Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Way Home

This is the finished painting. I am extremely happy with this one and can't wait to get started on another one. I love the black I mixed for this piece. I used sap green and alizarin crimson with a touch of ultramarine blue. It is really rich and has depth; I find that the blacks that come from the tube can be really flat looking. I will be delivering this painting today, just in time for it to be revealed at Karen and Jon's Christmas  Open House. (Can't wait to see it on the wall guys.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Commission in Progress

This is a sneak peak at another highway series painting I am working on. This is a commissioned piece, so it already has a home, which is very exciting. The photo is full of glares, but I wanted to post a  progress photo. I still have lots to do on it, and it will probably reincarnate a bit - but here is the start.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Needs a title - got any ideas?

Here is another painting I did this past weekend during the studio tour. I used a photo of my son and his friend for reference. They had both shown up outside to play dressed as Batman. This led to quite the discussion over which one of them was the real Batman. Some of the titles that were suggested for this piece were: BatMENish, I'm the REAL Batman, You be Robin
Have you got a better one? Send it to me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Toronto Skyline


We had a great turn out for our tour this year. I met a lot of art lovers and got to spend the weekend painting and talking to fellow artists. Above is one of the paintings I did this weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunrise Gallery Juried Art Show Winners- Kim and Me

Kim Rempell, First Prize Winner at the Sunrise Gallery 2nd Annual Juried Art Show

Tammy Hext (Me), Second Prize Winner at the Sunrise Gallery 2nd Annual Juried Art Show

The Sunrise Gallery had its 2nd Annual Juried Art Show this past weekend. My friend Kim Rempell took first prize (see her fabulous painting above) and I received second prize!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Moorings' Path

This is a plein air I did this past August at my parents' cottage. It is the path that leads down to the water.
This coming weekend is the opening for the 2nd Annual Juried Show at the Sunrise Gallery. Two of my paintings were accepted into the show this year. If you are in the area, pop in and say hello. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Looking Towards the Water

I painted this plein air over the Thanksgiving weekend in the Highland Glen Conservation Area. It was a gorgeous day and you could just see the water sparkling through the trees. This is an impasto painting done with a brush.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finally finished

I finally finished this one. I set it aside for a few weeks because I it was calling for me detail, but I was  afraid of putting to much in and losing the simple graphic quality I had already achieved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wild for Blue

Lots of intense colour in this one and big for a change. I have been working a little bit larger lately due to feedback from prospective buyers and from a feeling of being a little restricted by a smaller format. This one took me quite a while and a few incarnations before I was pleased with it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Orange Sunflowers

Another one of these sunflowers and in the square format that I really love.
The flowers still look great after a week, so I am hoping to get another painting out of them.

Blue Shadow

I found these orange and purple sunflowers? at the grocery store. I had never seen them before.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Plein air in Stratfod

A quick plein air done in Stratford Ontario. This was quite challenging as the cars parked on the street kept changing as I painted.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Orange Lily

I was not feeling well today, but decided to tackle a small panel so I would not feel like I wasted the day. This has taught me that even on days when I do not feel very creative pushing to do one painting can produce surprising results. I am pleased with this one. There is just enough there to suggest the glass and the lily. I did not get fussy with it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lazy River in Stratford

I painted this plein air in Stratford Ontario. It was a hot and humid day and the river was real still.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rainy Intersection

I painted this from a photo reference this past weekend while I exhibited at Art in the Park in Stratford Ontario.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Update on WIP

The picture is a little fuzzy, but I am almost finished with this one and thought I would share a sneak peak. I am at the stage where I need to decide how much more detail I will add. When I work larger I give myself more time to think about things before pushing further and it can lead to indecision and fear of messing it up. The only way to overcome that is to put  paint to canvas. Does anyone else encounter that?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Magnetic Mural

This is the mural I just finished in my son's room. I painted a 3 x 4 foot rectangle using magnetic primer. I then top coated it with house paint and painted a copy of one of Evan's dragon drawings on top. You can see in the photo that he already has magnetic words up on it to play with.
I found the magnetic primer to be very sloppy to work with and did 6 coats of it because the instructions indicated the more coats, the more magnetic it would be. I did not find much difference between 3 coats and 6. It does the job though.

