Tuesday, June 22, 2010

still waiting

Still waiting for my camera to be repaired and returned. I sure miss the speed of the D50 compared with my old Rebel. The Rebel takes good pics but is soooo slow that its difficult to use for birds or any movement. I had to laugh as at my attempt yesterday of capturing bees at the entrance of a rose, by the time the camera registered the image the bee was no longer there.

Gerald drove me to Donalda on saturday. I delivered the just completed mini-paintings to the Donalda Gallery. I like supporting the gallery, its pretty cool as its situated in a heritage bank building. Its run by the Donalda Arts Society which I know takes a lot of commitment for the small group that persevere to keep the doors open to the public and showcase rural artists work. A grant covers the wages for a  summer student to man the gallery during the summer. Presently there is a wonderful exhibition of Glenda Beavers paintings showcasing fifty years of painting.
Next stop, Heisler, and Mrs Potts Tea Bar and Fine Gift Emporium.  Its quite the happening place that Donna Lynne has. While we were there many people came in for ice-cream being as it was a hot day. Mrs Potts has quality consignments from jewelry to antiques as well as fine art. While there I purchased two circular cut and polished shells to use in a future Retablo. I just cannot resist pretties.

Then onward to say hello to Dave and see if he could spot me a meadowlark down the lane, but the meadowlarks were elusive; not even calling. We saw sheep that went to school, I don't think they were Mary's lambs though.

Later in the day homeward bound touring along gravel roads I spotted a meadowlark. Excitement meshed with frustration due the slow camera speed. But grace was accompanying and I was granted a few good shots that are workable for painting reference.

Savannah Sparrow
Saw many of these sweet little birds on the barbed wire and fence posts.

I believe this is a Vespers Sparrow. Its amazing how it blends into the road gravel.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

pretty in blue

"Pretty In Blue"
My 5th mini-painting in a week. All are 5x5 acrylic paintings on artist-quality canvas. I originally was going to go with 6x6 canvas but was informed that 6x6 in the brand I use is student grade and from experience I believe in working on good quality substrates. The first 4 acrylic paintings I completed years back were on student grade canvas. Much later on a trip to Delta, John sold me artist quality; wow, what a difference, previously I thought all canvas was equal aside from quality linen, now I know better and advise not to use student grade. I believe student grade supplies do a great dis-service to budding artists. So much easier to use quality materials and less headaches in the end. This especially goes for paint. I had given up acrylic painting to begin with as I was sold student grade, which is greasy, ugh! And the smell, double ugh! I now use liqitex acrylics as it does not make me feel ill as the others did, though I keep a window open for air circulation when painting as paint off-gases. I am so glad I was informed about Delta Arts in Edmonton as the staff are informed, knowledgeable and helpful. Kudos to a store that takes art seriously. May they be in business for a long time to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2 more mini paintings

"Morning Star Fox"
There is a den under a patio in Camrose. When I got out early for a walk around the lake one day an older fella told me to walk at  5am and I would see a fox and kits. Well I can barley move at 5am let alone venture outdoors. Wonderfully one day I was graced with this young upstart who refused momma fox heeding and sat outside the den in the morning sun long enough for me to get a few fuzzy shots.  I was quite a distance away on the opposite side of the lake when I spotted him and by the time I got close he had vanished under the decking. 

"The wind through the forest" Pileated Woodpecker
I have been wanting to paint the Pileated woodpecker for some time now. It was difficult deciding on the background as my canvas base color is a bold cadmium yellow which although did not take away from the bird, did nothing for it either. After a few tries at backgrounds that did not satisfy I finally decided on warming it up with azo yellow and cad orange, underneath is also cad red which helps with the warmth.  Now I believe it works.

Friday, June 4, 2010

bits and pieces

Yesterday I was going through some small pieces that need framed. I decided to keep the setting of this "Yellow-rumped Warbler" bold by using a colorful mat surround that matches the paint color.
 I will be taking these paintings to the Donalda Center for the Arts this weekend. Its a wonderful gallery space in a historic bank in Donalda about an hour drive from Camrose. I love when we go through the coolies as we usually stop at Ferry Point Crossing for a picnic lunch or supper. My new camera had to be sent back as it was inconsistent and getting worse, so I am going to have to use my old standby, my 6 pix Rebel. I must make note that this first edition SLR Rebel is a fantastic camera, its what I used to capture these images.

"Tattered Splendor"
There is beauty and strength in the butterflies, they keep to their life purpose, though ravaged and tattered they keep on.
I changed up this one, cropped to a tighter composition and splashed more color on. I didn't photograph the original so cannot make a comparison, but this interpretation feels more intimate than the original did.

"Fritillaries Delight" 
this one I finally matted and is now ready to pop into the frame.

"Natures Gift"
This one was painted in two sessions. A few years back my niece gave me this wonderful bouquet of sunny flowers. At the time I loosely roughed the flowers in and had left the background white. Recently I dug it out of my portfolio as I felt it had potential if pushed further. So yesterday I pushed and played with color. I am quite happy with the end results.

Wishing all a big smile and a warm hug!