Thursday, December 30, 2010


I've been so busy preparing for my upcoming show there has not been time to post anything at all or visit a few of my favorite blogs! But i am well ahead of the game now and have 27 new paintings. My goal was to have 30 by the 30th of January. This is one of the villages i so love to put together. There are several along the same theme of varying sizes. This one is 22" X 30" on Arches Cold Pressed paper. My absolute favorite. I had some rough in my supply and started a painting on it without realizing it was rough till i put the first few washes down. The response was so different i struggled greatly. Now very happy to be back to the Cold pressed for sure. Hope all had a very merry Christmas and looking forward to what the New Year brings...
God bless. Ross

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Hi there. I had this little one sitting by and thought i might use it in my show.  I forgot to put some people in it!  Oops! I guess it is just very early morning and none have woken to their day yet. I enjoy the patterns and shapes of these little houses and such. I've been drawing for two days steady and have 12 new ones completed. There will be no going home until number 14 is ready for paint! Must be at it then, as the evening is rolling along here and the gallery is nice and quiet. No kids! Smile! By for now. Blessings everyone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A wee harbor town somewhere far away. Housing prices near the water are on the rise but a homey place for a fair price still can be had if one persists in their search. Moving inland a street or two is also an option. Not certain yet if i would rather live in "Flossiemouth" or the soon to be built "Freeburger". As soon as i have a photo of this new village i will post it here.

I love the light that is present here. It seems so relaxing in a way. I just realized the other day that I have been using a lot of Daniel Smith, Cobalt Teal blue! It is my favorite color choice just ahead of my many reds that show up everywhere too. Will have to try one without the blue for a change just to see what happens. It is also fun to go round the palette and try forgotten colors. A short while ago I took my forgotten tossed aside tubes of paint and created a second palette of these very fine colors. I call it the "fun palette" and go to it whenever i need to get out of a slump or change the pace a bit. Works ever time! Give it a try!  A very nice grey can be had by mixing Cerulean Blue with a little Cadmium Red Light. Try adding a little Viridian to the mix to green it up a little. Makes for a lovely grey in varying shades.

Hope all are well today and staying ahead of the Christmas rush. A beautiful season that has been bullied to death by consumerism and tolerance. I try not to get too caught up in it all. God bless each and every one. Remember the real reason for the season and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This time i think i would live in the little purple house down the path on the right. It would be closer to the dock and i could get onto my boat anytime and sail away. But then maybe one would not want to sail away if living in Montague? I tried something a little different on the foreground with the squares of color. Kind of like pointalism but on a larger scale. It made for a very interesting texture and pattern.

Monday, December 6, 2010


This is a little make believe Sea side village. I think i may move into the little pink house in the middle.
It has a great view of the harbor and all the comings and goings. This is a watercolor on Cold Pressed paper and is about 8" X 24". Instead of using mostly warm colors i concentrated on cooler ones this time and it turned out to be refreshing change from my ever glowing color selections. There are a few more with similar color schemes in the works! Hope all are well on this beautiful 6th of Dec. Only 18 more days till Christmas! God bless each and every one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"A Safe Harbor"

My last painting to post for a while till i can make some more. I have a show to prepare for in Feb. and have to have about 30 at least. So far i think i have maybe 10 hidden away. Yikes! Better get to work. My 17 year old daughter always confides in me about boys, school troubles, school joys, and all that goes with being 17. I am a good listener but the other day i thought i would share with her the stresses of being a lonely studio artist preparing for a show and the task of coming up with new ideas all the time. Hehe! Thought i would turn the tables on her and see what she did. She simply said in a young persons idealistic way of seeing the world, "why don't you just paint what's on the inside?" and then went back to complaining about her biology teacher. They are so cute aren't they? I thought about what she said all day and realized she was so right on. I spend too much time looking at art on the web and in books. Ultimately painting is an inside job. I now have it written on a card and posted in front of me for a reminder. I told her the next day how smart she was, to which she promptly replied "I know!".  Smile!  I am going to paint what is on the inside now. Hope to post it here for you soon. Blessings as always. ross

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Anne Street"

