Happy Valentine's Day!
#opusdailychallenge is a month long art challenge for any artists of any medium to create daily and if possible to post on Instagram. So far I am 14/14 on this challenge. As I am not in my studio, my supplies are limited, but not ideas. There is a prompt for each day for an idea, but not necessary to follow. So far, I have been able to come up with an idea with the prompt. I am making 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch sketches in my sketchbook daily. Today's prompt aptly is "Amour". This small sketch is of designs that people use as symbols of their passion or love. I had penciled them in and then painted around the ones I wanted to keep.
Another wonderful morning well spent, in the company of artists enjoying the beautiful views and sharing tips and tools of the trade. We met at the Villa Obregon malecon and tried to find a shady spot. The first sketch was under a palapa but should of been using my time on the beach first as it was cloudy. I painted as long as I could on the beach until the sun won out. Without a table to put anything on and fear of dropping my brushes on the sand, this was painted with one brush while holding a plastic plate as a palate. I found out early that oily brushes and sand do not play well together.
"Villa Obregon Malecon"
8" x 11" Oil on canvas pad #20008223
New Sketchbook, yay!
I love starting a new sketchbook although the clean fresh pages can be intimidating! This one is hand made with the idea that I can put a holiday, 6 months together or whenever I feel it is full enough and sew the "signatures" together. This one is water colour paper and about 5" x 7", perfect for dragging around with me. The top water colour painting is of the sunset on New Year's Eve in Mexico, palm fronds and the third is a sunset taken by Jouni on the floor above us, amazing. Everything in the foreground was just silhouetted but the "zebra" sky was amazing. The bottom right is a water colour that I painted after my plein air experience. I had so much fun I wanted to capture the essence again in water colour instead of oil.
Artists Find Artists
Often pulling my sketchbook and water colours out, interest and conversations with people you know and those you don't yet, often begin. Bugambilias is a restaurant behind my favourite area to swim and Elias is one of the friendly faces with a cold beer at the ready. In his very little spare time, he is also an artist. It was wonderful to engage in the language of art (he has very good English) and he brought over this large framed painting of six wild cats that he painted in acrylic. He also used coconut husks and fishing line for the whiskers. This piece is very layered and textural which photos do not show. We have been invited to view some of his other paintings at his parents, so excited to see more of his work. Instagram: @eliasangel1977
"Wild Cats" by Elias Plascencia Ramirez @eliasangel1977
Mixed media, framed
"Styx" a plein air painting
In the early morning, a bike ride to the opposite edge of town to a night time entertainment bar was my next plein air location. An artist has created many shapes and sculptures such as this very large heart on the beach and all over the property. The washrooms, bar, tables, light holders etc. are all made from hand out of driftwood found in the lagoon behind. This shady spot was up against the outdoor bar so I had access to stools to put my supplies on. Fun and interesting conversations, a new book to read, metal sculptures shown on a phone etc. are all information shared while I painted this on site. You are rarely alone when painting "en plein air", just the act of painting seems to draw people out, what fun! These are all memories I will have when looking at this piece!
11" x 8.5" en plein air, oil on canvas paper
It was also interesting when I came out from the dark outside bar palapa to take a photo of my easel that the colours I mixed for the driftwood were more on the green side, going to leave it as it is all part of the adventure. The other part of the adventure was watching people walking along the beach looking like they were going in and out of the heart frame, quickly passing by.
I am fortunate to have art greeting cards and five of my paintings in the first show of 2023. The hanging committee does an exceptional job of hanging the paintings and placing the pottery, jewelry, knitted, sewn, woven art pieces to highlight each piece. Gratefully, Marg brought my paintings in for me and Bonnie does a wonderful job of making all the tags. If you are going through Enderby, B.C. it is really worth the stop. As an artist run gallery, there is no pressure as it is lovely to see people take a break and enjoy a feast for the eyes. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 4pm.
2023 Sketchbook Fun #2
Bottom left - I watched a skim board competition on the beach. There was amazing skill and talent. Unusually large waves were coming in which made it even more difficult and a lot of hard falls occurred. I loved watching the younger boys following their idols and trying to copy their moves. Top right - I found a shady spot on the sand and painted this scene before meeting family for lunch. Bottom left - Bugambilla's beach restaurant was closed but they leave some of the umbrellas and tables set up for people to enjoy. Bottom right - painted pineapple on our deck, the scent alone is delicious!
