"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two days of working outdoors

Working outdoors, set up on my small chair in the shade of one of our fruit trees for the past two days has been an exercise is serenity and faith. I have not struggled to finish, and have more work yet to do, but managed to take in the warm winds, the cool sun, the soft ground, and the experience of losing my sense of time and place. Just seeing where a colour needed to be, mixing that colour and applying it, moving on to the next one, and accepting the results. It would
be nice to paint that way all the time. No stress, no concerns, just bliss.

Friday, July 23, 2010


a friend working in my garden...
Lyndia and me on the deck of my studio...
Samanda with new apples...
...and behind a veil...
by Lyndia Terre
And you want to know my process?
how do I make "art"
how do I decide what to draw
or paint or write or sing or dance
or what breath to take first
ah, first.
first I am like an open sieve,
or is it more a porous sponge
filling and filling until
I am so close to exploding
there needs to be some
slow down letting
or I will blow
fall into disrepair
wounded, destroyed
from all I have taken in
then against all better knowledge
I am forced to place myself
in direct contact
with the space, the place
the ideas
the sky, the moon
the time of day
the sand under my feet
the possibility of weather
of sun setting
of no sun at all
and I set out
(first section of a nine verse poem, copyright, Lyndia Terre, 2010)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Backdrop in the Studio

A couple of months ago I purchased a second hand photographer's backdrop stand from a local photographer who owns a photo store in Campbell River. I have many times over the years just pinned or taped fabric or paper up to a convenient wall when I wanted to construct an environment to use for a painting. Having this stand is an enormous treat! I should have done this years ago! I can drape what ever I want over it, two levels even! Isn't it surprising how the simple things can make a difference? I feel much more motivation to proceed with some new figurative work now that I have this stand. It goes up to about 15 ft. and spread wide to 12ft. and doesn't fall over. I can fold it all up into a long, narrow carrying bag if I want to put it away or take it to where my subject is. I keep thinking I should take a new photographers course - they have all the tricks and methods for getting great images which artist's often lack. I did have a year of photography in art school but it was geared to b& w and lots of dark room work - some stuff on studio lighting, but things like posing models, setting up still life scenes, etc. were not really in the curriculum. We went out on the street and shot a lot of candid things and I learned a great deal from that but often I am after something very specific and I struggle to get that image I have in mind. A simple backdrop stand can't solve all those issues but it is a step in the right direction. I had a great session yesterday with this model, Samanda, and came away with over 40 shots, many of which are probably going to go into paintings. Now I have a new toy to play with and the ideas are flowing!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


There is nothing quite like returning to a painting after leaving
off working on it for more than a week. It is like trying to reheat
a meal of leftovers - it might taste even better or it might be very
blah. I was tentative and hesitant and procrastinating yesterday
but managed to get started by deciding to work "just on the hair."
That led to some thoughts about the other side of Lyndia's
portrait which was still just underpainting. Some more daubs of
colour went on the palate and the next thing I knew I was mixing
skin tones and applying them to that unfinished side. I sat out
on my deck to do this - a wind was blowing - I had to get up to
collect my reference photo about three times as it got away from
me - but the sun was out, the temperature mild, and it just
beautiful. I think this painting has a good chance of being
completed fairly soon, but I will have to be diligent about my
frame of mind. I get depressed too easily and let that swing me
into lethargy. This is my lifelong battle. I just read an excellent
biography of Kafka, but maybe I should be concentrating on the
lives of more upbeat personalities - I related too much to his
sufferings. Life is good and I need to remember that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

At the Pier

Yesterday I was part of the Campbell River Art Gallery Art Walk, coordinated to be part of the Garden Tour. This is the first year the gallery has tried this so only a few of us signed up. I am not primarily a plein air painter so I found this quite challenging. My mind was on a lot of other things but I managed to focus for several hours and complete this little piece in pastel. The weather was beautiful and there were a number of good spots to sit and paint. There are literally dozens of boats so I had to judiciously pick and choose and eliminate in order not to become overwhelmed. The city street and stores are just beyond the dock area and up on the embankment are houses that overlook the Georgia Straits. I found myself concentrating on the
greenery and the water and very little on buildings. There was a maze of patterns from all the
sailboat masts but I decided not to include too many. This will be taken to the gallery tomorrow - I framed it today - and it will be sold (perhaps) in the upcoming Wearable Art Show and Art Sale or the silent auction. Sales benefit the gallery and the artists get a small
This coming tuesday I am going east, first to Toronto and then to Rochester, NY. I will be back on the 13th. Not looking forward to the heat and humidity back there but will enjoy the company of my son and probably see some old friends and acquaintances as well as some family members. I can finish Lyndia's portrait when I get back.