days to photograph my paintings.  I admire those painters who have solved their photographing difficulties and who consistently post great shots of their work on their blogs and Daily Paintworks and other internet sites.   Enough with the woes!  Marina and I went to the Snake River east of Pembroke and I very bravely drove our old Dodge Caravan down the railway line where the tracks had been lifted a few months ago.  We stood on the old railway bridge and got these great shots up and down the river.  It was a very atmospheric day, gloomy and haunting.  When it was time to leave Marina said to me where are you going to turn around, knowing there was no place I said I'm a great backerupper, and we backed up down the old railway line at least a half a mile. I know she was very glad when we finally reached the gravel sideroad. Another wonderful painting experience!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dusk - Variation 1

This sketch like the one before it was painted very quickly from the photo that I took on the way home from Crooked Slide Park,  I really like the image and have enjoyed exploring different ways of portraying the sky and water at this time of day.  I would like to take more time and do several large paintings using the ideas from these sketches.


The sun had gone down and Sue, Marina, and I were on the way to the Wilno Tavern on a Tuesday evening when we saw this beautiful sunset.  The sun was already below the hills and although the sky and water were still very bright the trees and land in the foreground were dark,dark, dark.We stopped and aahed, unable to paint anymore that day being cold and tired.  I took some photos to remind me of the scene with the intention of working up a sketch and maybe a larger painting during the winter.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On the way to Crooked Slide

Today my painting buddies Marina and Sue are on a workshop in South Carolina given by Ian Robarts.  I am missing them and am posting a small landscape I painted from a photo that I took when we all went to Crooked Slide Park together just after Thanksgiving.  I know that they are having a wonderful time out all day painting and learning valuable lessons from Ian.  Painting is such a joy, and to have friends to share this joy with is truly a blessing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grey Day, Petawawa

Sue and Marina and I went out painting again on Wednesday afternoon to Petawawa Point.  By the time I arrived the others had set up their easels in front of this ready made composition.  We had another terrific day together painting and critiquing each other.  Tomorrow we will all be back at our usual activiteis.  Until soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crooked Slide

This has been a busy, busy month!  I was fortunate enough to meet Marina and our friend Sue from Toronto on Tuesday for an afternoon of pleine aire painting.  Marina drove us to Crooked Slide Park near Wilno where we spent the afternoon painting in the most glorious weather.  I managed to produce 3 sketches this one being my last and favorite one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maple Saplings

This week Ann Feldman posted a challenge to paint a fall theme.  This little painting is of  Red Maple saplings that grow inobtrusivly along roadways and woodlots and come into their glory for a few days in autumn.  What a joy to be out of doors on a beautiful fall afternoon painting - heaven on earth.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Black River

Marina and I went on a reconnoitre to Quebec on Tuesday to the Black River where we are going on Saturday with a group of painters.   We wanted to see the lay of the land and get an idea of how long it would take to drive there etc.  After a 40 minute drive on a gravel road after we left the main highway near Waltham we arrived at the first open area where the Black River passes under a bridge.  It was a perfect fall day so we set up our easels and had a truly blissful time painting this view looking east down the river.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This week challenge from Daily Paintworks was a value study using only four values.  Harder than you might think.  I picked some of my late blooming amemones and set up a still life in my shadow box.  The challenge was posted by Liz Wiltzen, a very talented painter from Western Canada.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


My entry for this weeks Daily Paintworks Challenge,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Corn Field at Smith's Farm

Marina and I out painting again on another cloudy day. The field to the right is a corn field full of glorious ripe corn cobs. The abundance we have in this country is in direct opposition to those who unfortunately live in areas of drought and starvation. It doesn't seem right for us to have so much and so much of the world to have so little. Thanks to David and Carol Marine for their efforts to help artists to help others in times of need. This painting will be posted on the Daily Paintworks Challenge page and if it is sold the money will be given to a charitable organization who can use the money to help those in need in Africa.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Ottawa River at Jennings Road

