Holiday Cards and more - at the Foyer Gallery and Inspired! the new pop up Art Space..... Squamish.

Four designs plus one favourite - makes 5 Holiday cards for special people - on sale now for $20 a bundle!

As usual, on the run up to the holidays, there is a LOT going on in Squamish, BC! This weekend I'm part of 2 Art initiatives - the annual Foyer Gallery Artisan Market (in the Squamish Public Library) and the new Pop-Up Art Space Inspired! (next to InBiz on Cleveland Ave). We are open Dec 2nd from 11am - 11pm. If I'm not there, say Hi to Nathan French - he'll be glad to show you around.

At the Foyer Gallery, I'm sharing a space with my friend and favourite Jeweller, Susan Remnant. If you've always wanted one of her pieces, but haven't known how to get hold of her - now's your chance! Spoil yourself with one of her beautiful enamel pieces this Holiday season - you deserve it!

I will have smaller watercolours, prints and Holiday cards for sale and on Sunday Dec 4th, I'll be demo-ing a series of original watercolour cards from noon to 3pm. If you're interested in painting classes in 2017, let me know - there are some new spaces becoming available in Squamish and I'm looking forward to more teaching.

See you over the next few days I hope!

 

Newbies Watercolour #4

Lesson #4 - Tonal Value

Lesson #4 focuses on the 3rd element of design Tonal Value and how it relates to watercolour:

Tonal value refers to the lightness or darkness of a colour as if the colour (or hue) and its intensity (chroma) were taken out. If you make a black and white photocopy of a painting, you can see it in terms of its  tonalscale - notice the boundary lines between tones and where you find the greatest contrast. Similar adjacent tones create soft edges and transitions, whereas extreme darks and extreme lights create hard edges with dramatic impact.

Tonal value has even more visual power than colour. By varying the contrasting tonal values in a painting we create a sense of  structure (form), depth and distance (aerial perspective) and a balance of abstract patterns and shapes.

 

Have a look at these samples:

Sample 1. Tonal scale

Sample 1. Tonal scale

Sample 2. Lighting creates form and structure

Sample 2. Lighting creates form and structure


  1. Highlight
  2. Light area
  3. Division line (between light and dark)
  4. Dark area
  5. Low light
  6. Dark shadow accent
  7. Cast shadow
Sample 3. abstract patterns in a range of greys

Sample 3. abstract patterns in a range of greys


Newbies Painting Exercise #4

Newbies painting exercise #4

Newbies painting exercise #4

In this painting exercise we practised:

1. Choosing a limited palette - Paynes Grey, Hookers Green, Alizarin Crimson with Ultramarine blue and Lemon yellow as accents.

2. Painting wet-in-wet for the sky and distant misty mountains. We learned to control the blending of wet paint by dragging a damp brush across the wet paint. This wipes off some of the pigment leaving a soft edged transition (more or less where you want it!)

3. Laying in progressively darker areas from background to foreground, blending by adding water for a soft, smooth gradation.

4. Defining overlapping shapes of foreground bushes and painting the trees in behind them for an illusion of depth and distance (aerial perspective)

5. Using ultramarine blue as an accent colour for the foreground snowy shadows.

6. Spattering in a fine spray of white gouache with a toothbrush around the foreground trees for a light, airy snow effect.

And here is the design so you can try it out on your own!

Newbies4_Lesson

Newbies4_Lesson

One more note about contrast and a taste for colour:

Example 1. shows mid tones for the mid and background trees with a contrasting intense dark tone for the foreground trees.

Example 2. shows mid tones for the mid and background trees with a contrasting intense chroma or saturation of colour for the foreground trees.

Newbies4_contrast

Newbies4_contrast

Halin de Repentigny at Portico Gallery, Squamish.

Halin de Repentigny

Halin de Repentigny

In September a new show opens at Portico Gallery, downtown Squamish, introducing a new show of 21 paintings by internationally recognized Yukon artist Halin de Repentigny. It has caused a buzz amongst local artists, art appreciators and collectors alike. A good number of art lovers turned out on September 19 for the artists reception. Halin was gracious, friendly and spent time guiding his guests around the gallery answering questions and explaining his process. He is an 'artists artist', meaning he is recognized by other artists as well as collectors for his talent and his artistic integrity.

