Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Cute Goat Painting

This is 'Stanley the Goat" a 10x14 acrylic painting, I absolutely love goats, they have wonderful character and are so much fun to paint with bold abstract art backgrounds. Gerald took me out road-tripping last weekend looking for a farm to photograph goats for future paintings. The farm where we had previously seen goats we could not get into so we wandered a few gravel roads, stopped at a country garage sale, bought a few books and found out where to find goats; jackpot. We found the farm and the farmer was home and willing came out with us to photograph her goats, so cool, she had fainting goats, billy goats, some goats with nice long ears, ah being an artist is a wonderful adventure I think next I will do a big ole billy, or maybe a doe and kid. just keep viewing to see what I paint next.

Tomorrow my solo show comes down in Donalda though I will be re-hanging some of the paintings in the upstairs part of the gallery so that those who missed the main exhibition will still be able to view a sampling of my work. The next place that "Wings of Creation will be showing is in Edmonton in the Atrium of The Kings University College from Sept 9th till end of Nov 09. This monday I deliver paintings to Cochrane for a July 1st opening at Westlands Gallery. This is a pretty exciting time for me. I will post later in the week about how the road trip to Cochrane and my fabulous opening goes, so have a great week and see you in Cochrane.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Memories of a Father

Happy Fathers day to the fathers of the world.
This is a memorial painting I did of my father. I choose a photo of him in uniform not only cause he fought in WW2 for what he believed was right, but also cause I believe my father never really came back from that war. I titled it "Resounding Silence" for the same reason, for all the unspoken words, deeds and loss of love due the deep soul shattering rages of war. War is inhuman, there are only losers all round, the toll too is great. My father spent most of his time absent from his children, either behind a newspaper, or tending his potato patch in the bush away from family. He could not stand noise, we always had to be quiet and thats a hard thing for a child, thank God we had acres to roam and trees to climb but as an adult I can see the reality of my fathers life and his torture that he tried to hide from us all. I saw my fathers tears as he told me that he "had seen too much in his life an he was tired, that he could not take anymore."  That is my last memory of my father, he died four months later, the very day I was going home to see him. Within the painting of bushy green I placed nine birds to represent myself and my siblings. I also placed a butterfly to represent my mother, symbolic of her love. 
I wish Love were enough, enough to save mankind from Wars, from hatred and prejudice, from the injustice we do to one another, I wish for Peace. I wish for butterflies and birdsong. I wish all the fathers peace and love.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chip'n Dale

 As promised earlier I am now posting the new paintings, this is Dale, inquisitive little fella isn't he. I am having so much fun depicting birds and critters. Its a pleasure to photograph them in their natural habitat and then get creative in the studio.

an well this is Chip of course. Both paintings are 8"x8" acrylic on canvas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Exhibition at Westlands Gallery, Cochrane

This is an exciting time for me, 2nd openings in Alberta in 2009 and more coming up so keep checking on the blog for future announcements.
Bright colorful paintings of birds and a chipmunk or two.  I pray that my work may bring smiles, cheer, serenity and joy into your hearts. May your day be blessed with the  riches of awe and wonder of our natural beauty from the miracle of the small bee who gathers nectar and turns it into honey, the birds that dance the sky snatching bugs to feed their brood, and the vibrant flowers now in bloom. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A wonderful day at the donalda Gallery for the Arts in Donalda

We had a wonderful warm sunny day for the artists in attendance at Donalda Gallery for the arts. Many other things were going on in the surrounding towns so not a large turnout yet pleased with the interest in my work by those who did come. Thank you to Bob Dawson and John Beaver for carving on location, that was wonderful and greatly added to the enjoyment of the day. Thank you Byron for your support and arranging for the wonderful eats. Thank you to all who attended, you're the greatest. I will post a few photos this coming week of the event when I have a chance to download them. Later on the way to Camrose my wonderful driver took the gravel roads so that I could photograph birds. Excitedly I captured a few good shots of a male bluebird. I am still figuring out how to use my new camera so I did miss some great photo-ops but that is to be expected I guess. Saw baby Coots, baby Killdeer, also Avocets and Grebes nesting and a varied assortment of ducks on the potholes. A lot of potholes are dried up this year so prime waterfront nesting sites are being ferociously guarded with much hissing and chasing off of trespassers. One again a thank you to the wonderful people who attended the opening, and to those who could not make it the show is on display  in Donalda till June 28.

