Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breakfast time

Orange juice and eggs, acrylic on linen panel, 8" x 8", 2013


Last Friday, I saw this checkered red and white dish cloth in a kitchen supply store. Since it was the very last one and it had gotten separated from its original packaging, I got it for $4.30. 
For now, I have no intention of using it in my kitchen. I bought it for the sole purpose that it would make a great backdrop for some still life painting. 
I made the above still life Sunday morning so that I could catch the shadows from the sunlight streaming through the studio windows. 
I can draw straight lines if I concentrate hard enough, but I really didn't feel like it this weekend. The orange juice was harder to paint than the eggs were. I didn't realize that orange juice was such a particular shade of "orange". 
You can find this painting in my  Etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Self-portrait in the snow (part 2)

Me in the snow # 2, oil on canvas, 8" x 8", 2013
I love the scarf on this painting. It turned out awesome!
Do I look cold? Do I look happy?
Winter scenes are kinda fun to paint. I should try doing some more before spring arrives.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Self portrait in the snow

Oil on linen canvas board,  8" x 8", 2013

I think this is as close as I've ever gotten to painting a winter scene. Actually, I don't think I've ever painted winter in any of my work over the years. You have to use a lot of white paint to make snow.
Greta really likes this painting and wants to keep it. She's very selective and it's rare that she asks me to do this. Do I sense a future art critic in the making?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunny Sunday

Today's forecast:  sunny, -16 degrees celsius ( feels like -24 degrees with the wind chill).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday afternoon

This picture would make some people think I live in the forest, but no, it's the view of the park across the street from my studio window this morning. Lots of potential today to do some work, but will probably end up grocery shopping and doing laundry. The kids are off to meet up with their cousin, Marianne and their grandpa for an afternoon of bowling, pizza and cake. Sounds like a plan.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Summer baby

As promised, here are photos of Augusto's birthday celebrations in downtown Montreal with friends and family last night. The irony of Augusto's birthday each year is that it's usually the coldest day of the year, last night being no exception ( about -35 degree celsius with the wind chill). Augusto was born in Nicaragua where January is actually summer time there. Yesterday in Nicaragua, the temperature was partly cloudy and 25 degree celsius. Ironic, don't you think?

A U G U S T O!

Lorenzo and Greta

My sister, Sonya and niece, Marianne

Jenna ( my other niece) who always has a worried look on her face when she sees me. I think it's because I look like her mom, but I'm not and that just confuses the kid to no end. One day, we will have lots of fun together.

Augusto, Chris, Rosa and Erik
My brother-in-law, Eric with his new reading glasses

Augusto and me

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coto de Imaz

Coto de Imaz, acrylic on gessoed Stonehenge paper, 7 1/2" x 11", 2013
Today is Augusto's 50th birthday! Happy birthday sweetheart!

I thought it fitting to post my latest illustration...a special bottle of Spanish red wine for Augusto's birthday celebrations.
I have to say the painting turned out pretty wicked. I really like this one. I tried to just observe and look and not think too much, otherwise the details on the bottle label would have freaked me out. Amazing what the body and brain can do together when we don't interfere and just let them to do their thing.

Below are pictures of the birthday boy with the kids and myself at my sister's wedding this past summer.
These pictures are a little bit more fun than trying to take current ones of us standing outside in the snow and cold. People just look better in the summer. But I do promise to take some indoor birthday photos today.

A U G U S T O !

Lorenzo and Augusto

Greta and Augusto

Augusto and me

2 new swimmers

Swimmer sculptures available now in my shop

Two new swimmers just completed this weekend. I tried a new smaller size and I quite like the outcome. It would seem that size does make a difference after all for certain things in life.

Monday, January 21, 2013

When inspiration strikes

I always like to take photos of my sculptures before I paint them. I like the above photos when they are sitting on my desk...they look so they could talk to you.
Four of the above sculptures have been painted and two of them are in my shop already. The last three are still to be finished. I'll try and get them done sometime this week if inspiration strikes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

That rushed feeling

Feeling rushed?
Fuzzy photos always make for good paintings, don't you think? Remember the good old days of regular cameras with film rolls? Sometimes you had to wait a week before your photos were ready. How crazy was that! And blurry photos were never kept and always thrown in the trash.
I like the above photo very much because it summarizes in an instant how I've felt all last year...rushed. God forbid, I took a day off and did absolutely...nothing.

New three-letter word for 2013...T-I-E (take it easy).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


View of my work table in my studio
There's something quiet and serene about this photo. One finished sculpture sitting on my desk with all the brushes surrounding her. I normally end up using about ten different brushes just to finish one sculpture. My favourite size is the 20/0 which is super thin and delicate, but very precise and excellent for thin lines. I have a small selection of this sized brush from different brands and each one reacts differently. I'm always on the lookout for new brushes in this size. It's not an obsession, but I need to make sure I have some on hand as they do get used up and frayed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Plants that can hurt you

