My husband and I went on a camping trip to the Sunshine Coast, B.C. for 3 nights. It was a feast for an artist's eyes! I brought my homemade water colour paper sketch book and tried to sketch and paint on location although a couple were finished from a photo. The 5" x 7" sketchbook was perfect for sitting on the edge of the water with the tide creeping closer.
The Courtyard Gallery hosted the Enderby Arts Festival yesterday. I borrowed a canopy tent and couple of tables and set up shop with cards and paintings for sale. I had only done that a couple of times a few years ago so had to figure it all out again. The challenge was painting a plein air (outdoors) still life with 2 wonderful artists; Dawn Scott and Marg Froess, both gallery artists. The three of us had never done this before. The first one was at 9:30 with a still life of flowers from Dawn's garden and we painted for about half an hour without worrying about finishing it. The second was at 11:30 and we painted a still life of small beach toys for about half an hour. Yesterday was really hot so I quit before I was done. I also had a canopy and tables that I attended to as well; during and in between. Marg and Dawn had so many people visit and chat with them, it was difficult to get the painting in!
We each painted different sizes and Marg even painted the second one on a black canvas. I painted both of mine on a 20" x 16" canvas in oil. Marg and Dawn painted in acrylic and struggled more than I did with the paint drying so quickly in the heat. One of the interesting aspects for passerby's is that although we were painting the same thing, we had different views and interests as well as styles. Can you guess which ones belong to each artist?
@courtyardgallery @enderbydistrictartscouncil #enderbyartsfestival #pleinairpainting #paintingdemo
I will have a couple of tables with paintings and art cards for sale tomorrow. For extra fun, artists Dawn Scott, Marg Froess and myself will be doing a still life demo at 9:30a.m. and 11:30a.m. just outside the Courtyard Gallery. It will be fun to see the same still life set up painted in our own individual ways. It is not a contest or race but more to show the variety of colours, views, set ups and painting styles. The paintings will probably not be finished in the time given, hence it being a demo. Please come and join us to cheer us on. This is something new for all 3 of us. There will also be other artists painting en plein air at various locations. The street in front of the gallery will be closed to traffic making it a fun, friendly and safe family activity.
I bought this online class at the end of 2021 (Merry Christmas to me!) and really enjoyed following along. I think I was not only drawn to the scene but also to the beautiful colours. Painting along with the few colours I had brought on a holiday was both challenging and fun. I love the thick texture in the front poppies that really made them "pop". I have so many photos of roadside poppies in England and Spain that I will have to paint a series. Oh my, my list just keeps getting longer!
I happily participated in the #OpusPleinAirChallenge this year. It was fun as you could participate in events, with friends or alone as long as you were enjoying yourself with art supplies outdoors. These are photos of some of my adventures.
Below left - Gardom Lake, B.C.(painted on a dock), The next three are drawn in one continuous line each while travelling in the passenger seat. The bottom two are sketch book pages painted under a canopy while camping in the rain.
For this year's show, artists have painted a round canvas with floral designs, colours and patterns that are in the style of the embroidery on the Ukrainian national costumes. 100% of the proceeds of these artworks will go directly to local Ukraine refugee families. The round paintings will be displayed on the stage of the Red Barn Art's Centre in Sicamous, B.C. Please come and enjoy the wonderful local art and crafts (hours below). The fundraising painting that I painted is below. There will be around 16 for sale by different artists as well as the regular annual Art Show and Sale. Come and enjoy the air conditioning while enjoying this years art and craft show. I will be there Wednesday night 7-9pm (meet the artist open house), Thursday June 30 and Friday July 1, make sure you say hi.
I enjoyed a beautiful day painting along side the Rail Trail during the plein air event organized by the Vernon Community Arts Center and sponsored by Opus Arts Supply. Painting anywhere along the Rail Trail between Lake Country/Oyama to Coldstream/Vernon. My lovely sister Shannon met me for the beginning and we enjoyed our lunch after the first painting, then I moved onto Keluki Bay area for the next two.
The wind-up was held at the Vernon Arts Center with drinks, snacks and judging. A final chance to meet more artists, talk shop and share our experiences. It was wonderful to meet artists of all ages and abilities! I would highly recommend to put this on your calendar for next year. There were no fees or rules, just bring your supplies out and enjoy the ever changing views.
I managed to get three plein air pieces done. The first two were painted in oil, 10" x 8", 8" x 10" and the final 5" x 7" with an Elegant Writer calligraphy pen and water. The spots are small bugs. I've already marked my calendar to watch for it next year! Hope to see you there.
