22 April 2008

Krista in Pearls

14" x 18", oil on canvas, 2005

Same pose, different lighting. For this one the lamp was just outside the frame.
The lighting's moodier to reflect her expression...which was actually pretty moody in the watercolour version...

I like her face a lot here, especially the mouth, but the pearls in the other one were more successful.

21 April 2008

Krista with Pearls and Curls

22" x 30", watercolour, 2006

I wrote a bit about lighting in the previous post and that made me think of this painting and the one I'll post tomorrow. I like interesting lighting and I try to light my models to get the best definition of their form as possible...or whatever suits the mood I want to evoke. I also like strong shadows and high contrast (maybe because I don't see it a lot in most watercolour painting).

This painting is big. And the bigger the painting, the better the opportunity for me to play around inside the form with neat little painterly texturing and layering and general fun watercolourosity. It'd be easier to understand what I mean if you could see the actual painting as opposed to this postage stamp of an image.

I used a touch of plum in her hair to complement the green of her eyes. Incidentally, we now refer to this painting as "Green Eyes" in reference to a title suggested by someone I once knew.
I used black acrylic for the couch to get that deep, flat black.

Tomorrow's post is a very similar pose but with very different lighting.


20 April 2008

cendrier


14" x 18", oil on canvas, 2002, private collection

My first foray into oils was a series of interior paintings of a house on Donlands that a couple of my co-workers lived in. I went around all over, setting up lamps and even candles to light my scenes for my photo ref. This one was lit with available light coming in the front window. The striped background is their couch.



17 April 2008

Krista Mindies Gaudi


17" x 14", ink on paper, 2005

Just got back from seeing Vantage Point tonight and since the movie was set in Spain and I was with my lovely girlfriend, Krista, I thought I'd post this painting of her in front of Sagrada Familia which is also in Spain.

Although Krista has really been to Spain and has seen the great church in person, this painting is actually based upon two separate photos: one of Krista I took while at a friend's cottage, and the other is a photo of the church from a book on Antoni Gaudi, its architect. I've done many paintings this way, sometimes shooting separate elements (models, backgrounds) years apart.

The "Mindies" part of the title refers to her pigtails --what a very young Krista used to call them in reference to
Mindy's pigtails. Thus the title refers to the elements in order of proximity to the viewer.

14 April 2008

Distillery 01

30" x 40", oil on canvas, 2008, private collection

This is the first in a series of large-scale oil paintings based on various buildings of the old Gooderham & Worts Distillery in Toronto (frequently used as film sets for the past few decades and now fully gentrified). I did about a dozen small (8" x 10") acrylic studies based on my own reference photos and they were very popular at last fall's Queen West Art Crawl.

10 April 2008

Stojan Murtanovski 2

17" x 14", ink and acrylic on paper, 2006

I'm off to the studio this weekend to paint the cover for a CD project (I'll post a step-by-step in time) and there's no internet access, so (until Sunday night or Monday) here's another painting of my dad in uniform.

09 April 2008

Stojan Murtanovski

17" x 14", ink and acrylic on paper, 2006

The dark blacks are straight from the ink pot and the greys are washes of ink mixed with water that I keep in old plastic film canisters.

I originally left this without a background, but decided a bright red (acrylic) would set off the portrait dramatically and represent communist-run Yugoslavia (of which Macedonia was part during the second half of the 20th Century).

08 April 2008

Stojan's Shack

15" x 22", watercolour, 2004

Continuing what I've decided will be Stojan Week is a painting of my dad in the village of Nošpal in Macedonia at his childhood home on the farm --which has been in our family for generations. The building he's standing in front of used to house the cows and chickens and was around well before my dad was born. The walls are made up of handmade (and homemade!) sun dried clay bricks, similar hand-mixed and sun dried clay mortar, and the roof is covered in not-homemade ceramic tiles. You can clearly see by the sagging middle that its on its last legs.
The reference photo for the above painting was taken in 2002. The picture below was taken in the fall of 2007.

Entropy at work!

I was shocked to see it in this state after having painted it just a few years before. The farm no longer has any livestock and is currently used to grow tobacco (underneath the plastic tarp on the far right). Overgrown plants abound, gradually reclaiming the land and, except for a cute little guard dog, no one has lived there since my grandmother died in 2003. It's now being taken care of by the neighbours and my uncle, Radé, my dad's youngest brother. He visits from time to time, but lives in the city of Bitola, about a 45-minute drive away.

07 April 2008

Stojan Fixing the Mower

22 3/4" x 22 3/4", watercolour, 2000

I'm kicking off this whole shebang with a painting of my father fixing his lawn mower. He can fix anything mechanical, most things electronical, and nothing psychological. One day, while visiting, I turned the corner round the back of the house and caught him in this pose and made him freeze until I could get my camera to shoot the reference. He's a patient man.

I uploaded a nicer scan of this painting when I celebrated four years of this blog (and 300 posts) HERE.