Tag: fine art

Toad with Mushroom

Photograph of Toad with Mushroom 2015

Living in the country, there is so much wildlife to appreciate.

Like this cute little American toad, I only noticed because of the lovely mushroom it happened to be beside. We are so fortunate to live in an area full of these creatures. The evenings are loud with their calls echoing through our part of the Ottawa valley.

I liked this picture so much, and still determined to work with acrylic, I tried it on some art paper.

I decided to go with less detail, I sketched the toad and mushroom with a few leaves and some blades of grass. After adding some acrylic paint, I inked the Toad and Mushroom to pop them out.

Thank you to Stephanie Haas, for her help in identifying the American Toad.

“Please Save the Orangutans”


Orangutan Foundation international Canada


Orangutan awareness week – Nov 4-10, 2018!


I have always wanted to challenge myself with a large painting. So after finally being able to purchase some on sale in 2015, I was ready. After deciding on Orangutans, then looking through many posted images. I settled on a mother with a baby on her back.


Orangutans Source Photo

I began the process of enlarging the photo by using the grid method. Sketching and shading the orangutans onto the canvas, it had begun. A little intimidated, I started with the background, following the rules of back to front, light to dark, thin to thick using many layers of oil paint.I left the orangutans pencil grey at this point. Many people thought it was finished, it was quite striking.

Being such a large canvas, I found my easels were very flimsy for the task of holding the 3ft x 4 ft canvas. So I really had to hold on as I painted, which is very challenging, especially when i paint all sides of the canvas.

I have had many life distractions, including other art related projects in between the many layers added. For Christmas 2017, I was given a new bigger easel, which arrived in Jan 2018. I never really had a chance to put it to use, until recently. So after testing it out with the Horse, it was finally the Orangutans’ turn.

While working on the Orangutans, I was made more aware of their plight. I discovered how many products I was personally using that contained palm oils. We made a huge effort to read all labels and avoid even more products. As we had also changed our eating to vegetarians, due to food allergies, we found our list of things to avoid growing.  We try to cook all our food from scratch and purchase as much locally as possible. A great site helping organize that info is Better World Shopper.

I would like to bring attention to a wonderfully animated video that was banned for being too political, regarding the struggle of the orangutans, now on YouTube.

Orangutan Awareness Week 2018

2018, oil, not done

Horse 2018

still wet

So after a very long 2018, I found some time this weekend to look at my paintings. These big canvases require lots of paint and time to spread it across their canvas.

The Prancing Horse painting is large at 2ft by 3ft.

It was wonderful to see the clouds form in the sky, the trees in the background pop out and the fences take form.

The grass and dirt under the horse started to deepen, and finally more colour to the body of the horse. I didn’t feel it had really blended well, after all it had been a few years since it had a layer added. I decided it needed a linseed wash with more fur colour. The overall effect smoothed the previously added paint (from the night before) and softened the overall look. One of the many reasons I love working with oil paints, is that ability to go back within the day and still blend!

Now it is drying on the wall for at least 5 days, waiting for the final details to the mane and eyes.