Friday, December 18, 2015

Poolside Peonies

Oil on gallery canvas (30 x 15 inches)

This is a larger piece that I completed a while ago.  I loved the way the peonies glowed in the sunlight and the contrast against the blue of the water and the greenery surrounding them.  It makes me think of summer as we draw nearer to the shortest day of the year.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Kitty

Oil on Gesso Board (10 x 8 inches)

One of the sweet sights at Christmas time is the cat frolicking ‘round the Christmas tree.  She’s matured past the stage of pulling the whole thing down, and usually just chills underneath.  But this time she seemed to be enjoying the sunshine while playing with something dangling from the tree.  So cute!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mysterious Fruit

Oil on gessoed panel (8 x 10 inches)

This is my version of chiaroscuro with fruit.  I liked the extremes of light and dark and the theatrical effect it had – very “mysterious” looking.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Silver Teapot

Oil on gesso board (8 x 10 in)

This is another of my vintage paintings and I really enjoyed the challenge of painting the reflections.  I decided to abstract the reflections completely since they were pretty much there anyway, with way too many unrecognizable items being captured by the silver.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Oil on cavas (5 x 7 inches)

This is based on a picture taken a couple of years ago on a visit to the butterfly conservatory in Cambridge, Ontario.  Although the photograph always seemed to catch my eye, I’m only just getting around to painting it now – so here it is, just a pretty little butterfly for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let's Play

Oil on Gesso Board (8 x 10 in)

Another one in my series of Coco portraits.  This is her come hither look which I’m sure is all too familiar to most cat owners – the look that says “don’t just stand there, come here and play with me!” which I usually succumb to since I am after all, there to serve.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Kitty in a Blanket

Oil on Gesso board (8 x 10 in)

This is my cat Coco when she was a “teenager” kitten.  As I painted her I noticed how her ears seemed just a big bigger than they are now – that stage where she hadn't quite grown into everything yet.  She’s still as beautiful as she was then, though maybe not quite as lively.  She just turned 15 this past August.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tulips from Above

Oil on Gallery Canvas (12 x 12 in)

When I bought these tulips they were not yet opened, but time got away from me and by the time I had a chance to photograph them they seemed to be past their “best before” date.  But viewed from above, I gained a totally different vantage point and idea for how to present them.  I was happy with the end result.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chocolate Surprise

Oil on Gesso Board (8 x 10 in)

Well the chocolates themselves weren’t a surprise.  I willfully and purposefully went out to the store and bought them, with the idea that I wanted to make another painting of chocolates since I so enjoyed painting this subject a few months back.  Plus they make for good eatin’.  The surprise is what’s inside the box.  I was hoping for pretty chocolates and that’s what I got.  To my credit the chocolates themselves are still here in that pretty little box, safely hidden away from the chocolate-devouring pack of wolves I live with.  Okay, so in reality I’m the chief chocolate-eating pack wolf, but I’m showing a great deal of restraint.  They’ll be gone tonight though …

Monday, November 9, 2015

Vintage CGE Fan

Oil on Gessoboard (14 x 11 in)

I spotted this great vintage Canadian General Electric fan at a huge and wonderful antiques and collectibles mall up in Barrie, Ontario.  I loved the combination of the brass coloured blades and cage against the black of the body.  Really enjoyed painting it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Snow Dog

Oil on Gesso Board (8x8 in)

These sled dogs just love to run and I thought the expression on this guy’s face reflected that joy.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Dancin' Shoes

Oil on Canvas (12 x 16 in)

These are my daughter’s shoes which I always found to be rather pretty.  Often spotted strewn across the floor anywhere in the house, they presented themselves as a potential painting subject one too many times, so here they are in all their glory.  Not sure I’d wear them for “dancin’”, but then I’m more of a sneakers gal anyway.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Set a Spell

Oil on Gesso Board (8x8 in)
Click Here to purchase a print of this painting

Remember those days when people sat out on their front porches in the evening and watched the world go by in peaceful respite?  … No, me either, but I’m pretty sure if you go back far enough in time, before the days of parking ourselves in front of the TV after dinner, there were those memories of sitting out, talking with your neighbours, watching the kids playing, and generally just chillin’.  I came across this scene in a pretty little village in PEI called Victoria By the Sea, in front of an Inn, and it just seemed to invite us up to take a seat and relax for a while.  We didn’t, because we were on vacation and had far too much to do (!) but I did take the time to snap a shot and here is the resulting painting.

