I spent several days on this one layering up the paint and carving out the shapes …exploring until I felt I had achieved the feeling I was looking for …tranquility. This was done as a commission but with complete free rein in terms of subject and execution. I feel both grateful and humbled to be given this kind of freedom in a commission. The location where it will hang has a spa-like calm feeling so I wanted to build on that with this painting. The yellow waterlilies (or spadderdocks) are reminders for them of canoeing on the Ontario lakes they love.
This sweet bumble bee and apple blossoms painting is another mini. The spring this year has been unusually cold and damp with sightings of pollinators being few and far between. Then recently we had a warmer, sunnier day and there they were – all different sizes and types of bees in the garden. It made me feel so good that I wanted to paint a celebratory bee painting. Hope you enjoy!
I hadn’t painted a mini in a while and for some reason a banana slug seemed like a good idea! They are a distinctive creature that we have here on the West coast and while some may just find them slimey, I think they’re rather …well, actually beautiful with their varying shades of yellow, dark spots etc. This one is nicely contrasted with some soft green mosses.
Painting a larger piece with the theme of birds in flight seemed natural after creating the smaller ones. The scale of this one allowed much more in terms of setting. The whole thing evolved intuitively as the layers built up. One of the final elements was the bridge crossing a narrow chasm in the foreground. I suddenly realized there was a path to look out over the ridge. That must be some spectacular view! I enjoyed the idea of that other view which here is just hinted at but the main feature is the sky full of birds darting and skimming through the air – the feeling of exultation.
A second take on the murmuration theme. I enjoyed trying this one with a limited cool palette giving the feeling of quite late in the day. The sun has already gone past the horizon with just a warm glow left and the sky heading towards that pre-darkness deep blue. I love that colour! Silhouetted birds fly in the dusk.
A larger painting that I will be including in my upcoming featured artist slot in a local gallery. I love the feeling of movement and as well the capturing of a feeling of time. There is a sense of both high and low tide; both morning and evening; transparency and reflections.
The shapes of the waves are stylized and rhythmical. The clouds are wind-blown ribbons.
The shapes of the waves turn into fish…
Hints of sea stars, sea anemones, sea weeds and more…
A gull wonders if it’s time to fly off with the others.
I started with the idea of a murmuration in my mind. The dips and turns of the birds flying together, the rustle of their wings… Later, the colours came telling me it was evening. Birds dart and soar, perhaps snatching the odd insect out the the air before retiring to roost for the night.
This one is full of the details of life at the ocean’s edge, but it also has the feeling of something allegorical. Although I am not exactly sure I can analyze what the allegory is! The heron – that ancient bird – seems like a sentinel guarding this life. It feels like a sort of ending. An eternal moment frozen.
This mini was based on a photo I took visiting my parent’s home last summer. The flowers were blooming and everything was alive with pollinators of all kinds. I kind of felt that this butterfly was looking a bit askance at me but I decided it was just shy. 🙂
Further exploration of the ocean’s edge, this is another intuitive painting which grew into itself. I really didn’t know what I was going to paint, but I was feeling drawn again to the rocky coastal zone. The pops of colour are more realistic than the semi-abstracted painting might seem, since there are all colours of seaweeds here as well as purple and orange starfish.