Friday, May 30, 2014

Robert Genn 1936-2014

Robert Genn lecturing in theBugaboos
We have some sad news today. We have lost a great Canadian painter, writer and philosopher. Robert Genn not only created beautiful paintings, he also generously provided advice, encouragement and amusement through his Twice-Weekly Letters. He will be greatly missed.

With Bob's blessing, I did this portrait sketch from a photo I took during our Bugaboo 10 heli-painting trip.

When he saw the work in progress above (I never did get around to adding the detail I had in mind) his response was characteristically eloquent and funny:

OMG!  Quite a shock. I think you got me though. Lugubrious old fart. Getting ready to pontificate. Smug. Don’t do much to it. 
Bob
Robert Genn's daughter, Sara, is going to continue the twice-weekly letters, by publishing one of Bob's older missives along with a new one of her own every week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Bouquet #1

12x9 acrylic on panel
The internet stopped working on Monday evening, so this was my first chance to post this painting, done from life on Tuesday after we finally had service restored this afternoon.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I hope everyone had a great summer!  It is hard to believe the above photo was taken only a few weeks ago and summer is over. I decided to haul a ginormous canvas (I think it is 52" square) out to the beach together with a big brush and some acrylics to do a "plein air" painting from life, looking southwest on Georgian Bay. As long as you pick a calm day, this is a great idea, but beware if the wind picks up - such a large canvas will also make a great kite. I was so absorbed in my work that I didn't even realize my son captured me working away.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Robert Genn - The Painter's Keys Twice-Weekly Letters

Robert Genn lecturing in the Bugaboos
I am always happy to plug this inspirational blog for creative people. Robert Genn (that's Genn with a hard G, like God, in case you are wondering) is a well known and very successful Canadian painter, who does mostly acrylic landscape work. Mr. Genn is also a scholar and a poet who sends out, free of charge, two intriguing, helpful and sometimes provocative missives, without fail, each and every week.

I was particularly struck by the letter this week, as it reveals the secret to success as an artist.
Robert's parable in this week's letter involves two artists on two different paths and the one that achieves the most success may be a surprise to you - click here to read the letter!
Here are some hints: GO TO YOUR ROOM! Create a lot of paintings. Burn the duds.

The painting above is based on a photo I shot of Robert Genn when I had the privilege of accompanying him and a bunch of other lucky ducks on a heli-painting trip in the Bugaboo mountains. Mr. Genn graciously granted me permission to create the portrait which is 16x20 inches, oil on canvas. It still needs a few finishing touches, but, hey, I needed a photo for this post!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Latest Small Painting - Egg in Glass

Egg in Glass, oil on canvas, 5x5 inches

I started this small painting from life at the very end of Carol Marine's workshop in Toronto. I made a couple of corrections from a photo since we had to pack up and leave the Heliconian Club where the workshop took place and I did not have time to finish from life. Carol is a great instructor. She is known for her paintings of fruits and vegetables, really nails her values and has great composition and color in her small paintings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

McMichael Canadian Art Collection Painting Event

McMichael Field

The day after I got home from 2 weeks painting the figure and portrait in Philadelphia at Studio Incamminati, I attended a plein air painting event at The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in conjunction with The Ontario Plein Air Society.

I wandered around for quite some time before settling on this scene and had fun layering on the color with my palette knife at the end. We wandered all the trails and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather we were blessed to experience.

We took the time to wander around the museum and I enjoyed the current exhibit about fashion and clothing - very interesting! Usually I am all about the paintings, but this was quite intriguing, including a Vancouver artist who created and then displayed all the clothes she wore for a whole year, including her footwear! There was also video of an environmental artist who creates clothing out of flowers and leaves.

At the end of the day, all the artists and many interested onlookers gathered in the great hall of the McMichael gallery and several awards were presented, including third place to Dalibor Dejanovic of OPAS who created a beautiful pastel.






Sunday, August 19, 2012

Palette Knife Oil Painting - Beach Scene...Windy Day

Windy Day - Palette Knife Painting, 8 x 10 inches, oil on panel
I just loved the colors in the water and the waves. This was done using a palette knife instead of brushes. I find, when doing an alla prima sketch like this that I get interesting texture and cleaner colors than I would using brushes - and the bonus is not needing to clean brushes at the end of the day!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Personalized Art for Baby - Published in Canadian Family Magazine!











































That is my painting (personalized art) above the crib, featured in the March 2012 issue of Canadian Family magazine! The nursery colors are black & white with touches of green and pink.

Sicily is one blessed little girl and I am kind of in awe of her mom, Sara (who is managing editor of a home decor publication) for being this creative and organized - what a beautifully designed nursery!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prize Winning Painting!



















I haven't been outside painting lately. Since this autumn, I have traveled back and forth to B.C. to help my parents sell their home of 40 years and then, a couple of months later, unfortunately, my dad at age 91 had a fall, slipped into a coma and passed away. I am also back in school and with all my responsibilities painting has taken a back seat for awhile.

With everything that has been going on, I forgot to post this painting, which won 2nd place this fall at The Ontario Plein Air Society Quick Draw Painting Challenge, held at J.E.H. MacDonald House in Thornhill. The artists had 3 hours to create a work of art on the spot and then the entries were judged with the public voting. It was fun to participate and I was thrilled to be awarded a prize. The extra challenge with this painting (which I painted right in front of J.E.H. MacDonald House, looking toward the parking lot) was that I basically had to paint it twice since the sun came out at about the 1 1/2 hour mark and the lighting was completely different. I used a palette knife at the end for the thicker lights.