Halin de Repentigny has been painting for over 40 years, his maturity and confidence is evident in this exhibition. Halin's new paintings, many of which have been produced specially for this show at Portico, are bold and energetic in their execution.

Although he works predominantly with a palette knife in these pieces, there is no sign of overworking. His textures are sophisticated and luxurious with a jewel like quality; the effect is that of layered glass on canvas. There is a tension and drama  through his use of high tonal contrasts further accentuating the vibrancy of colour.

"Life Partners"

"Life Partners"

"It's the oil paint" he explained. He uses traditional mineral based oil paints. Pigment particles from minerals such as lapiz, malachite and pyrite are larger and ground coarser than in modern synthetic pigments. They do not dissolve into the paint binder like modern finely ground pigments so they handle differently and appear more translucent under natural light.  It's an expensive process making these paintings.

I'm getting older and my work is getting more adventurous. I feel the freedom to express myself in several different styles, he said

Originally from Montreal, Halin has been an outdoorsman most of his adolescent and adult life. Every year he would take his family into the Northern Canadian wilderness for months at a time. He would build a cabin for them to live in and provided their food through hunting and trapping. He made hundreds of drawings during those months which he would later use as reference for his large paintings. These days he says he prefers to spend all his time painting. He lives in Dawson City in the Yukon and in Patagonia, Argentina.

As I travel and document South America I'm finding new colours and forms, he says

Towards the end of the evening, Portico owner Linda Bachman opened a bid to auction an original drawing which Halin had made earlier in the evening. It depicted one of the trapper cabins he had built on one of his wilderness trips and a food cache hut built on tall stilts. This was a bit of true Canadiana which I coveted so I joined in the bidding. The drawing was eventually sold to Irene Kavanagh and her husband, who have recently moved to Squamish.

Halin_sketch

Halin_sketch

The show at Portico Gallery will be on display through the Winter and into Spring of 2013. It's free to enter and definitely worth a visit. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday 11am - 6pm.

This post was published in the 1st printed edition of the Squamish Reporter, Sept 28, 2012. Look out for it every other Friday at select venues around Squamish!

Newbies Watercolour #2

Lesson #2 - LINE

Recapping on Lesson #1, we learned the 5 elements of design, Line, Shape, Tone, Colour and Texture.

Lesson #2 focuses on the 1st element Line and how it relates to watercolour:

Lines are infinitely variable! They can be thin as hairs, tapered, wiggly, straight, thick, broken etc. It's up to you - you're making them!

Lines can also refer to the line between shapes or the Edge - in watercolour we can make soft wet-in-wet lines, hard wet on dry lines or a combination of both. Lines can define shapes by an outline, they can be blended or faded. Whatever your choices, the lines you make in watercolour should always be gestural and descriptive.

 

Have a look at these samples:

Lesson #2 - Line qualities

Lesson #2 - Line qualities


  1. Hard edged line
  2. Tapered line
  3. Broken line
  4. Fading line
  5. Outline
  6. Soft and hard line
Lesson #2 - Trees

Lesson #2 - Trees

In this painting exercise we practised:

1. Choosing a limited palette - Pthalo blue, Scarlet lake and Lemon yellow

2. Wetting only parts of the paper with a big wet, Chinese brush loaded with Lemon yellow, then carefully painting vertical lines across the paper. This gives a series of varied soft and hard edges lines for the distant trees

3. Laying in progressively darker, richer lines from background to foreground. Notice how the line qualities change as the paper dries at different rates.

4. Having fun with splattering and flicking paint! I like the way this adds sparkle and a sense of light through the leaves.

5. Mixing and blending colours within the tree shapes.

6. Defining and describing leaf and fern shapes on the forest floor and thin branches on the trees.

 

And here is the design so you can try it out on your own!

Line design

Line design

A note about line placement and rhythm:

Example 1. shows lines evenly spaced on the paper. This can feel regimented, repetitive and monotonous. Think about a musical beat that plays out this way, it has a regular rhythm like a military march!

Example 2. shows varied lines arranged at different intervals. Notice how much more interesting both positive and negative shapes are and the tension between them. Think jazz where the rhythms are unexpected and surprising.

 

Line placement

Line placement