Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sitting on a CLUE

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Created- December 9-15, 2007, #141.

Just in time for Christmas, I bring you what I would have liked to see appear under our tree as a 10 year old. I spotted this Gumby & Pokey bendables in a gift shop in Cape-Breton, NS a few years back. I regretted not buying them at the time. With a credit card, you are only a click away to your heart's content, so I was able to order this dynamic duo on-line in their 50th anniversary packaging. Gumby was created by Art Clokey in 1955. He made his television debut on The Howdy Doody Show in 1956 and that same year had his own NBC Saturday morning TV series. The bendable toys were introduced in 1964. I remember watching many episodes in reruns during my childhood years. This painting is all about visual impact, color and surfaces. Never have there been so much lettering in one painting. My favorite part is the area surrounding the marble, which I decided to add after I had already started the painting.

Interesting TRIVIA-
-The Checkered Game of Life was invented in 1860 by Milton Bradley and the modern version was introduced for it's centennial year in 1960.
-Clue was invented in Great Britain in 1948. Outside of North America, it is known as Cluedo.
-It takes 1440 still-frame pictures to make 1 minute of clay animation. re: Gumby
-Click on this link to go down memory lane for a 1960's commercial of 'The game of Life" .
-private collection

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"Comfort & Joy" group show at the Fog Forest Gallery

The last four postings on this Blog, Study for Summer of '69 (sold), June Blooms in a Red Glass (sold), Cat's Eyes on Cat's Eye (sold) and Cherries in Colander (sold) are on display in a group show entitled, Comfort & Joy at the Fog Forest Gallery, in Sackville New Brunswick until the end of December. The Fog Forest Gallery is located at 14 Bridge Street in beautiful Sackville,NB.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cherries in Colander

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted- Oct. - Dec. 8, 2007, #140.

These type of Bing cherries, with a shiny skin, deep saturated color have a very meaty & juicy interior. Along with cultivated blueberries, are my favorite small fruits. During the month of June, we vacationed in beautiful British Columbia. During this period they were in season in the Okanagan Valley. We often stopped at road-side vendors or country store to buy some. When we got back home, Costco were selling them, I think in 5 lbs clear containers. Anyway, during this period I ended up eating many, many pounds.
Visually, they also seem to be "objet de désir" for other Blog artists as well. Michael Naples, Jelaine Faunce, Mick McGinty, M. Collier, Otto Lange, Justin Claytor, John Beder, Terry Wagner, Paul Wolber and the incomparable Neil Hollingsworth & Linda Lucas Hardy are but a few who have examined these type of cherries and other varieties in which there are about one hundred. In my version, they are in our backyard in a small colander, sitting there in a large white serving bowl, waiting for me to eat them....YUM!
-private collection

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cat's Eyes on Cat's Eye

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Painted - Nov. 19 - Dec. 5, 2007, #139.

This painting is part of an on-going series that celebrates authors in a visual way. In the past, I've explored imagery with books by noted Canadian authors as Carol Shields and Yann Martel. I read Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood in 1989, and it remains one of my favorite books. This work of fiction tells the story of painter Elaine Risley who is returning to Toronto for a retrospective of her work, the city where she was born and fled after her first divorce. She becomes obsessed with events from her childhood, adolescence, past relationships with men, friends and family she left behind. It is a brilliant introspective novel filled with humor, compassion and wisdom.

The cover art was done to reflect one of the paintings (Unified Field Theory) that is part of her show as described in the book . This illustration is by Jamie Bennet. The figure on the book cover is the Virgin of Lost Things. She holds an over sized cat's eye marble at her heart level. The title for this painting actually came to me before I actually did the photo study for the painting, here again it's a play with words.

Margaret Atwood is regarded both by the public and critics as one of Canada's literary treasures. She has been awarded the Man Booker prize for her novel The Blind Assassin, the Giller prize for Alias Grace and the Governor General Award for Handmaid's Tale. Cat's Eye was a finalist for both the Governor General and the Man Booker prize. Mrs. Atwood lives in Toronto.
-private collection

Sunday, November 18, 2007

June Blooms in a Red Glass

Acrylic polymer emulsion on canvas, 16 x 16"
Painted Oct. 20 - Nov. 18, 2007, #138.

