Warning: Long post ahead. This is an exercise in the online art group I belong to on Mighty Networks called 4C, owned and lead by Sharon Lynn Williams. It is a community of artists who are serious about improving their paintings and growing their art practice.
I was "Mining My Photograph" as an art exercise. The top photo is the winter scene photograph I am working from. The top right is the work I did on paper to find the shape and what I wanted to paint from the scene. The ones underneath those are the oil painting I first did (8" x 10") on canvas pad. I will often look through my phone at the image in black and white to check the values.
I also tried to paint in oil in my sketchbook on thin gesso'd water colour paper. It was interesting and very dry to work on. The gesso just seemed to soak up the paint and not move it well. I used a two page spread to make it 12" x 6 1/2". If you click on the photos you will see it full size.
I want to make a larger painting in a rectangular format so this is my working page on oil canvas paper. The squiggly lines in the preliminary drawing is an evergreen tree. Deciding on a format, values and shapes are always easier to do in pencil rather than in oil at the easel. These exercises are so valuable to do but I am always eager to get the brush in my hand and often skip these steps. I will post the final larger version when it is completed.
As our daughter and 5 month old grandson were visiting for a very busy week of travelling around the city to visit (and introduce Jack) to her friends and our friends, there was no time for a paint session. I signed up for a free 5 day course called Mandala Magic with artist Julie Gibbons and got up early to work in my sketchbook. The top 4 were moons and the last one was the 8 stages/seasons(?) of the sun. It was quite meditative as you just did what your heart desired following her prompts. I played with water colour and pens. The second one has cut out paper moons glued on. I did enjoy the non-stop writing and colouring the letters in.
Well a tough decision was made...pickleball or a plein air painting time (well maybe not so tough). I dropped my husband off at the Salmon Arm pickleball courts and then drove back down the road as I had spotted this barn on our way. I found a shaded spot under a beautiful old willow tree and set up. With the heat, smoky summer, and our first grandchild born (Jack), the summer flew by without very much plein air painting which is my favourite way to paint. The weather, smells, sounds, people visiting and checking out what I am doing is all embedded in the painting. It was a glorious morning.
The owner of the barn was driving by and stopped to chat so I also enjoyed the historical information. Of course using my creative side of my brain, I forgot all those details so can't share them!! If anyone recognizes the barn, please let me know. Next time I will bring paper and pencil, Lovely walkers and couple of cars stopped, to look and chat. The wonderful neighbours offered me a chance to come back and paint their vine covered old barn in the back. My time was up before I had a chance to see it but will definitely go back next spring.
Barn in Salmon Arm, B.C.
8" x 10" plein air (on location) oil painting, #20122121
My husband and I were loving gifted a holiday stay at the wonderful Crystal Cove Beach Resort in Tofino, B.C. by our daughter, son-in-law and our son for our 40th wedding anniversary. We had our own loft cabin complete with hot tubs in the trees! We had a wonderful time exploring on our bikes and I was able to complete the painting below on site. I hope you feel the calm and peacefulness I felt while painting it!!
"Tofino Anniversary View"
8" x 10" Oil on canvas panel, plein aire (on location) #20116121
The sketches below were done on water colour paper in my homemade concertina sketch book. The last one was done on the ferry ride on our way home. Jack is our first grandchild and was definitely on my mind after we sadly hugged goodbye and headed home from our visit together. It was a good way to celebrate and use up the ferry ride time. If you click on the image you should get the full view.
This was the second year my friend Evelyn and I stayed at the wonderful Beaver Lake Mountain Resort just above Lake Country, B.C. in Last year we stayed for 2 nights, this year 3 nights (whooo hooo!!). It is a beautiful fishing lake with cabins, camping, motorized and paddle boats & boards to rent and wonderful accommodating staff. We laughed a lot, ate extremely well (Evelyn is an excellent cook and I was an excellent chopper and cleaner-upper). I had my plein air set up and happily painted 3 oil paintings (8" x 10") while I was there as well as a couple of sketch book pages. Much to our surprise (after a full moon walk the night before) we woke up to snow one morning that melted by noon, so many surprises, and so much fun!
