I felt like I needed to have some fun and two things came to mind right away - being outdoors (currently cold here) and cycling. Looking through my photos I found one that I had taken on a holiday. There was a dark brick wall behind the bike which did not suit my mood. I started with a painted drawing, then added a colourful underpainting (1). Building the brick in and defining the bike (2) then took a black and white photo to check the values. The finished painting is now on my drying rack (bottom photo). Hopefully this looks as fun as it was to paint, just what I needed! I will have cards made of this painting with a blank inside so it can be used for anything fun or celebratory.
"The Beginning And The End"
16" x 20" Oil on canvas, #20126120 For Sale under "Just For Fun" tab
#paintingmakesmehappy #oilpainting #paintinglife, #canadianartist #originalartwork #karenoliversfineart #happyart #bicycleoilpainting
"Sit (Check), Now Wait?????"
Mixed Media on watercolour paper, 10" x 8" matted to 14" x 11" #20119120
#karenoliversfineart #colourfulart #mixedmediaartfun #paintedimaginarydog #canadianartist #colourfulartwork #originalartwork #mixedmediapainting
Oh this was fun! I was working on an underpainting and this one painted itself. When I was done, removed the tape and turned it around, there was a white dog looking at me. It immediately reminded me of our daughter and son-in-law's dog Freddie. Freddie follows commands but "wait" is hard for him as he gets so distracted by anything and everything around him. Freddie is completely black so it was fun that this dog is white and very similar in looks.
Now that we are in cold weather again, my thoughts turned to my "snowbird friends". This would of been the first winter we could of gone away for an extended time. The cold swirling air around my "homebird" while looking shocked at me from the end of her branch is the internal view I have of this situation.
"Snowbird, Now Homebird"
Mixed media on water colour paper, 6 3/4" x 10" #20116020
#karenoliversfineart #colourfulart #mixedmediaartfun #paintedimaginarybird #canadianartist #colourfulartwork #originalartwork #mixedmediapainting, #snowbird
For Remembrance Day, sketching while thinking of Flanders Field and those that are or have suffered through war.
#RemembranceDay #familyandfriendsinwar #sketchbookmemories #Doodlewash #KarenOliversFineArt #inkandwatercoloursketch
This painting started with an abstract underpainting using Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Blue, black and white. This is a mixed media piece that also has pastel and pencil. As I was working I was thinking about how great it was to have time in my studio and on the flip side, how difficult it is for everyone to figure out how to fulfill their obligations during this pandemic, hence the balls in the air. The juggling is uncomfortably high and my person is looking forward with no time for looking back.
"Balls In The Air"
Mixed Media on water colour paper, 8" x 10", #20110120
#karenoliversfineart #colourfulart #mixedmediaartfun #canadianartist #colourfulartwork #originalartwork #mixedmediapainting
"Sit (Check), Now Wait?????"
Mixed Media on watercolour paper, 10" x 8" #20119120
#karenoliversfineart #colourfulart #mixedmediaartfun #paintedimaginarydog #canadianartist #colourfulartwork #originalartwork #mixedmediapainting
This fun abstract painting really painted itself. I was working on an underpainting and when I was done I saw a white dog. It reminds me of our daughter and son-in-law's dog Freddie. Freddie will follow commands but "Wait" or "Stay" seem especially hard as you can see how distracted he gets by everything around him.
This was fun to do and out of my comfort zone with no end result to work towards. Day 4 was "Play", What colours are right for me? Obviously bright and happy colours are my go to. One colour I played with that I love is Radiant Turquoise. This was a colour I purchased as I loved it in an artist friend's work but did not incorporate it in my art. I played with colours, lines and shapes. The first photo below is the way I painted it but when done, liked it turned around as well.
Day 5 Discernment and How can I create more of what I love? I found the questions Nicholas asked us and the painting lesson on our own work was very inspiring. I loved painting in this fun, abstract and physical way but felt like I wanted it to have more of a story. The red colour and circle marks made me think of our fruit tree that we had to cut down this summer so I went with that.
Mixed media on water colour paper 10" x 8" #20107120
#mixedmediapainting #colourfulart #canadianartist #contemporaryartist #karenoliversfineart #originalartwork #colourfulartwork #mixedmediapainting
I enjoyed a free 5 day online class which includes an email with thoughts to consider and questions to answer for ourselves to fill in on our "compass" sheet he included. We then post on a group Facebook page and comment on other's work especially if they are asking for input. Nicholas does a daily talk and paint to show us his process and thinking, usually around 30 minutes. I have been painting as he is talking/demoing then end when he ends. It feels brave to put these tidbits of learning out "there". Day 1 - 3 in order.
Day 1 After journaling on our "compass", we were to make marks of any kind, and with any tool, I keep a 36"x12" hanging in my studio that I put left over paint or to try different things so I decided to use it with paint I had on my palette. Low and behold I saw 2 faces looking back pensively at me so I painted around them, what a fun surprise.
