In a short while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will pay a visit to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National War Memorial "The Response" in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Great War is a part of our shared history and with many of us still connected to a family history of relatives who fought, this striking memorial is a testament to all we have here in Canada now. When I painted this work of my son climbing on this striking memorial as a surprise gift for his 18th birthday, little did I realize at the same time he had enlisted as a reservist. There are 23 larger than life figures on this dramatic statue and he is the 24th. His freedom symbolizes what these young soldiers fought and sacrificed for. The grandfather of a visitor to my Williams mill studio had been one of the models for this work. I wish I had thought to ask her more questions, like his name, so it too, could live on.
Now I had nothing against greeting cards. It is just that self producing them, i.e. printing & packaging, is a time-consuming process. If you consider the value of the time better spent in the studio, time spent making one's own cards, well.. it just wasn't for me.
So when I heard of a company that not only prints them, but packages them nicely too....well... I reconsidered, gave them a try, and here I am, checking out 10 different styles of cards.
Anyhow, there are art cards in my studio and I hope you'll like them too.
Here is the latest large (60" x 30") oil painting. New looser, contemporary style, but it conveys everything I wanted it to. Can you feel the uplift? My son, crossing a tidal pool in the red sand shore of Prince Edward Island, is doing his best to walk on water and not step on the myriad of life found in its depth. Past this tidal pool, home and night awaits. The reflection symbolizes this beautifully.
2010 Update: This original plein air oil painting, painted on location by the Credit River, -under the bridge at Burnamthorpe Bridge between Riverwood Park and Erindale park - has been given as a charitable donation to the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) for its 2010 7th Annual Art Auction Fundraiser, April 29th, 2010.
Above is a 6" x 12" oil painting of a man fishing by the Credit River. We are both under the enormous Burnamthorpe Road bridge - between Erindale Park and Riverwood Park. The day was sunny but the shadow and the wind was cold! After 3 hours my convulsive shaking told me the painting was now finished.
Today I had the fun of plein air painting with the newly formed group, Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS). I had not painted on location in years and never before with oils ( the exception Tapatoo Tree (sold) in water soluble oils ) . Painting on location is quite exilarating - at least that is what I felt after I was done, and could seek relief from the cold and wind in a more sunny spot.
Just before I headed out to meet up with OPAS at Riverwood Park, I quickly thumbed through some International Artist & other art magazines for some helpful hints. Painting on location requires effort put into the logistics.
Following the example of British artist James Hart Dyke (American Artist magazine November 2003) I used the limited palette French Ultramarine, cadmium yellow, cadmium red light, raw umber and titanium white. What freedom!
Once on location, I struggled a bit with what to paint. I sat across from an enormous old tree, partiatially in decay - but what I wanted to say about this tree could not be said on my 6" x 12" canvas. Suddenly I found my self doing a quick - almost Japanese brush like gesture of the fisherman before me ( I could have drawn him all afternoon) and that was that - I had my subject. I guess I just cannot escape the call to put a figure in my landscapes.