Tag Archives: drawing

Modest proposals

Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal Mixed Media 12" x 12"

Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal
Mixed Media 12″ x 12″

Dark HarbourSeawall Enhancement Proposal Mixed Media 12" x 12"

Dark Harbour Seawall Enhancement Proposal
Mixed Media 12″ x 12″

My two mixed media drawings, Dark Harbour Seawall Enhancement Proposal, and Whale Cove Seawall Enhancement Proposal are part of this year’s Annual Square Foot Show in New Brunwsick’s Grand Manan Art Gallery. I’ve been playing with ideas about what else could be built with the materials used to build piers and fishing weirs on the island, inspired by the driftwood sculpture constructions by Lars Vilks that are found on the shores of the proud, free micronation of Ladonia. I’m a citizen of Ladonia of course, and would certainly apply for citizenship of Grand Manan, were it possible to do so. In the meantime, I can only offer my collection of modest proposals. The Square Foot Show continues until July 14, 2016.

At The Table, at DVSA, until June 12

Oil Pastel on Wood Panel 18″ x 24″

I’m pleased that one of my paintings in oil pastel, ”Cezanne’s Jug,” is included in an exhibition of drawings, paintings, and pottery vessels  now at the Dundas Valley School of Art (DVSA) Gallery. 

Each of the artists represented has contributed one piece to “At The Table, ” a satisfying and varied exhibition, that explores the Still Life and its subjects.

The participants are: Scott Barnim, Rae Bates, Helen Beswick, Wayne Cardinalli, Barry Coombs, Christie Gruppe, Rae Hendershot, Monica Hess, Jody Joseph, Louise McCann, Katherine MacDonald, T.R, MacDonald, John Miecznikowski, Terry Osborne, Colleen O’Reilly, Marla Panko, Janet Parker, Patricia Peacock-Evans, Timothy Smith, Anne Sneath, Holly Sneath, Rosemary Van Bruggen, Ann Walsh and me! I’m proud to be included with this group of artists.

The gallery is located in DVSA at 21 Ogilvie Street in Dundas Ontario, and the show continues until June 12.

#Hamilton2Views

Mulberry Red by Aleda O'Connor

#Hamilton2Views a two-person show with Barry Coombs, continues until November 14, at Earls Court Gallery, 215 Ottawa Street North, Hamilton. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday. 

After focusing mostly on rural and maritime landscape for more than a decade, the shapes and colours of Hamilton’s cityscape are a change of direction for me.

These paintings are all Oil Pastels on panel. My approach is similar to drawing, using every imaginable mark-making technique, from layering and cross hatching, to blending and scratching with tools, my fingers and paint mediums.

Since we moved to Hamilton in May 2012 I have been documenting the city and its inventory of wonderful residential, commercial and industrial locations. But it wasn’t until Barry Coombs began documenting the urban landscape in the city that I fully embraced this project.

The idea of a conversation between two artists’ vision of the same subject, sometimes the very same places, added particular piquance to the idea.

 After focusing mostly on rural and maritime landscape for more than a decade, the shapes and colours of Hamilton’s cityscape are a change of direction for me.

 All of my work in #Hamilton2Views is done in Oil Pastel on wood panel. My approach is similar to drawing, using every imaginable mark-making technique, from layering and cross hatching, to blending and scratching with tools, my fingers and paint mediums.

I was introduced to the New York Ash Can school of painters when I was still in art school, and always admired Edward Hopper.  I didn’t discover the wonderful pastels by Wolf Kahn until I had begun using pastels myself. His landscapes and use of colour made a permanent impression. For many years I have also referenced the compositions, structure and brushwork in paintings by Henri Matisse and Richard Diebenkorn.

 

Solo Exhibition, DVSA Gallery

Gathering Flock     36  x  48

Gathering Flock 36 x 48″

Bonavista     12 x 24

Bonavista 12 x 24″

I’m very excited about my solo exhibition of new work, FLOCK, at the Gallery in the Dundas Valley School of Art (DVSA), 21 Ogilvie Street, Dundas Ontario. The exhibition will be installed on May 3 and runs until May 24. 

The Opening Reception is on Saturday May 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Please join me!

The Gallery is open from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.  It is not open on Sunday. Phone 905-628-6357. 

DVSA is an independent, not-for-profit art school that has made an enormous contribution to the visual arts in the Hamilton area for more than 40 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer on the road

Stone Table and Benches, Gould Farm Carbon Pencil on Paper 18" x 24"

Stone Table and Benches, Gould Farm Carbon Pencil on Paper 18″ x 24″

We travelled a lot this spring and summer, in North America and later in Britain. Here are some of the highlights of our trip as recorded in my sketchbooks. In June, I visited Gould Farm, in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts where my friend Rose is a volunteer. She wrote and edited a wonderful cookbook to celebrate the farm’s 100th anniversary as a healing and rehabilitation centre – and to raise money for this marvelous organization.

