Happy New Year!

It's been a great year in my art life, with lots of new ventures, new collectors, new students and, of course, lots of wonderful times in the studio both alone and with students. I am most grateful to the many people who have supported and participated in my successes.

I am not one to make New Year's "resolutions" but I do believe in working with conscious intent toward artistic goals. So, in the coming year, my goal is to create a series of large works celebrating the sea, sky, and mountains of my west coast home.  Every day brings a new and beautiful view out my front windows, and my travels in the province and beyond inspire me with grand motifs as well. A recent reprint of a Robert Genn newsletter item urging artists to aspire to grandeur motivated me to begin thinking about this, and after a year of concentrating on the small and domestic in my "Beach Bits" series, I am ready to lift my eyes to the bigger picture.

I'll be traveling in New Zealand for several months this year, which will also no doubt provide plenty of resources for grand vistas. I look forward to responding to these in a variety of media: pastel, acrylic and oil.  In fact, my most recent work is a large oil (30 x 60) completed in December.  The first grand view!

 

Merry and Bright; oil on deep canvas 30 x 60; $950

Merry and Bright; oil on deep canvas 30 x 60; $950

Thanks to the Crawlers!

Thank you to all who took the time to visit my studio during our recent studio tour (the Art Crawl). It was great to meet so many art enthusiasts and have a chance to share my work.  Thank you for your kind comments, your enthusiasm, and your purchases! Thanks to Linda Williams and all the Crawl committee members who worked so hard to make this event a roaring success, yet again.

And a special thank you to Jan DeGrasse, our arts reporter for The Coast Reporter, who chose to feature me in her report on the event.

http://www.coastreporter.net/entertainment/arts-entertainment/notes-from-the-art-crawl-1.2377604

http://www.coastreporter.net/entertainment/arts-entertainment/notes-from-the-art-crawl-1.2377604

Aaand...sixty paintings DONE!

Just in time for the Art Crawl (see previous posting) I finished the last six of my series of sixty "Beach Bits" paintings. While I set out to complete sixty of these as a recognition of my having turned sixty this year, I suspect there may be more yet to come. I am still enjoying each and every one, and continuing to learn from the process. Here they are...

Testing the Waters pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Testing the Waters pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Daring the Tide pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Daring the Tide pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Wait Up, Mama! pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Wait Up, Mama! pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Days of Wonder pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Days of Wonder pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

By the Deep Blue Sea pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

By the Deep Blue Sea pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Standing His Ground pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Standing His Ground pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

What have I learned?

  • to plan the counterpoint of values in the composition (dark against light, light against dark) before beginning to paint
  • to consider the effect of colour choice, using equal value complements (blue/orange; red/green; yellow/violet) for maximum glow
  • to PLAN everything first, so that the first coat of pastel is correct and can remain--multiple coats result in muddiness and a loss of the sparkling clarity I was seeking in these works
  • to vary the placement of figures within the confines of the composition--sometimes very near the top, bottom, side or even "dead" centre can be the right place, depending upon the stance and attitude of the figure(s)
  • to sometimes work on new colours of paper--for these works, I discovered that a dark navy blue paper created a nice texture and contrast with the bright/light beach colours

I will continue to do commissions of "kids on the beach" in this style.  Here are three I recently completed:

Katie's Choice Collection P. Allen

Katie's Choice Collection P. Allen

Dune Buddy Collection P. Allen

Dune Buddy Collection P. Allen

The Young Naturalist Collection P. Allen

The Young Naturalist Collection P. Allen

I'm considering a new series of children on the slopes--skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, building snowmen--I guess a few photo trips to Dakota Ridge (the closest place that has snow in the winter) will be needed.  Or perhaps I'll try to arrange a photo shoot at a local dance school and pay homage to Degas with a series of pastels of young children practicing their ballet postures. Inspiration galore!

ART CRAWL time!

This week is very busy in the studio as I get ready for the 2016 edition of the Sunshine Coast ART CRAWL. Bigger than ever, with 130 sites and over 300 artists participating between Langdale and Earl's Cove, the ART CRAWL is the coast's best opportunity to see and acquire art and get to know the artists who create it. As a participating artist, I enjoy the chance to invite people into my creative space, show what I've been working on for the past year, and, of course, sell my work!

This year I am #118 on the Crawl map. Rivenrock Studio is located in Halfmoon Bay, just off Curran Road--follow the signs!  I will be open 10-5 all three days of the Crawl (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), Oct 21-23. Come by and visit--enjoy a hot lemon tea and a cookie while you browse.

I hope to finish all 60 of my "beach bits" paintings by Friday, and many of them will be on display in the studio (some have sold, and some will be in The Landing Gallery in Gibsons). As well, for the first time, I'll have fine art prints and giclees on canvas of some of the most popular of these images, as well as cards. Commissions from your photos are also welcome. Lots of options for your collection!

As well, I am participating in an exciting new aspect of the Crawl--a fashion show of artist-created wearable art! Coats of Paint (featuring over 30 one-of-a-kind hand-painted and sewn women's jackets, including two that I created in collaboration with textile artist Nell Burns) will take place Wednesday October 19th at 7 pm at the Robert's Creek Community Hall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from me, at The Landing Gallery in Gibsons, or online at https://share-there.com/index.php/upcomingevents/event?id=39. See the jackets modeled on the catwalk, then enjoy a glass of wine while examining them in detail and bidding on your favourite! (All jackets start at $250).

Hope to see you soon!

 

Spring Wader pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Spring Wader pastel 8 x 8 framed $195

Acceptance into AIRS

I am thrilled to report that my painting Summer Lessons has been accepted into the Annual International Representational Show, a global competition. The show will open at the Federation Gallery on Vancouver's Granville Island on Oct 4, continuing through Oct 23. Drop by and see the show when you are in the city! UPDATE: This piece has now sold--thank you, new collector!

Summer Lessons pastel 8 x 8 framed $195; prints available

Summer Lessons pastel 8 x 8 framed $195; prints available