I began painting this one in the early summer from a series of photos I had taken of some of our Berginias in the garden. They are true unsung heros of the landscape, surprisingly not a very popular plant but one of my favorites. They are beautiful and extremely tough and go through many phases in the garden along with the seasons. In spring they lift up their leaves after the weight of the snow is off of them, then early summer they shoot out their flower stems that give the bees an early feast, then in fall the leaves turn a beautiful bright red. All this without good soil or fertalizer....got to love that.
I was honoured to have the owners of our local Olivers coffee shop request a few paintings. I love the way they decorate their shop. Local art surrounding you while you enjoy a sandwich and coffee. They have vey friendly staff which just brings up your mood when you enter. There isnt a lot of places you can say that about these days. It seems like most people are not enjoying their work enviroments and thats an emotional state thats impossible to hide and not feel. Life is so much of a hurry hurry feeling that when you find a calmer place to be you want to stay a while and recharge........I recommend enjoying a visit soon...I will be.
It's been a long time since I have painted cows. They are one of my favourite subjects to paint. When we had the dairy farm as a kid, I use to walk up to the girls who would be grazing and resting in the field and sit on them to have a visit. Most of the girls didnt skip a beat, just kept on chewing their cud and half snoozing. Im sure I am a bit predjudice, but I like to think we had the most sweet and beautiful girls in the world....they were to me.
With this being such a large painting I had to stand pretty far back to take the photo so a lot of detail is missing in the photo.
This is the first time I have painted goats, right now it seems baby goats, lambs, calves are everywhere. Babies of all sorts are absolutely irresistible. We had a few goats when I was about 10 years old. Pushy and sassy creatures. We started with a mating pair, the girl we called Annie and the boy Billy (not very original I know). Billy was madly in lone with my sisters horse and the cows, he would jump on top of them as if they were a mountain. I suppose it made him feel like he was a big man. Annie was a fairly passive girl who we would get milk from for my brother who was lactose intollerent......which was funny because at the time we had a dairy farm. One of the memories I have of her was of her tring to eat my strawberry bathing suit I would wear. I was plump like a strawberry as well so that didnt help matters......strange what memories stay and the ones that escapes you.
I have painted this moose position three times and it surprises me that each one is so different. It kind of drives home the point that each artwork has its own unique characteristics. Im not a big fan of busy looking art, by that I mean a detailed main subject and a detailed background. My brain goes into shut down mode if there is too much to look at, like being in a large crowd and feeling the need to escape. So it makes perfect sense that this moose painting would be my favorite in my moose painting series. He is a calm and patriotic fellow.
Roosters can be a tricky bunch. We have had many here on the farm most of them passive enough but occasionally you get a mean one. The most notorious rooster we had, use to attack my mother on sight. She would enter the barn and from the other end of the building he would catch sight of her and come running to fly up and try to peck and scratch her, yet he never bothered my dad. As fate would have it the rooster thought he would come at her one day while she was carring a bucket of very warm water......this confrontation ended very differently, mom unscathed, rooster soaked and humiliated. This was the last time he bothered my mom. So although chickens are not the brightest of creatures, they can learn from their experiences.
A friend has started to take up a new hobby which is wildlife photography. Lucky for me she's already terrific at it and is allowing me to paint some of them. This girl is practically a gourmet chef, is very well traveled and an amazing mother to her six children. Myself, I'm tired just thinking about all she does on a daily basis....
I had a last minute commission from the owners of Olivers Coffee Shop. They are renovating their Gravenhurst location, found three spaces for paintings and asked if I could get them completed in the rather short time line. I was honured to be asked and I was able to complete them. I am so impressed by them. There is no shortage of beautiful mass produced art that is readily available and yet they have chosen in their stores to hang a range of art from local artists. So wonderfully supportive of Muskoka artists.
These pieces are painted on plywood using indoor outdoor paints. Each one is 20x50in
This painting was a gift by way of a gift certificate that I gave to a friend who's name is Patricia on Sept 2016. Patricia always knew she wanted it to be of her beloved bassit hound named Sadie Mae, who was a rescue dog she had for many years. As is the way, life was busy and getting some photos for me to work from took the back burner. Sadly early this fall Sadie Mae was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. She was a big sweetheart and was lucky enough to live out the majority of her life spoiled and loved the way she should be with Patricia and her hubby, as well as everyone else fortunate enough to meet her.
When you are this big you should be called Mr. As the season progresses we see the black bears grazing in the field not too far from our house. I feel rather sad for these big beautiful creatures, not alot of good grazing area far enough away from homes and people for their or the publics comfort. They have never been a problem for us so far.....touch wood, even with the bee hives of my sisters that must get their attention once in a while. I had this great photo of a brown bear so I went ahead and painted him instead of our native black bear...maybe later I will paint a black one.