We also both had a wonderful and healing session at the Lotus Wellness Retreat on site. Thank you Daniela and Myra for your wonderful expertise, intuitiveness and sensitivity. We both felt amazing after and are still enjoying the effects.
Dody gave the group a lesson in pastel and answered our many questions. It was fun to play with another medium. I will sometimes take a black and white photo on my phone or look through it at my painting to check values. The photo on the bottom left was the first time I did that and realized I did not have enough darks and the circle at the end of the path showed up as well. The second time I was happier with more variation. This painting exercise is not for sale as I was looking at a magazine photo and did not have permission. Really enjoyed my day, thanks Dody for being so encouraging to all!!
I would like to thank everyone that has come out to see the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. and enjoy the wonderful work of a great variety of local artisans. Today and tomorrow are the final days of my Featured Artist exhibit. I will be hosting tomorrow then taking the unsold art down. In particular, I would like to thank my supportive friends: Sharon, Helen, Ciana, Karen, Marc, and Rigmor who travelled on the days I was hosting to see my art as well as the great variety of pottery, jewelry, felting, cement/rock pieces and mixed media sculpture. A few treasures were also taken home! This September almost doubled the sales of previous Septembers, whoop whoop (huge thank you)!
The gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday and will hang a new show "Open Exhibition" where non-members are invited to put 2 paintings in this show, what fun. As well the rest of the gallery will have wonderful tempting art for the eyes and practical use. This is an artist run gallery with no pressure sales, so come and enjoy the variety. Click here for the Courtyard Gallery website.
Pre-Covid I had participated in the B.C. Culture Days celebration by painting en plein air (on location) on the Rail Trail near Oyama. It was a real treat as my sister Shannon accompanied me for the day. Not only did she share her busy time with me but she also packed a wagon with chairs, a cooler with lunch and refreshments, my art supplies and magazines that she never has time for. It was fun to talk to the families and people walking and biking by. There were wonderful questions filled with curiosity. Artists were invited to paint anywhere along the rail trail from Oyama to Vernon and the paintings were then brought to the Vernon Arts Centre for display. Shannon just sent me the above photo she saw on Facebook and when I went into the link, I found the one below. The rail trail paint out has not been organized for this year or I would of certainly participated again. You can check out the activities on this link: https://culturedays.ca/en/hubs/713a50c5-60ef-472f-8aae-e409a7aa0667
I am fortunate to be the Featured Artist at the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. until October 2, 2021. It was fun and very much like a puzzle to choose paintings that would fit within the two walls and would look good together. I took some of my favourite paintings off the wall for this show and sale. It is a fun way to re-decorate as there are no empty nails in our Sicamous home walls even with this show!! I am also the gallery host on Thursday September 23, if you are in the area, I would love to see you. If you get a chance to stop by on another day, please let the artist host know you have come to see my featured wall and all the other wonderful artisans work, they are a very friendly, talented and welcoming group.
The smoky skies in British Columbia this summer did not make for great plein air (on location) painting. This is the view from our yard and normally you can see the houses mountains, trees and hill on the other side of the lake. That day, they were barely darker shapes. If you look at my palette, there is very little mixing of colours for this painting. I rubbed this painting out when I was done as there was no need to keep this memory. It was good practice painting with greys. A month later, there are still 2 small smoke drifts from the fires on the hill, hopefully the rain today will help put those out.
It is wonderful when a local Sicamous business supports the local arts community. HUB International is a local insurance company located in Sicamous, B.C. The Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club join with the Photography Club with a "Photo to Canvas" event. They have a whole collection all over the walls and welcome customers and those interested in photography and painting to come in for a look.
A bin of photos is left for the artist's to choose and use as a reference for a painting. Some of the paintings are very realistic, following the photo and others are used for the idea as mine were. I painted two using mixed media on watercolour paper. The painting on the left in progress below. I will post the painting on the right in progress in my next post.
The Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club in Sicamous, B.C. teams up with the Photography Club annually for this challenge. The photographers submit photographs and the painters choose what they are interested in and paints their rendition. Some artists choose very realistic rendention while others take the idea or essence of the photograph and paint it with their own voice as I did with the two mixed media paintings. Usually there is an exhibition at the Red Barn Arts Centre in Sicamous B.C. but of course with Covid, it was cancelled. HUB International insurance in Sicamous is a great supporter of this challenge and puts the photos and paintings all over their office for customers and interested people to come in and enjoy. Thank you HUB International!! Below are some pictures of the painting in progress.
"Gunther" a commissioned wedding present pet portrait
14" x 10" Acrylic on wooden cradled panel #20025821
The cradled board was coated with GAC 100, then gesso'd. An underpainting of Quin Nickle Azo Gold was applied then I drew Gunther in. Following the reference photograph on my computer, I started painting with blues, purple, and browns to block in the shapes. Painting in the eyes near the end gave me the character and then I finished with mouth and nose details. I wasn't sure what colour to paint in the background so I chose two of the colours in Gunther's face. It felt like I had to much middle value in this painting and asked my online artist group (called 4C on Mighty Networks) for suggestions. I am very happy with how this painting turned out.
#petportrait #dogportrait #acrylicpetportrait #happypainting #petportraitweddinggift @karenoliversfineart #canadianartist #petportraitcommission #paintingcommission
My Mom has moved into a senior's residence. Her new one bedroom apartment has beautiful full windows therefore less wall space. I had given her some of my favourite paintings to enjoy in her 2 bedroom condo and now that she doesn't have room, I will be able to enjoy them and then add them to my inventory. My website badly needs to be updated and I have been to busy with life's surprises to do any painting for the last three months so hopefully will get these added and others that have sold updated on my website.
"Lazing In The Afternoon Sun"
Oil on board, 12" x 16" #20018821A
Water always draws me in and this view was no exception, especially the colours.
Oil on panel, 16" x 20", framed #20018821B
A trip to Thailand and our son's photo inspired this painting.
Oil on panel, 16" x 12", framed #20017821C
This was a flower I snipped out of Sue's cabin garden, a real beauty!
After everything was hung on her walls, she still had room for the "Girona, Spain Balcony" so the one above has found it's new home. It goes perfect in her bedroom with the blues bedspread colours. The ones above it have returned to Sicamous with me and will probably be in the Courtyard Gallery in Enderby B.C. for the September show. All my paintings have meaning to me and to see them again, brings them right back!
"Hiking Through Spring Wild Flowers"
Oil on board, 14" x 11" #20005821
This painting was an exercise with an online art community I belong to, called 4C. I took a photo that I had taken, drew out "thumbnails" (Left below) of different views, changing anything I wanted in each of them. Choosing a favourite, then drawing it larger and putting in different values or shading to again find the one I preferred. The next step was to draw it out larger, with more details and the last one was to paint it. What really surprised me doing this exercise was that I preferred a portrait rather than landscape orientation even though the photo was in a landscape orientation. I really miss my hiking friends and miss walking on these hidden paths (not so hidden in my painting).
I wanted the path I took on the hike to be more prevalent as you really can't see it in the photo. I finished the painting below, and the feedback I got was that I did not adhere to the thumbnails (lower right). I worked on the painting again to reflect my view (less sky, vary path etc.) with the finished painting above. A great exercise to do for every painting so you don't have to figure it out as you go...much easier to change you mind with a pencil and eraser.
@karenoliversfineart #oilpainting #paintwithjoy #joyfulpainting #canadianlandscapepainting #landscapepainting #hikinhgtherockies #colourfulpainting #studiowork #expressive art
"The Hidden Beach"
8" x 10" Oil on canvas board, framed
So excited that this painting has been juried into the FCA "Small" exhibition and can be viewed at the Granville Island Gallery in Vancouver from August 2 through 15. Click H
#canadianartist #painter #instaartist #artgallery #vancouver #fedofcdnartists #federationgallery #landscapepainter #artexhibition @karenoliversfineart #karenoliversfineart
Opus is a B.C. art store that has an outdoor painting/sketching/drawing etc. fun day annually. This challenge encourages all ages with every level to get out and enjoy plein air for the day. In the past it has been a one day event where you register, get a free panel and off you go in a wide physical designated area (Kelowna for me). There is a display of the art created at the end of day and door prizes are randomly drawn with amazing art supplies. It is a very fun and celebratory day with people walking around watching art being created, talking to artists of every level and age and lots of laughter is heard.