In my sketchbook i find all sorts of little drawings and doodles that long to be made into paintings. This was one such sketch i found from way back. The idea was to try and do a whimsical street scene towards the end of day when the last light is fading. It is about 11 X 14 and done with watercolor on 300 lb. Arches CP paper. My sketch books are running out of fresh ideas though and i think it may be time to get into the habit of using them again. Coffee shops are great places to sit and doodle or draw people. Just have to try and not let them know what you are doing. Smile! Next up; "Painting what's on the inside!'. God bless! ross

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boats and reflections are a bit of a passion for me and i love doing them even though they take a while to make. This one is on a full sheet of 300 lb. arches CP paper. My initial plan was to make it quite dark but as the painting progressed it was wanting to stay light. Have to listen to the painting and let it guide me. I love when that happens and a new direction is unfolding as paint goes to paper. I thought i might post the photo i worked from here too for you to see. It was one i took a few years ago in Vancouver and always wanted to do something with it. Hope all are well out there in studio land. Blessings. Ross

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Bowness Lagoon"

This was a commission given me by a neighbor. The lady wanted a whimsical painting of a popular skating lagoon here in Calgary. I took photos of the main points of interest and combined them into a fun, wintery scene complete with fire pit and pooches. "There are no puppies allowed on the ice in winter" i was told by a person who saw the painting. Smile! There are in my painting! Artistic license.....

"The Underlings II"

It has been a while since i have posted anything and thought it about time. This one was from some doodles i did of birds flying around and had fun with the scene they were flying around in. It is done with watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and ink on paper. I find it so freeing to just paint and not worry about realistic renditions and such. Hope all are well. Blessings always.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"A Crow and a Half"

Not too sure what to think of this one but thought i would post to see what the reaction might be. I used lots of paint straight out of the tube which is ridiculous for watercolor as it is a pretty pricey way to paint. Would try it again using acrylic. But i did experiment and once tons of paint was laid down dropped water on it and watched as the paint swirled and did cool stuff. I will do more crows as i think they make interesting paintings and are interesting creatures to boot! I love watching them as they carry on and make me laugh. Hope all are well and happily painting.
Blessings! ross

Friday, October 1, 2010

"The Choir"

I got the idea for this one from a wee doodle my step-daughter did in my sketch book of a persons head! The head she drew is the little green one second down on the left. It was great fun to carry that through to the finished piece. It has been a long while since last i posted here. Not that i have been far away or anything, just painting is all, getting ready for two upcoming shows. Hope to have more to share in the near future. Hope all are doing well and enjoying the beauty of Fall days. Blessings to each and everyone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Something Different; Wall Murals!"

Well, she arrived! Hooray!  Her name is Amelia and here is a photo of her admiring the Panda floating above her with balloons. It took her arrival to add the life and the magic the murals were waiting for. 
Congratulations to her very happy parents, David and Meagan. 

Meagan painting rocks....
Meagan and my wife working in unison.
Yours truly happily painting...

My niece and nephew are expecting a baby in Oct. and asked us to help them with their baby room.
So a wall mural came to be based on the very talented, Jon Muth who happens to be one of my favorite children's book illustrators and watercolorists. His paintings are beautifully simple, and simply beautiful. So we borrowed some of his designs and did up a nursery. I have to say it so much fun, my wife and i are going to do some more. It could turn into a great part-time job i think.  
We also discovered, my nephew David, and his wife Meagan, have some hidden artistic talents and did a fantastic job. They are budding artists for sure. Check out their own blog, "Get Daddy Some Gin".
It's really cute. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Yupo Paintings"

These are my first attempts at using Yupo paper with watercolor which i tried last year. I had just visited Sandy Maudlin's blog and she has some amazing Yupo paintings there with some very helpful hints on how to use this rather unusual support. When i did the fist one, i almost could not stop smiling and laughing because it was just so much fun! I had forgotten about it till i saw Sandy's paintings and I just have to try some more now incorporating some of her helpful techniques. I was amazed too that the cows sold at my first show! I still have the rooster, and he is adorning my studio space just now.  Give Yupo a try if you have not already.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I saw these birds from the car as i was driving through the country one grey day and thought it was such a peaceful sight. I tried to get close without startling them but of course was unsuccessful as they were fairly alert. As they began to fly away i snapped as many shots as i could thinking all the while that my chance was lost as they heard me coming. When i got home and looked over what i captured, this particular scene stayed with me for a long while. I'm rather pleased with the overall mood of it as i kept it as close to the atmosphere as was present that day. It was rather moody and I loved the chance to do something a bit different than the bright whimsical ones i've been doing. I used just five colors. Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Cobalt blue, and Alizarin Crimson.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Sunflower Fields"

Another in the long narrow series. When i was painting a whole lot of 18" X whatever type of paintings i ended up with a folder full of these odd pieces which were 4" X 22". I saved them all of course and thought of cutting them up for cards but decided to do a couple of narrow landscapes.  The format is handy and can fit in those odd places and spaces people have in their homes. I also find the tall narrow ones do well too.

