The Art Etc. Gallery in the Burlington Art Centre, has added six of my new Oil Pastel landscape paintings to their collection of works for sale or rent. Located at right on Lake Ontario, at 1333 Lakeshore Road in Burlington, ON, the shop features original works by established and emerging artists.
Tag Archives: Burlington Art Centre
Ten members of the Burlington Fine Arts Association (BFAA) spent the day with me
(right, above, with Gail Forbes past president) for an Oil Pastel workshop, held in the wonderful facilities at the Burlington Art Centre. Oil Pastels are a very liberating medium to use: they’re so portable, durable and stable. They appeal especially to people who love to draw and love colour. Using them reminds me of the fun I had as a child when I first made pictures.
It is important to understand how colours work together when you’re working in pastel, because you need to blend them and know how to adjust values to get a full range from each hue. So we spent a little time at the beginning reviewing these relationships and weaving additional hues by hatching and feathering, adding black and white, and by blending complementary colours. The process gave everyone an opportunity to use their new pastels and try out different approaches to mark-making. We worked on masonite panels that were coated with Golden Acrylic Pastel Ground.
The subject for the day’s work was a simplified adaptation of this drawing by A.J. Casson. The youngest member of Canada’s famous Group of Seven painters, Casson spent some of his formative years in Guelph and Hamilton where he took art classes at the Hamilton Technical School. This prolific artist had a particular affection for Southern Ontario villages that could be reached easily on weekend drives from Toronto.
Everyone transferred the drawing of this house on a hillside to their panel – with some lovely results. At the end of the day, we had a look at the pastel paintings our group produced. It is always fascinating to see how artists express their own personality to produce unique variations on a theme. Many thanks to BFAA for this invitation and the very warm welcome the members extended.
In September, I made a very abbreviated start on an oil pastel demonstration at the end of my presentation to the Burlington Fine Arts Association at the Burlington Art Centre. I didn’t have time to show the group much about how I work in the allotted time, but I promised I’d post it when it was finished. Here’s what it looked like in progress:
I began by drawing in the major shapes and blocking in patches of colour.
At step two, below, I emphasized the orange/pink glow where the sun shines on and through the wheat stalks.
By the third stage, I have worked into the shapes with more colour – building layers with my Sennelier Oil Pastel sticks and Sakura Cray-Pas Specialist Oil Pastel sticks, while also scratching into the surface with a palette knife and a bamboo skewer. I find that by using different brands of pastel I can manipulate the texture and colour better. I also use oil pastels made by Holbein and Caran D’Ache.
Finally, I refined the surface, added more colour in the sky, defined the shapes and shadows of the willows and added additional contrasting complimentary marks throughout, but especially in the foreground wheatfield. Notice the distant roadway as well – a last-minute addition.
Some of you know that Barry Coombs and I moved to Hamilton – 45 minutes west of Toronto – in May. Six months later I can report that we are thrilled by our decision, by our new home that has enough space for both of us to have studios, a guest room, plenty of storage space and a big garden in a lovely neighbourhood, close to the lake and farmers market. What more could anyone want? Barry had many connections here, having taught at the Dundas Valley School of Art (DVSA) for some 20 years, and I have been most warmly welcomed by absolutely everyone I have met, from Barry’s former DVSA colleagues and students, to our new neighbours and the folks at the Burlington Art Centre (BAC) where I recently gave a presentation about my oil pastels to the Burlington Fine Art Association. We have become regulars at the James Street North Art Crawl, and last month I attended some of the screenings of the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s World Film Festival. (Heck – all three venues were less than 10 minutes away.)
To top off this perfect beginning, my little drawing Bicycle was chosen for the Viewers Choice Award at the opening of the Second Annual Miniature Show at Hamilton’s 337 Sketch Gallery. I’m very proud to be part of this show that contains some exquisite works of art – none of which are larger than 3” x 4” or cost more than $200. (I have my eye on a few beauties.) The show runs until October 29 at 337 Ottawa Street, Hamilton.
I was the guest speaker for the Burlington Fine Arts Association this week – an exciting first for me. I am so grateful to Victoria Pearce for inviting me to talk about this rewarding medium and to the Association members for their warm response to my work. I briefly discussed the origin and history of oil pastels, the artists who have inspired and influenced my work, and demonstrated my set-up and materials. As you can see I started a new pastel painting and I’ll post the finished work when it’s done. The event was held at the Burlington Art Centre, a wonderful facility not far from our new home in Hamilton.