I'm back. I took more time off than I originally anticipated. There were lots of loose ends to tie up. I felt I also needed time to recharge. To evaluate where I was to go from here, set new goals, and to feel the hunger again. I always find it difficult to return to the brushes after a few weeks without painting. It is always intimidating to start on a white flat canvas with pencil lines and knowing that I have to create of 3-D image.

This was an ambitious painting after my hiatus. It is the type of imagery where it becomes difficult to know when to stop. When I did the photo study, I decided to crinkle the foil paper a bit to create more of a mosaic pattern. The red glass is from IKEA, and the flowers from our garden.

Private collection

Friday, November 9, 2007

Study for Summer of '69

Acrylic polymer emuslion on gessoed MDF, 3,5 x 5,5"
Painted October 9-15, 2006, #111.

This painting dates back to a year ago. It was done both as a study for the larger work of the same name and for an International Juried Exhibition of miniature paintings that was held at the World Fine Art Gallery in the Chelsea, New York City during the month of December 2006. To show my work in the Big Apple was in my Bucket List.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cherries in a Pyrex dessert dish

Acrylic polymer emuslion on gessoed hardboard, 10 x 8"
Painted Nov. 24 - Dec. 31, 2002, #51.

On November 15, the Canadian Paraplegic Association (N.B.) Inc. will be holding it's 17th annual Art & Antique Auction at the Fredericton Inn. The event will begin with a reception, silent auction and dinner, followed by a live auction. The proceed from this event will go towards funding the Association's rehabilitation programs for persons with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairements.

This painting will be included as a lot during the live auction. In 2002, the cherry tree in our backyard produced a record crop. Usually by mid-August the cherry season is over. On this year we ate cherries until the very last week of September. Click on this link for more information - AUCTION INFO .

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Opening reception, A SMASHING SUCCESS !

Top photo- Gallery owner, Cliff Turner and me
Second top photo- Suzanne, Jean-Luc and me.

This solo exhibition comprised of 25 paintings, 22 of them were achieved since early January of 2007. After all the time spent in my studio focusing on all of energy on this single show, I could never have imagined in my wildest dream that it would turn out the way it did. A buzz had started during the week leading to the opening, as pieces started to sell. Yesterday, as I was unwrapping the paintings inside the gallery in preparation to set up the show, a lovely lady getting a first glance of the paintings and another lady on the phone from Tennessee each acquired a piece. Tonight was no exception. A steady flow of well wishers came to view the collection, and I had a chance to engage in some very lively conversations with so many of them during the full three hours. I had so much fun meeting all of you and was touched by the comments. When the evening was over, we did a tally of the red dots, and 19 out of the 25 had sold. I am still in shock, and it hasn't sinked in yet.

First I want to thank my wife Suzanne and son Jean-Luc. Sue you are my rock, the north on my compass when I lose my direction, the voice of reason, my muse, my soul mate, the reason I became a painter when you surprised me on the year of our wedding with a set of watercolors. I love you more today than ever. Jean-Luc, you have the kindness heart and most positive outlook on life. When I became your father, I thought that I would have to teach you so much stuff. As it turned out, it was you who thought me even more. Je t'adore. Thank you so much for being by my side this evening.

To Cliff Turner and Shannon Merrifield, the proud owner of Handworks Gallery, I cannot thank you enough for putting your thrust in me by hosting this first solo show with your gallery. Cliff is a hyperrealist/trompe oeil artist himself. I first became aware of is work in 1999 during a solo show held in Saint John. This was a few years before they took over Handworks Gallery. His art had an immediate impact on my own work. I seems a bit surreal still that I am showing my work in their galleries today. I am so lucky and grateful for this opportunity. To gallery employees, Joanna, Jeneca, Ray, and another young lady I met tonight which I cannot recall her name (I'm sorry), thank you for all your help.