Mexico Plein Air Group 2023 #3
What a wonderful morning! The group had decided to paint the area around the Red Lobster restaurant. What caught each artist's eye was really interesting. I used the restaurant table and had my easel beside it. The beautiful and very full bush that was leaning over and the colourful doorway behind caught my eye. Some of the artists did drawings and chose not to put them in the "smack down" at the end for the photo (see below). I love the name "smack down" as that is the sound of the sketchbooks on the tiles. This time I remembered to take a photo of the painting on the easel with the view (below).
"The Weight of Beauty"
8" x 11" oil on canvas sheet #20024123
2023 Sketchbook fun #1
Working in a sketchbook takes the pressure off of a "finished piece". Wild colours and textures, experiments and most of all memories are all captured. Below is a good example: the feathers are from Magi a Macaw parrot living on the property (water colour and ink). Diane feeds, waters, pets and talks to this bird daily and brought back a feather for me!! The feather was so interesting as each side had completely different colouring, I had no idea! The second is a pineapple (acrylic 10"x7") that I was about to cut up and decided to paint it first in a Robert Burridge style. It tasted as delicious as it looked. I picked a few flowers after visiting Magi, cut a plastic water bottle into a vase and enjoyed it for a couple of days before painting it in my 7"x5" watercolour sketchbook. Another beautiful sunset on the beach (7"x10" acrylic).
2023 Group Plein Air #2
This very enjoyable couple of hours at Las Hamacas restaurant (before it opened for lunch) has a beautiful view of the ocean and beach. Some artists like myself chose to paint in the covered restaurant and others went down on the beach. At one point I counted 16 artists sketching and painting, what fun! Before everyone was gone, we did the "smack down" which is basically the sound of sketchbooks on the tile floor for a photo with those that want to participate (not a requirement) of finished and unfinished work. It is always so inspiring to see what has caught each artist's eye at the same location.
"The Shade Huddle"
8" x 11" oil on canvas paper #20019123
First Plein Air of 2023
So happy to reconnect with the weekly plein air group in Mexico! We met last Saturday at Bungalows Azteca and happily planted ourselves around the grounds. Some painted by the pool, others in any shady spot available. The bungalows were all so brightly painted, it was a feast for the eyes. I planted myself in the shade and dug out my oil painting supplies hoping I did not forget anything.
Mid morning, my husband exchanged bikes so he could get mine fixed. I did not consider that his did not have any baskets when I left so had to balance and carry everything as I walked his bike. A vehicle drove by on the dusty dirt road and the breeze picked up my painting off the cardboard and it flipped upside down into the dirt, of course it did! I brushed off the larger bits and left the rest on to dry, hoping it would just brush off later. The smeared painting is the second one below. Once it dried enough, I painted over with some of the same colours left on my palette. Some of the dirt is still on the ground in front of the bungalow. Plein air is always an adventure!
8" x 10" Oil on canvas pad #20013123
Below is some of the artists' finished and unfinished paintings from my first plein air experience of 2023. I had so much fun being around these wonderful artists and found what they focused on very interesting and inspiring! Looking forward to the next outing at Las Hamacas,
"Let's Face It 2023" Week 1 and 2
Lucky me, won the year long course from Kara Bullock Art School. There is a weekly demo done by various artists and access to the course for as long as the school exists. I really enjoyed the course last year and was going to go back and repeat or re-watch some of the weekly demos, but now have 2023 to do and watch. The challenge for me is that I am away from the studio and have limited supplies so the art of "making do" is also part of the process. I have a few sketchbooks with me so can work in various sizes.
Week 1 demo was done by Kara Bullock on a very large canvas. I tried to cram it all in on my 7" x 5" sketchbook page, tough to do it so small. Loved the process and very interesting to work on an orange surface using only black and white.
The colourful creation above has many layers and textures. The Week 2 artist was Cyndy Ross @crossimagination This was painted in a 10" x 7" mixed media sketchbook.
I signed up for Kara Bullock's Art School "Let's Face It 2022" where a different instructor does an online demo once a week. I have been trying to paint along if I have the tools. Some of the classes required specific apps or programs (those I watched, but bypassed). I was in Mexico for the first 3 months with very limited supplies so did my rendition with what I had with me. That was fun, creative and challenging. The photos below are my renditions and the artist's name and link are below that. The first 3 were posted before the start of the course as warm up bonuses by Kara Bullock and bottom right was instructed by Jennifer Bonneteau. Once you have paid for the course you have access to it so I can continue with the weeks I am interested in now that I have more supplies. I happily signed up for "Let's Face It 2023" and in fact won the 2023 class, whoo hoo (thank you Kara Bullock!!)