Two small cactus plants, oil on gesso board panel, 5" x 7",  2012
I recently began to buy cactus plants which might not seem such a big deal, but it is for me. I grew up with lots of plants in the house, but we never had a single cactus plant. Even when I lived on my own, I had lots of different plants, but still no cactus. When I got married and had children, still no cactus.
I guess I'm not a big fan of plants that can hurt you.
Anyway, last November and December, I went on a cactus plant buying binge and bought a small variety of them. They are really quite a lot of fun to paint. I have to remember not to water them too much. And to stay clear of the prickly bits.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hydrangea flower

Hydrangea in white vase, acrylic on gessoed paper, 2013
When I go into a flower shop, I need to take out my pen and notebook and write down the names of the flowers that I buy, otherwise the titles for my artwork become very limited. For example, RANUNCULUS sounds a lot more exotic and official than PINK FLOWERS IN A VASE.
I only recently discovered the hydrangea flowers last fall in my local flower shop. I always have to urge to squeeze them in my hand. They look so soft and squishy, but are actually very sturdy and last a long time as a cut flower.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stonehenge paper

Landscape # 4, acrylic on stonehenge paper, 2013

There are certain drawing papers that I feel a deep connection to...BFK Rives paper and Stonehenge paper.  Both have a certain soft quality to them that is oh so wonderful and magical to the touch. They just speak to me. Both these papers were also the same ones that I used back in my university days. I made some of my best works on them.
Recently, I bought a few Stonehenge sheets and have rediscovered the magic. It feels good to be inspired by the very materials that you use to create.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Landscape series # 5

Landscape series # 5, acrylic on gessoed paper, 2013
My landscapes always seem to lean towards abstraction, yet remain firmly landscapes. It's all about balance between colours and composition when I'm working on this type of art.
The few times that I do attempt an abstract painting, the results are always lacking. Which for me only means that abstract art needs some sort of reality to begin with. That is my take on it, but I'm sure many other artists would have their own arguments about abstract art and what is should and shouldn't be. I can only base myself on my own experience.
If my art veers towards abstraction, it occurs naturally. I never force it otherwise I lose my focus and end up over analyzing too much and destroying the work resulting in a painting that says nothing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creative inspiration

Landscape series # 6, acrylic on gessoed paper, 2013

Today, I did a little experiment in my studio and brought out the same collage sketches that I worked with last winter to make my landscape series on paper in 2012. I wanted to see what I would create looking at these same sketches from one year ago.
The results were different of course, but just as intriguing as last year's series.
It is quite extraordinary how one idea can be extrapolated endlessly. There really is no finite result when it comes to art.
As long as there is interest and inspiration, there is creation.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Starbuck's cake pop (or cake on a stick)

Cake on a stick # 1, acrylic, ink on gessoed paper, 12/2012
So my daughter, Greta, who's twelve, is not a big milk drinker. But she is an avid hot chocolate milk drinker. When we were in Ottawa at the beginning of December, it was really really cold. Hence, a perfect excuse to go inside the local Starbucks and get a (you guessed it!) chocolate.
That is when I discovered the little delicate pink cake pops at the counter. So perfect and pinkishly glazed with white sprinkles to boot.
Of course, I bought one and carefully kept it in my purse without crushing it all the way back home to Montreal. I made three different paintings on paper. After which, Greta and I split the cake pop in half and ate it. Yum, yum.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cafe latte

Espresso coffee pots on kitchen stove, acrylic on canvas, 6" x 6", 2013

I love espresso coffee pots. If I could, I would own more than the three that I already own. I prefer the ones made in Italy because the quality is excellent and Italians know their coffee, so they should know how to make a good coffee pot.
Now a days, I only drink the occasional espresso. If I'm in a restaurant, I'll maybe order a cappucino. But I won't drink regular North American style coffee. It's too watery for my taste and I was brought up by a Sicilian dad who drank his morning espresso religiously every day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's sno' fun

I asked my son, Lorenzo to take some new photos of me so I could change my profile picture. The sun was bright and blinding. I froze my butt sitting in the cold snow. I should have worn snow pants, but I stopped wearing those when I was 8 years old. Did I mention it was -15 degrees celsius? I think that was without the wind shield. Good times, good times...

Oil versus Acrylic

STILL LIFE (green plant in terracotta pot), oil on canvas, 6" x 6", 2012
available in my ETSY shop

So, I spent last year going back and forth between acrylic and oil paint. I did more acrylic paintings than oil paintings for the same reason that I chose acrylic when I was in university some 25 years ago. Acrylic paint dries faster and I could bring my work home with me at the end of class instead of leaving my paintings in school. When I was in university, I heard stories about how some students would paint over another person's canvas instead of having to buy one. Not cool, but I wasn't surprised.
Anyway, I think 2013 will be more an oil painting kind of year. Funny thing is that most people think my acrylic paints are done in oil. Same kind of blending of colours and I'm not into using bright colours. Purple and orange are not part of my repertoire. Neither is neon pink or neon yellow. My kids say I wear too much black.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Today is a good day to begin revamping my Etsy shop and getting things in order. Lots of sculptures are back in my shop. I'm looking forward to a great year of discovering more amazing art by other artists and seeing where my art will take me. It's quite exciting! I have a feeling in my bones that lots of amazing things will begin to happen this year. Jumping off that cliff into the unknown never felt so good.