Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009 (again!) - Kensington Market

So it was worth tracking those Kensington market photos down. Here's a painting based on one of those images.

I loved that week-long course. I need to plan half a day to shooting a neighbourhood or place in Toronto like we did everyday that week. I enjoyed it so much.

November 29, 2009 (again!) - Toronto

See I said I would do it if I found my photos. Well it was touch and go there for a while. I had to use finder and run a search which takes a long time. I was already consoling myself with the fact that my first day of class's photos taken in Kensington market were gone but I had the others. However, finder found them and I transfered them to a proper file.

Now this image isn't based on Day 1's class. This was day 4 at the western end of the beaches. I liked the colours that this committed walker was sporting. Just a quick sketch but it's done.

November 29, 2009 - Now for a different city

Leicester! Yes, I went to Leicester. Why? Well, I had ideas of pursuing another degree. I wouldn't actually have to go there but could do it by distance. Well, I would have to show my face once a year and to defend my thesis but that's it. But my plan to meet with some people to talk to them about the course but more especially about funding my studies fell through. It's still at the back of my mind but there it will stay for a while if not forever. I also wanted to see what Leicester looked like. For awhile I was employed by a company based there and I like taking the train especially from the newly renovated St. Pancras station.

Anyway, it was a beautiful sunny day there. Leicester is quite quirky and has a lot of old bits that are interesting but also some newish bits that you rather avoid (the centre shopping area is an example of 60s ? town planning that doesn't work so well). It also seemed to be well stocked with Subway sandwich places for some reason. I ended up leaving it too late for lunch and grabbed an awful sandwich at the train station (very nice train station by the way). I spotted the Turkey Cafe earlier in the day and loved the tile and the name of the place. It looked very art nouveau. Unfortunately, it had a Burger King right beside it.

I should really continue painting today to make up for yesterday. I have to find some photos that are lurking on a defunct Aperture library. I've been putting that off for way too long. Maybe they will inspire more paintings. They're photos taken from my week-long course at the Toronto School of Art in June so maybe Toronto will actually feature in a painting. I feel bad that it doesn't usually. Poor old Toronto but you're rapidly falling out of favour with me for a number of reasons that proper management could fix.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009 - Dutch house in New York

Again, this was from my April trip and on the same walk. I spotted this little house that was nothing like any of the others and reminded me of Dutch architecture.

And once again I'm not happy with this work but felt I had to do something today. We're off tonight for a birthday concert to see James Ehnes at the new Koerner Hall. So glad we can make it. Anyway, that's the excuse. I didn't want to do anything too time consuming since time is ticking but then again, some of my favourite works didn't take that long. Oh well. Better tomorrow? Let's hope.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 25, 2009 - London tea

Another London memory. I took a picture of this cafe near Borough Market/London Bridge. It's actually in one of the archways of the rail line. Too bad it was shut, I would have liked a peek inside.

Anyway, no images today. Bad back and very sleepy. I'm not as happy with this one compared to some of my other ones lately so I don't want to push it and be unhappy with another one. Off to watch tv then early bed. I'm that crazy...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 - New York (again part 2)

Yet another image of New York and once again this image came from a photo taken during my spring trip there. I love the brightly coloured restaurants. I'm fuzzy about location again but see below about my walk one Saturday with group friends, savouring wine, eating good food, and crossing a bridge for ice cream and a magnificent view.

November 23, 2009 - London

More blasts from the past. I took an image of this place on the South Bank near the Design Museum in London May 2008. It looked like a combination restaurant and gourmet shop. Very nice area which used to be old warehouses and are now lofts and restaurants and shops.

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009 - New York (last trip!)

Been getting a lot of ideas for paintings by going through some old photos. Perfect day to get that done.

I believe this restaurant is in Greenwich Village but honestly, we walked around so much that day in April that it could be Nolita or Soho because we walked through all of those and Chinatown and lower East side and Brooklyn. You get the picture - lots of walking. This was interspersed during part of the afternoon with tastings of rioja wine in several liquor stores. Not something you will get in Toronto.

Anyway, I wanted a sketchy quality to suggest movement and to just suggest people rather than a study of individuals.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009 - red vehicles for Emil

Finally got around to my Christmas commission for a special 1 year-old who loves things with wheels. The rocket was the original inspiration (because he has one). So that sort of started the theme with red. I like bicycles and he's part Dutch so that had to be included. And who doesn't like an old-fashioned double-decker bus. But this is only the first stage. I want to mount them to wood blocks and put a layer of acrylic over top. Not sure how to do this last part since I don't really have the tools to polish the edges at my disposal anymore but we'll find a way.

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009 - New York still on my mind

Last week I was in New York on Friday night and was having my nails done. This week, very different.

