Claire's Blog - what is happening - what is currently on my easel or recently completed ..........
This page will change fairly regularly with a bit of a story about what I am up to.
December 20, 2020...
Hello again everyone,
This is my 2020 note of thanks to you.
It has been a very busy year at The Chandelier Tree in spite of:
All the art shows and studio tours I participate in being cancelled
A global pandemic threatening our lives and distancing our families
A triple fracture of my dominant arm in mid October.
Hence a printed message as my cast was just removed leaving me with no range of motion from my fingers to my elbow. But small gains every day now. My Christmas wish is to be painting again some time in January.
It has nevertheless been a wonderful whirlwind year for my tiny gallery in beautiful Portland. (You know, a retired level kind of whirlwind). So many repeat clients, new faces and a summer of commissioned paintings. A truly fulfilling year largely thanks to my social media activity.
A new direction awaits in very large oil works I started before the fractures as well as unfulfilled commissions and a planned second watercolour and ink Portland series to explore.
I have loved seeing/meeting so many of you in person albeit masked, distanced, sanitized and often just on the porch or in the entrance. It is always such a privilege to be a part of your journey in selecting one or more of my paintings that will hopefully continue to make you smile for years to come. It helps to make what I do even more worthwhile.
I love being part of this embracing colourful community and I am so grateful to all of you for your ongoing support.
I can’t wait to see where my art takes me and I look forward to continue sharing it with you. So all that is left to say is a big huge thank you for the amazing support you have shown me.
And I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, safe 2021
No new paintings to share but how about a wave from this fella ......
Oh my! Settling into autumn, my favourite season of crisp clean air, falling leaves and bright sunshine. The summer mist has evaporated and made way for true vibrant colour everywhere. It takes your breath away.
Sadly we are all experiencing the effects of a second even stronger wave of the nasty COVID-19 monster. Things are quickly headed back to a full lockdown. We are fortunate to live in Rideau Lakes where outbreaks have remained few and far between. Are we better at respecting protocols and our safety as well as our neighbour's?
My art life continues to be so very happily busy. I took the time to do a large watercolour and ink painting of one of the main streets in Westport for a fun "Westport in Watercolour" sponsored RLAA challenge. It's pretty cool but I could have spent more time on it had that been possible. Anyhow, here it is below. It was fun to do.
As well I have just completed an 18"x24" watercolour commission for a lovely lady in Alberta for whom, some time ago, I had painted her two daughters looking out onto a lake at sunset. This commission is of her two sons looking out onto a field admiring the work they love to do and the machinery they run. Mom is delighted and the painting is on its way across the country.
And now starting one large commission in oils for a Christmas gift. You don't get to see that one until the new year. Then on to a number of very large oil paintings that I started over the summer, because that is how my brain works - when I am inspired by something, I have to get it started as soon as possible then work it into what else is happening. So very excited about this large oil commission. Away I go. Talk soon.
And three of the large oils I am again turning my attention to...........(there is also an amazing one of a blue heron at her nest with her funky looking new babies inspired by a photograph by Linda Noble. The drawing for that one has just been completed with cool different baby faces. Stay tuned.
Summer is quickly coming to an end and it has been beautiful and extremely busy in spite of no art shows, no studio shows, no gallery drop-ins. All activity has been referral and online connections and that is delightful. Here are some of my summer commissions..
These last three months have been a whole new page, in fact a book in world history. We, the world, are under attack by a coronavirus named Covid-19 that has devastating effects on most who 'catch' this virus. Thousands of Canadians are dying and the senior population in nursing and long term care homes are most affected. Schools are closed. Our country is on total lockdown except for first line responders and essential services and towns and roads are deserted as people scramble and struggle to protect themselves and those they love. Jobs are lost by the thousands. Life as we knew is gone and will be significantly changed when this is over. How can this be our reality?
Social media has become the sole connection to and for the outside world and families and friends and neighbours and medical appointments and essentials shopping. The impact on all levels, social, personal, financial, emotional, physical, economical, political will be felt for generations. I sit, safely in my home with my husband and my granddaughter. We are of an "at risk" age should we be struck by this monster. We practice social distancing, masks, gloves, only necessary outings and it's brutal on so many levels. Overnight, we become teaching aids, and teachers and counsellors, for teens are made so much more vulnerable than their age already dictates. The isolation alone. Everyone has a story, a struggle, fears, concerns. We are blessed to be retired, so far healthy and safe. I miss and fear for my family beyond imagination.
Some form of our new daily reality is in place. I continue with my painting, a saving grace. People are spending so much more time on social media and this has significantly impacted my small local art endeavours. I am busy, within its limitations, and eternally grateful. It is so very important to keep busy with something, anything and to make sure those you care for do the same.
PHEWFF!! That was hard. And EVERYONE is feeling some version of all this, some better, some worse. I pray that we all come out on the other side as best as is possible.
Now, let's lighten up. I have one watercolour and three large oils on the easel and I move from one to the other. I'll give you a few sneak peaks down below. And I have been extremely busy with commissions. Again so very grateful. This latest commission on my easel is beyond adorable but I can't share it with you yet, because it is a gift. But soon. Well OK, a tiny early peak. SSHHHH!
Oils on the easels........ and no time to move these forward because of the commission paintings. Not complaining.
Oh what fun, oh what a glorious challenge. Working on a large 36"x24" commission oil painting of four beautiful pets and their humans at play. Over 135 hours dedicated to this lovely work that takes the owners down memory lane with their fur babies and I am thrilled with the finish. Everyone is happy. Delivery is a little tricky given Covid-19 protocols in place. But it all works and a chat is possible outside on the verandah chairs well over six feet apart.
I am calling these the last two paintings of my Portland Scenes 2019 series in ink and watercolour that I have so enjoyed creating, as very challenging as they were.
