Monday, November 30, 2015

Lost Dog Hill, November 29

 ...cold and quiet.....the first snow came and went....the hill a constant companion. Acrylic collage painting on paper, 8 x 11.25 inches, image size 7 x 10.25 inches.

I never get tired of painting this hill..... and there are certain days when no other subject will do.     

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Forest House

Forest House
Acrylic collage painting on archival paper 8 x 10.5 inches, image size 7 x 9.5 inches. A house alone, high up on the forested hill.....   

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sundown, Jane's Forest (Sold)

...the last sliver of light over the new forest...November 27. Acrylic collage painting on archival paper, 9 x 10.5 inches, image size 8 x 9.5 inches.
In some of these, I know beforehand that the process will be more complex, or relatively simple. Both are fine, but it is important for me to mix the processes up, to keep things unpredictable and surprising.

Friday, November 27, 2015

10 Saved Acres, From Afar (Sold)

 ...into early winter....but the first snow has melted. Acrylic collage painting on thin birch panel, 7.5 x 12 inches.

This was painted yesterday on American Thanksgiving Day. Today it is raining all day, so this mood continues.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Framing Methods

These are a few abstract pieces that get made in the midst of the other things I produce. There are a few methods of framing I can live with....this is one of them. These are under plexiglass so they can be mailed without fear of breakage. Each is in an archival off-white matte, and the backs are done properly to prevent any insect infiltration. It's worth doing pictures this way, as they will remain pristine in their frames for a lifetime.    

First Snow, Garden Hill

First Snow, Garden Hill
...a fresh, brilliant day....snow fell during the night. Acrylic collage painting on thin birch panel, 8.5 x 12 inches. This blue had a special quality to it, and again, I was pleased that I didn't mess with it too much in the painting stage. Collaging white paper on top of another glued colour is always beautiful to me also (I often use that for snow...and I love how the white paper gets all accidentally but subtly marked up), but in this case I did paint over much of the white collage paper. I generally do enjoy painting winter a great deal...the structure of the land is more apparent....things are more spare....

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snow Coming

 ...calm, quiet dusk, and very cold, signaling the snow that came next day.... Acrylic collage painting on gessoed thin birch panel, 7.5 x 12 inches.
I walk to this field every dusk you can see the far off lights of development near the highway. I included a spot of light to reference this.....the dot of white on the horizon.
In this one, collage was used only for the foreground. The intention was to collage the sky too, but I often find I don't have enough range in my blue collage papers....over abundance of every other colour, but short on light pinks and light blues....

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stand Alone

 These little groves of scrub trees humanize the countryside...... overcast November. Acrylic collage painting on unprimed archival paper 11 x 15 inches, image size 8.75 x 9.75 inches.
Recently the collages have been starting this way: I know the subject, mood, and general intention of the picture beforehand. I go to this shelf which has hundreds of painted sheets (there are other places where I keep more sheets, but this is more than enough to choose from for now). I choose 3 colours in advance from these files (for the sky, ground, and tree mass). I choose a few more than that too, in case I want to play around a bit. But the 3 colours together go a long way to creating the mood wanted, so I go with that. This little selection process, in advance, also makes the whole thing more manageable. In this one the colours painted on were more limited as well, because I knew that I didn't want to paint much. I sometimes congratulate myself if an area is left entirely without added paint (the sky in this instance).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Back Acres (Sold)


It was a good year for cedars, with very little die-off....the back line is maturing nicely. A brisk, bright afternoon, November 19. Acrylic on archival paper laminated to thin gessoed birch panel, 9 x 12 inches.

Today will be a day for preparing more panels. Cut and sand the panels, keeping some variety with at least 3 different sizes. Sand panels. Gesso panels, preferably to 3 coats front and back. Cut and glue some panels with archival paper.   

Friday, November 20, 2015

November Pasture (Sold)

A severe cut in the sky...rain ahead...pasture lands next to the forest. Acrylic collage painting on gessoed, thin birch panel 9 x 12 inches.

Because habituation takes place in all things, diminishing the intensity of experience, I search constantly for ways to keep the process fresh. These new panel paintings were one such thing. Now that I have made perhaps 5-6 of them in a row, the process has to be mixed again. After this work came a collage painting on paper. The expectations I put on myself are different with each of these little shifts in method. This is all very important because it keeps me wanting to make work each day....  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Stand (Sold)

 ....little stands of trees in the empty fields and even November light. Acrylic collage painting on gessoed thin birch panel 7.5 x 12 inches.
At the start of each session, my direction to myself is 'suggest more, describe less'. It is not easy to find the suggestions that satisfy, so there is always a tendency to describe instead. While some description is necessary, it is critical not to say too much.

Monday, November 16, 2015

House in Light (Sold)

  .....winter wheat looking healthy and fresh in the dampness of November.....the distant white house lit by afternoon sunlight. Acrylic collage painting on gessoed thin birch panel 7.5 x 12 inches. I need to start making these a little earlier in the afternoon because the light fades so quickly now. The ideal time to start making the work would be late morning or very early afternoon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November Dusk, Horsefarm (Sold)

 Standing near the intersection just as the light fades. Acrylic on birch panel laminated with archival paper, 7.75 x 12 inches. The panels are cut, sanded, gessoed, and in this case the paper is then laminated on top, for a very soft, receptive surface. Panels made in this way take a good deal of time and effort to prepare, but I really like the intimacy of this surface. The paint mostly rides on top of a gessoed panel, but paper partly absorbs the paint.....especially paper that has not been covered with gesso.

