Just for Fun

Sometimes you need a break from serious work. To loosen up and get the creative juices flowing I thought I’d just draw this little guy and the next thing I knew it blossomed into a full illustration. It’s not a serious work, but I learned a lot while painting him that I can use in another piece.

Plus, he’s cute.

Pelham Art Festival

Participating last weekend at the Pelham Art Festival was a blast. I met so many wonderful, warm people, saw some incredible art and met the artists. I got to fangirl over one of my favourite artists that posts tutorials on Youtube, Linda Kemp! All in all a fantastic experience. Some of my pieces even found forever homes. I hope to be there next year!

As festival season is upon us, stay tuned for the next show 😉

Keeping the Flow

It would be great if I could sit down and paint everyday. In a perfect world I could crank out watercolour paintings just by sitting at the easel or desk and doing it, but life gets in the way. The phone rings, the laundry piles up, a friend needs our attention.. or we have to go to our day job. Other times a blank sheet or canvas has a way of being really intimidating. Some days the ideas don’t come easy, or the pencil or brush just will not obey the vision in one’s mind.

I’ve struggled with this.. sometimes the mojo just isn’t there.

The solution I’ve come up with is to change it up. If I’ve been working in watercolour—I’ll do an acrylic piece. If I’ve been doing a of tight realism I’ll switch to something looser, put my detail brushes away and just work with a huge brush. If I’ve been working 2D for a long time I’ll set it aside and make a piece of jewellery… if I’ve been making large pieces I’ll try my hand at miniatures… or work on my website.

Sometimes I need to get out of the studio altogether and ‘fill the well’. For me, walking in nature is the best.. or even taking my camera and shooting some urban photography.

Sometimes I need to rest. Watch a movie. Take the pressure off.

“I’ve found that the only way I can keep writing every day, year after year, is to let my mind wander into new territories. To do that, I’ve had to cultivate a kind of mental playfulness….For me, it’s been liberating to put myself in the mind of a fictitious six year-old each day, and rediscover my own curiosity. I’ve been amazed at how one ideas leads to others if I allow my mind to play and wander.”
~ Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

Learning to be gentle with ones self, change it up, take the pressure off, try new things. These are the techniques I have found work when nothing else does.

Do you have any ‘go to’ things for when nothing else is working?

ALL the Prints are on Sale!

If you love any of my paintings, but an original is out of reach… now is thewatercolour of a Whisky Jack or Canadian Jay time to scoop up a Limited Edition Print! 

ALL the museum quality prints on acid free art paper are 45% off until the 15th of September. These are exclusive and are only printed in a short run of 50, NEVER to be printed again. Each Giclée is signed and numbered.. and come with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Take a look here at what’s available. Or click ‘Prints and Originals’ when on the website. 

Contact me here if you have any questions or inquiries.

THANK YOU for supporting my art!… if you don’t see anything you want at this time, I’d really appreciate if you could share this post.

How I Got Started Painting Birds

This is the very first bird I ever painted in watercolour. Watercolour painting of a cardinal on a snowy day

When I was painting in acrylic I focused mainly on portraits and big cats. (EVERYONE loves the big cats) but I wanted to try some other animals and I’ve always loved birds.

Acrylic was good for the solidness of large animals and for skin tones but I had painted one bird (a Snowy Egret) in acrylic and struggled with the feathers and with making the bird ‘solid’ but light. Acrylic is a dense medium and although I’m sure with time and practice I could achieve the effect I wanted in acrylic, I didn’t enjoy the process as much as doing the cats, and didn’t paint another bird for many years.

Birds are a fascinating subject and rarely stop moving for very long. Studying them is a real challenge and their anatomy and expressions are hard to capture. Maybe I’m a masochist (lol) but I’ve always had the desire to paint what I observe even when it’s beyond my skill, and birds push me to my limits. There are many failed tries in my garbage can.

 I started this little guy not really knowing what watercolour could do, only what I had in my head. I’m not going to say it was easy… and I went back and forth trying to get the feel, in my head, of the cheeky cardinals in my backyard, to the paper.  For a first, I am happy with him. 

Have you done something that pushed your limits? Do you think it was a valuable experience?