White Bisons and Music Festivals

White Bison ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on hardboard panel
For sale starting July 31st on Daily Paintworks
I finally had a whole four hours to paint yesterday! What a concept! In the last month I’ve had a mural to complete, four farmer’s markets to make jewelry and baking for, three different sets of family visiting, three to four days a week at my “regular” job, and volunteering for the Art’s Council, plus two kids to take to swimming lessons every day, a cottage to rent out, three specialty cakes this week and a normal household to look after. Wow! Summer! We look forward to it all year, and then it goes by so fast that we feel like we missed all the beautiful weather. 
But a whole four hours to paint by myself, with nobody around, was bliss 🙂
Here’s one of the reasons you haven’t seen much of me in the last little while. But I’m done, and proud if I do say so myself! It looks much better in real life…the surrounding cedar walls give the whole thing a bit of an unpleasant yellow tone.
                               
Bella Coola Music Festival Mural 10 ft x 20 ft
(He will be sitting on a piece of crown moulding instead of floating in space when the new door is installed)

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Texas Gold ~ Texas Longhorn Cow oil painting demonstration

Texas Gold ~ 9″ x 12″ oil on canvas panel
I think I’ve mentioned before that a man down the road from us has Texas Longhorns. They’re such a fascinating animal. They look so powerful and intimidating, but in actuality they’re quite gentle and sweet natured.  Unfortunately, we live far from Texas, on the rainy West Coast of B.C., and light like this just doesn’t happen. I tried to imagine and convey the heat and intensity of a summer Texas sunset in this one, as I don’t think the mist and cedar trees of Bella Coola are a fitting environment for these magnificent beasts. For sale now at Daily Paintworks, click HERE to take you to the auction page.
Below, I’ve showed a few of the steps that I took in creating this painting. I know I should take more pics but I get so into what I’m doing that I forget to stop to show you my progress.

                         

Step 2 ~ about halfway done…I’m working out the shadow of the cow, and experimenting with the color of the background, adding some lights and mid tones, throwing in touches of pure color to excite the eye…(I hope, lol!)
Step 1 ~ the first block in. I do the darks first, working out the composition…It’s much easier to work darks into light than the other way around. I find that the darks provide the framework, and it’s everything on top that adds form.

Thoughtful ~ White Horse Portrait

Thoughtful ~  6″ x 6″ oil on panel 
For sale on Daily Paintworks
bidding starts at $35
Happy Solstice, everyone! And happy new beginnings. According to the Mayan calendar, today doesn’t mark the end of the world, but the end of a cycle. Today is the first day of the new cycle, which is supposed to be characterized by enlightenment, where great changes take place to thrust us into a new age of evolution as individuals and as mankind. I wish you all peace on your new journey.
Today also marks the shortest amount of daylight this year…Thank goodness as of tomorrow the days will be getting longer! I can’t wait for the sun to come back. But really, isn’t winter a time to settle in, slow down, ruminate, and recharge? Just like the plants do under the soil. They rest so that they can return, with more growth and beauty than before, when the sun returns. 

Our Life’s Work

“Life’s Work” ~ 6″ x 6″ oil on panel
BID NOW on Daily Paintworks
“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. ” 
― Margaret Young
What do you really want to get out of life? Really. If money was no object. Well, do it. The purpose of your life is to to pursue productive, meaningful work. To spend most of your time doing something that you and others find meaningful.. Period. If you’re doing it well, with all of your heart, with passion, then you will find a way to make a living. So many of us have it backwards, we put off life, trying to make a living doing work we hate, so that we can one day do the things we love and be happy.

The purpose of your life is not to become rich, or skinny, or beautiful, or find the perfect mate, or have twenty five children, or work in a cubicle. These may be things you want to do, but they are not your purpose. (Well, maybe they’re yours, but they’re sure not mine…two kids is enough, lol!)

When you find it you will know, because time disappears when you’re immersed in it. Your senses become heightened, you become completely absorbed. A mountain could come crashing down and you wouldn’t even notice. 
So if you are an artist, and you’ve decided that the purpose of your life is to paint, then paint. Paint between commercials. Paint when the kids are asleep. Paint after dinner. Or paint for your job, but just do it! (Easy enough to say, not so easy to do!)
Painters paint, gardeners garden, musicians play, bees buzz…it’s what we do! Does it need a purpose other than it’s what makes you feel alive?
This is something that I’ve really been struggling with. I virtually quit for almost four months. I still painted, but there was no desire behind it. No passion. No thrill. I looked at the canvas as an obligation to fulfill. I had to have something to post to my blog. I had to have something to put in my newsletter. I had to finish what I started. It had to be my next masterpiece. It had to be perfect. It had to fit into some imagined “body of work”.
It had to be sellable, or how could I justify the cost of materials?  I couldn’t just paint and not get paid…could I? I couldn’t just paint because I love painting.  All that pressure. No wonder I couldn’t perform.
Who says our purpose has to be our job? And if it was, would it still be our passion? What do you think?
What’s your passion? Are you doing it? Are you making a living from it? 

"Belle" Portrait of a Cow

 “Belle”  10″ x 10″ oil on canvas  $350.00
 
This is a painting I did last week of a cow. It makes me smile when I look at it. That big dumb stare and the nose in your face, lol!
I love cows…their wet noses, their soulful eyes and the milk they give us. We get our milk from a farmer down the road. The kids love it, and I make my own yogurt and butter. It saves a load of money, plus you get the peace of mind knowing exactly where it comes from and what’s in it. No antibiotics and preservatives, thank you very much! 
You can buy this painting directly from my website. If you have any questions please give me a call.