We still don't have any snow to speak of here in Toronto, Ontario and it is the middle of January although it is still pretty chilly painting outside at the moment!

I liked this article, published by Artist Daily which gives tips for fair weather plein air painters to keep their skills sharp over the winter. If you live an inclement part of the world like I do, you ought to read this asap!

My favorite tip from the article is to paint from life INDOORS. Still life has a lot of advantages over plein air in that the lighting and subject don't change so it can be a great time to improve your observation skills and maybe become a little faster at capturing what catches your eye when you do get back out there in the spring.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Opening night at JEH MacDonald House for the OPAS annual show

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Party's Over

Painting shoes is so much fun - they are really little sculptured pieces of art, which I believe is partly why women love them so much!

I really liked the way the turquoise cloth reflected into the silver leather of the shoes and that brilliant turquoise glow in the folds of the cloth.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rich Nelson Teaches Oil Painting to Young Artists

This class, led by the very talented North Carolina portrait and gallery artist and instructor, Rich Nelson, consisted mainly of teenagers (plus a couple of exceptions) with the youngest participant being only ten years of age.

The workshop was held in the gallery Rich and his wife Kim own in beautiful, historic Tryon, North Carolina, Skyuka Fine Art.

The group were very serious about learning, worked diligently and produced some pretty amazing results for first time oil painters!








Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homemade Watercolor Pan Box

For any watercolorists out there - here is a great idea (published by landscape painter Linkand founder of The Ontario Plein Air Society, Zan Barrage) for a mini metal box you can fill with pans of color. Perfect for travel this summer!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meaford Landscape Adventure

A fun time painting and hanging out at Christine's Kitchen with Ian Roberts and a gang of intrepid plein air painters!




Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sorry For The Unintended Sabbatical!

I have been painting up a storm but haven't had a chance to photograph and post my new still life and landscape work. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Broadacres Junior School Watercolor Painting Demonstration

Mrs. Sathmary's class paying rapt attention to my spiel about painting with watercolors.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Robert Genn and The Bugaboo Ten - Exhibition at Canada House Gallery

Well known Canadian landscape painter and writer Robert Genn sent out his most recent twice-weekly letter today in which he talks about plein air painting by helicopter in the Bugaboo mountains of British Columbia. I was fortunate to be able to participate in that trip in September 2010.

There will be an exhibition of work by both Robert Genn and The Bugaboo Ten (the painters who accompanied him and artist/guide Liz Wiltzen on the trip) at Canada House Gallery in Banff. Alberta. The address of the gallery is 201 Bear Street. The opening is on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, so come by and check out some of the paintings created during (or inspired by) that fabulous excursion.

The piece shown above was painted while holding a brush in one hand and an umbrella in the other (to try and fend off the freezing rain and snow) while occasionally having to grab the easel before it was blown over. Plein air painters are hardy types!

Click here to read what Robert Genn has to say about heli-painting.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Study of White Cup

Study of a white cup, lit with artificial light.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Fair Weather Plein Air Painter Remembers . . .

I have fond memories of painting at this serene spot this past summer, even though shortly after this picture was taken, I discovered my battery was dead!

I am sure missing warm weather and painting out in nature. I am trying to work up my enthusiasm for painting in the snow. I did it in the Bugaboos this past September, at times holding an umbrella with one hand and a paintbrush with the other, but to be honest with you, it wasn't my favorite activity!

Friday, December 03, 2010

New Book on Impressionist Painting by Lois Griffel






















If you are looking for a great gift for the artist in your life, here it is - a wonderful second book about painting by the former director of The Cape Cod School of Art. This book follows the very successful Painting The Impressionist Landscape, which introduced us to the colorist method taught by artists, like Charles Hawthorne and Henry Hensche, who followed in the pioneering footsteps of Monet.

Lois Griffel is a fantastic artist and teacher who generously shares everything she knows in this comprehensive second volume. It is a must have for those who have already enjoyed her first book, but also stands alone as a great resource for any artist. The book encompasses different mediums, as well as methods, with demos in oil, acrylic, pastel and watercolor.

The book includes a comparison of tonalism and impressionism, brushwork vs palette knife, detailed observation vs spontaneity, holding masses, values, light as the subject, learning to see, using digital photography as a tool and plein air vs alla prima, to mention just a few of many valuable, insightful chapters found within the pages of Painting Impressionist Color: Any Style, Any Medium.

Get your orders in soon, to allow time for shipping!

Where to buy:

http://www.amazon.com/Painting-Impressionist-Color-Lois-Griffel/dp/B003XV7GD2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291385038&sr=8-2

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/painting-impressionist-color/11907459?showPreview

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Susan MacDonald and The Group of Seven

At the opening of the exhibit of The Ontario Plein Air Society, all in attendance very much enjoyed hearing Susan MacDonald, niece of Thoreau and grand-niece of J.E.H. MacDonald speak about her experiences growing up around The Group of Seven.

Ontario Plein Air Society Exhibition

The inaugural show of The Ontario Plein Air Society was a smashing success, with $7,040 in sales (including one of mine) and a steady flow of interested visitors throughout the weekend.