@vernoncommunityartscentre @opuspleinairchallenge #paintwithjoy #paintingmakesmehappy #onlocationlandscapeartist #oilpleinairpainting #pleinairpainting @karenoliversfineart #karenoliversartjourney
The water colour painting below is part of a fund raising initiative "The Ukrainian Refugee Fundraiser Through Art" at the Enderby Arts Centre at 617 Cliff Avenue. This fundraiser will be on display and sold during the month of June. My painting depicts a crow flying away with a national costume head dress following other crows. The crows on the line with their backs to the viewer behaving like there is nothing unusual happening (the world's initial response). A group of crows is called a "murder". All proceeds are donated.
I also used my drawing for a fund raiser in Sicamous, B.C. I painted this one in acrylic on a very large board, 4 feet x 4 feet, sealed for exterior use. This is part of the Communities In Bloom initiative. It is designed to hang on the outside of a building or fence. If interested in purchasing it, please contact Eagle Valley Arts Council.
Last Friday I took out my plein air gear at the Brush and Palette Club meeting to get reacquainted. It had been over a year since I had the whole kit out and my oil paints were sealed shut. I found soaking the lids in hot water worked best and finally got them all open. I was surprised as I usually put Vaseline around the rim then put the lids on and have no problem. Well I used up all my painting time just getting myself organized. Today was another opportunity to give it a try but deep dark rain clouds were looming so I thought I would try painting flowers outside. It felt great!! My friend Ev showed up with a house gift and as we laid on the grass, we had some fun with the camera, what a wonderful way to spend some of the afternoon.
Pre-covid I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful day painting outdoors in an event that welcomed all artists of all ages and abilities to create along the Rail Trail between Cold Stream (near Vernon) and Lake Country. My sister Shannon accompanied me with a wagon filled with chairs, lunch, drinks and my art supplies and off we went. Lots of people walked and biked by, some stopping to chat and share encouragement. It was a really fun day as we enjoyed each other's company, Shannon finally had a day off to sit and read while I happily painted away.
Paintings were then on display at the Vernon Art's Centre for a couple of weeks, what fun!! I am certainly planning on going again and hope Shannon can join me. It was certainly a surprise to see a photo of myself on this year's advertisement! If you are in the area (biking, walking or participating), hopefully you will find me to say hello!
I was watching the hockey playoff game between our Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers with our family. In between what I call cheering (our daughter calls "yelling at the TV"), I pulled out a piece of paper and started doodling zentangle patterns. Then, because there was more game left, I started colouring them in with pencil crayons. The irony here is that zentangle is suppose to be a meditative practice and perhaps that is exactly what it was doing for me as I kept my eye on the game and my ears on high alert.
What I found interesting when I took photos for this post is that in the black and white photo, the lighter colours did not show up at all - a true lesson in viewing values!
More fun and learning in my homemade sketchbook. Week 15 (top left) with Dina Wakley was mixed media, abstracted figure and really worked wet! (@dinawakley). Week 16 (top right) PLACEMENT - Angela Kennedy This was fun using a very old image and reworking it anew. The whole piece was painted in a watercolour background with salt drying to make the pattern. Ink, black and white gesso were also used. (@pennystamper). Week 17 (bottom) Tara Roskell had a fun, abstract and colourful story-telling class. She abstracted the face, shifted features and used them to tell a story. She did hers with neocrayons (water soluable) and I did mine with watercolour pencils. This was certainly fun! (@tararoskell)
This art gallery of surrounding area artisans is a hidden gem. Just a block off the TransCanada highway, it is certainly worthy of a stop. Artists brought in new work to the gallery and the design and hanging committee is hard at work setting everything up. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The hosts are artists or artisans so questions and "art speak" is welcomed. My five paintings below are in this show. Enjoy a visit!
Update: Lower left painting is SOLD (Thank you!!!) The purchaser has decided to leave it in the Courtyard Gallery for a period of time for others to enjoy (Another thank you!).
I have really enjoyed this weekly demo by a different artist of their process. I was in Mexico with sparse art supplies so the demos were done in my homemade sketch book with whatever materials I had on hand.
