Sneak Preview of new Grizzly Bear painting and demo

Picture of me and my painting for the local paper

Not finished yet!!
So…I’m having a one-man show on April 20th. I’m pretty excited, but do I ever have a lot of painting to do! This is number two in the grizzly bear series…am I doing a series? Hmmm…Maybe I will…I’ve been enjoying painting these magnificent creatures. 
The first photo is one that was taken by the local paper to advertise my show, and the following two show the painting in progress. As you can see, I toned the canvas first with acrylic paint in a thin was of yellow ochre. The painting will eventually have a sunset look so I thought the yellow would work. I actually started doing the painting in acrylic, but got frustrated with the colors drying darker than I mixed them, so I switched to oils, and it’s actually working out fine. It makes for softer edges, brighter colors and it’s just easier for me to control, all the way around.
Next, I blocked in all of the darks. I forgot to take a picture, though. I got a bit carried away and in “the zone”…you know, that place where time and everything else disappears?
The second picture, I’ve started adding color, blocking in the lights in the water, and trying to work out the reflection. I’m finding that to be the hardest part. 
So, maybe a day or two left. I want to fix the perspective on the bear’s body, finish the water, fix up the fur….I’ll keep ya’ posted 🙂

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The House of Noomst, Bella Coola

House of Noomst~oil on canvas $825.00

I’ve been very busy lately, painting, but not posting. I’ve secured a studio/gallery space at the local hotel and restaurant, and I’ve been going “to work” every day until my kids finish school. It’s been great fun, meeting and talking to adults for a change:) And I’ve been keeping up the ebay cards, too, to pay for paint, haha! 
I didn’t bother to do a work in progress for this one, it would have been too tedious, lol!
It ended up being tighter than I wanted–haha, the story of my life! But, I’m still happy with it. 
This is a 40+ year old pole on the Bella Coola Townsite. The building is now a youth center, but is scheduled to be torn down soon. It is unsafe, and the pole is rotted through at the base. I’m glad that I was able to paint it before it disappeared, as do so many old landmarks around here. The pole is a replica of one of the original poles on a chief’s house of the original native village that was here before “white man” came. I think it’s beautiful, and an important part of our heritage. I hope they can salvage at least the upper part and display it somewhere after the building is torn down.
I’ll keep posting some of my new work over the next few days.
Bye for now!

Mending the Nets

Mending the Nets – 9″ x 12″ oil on canvas  $225.00
(Click on image to view bigger)
This is what I’ve been working on for the last week or so. I also have a sketch done in my Travel Journal, but it is needing some color…and I’ve done a bunch of ACEO’s, too.
This picture is really about Bella Coola’s history. The building is the old cannery net loft. It has long been abandoned, but used to be a huge part of the industry here. The inset is from the Bella Coola archives, it is a Nuxalk woman mending the nets…I love this view of the net loft. I have about fifty photos of it, in all different weather, and times of day. I live in such a beautiful place!

View from the Gazebo

View from the Gazebo-Coast Mountain Lodge
I’m feeling a bit homesick today, missing my friends and family. My best friend is getting married today, too, and I’m missing it, because I’m still stuck here. Congratulations, Jen! I love you!
This is a sketch I did while I was still in Bella Coola, before the flood. I bet it doesn’t look like this anymore…sigh.  It’s the view from the gazebo at work. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I went for a jog to have a coffee there. I decided to sit and sketch it on a piece of printer paper. I cut it and glued it into my moley, to cover up a godawful sketch I did of my daughter this morning. 
It was going beautifully, in pencil, the likeness was great, and I spent about an hour on it, and then I decided it needed some color and the lines needed to be darker. I tried to ink and color it, and DISASTER! It was ruined, completely…sorry Rhiannon…it was cute):

Bella Coola Floods, Painting Workshops and Commissions

Well, a bloody lot has happened since I last posted, and that was only a little over a week ago.

Sorry to keep you waiting, but I have a good reason. Mainly that my town, Bella Coola, with it’s one highway leading into it, has been hit with a devastating flood. The road is out in innumerable places, and it could be weeks or months before it is open…and I am on the other side. I can’t get home.

(Our main highway through town…that’s the gas station.)

  Bailey Bridge

Firvale

But, on to better news: The reason I was out of town when the flood happened is because I was having an opening at a gallery in Quesnel, and teaching a painting workshop, and those were successful. Here are a few of my students, working really hard. Great paintings, ladies!

And, lastly, the good thing about being stuck out here, I scored a great commission to paint someone’s dear deceased dog, and I’m pretty excited to get that underway.  All of the time spent stuck in Quesnel could lead to a lot more work, teaching and otherwise, so that’s all good. I just wish that I could see my hubby and my friends, and help with all of the rebuilding. I feel so far away from everyone. My heart goes out to them. 

Grizzly Bear in the River

                                 Grizzly  8″x10″ graphite on bristol  $150.00

Soon to be framed, and on display for sale at the Bella Coola Valley Inn Gallery. Framed Price, $200.00.

The Bella Coola Valley, where I live is one of the last wild places on earth. The population is tiny…we have about 1800 people in a stretch of about 60 km, the valley is narrow, lined with glacier fed creeks, and streams filled with salmon, so it is also one of the prime locations for spotting grizzly bears in the wild. While most people on the planet can only hope to see these amazing creatures in the zoo, I have to shuttle my kids inside while they plunder the fruit on my fruit trees and lumber nonchalantly through our yard. People come from all over the world to get a chance to see one. In fact, today I have the great fortune to go on a river drift with my boss, Fraser Koreluk, who owns Coast Mountain Lodge and Kynoch adventures here in Bella Coola. They offer deluxe accommodation, and outdoor adventures, such as eco-tours and Bear viewing tours. I hope we see bears today, so I can get some more reference photos to paint from.

Framing Options
unframed $150.00 framed $200.00

Nuxalk, Native American Art, Regalia, original oil painting

“Light Dancer” 9″x12″ oil on canvas $225.00

This is my newest painting in the Potlatch Series. I’m not sure of the original name of the dance, but the original painting shows some great backlight coming in behind her head, hence the title. The photo is a bit dark, I’ll try to upload a better picture soon. I usually don’t like painting red. I doesn’t work well alla prima…the method of direct painting without glazing. It’s hard to lighten red without it becoming pink, but I liked painting the contrast of the red and black in this one. I used cad yellow light to lighten the highlights to an orange, which seemed to work with the warm light source. I found the end result to be striking. I also enjoyed the abstract quality of the robes of the other dancer that are visible in the background.

Music Festival Poster AND New painting–HELP!


I know I said I’d post the poster the next day, but I thought I’d better get it okayed from the festival committee first, and it did. They love it, so now you get to see it. It doesn’t have all of the text on it yet, but the design part is finished.

I’m also posting this painting that I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I really need some help, so please, please comment! I hate the background color. I did thumbnails, and it worked on a small scale, but this big, it just looks so…yellow…YUK! It isn’t finished, obviously, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on painting the candy jugs before I decided on the new background color…but, I can’t figure out what color would work. I have no artists to consult in this teeny tiny town of mine, so I’m depending on you fellow artists to help get me unstuck! So do you think it should be darker or lighter? There is fairly strong light coming from a window on the right hand side…The front part of the painting won’t be yellow, it has little glass inserts with coffee beans and candy behind them. I want the light effect to be pretty dramatic, but right now, all of the values are too similair.
Any suggestions, anybody?