30 November 2008

deux vases dans la fenetre 1 & 2


14" x 18", oil on canvas, 2002

These vases were set up in the same kitchen window as in this painting.

Glass is tricky, but I think the second painting works quite well, what with the refraction of the plant's stems just above the water line.

The intensity if light coming in from the window also made these paintings challenging because of all the white space and fading out of the sill.

Someone once commented that I was "breaking a rule" by making the vase on the left so dense and dark in the shadow part, but I was just going by my reference photo and my interest in high contrast images. I'm not sure what "rule" she was talking about beacuse if it was a "rule of optics," my photo ref proves her wrong, and if it was a supposed "rule of art," then who cares?

23 November 2008

chat et vase

40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2002, private collection

Another from the house on Donlands in Toronto where a couple of co-workers lived while we were working on Prime Business together. I don't remember the name of their cat. This is the only painting from this series not based on a photo I took myself; they had this picture lying around and I asked to use it for my series.

Aside from some minor rendering issues with the cat and what appear to be blobs of light on the floor, I think the handling of light is pretty good, especially the window being blown out so intensely.

18 November 2008

cinq photos

40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2002

This is the only painting from my Interiors series (or "à l'intérieur," to be accurate --more on the French naming convention later) that has a human in it (one has a cat...tune in next time). And the only reason there is a person way back in the far room is that that room was completely in the dark and, therefore, a void in my reference photo. Something needed to be there for balance and to serve as a focal point, so I rooted through my photos and discovered a recently-shot picture of Ashley Winning which, aside from my dodgy rendering of her feet, works pretty well.

What's at the bottom of the stairs on the right? Click here.

12 November 2008

coin rouge de cuisine



 36" x 48", oil on canvas, 2002

So this is the painting whose vertical yellow stripes at the bottom right appear horizontally in Coffee Break (c). Ta-da.

This series of interiors is where I cut my teeth as far as painting in oils is concerned. This is the tenth painting in the series (counting the bottles diptych as one picture) and my eleventh oil painting (this decade; this century) since the two or three crappy ones I did in high school (in the 1980s).

A friend recently mentioned that they remind him of the paintings of Edward Hopper partially because of their lack of people (except for one (tune in next time)) and I agree that there is a bit of a thematic connection. And I love Hopper's work, so I'm not surprised there's an influence, however subliminal.

The back of the chair picked up too much of the red from the wall and I'm still kinda disappointed that it's so pink. I didn't know better at the time, but now such undesirable cross-mixing can be avoided. Maybe one day I'll correct it...

01 November 2008

Coffee Break (c)

15" x 22", watercolour, 2002

This one uses the same model from (a) plus virtually the same composition of coffee break elements as (b) but with added books for that "intellectual appeal" aspect. Or something.

What looks like a gloomy background set in some depressing Welsh mining town is actually a number of my oil paintings (downplayed in colour and detail to blend in together) being stored in my kitchen -the location of the photo shoot for this series. What painting has those yellow stripes in the upper left? Tune in next time...