This painting was relatively simple to create with a few washes for the background hills. The grasses were built up in layers and the sunflowers were a variety of yellows and oranges with a little shading here and there and then polka dots all over. I used a Pit pen for the dots. I am doing a wee commission similar with stukes in it and a wagon. Should be fun!
Blessings everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Tribute to Janet Mitchell"

This is my tribute to a great Alberta Artist, Janet Mitchell who lived from 1912 - 1998. Her work was both beautifully light hearted and filled with childlike whimsy. She is a great inspiration to me. 
I was also lucky enough to purchase a painting by her which i have posted here for you to see. 
It is called "Head of Classics".  I had such fun doing a Janet Mitchell style painting and hope to do a few more in a series which of course will be called "A Tribute To Janet Mitchell". 
This one i did is 4" X 22" on 300lb. Arches CP paper.
Isn't this just a delightful painting? It is quite large and fits nicely over our fireplace. 
She did it on a full sheet of watercolor paper and the framing and matting make it a nice size. 
I enjoy looking at it each day. It is also one of very few original paintings that i own but hope 
to continue collecting as the opportunities present themselves. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Waiting for Wash Day

I had been working on this for a while and did not seem to be able to finish it. That happens when I leave one unattended for a while. So today i decided it would be done and here it is. The middle was somewhat tedious but i had such fun with it in the end. The edges were all pretty hard and i went around with a red, yellow orange mix and softened all the edges. They then seemed more realistic once rounded. Then the dabbling began and i knew it was time to sign it and put it away. Watercolor on 300lb. Arches CP paper.

I bought some "smooth" and some "rough" today just to try something different. Can't wait to try them. I also broke out the acrylics! There's never enough time in the day is there? I find it is hard to start but when i do get going just can't seem to quit. Hope you are all well and having fun with your creative endeavors. Blessings!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'd like you to meet "Spanner". He was a commission given to me by some very kindly folks who wanted to surprise Spanner's owner. I'm always very excited to be part of someone's plans to gift or surprise. The joy i feel is ever present as i put together the painting for them. Not sure what that is but it does make the job of painting such a delight. This little guy was done on Arches 300 lb. CP paper. He is 11" X 15" unframed.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Good morning! Well, i survived the opening and will live another day. I love the start of the openings when the first attendees arrive but as the evening progresses i begin to look for a corner.

Well, I'm off to the gallery for  a wee bit and plan on starting a commission i was given a week ago. It is a dog portrait for a lady who came into the gallery. I like doing dogs and will post here when done.

This little watercolor painting ( 13" X 18") is one i did on the back side of a past disaster. It more or less evolved from some of my doodle art which always seems to be a great place for me to go for ideas if i get stuck. Lately it is just plain fun to play and i think that is where some of the best ideas are born. In my heart i am still longing for a dramatic serious piece. The word "significant" keeps coming to me throughout my days. Not sure if other artists out there experience this or not. My work is most often whimsical which i love to do so perhaps the "significant" calling is just the other side of the coin wanting it's due. I think i am nearing the place where this mysterious artwork will begin it's new life. Will let you know! Blessings all...

Friday, June 11, 2010

"The Underlings" Watercolor on Arches CP paper. 18 X 22

I had this idea to paint white crows with a mainly blue background and this is what I ended up with. It just began to take on a life of it's own with little people underneath the surface there.
I quite enjoyed drawing this one and found it to be a brand new direction once done. I've now plans to do larger pieces along the same theme using acrylics or mixed media. Or maybe even a canvas! That would be a new beginning as well! I've done some oil painting in the past but not for a long time now. It is quite exciting to step out of the old comfort zone and i have to say the studio is now a happier place. We had an opening tonight at the gallery and although folks are still there mingling i had to escape to the nearest MacDonalds with a Rolo McFlurry and my lap top.
The smoosching part of this business is hard for me. Wish it were not so but i'd rather make the paintings and let them speak for themselves. God bless you all and i pray you have a peaceful and blessed evening. I think i may head home now. Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"The Blooms go Shopping"

