Homemade Pochade Box

With school summer vacation coming to an end I’m looking forward to having my days back to try out my new homemade pochade box.  I was having trouble finding a Canadian-made or even supplied pochade box that met my requirements.  All I could find were clumsy wooden French easels for plein air painting.  To order from the US and pay duty would have been prohibitively expensive so gave my very handy husband some requirements and finally it’s ready. I did the staining but he has to take credit for the rest.  Because I wanted to be able to open it to any angle including 180 degrees he built a custom hinge support out of re-claimed wood from my daughter’s old crib.  The crib also had a piece of wood with a 1/4 inch, 20 thread per inch tee nut embedded which was perfect for attaching the quick release plate for my ball head tripod. Although you can buy a tee nut and put it in a piece of wood easily yourself.  The Oben AT-3585 tripod and BC-226T ball head support a load more than adequate for the weight of the box (this is very important).  To “build” the box, I kept it simple by starting with two 9 x 12 in. cradled wood birch panels in different thicknesses.  I like a bigger mixing area so I carry a separate 11 x 14 in. panel for a palette. Everything fits great in my Mountain Equipment Coop back pack (which was an old lap top back pack). I also have a lightweight camp stool with insulated pockets (to carry my lunch, water and extra supplies. My next request is for a wet panel carrier which I’m now designing…will be much simpler.

Looking forward to a test run in the Ottawa landscape.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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New oil still life

Had time for one more tulip still life in my Waverley studio before heading back to Ottawa. “Complementary Coffee” 12 x 12 x 1.5 in. oil on gallery wrapped canvas.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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C is for Cow

A re-naming was in order after my 8 year old told me she saw a graffiti style C in the fur in this cow’s neck. She’s right. Looking around the painting I’m seeing lots of C’s so re-christened as “C is for Cow” – perfect for a nursery. 30 x 30 x 1.5 inch gallery wrapped canvas. Hoping to squeeze in a new tulip painting tomorrow. Stay tuned!

K.M.

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Sunny little still life

Snuck some time for a little still life, “Cupcake with Tulips” 10 x 10 x 1.5 in. oil on gallery stretched canvas. This piece was painted with my limited 5 colour (including white) palette I’m back in Ottawa next week and where I’ll be back into painting landscapes with my new custom made pochade box. The box needs a few final touches before it’s plein air ready. Will post some pics of the finished box hopefully soon.

Enjoy!

 

 

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New cow painting

Something about being back in my Waverley studio makes me want to paint big abstract cows. This one won’t be dry before I head back to Otrawa – “Sitting Pretty” acrylic and (mostly) oil 30 in. x 30 in. on 1.5 in. gallery wrapped canvas. Painted using my limited 5 colour (including white) palette Enjoy!

K.M.

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Today’s tonal landscape study

“Three Cows at the Marsh” oil on canvas paper 9 x 12 in. Decided to try one in portrait orientation. Will get a better shot when it dries a bit.

Also – a better shot in natural light of “Remembering Grantchester Meadows”

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Expressive oil portrait

About to paint more landscapes but got distracted by the news and realized I had just enough paint left on the palette to paint a perfect a** hat/ a**clown. Since those might be offensive titles I decided to name this piece “Impeachable” – not naming names of course. Oil on canvas paper 9 x 12 in.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Study after Corot

I intended to just do small cow studies today as I know I’ll want to inject them in my landscapes. This piece started out as just 3 cows then decided to borrow design elements from Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot painting to give them a home. Have now modified my limited palette to 5 colours – Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre and Zinc White.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Grantchester Meadows 2 ways

Two small oil studies of scenes from Grantchester Meadows – personally I prefer the first, more moody, atmospheric version. I am a big fan of George Inness and others from the American Barbizon school so think I’ll be leaning more that way in my landscapes. Both done in 4 colour slightly different palettes. Now to move on to the Ottawa landscape…

K.M.

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A different 4 colour palette today…

Decided to change up the Zorn palette and try a different 4 colours.  Lemon yellow, burnt sienna, white and Ultramarine Blue.  This small oil alla prima still life doesn’t represent the huge range you can get from these 4 colours which by adding an additional red such as cad red deep you get a large variety of beautiful oranges and purples.  Think I will adopt this as my limited plein air palette.

“Dispensable” oil on canvas paper 9 x 12 in.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Lac Leamy Chickadee

Decided to employ the Zorn palette to paint this small chickadee that I photographed while walking in Lac Leamy last winter. I’ll do a companion piece of the cardinal I spotted on the same day.  Oil on canvas paper 9 x 12. in.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Oil paint – it’s what’s for breakfast

Couldn’t help myself from giving my Yellow Things still life a final once over – I’m really happy with it now.  Also stated a new Grantchester Meadows landscape – establishing some dark, light and midtone masses. Stay tuned for more landscape work…

K.M.