This was a very moody cloudy afternoon when Marina and I painted this scene. We had plans to go to this location for nearly a year but never made it until last week. We both had a great time and discovered the benefits of painting when it is cloudy. The landscape stayed the same for the whole time, there were no moving shadows, and no changing light. What a treat for landscape painting.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I am happy to be hosting the challenge of the week on the Daily Paintworks site. When Carol accepted the Rectangle Challenge I realized I would have to write some instructions. My writing skills are limited and as Carol soon found out my computer skills are equally dismal. I asked my friend Marina to help me and she suggested we repeat the exercise and then write the instructions based on our experiences. This painting of her gladiolus flowers is the painting that I produced the day we repeated the exercise. I really want to thank Carol, David, Marina and Lauren for helping me with this project and also all the artists who accept the challenge.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Falls at Fort Coulonge

This tonal study was done from a photo that I took on a recent day trip to Quebec. It was quickly executed using Cadmium Orange, Ultramarine Blue and White. I love that palatte.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


This neat composition is from Carol Marine from her Daily Paintworks Challenge site. She presented the photograph upside-down and the challenge was to paint the entire painting upside-down with out referring to the usual orientation. Great Fun, thanks Carol.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Orange Day Lilies

My goal in this painting was to paint simple shapes describing the objects they represented, using complimentary colours.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Near The Opeongo

On our way to Meaford, Marina and I stopped to photograph this incredibly beautiful spot along highway 58. The day was hot and and humid, the air hung heavy and still, and there was such a stillness and sense of being or of life vibrating just under the surface of all that we could see and feel. Being there at that moment was so powerful and life affirming. I wish I had the ability to translate some of that feeling into paint so that I could share some of that experience.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Another toned painting of some flowers. This one was really fun to do.

Monday, August 1, 2011


These lovely large dasies are in full bloom now. I used a limited palette consisting of Titainium White, Ivory Black, and Yellow Ochre to do a tonal study. This palatte was one that we used on Ian Robert's workshop in early July for an exercise at Meaford harbour.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


This is a small painting of some ot the beautiful flowers that are blooming this time of year.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Canola Fields

On our Meaford workshop Marina and I found this lovely composition that at eight in the morning was misted over and very atmospheric. As the morning passed we were soon painting a brilliant sunlight day with only a few wispy clouds. Trying to remember the colours and values of the original scene was impossible so I opted to paint the sunlight scene. This is a blocked in exercise using the rectangles that Ian introduced us to.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fields near Meaford

This sketch was from the second day of Ian's workshop.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I am just returned from a wonderful five day plien aire workshop with painter Ian Roberts. We spent the week learning from inventive exercises and painting outdoors at many beautiful locations. The above painting was an exercise done in the field simplifing all shapes to appropriate sized rectangles and matching the colours as accurately as possible, much harder than it sounds or looks, but a fabulous way to zone in on the important aspects of a landscape. The group was fantastic, thank you all so much for contributing to such a blissful experience.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Four Plums

These beautiful plums reminded me of a few lines from a poem by Margaret Atwood that went something like this, " I ate the last of the plums from the refrigerator this morning. They were cold and sweet and delicious". My apologies to Margaret, it has been at least thirty years since I have read these lines, but they have always stuck with me. I think it is a part of a very short love poem.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lemon Lilies

The garden is full of luscious smelling flowers this time of year and lemon lilies are one of my favorites. I spent Wednesday and Thursday at home painting several studies of these lilies in this old jam jar and felt really in the painting groove by Friday, now I'm back to work for the weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Irises - a study

This is a painting of some of the beautiful Irises that are growing in my garden this year. The cool wet spring has produced one of the nicest gardens that I have had, I look forward to painting lots of flower studies this summer. I was working with values again, that is trying to separate the light and the dark values into two families, lit areas and shadow areas.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farm Road

This painting I did from an outdoor sketch that I painted a couple of weeks ago. I was having some trouble getting the lights light enough. After watching a video by Kevin McPherson I have come to realize that the colours in the lit areas of a painting and the colours in the shadow areas belong to separate value 'families' and that the families should be kept separate in the painting to help define the regions of shadow and the regions of full light. I need to do a lot more work using this principle but I think that this piece of information will help me with some of the problems I have been having in the past.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Between the Showers

This is a small canvas that I worked up from one of the oil sketches that I painted outdoors last autum. My work schedule, a bout of "gastro", and an enormous amount of gardening have kept me from painting much or posting in the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Pepper

A vegetable for the Daily Paintworks Challenge, last week's challenge actually. I will have to rephotograph this one as I seem to have a lot of glare despite using a polarizing filter

Monday, May 9, 2011

Calla Lily

The simplicity of this lovely white flower drew me to paint it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tangerine and Cups

