Way Up High and Far Away

Prairie and Foothills painting in oil
Way Up High and Far Away

‘Way Up High and Far Away’
24″ x 36″ oil on canvas by Cheryl Peddie

This view is looking west of Calgary, heading towards the foothills. The sun was up high in mid-afternoon, so it posed some interesting challenges with the temperature of light and shadow. As with many landscapes, one of the key things I looked for before I let myself say ‘done’, was that the land and sky were harmonious. Ensuring the colors in the sky are reflected in the land, and vice-versa ties the elements together and creates a cohesive, lively image.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Cheryl.

Hay Bales

HayBales-full_9437-webHay Bales – 11″ x 14″ oil on extra-deep gallery wrap canvas –
Southwest of Calgary, just off Highway 22 South –
by Cheryl Peddie.


This was one of those warm, late fall days in the foothills. The sun gets all glow-y, the mountain chill we usually get in the evening hasn’t settled yet, and it’s ultra-quiet. The kind of quiet you have to drag yourself away from, because you know the city noise must be faced in order to get home.

Day 19 – Painting for Parkinson’s – Can You Hear the Birch Trees Whispering?

CanYouHear-Trees_9272-web‘Can You Hear the Birch Trees Whispering? Evening is Here’
Near Highway 22 South, heading towards Turner Valley
11″x14″ unframed oil on extra-deep canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

This painting is SOLD!

New! I can also now accept credit card over the phone. And as always, cheques & cash.
Contact me directly at (403) 201-6532 or cheryl@emergecreative.ca Thank you!

I will be donating 50% of this painting’s sale price to the Parkinson Alberta Society!

Another sun filled image from my travels along Highway 22, down towards Turner Valley. I’ve spent many hours driving along this highway with my camera gear. It never fails to provide me with a collection of beautiful vistas and intimate, sunlit corners to express with my paints.

*Please note that as I create my paintings in oil, they require about 3-4 weeks to properly
dry and cure before I can safely deliver them. Thanks so much for your understanding!

Day 13 – Painting for Parkinsons’s – Worth the Wait – Prairie Shimmer


‘Worth the Wait – Prairie Shimmer
“11”x14″ unframed oil on extra-deep canvas
By Cheryl Peddie

This Painting has SOLD!!!

New! I can also now accept credit card over the phone. And as always, cheques & cash. Contact me directly at (403) 270-9755 or cheryl@emergecreative.ca Thank you!

I will be donating 50% of this painting’s sale price to the Parkinson Alberta Society!

Well it’s been a day of adapting and patience. But also one of great rewards. Although I am not in Calgary for the weekend, I am still bound and determined to continue painting and posting. I packed up all my painting gear with great care (or so I though) and safely stowed it in the truck. Only to wake up this morning and realize I forgot to bring my turps and walnut oil (a painting ‘medium’. We finally found an art supply store so I was able to get painting later on in the morning. The painting went great. I had heaps of fun again incorporating my new ‘intuitive painting style into my more traditional landscapes. I even broke one of my primary rules … I used teensy brushes! What a delight rebellion can be! I used them in an almost calligraphic way allowing them to sweep and curl across the canvas. It was a pure joy.

Even after I completed the painting, more patience was required. I began learning how to post on WordPress with my iPad. I can tell you that posting without a proper keyboard and with a hotel Wifi connection that is sketchy and slow as molasses does not jive when one is trying to hurry. But I’m almost there. The only thing I couldn’t manage was creating a link to PayPal. So I hope requesting that if you’d like to buy ‘Worth the Wait’ you give me a call on the good old-fashioned telephone, will suffice!*

*Update – Am now happily back in my studio in Calgary, and have been able to set up my PayPal link. Thanks so much for your patience!

Despite the glitches today, painting this little piece really was worth the wait. I hope you’ll agree. Thanks for reading, Cheryl.

Day 9 – Painting for Parkinson’s – End of the Day

EndoftheDay_web‘End of the Day’ – 8″x10″ Oil on Canvas – Not for Sale –
Late day view just off Highway 22, heading down towards Turner Valley, AB
by Cheryl Peddie

Sorry folks, I have dibs on ‘End of the Day’. It’s actually a very special painting; one I put off creating for a long time. I’d actually done the sketches for it in Sept, 2011. I hadn’t gotten it onto canvas yet, when my family called to let me know Dad had gone into the hospital. That’s where my sketchbook leaves off for that year, and Dad passed away two months later. I didn’t do another painting until January of the new year.

Oddly, I’d already named this piece ‘End of the Day’ when I’d originally done the sketches that September. But I hadn’t realized it would be the beginning of another kind of ending. As a result, I was apprehensive about finishing it. I’d love the image, but it brought back such sad memories. Such a difficult time for my whole family.

Yesterday was such a positive day for my project though. So many kind folks helping me get the word out, including Ellen Percival, with Calgary’s Child Magazine, Christina Rowsell, through her blog: The Brighter Side; and both Duane Schreiner, and Brandi La Bonte of the Alberta Parkinson Society. So I decided to try it, choosing to believe there was ever a day I could do it, it would be then. I could feel the support, generosity, and good will flowing freely. So, I got my brushes ready.