Week 1. Top left - Lauren Rudolf. Week 2. Top middle - Robert Kelly Week 3. Top right - Christa Forrest Week 7. Bottom left - Nadyia Duff Week 8. Bottom middle - Emma Petitt. Week 9. Bottom right - (Sculpture) Kathryn Lewis Day
Week 10 Top left - Jennifer Bonneteau. Week 11 Middle - Week 12 Top Right - Katrina Szyszkoski. Week 13 - Top left - Dylan Sara in handmade inks, mine is painted with coffee.
Week 15 Top left - Dina Wakley abstract mixed media, Week 16 Middle - Angela Kennedy, Week 17 Top right - Tara Roskell - abstracted face with water colour pencils, Week 18 Flo Lee @florenceleeandco, expressive portrait on toned background
It is with a very grateful heart that I thank everyone who has encouraged, bought my art, travelled this journey with me (near and far), commented, cheered, painted with me, helped with suggestions and expanded my learning on this very heartful art journey part of my life. I am looking forward to continuing this art journey with you and am very grateful to you, thank you!
Sketchbook Photo Exploration
These is an exploration of a photo that I thought would make an interesting painting. I worked through the stages in my sketchbook with thumbnail sketches (small sketches for shape placement and value) and then continued on in my sketchbook with a very rough oil painting. The end result was it was a nice photograph, but just wouldn't work up to a painting I would be excited to paint. Always great to have this work in a sketchbook as I may change my mind or come up with a different plan at another time. The top left is the photograph and a couple are black and white photos that I took to check my values.
Wishing you a wonderful shared holiday with pets, friends and family. To my artist friends, I wish you a new year ahead of creative exploring!
Continuing on enjoying this year long course of a weekly demo, week 18 was an Expressive Portrait on a coloured ground or background. Flo Lee @florenceleeandco was the instructor. As soon as I saw her work, I loved the minimalist portrait work. Her explanation was calming, relaxing and very clear. This year long weekly course can be watched and gone back which is what I did with this one. I have signed up for "Let's Face It 2023" and look forward to more learning and exploration from various instructors.
Nature Colours Fearlessly
The reference for this painting was taken by Shauna Flath. We talked about a commission but just couldn't get our schedules to line up so she sent my a few photos with permission to use them. This painting is a small portion of one of her photos. I could not paint the size she was looking for as I did not have the canvas and couldn't order one at that time. This is a very textural painting with the under layer having words cut out of magazines and other sources that had a lot of meaning for me. I then painted over top basically ignoring the textures. It's unfortunate that photos flatten everything out. Right now I am enjoying this painting on my wall but due to space issues have reluctantly put it under the Landscape tab on this website for sale.
"Nature Colours Fearlessly"
24" x 24" Mixed Media on 1 1/2" gallery wrap canvas with painting over edges (no framing required)
Photo reference by Shauna Flath
From Stuck to Very Happy
I happily worked away at this acrylic painting with it finished in my mind. I got so far and then was stuck. What I was trying to do was not working out to my satisfaction. We went away for almost a month travelling and visiting family before I could get back at it. My initial tries did not work to what I had in mind, so I thought about it a little longer and voila, it worked and now I love it. Below the final painting are the stages it went through.
14" x 22" Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas with scene flowing onto sides.
The top left is the canvas I started on. I keep a canvas on my wall that I try acrylic colours on, wipe my brush, use up paint at the end of my day. It is usually very vibrant and textural. I sketched over top in chalk to place everything. Painting in my shapes, I used chalk again to re-establish the fence and took a photo in black and white to check the values. I tried changing the shape of the trees, fence and haybales and just wasn't satisfied. After changing the values on the trees and the colour in the sky, I was finally happy. I am so happy with this painting, if I had room, this one would definitely be on my walls instead of my website!!
There was so much to see on this holiday. The Spanish people are friendly, quick to laugh and love their food, wine and beer. We averaged 18,000-20,000 steps a day, enjoying all the sights and history. I loved the food and beer. I have a cow dairy allergy and loved that it was mainly sheep or goat cheese and very little butter in their meals. We did finish our holiday in Amsterdam but the only sketch I did was of the family's home that we stayed in. They had a mother-in-law suite (think high end boutique hotel room with mini kitchen, a bathroom and own entrance) that we rented on the north side of Amsterdam. We took the free ferry that runs 24 hours across to the north shore and walked about 10 minutes to their Air BnB. They had a beautiful guest book and someone had skipped a page so I sketched their home as part of our write up (bottom picture). Our private entrance was through the gate on the right.