Artist Spotlight Interview

Beachcomber (8x8 in) on Gallery canvas

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Vatican Guard

Oil on Gesso Board (10x8 in)
How to Buy Click Here

This is based on a picture taken by my daughter’s boyfriend during their vacation in Italy.  I loved the contrast of the lively colours of the guard’s uniform against the somber dark of the building in front of which he stands.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hockey Skates

Oil on Gesso Board (8x8 in)

My father was a professional hockey player in the NHL for a brief moment in time back in 1949.  He was born a hockey player, and as a very young boy, he woke early in the morning every day in winter to go out and practice his hockey skills on the frozen ponds nearby, before having to return home to his daily chores, and then head off to school.  Where hockey was concerned he was passionate and determined.

He had just begun his junior hockey career in the late 1930’s, but when war was declared he enlisted in the army around the time of his 18th birthday.  He came out of the army in 1945 as a Sergeant, but he also sustained a severe knee injury during his service which would dog him in all the years that followed.  Still, after the war his hockey career continued and with a lot of hard work he eventually earned a spot on the 1949 New York Rangers; however, remnants of the knee injury drastically shortened his NHL stint to less than one season.

Knee problems notwithstanding, Dad was still very much an able and talented hockey player and his contract was enthusiastically bought out by the Charlottetown Islanders of the “Maritime Big Four”, an extremely competitive pro league where the fans took their hockey VERY seriously.  There he assumed the role of team captain, earning the league’s MVP award.  As the years went by Dad’s career migrated from player to coach and player, successfully leading teams both in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island to winning championships.  When his playing days did finally end, he ran the Charlottetown Forum hockey arena, where he helped and encouraged many young hockey players to realize their potential.

By the time I came along, his days of playing hockey were all behind him.  As a very young child though, I remember him lacing up my skates for me and then his own, and leading me out onto the ice at the Forum, just the two of us and a metal chair that held me up and guided me on the little patch of ice that I dared venture around.  I was quite shaky on those skates, but Dad knew I could handle it.  He derived great satisfaction seeing each of his daughters take to the ice, although we would only ever be recreational skaters, and pretty average at that. 
I remember seeing his skates hanging in the back closet for many years after he had finally stopped lacing them up, at some point his injured knee having curtailed his ice time for good.  Eventually his skates were given away, leaving only my mind’s eye to tend to their memory.

Recently I saw this pair of old skates at an antiques and collectibles market; they took me right back to that rink, that moment when time slowed down, and it was just Dad and me.  I knew I would need to paint them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Native Mask

Oil on Gesso Board (8x8 in)

I came across this beautiful native mask in a shop in Old Quebec City this summer.  The store was full of lots of interesting things.  They had several native carved masks on the wall, but this one in particular caught my eye with all its bright colours.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sunshine Clementine

Oil on Canvas (9x12 in)

I was passing through my kitchen one cold January day and was stopped in my tracks by the winter sun bathing these clementine beauties in an orange-golden glow and sending the crystal reflections dancing across the island counter.  The challenge of capturing the crystal and the reflected oranges made this a particularly fun painting to do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Garden Faerie

Oil on Gesso Board (8x10 in)

I came across this little gal in yet another neighbour’s garden.  I was immediately charmed by her beguiled look as she herself seemed enchanted by the surrounding flowers and plants.  Her sweet expression earned her a place in my gallery. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Oil on Gessoboard (10x8 in)
Click Here to purchase a print of this painting

So it was a staredown.  Who would win?  I felt that I had won since I came away with several very useful reference shots of my kitty Coco.  Coco, being a cat, was certain that she had won by virtue of her indifference.  It’s a cat’s life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pink Peony Heart

Oil on Canvas (8x8 in)

This is another close-up of one of my favourite flowers, the peony.  My neighbour had a particularly nice crop of them this year and was kind enough to let me snap some reference photos of them while in bloom.  I love to work at capturing the light and shadow contrast as well as the subtle colour variations within the petals.