To Dr. Jeff Sheppard, and the Chiropractic Centre of Saint John and Rothesay, who sponsored the exhibition. A chiropractor is a runner's best friend. Thank you so much for your support, and tonight he was also an painter's best friend.
To everybody who came tonight to help me celebrate. To all the patrons who purchased the art, you have made this evening a great success. I hope that my paintings will add a little ray of light in your homes. To Ron for your phone call during the reception to cheer me on. To everybody who e-mailed me to wish me well. To all those who will come see the show in the next two weeks, your encouragement and supports means everything.To all my fellow blog painters who have encourage me since I started to post my art. And to all those I may have forgotten, this would not have been possible without you.
This show is dedicated to my parents who would have been thrilled. My father often carried a small photo album of my paintings with him. He had great artistic abilities himself. My mother was the most endearing person I have even met. I was lucky to have them as parents. I am certain that tonight you were enjoying yourself on cloud no. 10. I miss you both.
Raymond (1924-2003) & Emma (1932-2006).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Marbles in mason jar lid, a tribute to Louis K. Meisel

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6x6"
Painted on September 30 - October 4, 2007, #136

The glass lid is from the same mason jar featured in Shooter Marble in the Light. And these marbles are the same that are depicted in previous postings for this show. Because of their transparent quality, they have acquired a make-over through the image on the book that is entitled Photorealism by Louis K. Meisel. Mr. Meisel is a New York City art dealer and the owner of two commercial art galleries depicting this form of art. He coined the term Photorealism, and has played a major role in the development of this art movement.

He has published three mega volumes on a select group of pioneer and emerging photorealist artists. I've been fortunate enough to visit the Louis K. Meisel Gallery twice, in 1994 and 2002. In November of 1994, he hosted a show of the late Charles Bell who painted dazzling marbles on large format canvases. In 2002, the show coincided with the release of the book Photorealism at the Millennium, co-written by Linda Chase.

The only photorealistic paintings depicted by the artists in these books that I recall seeing outside his gallery and the OK Harris Gallery also in New York City, were Kent by Chuck Close at the Art Gallery of Ontario and an Untitled piece depicting Volkswagen Beetles by Don Eddy at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield Mass. Both left a profound lasting WOW effect on me. Marble in a mason jar lid is my way to thank Mr. Meisel for publishing these books and in the process giving me the opportunity to explore this form of art which I tend to gravitate towards.

This is my final posting for my solo show that starts tomorrow. Today's two postings were completed 90 minutes before I had to drive to Saint John, NB to bring the paintings to the gallery.


Dynamite Pansy

Acrylic polymer emlsionon gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted September 30 - October 4, 2007, #135

While I was in my studio painting away on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early June, Suzanne came home from the nursery with a large variety of flowers to be transplanted in the flower garden and in a variety of planters. Here the foliage is in direct sunlight, producing all the possible hues of greens. I found that when I painting the bloom of this pansy, as in many flowers....they evoke a certain sensuality.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 18"
Painted October 26-Nov. 2, 2005, #93

In the spirit of fall, I have decided to add a painting that dates back to two years. During the fall of 2004, we took a family getaway weekend to Peggy's Cove, Mahone Bay & Lunenburg, NS. These pumpkins were in a large wooden container outside a country store in Mahone Bay. Apart from the diffuse light on the pumpkins, a little point of interest for me was the rusty nail where a part of a wood plank is missing. One cannot help but associate pumpkins to Jack-o-lanterns and of my favorites.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Déjeuner sur l'herbe

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 23-30, 2007, #134

This jelly is made in England by Wilken & Sons Ltd. It states on the jar that it is by appointment to her majesty the Queen Jam and Marmalade manufacturers. The whole time I was painting it, all I could think of was the green lawn and flower garden in the background and watching "Breakfast at Wimbledon" on the telly. The plate is my beloved Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plate that I purchased during a boxing day sale at Winners in 2002. This is the fourth time it appears in a painting. I was not worried about the glass nor the stainless, but in order for this painting to work I needed to get the jelly on the teaspoon right. To be able to paint a blob that was semi-opaque, yet transparent, that reflected light from several directions and in different colors. I am happy with the result. For the title, I opted to go across the pond in France and borrow the title from paintings done by both Claude Monet and Edouard Manet. Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, which would translate to "The breakfast on the grass".

