After the Hurricane
Hurricane Dorian brought trees crashing down, which pulled out hundreds of poles carrying electric cables. The power was knocked for most of the province (Nova Scotia, Canada). We were without running water, electricity or internet for 7 days. The fields were blown into a tangled mess. These chaotic patterns intrigued me and showed up today in my acrylic painting.
Painting Little Flower Portraits
I painted a series of little flower portraits, named after my ancestral female relatives. The technique is called ‘sgraffito’ and is an adventure in mark-making.
By fall the fields are full of wild flowers. Brilliant goldenrods, seed pods and wild purple asters. I love how they stretch and move with the sun and plant themselves wherever they fancy. I tried to express that attitude in my drawing.
A Self Styled Artists’ Retreat
The first of many self-funded, low budget artist retreats. In 2012, I joined a group of women painters in a week long plein air painting trip. We stayed at the local hostel and spent every spare moment painting outside on Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. This small, sparsely populated island is easily accessible by ferry and is just 2 hours from Digby, Nova Scotia. It’s a fabulous way to expand painting skills and knowledge.
The Reimagined Garden
The beebalm in my garden inspired a little sketch which I developed into an acrylic ink painting.
This ink behaves much like watercolours on wet paper, a technique that is always full of surprises.
Perhaps that love of melting colours is a throwback to childhood fairytale books with mysterious illustrations of fairy settings.
Painting Garden Ecstacy
This painting was a challenge as it was a leap from painting a single bloom or two on a smaller canvas, to painting 2 side-by-side canvases outside in summer’s heat. I think I held my breath from start to finish, racing with the drying sun while trying to control the ‘bleed’ of the acrylic inks.
Painting Gladiolas with Ink
You can see how wet the water and ink are and why it is so important to work flat. I grew these gladiolas so that I could paint them. I have quite a few (too many!) clumps of flowers everywhere for just that purpose.
Painting Lupins with Ink
This was so juicy to paint. By laying down the shape of the flower with water, you set the perfect environment for dropping acrylic inks and thinned acrylic onto a primed canvas.
Lupins bloom wild all over Nova Scotia in May and June. They are so rich in colour, but a short lived perennial.
Candle + Watercolour
It’s fun to do a line drawing using candle wax onto a dry sheet of watercolour paper. The wax will act as a resist and push away the watercolour, leaving white lines on the painting. This is a favorite technique of mine when using with watercolours.
Salt + Watercolour
Recipe: Take 2 colours, a wet sheet of watercolour paper, a brush, some salt and a bit of jazz and see what happens…….
Experimenting on Yupo Paper
Yupo isn’t actually paper. It’s an oil based plastic (polypropylene) that is almost indestructible unless you take a pair of scissors to it. It’s widely used in all sorts of ways and someone had the bright idea to present it as an art surface.
The beauty of it is the way wet paint media can float on it and, when dry, still appear to be wet. Working on a nonabsorbent surface was a challenge for me and a fun experiment. Hot pressed watercolour paper has similar properties and, in the long run, is a better environmental choice.
I think every season is my favorite. I love the shapes of seed pods in the fall. I sketched these while listening to the saga of Jane Eyre being read in a podcast. I was there walking across the fields with her!
This has been the most viewed video I’ve ever created. I show you how to print without a press with inexpensive materials. This is great technique for people of all ages and abilities.
Monoprinting with Watercolour on Plexiglass
Here is another way to make a monoprint using watercolours. The cool thing about this method is the uniformity of texture on the paper. The results look entirely different from a direct watercolour painting.