Anyway, I spent this evening tidying the kitchen and dining room (got to have it clean before hubby gets home), reading my book online for book club tomorrow night and I thought I should fit in a quick watercolour before settling down for the night with a cup of tea, some ice cream and some tv watching (maybe get caught up on some Coronation Street?). Then I also want to fit in some reading of my photography magazine in bed.

So yet another New York house. This one is a bit sketchier. I was working very small (6 x 4") on paper that I got in Germany. I've never used it before. It is very fine with not much forgiveness. You have to be quick when working a colour through or you see your start and finish areas. I think if I was working a bigger area and not worried about leaving small detail areas free then it would be fine. In case you're wondering it's Lana watercolour paper.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New York photos

In case you were waiting in anticipation for those black-and-white with colour photos of New York well here they are. Frankly, I'm not in the mood to sleep yet so why not post these before bed.

I won't post the one that I did for our Christmas card because some of you may be getting one of those. I just hope they come in time. It took forever getting the website to work (after a failed attempt on another one and finding out a third was going to cost a fortune). You'll be happy to know that the Canadian printer came out on top.

November 19, 2009 - New York brownstone

Been working on photographs of New York today while waiting around. They're much like the Berlin and Paris black-and-whites. I even posted two on etsy. I may even post a couple more. But I really wanted and needed to do a watercolour today as well so I'm posting that first. I may still post the photos.

I love the brownstone buildings in New York. In fact most of the buildings in New York have incredible detail. It's difficult not to photograph them all.

I painted this on my new favourite paper that I mentioned before - Hahnemuhle's Burgund matt. In case you're wondering I also have a favourite photo paper for those black-and-white prints. Unfortunately I couldn't get it again in New York and had to settle for a sample pack of Gekko by Pictorico. The "Red" version worked so well when I printed out the Paris photos. It's from Japan and gives such a nice luminous quality to the blacks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 17, 2009 - New York!

So if you've been following and wondering if I have given up or where I was I was in New York for 5 days. And the shop theme continues! I think this shop was on Spring Street. I wandered around that area for a couple of days. Great shopping. There are the big name shops on Broadway nearby but also some quirky and different shops on the side streets especially Spring and Prince. I love it there.

At first I wasn't liking this painting. It's sketchier than the rest but I think it somehow works like that.

Off to have some coffee now, get hubby packed for his trip and have some delicious hazelnut spread from Le Pain Quotidien.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

Been busy creating more photos than painting the last couple of days but I did get this one done today. It's a beautiful day here so no more of that. Have to get out in the sunshine. It's also my mom's birthday so Happy Birthday, Mom!

Yet another French shop front. This one was near the marche des enfants rouges.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009 - Remember?

Remember some watercolours of colourful blankets on cafe chairs and a mannequin with a pink boot? Well here are the images that inspired those while in Berlin with some adjustments. Really pleased with the brighter colours here. They make more sense in the Berlin photos than in the Parisian ones. The subdued, darker colours in the Paris photos like these have a old world look while Berlin has the brightest of a city constantly changing. At least that's how I see it. I haven't even really heightened the colours in these photos. The blankets and docs were that colourful. I loved the spots of colour in Berlin.

November 5, 2009 - Berlin Florist

Back to the watercolour shopfronts. I had drawn this yesterday but only got to paint today. Saw this shop while wandering around an area not to far from Alexanderplatz.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009 - Cafe awning

If you cursor down to the bottom of the page you'll see this but here it is again. I thought these three images would work so well together as a triptych. I might even fire up the old printer and print them off.

I took this photo from the top of an old railway line that is now a garden walkway. Such great views from there and such a nice walk. On the walk back you go by artisan studio that are under the walkways' arches so something nice and different to see on the return journey.

I have a watercolour of a Berlin shop all marked up and masked and ready to go but off to see if I can get some freelance work first.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009 - Flag

I'm on a roll. This one I turned the everything black and white and selected the flag as colour. I made the colour in the flag a bit more subdued and then added noise for grain as well as another artistic border.

November 3, 2009 - Boulevard

Not a watercolour today but I've been playing around with some free photo borders that I got with a magazine and I'm quite happy with this image. You might even see it on etsy although I was wondering if it would look better with a tint of colour. hmmm...

The rejection letters are already coming in. Well, I applied to two stock illustration sites today but one has already replied. Not deterring me yet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 1, 2009

Another shop front image from Paris. I want to add a Berlin one to this group for some variety. Not really pleased with the lettering. I had used masking fluid but then gold watercolour paint which is a little hit and miss.

Looked into the stock illustration thing and I need to get a website to send them to. So I have to get that set up first. Always something...

My cheapy printer is already out of ink (very suspicious about that) so no printing out my images. I'm worried that my expensive printer has sat around too long and may have clogged heads. I'm afraid to try it.