Monday, March 29, 2010

Dyer's process

Margaret first draws in her figure with compressed charcoal (I used conte crayon). Then she maps out her dark areas. She puts down a dark neutral color then goes back over it several times with layers of different color (all in the same dark value). She contends that as long as you stay in the same value, you will not get mud.

Once she has her darks to her liking, she proceeds to her light areas and finally the mid-tones.

It is always a pleasure to watch a skilled, experienced artist at is like watching magic. And it is a result of years of practice! She has a DVD available of her technique. I was drawn to her workshop by her use of color but her lessons focus on values, which is even more important and leads to stronger paintings.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home sweet home!

Another bird painting.. It's good to be home. The animals were estatic. Ten days is about our limit for being away. But it sure was fun and Bruce is my favorite travel companion. Now I have lots of catching up to do!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

End of Sedona

I can't believe a week has flown by so fast. We were hard at it in class. Great models. Bruce and I took small hikes after classes. I love the red rock area and am busy looking at real estate ads. Sedona is very expensive!! But I really would like to spend a couple of the winter months down here. There is always some way, if you look hard enough. It is one thing to pack up your dog to travel, but what do people do with their cats?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Margaret Dyer Workshop

I am very pleased with the instructor, Margaret Dyer. Check out her website--she does beautiful figures. We are working in pastels, not my usual medium and pretty challenging. This is definitely one field were you need really good materials, pastels and paper. I am a little lacking in both but still learning a lot. Sedona art center is great. We are staying at the Days inn Sedona, which I will also recommend.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Way out yonder in the Navajo nation

Bruce and I had the good fortune to visit Antelope Canyon. We had a wonderful guide, Gerald, a soft-spoken young Navajo man with a hypnotic voice and an interesting way of telling his story. He very kindly took photos of each family in his group. I had heard some detrimental things about the canyon but it was all I had hoped for. As we were leaving, I stopped outside to take one last picture. One of the other native guides within the canyon was playing a traditional flute song. The song poured out of the mouth of the slit, a mystical ending.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

They wore Roses in their Hair

For whatever reason, this painting is hard to photograph. I may drag it outside and try again.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I really like the background on this one. I had left-over paint and used it and my home-made stamps to decorate a sheet of tissue paper. Then I just kept it for the right project. I think I'll make some more papers today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Avian Alphabet

I am painting an alphabet for "Wings over the Rockies". I'm trying to use birds that are local. Try looking up birds that start with "i". I will hang this show at the Invermere Public Library and sell cards for it at Village Arts gallery. But first, I have to get it done!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The end of the day

I liked her melancholy, maybe she lost her beach ball.

I struggled with this painting for several days because I couldn't get the figure to resolve with the background. Then I glazed the whole piece with a thin quinicidrone gold glaze and that seemed to pull it together and give it that afterglow.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I'm kinda happy with this one.

This was painted after one of those days when I was contemplating just giving up. How do artists ever make a living at selling art? It certainly isn't the easy path. Too bad the general public thanks we just lay around and paint the occasional picture then ask big bucks for it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Heritage building

Although Canal Flats has been a village since about the 1880's, there are remarkably few old buildings about town. Most of the homes are trailers or manufactured homes, I guess because it is a mill town and people think they are going to be transient? However, people who move here, have stayed here. Bruce and I were quite stunned when we first met people and they told us they have been here for 30 or 40 years...rather rare in this day and age. The village depends mainly on the timber mill, there is a gypsum mine that ships ore out and most of the women work at Fairmont Hot Springs.

We inherited this building with our property. At times it has been a credit union, the health centre and the district office. It's most recent incarnation was that as turkey coop! I have cleaned it out somewhat over the last few years and the grand-daughter likes to play house in there. I am hoping to spiff it up somewhat (although it will still be quite rustic) for a summer gallery. (See previous blog about squirrels!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Granville Island Shop Girl

I took a photo of this lovely stylish young woman a couple of years ago. I loved her fashion sense and beautiful face. The painting unfortunately doesn't show her magnificent freckles. This is another background collage that I am rather happy with.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why I hate squirrels!

I thought it would be a good idea to clean up the heritage building and use it as a summer gallery. I had Bruce rip out the ceiling boards so that I could clean out all the squirrel trash. I got a little more than I had bargained for. Those little buggers are hoarders! The truck was full when I got done (for the day, more to do).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic closing ceremony --rant

I like that they tackled the flame fiasco head-on and gave Catriona her flame moment. I nearly fell asleep listening to the diplomats but I guess you have to give the polite thank you’s out.
I thought the comments by Shatner and Fox were rather lame but Ohara, that was embarrassing. And I'll add my two cents right here. I have lived in Canada 30 years and have yet to see this much vaunted Canadian politeness. Try growing up in the mid-western farm country were it really exists. I'm not saying Canadians aren't polite (some definetly aren't, especially the bozos who run me over whenever I open a two-sided door and they are too lazy to open their side and choose to run right over the top of me!!) but no more polite than your average Oklahoman, or someone from Missouri, Illinois, Indiana or Montana, to name a few. Get over it, it's a myth.

Loved the silly, campy Buble song and dance number. I vote we get one of those floating moose for the Village. Kinda lost interest through all the singing stuff but did like Nickelback's "Burn it to the Ground". That was kind of rocking. Liked Lavigne's girlfriend song but wish she could have looked a little less bored. (My favorite version is by the Ingram cousins [my daughters cousins]:
enter girlfriend lavigne zeesters on youtube to check it out)

Best thing out of the olympics (other than all the gold medals and awesome women and men's hockey) that huge surge in patriotic spirit. It looks good on ya, Canada!!!

And then, Tess got the joke

I love the textures in this one. I started with painted collage papers, painted over that, then went back in with stamps in some areas. I really like making my own stamps with that soft eraser-type stuff and little cutters you get from the art store. Use a cutter! I tried initially with an exacto knife, the cutters are way easier.