Friday, January 25, 2013

Jan 25 - Theatre, etc done?

Once again I think I may have finished my painting of the Nanaimo Harbourfront Theatre, Trollers and Cherry Blossoms.

  Here it is Jan 23. the main change I had made at that point was to simplify the sky and make it much lighter - white almost with just a hint of grey at the top. I think  this worked out quite well - the mottled sky of the previous version was not so good. I had also put more detail into the orange kayak.

This is today's version. I actually spent all afternoon working on it. the problem I had identified before I stared was the big grey patch at the bottom of the left hand side. I just hadn't bothered to paint anything there and it looked odd. Today I worked really hard on the wibbly reflections in the water - especially in the bare patch - but also making the reflection under the troller in the forefront much greener - even though the theatre windows are not above. I also reduced the saturation of the blue water at the very bottom of the picture - although you can't really see the difference in the photos. You can see that I lightened the troller on the other side of the dock and also "cleaned up" the other boats. I know the cherry trees still seem to leap out in the photo - but I don't see them like that in the painting - probably because I didn't touch the cherry trees today  so they are not on my mind. To me the pinks are more like a < sign.

I haven't done anything to the edges of the painting which I think I should do before I can say I am absolutely finished - but I can't do that until the painting dries - which will be a few days.

Tomorrow - on to the arbutus. I also need to do some more work  on the website. Anita sent me a ton of pictures to put up and I have some other ideas that I think will make the website more interactive. We're supposed to go live by February - so I'll be at my computer a lot for the next couple of days.

One other thing - I have to say how much I am loving singing. Today, while I was painting, I had the Getting Higher Choir music on really loud and sang almost the whole time I was painting. Fun!

I guess I'll call my picture "Nanaimo Boat Basin - Spring."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Theatre, Fishboats and Cherry Blossoms

I have been working for the past 2 days on my painting of the Nanaimo Harbourfront Theatre with the Boat Basin and fish boats  in the foreground.

When I first started this painting, I was most interested in portraying the stunning contrast between the turquoise-green theatre windows and the flowering pink cherry trees in front of them. The trees are actually across the street on the Boat Basin side of the street but, from my vantage point on Cameron Island, the trees look as if they are in front of the theatre. There are also a lot of fish boats and a big yacht at the docks in the Boat Basin and they also appear to be in front of the theatre. I hadn't really noticed that most of the boats had big round fluorescent pink fenders that are  even pinker than the cherries. But as I moved along with my painting I thought they would  add a lovely extra touch of pink and move the eye around.

for a while, I though maybe the picture was more about the boats than the theatre - but now I realize that the trees stand out like unrealistic bits of cotton candy - pretty much dead centre - hmm...They are the focal point because of where they are placed with the main troller and the dock pretty much pointing at them like arrows.."Here we are - aren't we cute!"

I've stopped working on this picture because I think it may be finished. It is not as neatly covered in paint as most of my recent paintings. For example the kayak on the right float is really scribbly. I had to make it up - because there was no kayak in the photo and it doesn't look very accurate. But  - I think that might be a positive. It is certainly "looser" than other carefully finished paintings like Swy-a-lana Lagoon Bridge. Loosenes is what I hoped to learn from my studies of Emily Carr's Shoreline and Above the Gravel Pit. Maybe it worked.

Anyway, I have put two photos of the painting  up on this blog - so that I can think about it. Strangely, I think the colour reproduction of the digital image is a bit more saturated than the actual painting - especially the ultramarine blue of the water in the foreground. You can see my slightly "fixed" photos below. I tried to make the colours closer to the actual picture - but did not quite succeed in either case. Probably the second one is most accurate - though the bright blue astounds me and the sky looks strangely mottled..

I know that a lot of the work of painting is looking and thinking - so I will look and think to see if it is done. Also ask my mentor Penny Maday what she thinks!

Next time - on to my arbutus tree on Wallace Island. Even though I started it in 2012 - I am going to call it my first 2013 painting and will try to do it in my new "movement" style.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19 - Website Updated

Here I am revising some of my paintings in December. I'm almost ready to get back to painting again. .

I spent the whole of yesterday updating the painting section of

First I took photos of  the 8 paintings I have worked on since I last updated the page. This meant moving lights and paintings around to try to get them adequately lit. Then I had to sort through all pictures I had taken of each painting to find what seemed to be the best one.

Then, because I could not shoot them straight no matter how hard I tried (I know I should have used a tripod for my camera) I had to open them in my Serif software, level them and then crop them. I also had to fix them for exposure and colour - to make look as close to the actual paintings as possible. Then I had to export them as jpgs - Serif makes the spp's which won't work. OK - now I had good jpg pictures of all 8 paintings.

Next I had to compress the size of the photos so that they would upload quickly when viewed on my website. This is not necessary on Blogger which seems to reduce the images to a manageable size automatically. But before I put them into Coffee Cup html files, I had to change the image size..

Meanwhile, of course, I had to create and revise the relevant html files in Coffee Cup. I decided to create 2 new files.
  • The first one was for my Emily Carr inspired paintings (plus my portrait of my mother, Jessica who loved Emily Carr). I decided to call these pictures "Footsteps of Carr" and am very keen to get painting more in that style - so swirley and full of movement.
  • The second one was "Notecards." Why "Notecards"? Well, some of the cards I have already made were actually from versions of paintings BEFORE I revised them in December - so I thought I ought to show them in that version.  Also, I thought maybe someone would like the cards - so decided I would give some away to people who asked and charge for others.
I also updated the "Paintings" page to link to the new pages. And I revised "Nanaimo Naturally"  to show the revised paintings of  "Path to Ammonite Falls," "Big Leaf Maple," "Chip Barges off Gabriola," and "Swy-a-lana Lagoon - Fall." Plus I added "Swy-a-lana Bridge at twilight."

All this webwork may seem a bit strange - when I actually could have been painting. But I wanted to get everything up to date on my website in case anyone wanted to see what I have been doing.

So now I am ready to get on with painting again. I'm going to finish my painting of the Port Theatre and Fishboats in my old Nanaimo Naturally style.. I'm going to try to get some new Emily Carr swirleyness into my big arbutus painting. I wonder if I can do it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15, 2013 already

My goodness. It is almost 6 weeks since I wrote in my blog. I did quite a lot of painting in early December - including finishing up my 2 Emily Carr- inspired paintings - with glorious skies and wonderful structure! I love them and will put them up soon.

Then along came Christmas - pretty busy and mostly fun - but I got 2 nasty cuts on my arm - from our dog"s extra long claws - didn't hurt much but made me feel vulnerable.  I could not paint.

 I did however work long and hard on revising the Canadian Clan Grant - Online. What a fun job!  It's not quite ready for viewing - but I've promised to have it ready by February. .