Week 11, Top left, Juna Biagioni demo was a monoprint with a pencil and soft pastel, something completely new for me! His nose got a little heavily coloured but enjoyed this messy fun art. Week 12, top right demo was by artist Katrina Szyszkoski (@katszyszk). I was delighted to find she started with a black calligraphy pen called an "Elegant Writer" which I had with me as well as a pencil and a thin black pen but that was it. Katrina also used India Ink for the darkest darks, white pencil for highlights and a couple of coloured water soluble crayons which she diluted in some areas with water. Loved what I could do of the process and watched the rest. Week 13 (bottom left ) was a demo done by Dylan Sara. He used handmade inks in various earth tones. I did not have any inks so to get the similar colours I layered on coffee. I could not get the darks that he did as the coffee just loosed up and came off the brush when I tried to add layers. I watched the rest of his process. Now, to look up handmade inks and how lightfast they are - who knew?
Below are some of the sketches I did while in Mexico following along with different artists showing different ways of working in a sketchbook. These artists all teach classes so if you were interested in learning more you could. I had very limited supplies so used what I had and did the best I could to follow their process. I am certainly going to add this to my calendar for next year (and have a few more supplies on hand!). The classes are open for viewing until April 30 so you can check them out for free/
This is the first year I have watched and worked from (free online course) Karen Abend's Sketchbook Revival 2022 (in it's fifth year) where different artists show or teach an art process that can be done in a sketchbook or daily practice. As I was in Mexico and had very limited supplies, I tried to do something similar in my sketchbook and really enjoyed the challenge of trying to be similarly creative with very limited supplies. Below are some of my sketches done in my homemade watercolour sketchbook. These artists are very inspiring and all have an online presence with art classes and art for sale. It ends tomorrow and I am not sure how long it will be online for but you can check it out here and then put it in your calendar for next year.
This year long course of a weekly demonstration of an artist's process has been really fun. With travelling I have very few supplies but try to do something in my handmade watercolour sketchbook. Week 9 was a lovely demo using a craft clay, sculpting a head and then painting it. The artist is Kathy Lewis aka KJ Allison (@stampagirl) and she was making a head she called "Poindexter's Other Brother". I have never worked with this clay and only have my watercolours and a black pen to work on my watercolour paper. Kathy layered the colours as she painted and I tried to do the same, what fun!
Week 10 artist is Jennifer Bonneteau (@jenniferbonneteau) and her demo was called "Silly Selfies". She took a fun selfie, manipulated it on her computer printed it out and then traced it out on watercolour paper. She used a wonderful assortment of Sharpie felt pens and a lot of cross hatching. Alcohol helped to blend the colours like a painting. Once again, I have no photocopier, Sharpie pens, or alcohol but I did have 5 Zebra fountain pens that I found if I added water after cross hatching, the colours bled but once dried, could not be manipulated. This was fun and because it started with a selfie, I was not worried about the end result. Another colourful entry in my travel sketchbook.
Working through the weekly demo in the "Let's Face It, 2022" by Kara Bullock Art has been interesting, challenging and fun. I am in Mexico and have very few art supplies which make trying to work through the demo difficult. The portrait on the left was my rendition of a demo by
Christa Forrest. I only had a small sketchbook with cheap rough watercolour paper, water colours and pencil. Christa is a mixed media artist and used all kinds of wonderful art tools. I was pleased with how this turned out considering the tools I had.
The second portrait on the right was week 7 and the artist demo was by Nadyia Duff. She had a very expressive way to do this portrait and it involved layers of hatch marks and painting with felt pens, gel pens, markers, pens, acrylic paint watercolour paint. It was a very expressive way to work. I only had a pencil, felt pen and water colours. I did have a very small jar of clear gesso so I put that over the first couple of layers to hold them in place which worked well and will use that process again.
Last week I chose my location as I was the only one available to sketch so back I went to Ancora beach bar. Looks like I just missed a huge event/party/wedding the night before as bags with sand still had lit candles marking the walkway and tubs were still full of bags of ice and cases of large pop bottles. There were flowers on the bar so that was my first sketch and the second was a very tipsy palapa and beach chair which struck my interest considering the state of the venue.
Yesterday Amy, Gail and I met near the recently emptied lagoon to sketch and paint. We did not take a group photo of our work but Amy worked in oil, Gail in gouache and I in watercolour. The first photo below is a two page spread in my homemade watercolour sketchbook of the lagoon view. The second is of a very tall plant just in front of me. Wonderful chatting and creating with these two!
This painting started out as a "Mining" exercise in an art group I belong to on Mightynetworks called 4C. We were to take a photo and break it down into shapes, rework and come up with a better image to paint. This one surprised me as I mined it right down to the basics and loved how it came out. The working sketches and painting-in-progress photos are below this painting.
