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.
With this Covid virus and the restrictions, I have really missed my art friends from Dodi's Art For All and The Brush and Palette Club in Sicamous B.C. With the amount of people in a gathering increasing, Sally put an invitation out to both groups on the last 2 Wednesdays to do a distance en plein air outing at her acreage. 6 of us gathered appropriately distanced and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company and caught up. Sketching, laughing, the beautiful scenery and visiting filled my heart and soul. Above photo - sketch book fun with water colour. Below - work in progress in oil on canvas panel 8" x 10"
I love how the unfinished painting just blends into the tree and sky at this point. While eating my lunch I realized that the chairs were disappearing in the background so I changed them to red. One of the joys of painting, I can change my reality.
"Welcome, Let's Sit In The Shade"
Oil on canvas board, 10" x 8" #20013620
This was new to me, I packed my bike side bags with my tripod, wooden palette, oil paints and all the gear I could fit in. With the idea I would trim the supplies down, I headed up to Hyde Mountain Golf Course and headed up the hill the overlooked the golf course. I pushed my bike up the hill until I had a bird's eye view of the golf course below. It was a strange perspective but figured the experience was what I was after. I loved the views and sounds of the golfers below and the wonderful experience of plein air painting. I must say it was more difficult loading everything back onto the bike. I am not happy with the painting as the composition is not good, but loved the colour mixing and time painting.
During this period of isolation I have tried to put something in my sketchbook everyday. My favourite past time is to go out on my stand up paddle board on Mara Lake with my sketch book packed. I pull over on to the shore and see what I can sketch. My travel gear is a drawing sketchbook (not water colour paper), pen, pencil, eraser, water colour travel palette and micron pen. This peaceful time is so great and it feels like time is standing still, a real reprieve from everything going on. These sketches are usually not shared and are meant to capture a moment in time for me. They are a reminder of the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of that moment.
My husband Gord joined up with our neighbours Chris and Bruce and their friends Elaine, Jean, Ken and Gus in Revelstoke as they continued on their pedal bike trip. I drove on and painted at the Arrow Provincial Park while they rode to the Shelter Bay Ferry and we all went on the ferry. It felt like speed painting as I was not sure how much time I had. It was a beautiful morning and the light was quickly changing on the mountains.
Oil on canvas, 16" x 20" en plein aire (on location), For Sale
After the ferry ride, I drove and parked beside the highway with a stunning view of Upper Arrow Lake. I painted here until I saw the first rider pass by and then packed up and met the gang in Nakusp.
Upper Arrow Lake
16" x 20" Oil on canvas, en plein aire (on location).
# For Sale
"Invitation To Rest"
Oil on board, 31" x 24" , framed #20014520 FOR SALE
I have painted this view once before but not this large and am equally excited at the final result. The wild flowers and wonderful vistas are a lot to take in while hiking and I usually come home with heart shaped rocks in my pockets and backpack, loads of photos to paint and wonderful memories. Looking forward to when we can hike with friends again.
Before the virus hit Canada, I was in a weekly art class with Doug Swinton. We all worked on our own references and subject matter and Doug walked from person to person as needed with suggestions, and demos. As our class ended abruptly he sent us colour work to do with a suggestion of 30 minutes and 8" x 10" size. I have colour wheels but never did examples to truly learn and boy I had a lot of learning to do. These 2 paintings are the last in that series of learning and are just studies, stopping before or when the timer went off. The shine is from the wet paint. Along with our chosen colours we could use black (to darken) and white (to lighten).
Timer set for this lesson - 30 minutes. Triadic colour scheme (3 colours spaced more or less evenly around the colour wheel). Doug sent us written descriptions, colour wheel examples and paintings using a triadic colour scheme. He also sent us a black and white photo that we were to paint. Well, I did not have much success with this one (above). First off, I did not choose the right colours - burnt sienna, yellow ochre and manganese (or ultra marine blue?). Doug let me know that burnt sienna was in the orange family so it is not a true triadic. I could of gone with a napthol red to make it work. We could also use black and white to darken and lighten our colours.
This is my 30 min (or less) result for the last lesson on Split Complementary. Some of Doug's description: "This is just like complimentary but a tad softer. Instead of going directly across the colour wheel you use the two adjacent colours from the direct compliment. Yellow and instead of using purple, you would use a violet to the blue side and a magenta (purple to the red side.)." I used purple (dominant), mixed green and orange. This was more successful and I was happy with this oil sketch. I may finish it now that I am not on a timer. Strange colours for me but it works. Doug's critique of this one: "Split complimentary, 10/10 colour wise, though, if I could say anything it would be, Some of your purples could be dulled down a bit. Other than that it’s super good."
Oil on board, framed 24" x 32" #20010420 For Sale at Gallery 150, Sicamous B.C.
This is a view I am very fond of and have painted quite a few times. Surprisingly it is the view from the road just before entering the landfill in Sicamous, B.C. I love to stand and paint Mara Lake, there is just so much to take in and so calming. The people going into and returning from the landfill are often surprised to see an artist there, then they look to see what I see, very fun to watch.
