Monday, March 31, 2014

"Boys Club" oil 11x14

They cut this glorious tree down - OK so it may have been rotten, but it gave me a nice visual lead-in to the Boys Club which was built by Colonel and Mrs Bull for boys to improve their 'character and bodies' in memory of their son who was killed in Holland in 1943.
In the literature nowadays the building is known as "The Boys and Girls Club" (quite right) and no mention is ever made of 'improvements to boys' bodies now... how times have changed. Quite rightly so.

Click the image for a bigger view. This painting is for sale, contact me.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Bald Eagle graphic version" Conté pencil 9 x 11

I drew a graphic version of my Bald Eagle using Conté pencil this time. Note: The initial watercolour pencil version is a collector's piece and has been sold. 
There is a subtle but real difference in the rendering between the two. If you want this graphic version contact me (see contact the artist) or Fine Art America will make you a fine reproduction of the size and price of your choice. See the details at

  Click this image to enlarge the view,

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Seagulls in the Shallows" oil 11x14

Outdoor painters love this island beach off Mount Douglas Park - we're facing North, looking past the seagulls ambling in the shallows to the sailboat near the horizon. Ian Roberts has written books on mastering composition - his first armature is the S curve which leads the eye wayyyy into the composition.
I think the S and the triangle are the strongest compositional devices. Ian lists them all. You should Google him.

Hit the image for a clearer view.

"Bald Eagle" watercolour pencil on gessoed board 12x16

Sold. Yes!

Hit the image for a clearer view.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Joan" at Goward House 12x14 w/c

Here I go with my sermon again - use different media, change from oils to watercolours, from pencil to pastel and so on. What you learn in one medium helps you in the other media.

This is Joan, an artist from the Exchanges gallery. She liked it!

My rendering  reminds me of a John Singer Sargent charcoal drawing of a lady seated at the piano, singing spiritual songs. It wasn't a deliberate copy, I just liked the benign expression on Joan's face.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"The Letter" 4x4 oil $200

I am having such fun painting these minis - if you like this one, let me know and it's yours for $200 (I like PayPal)

email me at

"The Letter" 4x4 oil

"Wild Tree at the Seashore" 11x14 oil

There's a wild tree growing right on the edge of the sea at Cattle Point on Vancouver Island. The changing leaves are a jewelled mosaic, and their shadows cast a spectacular filigree on the sand and rocks below.

Hit the image for a bigger view and call me if you want this one.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"High Oaks barn" oil on gesso board 9x12

As Spring is on its way there are more artists to be seen painting on location. This was a busy scene on a rural road on Vancouver Island. It blew a little, some easels fell, but at least we had blue patches of sky above. Hit the image for a bigger view. Call me if you want this one.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Gillian" oil 12x16

"If it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" - who remembers that movie? Well here in Victoria BC if it's Tuesday it must be Goward House Portrait Painters. Gillian sat for us today. The sitter sits for free but may choose a portrait or two from the dozen or so portraitists to take home free. The session takes less than three hours.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Michell's Plain" oil 12x14

The flooded field is where cabbages grow normally but today the rains came and dosed the seedlings.
Farmer Vern Michell calls this field the 'mailbox.' Dunno, but HEY he's the boss. Vern is up there like me, so his grand-daughter Nicole does the emails, leaving Vern more time to get on with it!
Author/artist Ian Roberts has been helping me vicariously with my dynamic compositions through his book, so a big shout-out to you, Ian, and your "Mastering Composition." 'Glad to see you're producing even more  DVDs and books to help artists to focus on the essentials.
Hit the image for a bigger view.

Friday, March 07, 2014

"Saanichton Park Inlet" watercolor

You've heard me mention this before - when I try ANOTHER medium (other than my home medium of OIL) I find that the arkward one helps my main one. So this week my plein air painting was devoted to watercolour which is difficult for me - I'm still learning.
Apart from a prelim thumbnail drawn in pencil in a separate notepad, I drew this watercolour with a large wet brush, no pre-wetting of the paper.
Lesson learned - only use top grade w/c paper. this WASN' time I'll use Arches. One needs the paper to offer solutions - not complications. OK Wilson.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

"With a view of the water" oil 11 x 14

Islanders love this - a home with a view of the water...(I should have been a realtor)! No matter how tiny - the view is special. My sister and her husband have this very view in Nanaimo BC where they live. It's an oil and this time I used as much paint as I could, making like a millionaire artist. I can dream. It turned out OK, and if you want this one, email me and I'll give you the price!

Hit the image for a bigger view.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

"Edith" in oil and Conté pencil at Goward House

Edith in oil, I had a few minutes to sketch her portrait in Conté pencil too:
Almost every week a dozen-or-so artists gather at Goward House to paint portraits. This week we painted our own Edith - a patient sitter who dressed up for the sitting! Please click the image to see a bigger image.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

"Sunbathing" w/c 7.5 x 10 inches

Vitamin D even in the wintery sun is a big deal for each of us. Reclining on the rocks at the beach is what the doctor ordered. Click for a bigger image - email me if you want this one (already framed professionally at a good price).