Everyone says time seems to move faster and faster the older you get! This is obviously true due to my lack of posting frequently on this site. Why am I so busy?….not sure exactly but my only excuse is I have lots of things I want to accomplish during the remainder of my life, however long that may be.
Just because I retired from the grind of a typical “working for the man” type life, it doesn’t mean my life is at a standstill and I have all the time in the world just do whatever is happening when it happens. To the contrary, I seem to fill my days up to the brim, and of course, one of my most personally rewarding ways to do this always leads to me painting in my studio. I do love to paint and the more I paint, the more confident I become in what I am doing, the better my paintings get, and the more I sell which inevitably brings even greater satisfaction into my life. Then there are the other things I love to do which include gardening, kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming, walking, hiking, visiting good friends and family, and generally loving my life on this little island I call home.
My other big pursuit which I have been striving for is to be able to travel. With travel, comes a more in-depth regard for life in general. When I travel, I am constantly inspired by all the unique locations, people, cultures, and the flora and fauna . This year we took two motor-home trips, one to the north end of Vancouver Island visiting such places as Port Alice, Port McNeil, Sointula, Alert Bay, and Campbell River in the Spring and then in the Fall we headed to Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and Powell River. We have taken a winter vacation this year to Costa Rica and Belize and will be off to Ixtapa for a week very soon! I feel that when I travel I gain the wisdom of knowing how to live right and I develop even more gratitude for what I have.
Travel inspires me to keep the creative juices flowing which for me feels essential.
I finished this painting a few weeks back. These are the sandstone rocks that you can walk upon right out to the edge of the water at low tide at Sandpiper Beach on Hornby Island. I cannot begin to describe the essence of serenity, peace and calm I feel walking on these large stepping stones on a beautiful sunny day. I always end up just staring at everything around me and always hate to leave to go back the way I came. The particular day I took the photo of these rocks that I painted from, the sun was just starting to shine through the clouds mid-morning. I call this oil painting “Stepping Stones”. It is 48″ x 36″ and probably one of my favourite paintings I have done to date. Enjoy!
One of my all-time favourite beaches…. Tribune Bay. So this oil painting is pretty much what you see every time you head to the beach in the summer. The water is so warm and inviting and the beautiful sandy beach is outstanding. Last year we won a paddle board and it is always so much fun to get out there and just paddle around the Bay. Already looking forward to beach season!
I have been painting a fair bit these days since the New Year began. This new painting is just completed and I especially like the way the water turned out below the trees. I love the shimmering patterns where the sun hits the water. The scene is of an arbutus tree silhouetted against the background and water below. It looks down from the trail that runs from Helliwell Park to High Salal. I also have another one that should be ready any day that I am particularly happy with and have also started on a big one that I am really quite excited about. More to come on that one later!
…. and I have finally finished my “Beach Day” Triptych which I have gone back to many times. I am finally happy with it. It is something that I wanted to try because so many people ask for summer beach scenes.
A week or so before Christmas we had some pretty strong winds for a couple of weeks. Enough for us to say, “Enough is enough”, especially when a rather large Cedar at about 75 feet came down onto the front part of the house.
After this, considering our safety, we decided to take down the 95 foot Douglas Fir that grew about 30 feet from the house. I have to say I feel somewhat calmer during the strong winter winds.
And, we were lucky enough that this incident did not thwart our Christmas celebration with family and especially our little 2 1/2 year old grandson who always brings us so much joy!
So as many of you know and feel, there just is never enough time in the day to do what you want. I always start out with good intentions but…. all of a sudden, there is something else you need to look after or go to. And of course, you need to socialize somewhat or really, what kind of life would you have.
So still working on my triptych which is getting somewhere. It is different for me to be painting a bunch of tiny little people and items on the beach. Just needed to try though. I do find it a little tedious. I am very much more into the big scenery scenario. This is how far I have come so far… (alright been working on it a little more but this is the last photo). I am assuring myself that this will be worthwhile and I have some really cool frames to put around them.
Oh, then, because the weather was kind of crappy and the studio doesn’t stay light enough long enough, I decided to start doing some watercolours in the house. Started with a self portrait. 3rd attempt….. I am pretty happy with this….(crooked smile and all). I did add my wrinkles as well. I’m sure there are more than what is shown.
Then I got a book and workbook on “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain” from Betty Edwards , that I have just started and am hopeful that this will be something to further my skills. Kind of like going back to the basics which was really a long time ago. (More to come on that).
And if that is not enough, I did this little otter munching on lunch by the Salish Sea and thanks so much to my husband, Sam, for taking amazing photos that I get to use for inspiration. I am now also working from the same photo on a little oil painting on canvas which so far I love.
Felt I needed break from the triptych this week and decided instead to do a few small paintings (6″ x 6″) in Acrylic. Trying to free myself up by doing some paintings from my mind as well as a little still life. This is what I got! Too much fun!
Today I’m going back to the studio to tweak a painting and then get back to the summer beach paintings which are coming along but still a long ways to go!
Home from our trip and finding it hard to get in the right frame of mind to start painting again. When I haven’t done it for awhile I get somewhat intimidated – who knows why because as soon as I get going it just works! I’ve heard lots of artists do go through this when they’ve been away from it for awhile.
There has been lots to do to catch up but I’m pretty close after weeding, planting and playing in my garden as well as attending to other chores of a tedious nature! Finally got out to my studio yesterday and painted for about 5 hours! Felt so good to get those paint brushes back in my hands. Working on my beach scene triptych! It’s kind of interesting working on 3 paintings at the same time…. a little switching around going on trying to make sure they are in sync. I think they are coming along fine and so far, am happy with them. I am hoping to have them completed and framed for December when the new group show starts at the Co-op for a month. Also, have done a few more little tweaks on one of my grandson’s portraits I have been working on, off and on.
As an aside, here is a little beach scene – 6″ x 4″ Oil on canvas board. Pretty tiny but fun! People seem to really like these little paintings which are framed nicely in a little white frame.
We spent 3 1/2 weeks on a little jaunt around BC and Alberta in our older motorhome during the month of Sept. & into Oct. We started out climbing the Duffy Lake/Pemberton route to Lillooet camping at a free campsite near Seaton Lake. What at great start to the trip!
We continued on with stops in the Shuswap area, Canyon Hotsprings , Nakusp (more hot springs in that area), Sandon (historic silver mining town), Kaslo, Kokanee Creek Provincial Park (Kokanee fish spawning), Nelson, Cranbrook, Waterton Lake National Park, Kananaskis Country, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Marble Canyon, Paint Pots, Radium Hotsprings, Vernon, Penticton and Oliver. I find these trips so inspiring with such majestic scenery. I always take many photos, some of which I will be using as subjects in my paintings.
So, how does the time go by so fast. We have had many friends and family visit in the month of August and it has been fun! We have also been fortunate to have some amazingly hot and beautiful sunny days but I am quite happy that the rain has returned for the time being! My gardens were suffering and they are also very grateful for this change in weather.
Okay, back to what I have been doing in the studio. Somehow I have squeezed in a little time to paint and receive visitors to the studio during this busy season. I have at least accomplished what I set out to do according to my last post. These are my two most recent paintings and I have a few more in the works now.
The 1st painting is of that smoky day (July 5, 2015). I am quite happy with the result. The painting is 30″ x 24″ in oil. The 2nd painting is of horses ranging near the mountains and is 18″ x 14″ also oil. I have been wanting to paint horses for sometime and this is a first attempt after many many years. I have owned 3 horses in the past and have a huge fondness for this beautiful sensitive creature. Enjoy!