Friday, September 25, 2015

How Sad is that Doggie in the Window?

Oil on Gessoed Board (10x8 in)

While on a recent visit to Old Quebec City, we were walking down one of the many narrow cobblestone streets and came across this scene of a lonely looking hound, peering out the window, oblivious to all the people milling by.  He seemed to be looking for something; perhaps his master was overdue, thus his look of longing.  With the wonderful contrast of the dark interior against his golden fur, I just had to turn it into a painting.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Oil on Cradled Birch Panel (6x6 in)

You can just tell that the temperature of the water is not to his liking.  Didn’t stop him from bravely venturing in and enjoying the beautiful ocean.  Definitely cooler than pool water.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Harley's Nose

Oil on Gessoboard (8x8 in)

Another Harley portrait, this time from above, with her happy little face panting in the warm sunshine.  I liked this vantage point for the painting because it’s often how we see our pets, looking up at us in unrestrained affection, or in hopeful anticipation of a treat.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Proud Canadian

Oil on birch panel (10x8 in)
Not for sale

Harley is an adorable gal, the much-loved pet of friends of mine.  She didn’t care too much for having her picture taken, so again, it was a challenge to get a good reference picture to use for this painting.  But she tolerated me for a bit as she gazed out from the cottage deck on to the river below.  Alas, the moment was fleeting and she soon turned her attentions to other things, having something much better to do than to pose for the paparazzi. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Wheatley River Cow

Oil on panel (8x8 in)

While in PEI this summer we stayed with our good friends in Wheatley River and passed by this field of cows pretty much every day when we were out and about.  This lovely gal was good enough to stay put for a few seconds while I snapped a few photos of her.  The landscape was bathed in sunshine and the mood was leisurely and relaxed, just like this contented cow.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chasing Gulls

Oil on panel (8x10 in)

Again, while on recent vacation, I saw this beach scene with a young child chasing after the ever-present seagulls, which I had to paint.  It’s good to be young.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Garden Gate

oil on canvas (10x10 in)

This painting is based on a neighbour’s garden gate.  The knocker caught my eye as I was walking by, and although I thought it might be very challenging to execute (it was), as usual, it was a very enjoyable challenge.  It seems for me that the beginning of almost every painting starts out like a mystery as to how I will ever be able to approach the subject and capture what I want to capture about it.  I’m happy with how this turned out and that I managed to get to the end of the mystery …

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Basilica Angel

Oil on Gessoboard (6x6 in)
Not for sale

On my recent visit to Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful St. Dunstan’s Basilica which is right downtown Charlottetown.  The church graciously allows photography during visiting hours, and so I was able to take a reference shot of the lovely angel font at the front of the church.  I took some artistic liberties since in reality, the angel is not golden but a white alabaster.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Oil on Gallery Canvas (8x8 in)

My son had left his sunglasses lying around and when I spied them I thought they’d make a great subject for a painting, and made a mental note to do that.  The next day he told me he was heading out for the weekend to a friend’s cottage, so I grabbed the sunglasses and took a few reference photos to get me started with some ideas before he left with them.  Good thing I did, because when he got back at the end of the weekend, it turned out that he’d left the sunglasses behind somewhere, never to be seen again.  

