Sunday, August 28, 2016

through the garden gate

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I spent Saturday at the Toronto Botanical Gardens with fellow artists from the Don Valley Art Club. It's a place I've painted at many times before however, this time, I stumbled across a hidden garden archway. I think I'm finally getting the hang of plein-air painting. It's soooo challenging. 
$200 - 8x16"painting
Here's my set up - 
and here's me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Portraits, Portraits, Portraits!

Another Sunday at the Don Valley Art Club doing portraits of fellow artists. This group is great! We sit for each other for 25 minute sessions. So, we get a lot done. : )
(Click on pics to see one after the other).
I think this one was most successful. The first photo is how it looked after 25 minutes of painting in the studio. Once at home, I added a bit of ear, some hair top right, a bit of purple to the glasses and a bit more green to the shirt. I would like to 'fix' parts of the face however, without the model, I dare not! I'm happy with the freshness of it.
Here's another - 
Again, the first is after 25 minutes of studio painting with the model. At home, I got rid of the blue blob on the top left of her head! Then I barely touched up the eye, which I never did get right since her hair was covering parts of it, but painting her hair was a blast! : ) Finally, I softened her shirt at the neck. Again, I'd like to do more, but not without the model.
I'm very happy with the resemblance of this one! Although I think I made the mistake of painting it in 'pieces'.
Finally, with this last one, I let myself experiment with the shadow side. Lots of purples and blues. I think a male portrait can take a lot more dark shadow whereas a female portrait needs a lighter touch.
Learned lots!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2016

in the park

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Another sketch from the Toronto Music Garden is now painted. I tried to keep it loose and fresh... and "splattery"! 
$60 (USD)- 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat. Ready to pop into a frame!!
close ups - 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

harbourfront hollyhocks

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Here's one of my drawings from a few posts back, of the Toronto Music Garden, with paint added. I'm very happy with this one. : )
$60 - 5x7"painting with an 8x10"mat.
close ups-

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today's homework - the ear

With all my drawing experience, there's one thing I've been avoiding. The ear! So far I've gotten away with squiggly lines covered with enough hair as not to draw attention to it. Today I thought, while looking through some old drawing exercises from my first art teacher, Mark Thurman, that it was time to have a better understanding of the ear. I think it was time well spent. : )

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Don Valley Art Club Portrait Session

I spent the day at the Don Valley Art Club, where we artists model for each other for one 25 minute session each. I managed 4 watercolour portraits and I like this one the best. Great exercise! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

drawing freely!

Recently, I spent some time sketching at the wonderful Toronto Music Gardens. I was inspired by a few wonderful books by the awesome NY artist Veronica Lawlor, about drawing free of judgement, analysis or interpretation. Just take the line for a walk! Google her and check out her work. Her drawings are fascinating.
So, working with a Micron 03 pen, I just drew what I saw as quick as I could.  Here are four more I did.
I really enjoyed this approach, loosening up as I went. Lots of drawings quickly, with no time to think in between. Now, to paint them... : )

Thursday, August 11, 2016

morning light

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Back from vacation and into the studio with this simple still life. I love this little water spritzer that I found at a garage sale. I usually can't find anything at sales, but this original watering device caught my eye. I found a glass one too. The morning light, a clementine and a flower seemed to suit it well. : )
$80 - 8x10"painting
close ups-

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

the evening Bow River

Well, this is my first painting on rough watercolour paper! It's wonderful. I felt the subject just called for it. This painting is the beautiful Bow River and one of it's many splinter rivers that it's strong current creates.
$60 - 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat.
close ups-

Monday, August 08, 2016

road trip

The trip to Banff and Calgary was just fantastic!! I had an amazing time. The only painting I did was this one, heading into Banff. Happily, too busy hiking and biking to get any painting done! Perhaps next time. Now, back to the studio. : )

Saturday, July 23, 2016


I tried some new paper for this one. Cold-Pressed! Very rare for me, since I love hot-pressed watercolour paper. I also bought a few new brushes so playing around with them too. I had a great time painting these two friends. : )
$50 - 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat.
p.s. - just a reminder, all paintings will be shipped when I return, on Aug. 8th. See you in August! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

family trip

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I woke up bright and early this morning and painted these little guys in the morning sun. I tried to keep it simple. Meanwhile, still practising painting mountains in preparation for my trip. One more week!
$60 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat.
close ups-

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lake Agnes

This is my first mountain painting! I'm practising my lake and mountain paintings, from my photos, before my trip to Banff this summer, so I'm not completely lost when I get there.
Lake Agnes has a beautiful hike around it which ends at a Tea House, can't wait. 
I used the wonderful Holbein watercolour paint called Horizon Blue for the water.  It's an opaque colour, in fact they add white to it, and I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I thought I'd challenge myself with a completely new subject matter this week. So the title, exploring, has two meanings. ; )

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

funny story

$60 - 5x7"painting with acid-free mat, ready to pop into an 8x10" frame!

These women are sharing a good joke!

Monday, July 04, 2016

tell me a story

5x7"painting with 8x10"mat, ready to frame!

I loved painting this one. The woman on the left was really enjoying sharing her story with her friend, who sat perfectly still, riveted to every word her friend said. 
The people out the window are pencil marks left unpainted, a new approach that I think I'll keep experimenting with.

Sunday, July 03, 2016


I love drawing and painting people with some kind of colourful loose realism. Is that a thing... colourful, loose, realism?! ; )
8x10" watercolour painting
closeups - 

Friday, July 01, 2016


click here to buy 
$60 - 5x7"painting with 8x10"mat
It's #WorldWatercolorMonth!! 
And it's Canada Day, so this piece is titled "construction dudes" drinking from Canadian flag cups!
close ups -

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Canada Day

Here are a few paintings I did for Canadian Independence Day!
Canada gained it's independence July 1, 1867. 
Happy Canada Day! : )