One is The Gallagher House Inn and Restaurant that loomed large and grand on Water Street until taken by fire in the late 1990's. The property is now owned by Rideau Lakes Township. It is truly a work in progress, both painting and property. Having just received colour photos from the very kind owner, some colour tweaking is in order as well as many more layers to finish.
The second, a request from Diane Haskins of the Portland Historical Society, is the once existing Passenger Shelter on our Big Rideau public docks which they hope to recreate on the docks. Imagination is truly at work here. Hoping to have both paintings completed by Sunday, December 1 for my Portland Scenes series open house. And they were. In fact four of the originals are sold but there are limited edition prints, calendars and notecards available. See Artwork
September 2019 ........
It has been a beautiful but fast and busy summer; here I am thinking about different ways to express my art. So I turned my thoughts to our beautiful little village here on the shores of Big Rideau Lake in the Rideau Lakes Township. I am involved in different local activities and spend much time taking in our surroundings. So I have decided on a different painting approach in creating a full series of images of some of our local flavour and architecture. Here are six of a planned ten. I hope you enjoy these. Prints and notecards will be available as soon as the series is complete. And now to focus on getting my September acrylic flow workshop ready.
February 2019 ……….
Monday's Artist Gathering..... Venture into the world of the colour orange with the wonderful and famous Andrea Mossop. Her talks are always so enlightening . This is a watercolour to be mounted on birch panel and sealed with cold wax - no glass. And of course continuing my play with Claire's Imaginary Galaxies in flow acrylics and resin - what you are seeing is a small corner of a 30'x40' canvas...……. oh and also working on a giant 3' x 4' birch tree forest for display in my favourite spa with Stacey (I'll post this one when it is done)
What a crazy busy fall it has been. I have had time to complete a great old barn interior, a wonderful Santa that can be personalized with your children, grandchildren's names and a Santa portrait that's not quite finished. How do you like these...……...
It's been a little while because of a very busy summer - more about that later. For now my lovely Delilah completed and four crystal watercolours on the easel. They certainly each have their own challenges but all are a joy to work on. There is a fourth crystal that is still in the drawing stage with no colour yet so stay tuned...……………...
Oh my! I have not posted here in a while. Here is a sneak peak at one of the four new paintings I am working on and hope to have finished for my studio tour on Canada Day weekend which is nine days away now. Beautiful waterlillies that smile up at you where hubby docks his fishing boat. More layers and detail to come of course but I am very excited about where it is at so far. Stay tuned for the final version........... or better yet stop in to see it on Canaday Day weekend. Watercolour 22" x 30" - frames to about 28x36.
Hmmm! OK. Here is two more on the easel. These are oils, 30x30 and 18x24 and are not nearly as far along; the challenges are capturing the beautiful eyes and then the play of light through the old boards. Yes I have my work cut out for me but oh what bliss.
Working on another painting in celebration of our upcoming Skate The Lake event February 17 and 18. Not quite ready to show you that one just yet, but very soon. I am however excited to share with you this 30"x40" abstract acrylic painting. Just getting ready to apply a resin finish.
These winter months find me delving further into the world of flow art and immensely enjoying my Sunday Afternoon Delight. I think that will be the new title for my acrylic pour classes at the Portland Community Hall. A place, an activity, where you can leave all behind for a few hours, meet new people, allow yourself to create without judgement and just enjoy a splendid afternoon.........oh and then bring home your very own masterpiece for your walls. See three beautiful creations below by "emerging artists" who had never done anything like this before.
This past summer had me very curious about acrylics flow painting. Following several youtube viewings and facebook group postings, I decided to try my hand at this, not having worked in acrylics before. It is a fun distraction from my regular focused art work, which I love of course. But the magic, excitement and unpredictability of acrylic pouring has me currently addicted. And now I find myself teaching this beautiful escape. First venture into teaching acrylics pouring was this past October. (This girl was not an acrylics artist!) I am teaching one or two classes a month since October and loving the spontaneity and interaction. Teaching at a seniors residence, our Portland Community Hall, a PD Day children's class (8-14) and now also working with a few art groups. If you can flip a cup, you can do this. See classes/workshops page. You would love it.........
Oh and we can't forget this fella ...............my 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions. Hmm, maybe an annual thing emerging........
Completed this summer is this sweet young indigenous girl. This watercolour painting was initiated for a Canada 150 Celebration People's Choice Competition put on by Rideau Lakes Artists Association as part of the Paint The Summer 2017 Art Show. The inspirational references were numerous images online.
Title - "Canadian Since Forever". Hope you like it.
The sculptor (see below) is based on a wonderful photo that I took almost ten years ago during a trip to an art festival in Charlevoix, Quebec. It was very cold and you could tell that this hard working sculptor was feeling the windy chill. Such beautiful work he was creating. This is an 18"x24" watercolour on 140 lb cold press white paper.
If you have a look at my artwork page you will see the wood ducks finished, Shannon's roller derby painting finished and a pretty cool sunflower with a hummingbird. That one is a full size sheet and frames up at three feet by over two feet. Love it.
And my main studio is almost ready now. I will be starting with some large size family portraits in the works for a very long time.
Stay tuned for some of my oil paintings as they develop even if they can sometimes look pretty nasty in the process. It's not about creating masterpieces, not that I would mind that, but it's about creating and capturing emotion and light and growing artistically. It's always so satisfying when I nail the likeness rather than delivering a distant cousin lookalike! There is nothing I would rather be doing. Talk to you again soon.
This is a watercolor sketch, about 14x20, of a sweet little princess. The final image is now with her adoring grandparents in Florida..
Do keep coming back to view the final images and to see other paintings in the works.
Do you like seeing this? Do let me know on the contact page or on my Facebook page - also a work in progress.