Monday, August 10, 2015


oil on canvas (8x8 in)

On vacation I came across this scene that sent me back to my own childhood.  Memories of playing for hours in the sand and beachcombing for all kinds of treasures; shells, sea glass, pretty rocks, all the while trying to avoid the seaweed and jellyfish that also dotted the very interesting landscape.  I can still smell the salt water and feel the ocean breeze …

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lost in Thought

                                              Oil on gallery canvas  (8x8 in)

Sometimes I wonder what, if anything cats are thinking about when they have that faraway look on their faces.  But then I conclude they are thinking about whether they should get up and eat or just go back to sleep.  In this regard, I’m a lot like cats …

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Peony Bud

Oil on Canvas (6x6 in)

I was taking a picture of a much bigger bloom that was fully open, but when I saw this little guy hanging off to the side, I knew I had to paint it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ball Mason Jar

                                                       Oil on Panel  (9x12 in)

This is a painting I did for a Daily Paintworks challenge - create a painting with lettering or numbers in it.  I've been wanting to paint a glass jar so this fit the bill.  It was also a challenge for me to work on a flat panel rather than my regular stretched canvas support.  It took some adjustment to get used to the smooth and slippery surface, but I may become a convert!        

Friday, June 26, 2015

Coco in Repose

Oil on gallery canvas (8x8 in)
Click Here to purchase a print of this painting

This is my cat Coco who is not often cooperative when I attempt to get reference photos of her.  This time she seemed content to “vogue” for me on the chair.  This particular pose provided lots of light and shadow contrast which I really enjoyed painting. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Clouds In My Coffee

Oil on Canvas(10x10 in)

I found this little cup and saucer at a flea market and knew that the hobnail details would make for an interesting and challenging painting.  I hadn’t noticed it when I took my reference photos, but the coffee was reflecting the sky from the nearby window, thus the title, Clouds In My Coffee.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Stratford Swan II Alpha

                                            Oil on Canvas (10x10 in) 

Same Alpha swan from the Stratford, Ontario visit I mentioned yesterday.  This time he was heading back down the Avon River to order all the other swans around, in case they forgot who was the boss.  Nonetheless he was lovely to behold and definitely a great painting subject, cooperative or not.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Stratford Swan I (See Ya Later)

                                                  Oil on Canvas (9x12 in)  

I spotted this swan during a recent visit to Stratford, Ontario, a pretty little town about a one and a half hour drive west of Toronto.  This fellow made it clear that he did not want his picture taken and motored away along the Avon River at breakneck speed.  I managed a few pics anyway, and here is the resulting painting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Floral Abstract I

Oil on canvas (9x12 in)   

This piece was inspired by a beautiful peony that was blooming in a neighbour’s yard.  I usually stick to a realist style, particularly with flowers since they are so beautiful on their own, but I decided to push it to the abstract so I could exaggerate the lines and colours to push them further.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Oil on Canvas (10x10 in)  

Working again with the yellow cup and saucer here, I wanted to intensify the light and shadow contrast on the cup itself, so it was fun working with the varying depth of darks in the shadows, trying to get the shiny reflectiveness to come through.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sunny Fruit Bowl

Sunny Fruit Bowl  (10x10 in)  

This bowl of fruit just called out to be painted as it seemed to be lazily basking in the afternoon sunlight.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Teacup Meditation

                                              Oil on canvas (10x10 in)

I’m having fun exploring the tea time theme, especially with this particular teacup.  I find the yellow colour feels very relaxing.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rose Teacup

Oil on canvas (10x10in)   

This cup and saucer was a housewarming gift from a good friend many years ago.  I always thought it would make a nice painting with all the lovely roses on it.  It was challenging to capture the glow of the reflections on the side.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Which One to Choose?

SOLD (8x8in oil on gallery canvas)

A friend from France brought these beautiful (and delicious) Belgian chocolates back from a visit and I knew as soon as I saw them that I needed to paint them!  Thankfully I managed to get a few reference pics before the entire box was devoured …

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tea Break

Oil on canvas (10x12 in)

Growing up in the Maritimes as I did, more often than not you enjoyed tea from a young age. It's still such a comfort to sit down with a hot cup of tea for a little break from work or even better, visit with a friend.