There are artists up and down this area just like me this week, scrambling to put the finishing touches on some of our pieces in preparation for the Studio Tour! It's a fun business! Woohoo it's not easy to put your heart out to the world. But I've just been painting because I love it, painting scenes and pictures because I love them. That's the reason. I hope that some of them might resonate with others, reminding them of places they've been. Here are three little ones and a big one, - as usual my subjects cross the continents. I'll pop a virtual tour on here next weekend for those not able to make it to my Studio Tour.
It's the last two weeks before the Artists Studio Tour and I'm pushing myself to complete a few new paintings! I'm also challenging myself to work with more colour and to loosen up in the texture I create. It's not always easy to let go, as much as I want to and tell others to! I'm really feeling the need for a teacher to help me to the next level. So while I work through the stages of becoming more confident with my medium I'll carry on painting pictures of what grabs me or moves me. Hopefully some of the mood and emotion comes through the layers of wax. Here's a picture I took last year of a tree at Rock Lake. It had previously lived its glorious life yet is was still anchored to the lake shore, other life growing all round it. I guess it's hard to let go sometimes.
Some years ago during a very cold February I went to the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. Known as one of the truly "thin places", Iona has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer for hundreds of years. When I was there it was gloriously solitary. My experience there, and the island itself will be forever in my heart.
I remember this day so well. I was living in Scotland at the time and I woke to an incredibly beautiful frost. It covered everything with icy white. I went out early and took Molly my dog for a walk in the crisp landscape. She delighted at the puddles of water which had turned to ice. She jumped on the ice until it broke and she lay on the ground crunching happily on the chunks of ice. It was a stunning morning, quiet, cold, breath-taking. These pictures were taken on that day on my walk. The paintings are 6"x6".
It's been an amazingly full and busy time lately! Summer has arrived and is in full swing and so I'm spending as much time in the garden as I can. When it's too hot to be outside or once all the day's work is done I retreat to the coolness of my Art Room and I paint, often until way after midnight. "Go where the energy is", I maintain, so I'm going there, big time. It's a great place to not have to think of the day's worries. It's not an escape, but it is a place I go to restore some of the balance that I've lost in a day or a week.
We went on a trip to South Africa in November last year and one of the highlights was to travel up the West Coast. What a sea!! It was crazy, and blue, and wild and everything a sea should be in my opinion. It's impossible to capture, but I wanted to make a painting that captured some of the intense blue of it.
Another one I completed the other night has a completely different feel. I used a photograph I took of harvest time in the Prairies. On the way home from a visit to Pembina Valley I passed this incredibly yellow field full of hay bales. The vastness of the landscape here is breath-taking. I intensified the yellow even more with various layers of yellow wax medium under the photograph transfer.
I work from my Art Room in my home on Vancouver Island. I'm surrounded by impressive landscapes that never fail to bring endless inspiration!