A little piece in which I have been experimenting with the background. It has been several shades and values but I finally decided to stick with a warm dark value to set off the cool shadows.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tulips - a study

This painting is a sort of follow-up on the challenge entry, my focus was on selecting complimentary colours from the Munsell wheel. The composition is almost exactely the same as the previous painting with the tulips substituting for the geraniums and the vase turquoise instead of blue. I greyed down the turquoise table cloth and darkened and cooled the cloth in the background to provide contrast.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Geranium Sprig

This is this week's entry to the Daily Paintworks Challenge. The challenge was to use the colour wheel and choose a colour scheme using complimentary colours. The most difficult part of this challenge was to find paper or cloth props that were the exact compliment of the subject of the painting. I have a whole new appreciation for painters who consistently produce lovely paintings every day whose colours are harmonious, but look like they were loosely arranged - they wern't! I have learned that it takes a lot of time and effort to consistently make great colour choices.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken on the Run - San Miguel

My entry for the Daily Paintworks Challenge this week. Carol Marine posted a photograph of a chicken and the challenge was to either paint her photograph or choose an image of your choice. Marina and I had fun with her pictures of chickens from San Miguel that she took when she was in Mexico with Frank Gardiner on a workshop.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Run-off - sketch

Yesterday was heavenly, the first outdoor painting day with Marina this season. We drove to one of our favorite spots and set up looking over this delightful little 'creek' which only runs in the spring with water from the melting snow. It was one of those gorgeous days in spring, the sun shining on our backs, a bit of coolness in the air, the sounds of the melt water burbling along the ditches - no bugs, and the endearing sounds of the birds singing their hearts out. The coulour of the grasses was difficult as it is a greayish yellow this time of year but I think the painting as whole turned out pretty well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Afternoon - a study

Yesterday Marina came over to my studio and we painted from the photos that Carol Marine posted this week on the Daily Paintworks Challenge. The challenge is titled "The German Landscape". Carol has a great sense of composition so all we had to do really was copy the design onto our panels and work up the painting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teapot - after Kora

This little painting was done at Marina's house last week, the teapot has a lovely highly reflective surface that was challenging to paint. The reference to Kora is because the painting is based on one of her small paintings. The name of her blog is "Small Paintings by Kora Fried", she is an excellent painter and I came across her site by following the links from one of her paintings in the Daily Paintworks Challenge. Check out her blog, she has some wonderful paintings posted.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Teapot - a Study

This piece was one of my earlier attempts at the 'colour of white' challenge on the Daily Paintworks Challenge. I like the teapot but am less happy with the patterened fabric. The fabric does not receed into the background at the top of the painting the way it should, I need to employ both aerial perspective and linear perspective, which I found difficult through such a short distance. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 25, 2011

White Bowl - White Challenge

This is my entry for the Daily Paintworks Challenge of last week, a white object on a patterned surface. It took me a few tries at this challenge to finally like one of my attempts. Marina and I did this one together at her studio on Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Clementines in a Blue Glass Bowl

I feel like I havn't been at my blog much lately and have missed it. I'm off shopping tomorrow to buy some painting supplies, always a fun time.

Aby Baby!

This is my attempt at the Lincoln portrait in the DPC. Somehow he looks a little scruffy and contemporary. It was a lot of fun and a very good exercise.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I enjoyed painting these radishes very much. I used the technique suggested by Carol Marine on her Daily Paintworks Challenge, that is mixing a new colour for each brush stroke. It takes more time but the results are worth it, I think. The painting is fresh everywhere and the quiet areas are more interesting and lively. Speaking of the challenge, I have gotten so many more people from around the world looking at my art; and I have found blogs from many artists in other countries. This sharing of art across nations is wonderful. Thank all of you who have visited my blog.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Red Pepper

This week's challenge was from Carol Marine again, to paint each stroke with a new mixture of colour with a fairly wide brush. This is super hard as it is a slowish process and the mind wants to quickly charge ahead and proceed with the painting. I had some difficulty with control of the large brush over the tight spots at the head of the pepper but I reminded myself that this is an exercise to improve painting skills and not to be too attached to the result.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The painting of the Zippo lighter is my entry into the weekly Daily Paintworks Challenge. This week Michael Naples presented a photograph of a Zippo lighter and instructions to use only two colours, Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine with white for the painting. It was a great process, thank you so much Michael for the challenge!