Saturday, December 31, 2011

I came across this video on the Liz Wiltzen blog called,  "Live Attuned".  It is such a beautiful video i had to share it with you, thinking what a great way to close out the year. I've watched this many times over and never lose the awe that it inspires. Hope you all have a great New Year with many dreams coming true. But most of all that you experience first hand the amazing love of the one who created it all in the beginning. He was the first true artist. What an amazing artist He is. God bless each and every one.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"My Town"

The beginning's of a whimsical take on my town, Calgary. Some of the recognizable places are evident like the "Saddledome", "Bow Tower", and "Calgary Tower". The houses in the middle ground represent inner city communities of Sunnyside and Hillhurst. These i plan on doing brightly colored and fun. The city buildings will mostly be grays, blues, purples outlined in white and a sky filled with dancing images and stars. Not too sure what to do with the foreground yet and have to be careful. A painting like this can become too busy in short order. The rows of houses will be the focal point of it all. These are fun to do and i have hopes of doing a series based on local, familiar areas. We shall see. I get sidetracked so easily. Sigh! Hope all are having a great day with new paintings all around. God bless, and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Portofino is finally  complete. This was a commission for a lady who saw another one similar to it and asked me to do one for her.  It took me over 18 months to get it done because i kept getting sidetracked doing other things. She was so very patient and gracious. I would have fired myself a long time ago.
But glad she waited as i am most pleased with the outcome and cannot wait to show it to her. This is watercolor on Arches 300 lb. CP paper. 17" X 44".

Monday, December 5, 2011

WIP "Portofino"

This is now about 80% complete. I have yet to do the background as I do not quite have a clear image of what it is to be yet. Also the area on the left side is yet to take shape. Hope to be finished in a couple of days.

Today i was thinking of what a privilege it is to be able to paint. When i dreamt of doing this, i always thought it would be such fun and a very cool way to live. Boy, was i in for a surprise. It is really a ton of work and the work is never done is it? If we are not painting, we are percolating the next idea or maybe thinking of new ways to market our work. Or you might be trying to develop a new technique, re-invent the wheel, or learn to work with new mediums. When i was a kid i can remember asking my mom always what there was for me to do. "I'm bored!" said me. Hehe!  Should have painted. Hope all are having a fabulous day. I'm playing today and having fun!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

WIP of Portofino...

This is a work in progress based on the Italian village of Portofino. I enjoy taking a real life village and using it as a starting point. You can see the photo i used on my lap top. This painting will be 17" X 44" when done. So far it is coming along nicely and i look forward to adding the dark areas which bring a watercolor to life and make those whites and light areas pop. Adding little bits of complimentary color nearby also helps. Hope to have the completed piece posted soon.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This is based on a photo of the village, "Mousehole" in Cornwall. I really enjoy doing these little villages.
The drawings take on a life of their own and evolve from a photo to a slightly off kilter, whimsical representation of what is really there. For this one, my intention was to keep most of the colors grey and cool except for a few houses. It appears as if the sun is setting and nightfall will soon envelope everyone.
Oops! I forgot to put some people in which i like to do. Next time! Watercolor on Arches C/P 300 lb. paper.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


A wee little painting, only 8" X 10". It just felt good to be painting again after such a long block. I hope to have some more up soon. This is watercolor on Arches watercolor board.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"The Family"

No painting to post but i thought i would introduce part of the family. This is my wife, Natalie and her daughter Katarina. Our puppies, the Boxers are quite happy to sit on your lap anytime they can. This was cute as they both climbed up together and made themselves at home. The white one is Bella, and the other one is Paulo. They keep us entertained for sure.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Cherry Blossom"

This was painted from a photo i took in Vancouver last spring of a crafty old raven. I love watching these birds and trying to capture interesting perspectives of them. I've had great luck around the big old garbage bins and along the beaches as they are quite the scavengers. This is a little different too as opposed to my more whimsical paintings. I used gouache watercolor and ink on Arches cold pressed paper.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Water Lily"

Wow, it's been so long since last i posted, i almost forgot how! Since my show i have not been doing a lot of painting but manage to come to the studio and putter most days. To get started again i thought i must do a flower painting as i had not ever done one before. I've now done two! They are actually a lot of fun as there is much in the way of pattern and shape which i am drawn to. I tried new paper too for this one just to get out of the old rut. This is "Waterford" 300lb. Cold pressed and i found it to be more like a Hot pressed and the paper absorbed a lot of the color which made it harder to lift. It did perform pretty well otherwise and i will most likely keep a supply on hand but have returned to the ever trustworthy "Arches". I suppose it is whatever one gets used to.  Hope all are doing well and enjoying their painting time. God bless each and every one. Ross

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Mr. Pezzo"

This photo of Mr.Pezzo touches me deeply as it was taken only a few weeks before he died. His one eye had clouded over some time ago. He was a best friend when my life was at it's lowest. He and i spent many nights and days together roaming the hills behind our house. I, dreaming of a better life, he, playing in the tall grass running a zig zag pattern to make me laugh. A dog can be so intuitive when their people are hurting. He knew just what to do.  God, i loved this little guy.

