October 31, 2010

Feeling Foolish

Happy Halloween!  We have survived the excitement for another year.  Now just to enjoy the mountain of candy.  One thing about living in the country is that our neighbours are so pleased to have trick or treaters that they make up a bagful for each kid who lives here!  Yikes!  Good thing our dentist does not read this!  But really, I am not complaining.  Our neighbours are so generous to us in so many ways, and it is fun to do the rounds with the kids.  Before I know it, the idea of going around with Mom on Halloween will be scarier for my kids than any ghost story!  So until that time, we have a blast!

Back to painting...

I recently upgraded to a newer computer, with a different operating system and lo and behold, discovered that somehow I could no longer upload pictures onto Blogger.  Or so I thought....  Here I am now figuring it out!  Hooray!  How silly of me!

So what have I been up to in the intervening time?

I have added a new collection of paintings to my poppybalser.com website, with the self explanatory title of Small Works under $100.  Check it out, there are some new works there.

Foggy Morning at the Marina, 5 x 7", watercolour

I also have started a new blog within that website, click here to access the blog.  You can read about the wave paintings that I have been working on and a little bit about New Brunswick herring weirs.

Leave a comment on either spot, let me know what you think.  Is there one format that you prefer over the other?  Will you be likely to visit two blogs to read what I am up to?  Or does it seem like too much bother?  I am curious to what your response will be.

October 17, 2010

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October 2010

Painting Contest by




Artist Websites

Here it is, contest entry time again.  If you would like to see this painting at the top of the list of popular entries, please click the "like" button.  And, in the category of breaking news, my entry from last month has qualfied as a Favourite 15% Finalist in the September Bold Brush Competition.

FAV 15%

September 2010


Art Marketing Newsletter

October 14, 2010

Guess Who Painting

Deer Island Weir, 5 x 7", Sold
This painting is a watercolour on paper, mounted on a canvas and varnished for protection with UV protective varnish.

It is my donation to the (now past) Guess Who event at Sunbury Shores arts and Nature Center in support of children's art education in St Andrews NB.  Click here to read more about the event (which was a lot of fun, by the way!) 

October 13, 2010

More red rowboats in the Bay of Fundy

Red Rowboat sketch 6

Red Rowboat sketch 7

These are the two small (5 x 7") sketches that I prepared for my client.  She chose the lower one for me to go on with.  I scaled up my drawing, manipulating the horizon a bit, and painted the final version:

Red Rowboat in Racquette Cove, 14 x 21", Sold

It has been approved and delivered.  The recipient expressed pleasure, and the artist is happy!

October 8, 2010

Red rowboat sketches II

Red Rowboat I, 10 x 7", watercolour

After having made some thumbnail sketches, I started working in colour.  I did three 7 x 10" paintings, each showing a different view of the painting. The above painting I did three times before I got it right.  You will not see the first three here as they were not satisfactory.   

This one is not what my client had ordered but I had been fascinated by the reflections of the boat in the water and the play of light on it's side.  You can click the title of this painting and the one below to view them on my online studio website, http://www.poppybalser.com/ .

I was pleased with how the trees reflect in the water around the boat in this one. 

I showed the three above to my client and she chose the last of the three, but asked if I could not include some sky in the picture as well.  So back to the drawing board and some more sketches for her to review.  You will see them soon.

In the meantime I did this larger painting to satisfy my own esthetic.  Obviously, it is based on the third of the smaller sketches.  I wanted to expand on that theme, seeing how it looked in a larger view.  This was valuable preparation for when I created the final peice.

Rowboat in the Raquette, 14 x 21", watercolour

This painting represents a step forward in my ability to paint rocks.  I have struggled with painting rocky beaches for years, never being quite satisfied with what I managed to portray.  Finally, though, I feel that the beach in this one turned out well. 

October 7, 2010

Red Rowboat sketches

I was asked to paint a picture of a rowboat that is moored each summer in one of the small bays in the town of Digby.  I have wanted to paint this for a while as it is a pretty little rowboat.  It is bright red and often sits in the waters reflecting the green of the trees and reeds around it.  (Red and green are complementary colours and the red of the boat stands out quite dramatically against the greens which predominate in our summer)

I started with the requests of my client who wanted a picture of the boat when the tide was coming in with the water halfway up under the boat. She hoped that I could include a line of white at the edge of the water, which she she has observed is a means of determining if the tide is coming or going.  Armed with this I spent a couple of weeks chasing the tide and the weather.  I had to get good photos to work from as this was a surprise for her spouse, who would be able to see me painting if he passed by the beach where I would be working.  It was astonishingly hard to get the right combination of good weather and the right tide at the right time of day.  The best time of day would be early morning or later in the evening as the light would be coming in sideways and highlighting the side of the boat.

I made several trips and got photos of the boat on the sand, the boat in the water and the boat in the middle of the day.  But none that matched what I was looking for.  In the end, in desperation, I dragged the kids along with me when conditions were good and got a few photos that I thought that I could work with.  I almost missed the tide as it was as I had to disentangle a child from the pile of rocks that he was climbing...  However, now I had something I could work with.  (Distraction with bagels from Tim Hortons helped this trip immensly, it was only when they were done with the bagels that the mountaineering began!)

Then I started doing thumbnail sketches, and here they are:

Because I had a few that looked promising, I then started doing some colour sketches.  I will post them in the next day or so.

October 6, 2010

Fall Colours Dahlia Completed

Fall Colours Dahlia, 10 x 14", watercolour
Private Collection

Here it is complete.  It has been delivered and the recipient is very pleased.  Hooray!  I have completed three commissions in the last month.  I will begin a post about another of them tomorrow, showing you the steps from sketchbook to completed painting.