Stratford Art in the Park setup

This past sunday I was at Art in the Park in Stratford Ontario. This is a picture of my setup. It was a really fun (but long) day and I made my first sale to a really delightful lady who has just published a book. You can check her book out here. I will be in Stratford again this saturday if it is not forecasted to pour.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hard at Work

Here I am hard at work painting live at the silent auction for Art in Action last night. See the painting I was working on in the post below.

Art in Action Silent Auction

Last night I painted live at Art in Action's Silent Auction. The auction was held at Honeywest, a local restaurant here in Burlington.
Painting live was quite a challenge but a lot of fun. I was backed into a corner, so I could not stand back from my work at intervals as I usually would. As the night went on this room was packed, but I was happy with my composition so I resisted adding more people in to it. I worked quickly, simplified, edited the space and came out with an interesting painting.
Thank you to everyone that came out (including the posse from my street); you made the night a lot of fun and a great success.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sandy's Garden Path

This is an 18 x 24 commissioned painting that I did yesterday onsite in my friend Sandy's garden. I am really pleased with how it turned out and I hope she is pleased is well. She has a beautiful garden - so gorgeous that is was difficult to pick just one scene and stick with it.
I worked on a cad red ground and this is all done with a brush - a departure from my usual knife work - but it felt right for this subject.
My friend and fellow artist Kim Rempel kept me company and did a painting of me working on this one. Check it out here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Work in Progress - Highway

I am continuing to work on some larger pieces. Here is the start of my next highway piece. The bare bones are just roughed in, things will most likely change a bit as I go.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Window Artist

Here is my son, the window artist, hard at work. He is using Crayola window crayons and I am so excited about this product. My son has fine motor skill issues and getting him to spend a good amount of time colouring is tough. He spent about two hours drawing masterpieces on my windows the other day and just loved it. Every once in while I had to correct his grip, but most of the time he was practicing a good grip and not even knowing it.
(This product wipes off really easy too.)

Sandy's Garden - Study #1

On saturday I went to my friend Sandy's garden to paint. I did two studies in preparation for a larger commissioned painting of her garden that I will start on this week - if the weather cooperates. These are rough studies and the first one is the composition that I plan to go with - although once I am working on a larger format I think I will include more than this study shows. It was quite a challenge to work so small; I kept wanting to get into the small details. But doing these studies did help me work out the composition, try out different greens, and just get into the project.
Sandy's garden is gorgeous and everywhere I turned there were interesting views, plants to paint. She may find I am a new fixture in her garden (I just hope she does not expect me to weed.)

Sandy's Garden - Study #2

This is the second study I did in Sandy's garden.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Garden Irises

This is a corner of my garden. I am going to a friend's garden to paint on saturday (if it does not rain) to work on a commissioned painting of her garden. I thought I should get warmed up so did this painting yesterday.
I learned a lot and this piece got me thinking about decision-making while painting. I find painting is a series of decisions, and my best paintings happen when I am not consciously aware that those decisions are being made; I am making them intuitively.
Originally this painting had more in it; the background behind the irises showed my neighbours garden. I changed this after asking myself 'what is the subject - the irises'. To bring more attention to them I cut out the detail behind. This decision gave large areas of colour for the eye to rest, but also made the background behind the painting shallower, more abstract in comparison to the plants.
I am happy with this piece but on the next one I will try and achieve more depth while still including the more abstract open areas of colour that I favour in my still lifes.
Painting landscape involves different decisions than painting still lifes and as with anything practice, practice, practice until it is intuitive.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm sick

I am sick so I will not be in Stratford, Ontario at the Art in the Park on saturday. I was really excited to be there tomorrow, but will be there on other weekends throughout the summer and will post the dates before I go.


I will be in Stratford, Ontario at the Art in the Park this saturday (along as the weather cooperates). If you are in the area, come and say hello.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day Bouquet

This is a painting of the bouquet I received on Mother's Day from my Mother-In-Law. It is still looking great, so I my paint another rendition of it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lemons and Irises

These are irises from my garden. I was going for a simple, almost graphic composition in this one.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Bottle of fuzion

I painted this on friday but it was too rainy and windy to take a photo of it until now. This is a bottle of wine that comes from Argentina called fuzion. I am no expert when it comes to wine, but I quite enjoyed this one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Myra's Great Art Book

Check out this great movie by artist Myra Anderson at 'Last Cup of Coffee'
(My son is featured as the map maker. He is thrilled and right this minute he is drawing a map to Myra's.)
Thanks Myra, you have inspired him. Evan also wants his own blog too.