Monday, October 1, 2007

Behind no. 8

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 23-30, 2007, #133.

Cropping the subject matter really tight while playing with scale, I was able to create a painting that seems to have the same impact as the four-times larger "Child's Play". The shooter marbles are exaclty the same size in both paintings. The fact that the crayon box is being reflected on the right side of the little glass sphere, weighted heavily on my decision during the imagery selection.

I used digital photography in a painting for the first time in 2005. This spring, I purchased a new digital camera, an Olympus E-500 EVOLT 8.0 megapixel SLR. To be able to take a few photographs and see the images within minutes, compared to the whole hassle of film, where you needed to take a whole roll of 24 exposure, pay to have it process only to find out that they weren't good enough, is a gift unto itself. It has already played a large role in my art. I was still using film more than 50% of the time prior to getting the SLR camera.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bowl of fruit on a mosaic tile table

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 17-23, 2007, #132

The point of interest for me in this painting was certainly how the mosaic tile is semi reflected in the left side of the glass bowl. The setting is on our veranda. A large post was actually casting a shadow on half of the lemon. As in many of my paintings, the use of red and primary colors are ever present.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Red Delicious

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 17-22, 2007, #131

This image is from the same photo study as Trois pommes (Three apples). Basking in the bright summer sun, the polished wax on this Red Delicious is playing tricks with light and form. Even in this smaller version, it is still larger than life in scale.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Corner Store no. 2

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted Sept. 16-22, 2007, #130

This past July (2007), we spent a getaway week-end in Halifax, NS. On day-two, shortly after leaving our hotel for an early morning Sunday run around Point Pleasant Park I passed in front of Olympic Confectionery, a corner store at the other end of Barrington Street that boasted not one but two Coca-Cola button signs. It literally stopped me in my track. I had to return later that afternoon to take a few snapshots. 

Corner Store no. 1 was done in 1989 and was my sixth painting. The setting for no.1 was on the other side of the country, at the corner of Commercial and Venables Streets in Vancouver. This one also had a beautiful striped canvas canopy. It still surprises me that these type of corner store façade still exist today. Hopefully when the time has come, these will be restored instead of replaced.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 6 x 6"
Painted- Sept. 16 - 20, 2007, #129

It's crunch time, 9 days left before the opening of my solo show. At this point I have started to concentrate on smaller pieces, 6 x 6", a format that has become quite popular with the daily blog painters. I am aiming for a total of 8 or 9 paintings in this size. This is the first installment. These Coca-Cola bottles are actually the same that are featured in Pop Tent, except their contents have been emptied. As a commercial product, it is one of the most recognized both for it's famous logo created by the inventor's bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson in 1885, and for it's equally famous contour bottle of greenish tint glass. Coca-Cola was introduced to the public in 1886. I have realized that the empty version is much more suitable to paint. There are areas that sparkles like tiny emeralds in the light. I will be doing a more elaborate version that is not cropped in the near future.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cherry & Lime JELL-O

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Painted September 3 - 15, 2007, #128

It is always interesting to do a bit of research when doing a painting. Gelatin is a very old product and was popularized during the Victorian era, when they started serving it in elaborate jelly moulds. The name brand JELL-O dates back to 1897. The gelatin actually comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones and connective tissues. It has been a part of my own landscape since I was young. Growing up, I was a nose bleeder and Mom would often serve me this jiggly dessert, saying it was good to prevent nosebleeds. It is a staple food in many hospital settings. Served at the cafeteria and on every third tray to patients. I currently work as a nurse in the outpatient's department, where I regularly assist in an endoscopy clinic. If you are scheduled for a colonoscopy, you'll be on a strict diet of clear fluids, broths and the proverbial JELL-O for two days. Maybe now, you won't be able to find any pleasure at looking at this painting. Nonetheless, I've always considered it as a comfort food and I still like it after all this time, especially with fruits and whipped cream.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Child's Play

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 12"
Painted August 25 - Sept. 2, 2007, #127.