As you can see by the photo he was quite a lovely, sweet boy. A Boxer is unlike any other dog i believe. They are difficult to manage in the earlier years but as time goes on they become such a devoted and loyal companion. It is hard to be with one and not have them underfoot at all times as they want to be with you no matter what you do. Expect to share your popcorn and the couch when you watch a movie! They are considered to be the "clowns" of the dog world and can make you laugh out loud at times. I'm not so sure i could ever own another kind of dog.  Pezzo was almost twelve which is getting up there for a Boxer and had been losing a lengthy courageous battle with cancer.  We had to take him to the vet for the last time which is such a difficult thing to do. The hardest thing i have ever had to do. With his one good eye he looked at us, at me, not sure what was happening. But he loved us with his last breath as we watched the light fade from him. Yes, a most difficult thing to do. Never thought i could love a dog so much.
I hope to honor him with a new painting and will post when done.
God bless everyone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Calgary Timeraiser"

I was most pleased that my painting, "Our Town" was selected by jury to be included in the 2011 Calgary Timeraiser.

The Timeraiser is a silent art auction with a twist. Instead of bidding money, participants bid volunteer time to agencies that need their skills and energy.  They buy all artwork at fair market value and auction it off on the night of the Timeraiser.  The 6th Calgary Timeraiser will be held on Thursday June 16th 2011 at Flames Central. Successful auction bidders have 12 months to complete their volunteer pledge. When they do, they bring the artwork home as a reminder of their goodwill.

To date, the Timeraiser has generated 83,000 volunteer hours and invested $410,000 in the careers of emerging Canadian artists.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Santa Maria" & "Pittenweem"

"Pittenweem" is a little Scottish coastal village i enjoy visiting on Google.  I love the names they have for their towns. They are so poetic..... 

Friday, February 18, 2011

"The Trouble with the Universe"

I always used to wonder what the trouble with the universe was. Now i know it is all the cats fault. He appeared in the lower right corner of my painting as i was putting these rather shifty looking characters into a universe of their own. This is also a palette painting. They were just there one day looking up at me.

The gallery has some speed daters here tonight. They are all quite lovely and many have come down to see the artist in the basement. They wanted to know if i would like to come up and mingle with them. I thought better of it, preferring to keep my "Mysterious Artist" profile intact and remain the cellar dweller. Besides, i don't think my wife would like it much even if i did sell a few paintings because of it. Smile!

I greatly admire the speed daters for their courage and desire to change their situation. I also enjoy hearing the wonderful sound of people having fun and laughing. It makes a cellar dweller quite happy it does.

Now, what to do with that darn cat.....

"Mount Biddie" & "Dipper Creek"

Somebody had asked me to do a ski hill painting. So i took one of my little villages, gave it some snow and added a ski lift. The end result was quite
lovely i think.  I feel the next ski hill may have to have some more black- diamond runs and perhaps a high speed quad. The folks at the bottom do not seem to mind the wait as they are having quite the lovely time chatting and such.

This is my one and only attempt at doing a "loose" watercolor. I told the gallery owner it was loose and she laughed. I suppose it is not as loose as some watercolorists would do. I love the very loose style with subjects simply stated though. Perhaps this could be my Christmas card for next year? It did sell which was most pleasing to me.

"Mid-day Matinee" & "You Never Listen to Me"

This is my rendition of an old theatre in town. It is in a trendy little area where i love to go for coffee and watch all the people go by. One day, there was a school bus filled with happy children going to a mid-day matinee. Hence, the title for this piece, "Midday Matinee"! 
 Sometimes, i look into the puddles of paint in my palette and see all manner of things. These two unique characters were there having quite the discussion. I decided to give them a planet and a floating house to live in. I called this one, "You Never Listen to Me" because that seems to be the point of their rather heated exchange. I sure hope they work it out.... 

"Dancer" and "Priscilla"

I love doing boat reflections. The patterns intrigue me.
I also love to do cows still. To me they are such beautiful animals who give us so much. I'm planning on becoming a vegetarian and just do cow paintings.
I named this one after my sister. She didn't mind.

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Pepsi Blue"

#40 She's done! Watercolor on 300 lb. Arches CP paper. 15" X 43"

I am so pleased with her. There is a photo in my album of this young lady and i had wanted to paint her for a very long time. So glad i saved her for last as it was such a thrill to finish the long list of paintings with her. It is really the first figurative piece i have done and now i am thinking it will not be the last. Capturing people at work or play is quite fascinating to me.