Day 2 (on left) "Where have you been and what made you happy as a child", Day 3 (center and right) "Where are you now and what inspires your creativity". So far all were "play", very messy and felt "child like". We were also journaling each day to questions on our "compass" journal page.
Funky Flower Fun
9 1/2" x 8 1/2" Mixed media on watercolour paper #20125102
This painting was so messy and fun to do! I took a photo of the painting in progress and the palette beside as they were both so full of colour, shapes, lines and messy looking. I started painting in the background in white then changed my mind and went with a colour I don't use much - purple, a deep, dark and rich purple. So nice to do something different and fun.
Day 4 - PLAY (below) The focus was on what colours make you happy and match some of the feelings. So far, I've come to see that I have a busy mind. This one has all kinds of memories for me, mainly in the mark making. It has paths to follow, hop scotch squares and all kinds of movement.
Day 5 was all about "Discernment and Refinement". What do you like and what do you want to let go of? Number 1, way to (fun but) busy, 2. need to simplify and see a subject 3. Like textures and layers and still want to see them.
This workshop was enjoyed and challenging. Nicholas Wilton had an array of services on his website Art2Life.
10" x 8", mixed media on water colour paper, #20107120 For Sale
I found a spot to park my car at the edge of a rural driveway and walked a bit to this view of what the high water left in this tributary. The sky was reflecting on what little water that was left. The contrast between the shadows and sunshine is what caught my eye as I was driving by, the time was right. Two neighbouring men, curious as to what I was doing and then the owner of the driveway I was parking beside stopped for a chat and to see what I was doing. All were very pleasant, friendly and interesting which I feel is all infused into this calm and peaceful painting.
"The Time Is Right"
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel, en plein air (painted on location), #20122020 $80 unframed
Lucky, lucky me! Due to the Covid requirements my friend Evelyn helped out Dany at the Beaver Lake Mountain Resort and in return was offered a 2 night stay in one of their beautiful cabins. Here is where the lucky me comes in...I was invited to join her and we both celebrated our birthdays with this get away. In our wood stove heated cabin named Otter, we cooked wonderful food, enjoyed drinks, laughter, walks, exploring the lake by fishing boat and evening board games were a real relaxing treat . I painted one afternoon while Evelyn read and Dany dropped by for a visit. Oh, to be sooooo spoiled!, thank you Evelyn and Dany!!!
"Invitation To Relax"
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel, en plein air (on location), #20119020
Driving to Kaslo, I found a quiet spot by the old hotel (our next meeting place) and started a painting of the bay. The group rolled in so I packed up and joined them for a delicious cold beverage.
8" x 10" oil on board, plein aire (on location), #20118020 , For Sale
After another fun evening meal we said our goodbyes. The cyclists continued onwards the next morning and Gord and I toured around Kaslo. I went back to finish my painting and he biked all around the town. We bought a picnic supper and headed to Trout Lake stopping along the way to hike Fletcher Falls and to take photos. We stayed in the lovely Windsor Hotel (built in 1894). As we were the only guests for the evening (prior booking only due to Covid) we had a lovely evening with the owners Lisa and Brian. The next morning we went for a walk along the lake's shoreline before slowly enjoying our delicious breakfast. We took the ferry back to Revelstoke then drove back to Sicamous. What a wonderful getaway!
I only managed 2 water colour sketches on this trip. This first is of a memorial garden right beside where I painted and the second is a view from our Woodbury Resort hotel room.
The bike riders were on the road at 8:30a.m. I left as well to find a painting spot and pulled over on the Vernon-Slocan Highway viewpoint to paint. As I was finding it hard to store wet oil paintings on 16"x20" canvas panels, this time I painted an 8"x10" so I could put it away in my panel carrier. It was interesting as I had a couple of cars pull over and one man stopped to check out what I was doing and chat while his 2 dogs were eager to get out as well.
Oil on canvas board, en plein aire (on location), 8" x 10" #20115020 For Sale
I quickly packed up and headed to our lunch meetup in the park at New Denver. I started a painting there, then the group pedaled in for a take out lunch. I continued my painting when they left to bike to Kaslo. It was so peaceful and quiet with very few people walking about.
"New Denver Park View"
8" x 10" oil on canvas board, en plein aire (on location), #20115020A For Sale
My husband was invited to join in on a road bicycle trip with friends in September. As Bruce, Chris, Jean, Elaine, Ken and Gus were already travelling, we met them in Revelstoke B.C. My adventure was going in the car and painting the views as they biked over 100km per day. It felt like speed painting as they seem to arrive so quickly (in painting time). I painted near the Shelter Bay Ferry in the Arrow Lake Provincial Park. I had just packed up when they came rolling in and we all headed on the ferry together.
