Brown House, Fernwood

And now, one of the finest paintings I have done to date:

Brown House, Fernwood 16 X 20" 2008
Yes, it really is brown, but all the blues and violets make it look yellow or orange. OK, I guess it is kinda yellowish. I did, though, muddy the tube yellow with considerable amounts of violet to dull it down.

Extremely gratified with this piece, especially the strict composition with it's rigid framework of horizontals, verticals and diagonals, subtle colour harmonies and sensitive modulations, and overall dry, gritty, matte paint quality.

Because the camera loses so much, I took the trouble of scanning the thing in so I could present the painted surface--and the colours-- a little more accurately.

Here, I think I successfully represented the "twiggy-ness" of overgrown and leafless bushes without having to paint every twig, and the glare of the winter sky with some wet-into-wet paint application. I was heavily inspired by both Cezanne and Pissarro in the handling of the bush/ wall interface, as you can see.

Mmmm, candy! Love those coppery/ mauvey modulations.

All the planes in this piece--maybe even the roof planes--have been aligned with the picture plane (that is, the 2-D actual painted surface). This gives the painting a monumentality and static gravity, in spite of its relatively small size. It holds the wall.

More of the same, please!!


Posting Some New Work, Finally

Road To The Sky 16X 20" 2008
Another painting from my jaunt down the Douglas Lake Road 10 years ago. Not sure about this one.... Maybe a better photo that a painting? The only challenging part was beating the bank at the left into some semblance of order. It always amazes me that the simplest things are the most difficult--like in life, I guess.

Farm in Delta 16 X 20" 2008
I took this shot on the back way to Tsawwassen, riding along the dike--feeling very Dutch! The sun had just started to break through after a morning of rain. I had spent the weekend with Dan and Erin at their cabin on Harrison Lake (see posts from last fall), and had stayed the night with Cousin Nancy and her family. Nancy has a great sense of navigation, and it was she who tipped me off to the possibility of a bike trail around the Hwy 91/ Hwy 10 interchange. So I saved myself some stress and got some cool pix in, thanks to her!

I'm pretty happy with this little piece, especially because I painted the sky in one straight go, the tones are true, and the colour is subtly creative. There is a lot more to the composition than meets the eye at first glance, too. I had to make very few corrections overall, and had some really nifty things take place, just by letting them happen. Notice the two shallow diagonals on the left (one in the sky and one in the field). Also notice the compression formed by the curves in the bottom of the clouds and the curves of the brambles.... It seems to have the sense of depth I was looking for, while still respecting the flatness of the picture plane. Depth is created here by overlapping planes and by diagonal lines once again. The pale blues of the barns push them back into space, but the warm, strong adjacent touches bring them back into plane again. So there is a tension between depth and flatness, although maybe depth finally wins out.

Also, some psychology going on, almost behind my back. Hint: I've always wanted to own land. Forever out of reach, I guess.


Birthday Potluck at the Cafe

Best birthday ever. The big treat was to have all my core group in one room, all talking to each other!! Love you guys. The music was awesome!! The food was too--and only one of my pies got eaten, so I had the other whole one to take home for myself :)

Cousin Nancy came over with her two daughters--and grand-daughter--from Langley, which was really nice. Mike and Ray were there as well, so there was 4 of us cousins. How cool is that!?

Some of my friends have already posted photos on their Facebook pages, but here are a few great shots taken my Miriam Mulhall, wife and mother of the musicians.

Extra special thanks must go to Julian and Blair for the tunes which held us spellbound, Howie for all the very kind logistical support, extra dishes and flat out good vibes. Also to Tammy and Joji for the help with setup, and of course, Miriam for the photos!

And thanks to all who came, brought food, hung out helped with the cleanup and celebrated with me. And thank you all for the kind words on my art.

I can't imagine my life without my friends, and luckily, I don't have to. I sometimes think that my freinds are my greatest asset. They probably are.

I will be posting some new paintings here when I get the chance, which hopefully will be before I leave on a hike of the Juan de Fuca Trail with a friend.

And (huge sigh of relief) the day-job may be sorting itself out in a way that is very suitable to me and my career in art. This is a blessing as well.