This year they had a week long online event. It was a wonderful excuse to get outside and enjoy myself without worrying about the outcome. My sketchbook, pencil, pen and watercolours were my tools. Thank you Opus for a wonderful excuse to be outdoors creating. #opusopc2021
One day I tried sketching the vehicle in front of me while my husband drove. This works well on the highway but not so much in town as the cars turn, stop, pass etc. This really surprised me as getting car-sick was a frequent and "wreck my day" event. I certainly could not read or look at a map etc. Keeping my eyes on one thing at a time (the vehicle ahead or my sketch book without moving my eyes side to side worked! I felt like I had a super power!
My preferred way to sketch in the car is in one continuous line/per vehicle using an ink pen A roll or gel pen (black Dollar store variety really works well) as it glides nicely and doesn't skip of get stuck. Without taking my pen off the page kept my place even on bumpy roads. I also like the look of the squiggly lines and having to go over some lines multiple times. We had to travel from Sicamous to Kelowna and back today so it really helped pass the time. With all the forest fires, the normal beautiful view was a smoky haze and I wanted to concentrate on something else! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
#continuouslinedrawing #fundrawingchallenge #expressivedrawing @karenoliversfineart #opusopc2021 #karenoliversfineart #travelinkdrawings
"Ending The Call, Piece By Piece" is juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists "On The Edge" Exhibition running July 12 to August 1.
Ending The Call, Piece By Piece
Oil monoprint on CP Railway 2002 calendar page, 9" x 11", framed
This is an Annual International Open Call Juried Exhibition and Competition. This show is at the FCA Granville Island Gallery in Vancouver B.C. from July 12 to August 1. Sculptures are also juried into this exhibition! The FCA description of this show "Fueled by powerful emotions, Artists push their creative practices to the edge to stir the hearts and minds of a global audience. The FCA has established this exhibition as a open space to form new connections with the arts community."
Rarely do I paint for an exhibition but this one, "On The Edge" really had me thinking. Travelling to see family and friends in the 1 1/2 - 2 years has been via Zoom, Facebook or a number of other computer programs. Our daughter was pregnant with our first grandchild and I really felt the absence of her presence and the growth of her baby belly.
You can see the show HERE
#artist #canadianpainter #canadianartist #vancouver #federationofcanadianartists #federationgallery #gallery @federationgallery @fedofednartists @karenoliversfineart #oilmonoprint
While we were waiting for the call for our first grandchild's birth, our friend's generously let us stay at their home in Sidney B.C. so we could be close to our daughter and son-in-law on the island. With Covid protocols we knew we would not be able to visit in the hospital but wanted to be in Courtenay when they came home. During this relaxing and fun mini-holiday for us, I was able to sketch the views and activities from the deck. I am a little behind in posting as I have been enjoying being a Grandma to baby Jack Wilder (aka Booboo for now).
Hallmark Movies came and used the public decking for an upcoming movie. It was all set up as an outdoor restaurant. It was fun to sit on the patio, sketch the set up and watch all the activities, very interesting!
#sketchinginsidney #urbansketching #relaxingonthepatio #gratefulforgenerousfriends #inthemomentsketching @karenoliversfineart #landscapesketch #oceanviewsketch
The Eagle Valley Art Council 42rd Summer Annual Art and Craft Sale is once again in the heritage Red Barn Arts Center in Sicamous, B.C. This show is hosted by the heartful group of artists called The Brush and Palette Club. This group consists of beginners and accomplished artists with a variety of subjects and methods. I sold my first painting in one of these shows, so exciting for a new artist.
