Monday, March 31, 2008

Finally, I can post this photo ...



When I was in Langley for my sister, Madeline's wedding, I had a chance to have a great visit with my niece Carla. We stayed up to the wee hours of the morning ~ let's put it to you this way ... when her little guy woke up in the middle of the night, she didn't have to wake up to tend to him ... she was already (or I should say STILL awake). Anyway, I was telling her about these quirky portraits that I was creating, and she said she'd love to have one. So as a "thank you" for her hospitality, I painted a Wide-eyed Portrait entitled "Carla's World of Colour" and sent it home with Madeline when she was out in Alberta recently. Carla finally received the painting tonight, so I can safely post it on my blog. This painting's a little different than the previous portraits because it is a night time scene. Ya, I know, have a little of the Faux Gogh going here.
Well, it's getting late for me, cuz I have to be up by 5 a.m., so I'll say ta-ta for now. But please come back tomorrow as I plan to post the portrait that I just finished of Caren, that she won in the Blogoversary draw.

Friday, March 21, 2008

And the winner is ...

As promised, it's time to announce the winner
of the Blogoversary draw...
Can you read the name? My son Zach helped me by pulling the name out of the hat. The winner is (drum roll is heard in the distance) ... Caren McNee of New Zealand. Caren, please email me the following information:
1. Your eye and hair colour
2. Favourite colours
3. Your favourite past times, interests etc.
4. Any other detail you think may assist me in creating your portrait.
5. Your mailing address
I'm looking forward to painting this portrait, Caren. And I am hoping too, that the mail system will deliver it to you safe and sound.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment, and be watching for the completed portrait to be posted on the blog at a later date.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Draw date approaching fast

To enter my Blogoversary draw (a one-of-a-kind portrait), make sure you leave a comment on my blog before March 22nd when all the entrants' names will be put into a pointy hat and a winner will be announced. If you win, you'll need to supply me with a few facts about yourself, so that the portrait will truly portray who you really are.
So you can think about them, here's my little list:
1. Your eye and hair colour
2. Favourite colours
3. Your favourite past times, interests etc.
4. Any other detail you think may assist me in creating your portrait.

eyes are the window to the soul ~ are they not?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The discovery


It all started when I made the discovery ~ a Donny Osmond, two album set at the ReUse Centre. With all the 40-something friends I have, I knew it would come in handy someday. Sure enough, the occasion has presented itself. Nicolette is celebrating her birthday this week! I decided to warp her a record album to hold her Sharpies.

Last night I met up with her for coffee at Starbuck's, and to give her her birthday gift. I painted a wide-eyed portrait for her. It features a psychedelic background and Nic in a teal dress, matching PHAP hat, black leather jacket (turned up collar) with an "I love Elvis" button on it. In her hand, she holds a couple of her trusty Sharpies and of course, a pair of blue suede shoes. The reuse frame was a dark brown, so I gussied it up with hot pink around the edge and orange polka-dots just for the fun of it.

Here's the birthday girl holding her portrait. Isn't the resemblance uncanny?

P.S. Oh, and if you were wondering what I did with the second record and LP cover... when Arlene heard I had a Donny Osmond LP, she casually suggested that she really would love to have the cover. I met her at Indigo yesterday and gave her the cover and one record. She snatched it up immediately and told her son they were gonna go and listen to it just as soon as they got home. She apparently has some creative plans for the album cover. I'm not sure what, but she was muttering something about a shrine above her piano as she clutched the album close to her heart and headed out the door with her 14 year old rolling his eyes behind her.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Blogoversary to me!

Guess what? This weekend marks my 3rd year of blogging. If you look wayyyy back into my blog archives, you'll see it all started on March 15th 2005. A lot has happened in 3 years ~ some good, some bad ~ but mostly good stuff.

I've experimented in all sorts of ART, met a lot of awesome friends. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I should have been a little more prepared because I wanted to do a giveaway when my Blogoversary arrived this year. Hmm ... maybe I still can do something. Let's see ... how about if I create a portrait of the winner. If you leave a comment on this post, I will put your name in a hat (pointy birthday hat, of course) and you will have a chance to win a one of a kind Wide-eyed Portrait by moi.

