Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BBQ caddy

Acrylic on stretched canvas, #160
16 x 12'', 2009

Heinz Ketchup was first introduced on the US market in 1869. In 1909, it crossed north of the border and became available on store shelves for Canadian consummers, making 2009 it's centennial year. For this painting, I've recycled props from past paintings to create a new composition. The Coca-Cola caddy was featured in Empties, the salt & pepper shakers in Atlantic Salmon, and the red charcoal BBQ in a least five previous paintings. Have I ever mentioned that red is my favorite color to paint with, the more the better. Here, this painting gets the royal treatment. One of my rare paintings done on canvas.

Part of my solo show- Near & Far at Handworks Gallery- October 16-30, 2009.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tangerines in a hurricane vase (an homage to Edgar Degas)

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, #159
15 x 11'' - 2009-2012

When my wife Suzanne says she loves a painting of mine, it truly means that it stands out among my past work. I took the photo study during our last Christmas vacation at her sister Carole's home, who lives in Bathurst, NB. As I sat down at the breakfast table on Boxing Day, Carole had set up a hurricane vase with five tangerines as a table centrepiece. I had brought along this art book that I had received as a gift the day before from Suzanne, and had yet to peak inside. It was really hard to resist the combination of orange and blues, and cropping it tighter just gave it more impact. The book is entitled ''The Treasures of the Impressionists'' by Jon Kear.

It contains 30 rare facsimile documents such as sketchbook samples and drawings from Manet, Sisley, Cézanne, Monet, Degas, Pissaro and Renoir. This coffee table book has a hard shell slip cover with the image of Blue Dancers (pastel, 1899) by Edgar Degas on it's cover.

It was a lot of fun to reproduce pastel strokes using acrylic paint. My main concern was not only to try to get everything exactly right, but also to achieve the effect of pastel, the proper hues and lighting. Because the book is at an angle and is affected by surrounding lighting, some contrasting effects seem somewhat exaggerated. The most surprising aspect was that it was not that difficult to paint. It was very liberating to be able to paint so loosely and at great speed. The lettering however had to be as close to perfect to pull it off. I used drawing gum to mask the letters before painting the ballet dancer, then spent hours fiddling around with the letters. Very à propos after viewing the Degas room at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasedena, California the year before.

Exhibited in Near and Far solo show at Handworks Gallery, Saint John, NB - October 16-30, 2009 and in the Still Life Invitational at Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, Ca., Oct, 2012. 
Updated - September 10, 2012. Painting was revised. My signature originally appeared in lime green in top right corner. The whole top corner was repainted and signature is now more discreet. The colour of the tangerines was revised and the painting now has a Liquitex Soluvar removable glass non-yellowing varnish making the colours and glass effect even more vibrant.  

During the Christmas Holidays of 2012, we spent 10 days in Louisiana. We visited a small portion of the Musson House, now known as the Degas House, located at 2306 Esplanade Avenue between the French Quarter and City Park. Edgar Degas stayed here with his Musson relatives during 1872–73. Both his mother and grand-mother were born in Louisiana. While we were too late for the two hour + tour, I did get to talk to one of Edgar Degas grand-niece who is a tour guide.

To acquire about this painting, please contact: 

Fog Forest Gallery
14 Bridge Street, Sackville, NB
(506) 536-9000 


Monday, September 28, 2009

Home Preserves

Acrylic on hardboard, #158
16 x 16'', 2009

This appears like a fun piece on the surface, but it is a reflection on the housing market and inspired after I completed an overhaul renovation of our basement in January. The Canadian government has recently introduced an action plan to help stimulate growth in the housing industry with their Home Renovation Tax Credit Program, which allows homeowners to get a tax break for renovation on their homes based on eligible expenses for improvements on their house, condo or cottage. It is a reflection of the housing market that is trying to make a rebound.
Part of my solo show - Near & Far - October 16-30, 2009.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Solo exhibtion - Near & Far

I am starting to post artwork that will be included in my solo show at Handworks Gallery in Saint John, NB. With a bit less that three weeks before the opening, I am currently working on painting number 17. I have started a series of smaller paintings in order to fill the space. With the exception of the two paintings above, the rest of the collection will consist of new works.

''Are we there yet?''- 14 x 20''
Acrylic on hardboard, # 142, 2008

I usually paint from photographic material that I find in my own surroundings. For this show, I have including imagery also found during my travels that still retains the same familiar attributes. I've decided to study the theme quite broadly, with acrylic paintings that makes references to consumerism and popular culture, while trying to create a narrative by linking some of the imagery together, either with subject matter, elements found within the artwork or cross references from my own life.

Handworks Gallery is located at 12 King Street, Saint John, NB.
To purchase artwork posted for this show, please contact the gallery.
Gallery hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm (AST) from Monday to Saturday
Telephone - (506) 652-9787, e-mail -
Artwork must remain in the gallery until closure of the show.

Near & Far runs from October 16-30, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Crab apples, cranberries and jellies

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 11 x 15'' #36, 2001, private collection

Moving right along, I have started painting number 12 for my upcoming solo show at Handworks Gallery next month. It is a fun and stimulating period to paint, as I hang each new painting on the main floor of our house, giving me a sneak peak of what the exhibition will look as a whole.

In the meanwhile, I am posting an older piece that dates back to 2001. During the fall of 2000, our son was in kindergarten, and my wife had volunteer to accompany his class on a field trip to an apple orchard, Fleurs du Pommier. Before leaving, she asked me if I wanted to tag along, so I grabbed my camera and off we went. As we were waiting for the school bus to arrive, I started to roam around the grounds and when I entered a barn and saw this window spectacle, I knew instantly that it was really a gift in front of me. I have to say that it was a piece that made me realize that maybe I should venture more towards painting still lifes. As Jean-Luc now enters ninth grade and High School this week, my wish for him is that his curiosity for learning continues and that learning new things can be both educational and fun with the right attitude.