"Queen Anne's Lace", 2018, 11"x14" acrylics on canvas
The early morning sun lit up a cobweb attached to a Queen Anne’s Lace growing by our farmer’s fence. Some consider this abundant wildflower a common weed. Close examination reveals the delicate beauty of its broad flower head with its many tiny blossoms. I wanted to capture the contrast between the simplicity and complexity of Queen Anne’s Lace. The early morning sun showcased the delicate side of its stalky and robust stem. To the spider, this sturdy wildflower was nothing more than a convenient anchor to which it could attach its web. For we humans, the low morning sun glistening on the fine strands of a spider’s web offered a bit of morning gold.
"Wild Mushroom Study", 2018, 11"x14" acrylics on canvas
There are some crazy looking mushrooms out there. These wild characters are sometimes so small we can miss them altogether. They always make me smile. The mushrooms in this painting are based on photos I took at our cottage property near Haliburton. I was about to discard the photos when I considered they might make an interesting painting. The Amanita muscaria, the red mushroom, is said to be the clown of the forest. Doing this painting was absolute fun and the time flew by. It also allowed me to get my “details” fix. Although I ended up with a painting appealing to a very small group of people, I have a painting that makes me smile. I’ve identified the mushrooms to the best of my knowledge.
Top row left to right: Death Cap” Amanita phalloides, “Conk Fungus” Ganoderma applanatum
Bottom row left to right: “Black Morel” Morchella elata, “Fly Agaric” Amanita muscaria , “Shaggy Mane” Coprinus comatus
"River Rocks Study", 2018, 6"x7" watercolour (private collection)
For a long time I have wanted to find success with watercolours. Although two brief courses in 2006 and 2011 didn’t do much for me, I decided to try one more time. I signed up for a beginner’s course with Karen Richardson in Lindsay. I learned more in one day with Karen than I did on my two previous attempts.
This small 6″ × 7″ piece is based on one of Karen’s reference photos she made available in class. We have river rocks in our yard and I think I captured the feel of them. One goal I set after this workshop was to move forward with watercolour in 2019 to see where it takes me.
"Poppies", 2019, 6"x12", acrylics, SOLD
I was inspired to paint “Poppies” in anticipation of seeing the poppies appear in my garden. 2018-19 saw a long winter and when spring finally arrived, the warm weather was kept at bay until towards the end of May. Seeing the display of poppies from my front window is always a delight and I always look forward to seeing them bloom. So painting these bright blooms brightened up an otherwise dull day.
"Tulipa", 2019, 6"x12", watercolour on canvas
“Tulipa” is a 6″x12″ watercolour on canvas. I prepared the gessoed canvas with Daniel Smith Watercolour Ground – Titanium White and was impressed at how smoothly it applied and how well it accepted the watercolour paint. The experience of painting watercolour on canvas was similar to painting on rough paper, but with a difference. The roughness of the canvas weave is symmetrical as opposed to the random roughness of rough watercolour paper. I enjoyed this experiment and will definitely try it again. Perhaps choosing a fine detail botanical was not an ideal choice but I think it worked out in the end. I used a sepia archival ink for the final details. I did struggle with a few bits of it. As it is watercolour, varnishing was not an option. I gave it several coats of Krylon UV Archival Satin Varnish and framed it with a simple gold metal frame.