Now i'm off to the framers with the last two. I hope all are well and
happily painting out there in Bloggerland.  It is close to -30 today so me thinks a wee coffee with sketch book and note pad sounds good. I have to do titling and pricing, which i can do at a Starbucks with my lap top. By for now! God bless everyone...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Etch A Sketch"

Can you find the "Etch A Sketch"? I really had no idea there would even be an Etch A Sketch here but it was just sort of there as i was painting. I love those little surprises. This was based on a doodle i had done in one of my sketch books. I've used up most of the sketch book ideas now. I'll have to replenish them soon. Still working on the young lady. It is becoming harder than expected to finish her as she is the last one. I've been thinking too much about the things that need to be done next week. Tomorrow is the last painting day. Thanks for dropping by! Cheers!

Friday, January 28, 2011


It's done! I put the last paint on a minute ago. This one went down kicking and screaming but as is most often the case when they are difficult, we end up liking them very much! At one point i was going to scrap it and start over. Now i am glad i did not do that. A teacher i once taught me that you can make something out of almost anything. If in the end you are still not satisfied you can cut it into strips and make really cool watercolor bookmarks. Hehe! I've not made any bookmarks yet but there are a few in the old folder that should be. I'm getting excited for the show. The paintings i've done are a lot different than the last showing. It is amazing to me to see where they go when one paints a lot!

Having a deadline is so good as it forces you to work when a lot of times you are wanting to do anything but paint. I think after the Opening i will have to find a new deadline. It will be difficult to start painting again i know but it is something i am determined to not let happen. We shall see. Now i have to finish the young girl i was working on and that will be it for now.
Blessings all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Almost done! I needed a wee break so thought i would share this near final stage. Now is the fun part where i can just sit and tweak things. The little people will be last. I have to finish the Pointe building and the street poles. The sky is done, foreground, buildings. They never really turn out the way i imagine them to. From start to finish things change along the way which is good as sometimes the painting knows better what it needs. I try to listen to it as i go and hear what it is saying. Next up is the finished piece. If i don't spill coffee on it or something like that. It's happened!


I am having fun with the WIP of the street and thought i would post this too. It is the last painting for the show and a subject i have not yet attempted. I had this photo for a while now and loved the light, and the way the young lady was standing. She was also not in the moment but far, far away and it really intrigued me. I am hoping to capture the dreamy state she was in and keep the light strong. I think it is almost complete and i am learning from this one that less really is more. We shall see! Blessings all.


I'm still plugging away at this which is good considering there was a point i thought it may not work. The colors were not working together. There was something not quite right and i had been unable to figure out what it was. So i washed off the sky, re-applied the masking, and went to work intensifying and adjusting the color relationships. The foreground i left alone as i was quite happy with that, the sidewalk was too gray and unappealing so i added color and swatches of blue for sparkle, the buildings needed depth so i washed over them with blues, yellows and greens. Then i darkened the buildings near the end of the street so they would recede more. The focal point of this piece is the Pointe building on the corner which will receive different treatment than the others. I still have much to do. The little people, the starry sky, some highlights on the clouds, the windows and such. I'm pleased with where it is going and can "see" the result i want which was not the case two days ago.

This is number 39 and i have 40 on the go. Four more painting days left! There is no pressure now and i'm having fun once again. There may even be time to try an acrylic or two. I'd love to have a canvas in the show but i am not an acrylic painter and have that on my list of things to do when done with the Opening.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WIp 3

This is what it looks like with most of the masking removed. I left the masking on in the sky area and have to decide what to do there. I've also done some more in the foreground and with the buildings. I think there is still hope and i am seeing some positives. It is really too early to know if it is going to work out or not. One never knows! At the very least the process is one of exploration and i learn from each of these whether they are "train wrecks" or frame worthy art. We shall see. I think i will put this one aside now and work on another until i figure out where to go next.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have now done three passes on both the sky and the foreground. To create the impression of a sidewalk i just avoided the area that would be the curb. The sidewalk surface has the same colors as the foreground but grayed a bit with some blue. For the sky i was trying to get mostly violets and purples but it got a little dark on me which is okay. I'll add some red and blue highlights here and there. As i do the washes i am leaving small patches untouched which creates a patchwork effect somewhat like broken glass. I also put a single wash on the buildings, using yellow, blue and green with a little pink. Much more to do and this one takes time as i have to wait until everything is completely dry before going over it again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Okay, here is my WIP. The first image is a drawing of a local area in Calgary called Kensington. I make the drawing fairly whimsical. I have to start with something though, so i take a photo and work from that. Here i have masked all the buildings and the people as i am looking for an outline effect on the buildings. The people will get painted in last. 

Once the masking is dry i decide what my colors will be and begin by laying in large washes over the sky and then the foreground. For the sky i mixed five colors, three blues and two reds. I just let them mingle on the palette and dip into the different pools as i put the paint on from left to right. It is important to mix more paint than you might need. If you run out half way across it can be a bit of a problem. I had an instructor once who said "paint like a millionaire". I know now what she meant! 