Crayons have been around since 1903. They are still the first tool of choice for all novice artists. This box set is a replica of a 1903 design. Monopoly made it's debut in the early 1930's. It is believed that more than 700 million people have played this board game.This painting has a feeling of nostalgia, yet it is as relevant today as when I was growing up. When you have children, you do revisit your own childhood on a variety of levels.

On a sadder note. One of my all-time favorite artist, Ken Danby passed away yesterday during a canoe outing in Algonquin Park, Ontario. He was 67 years old. His art book Ken Danby: A New Decade purchased in the late 1980's was a great point of reference, and influence me greatly in my pursuit toward a higher form of realism. I had the great pleasure to view his solo show, Earth, Sky and Water; Ken Danby - Landscapes at the Bernaducci-Meisel Gallery in New York City during the month of November of 2002.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Trois pommes

Acrylic polymer emulsion on canvas, 16 x 16"
Painted- August 16-25, 2007, #126

In 2002, I did my first still life with fruits where I left some produce stickers on two Golden Delicious apples. My work is very influenced by pop culture & Pop Art, so I never remove then when I paint. The purpose of a produce sticker is to display the PLU code, the 4 or 5 digit number which universally identifies produce type and variety. To me they seem more like little designer tags. A colleague at work commented on a painting I did with stickers and said, "I know this apple, it's number 4021". He then continued to recite a string of numbers that he had memorized because he uses the self-serve check-out machines we have at one of the grocery stores in town.- SOLD

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tomatoes on a vine

Acrylic polymer emulsion on canvas, 16 x 12"
Painted - July 30 - Aug. 12, 2007 , #125

Since 1990, I have been painting with acrylic paints using a transparent layering technique. I have only painted on canvas once, opting for gessoed hardboard instead. I had a difficult time to make the paint stick if it was too thinly diluted. Ontario artist, Heather Horton wrote an article in Art Avenue magazine for their May/June issue of 2007. The article was an analysis of her painting process. Here, she mentioned that she applied two or three coats of gesso on the canvas with light sanding in between coats, "it helped to reduce the texture of the canvas and created a more even surface to paint on". In retrospect, the canvas I did paint on was pre-primed, it just needed more coats of gesso and sanding.When painting still lifes, the possibilities of subject matter is endless. With Tomatoes on a vine, the sunlight passing through the holes in this colander, the tomatoes being reflected inside the stainless steel vessel, the heavy contrasting shadows were the elements that inspired me to start with. I am very pleased with the outcome of this piece, and will paint on canvas more often from now on. Heather Horton has a very successful solo exhibition underway at the Abbozzo Gallery in Oakville, Ontario. She is a rising star on the Canadian art scene, and I am fortunate enough to call her a friend.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


"AFTER HOURS: the hyperrealism of Alvin Richard" will be held at Handworks Gallery, located in the heart of historic uptown Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Dates - OCTOBER 5 - 18, 2007
Opening reception - October 5, 5:30pm - 8:30pm.

Handworks Gallery
12 King Street
Saint John, NB
E2E 1G2

Contact - Gallery owners - Cliff Turner, Shannon Merrifield or gallery staff to purchase artwork posted on this blog. Artwork must remain in the gallery until closure of the show.
Telephone - (506) 652-9787

Gallery hours are: 10:00am to 6:00pm (AST) from Monday to Saturday
*-More artworks to be posted for this show in following days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pop Tent

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed MDF, 
18 x 18", painted July 12-29, 2007, #124

One thing that wakes you up in the morning when you are camping (except crows), is the bright sun. On one of those morning, I realized that the inside of a tent might be an unusual setting for a still life. Fast forward.... Jean-Luc, our then 11 year old son and I, had done some backyard camping and the Coleman tent was still up on the lawn, when I did this photo study. These were actually the last shots I took that afternoon.

