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.
A new mini. A damselfly perched on a yellow waterlily also called “spadderdock” and a lot of other names. These flowers are not as classically lovely as the white waterlilies that I also grew up with, but there’s something fascinating about these intensely yellow blooms. I also enjoyed a relatively simple colour palette for a change!
This one was painted en plein air out on our deck on this lovely sunny Victoria Day long weekend. It took two afternoon sessions because of the larger than usual canvas and the quickly changing light. Luckily, it was sunny both Saturday and Sunday so I was able to continue in very similar conditions. I decided to really abstract the background elements – both the slatted table the vase was sitting on and the forest and sky beyond are represented by playing around in value tones. With the bouquet itself, I had a lot fun deciding which elements to pull out in some detail and which to make more suggestive. A very pleasant way to spend some time with the scent of lilacs wafting by…
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.
Usually, I post a painting amd say a few words about it but this week, my featured artist spot at a local gallery opened so I wanted to share! In all there are about twenty of my pieces hanging in the gallery until June 4th including some abstracts, my Skyflowers series and my Exploring the Edges series. I was so delighted to see it all hanging together!
Working as an artist can be quite isolated at the best of times and the past two years even more so. Having the chance to share my work and have positive feedback from other artists and gallery visitors was quite moving.
Having some fun with oyster catchers and capturing the feeling of the edge between ocean and land. Growing up in Ontario, the idea of tides is something I have had to learn as an adult. It’s fascinating how the shifting water levels shape that edge. I could watch the many creatures that take advantage of this habitat for hours.
I was recently commissioned to paint a surprise pet portrait for someone’s birthday. Luckily, I had access to some photos of the kitty but somehow it still took two tries to get it right. The first one above, is really cute right? But just doesn’t look like the actual cat! I think I was trying to make it extra cute and ended up with a kitten lol. Anyway, the second try hit a sweet spot – still cute and looks like the right cat. Yay!
The added hazard to this project was that the recipient also does pet portraits! Yikes. Anyway, he loved it so it’s all good.
PS yes, this kitty’s eyes really are that colour!
image (C) 2022 Hilary Farmer (based on owner photo)
Continuing to feel the need for a feeling of summer sunshine and warmth. This local tri-colour bumble bee is enjoying the pollen of the blackberry blossoms. Blackberries are a bit controversial here because the (now) most common variety is a non-native invasive species …but sooo delicious. The native wild ones are even better – when I can find them!
While I am working on some larger ongoing pieces, I thought I would continue painting some minis. Sometimes, I need to let the larger paintings sit – to dry a bit before adding more layers but also to let them percolate before I go full steam ahead and obliterate things that I may actually want to keep. I can be impulsive that way. 😉
Anyway, this mini is inspired by a meadow full of wild flowers and humming with bees that I visited while in Ontario this past summer.
A few weeks ago the arbutus trees behind our house were full of flitting varied thrushes just pausing long enough to snatch a berry. Such beautiful birds! I wanted to capture the feeling of the scene in this small painting.