This was done on the backside of a ruined watercolor painting i had. The figures are done in watercolor and the rest of it is acrylic.
I had been wanting to do a mixed media piece for a while now and this is my initial attempt. Once i got used to the fact you cannot fling acrylics around like watercolor i was on my way! My good jeans are now sporting a multicolored patch or two and also my jacket and part of the floor where i work. Despite those wee blunders it was fun to do and i now look forward to the next piece using various mediums. The colors did not reproduce so well with this image and i am not so sure why that happened. It is actually quite bright. I've also waxed it so i do not have to frame it under glass using instead a linen matt with deeper frame. It is about 12" X 18" on 300 lb. Arches Cold Pressed paper with watercolor, ink and acrylic.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Rose Town"

A fellow commissioned this piece for his wife for her birthday. I actually finished it with a week to spare! Yahoo! It was based on a previous painting which she liked but was not large enough. This is 16" X 44" unframed done on Arches 300lb. cold pressed paper. When i took it to the framers a lady was in the shop and liked it enough to order one for herself! Now it's back to the drawing board as they say. The next one will be different of course. I am also playing around with some abstract work which is so refreshing for me having spent a lot of time these days on very organized and structured pieces. I'm also looking forward to working with acrylics and experimenting with different framing techniques. It is such fun being an artist and i am thankful each day for the gift of being able to do this. I have a supportive wife and family which makes it all happen. Life is good, God is gooder.  Blessings everyone!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Van Isle"

This could be a maritime coastal village somewhere down the road from "Peggy's Cove". A place where fisherman gather and chat about the days catch over a pint or two. Watercolor on 300lb. Arches CP paper.
22" X 30"

"After School"

I've been inspired lately by so many fine Quebec artists it is hard to remember them all. I do spend far too much time on the internet though scouring art galleries and artists web sites. I find it encouraging as well as inspiring seeing what everyone is up to. Recently i've toured England
(via the computer of course) and the wonderful art work one can find there. It is all just so lovely.
This piece was a departure for me in a way. I wanted it to be less labor intensive than the others i do and somehow a little looser. So this is as loose as i could get. Hopefully i can loosen up even more as this was just such a delight to pull off. I'm trying to be braver with my shadows and find they really do make a painting come to life.
Happy day to all!

"Baptiste Valley"

I had a spare bit of paper beside another painting i was working on and doodled my way to "Baptiste Valley"! I often have two, maybe three on the go at any time so there is something else to do while i wait for paint to dry or ideas to come. There are more pleasant surprises this way. By for now!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This commission was for a good friend and her husband. They wanted a whimsical village setting with a skating rink and also liked some penguins i had in a previous painting so the little guys are there floating downriver on the ice flows. It is my largest piece to date at 36" X 48", done on 300lb. Arches cold pressed paper. I have to admit i loved working on the large format. It was somewhat like doing several small paintings all on the same page moving back and forth from one area to another.  I saved the mountains for the end and was i nervous as i layed down those initial washes thinking this could all blow several weeks worth of work if i mess up. Oh, the joy of watercolor. But it was just such fun to do and i am very pleased with this one feeling it to be my best work to date. Now it is off to the framers. Blessings all!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bert's County

I enjoy playing with the patterns for these landscapes. They take a long time to do as i have to build the color with many washes but the end is fun when i can place all the little darks here and there.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bruch's Aspens

A commission i recently finished for a friend from work. The paint  is still wet! I may have to do some more trees as i really enjoyed the process and the pattern. Blessings all! Ross.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A bit of a departure for me but had fun with the greens and reds. 
Will most likely continue with this theme for a while and 
try a few different designs. 
I cannot wait to begin 
playing on some more patterns, as i call them. 
Cheers, everyone!
A new village. Not sure what to call this one but was just pleased to actually have a new one to frame for a change. I've come through a long drought. Will load another for you soon. Blessings!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wow! I am amazed at how long it's been since I've been on here. There are six or seven pantings in progress just now but have only just finished this one the other day. It was a commission for a lady's father for a birthday i believe. The black dog is not here any longer and they wanted to remember her in this way. I was pleased to be a part of this and enjoy doing dog paintings so much. It might have rekindled the painting muse too! That is a good thing.