My fascination with this subject is how the light filters through these bright colored drinks and become illuminated, almost as if they have their own power source. And of course, the way the light is being refracted on top of the beverage, which often changes color. This is my third installment of the Pop bottle series in a galvanize pail. The previous two were completed in 2005 & 2006.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fresh & Juicy

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 16 x 20"
Painted June 9 - July 10, 2007, #123

It seems hard to post a painting without mentioning my wife Suzanne. In some ways, she has always been my muse. Up until 2002, she appeared in almost every painting I did. It was she who first suggested that I should do more still life paintings. Now, she often provides the subject matter. This spring when she bought these incredibly large grapes at Costco, they were screaming at me to paint them. I knew the challenge with this one was going to be the green pedestal glass plate and to try to recreate the translucence yet opaque film of the grapes.
The other challenge was the scale. I was really out of my comfort zone painting a 16 x 20". Anything beyond 12 x 16" is large for me, and that has to do with my unconventionally technique with acrylic paint. I paint on a flat surface. I use the acrylics as if they were watercolors. The paint is often very diluted with water and would start running down the board if it was on an easel.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Shooter marble in the light

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 16 x 14"
Painted May 16 - June 3, 2007, #122

I usually paint still lifes that are at scale or somewhat under. What has surprised me about this piece is by enlarging the main subject way beyond it's actual size, I was able to produce an image with a more heighten sense of hyper realism. The windowsill is in our son Jean-Luc's bedroom and the marbles also belong to him. I bought three of these retro looking mason jars with glass lids in a flea market for 50 cents each. I would suspect that they will make a reappearance in future works. The semi-distorted abstract effect of the marbles caused by the bottom lettering of the word IDEAL, was very appealing to me visually. The vibrant colors and lighting effect remains yet again, the main feature here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mini sweet peppers in Mason

Acrylic polymer emuslion on gessoed hardboard, 11 x 7"
Painted April 23 - May 13, 2007, #121

I am not much of a cook. Suzanne, on the other hand can works her magic around the kitchen. I am very fortunate. She is also the one who does the grocery shopping. The minute I saw her remove these mini sweet peppers from the grocery bag, I knew that I was going to paint them. Here in Atlantic Canada, the most common and available brand of mason jars are: Atlas, Bernardin, Consumers, Domglass & Kerr. This Ball mason jar is a flea market find. The star here is the light coming from the window, the clarity in the glass, and the colorful splash of yellows, oranges, reds and greens inside the jar.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On the cutting board

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 18"
Painted May 22 - June 5, 2006, #102
Private collection - Québec City, Québec

This image is a result of happenstance. We were visiting Suzanne's sister Lise, and her family in Lévis Québec. Suzanne & Lise were preparing supper. Dicing up peppers and onions to garnish marinated beef & chicken skewers for the BBQ. As I entered the kitchen and saw what was in front of me, the only thing left to do was to get my camera. The light source is coming from the kitchen window. In the Pyrex measuring cup are onion skins, pepper seeds and tops. I like the way the light filters through the plastic cutting board onto the counter. Lise was a key figure in my growth as a painter.

When Sue & I got married in 1986, Lise was living in Vancouver BC, working for a firm where she did silkscreen printing and graphic art. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Université de Moncton. She was the one who introduced me to great artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Maxfield Parrish, Auguste Renoir.... My first visit to a major public art museum was in her company, at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1988.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Summer of '69

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed MFD, 11 x 17"
Painted April 2 - 22, 2007, # 120

I bought my first car at age 19. A run-down Chevelle Malibu 1971 for $200. It got me where I needed to go. This bright-red, eye-candy is the 1969 version. I wished that mine would have looked this cool. I took the photo study in 2003, at the Atlantic National car show in Moncton. When doing a painting like this, you learn to understand the properties of reflective metals and actually learn how to see better. Bryan Adams song of the same name seemed appropriate for the title.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Green Tea with Mary

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 10"
Painted- March 20 - April 1, 2007, #119.

