Friday, December 16, 2011

Painting #13 – 8 Fraser

Starting into the second half of my project, I decided to challenge myself to paint a highly detailed street scene of a Flyer trolley bus in the centre of an intersection. Thanks to David Lam for providing the source photograph; it was a great shot. The challenge with painting from a highly detailed photograph is to find the balance between detail and noise. The details make a painting, but they can also overwhelm it. Especially things like overhead wires and leaves on trees.

I really enjoyed the process of painting this image, and it will definitely be hanging in my exhibition this February. More details on that to come in another post.

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 24 inches.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Painting #12 – Front Doors

This painting brings me to the halfway point in my project. I know I said I was going to take a three month break from the buses after this painting, but honestly, I had so much fun doing it, that I am going to keep plugging away on the theme and start another painting right away. I have always loved this image with the paint peeling off the doors. Several years ago I did another painting of this image using ink on paper.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painting #11 – Destination Sign (Final)

Here is the final painting of a destination sign from an old Brill trolley.

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 36 inches.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Painting #11 – Destinations (process)

After the slow pace at which I found myself working on my last painting, I decided to repaint an image I have painted a couple of times in the past, simply because it is pure type, my favourite. It has been enlightening to see how much faster the process goes when I am painting something that I truly enjoy. I realize now that the reason my last painting took me so long was that it was so detailed, with so many colours, that I couldn't mix large batches of paint, and work with a bigger brush. The constant colour mixing and nit-picky work were not fun, and I found myself procrastinating.

I am seriously considering taking a break from the buses after the next two paintings are completed (with those done I will be ready for my February show), to start a smaller scale side project. I am thinking of creating drapery banners with favourite words and verses on them, photographing them, and painting them, much like this destination sign. I could play with colour, typeface, texture, lighting, and meaning. Perhaps I could collect favourite words, quotations and scripture verses from friends and family. There are lots of possibilities. In any case, after I finish painting number 12 of the bus series, I will be halfway through my project, and I think I will take a break for at least 3 months to work on other ideas.

Here is a process photo of my eleventh painting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Painting #10 – 17 UBC

I have finally completed the tenth painting in my series of trolleys. This painting took me way too long; I kept putting it off and the next thing I knew, over a month had gone by. I chose this image to paint because of the patchy sunlight.

My goal is to complete at least two more paintings by the New Year. I think that is reasonable, and who knows, maybe I will do more.

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 24 inches.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

A place to paint

I have not yet mentioned the space for painting that I have created for myself in my basement apartment. It is very utilitarian: fluorescent lighting, unpainted walls, linoleum flooring, and best of all, a built-in vacuum.  I find it an excellent space for painting, as I don't have to worry too much about spattering, there is lots of room for shelving and my easel, and the lighting is very even with virtually no shadows.

I am working on a painting of some old wrecked Brills right now, and I am at that stage of the painting that seems to take the longest. All the little areas of varying colours and shades that I left until last because they are the hardest have to be filled in. I always think I will be able to finish quickly, but I find this last stage almost painstakingly slow. But I have to remember that it will be finished eventually, and keep plugging away.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Preparing for a show in 2012!

I recently got some exciting news: My proposal for a solo show of my transit related art at the Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby was accepted. The show will run from February 10th to March 4th, 2012. This will be my first ever solo exhibition, and it will be so fun to see all the paintings in one place. I will post more information as I get it.

GMC Fishbowl Interior
Ink wash on paper

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Painting #8 – Back Doors

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 24 inches.

For this painting I chose a rather abstract photograph to work from. The stairs and the shadows create some interesting shapes, and I love the yellow line that happened to be on the ground.

I am excited that I am now one third of the way into the project.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Painting #7 – Flyer 2805

It has been awhile since my last posting. This painting was done over a period of time much longer than the others, as I was moving, starting a new job, and stalling. I had a real challenge painting the lit up signs and reflections, but I think overall, it has a good effect.

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 36 inches.

Not sure what my next image in the series will be, but I will try to move a little quicker on the next one.

Thanks again to David Lam for another great source image. Hope you don't mind the artistic licenses I took with this one!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Celebration of Spring exhibition

From April 1 – April 23, my painting of Brill 2282 will be on exhibit at a juried show held by the Burnaby Arts Council. The theme of the show is "Celebration of Spring – A Fresh Start."

The official opening is Saturday, April 2, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Here is a jpeg of the painting that will be on display. Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Painting #6 – Flyer 2912

I am officially one quarter of the way through my project to complete 24 paintings of the old buses of Vancouver in the next year or so. This painting was one of the most fun I have worked on in awhile. I think it helped that there were more colours in it to play with than the images of the wrecked Brills had.

I am super excited about my next painting, because I am going to try something I have never done before... painting a bus in a night scene. The challenge of capturing the light coming from the destination signs and interior has always daunted me, but I am ready to give it a shot.

Acrylic on wood. 48 x 24 inches.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Painting #6 – Process (step 2)

I tend to paint blacks and whites first, to set up the contrast in the image before painting in the coloured areas. I always enjoy this stage of the painting the most, I guess because in a way it is the easiest (less colour mixing and paintbrush cleaning needed). But I also think it is because the whites and blacks in contrast with the bright orange create such a dynamic structure.

I am going to keep working tonight, so hopefully I will have another post later tomorrow.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Painting #6 – Process

For a change in pace, I am going to switch from the scrapped Brill trolleys I have been painting so far to some portraits of the Flyer trolleys that replaced the Brills starting in 1982. Although these buses are a little boxy and maybe don't have as much "character" as the old Brills, they are pretty much the first buses I actually remember riding, and therefore have a place in my heart. In terms of painting them, I am particularly drawn to the large destination signs with the big, bold type in yellow, and the BC Transit colour red and blue paint.

Because these buses are not on the road anymore, I had a difficult time finding images that I could paint from. I personally had not had the foresight to take any photos of my own while they were still in service. Happily, I found an amazing website run by some young transit enthusiasts from Vancouver.

One of the webmasters and photographers, David Lam, kindly gave me permission to paint from images he had taken on this site. I am very excited, as they have over 250 photos of just this model of bus on their site, so I will have lots of inspiration.

This is a process photo of my first steps on my latest painting. I am going to try and get it done within the next day or two, and will post the finished result as soon as possible. Thanks for following!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Painting #5 – Exit Door Mirror

This photograph has always fascinated me, with all the ellipses and reflected type. If you are not quite sure what you are looking at, it is an image of the mirror above the rear door exit of a Brill, with a light fixture that has fallen open. I really enjoy painting images that are both abstract and representational. 

48 x 36 inches
Acrylic on wood

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Commissioned work

My first post of the New Year is of a commissioned painting I did for a friend. Not a Brill, but an older GM which Rick used to own, and hopefully will own again soon. I am including a couple of process pictures to show the steps I go through on most of my paintings.

I always am excited to do paintings of buses for enthusiasts, so commissions are most welcome.

I usually paint in all the dark areas first. I almost always start with a bright orange underpainting, and draw on top of that to begin the painting.

This is at the "almost done" stage. I usually paint the second most dominant colour (in this case a creamy white) as the second step. For this painting, however, I painted the background first so I could see how the other colours were interacting.

This is the final painting: 48 x 36 inches acrylic on wood. Thanks to Rick for the opportunity to paint his lovely bus.