Painting Retreat…

“Thats a thickener Grant, not a thinner” – Doug Swinton.

These were the words I needed to hear obviously, and after tackling my first painting from a photo Doug provided, it became pretty apparent that this was where I was messing up. I realized, that when I was painting before the long 28 year drought, I only ever used Turpentine, which is a thinner. When I decided to get back into painting last year, I bought all new supplies and was told to use Walnut Oil and other mediums like that to get the consistency the way I wanted it. So when I was trying to thin the paint, I was actually thickening it and well, making a goopy mess that didn’t behave the way I remembered at all. The painting that I blogged about back in November never made it past the initial first color pass. With a large “X” through it, it ended up in the garbage.

So Doug gave me a small 3″sq pic to paint and I had to complete it in 20min. Here’s what I came up with…

20 Min Study

I felt really good about it and Doug took and placed it in a frame and put it on the wall which is one of the ways he likes to show his students work to the others. Success!

Ok, then onto the next which was from one of my pics up in Sunshine Meadows. This one I did in about an hour.

Sunshine Meadows

Then this one inspired by another photo but I decided I wanted to add the dark drama to it.

Morning Light

And finally this one which was of the same creek but looking in a different direction. And done with a completely different color palette.

Elbow Lake CreekThe first three done on the first day and the last one done on the second.

Overall, I’m shocked at how fast it seemed to come back and how photography and Photoshop has had such an affect on the way I see and compose and problem solve.

I just need to start to gain a better understanding of techniques and particular behaviours of oils. A weekend with some great people, a great instructor and some much needed personal success.

Snoopy, and the Red Baron…

See the picture below…

When I was eight years old, I sat at the 1971 Arborite kitchen table, gold flecks on white with a two inch chrome edging. The chair I sat on was red naugahyde  with chrome tubular legs. My knees bent, sitting on my feet for extra height. A small 12″ television sat on the back edge of the table against the wall and Spider Man was on. The antenna pulled out and tipped towards the dishwasher on wheels that you hooked up to the tap. All of this over a stylish green flat weave carpet.

My mom had asked me to write Nana and Uncle Kieth a nice note which we did monthly and this time, I decided to tell them a story about Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Red Baron. I loved Charlie brown and Snoopy. How the Red Baron got in there, I’m not entirely sure. I gave it to my mom and headed out to play. This is the last I saw of it for 20 years.

I guess my uncle saw something in this picture that most didn’t. He took and carefully mounted, framed and hung it on the wall of his study soon after he got it. I didn’t see it till I visited Vancouver when I was 28. You could imagine my shock and surprise. He said to me he knew at that moment, that I was destined to have a career based on being creative. That he could sense the raw creativity that was within me. This was just after I graduated from ACAD in Calgary and moved to Vancouver to start my new life as a photographer.

This picture stayed on his wall for the next 12 years until he passed away from cancer and this framed picture from deep in my past, was one of the gifts I received and cherished as a birthplace for this long  and rewarding journey.

Thank you Uncle Kieth, for having faith in me and recognizing something long before anyone else could even imagine where I would be so many years later. I love and miss you.

In case you can’t read it…

Snoopy and the Red Baron

one day snoopy was sleeping wene he heard a noise. he said oh good grief weare under attacc. man the machine gun

man everything, then snoopy with out taking off his

pajamas. ran to his plane, and took off then

he was air born. then not noing that he had

got 60 belets in his airplane, and smoke coming

out of the back. he ceped on shooting and boom,

he crashed, right in his own backyard. he

woke and said Help Help. charlei came running out what

the matter thenjiusdkd

snoopy

am dead

cb

good greaf.

[Help Help] [am dead]

[what the matter] [good greif]

Snoopy and the Red Baron

Stream of Consciousness Writing…Latte

The latte tastes rich, hot over tongue and beyond. Warming my insides and letting the feeling grow. The foam is light and was adorned with a leaf, which looked great till my spoon dumped a teaspoon of sugar onto it taking it to the bottom of the cup. I sipped gently, listening to the chatter around me and the jazz playing over the speakers.

I wait in anticipation. A few more sips, cooling as I go.

Finally I savour the last of it and I’m saddened to discover that the leaf is not where I hoped it to be.

Photograph of Road Runner on TV Commercial Set…

An old Roadrunner on a TV shot in the foothills

It was 28C outside. We were shooting stills alongside the crew that was shooting the TV commercial. Set was decked and ready to go, green screen behind the vintage Road Runner. Fake snow, extra tufts of grass placed carefully to fill out the foreground. The crew, in shorts worked at keeping everything moving. Behind where I’m standing are about twenty other people, trucks, tents and some very expensive equipment and an Art Director flying a small radio controlled airplane. I really liked the way the green screen framed the car and how the “snow” added to the illusion. Back in the studio I added my own background to the screen that I had shot the previous winter.

This is one of the images I was hired to shoot and image.