In context that these paintings are all for a solo show, I am producing imagery that I hope will create a sort of narrative. Elements from one painting, may appear in another, either physically or thematically. Here, a tea cup is sitting on a Mary Pratt book entitled, A Personal Calligraphy. An art book with some of Mrs. Pratt paintings, chronicles, reflections and some of her published essays.

The light source above is coming from a Dragonfly Tiffany style lamp, a birthday gift from my wife a few years ago. I was fascinated by how the light and the stained glass shade played on the reflective surface of the tea. The cup and saucer are Royal Daulton.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Atlantic Salmon, an homage to Mary Pratt

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 14 x 18"
Painted March 3-18, 2007, #118

The genesis behind this painting was inspired after many viewing of a documentary entitled,"Adrienne Clarkson presents - Infused with light - a journey with Mary Pratt", that aired on CBC in 1997. (I have it on tape). She was being interviewed in her kitchen while preparing to bake a salmon. Cutting it's head off, stuffing it with these lavender flowered chives, then wrapping the fish in a cheeze cloth and aluminium foil paper. Mrs. Pratt has also explored the element of fire which is reflected in the flames behind the fish. This painting is not a copy of one of her works. The subject matter reflected in the documentary was the premise from which I drew the inspiration for the image. This completes the red BBQ triology for my solo show.

Mary Pratt who lives in Newfoundland has always been my favorite female artist. I've have benefited greatly from viewing her art in several group and solo exhibitions, including two major retrospectives that toured Canada in major public art galleries. This year, Canada Post honored her with a set of two art stamps that were issued on her 72nd birthday.


Backyard Condiments

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 16"
Painted Dec. 2006 - Feb. 11, 2007, #116.

I did my first original painting in 1987, at the age of 25. At that time I knew very little about fine art. My attraction was more toward photography, media and commercial art. I knew what I liked visually. My first painting was of my new bride Suzanne, sunbathing in Daytona Beach with a Coca-Cola paper cup with straw and a bottle of Coppertone sunscreen in the foreground. It was only a few years later that I would discover photorealism and art depicting commercial items. Minus the diner setting,this image is not necessarily an homage to Ralph Goings, but his images has certainly permeated by sub-conscious. Although he is certainly an influential artist that I've admired especially after viewing his art at the O.K. Harris Gallery in NYC and through art books written by Louis K. Meisel.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Shadows cast on a barbecue hood

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 15 x 11"
Painted Feb. 11-25, 2007, #117

Painting glass and reflective surfaces is something that I enjoy doing, as these filter and reflects / refracts light. Light and contrast are elements that inform me if a subject matter is major enough to paint. This is the second painting done with our charcoal BBQ with flowers in a mason jar. The first was shown and sold at the Capitol Theater Art Gallery in Moncton, NB, in a group show organized by the Fog Forest Gallery earlier this year. I like the fact that light and shadows exist in such a close proximity.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wild Irises, an homage to Van Gogh

Acrylic polymer emulsion on gessoed hardboard, 12 x 10",
painted - Jan. 7-20, 2007 , #115.

This is my first posting ever in the world of Blogging. I am currently preparing a solo show entitled After Hours, comprising of 25 new paintings to be held at the Handworks Gallery in Saint John, NB, Canada, from October 5-18, 2007. In the following weeks, I will be posting paintings to be included in this exhibition.

The first acrylic painting is entitled, "Wild Irises, an homage to Van Gogh". I purchased the book, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh a few years back. It was originally published in two parts in the late 1920's. Self-portrait, 1889 - that graces it's cover is in the collection of the Orsay Museum in Paris. Last year during a two-week vacation of France and Switzerland, we visited that museum during our stop in Paris and I coincidentally wore a very appropriate shirt to coordinate with the masterpiece.