"Se Vende, Fruita"
10" x 8" Oil on canvas board
My third and fourth week, we went to Rita's restaurant, sketched/painted the views of the lagoon then had brunch. This week the mediums were watercolour, crayon, pen and oil, what fun! Each week I have been able to meet a couple of different artists, like me, that hear about it and are brave enough to join in the fun. The two groups of art are the paintings in progress (some finished). My finished sketchbook paintings are below.
We have been in Mexico for awhile and I finally connected with a group of artists that get together to plein air (on location) sketch/paint once a week (thanks Carla and Deb for connecting with me). I had such fun with these artists! As always with plein aire, there were different levels, mediums and interests. Top right to left: we worked on our art in La Ancora beach pub for a couple of early hours and then went for brunch at a walkable restaurant. We enjoyed ourselves so much, we went back on my second week. It is intimidating to have your work photographed when it is not finished but so great to have all the different views and interests from the same place together.
Top left, week 1 Ancora Beach bar. Top right, week 2 Ancora Beach bar. Bottom paintings are the sketches completed.
I have signed up to do a 50 week course with Kara Bullock School of Art called "Let's Face It 2022". This class has a different instructor doing a short online demo once a week. My goal is to try each one and post it to keep myself accountable. I am in Mexico and am limited to the supplies that I have brought so will make do with what I have. I have a homemade concertina sketchbook 8" by 6" with a rough textured thin watercolour paper (you can see the textured paper in the first sketch).
Week 1's lesson was by Lauren Rudolf. As I am not a portrait artist, I found her process very interesting and detailed. Lauren used a lot of different pencils to render the form's lights and darks as well as details. I only have one 4B pencil and my paper is a homemade concertina sketch book with rough water colour paper. I quit on this one as the one pencil was not adding any more details in the dark areas. The hands were roughed in just to give the face placement on the paper.
Week 2 was a completely different process with Robert Kelley. He used powdered charcoal with a cotton ball to block in the face shapes and worked from there. Again, I did not have the correct supplies but did have a charcoal stick that I rubbed a Q-tip on with a some success. As these classes are for learning, I am not so concerned about the finished product. I loved how he was able to get really dark areas working this way. He also used acetone to spray on the background to make a mottled look in the charcoal. No acetone in sight for me but when I am back in Canada I definitely want to try that again. The great thing about this course is I will have access to all the lessons for the year so I can try some again.
This is the end of the month long art challenge put on by Opus Art Supplies in B.C. I really enjoyed this challenge and am happy I completed each daily prompt. Having the list, I it was fun to keep my eyes open for what would work with the day's prompt. I look forward to next year's event, thanks #opusdailypractice!
Top left - Day 25 "Preservation" is capturing a moment with art instead of a photo. I was amazed how many people I saw walking looking down when it was such a beautiful vista. Top right - Day 26 "Growth" Just before sunset, teenage boys would gather to perfect their skim board agility which was really exciting to watch. A sport for the young with bendable bones. Bottom left - Day 27 "Sustain". We were lucky enough to buy tickets for a sailing parade and morning sail. The price paid was to help sustain the local school's upkeep and supplies. It was a wonderful adventure! Bottom right - Day 28 "Energize" is over two pages in my hand made watercolour sketch book. I enrolled in Kara Bullock's "Let's Face It 2022" course and this week was a demo by Emma Petitt. Although I did not have the fast drying acrylic and Sharpie China marker, I did the best with watercolours and pencil. It was very fun and energizing! I love her style of art and teaching. Thank you Opus Art Supplies for an inspiring month of sketchbook fun!
Still working on the #OpusDailyPractice art challenge for February. Happy to say I have been able to complete each day's sketch with the suggested word prompt. Day 21 " Together", Day 22 "Discover", Day 23 "Transformation", Day 24 "Nature"
Day 21 "Together" kind of cracked me up as I was looking to see if anything fit. I was leaning on an outdoor counter that these were all nested together on - the old phrase "Can't see the forest for the trees" came to mind! Day 22 "Discover" for me was a discovery of a new artist - Nadyia Duff that taught this class in "Let's Face It 2022". I did not have the tools, such as coloured pens, felt pens, acrylic paints but did my rendition with what I had in my travel case. She used a lot of layers and a lot of "hatching" marks, really fun. Day 23 "Transformative" was done on location at the Ancora beach bar early in the morning. This site is filled with sculptures made out of drift wood. People walking the beach wanted their photo's taken in the heart, beautiful. Day 24 "Nature" was not hard to find. The lovely home we are staying in has flowering pots around the courtyard filled with interesting shapes and colours.
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.