So leave a comment already, people ~ and party on!

Photo: My great-niece Soraya celebrating her 3rd birthday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Struggling through


Have you ever noticed that with some pieces of ART, you have to struggle to finish a project? For whatever reason, sometimes the work fights back and refuses to be done. This doesn't look right; that doesn't work, blah, blah, blah. "Day on the Farm" has been one of those pieces that has fought back with me, but I'm happy (and relieved) to say that I am done, done, done! As you'll remember this is the painting that became my Whistler's Mother. Here is what the final portrait looks like.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Whistler's Mother


"And here we have Whistler's Mother." Remember "Bean: The Movie"? If you recall the part of the movie where Mr. Bean has a problem with the painting above, you'll have an idea of what happened with Susan's painting ... Argh.

Every time I do a painting, I ask Greg to look at it and tell me what he thinks. He has a good "art eye" and I trust him to be honest with me and tell me what he thinks. He's given me excellent suggestions on every one of my paintings so far.

One thing that bothered me about "Day on the Farm" was that the old bumpy painting was showing through on Susan's face, and that was the exact thing that Greg felt needed changing. He suggested that I either build up the rest of the face or to sand it down. I didn't want to do either. Acrylics don't seem to "build up" too well, and sanding would just cause a big mess. Plus matching skin tones would be a hassle. On the other hand, I figured that if Greg was thinking what I was already thinking, then everyone else would simply zero in on the disturbing looking feature on the eye and face. I knew I should fix it somehow. So I asked Greg if he could try sanding it down. This is what the painting looked like when he returned the sanded down version to me. Yikes!


Once the sun comes up this morning, I'll take a photo of the completed painting ... again.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I love painting over paintings!

There really must be something wrong with me, but I just love painting over old paintings. I'm not talking about an Emily Carr or any of The Group of Seven's work or anything. I'm talking about the kind of paintings that end up at the second hand store or in a garage sale; no longer loved, no longer wanted. In the past while I've found quite a few at the ReUse Centre and instead of going out and buying canvases or even hard board, I've opted to cover the old paintings with a coat of white and start all over again. The first time, I felt a little bit guilty, thinking how the artist would take the news that their painting were being destroyed just so that I could experiment a little and paint these quirky Wide-Eyed portraits.

"Day on the Farm"
18"x24"
My latest painting is a portrait of Susan, a very special friend of ours who owns a horse farm, has 5 kitties and is supposed to be retired. The canvas shown at the top was very bumpy and a challenge to paint over, but that's okay. I did my green duty ~ hehee!
I haven't given Susan her her portrait yet, so I'm counting on her computer illiteracy, and that she won't look at my blog before I get a chance to give her the painting.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum ~ Faux Gogh Part III

Shhhh! Zoot's sleeping. He's dreaming of chasing mice and thinking: It's finally comfortable enough to sleep on my beloved chair once more. The bad lady in the paint-splattered white coat hasn't been seen in over a month. Maybe she's gone. Gone for good. Uh bliss!
Poor, poor delusional Zoot ...


As you can see in the photo above, Arlene would never have a starving artist starve, so she provided a yummy Soup du Jour when I went to her house yesterday. Here you see the soup and the chair, with the cafe scene starting to appear...


My quick thinking friend knew that it wouldn't be comfortable for me to paint the chair at floor level so we did the obvious thing. We picked the chair up and placed it on the plastic draped dining room table!


The back of the chair is shown here. We haven't touched it yet. What I paint on the back is going to be a surprise right until the end ... even to me. Speaking of surprises, stay tuned, we're cooking up more exciting surprises for our Blogful Faithful ~ very, very soon!


If you look real close (I should get a closer, close up for you to see), you'll notice that unlike the original Van Gogh, the cafe is fairly empty. That's because Arlene and her husband Dan are the only two left at the cafe. It's almost closing time and their horse drawn carriage is about to arrive ~ see it in the background?


I'm not completely finished this panel, but I wanted to get a fresh start on it later after I haven't been staring at it for so long. This is sooo much fun people!