Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blue Umbrella

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - This is a rainy day in downtown Toronto. Nice to visit but I do not miss it since we moved to a smaller city. We can get there in an hour and a half by train to go to a play or shop but it is a little too busy for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


5 x 7 iinches, oil on gessoboard - This is Adso. He and his older brother occasionally come for a stayover with Zipper. A couple of days of wrestling and eating each other's food, followed by a couple of days of snoozing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Bird Brains

12 x 12 inches, oil on stretched canvas - We see and hear many crows around us. One year a pair nested in a tree on our property and we named that part of the garden the "Crows Nest Path". I made up the setting and cobbled together a couple of crows from various photos.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Antique Deck Chairs

6 x 8 inches, oil on hardboard - We saw these old restored deck chairs in a garden centre we visited. I can just picture Victorian folks sipping high tea on the terrace.

Friday, April 25, 2014


7 x 5 inches, oil on gessoboard - Snowdrops are a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. We still have some small piles of snow stubbornly melting, but the garden is starting to pop out of the ground.  I picked these from our garden and painted them because they will not be around for long.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yellow Orchid

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - I did this from a photo that I took of an arrangement at the orchid show in Toronto last year. They let the photographers in an hour early and then kick them out so that the orchid enthusiasts can see the display. That hour was bedlam. I got whacked by camera bags a couple of times and caught a serious case of camera envy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tea Is Ready

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - I am trying to loosen up a little. White on white is definitely a challenge.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Safe Harbour

5 x 7 inches, oil on gessoboard - I should paint more scenes from the east coast since I have some history there. This is from a photo that I took some years ago, I think its in New Brunswick.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cream and Sugar with Vase

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - I have been experimenting with various coloured gessos, mostly a light neutral and black, as well as different toning of the board before starting. One day I will find the perfect method that works for me.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Yellow Daylilies

8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas board - I am particularly fond of yellow daylilies and they come in a great variety of shapes and sizes. The leaves are just starting to show now so summer is on its way I hope.

Friday, April 18, 2014


6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - I know this is going to sound a little strange to most people. This is a plant native to Canada called bloodroot for obvious reasons. It is just starting to poke out of the ground where we live, and as it does, the leaves wrap themselves around the developing flowers and almost seem to give them a hug before releasing them. I think they must do this because the flowers that will unfold are the brightest, dazzling white that you will ever see.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cherry Tomatoes

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - here is a painting from last summer.

To Do List

  1. Reduce my pallet.
  2. Paint faster.
  3. Sketch, sketch, sketch.
  4. Spend more time setting up still lifes.
  5. Stop fiddling.
  6. Squint, squint, squint.
  7. Do more value sketches.
  8. Use simple combinations of fewer colours.
  9. Practice painting simple objects.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - I was searching around the house for something to add a bit of colour into one of my paintings and the only flowers I found were these bougainvillea flowers that show up sporadically throughout the winter indoors. My brother who lives in Orlando says these vines are assertive and gardening there is more by machete. Here  in Canada we barely get them to survive the winter indoors but we take them outside for the summer in containers and they put on a good show.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Garden Show Arrangement

6 x 6 inches, oil on hardboard - We are recuperating for the last couple of days from the garden show on the weekend. It is a lot of work to put the show together and planning for next year starts right away. It is a real challenge to turn two hockey arenas into something suitable for a garden show.  A friend of ours put together many of the flower arrangements used in decorating the venue. I was talking to her about the show and as we talked she put this arrangement together, hardly ever even looking at what she was doing. It is a real skill that takes many years of practice.

Snow today! I am going to my room.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lemon Grapes and Spoon

6 x 6 inches, Oil on Gessoboard - This is the weekend of the Peterborough Garden Show and we are up to our earlobes in it. The show is the largest of its kind in Ontario and people come from all over to visit. So I am distracted from painting but luckily I painted this a while ago.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apple For the Teacher

6 x 6 inches, Oil on Hardboard - I wonder if children bring an apple for the teacher anymore. Anyway, the title makes sense to me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mail Order Grapes

6 x 8 inches, Oil on Hardboard - I kept a few of the better toys around for the grandchildren when they visit. Who knew I would be playing with them myself too.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Red Onion and Limes

6 x 8 inches, Oil on Hardboard - Dianne keeps wondering where her vegetables are disappearing to. Please don't tell her until I am finished.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Heard It Through The Grapevine

6 x 6 inches, oil on gessoboard - If I have given some of you of a certain age an ear worm for the day, I apologize. Snow coming down again today. I might just stay inside all day and paint or hide under the covers.

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Snow

8 x 10 inches, Oil on Gessoboard - This is a view out our window after a new snow.  I added the dogwood on the right (which really is not there) to help balance the painting. Depending on how you define what is a  word, native people of northern Canada are supposed to have a very large number of words for snow. When it is still around well into April, I have a couple of words for it myself.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ready for Coffee

6 x 6 inches, Oil on Gessoboard - It is fun to paint reflections. The little pitcher is stainless but I decided to  change the colour of the inside because it suited the composition better.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Early Iris

6 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Board - The small irises give us a lot less trouble in the garden than the tall ones because they do not seem to get the dreaded Iris Borer.  This creature turns the iris rhizomes into a stinky mess. I suppose they are going to be delayed this year because of the winter we had but they put on a great show - its just closer to the ground.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


8 x 6 inches, Oil on Canvas Board - This is our Grandson's dog Calie. She looks scary but she is not.  Our little cat Zipper makes her cry like a girl.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

You Ring My Bell

6 x 6 inches, Oil on Gessoboard - I found this bell somewhere and have been wanting to put it in a still life for a while.  The shape is a bit awkward for making a composition with it but I hope this works.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Turn Up the Tears

6 x 6 inches, Oil on Gessoboard - We call these turnips but some call them swedes. Its the winter kind that stores well. This one had interesting skin colours and was fun to paint.

Annual Groundhog Migration

6 x 8 inches Oil on Hardboard - Most people are unaware of this natural event because it happens at night and only on April 1. Moving from their wintering areas in the south, the groundhogs make their long march to our gardens where a smorgasbord of vegetables will soon be ready for them to feast on.