Holiday Sketching In Spain #1 of 2
Two favourite activities combined; a holiday and sketching. This trip was shared with our son for the first week and my husband and I continued on for 2 more weeks. We were so busy visiting the sites, food and weather that my sketches were drawn but painted later. I usually like to do them to completion and if possible on site. Our son Curtis and I hiked the 8 km El Caminita Del Rey which for me was one of the highlights of the trip. Rhonda, Nerja, Frigiliana, Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla and Malaga were all walked, hiked and as many sites/sights taken in that our time would permit. I toured the Picasso Museum in Malaga and many castles. We travelled by rented car with Curtis then by bus and train for the rest until we flew from Malaga to Amsterdam for our last 3 nights. We really enjoyed our time there as well seeing the sights, a canal boat tour, renting bikes to go into the neighbouring towns but was to busy to sketch with so much to see and do. Stood beneath a windmill on our bike ride, not realizing how big those blades are!
This is the third year my friend Ev and I had a wonderful 3 night holiday at this beautiful Beaver Lake Mountain Resort last month. The accommodation was perfect, this year we were in the Bear cabin. Ev is a superb cook and I do well cleaning up and keeping the wood fireplace burning so when we were inside the ambiance, warmth and light was relaxing. I managed to plein air paint standing on the shore and our private dock. We spent a good part of one day paddling around the lake in the resorts kayaks, even having our lunch of charcuturie board we picked up from Intrigue Wines on our way up to the resort. Our feast was spread across our kayaks while we enjoyed the stillness of this fishing lake and the scenery surrounding us. There was enough for 2 lunches! Once again, we had a wonderful, relaxing, fun filled stay in our delightful "Bear" cabin. The morning coffees at the office were a wonderful start to the day (thank you!). The joy, laughter, paddling, scenery, reconnecting and even a memory lane dance party were just a few of the (to many to list) highlights of this holiday. A special thank you to Daniela from both of us!! The painting of the 2 red chairs was happily gifted to Ev's father Tony.
SCAT play and Fundraiser
Our intrepid Eagle Valley Arts Council is having an evening and matinee with the first theatre production in quite a number of years. Cindy MacKrell is the director and energy behind this evening (SCAT - Sicamous Community Amateur Theatre) with the play "Working Stiffs". Also organized by the Arts Council is a painting challenge showcasing 3 artists painting "live", a talent show, the photography club's presentation of a photo show, karaoke etc. It will be a fun evening of celebrating the wide range of arts within the Arts Council and the surrounding area of Sicamous. Grab your tickets for this Saturday evening or Sunday matinee. Your invitation is below with my donation of original mixed media painting called "Dance Moves". Thanks in advance to everyone that is participating and volunteering their talents and energy!
Flower Sketch Book pages
With a very busy summer, I decided to make a sketch book out of random discarded papers. I had been tossing interesting used papers in a basket for collage work. Instead, these were gathered up and made into a unique sketchbook. I watched a Youtube video where random flowers were rolled up and steamed to make beautiful marks in a sketchbook. Well that did not work for me but I decided to keep going and make it a playful floral sketchbook.
Some of the pages were tracing paper that I had used to transfer drawn images on canvas, tickets, music sheets, book pages, used painters tape on paper, palette papers, BC Ferries ticket, lottery ticket, water colour paper pieces etc. for a variety to work on. This book was meant to be pure play! I worked on random pages with left over paint, cut outs, anything I had handy and are still working in it.
On the top left photo you can see the left hand side of the unpainted page and the right side is painted. The second page shows the flowers that did not leave a bright mark when I tried to steam them in and on the right of that photo is actually tracing paper I used to transfer a dog portrait I drew onto canvas - it is turned sideways but the design worked well. Discarded paper cutouts on the bottom left and a negative painted flower on the right (I drew the flower and painted around it, not in it).
A Teaching Bouquet
16" x 12" acrylic on canvas board, #20102022
This is the end result of a fun teaching day about negative painting with the Eagle Valley Brush and Palette Club. I saw this on Robert Burridge"s weekly "Bob Blast". We each picked 3 colours (a red, blue and yellow) and splattered, smudged and finger marked these colours randomly all over our canvas. Rigmor brought in different shaped vases to help us decide on what our vase would look like. Negative painting (painting the background, not the "thing") around the splattered paint to carve out a table top, vase and flowers. Then going back in to add details, refine shapes and shadows and "Ta da....lesson completed!" As usual when I teach, this one was finished in the studio as I find walking around talking to participants and answering questions fills my time.
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.