It's the end of October and I was lucky enough to have two beautiful days to go painting. I will go painting in the colder weather no doubt, but these autumn days, when the light is low and the temperature is still warm are the best in my opinion.
So happy to announce that my painting Mother Tree won best in show at the Windows Open 2021 show with the Markham Group of Artists! Here is what Art Consultant and Juror Joanne Poluch said about the painting:
Laurel’s work convinced me that the engaging wide path and lovely mosaic imprinted on her path, metaphorical or not, was someplace where I wanted to go – right now. The structure of the painting was so harmonious, serene and calm. I found it fascinating that Laurel’s setting incorporated so many wonderful rich elements; mountains, beautiful lush green landscape, plants, and rich textural forms saturated in colour. The colours are divine in this work. It is a winning combo. All the boxes are ticked here.
I started plein air painting in oil a little less than a year ago and it was quite the adventure at first. I was new to oil painting, new to painting outside and had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that I wanted to do it. I liked the fact that it was challenging. While the pandemic raged, it gave me something else to concentrate on. I've found that the brain only has so much bandwidth when you're learning. You can understand how to mix colours, how to compose your picture, and have a grasp on the importance of lights and darks, or values, but when your outside with the cold and the bugs and a new medium there is only so much you can concentrate on at one time! I've come home with a lot of strange paintings and not in a good way! But plein air painting is a roller coaster ride. You can't wait to do it. Then you start and it's scary and bad things are happening. Help!!!! Then it's over and you really want to do it again.
Back to this thing about band width. Now that I'm starting to get more accustomed to oil paints, I'm starting to have more brain space to concentrate on brush strokes, values and other important things. No one ever said painting was easy, but it's worth all the effort. That next great painting is always around the corner!
I finally invested in a larger pouchade box and had some nice weather for painting outside. There is so much information to process when you're painting outside. The changing light, the people, the sounds and all the little details you can't see in a reference photo. It's very exciting! My friend Sadie likes it too, especially when I bring treats : P
A series for spring. All of a sudden we go from the monotones of winter to pops of colour. It's always so exciting when colour appears!
Last summer I caught the bug for Plein Air painting with the Markham Group of Artists. Some artists were painting with oils, and I was fascinated. It's always fun to try something new and during the pandemic lockdown it's especially nice to have something different to occupy your thoughts. Thus began my adventure with oil paints. It's like painting with coloured butter. Strangely addictive.
I haven't been doing much printmaking lately. I've spent much of the summer doing Plein Air painting with the Markham Group of Artists. This is an acrylic painting inspired by walking on our cottage road. I must admit this was painted indoors, but I've caught the bug for painting outdoor scenes. We'll see how that goes once the snow starts to fly!
I'm working on turning and old flee market art box into a pochade box, so you might see me out and about if you're in my neighborhood.
This painting is for sale in the Small is Beautiful Winter Show and Sale put on by the Markham Group of Artists. It's $125.00 and sales are direct with the artist so just let me know if you're interested.
Happy Holidays and Stay Safe!
Lately I been concentrating on doing some black and white linocuts. It's interesting to me to concentrate on form and composition without the distraction of colour. It's also a lot quicker to print only one colour!
Much as I love black and white, I have some ideas for coloured prints now. Also, being spring, it's time to bring back the colour!
Who would have thought, when I last posted a year ago, that we'd be in the middle of a pandemic now. Last year was a busy year for non-artist parts of life. I am very lucky that those things happened before this strange time. I am very lucky to be squirreled away with lots of art supplies. I do have a strange sense that time is short and I must do as much art as I can while I can. No doubt the pandemic makes us aware of the fragility of life and the systems we depend on to navigate the world.
I've done a lot of work over the past year and I'll try to update things here. Most recently I've delved into oil pastels. I'm still going strong with linocuts, but this is a side adventure. I find them surprisingly easy to work with, which I take as a sign I should do more. When I was young I thought that anything I found easy, or perhaps enjoyable is a better word, was something anyone could do and was not important. Now I realize that different people are drawn to different things and you shouldn't ignore what you enjoy doing. I'm longing to get some artist grade oil pastels. Right now I'm using Sakura Expressionist Cras-Pas and they are really very good for the price.
And here I am in a James Turrel installation at the LACMA in Los Angles. I was there a month before the pandemic hit North America. I strange picture for a strange time. I'm posting this picture because I've decided I need to be brave and do things I don't like, such as post pictures of myself. Don't worry, I won't do it a lot! Going forward, I hope to post more here. Going forward...one step at a time.
Lately I've been doing lots of little abstracts. I made a series of linocut stamps so that I could play around with the colours and shapes. The small size lets me experiment with out too much of a time and ink commitment. I've always been fascinated by abstract, but never known where to start and this is a way in. It's also interesting to see which ones resonate with which people. Some of these are available at the Georgina Art Centre and Gallery
© Laurel Martin 2010