This piece features more of that cheerful green that I see so often in the forest in the ferns and mosses. The main image I chose was taken last year on a hike with my husband’s brother’s family. We came to the clearing and I was struck by the beauty of those contrasty tree trunks.
As always, I’ve included lots of bits and pieces of meaningful things – leaves, photo album paper, pieces of old negatives, text from sheet music and from a modern-day photo prints envelope.
Here are the first five completed paintings! I’m on a roll. November is such a good month for painting. Now that my baby is almost 10 months old, I realize I will have to go back to work soon. I’m glad to be at a stage where I can feel motivated to paint and enjoy this time. I am definitely sleep deprived! Some how I can keep going, despite the multiple night wake ups and household demands. [It probably has something to do with the great espresso machine and the freshly roasted coffee beans–my husband roasts our coffee a couple times a week in the garage]. My husband is a student right now, so I do quite a bit of cooking and child-wrangling with three kids. But I am enjoying it! I don’t have time to do all the things that I want to do, so I have let go of some of my ideas (like making things to sell, such as baby toys/bibs etc.) so that instead I can really focus on creating the art.
Some things on my long list:
update art website – I don’t have a web gallery anymore showcasing my work
make prints of my art to sell on etsy (this has about a million steps).
make photo albums from the past 7 years of our family’s life, since we stopped printing photos.
knit my daughter a scarf
make prototype of baby toys (I might just make a few to give as gifts instead of trying to sell them).
find calls for artists so I can find somewhere to exhibit this series!
work on my other painting styles – I really want to illustrate books and want to work on painting people, etc.
This painting is packed with texture and fun details. I got some more photos printed, because I went on a couple of really foggy, misty hikes after I printed the first batch. The funny thing is that in that gap in time, Instagram released an update that allows for photos that are not squares. For those who don’t use the application, until this point your images had to be cropped into squares unless you downloaded a different app to make your rectangular picture fit into a square frame. To make a long story short, none of my new batch of photos are squares. So many of the foggy landscapes look great as rectangles. I posted the photo, below, on Instagram and a friend said she liked the use of both photos. I was trying to decide on one of them. It got me thinking about lots of ideas as I looked for things to include in the painting. This is my favourite part of mixed media paintings – sleuthing out little details that I find meaningful to include in the collage. I found an antique piece of sheet music with a song entitled “Woodland Echoes”. The concept of echo, and double exposure gave me the idea to include both images.
I did some mirroring or repetition in my composition. I repeated certain scraps of paper, marks, colours and nature items on both sides of the painting.
My friend in Montreal mailed me some “old junk” that I asked her to find for me – old newspapers and local things. I was flipping through this stuff and found the word “pareil” which also seemed fitting here. I used antique carbon paper to create some of the marks and distressing that you see in the final piece, below.
I love that the one picture there is my husband walking along a mountain bike trail near our home. He loves mountain biking, and this is one trail we often hike on as well. The two of us were able to go together one day when our two oldest kids were at school. It was during a busy time near our 15th anniversary in October, so it was a special time that we got to do this while most people were at work!
Pleased with Painting 3, I tried to do a similar composition for this one. I also like how this turned out. I created a really scratchy texture in the browns, so this photo of my son walking into the forest worked perfectly. This photo means a lot to me because I have been hiking this trail for a few years. Now that I am on maternity leave, I’ve been hiking a few times per week. I find walking in the forest very life-giving. I love watching the changing seasons and noticing every bit of moss or mushroom or leaf or bird.
The colour of green reminds me of moss and ferns, which grow profusely here on the west coast. It’s a very fresh, springy colour. One of the pieces of text on the left says “retour du printemps” which fits in nicely. Also in the collage is a piece of a hundred-year old negative, a scrap from a photo envelope from the early 1980s, and other interesting things.
I thoroughly enjoyed the process of working on this piece. The photo is one of my favourites. I loved the mist that day on the mountains near where I live in Abbotsford, BC. It reminds me of the first time I visited British Columbia in 1996 (19 years ago!!). I came out in a mini-van full of college-aged students, I myself was 19 years old (half my lifetime ago!!). I remember seeing the mist and clouds in the mountains and how the coniferous trees cut into the fog. Beautiful! It’s something I have painted with watercolour in the past. Maybe I’ll try painting these scenes when I’m done this series. On that trip, I stayed with a dear friend’s family in Port Moody. I remember walking nearby where human development trailed off, literally, into the forest. A street complete with functioning street lights led off into a tall forest, which, in the rain, created this magical misty look. Three years later I moved here.
I like the way the collaged scraps came together, echoing a forested horizon. Again, a lot of the fine details are not visible here, so you’ll have to see my exhibit – I haven’t found a venue yet but I’m trying to focus on painting while I’m on a roll. I also hope to take proper photos when I’m finished so that I can sell petit prints, art cards, etc.
My second painting in the series is actually undergoing an overhaul. Out of the seven I’ve worked on, I just can’t like the second one. So I’ll have to share it later and show you the third one. I only have a couple of photos – one progress and one complete.
The photo I chose this time is of a blueberry field in Arnold, BC. I was driving along in the rain and I loved the way these fall fields are so brilliant and lovely despite the grey skies. I pulled over to get this photo. You can’t really see the mountain in the background but it is a subtle blue-grey. The details and textures in this painting show up better in real life.
And here we have my studio-mate, my 9-month-old. I’ve discovered that I can actually paint a little bit with him crawling around. Nap times work better, but he hasn’t gotten into too much trouble yet. I’ve been enjoying this series so much that I work on it a few times a day.
For the first painting in the series, I felt like a pioneer in the sense that I had no idea what direction I would take. I had 9 blank panels in front of me (actually 11, because two were warped and Opus kindly mailed me replacements).
I wanted to replicate some of the colours in one of my favourite all-time paintings of mine, and I achieved that in the left column. Here are three images from the process, from early to final. The photo I included was one that I took last winter when I was working in Fort Langley. I love driving home through the country roads and watching the changes in the landscape through the seasons. In late fall, around this time of year, it is dusk when I leave work. I like the way this barn looks with the blueberry fields in front of it.
My goal with this series is to celebrate some of my favourite photos that I have taken and shared on instagram. I want to pin them down and make them concrete by printing them and working them into fine art paintings that I can look at on a day-to-day basis. The land of internet photo sharing is so fleeting and, well, instant.
Each painting has some leaves and other natural materials collaged into them, as well as old papers and other details related to photography (for example, old negatives, photo corners, antique album paper, etc.)