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!

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

Family Ties

Using the same process as my "beach bits" paintings, but a rectangular format, I recently completed two renditions of our youngest grandson, one with our son, and one with our daughter-in-law. It's always hard to do paintings of ones you know so well, but I was after a feeling rather than a portrait--and I think I caught the atmosphere I was after.

 Morning Tales

Morning Tales

 Sweet Peace

Sweet Peace

Earlier this year, I experimented with a very splashy abstract acrylic background with a pastel of my granddaughter painted more realistically on top.  I was after the idea of rain, but wanted to suggest playfulness and joy rather than dreariness. It's a happy result.

 Spring Rain

Spring Rain

 

 

More Beach Bits!

I turned sixty this past May, and had been musing about trying to complete a series of sixty paintings on the same theme within this year.  As I continued to paint my small "Beach Bits" paintings of kids on the beach, and as I observed how well they were received during my August show, the answer became obvious...do sixty paintings of kids on the beach!

So, I'm at 48 paintings so far...and still enjoying every one.  I'm learning so much about handling challenging lighting situations (figures against glittering seas and glaring sands) and overcoming the limitations of photographs taken in these conditions (often too dark and with excess contrast), as well as further honing my understanding of anatomy and skin tones.

I've also decided to make a number of giclee prints on canvas (12 x 12 x 1) of these images for the upcoming Art Crawl--drop by and see! In the meantime, check the "Figures" category under the "Works" tab to see the growing collection.

 Beach Blondes 8 x 8 framed $195

Beach Blondes 8 x 8 framed $195

See the Sea: new show, new look, new venture!

I am very excited to be mounting an exhibition of new works at The Landing Gallery in Gibsons BC, for the month of August. This feature exhibition is a collaboration with my friend and fellow co-op member Nell Burns, a textile artist. We agreed to create works on the theme of "the ocean," given that Nell already does beautiful three-dimensional embroidered shadow box paintings of seafloor creatures, and I already do paintings of waves.

The show will be hung on Sunday July 31, with an opening reception on Saturday August 6th from 1-2:30 pm. During the reception, a representative of CPAWS (the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) will give a short talk on the endangered glass sea sponges, a rare phenomenon just off the Sunshine Coast      (http://cpaws.org/news/rare-sea-creatures-in-danger-vancouver-sun).

In preparation for this show, however, and given my desire to provide some smaller works for it, I experimented with painting some vividly coloured pastels based on a series of photos of "kids on the beach" taken over the past two summers. I was thrilled with the results, and became obsessed with creating more and more of them.  In the end I made 21 new images (see the "Figures" tab within the "Works" section for the entire set).

 Summer Sparkle 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

Summer Sparkle 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

 Super Stripe 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

Super Stripe 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

 First Dip 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

First Dip 8" x 8" framed pastel $195

I liked the images so much, and got such good feedback from those who saw them, that I decided to try a new venture, and had high-quality prints made of six of the images.  These "giclee" prints ( a term used to differentiate a fine-art ink reproduction from a colour photocopy) are available in the same size as the original painting (8" x 8") for $50 each, complete with mat, ready for framing. The prints will be sold through The Landing Gallery, but may also be ordered by email (payment via e-transfer only).  The same six images are also available as cards in The Landing Gallery.

Hope you enjoy these happy new paintings as much as I enjoyed creating them!