Barry planned three workshops for the summer: Toronto was first, in July.

12" x 16" Watercolour

Doctor’s House Pioneer Village 12″ x 16″ Watercolour

8.5 " x 11" Pen and Ink

Gate, University College U of T 8.5 ” x 11″ Pen and Ink

Next, we travelled to Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy.

Light keepers House Swallowtail Light, Grand Manan 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Light keepers House Swallowtail Light, Grand Manan 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Seal Cove Sheds and Spools 18" x 24 "Charcoal with Watercolour

Seal Cove Sheds and Spools 18″ x 24 “Charcoal with Watercolour

Early in August, we moved on to the Cotswold District in England.

Broadway Village, Cotswolds England  9" x 12" Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Broadway Village, Cotswolds England 9″ x 12″ Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Stanway House, Cotswold District England 9" x 12" Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

Stanway House, Cotswolds England 9″ x 12″ Pen, Ink and White Charcoal on Toned Paper

When the workshops were over, we visited Cornwall for 10 days.

Porthgwarra Village View 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Porthgwarra Village View 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Low Tide, Mevagissey Cornwall 8.5" x 11" Pen and Ink

Low Tide, Mevagissey Cornwall 8.5″ x 11″ Pen and Ink

Drawn Together

I was included in a profile of two University of Guelph graduates in the May 2013 issue of the University Alumni magazine, Portico. Author Andrew Vowles connected us after meeting each of us in open life drawing sessions here in Hamilton. Ward Shipman, the photographer for the Portico piece, is another regular in the same life drawing circles. I really look forward to any opportunity to spend time drawing from life. The experience keeps my hand and eyes tuned, but I love the state of mind that can be achieved by focusing entirely on the process of observing something carefully through drawing: a meditation when it’s going well. 

I’ve been participating in two life drawing circles in Hamilton since we arrived in 2012. On Sundays you can draw from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the top floor of the Vasco Da Gama building on Hamilton’s James Street North, between Cannon and Mulberry streets. Look for the sandwich board on the street outside. It costs $10 and is run by artist John Martin. Anne Becker, the owner of 337 Sketch Gallery (located at 337 Ottawa Street near Barton Street in Hamilton,) opens up her own studio above the gallery for life drawing from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays. The fee is $12.50. Make sure to be a little early. The street door gets locked promptly. 

More from Ireland

I’m still under the spell of the January light and landscape in Ireland’s Cork and Waterford Counties. Here are a few more of my drawings, some in pen and ink, and several in pen, ink and white charcoal on toned paper. 

Represented by Art Etc.Gallery

Split Rail Fence, Dufferin County 20″ x 28″

Some of my pastel paintings and pen and ink drawings are available to rent or purchase through the Art Etc. Gallery Shop, at the Burlington Art Centre, 1333, Lakeshore Road, Burlington. I’m pleased to be included in a collection of original works by established and emerging Canadian artists.

My subject here is a split rail or snake fence, that I found just outside Orangeville, in Dufferin County, Ontario. These picturesque and durable fences are constructed of white cedar that grows in swampy areas throughout Ontario, especially where there is limestone under the soil.

An Oil Pastel Workshop

    
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.

West Guilford, by A.J. Casson   McMichael Canadian Collection

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. 

Watercolour with charcoal pencil

I joined a Sustained Saturday watercolour class taught by my partner Barry Coombs for the afternoon, after a space opened up at the last minute.  These studio days run from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. several times each term.  The still life subject was predominantly brass and we were encouraged to compose our image by employing a very tight crop. I admire people who work in watercolour, and even though I’ve been working at it for about 18 months, my results are very unpredictable. That’s partly what makes it fun – and terrifying!

My original idea was to spend the afternoon drawing in black and white with pen and ink. Working on hot press paper, I sketched the subject lightly with pencil. Then, inspired by the work being done by others around me, I changed my mind and used watercolour to block  in the key shapes, adding some secondary washes to form the shine and shadows. Next, returning to my comfort zone, I  added value, structure and depth with charcoal pencil. (So much for planning!) I was surprised by how the charcoal seemed to melt when it touched the still-wet paper as I worked. I liked the effect, and for a while worked back and forth between the dry and wet mediums.  If you want to see more about the class, see Barry’s blog post about the day. 

Watercolour and Charcoal Pencil study 12" x 16"

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