"Arrow Lake Provincial Park"
16" x 20", oil on canvas, en plein aire (on location)
"Upper Arrow Lake"
16" x 20" oil on canvas, en plein aire (on location)
After the ferry ride together I drove on while they biked and found a pull over with a view of the Upper Arrow Lake. I did not have a lot of time to get into detail and people that also pulled over were interested in what I was painting. I loved the feeling of the large expanse and chunky shape of the mountain but also realized that 16" x 20" canvases were to ambitious for the time I had. I packed up as soon as I saw the first cyclist go by.
One of my favourite things to do this summer is to get on my paddleboard with my sketch bag and find a spot to draw and paint. The lake was really busy this summer so to "rodeo" paddle to a quiet spot was certainly inviting. In the top sketch I chose to ignore the big tree with it's roots up as I wanted the water marker to be the focal point. The sketch below is of the quiet spot in the rocks away from the huge boat waves and all the activity. My board shone beautifully in the bright sun. #sketchbookfun #MaraLakeBC, #makingownlakefun #urbansketching
One of my favourite summer fun things to do is to paddle to the Hyde Mountain Golf Course docks on Mara Lake, B.C. It makes a wonderful reprieve from the waves and a peaceful place to swim. Sketching from the bouncy dock and not worrying about the final picture. The one above was drawn with an Elegant Writer (felt pen) and then used a brush with water. The sketch below is another view painted during an afternoon of boating and swimming with my husband. We were beside a waterski course.
My friend Karen H. kayaked and I paddleboarded with sketchbook, puzzle book, cold beers and snacks packed and headed to one of my favourite spots. Thanks for taking the photo Karen.
This is one of my favourite spots on Mara Lake to paddle to and then sit under shady trees and sketch. It not only provides me with healthy exercise on my paddleboard but calms me in and out. This view has been sketched multiple times throughout the summer with the lake and rocks at different levels, so the view is ever changing. You can see the change in water level by how much of the lake is under the fallen tree roots in each sketch.
This is the art display wall in the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, Sicamous B.C. branch. My paintings are on display through the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club for the month of September. Let me know if you get a chance to check it out. #paintingmakesmehappy #paintinglife #canadianartist #karenoliversfineart #colourfulartwork #paintingsforsale
I loaded my car and headed to a wonderful old barn and buildings I have admired on many walks in the Sicamous, B.C. area. After setting my easel up on the side of the road, a truck slowed up and I met the owner for the first time. Hector was very accommodating and invited me to take some photos of the buildings in his yard. It was a feast for an artist's eyes and a wonderful tour.
8" x 10" oil on canvas board, en plein air (painted on location), #20030820
I thought I would try more "selfie" paintings using wild, non`representative colours. My biggest difficulty was taking the selfie's, very uncomfortable to do! I used bold colours and brushstrokes in acrylic on gesso'd watercolour paper. These have scribbles and scrapes in them as well. I took a black and white photo of each one to see if I had the values right and it 'reads" correctly. One in particular made my husband uncomfortable, can you guess which one?
I have been having some fun using different colours and working in acrylic. My preference is to work in oil but now is a good time to change it up. I took some selfies at different angles so that alone would be a challenge. I looked at a couple of artists I like and thought I would try their colours or shaping or textures. These are some of my learning results. I was happy that they at least look humanoid and enjoyed the process.
8" x 10" oil on canvas board, en plein air #20004820
What a wonderful time I had painting outdoors! I dropped my husband off to play Pickleball in Salmon Arm, B.C. and headed just down the road to see what awaited me. This serene scene was perfect with beautiful colours, a variety of shapes and a calmness that I felt while painting. I had very few people drive by and one really nice lady stopped to chat. It felt so good to get outdoors and paint again!
I have been procrastinating for over a year on working on updating my website. The main problem has been the lack of inspiration and knowledge. My friend Evelyn Mulders had recently updated her business Sound Essence website and it was so inspirational to me that I booked an overnight stay when she said she was willing to not only help me but even tougher - keep me on the task! She has a beautiful view of Okanagan Lake so you can imagine her challenge!. Evelyn had way more patience than I did and even though she did not use the same program was able and willing to help me. Our breaks included delicious homemade food and drinks. Thank you, thank you, thank you my friend! I am slowly adding and updating my latest paintings with my new knowledge (snail's pace, but moving forward).
This is the kind of fun learning I would prefer to play with!
I have been taking an online art class by Louise Fletcher call Find Your Joy. It was a one week free class with instructions to do all kinds of paint experiments without worrying about an end result. I followed her instructions and ended up with some parts of the work I liked and enjoy as well as found some things I did not (whole point of that part of the class). In these couple of exercises we were to paint something we normally would (top left) then paint it again using colours we would not normally choose and use one piece of equipment we would not generally use for a whole painting (palette knife for me - top right on a small 8"x10"). The next one was to take a variety of implements and paint it again. I went outside and picked up sticks, rock, leaves, pine cone etc (bottom left) and again paint with usual (to me) colours (bottom right). It was very freeing and difficult at the same time. The experimental ones are not keepers and were not meant to be.
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on. If you are looking for previous posts, they can be found on my old blog: http://karen-oliver.blogspot.com/