Friday, June 12, 2009

One sleep left

The excitement is escalating, tomorrow is my opening in Donalda, Wings of Creation" at the historic Imperial Bank of Canada. My largest exhibition to date, 32 bird related painting are on display. Donalda has the largest working Lamp right across the street from  the bank and there is also a museum across the street that houses a large collection of lamps. 
Still have cookies to make and a picnic to prepare as I need to feed my driver / assistant. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Transcendental Omnipresence and a book review to boot

It has taken me longer than I thought it would to finish the paintings of the goat an the chipmunks, getting real close, they are at the stage of assessment and finishing touches. Been fighting a EDS headache for 3 days now yet managed to make a batch of oatmeal coconut cookies for the exhibition on saturday and a granny-smith apple crumble, mmm, so good I had some for breakfast. The pain meds get me buzzed enough to get through, though I hate having to take them, I'd rather be fit an healthy. Everyone has their sore spot in life and we just have to do the best we can with what we are given. I find by embracing the beauty I see and photograph which ultimately and intimately translates into paintings, helps to blunt the pain I live in. The motion of painting is a centering experience which enables blocking out nearly everything external. Becoming oblivious to the external when painting is meditative, its like uncontroled prayer and worship where there are no petitions, no requests, just the pure energy of creating. Its communion with the greater power, with Creator and Creation. Within creativity one has the opportunity to touch that aspect of the divine that is elusive when rushing through life, its the quiet space we give ourselves when we stop to admire the gifts of birds, butterflies, bugs and flowers, the smiles, the gentle touch, the warm hugs and the kind word, its enjoying the sun and the rain and the fine arts. 
The arts are a gift, whether it be dance, music, painting, poetry, writing, all these put us in touch with self, then with the higher self, and, can bring one into otherness that goes beyond self. The act of creating or the act of enjoying that which is created by others puts us in communion with life, with each other and with the God of our understanding. It is a gift and for that I am thankful.

  The Butterfly Whisper; Transcendental Omnipresence, acrylic on canvas, 20"x16"

This abundantly full painting about Creation is presently being displayed in Calgary. I used reference gathered  from the University of Alberta Devon Gardens butterfly house.  The painting grew as it evolved, I started with an idea of butterflies coming off the hand of creation and then allowed it to evolve with no other pre-conceived plan, I just kept adding plants, butterflies then a hummingbird to finish it off. From initial thought to final brush touches this work took over a year to completion. 

And while on the subject of gifts I was given the opportunity to read a book that Brad Huebert has written about spiritual life from his perspective. As a parent and a pastor he thankfully tends to think out-side of the religious box that so many churches have stymied in. Anyhow about Brads Book "Finding Home" it's a semi-surreal adventure about a man coming to the "Cross" roads in life. Its about choices and the confusion of coming to terms with the contradictions of religious life and its rules and spiritual life and its abundance. I have to say while reading the story I felt a sense of the confusion in line with the main character Ivan. As like the main character we all are left notes from God from time to time, but what do we do with the knowledge, do we jump right in, or hesitate, to find out what Ivan does you must read the book, cause I am not about to give away the ending.
Personally I would have liked the fantastic to have been pushed and developed a bit more, yet I find the book refreshing in how Brad depicts the struggle of Faith using Ivan as the metaphor.

To get a copy of "Finding Home" go to Amazon URL:
I also enjoy reading Brads blog. His writing is straight forward and employs down to earth every day situations and their outcome. His words are often humorous and at times deliciously cryptic and intuitive, words that entertain the thought process, his words make me think and that I like. Brads blog at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The week is flitting past, fast like a merlin after a sparrow. Saturday is my big day, my opening of "Wings of Creation" in Donalda AB. I am so looking forward to it.  The Meadowlark painting used on my exhibition invite will soon have a home to grace with its presence. Thank you Stephen.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Oriole and Grebe

Resting up after a wild, windy and very dusty Sunday of birding, and boy do I ache, but my heart is happy and I captured a few new species to me such as a Baltimore Oriole and an Eared Grebe. Baltimore Oriole
I love this pose. I had seen another bird that was quite red looking but the wind tossed branches in between it and the camera so no capture and no idea what it was, just a flash bright red is all I saw as it flew away. Gerald says I can't get everything in one day, but I sure try. I think I have become a bird addict which is great as I now have a lot of reference photos to paint from. The hardest choice is what bird to paint first and whether in a natural or abstract setting.
Eared Grebe 
I was excited about this one as I have photographed Rednecked Grebes, Horned Grebes,  Pied-billed Grebe and a Western Grebe in the last two summers yet never even saw an Eared Grebe till sunday. Ah Nature is so grand, fresh air, clean water, fruits of the earth and  wondrous gifts of beauty we were given to care for, its a shame that as humans we are so quickly devastating that bounty which we need to live healthily and to nourish our bodies and our souls. Like an ugly monstrous serpent the pipelines that are criss-crossing Alberta are ripping apart the land, leaving deep scars in its wake. Scars that can be photographed from the heavens. Those in power not caring what is being devastated in it path, oblivious of medicines, nesting sites or the general health of the land its animals and its people.  What is going to happen when these pipes leak, and they will at some point in time as that is the nature of things man-made or natural, they deteriorate. Have you ever heard the earth cry, have you ever felt her pain? When will our society get smart and start thinking generations ahead for the good of our great grandchildren as the Elders instruct us too instead of only grabbing for the "dollar" of the day ill-regarding tomorrow?