Thursday, January 28, 2010

Moving Forward

The title says it all. Sometimes you just know it is time to pick up the reins and move forward, and for me, the time has come. I have an idea where I'm headed, but I know there will be lots of wonderful, serendipitous surprises along the path. It's not such a different path from the one I have been on . . . still painting dogs and horses and cats, still using watercolour, a little graphite now and then, and some coloured pencil, but the approach needs to be different. My approach to painting and my life in art needs to be a bit different too.
When new things are being gathered in, some old things have to go, and I'm doing some closet cleaning, so to speak. Things that haven't been working are on the way out, and new ideas and ways of doing things are being implemented. It's also time to houseclean the people who treat me in a negative way. After all, I have a wonderful cheering section (and I cheer for them right back) of friends who enrich my life, and I hope I enrich theirs. In this fast paced world, they are the ones with whom I want to spend time (real and cyber).
So as the New Year unfolds, I am moving forward with optimism and confidence. We'll see where this new trail leads.
This 8 x 10 quick graphite of a Morgan Horse is already sold, but small matted prints are available.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Through The Gate Please

"Through The Gate Please" is a painting from a dog's point of view. This Westie is making it clear that on this sparkling Winter morning, he would prefer to go through the gate and go for a walk in the dawn light than stay in the confines of the garden.
We often see dogs as cute, and so they are, but they are also thinking, sentient creatures with dignity. Because I respect them as much as I love them, I always try to let that dignity come through in my paintings of them.
This West Highland Terrier painting, "Through The Gate Please" is an 11 x 14 watercolour on Arches 140 Hot Press paper.

Monday, January 11, 2010


This past weekend, I was thinking about a wonderful lady who was my mentor from the time I was a young girl. She taught me so much about dogs, and took me into the thrilling world of Dog Shows, and after much persuading, she convinced my parents to let me have a dog of my own. She taught me about life at the sea shore, and about the stars, and I loved every minute of my time with her.
This lady was an artist (oils), and she always encouraged me in my own dreams to be an artist. When I was a teen, she found an art teacher for me who could give me the help I needed with watercolours and in learning to draw accurately, but alas, this time, she was unable to convince my parents to let me have the lessons. But she continued to encourage me and to tell me that I could accomplish whatever I wanted.
When she passed on, her family (who are very dear to me) very generously gave me her brushes, and even though I don't do oils, the brushes sit beside my watercolour and acrylic brushes on my art cabinet. When I work on an acrylic painting, I always use one of her brushes for a few brushstrokes at some point, and because I take very good care of them, they accept the change and are staying in excellent condition.
Using these brushes makes me feel like she is here beside me, cheering me on as she did while she was alive, and sometimes I fancy I can almost hear her uniquely wonderful laugh.
A mentor - the right one, can make a huge difference in an artist's life, and I was so very lucky to have this lady come into and stay in my life. I have chosen to illustrate this blog with my 11 x 14 watercolour painting AN CAPAILL BAN (the White Horse) because my friend loved the ocean and believed that one can make their dreams come true.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

SOMETHING NEW - The Winter Path

With a new year starting, I feel both the need to do something new, as well as a need to do the same things in new ways. For several years now, I have worked with Coloured Pencil more than anything else. I love the vibrancy of Coloured Pencils and the detail that is possible, and it has been great fun exploring this great medium. But as many Coloured Pencil artists have found, it has taken a toll on my hands. I've started to have some serious hand pain while I'm working on a large piece, so it's time to be gentle with myself for a while. This means limiting the Coloured Pencil work and returning (for the most part) to watercolours, something that will be a joy, as watercolour has always been the medium I love best.
Much as I love painting dogs, cats, and horses, (and always will), I am at a place where I need to refresh my mind, and that means painting something completely different every now and then. I dearly love the beautiful valley where I live, and everywhere I look, in every season, I see lovely things, sometimes large panoramas, and sometimes little things that could be easily missed if one is not looking for them. I find at this time, that I want to paint some of these things and places once in a while so I can share them with you.
THE WINTER PATH is a place near home that I see whenever we drive into the city. Half hidden, it is easy to miss this path as we zip past it in the car, but now I know to look for it, and I find beauty there in every season. This 5 x 7 watercolour is the first in what will be a "now and then" series called "The West Carleton Paintings".

Monday, January 4, 2010


"Sammy" was a Christmas commission, and I had such a good time with this one. I went to meet and photograph the little guy, and any day where I can cuddle a sweet bundle of fur is a great day for me. All the Shih Tzu dogs I have met have been charmers, and Sammy was no exception. Painting him was a joy. This is an 8 x 10 Coloured Pencil painting.