1172 Lorne Crescent, 8x10, egg tempera, work in progress

I always liked this pretty view. Here's my India ink underpainting. Or Grisaille. Doing an grisaille underpainting helps getting things started.
It sets the value which is most important. Then, it's a matter of glazes, tweaking, scumbling, and polishing. Did I mention that with egg tempera you can get a nice sheen and temper the surface by hand polishing with a soft cloth. Plus, no risk of lint or hairs getting trapped like a (fly in amber) for all eternity. (Often happens when you varnish)

1168 Avenue Duluth Ouest, Work in Progress

Here's the India Ink underpainting for my current piece.
The values are lighter than the end result will be because each glaze layer will darken the value.  Any areas that become too dark can be lightened by scumbling a lighter tone over the area. It's all about making adjustments until I am satisfied. 99% of a painting is getting the values right. The rest is emotion, draftsmanship, and surface quality.

1165 Heading Home, 8x10, egg tempera

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This painting has many many glazes. The snow might have 50 layers and a dozen at least for the red bricks. I'm really pleased with the results. 

1163 The Ritz, Montreal New Year Day, 8x10, egg tempera

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New Years morning on Sherbrooke in front of the Ritz. On baltic birch sealed and gessoed by me. I ground my own pigments in organic free range egg yolks (only happy hens eggs for my work). Dozens of layers of egg tempera over india ink underpainting.  One of my favourites.

Flowers in a Bluebird Vase, 6x6, oil on panel

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This darling gem was misplaced for a few years. Just came across it today and thought I'd share it here. The paint is very impasto and the colours brilliant. I cant find that adorable vase anywhere either. This studio is so cluttered!
Should I put it on eBay? 

1160 Skating at Outremont Park, 24x36, oil

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I finally was able to get outside to photograph this piece in good lighting. I'm pleased with how this painting finally turned out. 

1160 Outremont Park, 24x36, oil

Once again sorry about the poor quality photo. It snowed all day and I photographed the painting on the back porch. As soon as I get a good day I'll retake the photographs. I normally photograph my paintings out on the back deck against the north wall.

Any way, here is the painting. I'm moving on for now.....sigh.

Outremont Park, (Work in progress),24x36, oil

Sorry about the poor quality photo but I did this out on my back porch as it is pouring rain today.
So I've glazed and scumbled and defined. Still more work to go before I can sign it. I might set it aside for now as I'm dying to start a new painting.

Outremont Parc (Making Progress), 24x36, oil

Still working on Outremont Park. It's beginning to feel like a great date that's been going on too long.  Still....gotta soldier on.
I still want to glaze some more. Maybe a transparent red oxide glaze over the black coats of the ladies on the left. And maybe transparent yellow oxide over the dark red house on the left. And scumbling cad red lite and orange over some of the red buildings.  The taupe stucco on the middle building should be glazed and scumbled with blue greys and orange. And white scumbling over the edge areas on the pavilion to give it a stucco feel. And the trees could be worked on to give them volume. And the windows and building features and small branches could be detailed better. And that kid in the pink snow suit has to be toned down and darkened a bit. And the faces need a bit of work.  And I thought I was nearly finished.

Outremont Park (work in progress), oil 24x36

Here's a piece I've been working on all week. (Sorry about the reflections but I couldn't bring myself to go outdoors today to photograph it. Brrr) Six years ago I had painted an 8x10 of this scene and said I planned to do a larger painting of the same scene. So here it is finally.  I've done a number of Outremont Parc paintings but all in small format. I love the blue shadows in the snow and cool winter sky cradling the charming brick houses.
Okay, so I want to put in the details of the houses, add some trees to cover up the extra branches I took out of the sky. And some tree shadows on the wall of the pavilion on the right. Then the best parts of all I'll glaze and glaze and glaze to give a sense of depth to the shadows in the snow. Then finally I'll scumble that pavilion and some snow with a very dry brush.
Well, that's my plan so far. 

1155 Winter Shadows, 24x36, oil

Well, I've finally finished working on this piece. There are a lot of lovely transparent glazes in this painting. I think it would make a nice Christmas card.

1158 Shabbat, 8x10, egg tempera

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I considered calling this painting"Youth and Wisdom" but settled on Shabbat. What do you think?
It's a typical Montreal scene from the borough where I grew up.
I always put my paintings on eBay auction at a $100 start bid for the first week. It gives people a chance to buy them at an affordable price. If they don't sell I put them on "buy it now" for $200 OBO.  They do sell for that.... and I often accept a reasonable offer.
Today I listed this painting on auction but this time I am allowing people to make offers. Someone might be put off by having to wait for the auction to finish and this gives them an opportunity to buy it right away. I wonder how it will go.

1155 Winter Shadows, 24x36, Oil (Work in progress)

 I've been working on a larger piece this week. It's in oils because I "oil primed" my larger canvases this last summer and now it restricts what medium I can put on top of it. (lesson learned!) So it's rather slow going waiting days for the layers to dry in between. At this stage I think I will scoop up the colours on my pallet and store them until the layers are dry enough to glaze and scumble. And do corrections and details.




A Warm Winter Day, Le Plateau Mont Royal, 8x10 oil on board

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This is a redo of a painting I did a while back.There were just some things I didn't like about that painting. I had struggled with it and had done several compositional changes and eventually they started showing through the sky. Which was a titanium zinc mixture mostly.
Zinc is highly transparent white but most of the paint manufactures add it to titanium.  The manufacturers  say zinc makes the paint warmer and more like lead white. So they add zinc to titanium for the buyer's own good. (I suspect zinc is cheaper than titanium...at least you need to use twice as much for the same coverage.) Plus zinc is not archival in oil paint and will eventually cause the oil painting to fail.
So I bought some lead white from Kama Pigments.  Kama is a Montreal paint manufacturer that makes artist quality oil paint in small batches. Very nice! And a great place to buy pure pigments and archival mediums and supplies.
Sorry, I wanted to add the before painting but couldn't find it.


1154 Le Plateau Best Transport, egg tempera, 8x10

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When I was in school nobody rode a bike in the winter. The brakes just don't work properly. Now it's a common mode of winter transport. It really is the fastest.

1153 Aylmer Street, 8x10, egg tempera

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A friend of mine once lived in that red brick building. The apartment was only about 200 square feet (And half of it was the bathroom). In spite of it's tiny size there were numerous "large cubby holes" hidden in the closets and cupboards. (The cupboard over the kitchen was built on top of the bathroom ceiling and could have concealed a family of four!) The place had a small icebox(instead of a fridge) which was defrosted every Wednesday (somehow through a pipe from the basement of the building). It was the 1980s, so it was quite unusual for buildings to still have iceboxes. We used to attend free recitals at the Pollack Hall.  Then we would return to the apartment to drink compari and soda and make dinner in the tiny kitchen, while saxaphone music bellowed from a window across the lane. Those were truly romantic and wonderful times.

1151 Parc LaFontaine Fun, 8x10, egg tempera

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Here's a Parc LaFontaine sliding scene.  Don't you just love sliding?  Before they invented those plastic slides we used to slide on a big piece of cardboard. We used to put five or six kids on a big enough piece.  What fun!

1152 Parc La Fontaine, 8x10 egg tempera


Here's a painting I'm working on. There's still work to be done on it but this is half way through.  Considering omitting the light post and maybe adding some more figures. Will sleep on it.