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More Zorn Palette works…

Did some tweaking on “Things Aren’t As Yellow As They Seem” and also a little abstract tulip piece “Zorn Tulips” both 9 x 12 in. oil on canvas paper, both painted using only yellow ochre, cad red deep, titanium white and ivory black.  Going to move on to some landscapes now – plan is to do as much plein air as possible this summer and fall. Stay tuned.

K.M.

 

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New Zorn Palette Still Life

Carrying on with my limited palette studies – “Things Aren’t As Yellow As They Seem”.  Oil on canvas paper using only cad red deep, yellow ochre, titanium white and ivory black.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Gustavo

A couple of poses from this morning’s life drawing session with Gustavo – another great model. I experimented with Mars Violet Derwent jumbo charcoal sticks for these.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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A morning of drawing Kathryn

Some charcoal sketches – quick gestures to some longer poses, from a life drawing session. I hope I captures a little of how fantastic a model and beautiful person that she is.

Enjoy!

K. M.

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Zorn landscape

Worked on an underpainting for a small landscape oil painting yesterday.  Although the Zorn palette (cad red, yellow ochre, black and white) may seem more suited to figurative work I thought I’d try it out on a landscape. Quite like the mood this palette lends to the landscape – worth an experiment at any rate.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Morning life drawing session

Here’s a piece from my life drawing studio this morning.  Would have liked a bit more time but good enough to use as a study for a painting I think. Charcoal on newsprint.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Zorn fruit revisited

Realized my first attempt was a little chalkier than I would like so did a minor retouch – still getting used to this very minimal 4 colour palette.

K.M.

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“Lambie” – a graphite sketch

A little graphite sketch of my daughter’s much loved and well-traveled “Lambie”. A great subject for some more Zorn palette practice.  Stay tuned…

K.M.

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Zorn Palette Fruit

My first experiment on painting a subject in oil using the very limited Zorn palette. I used cad red for my red, ivory black, titanium white and yellow ochre.  This piece is done on 9 x 12 in. canvas paper which is quite nice to work on. I’ll definitely carry on experimenting with this limited palette for some portraits/figurative work and some florals and other still life.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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More life drawing studies…

Working on values and “turning the light”.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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More life drawing…

A couple of shots from yesterday’s life drawing.  Working with a different model each week – building up a repertoire for some Zorn palette paintings.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Getting back at long last

Well my stint back in industry is drawing to a close soon so I’ve been busy getting myself re-established in Ottawa. Have found very reasonable studio time with live model once a week so getting started with some figurative work. Also been ramping up for some plein air to capture this inspiring southern Ontario landscape.  Love all the strong and structural weeping willows along the river.  I’ve been studying some different limited palettes for figurative and plain air work.  All my oil-based artwork going forward will all be done with a very limited palette and without the use of toxins. The attached value study of 120 mixes was based on the “Zorn Palette” attributed to Anders Zorn.  I used only yellow ochre, cad red, ivory black and white.  Love the flesh tones you get with this palette.  Stay tuned for more.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Sketchbook business…

A few studies in planar anatomy – something I’ve been playing with lately.  Some figurative gesture sketches and some fruit.  Been finding time to squeeze in some drawing until I can get back to painting late winter/Spring.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Fused Glass

My first attempt with a new medium – fused glass.  Much different than working with paint but now that I know how the glass behaves I would try this again. I chose to do tulips since I’m living in Ottawa.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Charcoal study

Since moving to Ottawa and working back in industry I’ve only had time to do some life drawing at the Orange Gallery.  The attached study in charcoal was from an 11 minute pose in my last session. The model was fabulous – well over 6 ft and goes by the name Amazon Siren. Looking forward to getting back to my art full time in early Spring.

K.M.

Amazon Siren

Amazon Siren

 

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A couple of cows

I couple of 30 x 30 in. cows. One is acrylic on canvas – the other acrylic and oil on canvas. Can you tell which is which?

"Frosty"

“Frosty”

River Cam Herd Cow #1

River Cam Herd Cow #1

 

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Happy Canada Day!

Was inspired to get very free and loose today after a morning checking out the Boardwalk Artists in Dartmouth. This piece is inspired by Canada Day and also a little Brexit.  Only primary colours used. “We Are Not Amused” Acrylic on paper – 18 x 24 in.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Modern contemporary koi

There’s a lot of koi paintings out there and it’s because it’s such a great subject. I wanted to create something like I’ve never seen before.  Having fun with mark making here.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Last one for today…

Just finished this 4 ft x 4ft underpainting. Love the scale- feels like I’m in the koi pool.  I need to make a run for more burnt sienna before any more underpainting can be done so that’s it for today. Excited to get going with the colour on all of these.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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On a roll…

I’ve laid in 2 more 24 x 48 in. koi pieces.  Really happy with these compositions. Think I’ll stay on the roll of laying new pieces in today in burnt sienna before moving on to the colour. Next on the agenda, the first of two 48 x 48 in. pieces – same theme. Having a productive snow day!

