I used the new watercolour paints that have been created by Golden for the green succulent foilage - Hello vibrant colour! I think as I need to replace used up tubes, I might opt for replacing them with the Golden ones. They are slightly more expensive, but the vibrancy is amazing.
02 October 2014
30 September 2014
Today I'm sharing the progress of the largest painting I have ever attempted to tackle (and I am willing myself to make it a beautiful, shining success). It's loosely based on some photographs I took of White Cloud Island. This painting doesn't have to be a perfect representation based on where it's going after - but I do want it to look wonderful. And I know that it was originally based on local landscape. Mostly, I just want it really colourful to light up an area.
I began working on the landscape of this painting in greens - but it just wasn't cutting it. It wasn't as dramatic, and it wasn't as colourful as I was hoping. I was getting disappointed and discouraged. In my mind - it was typical and dull. I felt I hit a wall. There wasn't even much spark in the colour. So I started creating some dramatic contrast, and layering on bolder colours - I thought: if I don't like it to begin with, I can't really mess it up now, can I? It was the best decision. Below is how it was....I think the painting above it an excellent step away from that.
Oreo, of course, is always hanging around while I'm working in my art studio. I've been fortunate that he never has the desire to rub his head - and long fur - into wet paint....yet.
He often sleeps on his back with his paws pulled up all cute like that. Oh, what a sweetie pie! A fluffy, soft sweetie pie :)
27 September 2014
I've added a new painting to my online store, "Shine Through." I know it's been a long while since I've added artwork, but things in the art studio having been brewing and I have lots to share in the upcoming days :)
I've always wanted to incorporate when the sun peaks through all the leaves of a tree - a beautiful summer moment - into a painting, but wasn't quite sure how to achieve the desire effect and look that I was after. Finally, after some pondering, I got the effect I wanted. The yellow to green ombre really translates my thoughts into a colourful composition.
This original painting is available for sale, here.
Even more exciting - this painting is the 'cover' for my - wait for it....... my 2015 calendar!
As well, 'Shine Through' is the month May.
It took some quality time with Photoshop, but I've put together another colourful year for everyone :)
It features a lot of new and fresh paintings - most of them never seen before and I will be sharing them with you throughout the week - so check back often if you see something on there you like but don't see in the shop. As previous years, this calendar will have a beautiful little mini art easel included with it - so you can display your months on the art easel, or you can tack/tape/magnet them to a board for a wall calendar :)
This calendar is currently in Pre-Sale. I have limited quantities, and it will begin to ship in mid-October. You can get yours, here.
09 September 2014
I've been semi-absent from the blog as of late - a lot of good reasons for that :) The garden is starting to finish up - and that means tons of produce is coming off, and I have to do something with it all, plus clean out what is spent. My weigh-in tally for August was almost 60lbs of produce - which for a first time, 3-box raised garden bed, I think is pretty awesome! I'm going to be sad when we have to start buying vegetables at the grocery store again...
My poor tomatoes that I thought were never going to make it, have been turning around like champions so fast that it's been hard to keep up. We had an easy solution to that though - salsa! From the garden tomatoes, so far, we got 4 regular pints, and 7 half-pints of salsa! I had also purchased two 25lb boxes of Roma tomatoes, for fear that we wouldn't have enough. From one box I got another 3 pints of salsa, and 10 pints of homemade tomato sauce! That's right folks! Fresh and clean tomato sauce this winter for these people! :) I still have one almost untouched 25 lb box of tomatoes to go, plus everything else I get from the garden.
I also entered some of my produce in the fall fair in town here this past weekend, and everything did wonderfully :) The chili peppers snagged first place - luckily there were three red ones to pick for the fair!! My winnings will help get me more seeds for next years garden - so to say that garden paid for itself in food is now a literal statement :)
My mini-bells have been turning beautiful colours too. And, I wished that I could have entered them in the fair - but alas, there was no category for mini-peppers, and I didn't have enough ripe ones to enter into the random vegetable category (needed 7 ripe ones, and I was short 3!). Maybe next year :)
Besides being a little homesteading housewife, I've also been busy with my artwork - working on a lot of commissions, and packing orders. I am also putting together my 2015 calendar, and I hope to have it done shortly. I wanted a lot of new artwork for it, so I have to paint that artwork first, and then create the calendar. That means, this month - I cannot say when, as it is a crazy busy month, but sometime, there will be a huge shop update with a lot of new paintings :) Exciting!
26 August 2014
All the green goodness in my garden is finally starting to slowly change into red sweetness. The cherry tomatoes have been slow to get going, but are now starting to really pick up :) But what I'm really excited for - since I don't really eat tomatoes - is my peppers!! I'm sorry about the lighting in some of the pictures - I'm working nights this week at the hospital, and so I'm missing the opportune photography lighting conditions, hehe.
Do you know how hard it is to let green peppers sit. Sit. And, sit some more? Knowing that they will be delicious as a green pepper, but having that nagging voice in your head tell you they will be even more wonderful if you can let them change red? But now that time has come! I've already picked off one red mini-bell pepper. And I went down to check this morning to see two more on the way. Since these are mini-bells; they are ripening fast, now that they are starting. My larger regular sized bell peppers are taking a bit longer to mature - I blame that on the gardening massacre, stunting their growth for a while.
The most beautiful are my hot peppers. This picture does not do them justice on just how vibrant that red colour it. So much more than the bells. I can't wait for the rest of them to go this way.
My paste tomatoes have also taken the leap, and I can see two starting to turn. The cooler weather has made me nervous about my later produce making it through the season - especially all my green tomatoes. So, I gave them a hair cut - I pruned them. I had avoided it for so long. Very conflicted between what people were telling me, and what I was reading online - knowing that there is more than one way to do something. I'm not sure if I like what I did. But I've been getting so super nervous with all this cooler weather.
It took me two hours - it was a lot of work, there was a lot of 'bush' in my plants. The above tomato was already starting to turn before I pruned - I noticed it as I was clipping along. But my beefsteaks don't look close to turning, and living in Ontario, the season has maybe a month and a half left...two months if we're lucky. So I pruned. And now my lush patch of tomato plants look sad. Fingers crossed this was a good idea. If not, then I will not touch them next year. You live and learn!
20 August 2014
This summer I took the opportunity to give our house a little upgrade in the front. Below is how it looked before - the stain on the wood was faded, if not completely weathered off, and the poles looked like they may begin to rot soon.
I stripped off all the old stain - and that was no small task. One day project the products said, humph! Took me almost a week of sanding after work. The screen door was the hardest part, with all the little nook and crevices.
I thought about going back to the original 'cedar' stained colour. But I wanted a change - if you're going through all the effort, why not give it a new look? This dark brown semi-translucent stain has a slight touch of grey to it. Love the greyed browns! I painted the numbers white so that they stood out a lot more than before - make us a little easier to find :)
I think it worked out well, and now our house looks a little more like ours. Next: painting the front door and garage door a nice, neutral blue. :)
18 August 2014
I've begun work on a new, very large commission. This will probably be the largest painting I have worked on to date - and honestly, it's very intimidating. It was easy to sketch out what I was going to do - I had worked everything out loosely with a watercolour painting. But it was actually applying the paint, and deciding the colours and moods that was a challenge. I started once, and then stopped - not liking where it was going. This is my second start, and it's coming along much better.
The biggest challenge so far, is making sure the colours match along the three canvases. I thought about implementing some mixed media. But based on the size, it might not work out so great - trying to ensure that everything flows properly over the three, and that edges match up. Also, where it is due to be displayed, I think a more traditional approach was called for.