Here's how I laminate archival paper to panel:   First I trace the the plate onto the paper, then I trim it with a razor and metal ruler edge. Then I apply a strong layer of glue to the paper (Yes paste in this case), then I apply the paper to board, then roll with a brayer...or in this case I used a rolling pin because I couldn`t find a brayer. Rolling with a brayer will make sure the glue is even under the paper. After this step is done I put the board under many heavy art books to apply even pressure.

It also helps to roll with a brayer on the edges of the board, to make sure that the paper is completely glued to the board (you don`t want the paper unsticking in places). You may have to retouch in one or two places after the pressure stage with books is done, in case the paper is unsticking in a corner or edge....just a little touch of glue and keep pressing to make sure nothing at all is lifting.

This is also how I prepare panels for encaustic painting....

If you use a bulkier glue like Lepages, or other white glues, apply the glue as evenly as possible so that you don't have unsightly bumps after it has all dried. Plenty of rolling with the brayer and lots of hand pressure, right after you put the paper on, will help with this. Let the excess glue squeeze over the edges, and pick it up with your finger to tidy.

Paintings I produce every day, are immediately listed to my Etsy site and my website.    

Friday, November 13, 2015

Nocturne, Lost Dog Hill (Sold)

Now that I'm retired, I love's so peaceful and quiet out there, and the night drops like a curtain! Acrylic collage painting on archival paper, 8.5 x 10.5 inches, image size 7.5 x 9.5 inches.

The frame shown is a digital frame, but I often favour light wood, simply finished with oil or minwax, a 4 inch (4.5 on the bottom) white, or off-white archival matte.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Forest Edge, Dusk (Sold)

Acrylic on unprimed Whatman paper 10 x 13.75 inches, image size 8.25 x 12 inches. Turn left at the sign and you will be in mixed forest, but you might meet deer hunters this time of year. I kept walking on this road.....the forest becomes more pronounced....and the whole sky turned pink....  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remember (Sold)

 ....a special field that always holds my attention. Acrylic on gessoed thin birch panel, 7.5 x 12 inches.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November Copse (Sold)

....this little constant companion through the years. Entering the dark time now....darkness comes at 5:00 pm. Acrylic on thin gessoed birch panel, 7.75 x 9 inches. I notice that I have to start painting earlier in the day to keep suitable light throughout the process...

I noticed this comment I made on one of my previous FB posts, a few years ago now......."when you walk slowly in the country, you see a great many little things of interest. Things that you might not even comment on to a companion, but, to yourself, you might say 'well, isn't that something "   

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Path (Sold)

Acrylic on gessoed thin birch panel 7.5 x 12 inches. I love the intensity of these evening skies in all changes so quickly. This is slightly different format....a longer rectangle....I liked how that affected the outcome.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sundown, Home Line, November 5 (Sold)

Acrylic on thin, gessoed birch panel, 9 x 12 inches. The last bit of Indian Summer. A new little thing is creeping into the process.....don't stop to ponder or admire anything entered....just keep the next decision going. You can still see how everything is progressing while you are working.....but try not to stop at all. It's difficult to keep hard and fast to this, but more or less is fine....   

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Horse Farm, Dusk

This is a smaller panel painting, 8 x 10 inches, on gessoed Masonite. The birch panels seem a softer, more receptive surface, but I was happy with how the mood of this turned out. I'm usually happy with the result if the process takes over and there is no frustration with the decision making....the 'flow' was good here.  I'll do a few more on panels, and then return to paper. Paper remains the most receptive and intimate surface for me, but the panels do have certain advantages...the lack of any buckling due to vapour content, is one.        

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Garden Hill, Indian Summer (Sold)

9 x 12 inches, acrylic on gessoed, thin birch panel. I like small panels, but I must like paper a lot better because almost everything I do is on paper. I like panels for encaustic painting, which I've also been meaning to get back to. I like that panels can be displayed easily....they can be more simply framed, or just leaned up on a shelf. I also loved doing a previous series in which I laminated paper onto panel first, and then gessoed the whole thing. The surfaces of those were beautiful to paint on, but there was a fair amount of work that went into the preparation of each panel.

I always love watching the mark making that happens all through each piece. More and more, I tell myself that the sequence of little decisions, how each mark fits into the thing beside it, how the paint sits, how the colour creates interactions with neighbours, is really what the whole thing is about. There are no extras. Each part fits. And of course, understand that every mark made is like a mark made in the dark.....I really don't know how it will fit in advance. What I try to see and do is believe in each mark....closely watch it happen as the picture is made. This is just a way of saying that marks can't be made randomly and carelessly. Every 'touch' made will add up to a every 'touch' is important as every other....

Don't feel you have to figure everything out in advance. Figure some things out in advance, but a lot of things will be figured out in the process of making....

This is a view of Garden Hill, 15 minutes north of Port Hope.....a view that I pass very often.   

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Last Blush, November 1

Acrylic collage painting on archival paper. I tend NOT to do much with fall colours....things can get overblown....the 'bones' of the lands interest me more....but every so often a reference to autumn colour creeps in. Here I may be nostalgic that the foliage is now almost all gone from the trees....a few more days of warm weather this week, and then we might be in to winter.

Very often, in the initial planning stages, a picture gets decided based on the relationship of 2-3 colours, in this case, the grey sky, yellow foreground, and the orange center. I did almost nothing to the grey sky after the piece was collaged in.