Iris #4(blue underpainting)

This is the last painting, same palette but with an ultramarine blue underpainting. My favourite switches daily. What I have discovered is the monochromatic paintings (3 and 4) and the first painting (not sure how you would classify it) have a calm mood and energy. The second painting where I used a complementary colour scheme (yellow and violet) has an upbeat energy.
Have you got a favourite?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Iris #3 (violet underpainting)

Number three - this time with a violet underpainting. I noticed that I am getting looser with each painting as I get more comfortable/confident depicting the same still life set up.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Iris #2 (yellow underpainting)

Here is my second iris painting - same set up, same palette, but with a yellow underpainting. I think the yellow gives this one a different energy than the previous one.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Iris #1 (green underpainting)

The irises in my garden are out and they look amazing. I am going to experiment a bit with them by setting up the same still life for a few paintings but switch the underpainting colour I use on each one. My palette will remain the same, but I will see how the different ground colour influences or changes each piece. This is the first one - I used a muddy green as the ground - you can see it peaking through in the painting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Little Fairies

This painting is a surprise for my neighbour down the street. This is from a photo of their girls wearing these fabulous wigs. My son thought they looked like little fairies. I agonized over this painting more than usual. I think because I really wanted to get a great likeness of their girls, I wanted it to be special, and I am doing it on the sly and I do not know this family real well. Anyway I hope they love it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I can feel the sunshine coming. It has been beautiful weather lately and I am so excited for summer. This is a painting of my Mom. It looks like she is enjoying a quiet moment to herself - in reality she was actually watching 6 or more kids climb and jump over the groin she is sitting on. How she remains so calm during all the craziness I'll never know. I guess that is what makes her such a great teacher.
Cheers to you Mom!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Children's Book - A Preview

My children's book is finally ready and here is a sneak preview. I just received a copy in the mail yesterday and I am really pleased with the quality. The story is based on a dream my son was having when he was toilet training. I turned his fear into a fun little story where he saves the day in the end. He is really proud of the book and has been busy showing it to all his friends and our neighbours. If you wish to purchase a copy, just follow the link to the blurb store.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coffee Break

This is a portrait of Al and his coffee. I had a challenging perspective for this portrait and struggled to get the proportions just right.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Here is another sunset. Getting things to recede in a square format is a little trickier than when you use a rectangle. I like the square because it seems less traditional a format. Anyone else have thoughts on their favourite format?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Whizzing By

This is a small study for a larger painting. I am trying to work out what black I will use - a more brown one or blue one. I used a more brown based one here and I think it works well with the orange and reds of a sunset.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Palette Knife Portraits - Slideshow

Here is a slideshow of some of my recent palette knife portraits. The first and last portrait shown is of a friend - Haydain Neale of Jacksoul who passed away late last year. The music is by Jacksoul.

Friday, March 5, 2010

In a Hat

The portrait group I joined met again last night and I struggled with this one. I think if I had stopped at the two hour mark I might have been happier. Parts I am very pleased with, and some areas I wish I had pushed further - sometimes three hours is too much time and sometimes just not enough.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Children's book project - update

Here is another of the paintings for the book project I am working on. I am using a company called Blurb to self publish the book. They provide you with the software, you do all the work and they send you a finished book when you are done. They have an on-line store where your book can also be purchased. Once I have one and see that it printed well I will post a link so you can have a sneak peak at the contents.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Children's book project

For the last few days I have been working on a children's book that was inspired by a dream my son was having when we were toilet training him. In his dream there was a shark living in our toilet. I have been mulling this idea around for a year and started the pictures in pencil and watercolour. I was never quite satisfied with them and a fellow Toronto artist and teacher - Ed Shawcross had a look at them and suggested that I am an oil painter and should paint these images in oil. Well Ed - I could kiss you because this little idea I have been tossing around has now turned into 20 rocking little paintings. (Ed is currently working on a website and just wowed me when we met for coffee a while back. He can draw the human figure from his head with outstanding accuracy - I was in awe watching him work out my drawings and show me where I could improve them.) Thanks Ed!
I will post more on this book once I am finished. I am pleased with how it is panning out and my son is so excited now that he can see the pictures.