Colour Lesson #4 Doug Swinton sent his class members work to do on the colour wheel while we are not attending his open studio classes. I have looked at and read about the colour wheel but never really worked on physically making paintings limited to a monochromatic, analogous, complimentary triad etc. This lesson was on triadics - 3 colours spaced more or less evenly around the colour wheel. One colour needs to be dominant and the other 2 sub-ordinate keeping the colour within their respective value range. We can use the complement (opposite on the colour wheel) to grey our colours plus black and white. Yup, it was as hard as it sounds. Doug sent us the reference photo in black and white.
I set the timer for 30 minutes and begun. My chosen palette was burnt sienna, yellow ochre and manganese blue with burnt sienna dominant. I felt a little uneasy painting with the timer going as it hurried me up and I could not focus on the details (this is a colour study after all). I painted on a 8" x 10" canvas board in oil. Doug's comments: "10/10 Cool the background a bit more and it all come together. Use a more pure dark blue." I will try this one the painting is dry. My palette is below.
I found this second one harder although I thought it would be easier when I started. Again the timer was set for 30 minutes. This time I used Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red Light and Ultra Marine Blue. With only 30 minutes, the time flies and I felt the push to paint faster than normal without time for details. Red was going to be my dominate colour and I put it in everything but it doesn't read red as dominate, not as successful as the first one. I am learning a lot and am grateful for the opportunity, THANKS Doug!! Comments from Doug: "I think you're nixing your compliment in to much. You just need a touch to grey colours down. If you put in too much things start to get muddy." Back to learning.....
Colour Lesson #1 -As our weekly studio classes with Doug have ceased due to the Corona virus, he has sent some "homework" that if we were interested in, we could try. We were sent a reference and then were to paint it monochromatic - 1 colour with black to darken and white to lighten. I really enjoyed painting this which surprised me as I am usually into colours.
Colour Lesson #2: The paintings above were done monochromatic with one colour (red), the compliment to grey out (veridian green), black to darken and white to lighten. The painting on the left, I used to much of the black and used it more as a "colour" in the foreground. The second one I used orange in the intended way in the lesson with a little bit of the complement (blue) to dull the orange. These are meant to be no more than 30 minutes each.
Colour Lesson #3 - In this lesson we were to use a triad (3 colours next to each other on the colour wheel), the compliment across the colour wheel, black and white. In the painting on the left I used to much of the compliment (red) and the shadowed part of the boat is not the triad colours (green, yellow-green and yellow). The second painting on the right I was more successful. These are a lot harder than they seem. These are painted on 8" x 10" canvas board.
"Nine To Five" - Youth Remembered Series
Oil on 1 1/4" thick canvas #20018320 For Sale
This is the first in the "Youth Remembered" series I have been working on. With some of the TV shows being set in the 1950/60's I have been inspired to paint some of the moments of that time.
"Looking For Batman 2"
16" x 20" Oil on canvas, #20003320 For Sale
This painting was so much fun, I am sure I smiled all the way through it! Really fun colours were used including starting with a wild hot pink colour. I used whatever I could find to make marks with the paint (including spatulas from the kitchen)! The #2 in the title is because I have painted from the same photo reference once before and our son has it hanging in his house.
I went on a holiday in Mexico and marveled at the hot and long days the vendors put in on the beach selling their wares. I admired their quiet strength. They are loaded with items they think the tourists will be interested in buying. Often their English is quite good but they hesitate to engage except for selling their wares. I met a wonderful group of vendors and they were so good to help me learn a few Spanish words.
For this painting I was trying to depict the hot sand and sun, the multiple layers of clothes, the long beach walk and the weight of their wares.
"Burdens or Treasures?"
12" x 9" Oil on board, unframed #20024220
"Snowed Inn" is a painting based on a photo my cousin Elaine put on Facebook (above). She takes breath taking photos of her yard and it's views. Elaine is very generous with the use of her photos. I loved this one but narrowed it down so that there was only one tree behind the birdhouse and moved the tree to the side so it did not look like it was coming out of the top of the birdhouse.
I took it to my class with Doug as I found it was to dull and wanted the birdhouse snow to pop more, the values were to dark.
The photo below is the final painting. I etched my name into the wet paint on the bottom right but may have to go back in and paint it in. I loved painting this and was thinking a red bird house would be nice, hmmmm, might have to paint it again!
24" x 12" Oil on canvas in a black floating frame #20019220
I was given money as a Christmas gift from my Mom (thanks Mom!) and decided to take a watercolour workshop with Sharon. I started my art journey with a beginner watercolour class with Sharon. She paints in every medium and can teach them all. With enjoying painting in watercolour in my travel sketchbook, I thought this would be the perfect refresher. Sharon teaches at a high level and then meets each artist where they are in their journey. It was a 2 day workshop and she started at the beginning with supplies (and why!) then did a full demo from a photo. Sharon started with sketching it out first as in the photo and then sketching it as she wanted to paint it, simplifying and moving elements. As she drew on the watercolour paper, she explained what she was doing as well as during the painting process. We then practiced trees using her "Mother colour" method. The day flew by.
Day 2 we started with our own photos going through the whole process from thumbnail sketches, drawing on our paper and painting. Sharon also finished her demo from the day before. It was so great to have colour, composition, brush/water/paint handling all covered. I would highly recommend any classes Sharon teaches, she uses every minute to teach and explain (she even did her demo while we ate lunch, watched and took notes!). You can see the photo she started with in the 3rd picture, quite a change!
My finished painting that I am happy with considering it was a learning process. #20008220
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.