Enjoy!

K.M.

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More Koi…

As I get ready to finalize my last koi, I’ve laid in a new 24 x 48 in. piece to get started on. Really liking the negative space in this latest composition. There’ll be more to follow on this theme – really loving this subject.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Cruciform Crane…

I’ve been wanting to paint a crane for some time – they dominate our Halifax skyline and downtown with all sorts of construction. I decided to portray one using the classic abstract design cruciform shape and quite like it. “Construction” oil, wax and oil stick on canvas 24 x 36 in.

Enjoy!

K.M.IMG_8842

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One more session should do it…

One more session I think..so far been using thin layers of paint and walnut oil. Need to add in some thickness here and there and some flecks of colour to capture reflection and movement and then should be done.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Koi recreated

I had started a 12 x 24 in. oil on canvas board painting (photo 2) a while ago – I decided I really liked the composition so decided to abandon the unfinished painting and create it anew on a much larger 24 x 48 in. gallery wrapped canvas (photo 1) This stage is like painting with shoe polish to me – very thin layer of burnt sienna then with a rag dipped in turpenoid I “draw” in the koi. Stay tuned for the finished product.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Milling Frolic

As part of the Gaelic programming and tied in with the Naked Craft exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, every child at Waverley Memorial Elementary School wove a section of an infinity blanket that was “waulked” at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia this morning. It was a lot of work but a beautiful woolen cloth was created by these little hands and it will be a permanent installation at our school. So great to be a part of this wonderful community art project. Will post a pic when it’s installed.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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New Oil Painting

Tulip season is upon us so time to celebrate with a tulip themed painting “Tulips and a Cupcake”.  Also did a minor tweak to the Coffee and Macaroons from earlier this week.

Enjoy!

K.M.

"Tulips and a Cupcake"

“Tulips and a Cupcake”

"Coffee and Macaroons"

“Coffee and Macaroons”

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My garden this morning….

It’s pretty but I feel bad for the crocuses…

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“Flowers. Fruit and Vessels”

This piece is drying now – fair bit of impasto and stand oil so will take a while to dry. Lots of texture and colour. I developed the composition by continually adding layers of colour and observing shapes which I then defined into the various objects.  In the end result I can visualize a number of imaginary lines interesting through the subject matter creating interesting rays and angles which contrasts with the more round shapes of the objects themselves.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Close up

Working away on this piece as I get some time over the Easter weekend. Still a ways to go but here’s a little close up of some flowers. close up

Enjoy!

K.M.

 

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So this is what I’m up to…

Photo on 2016-02-26 at 10.39 AM Photo on 2016-02-26 at 10.40 AMI’ve been working with the kids at Waverley Memorial Elementary School on their Flag project. Each of the 360 kids had a chance to design a flag to celebrate their heritage and diversity. I chose Tyvek as the fabric for the front which allowed the kids to create vibrant and detailed work using washable markers! No fabric paint required. The flags are being sewn to felt backing and will be strung together to decorate the walls in our gym. All felt cutting will complete today and then it’s just sew, sew, sew. Will post pics of the completed project.

Enjoy!

K.M.

 

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black gesso

I’ve been intrigued about painting on a black gesso ground for a while so gave it a go this morning. Haven’t worked in acrylic much this month but happened to have some beautiful avocado flesh colour mixed up so here it is – acrylic on canvas board 5 x 7 in.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Beginning Koi

Just the very beginning – laying in the underpainting and texture for the light to lay on. Going to get a lot more lively but needs to dry for a bit – which takes a bit longer with oil but worth it I think.IMG_8502

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Et voila!

Got some colour inspiration during an early a.m. cross-country ski and here it is with it’s final background “Loose Lemons”. Will post a picture in better natural light to my image gallery later. This may be a new personal favourite.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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“Loose Lemons”

This is the another oil painting (12 x 24 in.) that I’m working on. I think it’s pretty well done – maybe a final tweak. Will ponder that as I go back to my koi pool…

Enjoy!

K.M.

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working on koi

Just started on this 12 x 24 in. koi pool piece in oil on canvas board. It’s going to get a lot more colourful.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Creative February continues….

The last version of Loose Tea with Lemons was quiet and polite as tea should be however it was not the abstract colour exploration and looseness that I wanted in “Creative February”. More colour, mark making and looseness – “Loose Tea With Lemons”.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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Done and drying…

Made some adjustments and think it’s done. “Loose Tea and Lemons” oil on canvas board 12 x 12 in. Lots of colour and texture.

Enjoy!

K.M.

Loose Tea and Lemons

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Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Year of the Monkey to all! Progressing right along on this new oil painting for the occasion “Loose Tea and Lemons” – close to done.

Enjoy!

K.M.

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