I have 4 paintings as well as art cards in this show. It is family friendly and by donation if you can. All the people hosting are artists if you have any questions about the show, art in Sicamous or the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club (that I happily belong to)
"Rainy Day Fun" is one of four paintings in this show
12" x 9" oil on board, framed
My art has been on hold for awhile as I have just been to busy with other life matters. The best news of all is the birth of our first Grandchild, baby Jack to our daughter and her husband. We are more than thrilled to have this bundle of 7 pound 10 ounce joy wrapped up in our hearts and arms!! Thank goodness travel has opened up and we were able to travel to their home. My heart and arms are absolutely full. Tears of joy well up at the silliest things and times. How great when our hearts are touched that quickly and simply!
#firstgrandchild #firstgrandson #armsfulloflove #happyfamily @karenoliversfineart
Mixed Media on watercolour paper, 14 1/2" x 10 1/2" on cradled panel
Another fun painting that started out as a different painting, then painted over roughly in white gesso, added collage papers and begun playing with paint. I turned this one around and around until I saw the vase and flowers and started defining them more. The painting below is the piece in progress but I needed to add more definition and shadows. Playing with another colour palette made for interesting exploration and colour surprises.
@karenoliversfineart #texturedpainting #mixedmedia #mixedmediapainting #expressiveart #canadianartist #artjourney #karenoliversfineart #supportartisands #artforsale #paintwithjoy
"Dance Moves" Mixed media painting, 7 1/2" x 9 1/2" in a white 11" x 14" mat #20010321
This mixed media abstract painting was a real exploration in shapes. As I was working on it, I was continually turning it around to see what view I liked best and worked on that orientation. Turning it around and around working as I went, making marks that I found very interesting and pleasurable, it was hard to decide on an orientation. Can you guess the one I chose (a clue - it is not the top one)? Which view do you prefer?
This painting is matted in a 8" x 10" white mat. What I love about abstracts is that the owner can put on their wall in whatever orientation they like best. Sometimes it is hard to sign and often artists will sign on the back of the painting just so it can be put on a wall in any direction without someone looking at the signature and stating that is "upside down or sideways". Such fun to create pieces like this!
@karenoliversfineart #texturedpainting #mixedmedia #mixedmediapainting #expressiveart #canadianartist #artjourney #karenoliversfineart #supportartisands #artforsale #paintwithjoy
#100DAYPROJECT2021 Completed! - #CONTINUOUSLINEFACES DAY 97 - 100 and all the drawings (Warning - Long post!)
Left to Right: #97 Ultrafine Sharpie, blind #98 blue and black ballpoint pens (both ran out of ink), pink fountain pen, semi-blind #99 pink fountain pen, blind #100 blue fountain pen, blind
Wow, I am excited to say that not only did I complete my first #100dayproject2021, but I finally managed to post all of them (more difficult than the challenge). My project was to complete 100 single line, blind or semi-blind portrait drawings in 100 days. I did not pressure myself to do a drawing a day. With Covid and people using Zoom calls for meetings and connecting, I found this a great way and time to do the drawings. After I got "caught" by an artist friend during an art group meeting, I would take my face off the screen and mute so that my movement and "staring" at the screen did not distract anyone during a meeting.
I learnt that my eye/hand/brain had a disconnect because I was so surprised by segments of the face that I had not completed but my brain thought I had! Rollerball and fountain pens worked best. They moved smoothly, did not skip and had a better feel. The top right one, I had to use 3 pens as the first two ran out of ink (hence the semi-blind status)! The faces became more detailed as the challenge continued on and head shapes were better (not too skinny or wide). If I kept moving my pen at a steady pace, I had more success in proportions. When I slowed down or stopped, the proportions got out of whack. The single line was challenging as it presented additional lines to go from A to B where lines are not on the face (between eyes etc.). I got better at mentally designing where to start and finish as the project continued on.
I would highly recommend this exercise for anyone (especially if you have a sense of humour)! If considering doing the #100dayproject next year, be kind to yourself and try something do-able with few supplies (pens and computer paper on a clip board for this one). I don't know what I will do with these, but they might make a great overlay on an abstract...stay tuned.
#fundrawingchallenge #continuouslineface #100dayproject2021 #karenoliversfineart #semiblinddrawing #blinddrawing #funwithfaces #fundrawingchallenge #semiblindquickfacedrawing #learningfunchallenge #expressivedrawing @karenoliversfineart
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.