For the foreground i mixed five separate pools of color again, two reds, two yellows and a blue.  I let them mingle and lay them in from left to right. I leave little patches of white in both areas and will use them later. Now i have to let it all dry really well before i go over it again. This is where i can pick up another painting to work on while i wait. Or do a blog posting. By for now!

"Hamlet On Wye"

"Hamlet on Wye" yet another place i might like to live one day. My daughter has struggles with Biology and told me that Fairy Tales are more real to her than science and can't understand why they need to know all that stuff. I have to agree. Fantasy is far easier to understand. This is not #39 but i took a wee break and thought i might post one more. I might try a WIP. Stay tuned!


This is "Qanuk" which means snowflake in Eskimo. 8 more painting days now with two left to do. Looking forward to next week when we can set up the show and see it all together. Then wait for folks to show up and hope there is  not a blizzard that night. My wife says i am like "Puddleglum" the Marshwiggle in C.S. Lewis's "The Silver Chair"! I would have to agree. If i booked a flight to San Diego there would be a huge snow storm that day and all flights would be cancelled. Smile! That actually did happen.

Now this rambling is because i have been in the studio for three months straight and need to see something other than a palette and a brush. But number 39 & 40 await, so I will have to postpone outdoor pursuits for a bit yet.  I am quite excited about these last two though and hope to pull them off. Okay, back to work.  Blessings always.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Thought i might post this little gal real quick as i just think she is such an adorable little pup. I love painting dogs but found Bull Dogs to be more fun than any other! That is for now at least until i do a Whippet or something like that. Smile! What the heck, they are all fun and different. This one is 21" X 21" on my usual 300 lb. Arches Cold Pressed. Okay, now i have to get back to work as there are only 15 more days for me to paint and i still have four to do. A couple of them are not cooperating just now. I'll keep on them till there is a sign of life. By for now. Blessings all.

"It's Where We Live"

This is another painting i did as a tribute to a great Alberta Artist; Janet Mitchell. Her work has inspired me most of all i think and greatly influences my own paintings. I love the childlike, whimsical qualities in many of her paintings of local areas and settings. She lived in Sunnyside, an older neighborhood in Calgary which is where i based this piece. There is an old corner store there like the ones you used to see everywhere before the chains took over. I hope to do a series of paintings depicting the "Corner Store" before they are all gone. That could be a good project for when the Opening is over. 15 days till show time! I have four more to complete then my brushes take a rest.  Yahoo!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"South Middleton"

Just finished this one about an hour ago. I am trying to take photos of them right away, title them and file them away as soon as they are done so i do not lose track. The other day i took a bunch to the framers and realized i had not done the filing and titling etc. Got too hasty i did. 

I tried different color combinations with this one and found it to be quite lively when done. I enjoy experimenting with different colors and mixes. That is my main focus when i paint. Layering in bright vibrant color. I enjoy seeing how they react next to one another. This painting is 7" X 29". 

It is late and i am fading as the gallery has been my home for many days now. Might have to call it a day. Good night all and God bless.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Mill Street"

This little street was compiled to fill an odd sized piece of paper i had laying around. It is 6" X 29". I think the format works well because folks will often have an odd wall or wall end they cannot really do anything with. It was mucho fun to do and there are two more in the works in similar formats. A winter scene, and a summer scene. Tonight there is an opening at the gallery and i am holed up in the basement wanting to paint but think it may be a bad idea as there are many art officienados milling about. The folk club sounds like a good alternative for me just now so i shall bid you adieu and go listen to some great music. An artist has to re-fill those idea wells you know.  By for now all, God bless and happy painting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We have a white Boxer at home my daughter calls LaLa, short for Bella. I liked the nickname and thought this little gal could be a "LaLa". I think this is my favorite to date and love how cuddly she looks. Makes me want to run right out and buy a white bull dog puppy. Dog paintings are fun to do and i find they afford the opportunity to play with some whimsy in the backgrounds and such. The folds in her face were a challenge and the blankets were a similar process to the puppy which i found to be an interesting process. Only 22 days now till show time and i am working on number 35 just now. Will have to post some more soon.  Hope all are well and happily painting. Blessings always.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go! Hehe! That's about where i'm at just now. There's many more i would love to do but only enough time for the four i most need to have done. Show time is in 24 days and counting. I have 32 in the bag. It's off to the framers now, and he is always so happy to see me these days. The framer i have is excellent and reasonable too, which be so important when framing 30 or more. Yikes! Scary thought actually. My credit card is rather hot these days. Hopefully enough sell to pay for the frames at least. Ahh, the life of an artist. Can't be beat. Cheers everyone. Until next time!