Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Couples - Belle and the Ghost

There is a playmobil ghost and a disney Belle figurine that have been sitting together on my mantle, casually put there by the kids but I kept thinking about them. This is the start of my idea for this series. I began to think of them as a couple, an unusual couple and this led to thoughts of other pairings.

I liked this idea because it seems like a natural flow from my last series where I made plants into romantic novel covers. I see these as being a snapshot or a novel cover into the imagined relationship of these people and animals.

Belle and The Ghost, 9" x 12" oil on canvas 2017

With this painting I work with the idea of solid and transparent and make a solid body and a ghost body. I like her long gloves that have her hand reaching to touch his heart. Her dress I imagined had a subtle plaid pattern in yellow and I love the fluid brushstrokes of those lines. I am thinking about life and death and loving being alive to the fullest because death is there beside you and you touch upon that idea but with gloved hands. Also there is just the fun thought of a women being in love with a ghost that she can see and talk with.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Couples - Mr. Dressup and The Fairy Godmother

I was thinking of the nicest people and how they should be together. I loved to watch Mr. Dressup draw. His house was so clean and calm. He had a great sense of humour and was very kind. I loved the non-scripted chatter between him and Casey and Finnegan - who was silent but communicated too. The Fairy Godmother never had a big roll but seemed to not judge but help out if one was in trouble.  She was very smiley too.  I think they would have a playful relationship. It is interesting that the photos of the puppeteer of Casey and Finnegan, Judith Lawrence, looks a lot like the Fairy Godmother.

Mr. Dressup and The Fairy Godmother, 9" x 12" oil on canvas 2017

I am riding this balance between real and drawing using outlining and shading so they are real people who have roots in drawings and drawing. I softened the background to have them magically pop forward. I researched 70's wallpaper to give it a subtle 1970's vibe and I put those colours in the background because these are my childhood characters. I lowered the neckline of Fairy Godmother's dress because it was god awful unflattering. Now she wears a low cut hoodie style dress.  The wand sparkles I repainted many times and then finally settled on bold chunky white strokes to make it the brightest spot of the painting so it would glow.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Mystery Botanicals Wrap-up

I am stopping the one a day Mystery Botanicals. It was great to paint in the Fall but it had a natural end with the weather getting cold, the variety of plants lessening and I just got a bad cold.

Thank you for all watching, liking and commenting. Best to you all. Brenna

Monday, 10 October 2016

Mystery Botanicals #34

Mystery at Lighthouse Point

While I paint I watch a cat 6 feet from me catch a mouse from our wood pile. It took the mouse in it's mouth and trotted home with it.

There are a few tiny flowers left in my yard. I use my rigger brush to make long flowing grass strokes and then balance icy blue vine leaves on top of them and through it all the tiny yellow dandelions poke their heads up. It is like a large wave of life is about to crash over them.

mystery botanicals #34 Mystery at Lighthouse Point, October 10,  2016 oil on canvas 9" x 12" overcast , 2h

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Mystery Botanicals #33


Thanksgiving dinner day! The house smells wonderful and outside is cold.

The cat owners, a family with 4 boys, saw the found cat poster. We gave them their cat back. It was a happy reunion as the cat was held in the teenage boy's arms and licked him. I am grateful we had time with the kitty, that I have time and supplies to paint and that I have a family to spend the holidays with.

These are garlic seeds they taste good when they are fresh. They hang like pine cones and the minty green background makes a holiday feeling. I like the downward droop of lowered expectations and the thin stems that cross two characters together.

mystery botanicals #33 Grateful, October 9,  2016 oil on canvas 9" x 12" sun and overcast mix, 1h

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Mystery Botanicals #32

The Allure of Mrs. Plum

This is our plum tree it has gone all pink. I have not painted just leaves in this series until today. They are just so flat I an not sure they will have enough interest on their own but the plum tree leaves are such an amazing pink that I jumped in.
This painting is pink. The two in focus leaves point at each other while their respective partners are unaware.

mystery botanicals #32  The Allure of Mrs. Plum, October 8,  2016 oil on canvas 9" x 12" sun and overcast mix, 2h

We still have the cat. We put up more posters today in case the rain washed out the others. We bought a harness and leash because the cat is getting cabin fever. Here is my daughter giving the cat a walk.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Mystery Botanicals #31


Today I thought I might stop the series because of the weather of snowy rains. This uncertainty made me unhappy and jittery all morning until I decided to continue. I am still curious of where this series will go with the fall landscape inside of me and in my yard. Must build a better painting hut the plastic is too noisy and hits me and my painting. The plastic flew completely away at one point and I felt so naked.

The grey sky chunks around in solid blocks so weighty on top of everything. The vines smear into each other and arch across the surface while our main characters are awkward, prickly and trying to get to know each other in difficult circumstances.

mystery botanicals #31  Unsuited, October 7,  2016 oil on canvas 9" x 12" snowy rains, 1 h