Monday, August 3, 2015

Romeo - Blue Horse and Owl Oil Painting

Romeo, 30x36 Oil on Canvas

These past months have been filled with inspiration as I paint for my upcoming solo show "Be Your Own Bird" October 15, 2015 at the Daffodil Gallery. In this new series of paintings birds are the common element in a menagerie of uncommonly coloured exotic cats, horses and other animals that symbolize trusting in and being your unique self. We are spiritual creatures, enjoying our time on earth as individuals, different from one another with our own stories and paths to take yet interdependent and connected as suggested by têtê-a-têtês between the animals. 

See more of my recent works for this new show at

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Maybe Later - Black Leopard on Cushions

Maybe Later, 30x36 Oil on Canvas

I love colour. Colour with a shot of black. Yummy. But this black leopard needed to really stand out and using a more limited palette achieved that. 

Limitations have a special role to play, they can provide focus and direction which may seem kind of a funny thing for me to say since my work ranges from whimsical illustration in 3 different mediums (scratchboard, acrylic and digital) to realistic oil painting to whimsical oil painting.  To see how focus and direction can be fun and not boring at all visit my brand new website which includes 4 different portfolios, different but very much connected through colour.

For those of you who followed this blog because of the still lifes I hope the shift away from realistic still life wasn't a disappointment. In fact, I hope the shift brought fun and pleasure. I've learned that exploration provides inspiration for other areas of one's art and is of great value. Stick around, I'm not done with still life just yet. Thank you for being part of my art circle. 

Available at the Daffodil Gallery

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Oil Painting Inspired by Summer Flowers

Cosmos Lily Afternoon

Oil on Canvas

Available at the Daffodil Gallery in Edmonton, AB

Painted one hot afternoon on the deck outside my studio. Inspired by the the glorious colours of cosmos and lilies in my garden and the blackbirds that play by the pond.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Portrait of a Rooster

Morning Call
20x16 Oil/Canvas

Morning Call was loosely inspired by my lovely bantam rooster Vincent who, in real life, has an interesting shock of orange feathers on either side of his comb reminiscent of the pageboy type hairstyle worn by a young Vincent Van Gogh. His hearty crow announces each new day.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Portrait of Pete

Pete at the Crowsnest
5x7 Oil/Canvas

This is our dog Pete, a handsome fellow with huge ears which were laid slightly back in the wind making them look rather average in this depiction. At only knee height Pete is short but his enthusiasm and love are tall. This painting was a gift for my husband.

As the years have gone by I'm discovering a real love of painting in a more expressive manner. Lively brushstrokes and more interpretive colour have become more important to me versus painting exactly what I see. Although in this little painting the colour is, for the most part, as I saw it. The brushstrokes  however, are looser and more descriptive than my usual work and I'm happy about that. This painterly and more expressive way of painting has an energetic give and take that I love!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cheetah and Pillows

The Art of Resting, Oil on Canvas, 30x24

'The Art of Resting' was painted after a month or so of doing primarily still life. As much as I love the zen of still life the lure of playing with my imagination and going wild with colour is irresistible.

It's fascinating to see the links and threads of one's own creative life, to see how old unformed concepts connect to the present. Even though I have only been painting these whimsical cats, birds and flowers for a couple of years the idea for something along these lines was lurking about only as rough scribbles for illustrations in sketchbooks and bits of paper. An idea that was sketched out years ago and found in a file cabinet was the inspiration for this painting. Suddenly I'm grateful for my propensity to note everything and save those scraps of paper that litter the studio, you never know when an old idea will come to life.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Still Life, Tomatoes

Shades of Red, 6x8 Oil on Canvas/Panel Sold

The tomatoes are lush and plentiful this year and ripening madly in shades of greens, green-orange, orange, orange-red and deep rich reds. Unlike the perfect round specimens from the store homegrown tomatoes are alive with flavour and lumpy with character. Their colour and shape with it's lumps and bumps are just meant to be painted.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunflowers and Red Wing Black Bird

Secrets of a Fall Garden 16x20 Oil on Canvas

This time of year is a sensory smorgasbord with geese calling their way south, birds feasting on berries, crisp apples right off the tree, yellow sunflowers, fields with golden swaths, and the crunchy sound and rich smell of fallen leaves. As if those aren’t reasons enough to love fall there’s a particularly soft and mellow quality to the light. It’s a golden colour that infuses everything with it’s soft warm hue.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back and Forth Between Still Life and Whimsicals

Peony on a July Afternoon 6x8 Oil/Canvas/Panel
Peonies, such seemingly fragile blossoms yet in spite of wind, hail and pounding rain they've hung in there long enough to be painted.

I'm once again exploring still life after a couple of years of working on a series of whimsical paintings featuring wildcats, birds and flowers. I am, as ever, in awe with the way light plays upon flowers, fruit and objects. Light and me, it's a love affair that never really goes away, it just sits quietly waiting while the whimsicals with their bright color and opportunities for imaginative play keeps me captive.

Some artists remain faithful to one style and medium then there are others like myself who are a bit more fickle. I've gone from watercolor to a scratchboard/watercolor/pencil crayon mix, then turned to acrylic, digital and eventually to oil paint. My style morphed and changed too, going from realistic to a naive and whimsical style when I began illustrating and then returning to realism once again when I began exploring oils and still life. Each style has a hold on me for a time but no one style ever wins, I work in whichever style suits my mood and the subject matter.

One thing I'm sure of, different styles and mediums enrich one another and they are all rewarding, I'm not sure I could choose a favorite. What about you, what is your experience with working in more than one style? Or are you loyal to just one? If you are an art lover, do you like to see an artist exploring or do you prefer to see them stick to one style and medium? Curious.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Symbolism in Art

 Journey On
18x18 Sold

Recently I had a conversation with some friends about how paintings are interpreted. How much of the understanding of a work of art is based on the various elements the artists use to get across their concept and how much of the interpretation is really influenced by the viewers own life experiences?

Sometimes the message is quite obvious and other times it's ambiguous and very much open for interpretation regardless of the artist's intent. My own work has it's own symbology which I hope comes across to some degree yet I rather like knowing the viewer relates to it in their own way too.

Journey On represents the passage of time, where it takes us, where we've been, how we get there and with whom. The moon symbolizes the rhythm of the years, the boat represents life's journeys and was inspired by ancient middle eastern vessels, while the cat and bird, two creatures typically not seen as companions become shipmates in this painting, as they do in much of my work.

As an artist or collector what is your experience with the interpretations of art? Do you get the same meaning from a work of art as the artist intended? I'm interested in your opinions.