Sunday, December 29, 2019

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

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? 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

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.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

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.

Friday, December 20, 2019

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.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

1158 Shabbat, 8x10, egg tempera

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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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.

Monday, November 18, 2019

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

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 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.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

1154 Le Plateau Best Transport, egg tempera, 8x10

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.

Monday, November 11, 2019

1153 Aylmer Street, 8x10, egg tempera


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.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

1151 Parc LaFontaine Fun, 8x10, egg tempera

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!

Monday, November 4, 2019

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.  

Sunday, November 3, 2019

1150 Lane in the McGill Ghetto, 8x10, egg tempera

Here's a curious lane in the McGill Ghetto.  (Always a gathering of young people there). I always liked the jumble of structures in this lane.
That grey structure in the background attached to the house and braced is the remnant of an old shed.  They removed the bottom part and braced it. Sheds, once a common part of most houses in Montreal, but the city outlawed them in the 1980s due to many arson attacks that started in sheds.  Sheds used to house the boiler and oil tanks for the heating system. Our boiler was dated 1903 in the 1980s and it was still working fine.  Those hot water radiateurs were so nice and efficient. Great for drying mittens. They don't build things like they used to eh.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

1146 Le Plateau Kids, 8x10, egg tempera

I lost count of how many glazes it took to get the right effect for this painting. It might be as much as 30 or 40.

Remember those good old days of childhood. I was once one of these kids. Sigh.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

1144 Safe Crossing, Mile End Scene, 8x10, egg tempera


Okay, I confess, I painted a similar scene a couple of years ago in oils. It was a really sweet painting too and now lives in France with a lovely kindergarten teacher. (Sigh)

I decided to revisit this scene using egg tempera because I really enjoy the process and the results are worth the effort. The painting has an enamel like finish, silky smooth and the colours have amazing depth.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

1143 Heading Home, McGill Ghetto Scene, 8x10 Egg tempera

sold-Medicine Hat
I love how this painting turned out. I always loved that red house. And the young family trudging through the snow is typical on a nice winter day.
I also love using egg tempera. I almost can't stop painting. I turned in at 4am last night.  I love the control I have over the paint. Especially with small details. Egg tempera dried almost instantly.
This painting actually started this past summer when I had Windsor Plywood cut a few sheets of baltic birch into 8x10s.  Then I spent a month sanding, sealing, gessoeing, and scraping.  I just totally love those panels. Smooth as silk and sooo inviting. Really worth the effort.
I haven't sealed or varnished this work yet. I'm not sure if I will seal it with shellac and then varnish. Or if I'll do olifa....varnished with linseed oil medium.  Or if I'll just burnish the surface to a slight sheen.  

Saturday, October 12, 2019

1141 Le Plateau Mont Royal, 8x10, oil on board

This in one of my favourite views.  So charming.

I did this painting in oil on baltic birch 1/8th inch plywood. (Sealed and gessoed by me this summer on my back lawn under the supervision of Teena my tabby.) In case you're curious, here's the palette I used for this painting: Raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, naples yellow, indian yellow, ultramarine, cerulean blue, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, pthalo green, flake white, and mars black.
For such an earthy grey painting it sure took a lot of colours. Most of the non earthtone colours were for the really saturated accents like the school signs (Pthalo green and cad yellow).  Okay I used black. (I'm allowed to because it's my painting and I hate rules).  Most of the "blacks" are done with a mixture of ultramarine blue and raw umber....but I couldn't resist getting the mars black out for the final touches...mostly defining some of the foreground shapes. I chose mars black over other blacks such as ivory because mars black drys faster. Same reason I chose lead white over titanium.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

1139 Av Du Musee, 8x10, egg tempera

This was done in egg tempera. I love this medium for it's archival stability, quick drying and easy corrections.  The paint also handles beautifully....doesn't tend to run into the colour beside it and has an initial gesso like surface. The colours dry much lighter than they go on and dry very matte, but they become brilliant and saturated with a coat of shellac.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

1137 Montreal Street Scene, St-Denis, Egg Tempera, 8x10, on board

I did this one with egg tempera. I really enjoyed trying out this medium. I love the hard smooth glossy surface of the Shellac sealer.  It took about a week to complete.

Monday, September 9, 2019

1134 Rue de Bullion, 8x10, oil on board

I love de bullion. Especially this intersection in winter. Those earth tones (burnt sienna, yellow ochre, green earth, raw sienna) against that purple gray with a splash of manganese and permanent green. And that sweet naples yellow kitty in the window.  So cozy.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

1127 The Admirer, Still Life with Figurines, 8x10 oil on board

 I am trying out a new technique. It's based on the Flemish technique. First you do an underpainting in monotone and then you glaze over top.  I really enjoyed doing the underpainting. I found it very relaxing. But so far I'm not pleased with the glazing. Too many streaks. I suspect that it's because I only did one layer of glazing.  If I do many layers of very thin glazes I bet there won't be any streaks.  Consider this a work in progress.
By the way. What should I title this painting? I called it the Admirer because little bird seems to adore the lady. But I'm open to ideas for other titles.

1543 Untitled