After I finished, I decided that this little painting needed to stay with me, in my house. And in that way I protect it, hold onto it and keep yet another little part of my Dad and me together. ‘End of the Day’ will hang beside many of Dad’s stunning photographer that grace the walls of our home. This one’s for you Dad. I really miss you. All my love, Cheryl.

* If you would like to help support the Alberta Parkinson Society, please either make a donation to them, volunteer, or consider purchasing one of my paintings – I’m donating 50% of all my sale proceeds to the Society this month.

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Galleria in Inglewood – All decked out
in Christmas tree finery. A selection of my paintings
are on the wall in the background.

All things ‘Christmas’ and myself get along really well. I don’t go crazy about it. I still wait til December to put up my trees. (Yes, plural) But I’m in love with it all, particularly the Christmas lights – that was my Dad’s and my favorite ‘thing’ together. So, since I’ve begun doing more art shows this year, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with doing Christmas arts and craft fairs. Well, some folks might say it’s more than a bit. I likely won’t argue. I am an artist after all. Which naturally entitles me to be a little … ‘quirky’.

Anyways I thought that with December coming up fast I should give you all the rundown of my remaining Christmas shows and demos:

Queensland Art Sale
Sat, Nov 24 – 9:00am – 5:00pm
649 Queensland Drive SE
For more details visit: www.qldartsale.com

What the Craft Artisan Fair
Sat, December 8th – 10:00am – 4:00pm
Bridgeland-Riverside Community Center (917 Centre Ave N.E.)
For more details visit: www.whatthecraft.ca

Painting Demonstration at Galleria in Inglewood
Sat, Dec 15 – 1:00 – 4:00pm
907 9th Ave SE, Calgary, AB – Tel 403-270-3612

And of course, my Wed afternoon art lessons have begun at Atlantis Fine Framing Studio. To register or for more information, call Atlantis Fine Framing at: 403-258-0075.

Hope to see you all some time through the holiday season. Thanks for reading, Cheryl.

Snow Day

Please note that due to bad weather conditions, this evening’s workshop has been postponed.

Wednesday Nov 7 – 6:00 – 9:00pm

Painting the Colors of Harvest & Autumn
Wine & Cheese Workshop
Tuesday Oct 23 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm  POSTPONED DUE TO SNOW

Join Cheryl Peddie for a workshop painting the colors of fall. Designed for beginning students in acrylic and oil, we focus on creating a supportive, relaxed environment for new painters. When you’re painting from photo references, it is easy to become overly focused on trying to reproduce colors only as they appear in your photo. However this can result in paintings that lack the airy freshness and light of the landscape you remember experiencing. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to visualize, mix and integrate those experiential colors into your landscapes. We’ll also cover how to incorporate and build on the light and shadow patterns in your composition. Cheryl will also do demos on her own canvas throughout the evening to help illustrate the concepts being explored. Bring a variety of photo references of fall landscapes, plus your painting supplies.
Location: Atlantis Fine Framing Studio – 4515 Manhattan Rd SE Calgary (AB)
To register: 403-258-0075
Workshop fee: $35.00 plus GST
Door prize: Set of two framed mini-paintings by Cheryl Peddie

The Journey

‘The Journey’ (Studio version)
24″x36″ Framed oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
By Cheryl Peddie

You might recognize this image, as similar to the study I’d posted earlier this summer, under the title ‘10,000 Hours’. In fact it is similar – this is a ‘studio version’ of that small study. I loved the little piece so much that I decided to do this larger version so I could immerse myself in the scene one more time.

In my post for the study, I know I spoke about how the hours we put into whatever it is we love doing is an important factor of success. However, I missed an important element. I learned about that element this week from my ‘life coach’. (Ahh jeepers, let’s be real. She’s actually my therapist.) And the part of the equation that was still eluding me was ‘belief’.

Turns out if I don’t really believe I’m capable of achieving whatever it is I’m putting in all those hours at my easel… well I might as well have been playing tiddly winks. Further, if I don’t really believe that I’m creating something special... something only I can do and that others might want around them… I likely won’t be able to convey it to anyone. It’s not just about logging the hours in front of my easel. Because when it is, I usually just ended up standing back with my hands in my pockets and separating myself from it because I’m too too shy to own it. Too scared of speaking to how it is a unique part I love about myself and my life. ‘Aww… it’s just putting in the hours … anyone could have done the same thing…’ I’d mumble to myself; or, ‘It was just a fluke… I’ll never be able to pull this off again…’.

Rather, It’s about believing in and owning the magic and uniqueness of who I am, of the fact that I am an artist. It’s about believing that it’s worthy to be shared. Believing that I am worthy of sharing it and of believing in myself. And believing that if I share it, others might believe in it – and me – too. This is why I paint. Thanks for reading, Cheryl.

Evening Calls

‘Evening Calls’
Glenbow Provincial Park, AB
11″x14″ Oil on stretched Galleria canvas
(extra deep for hanging without a frame)
– SOLD –

To purchase, click: www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/cheryl-peddie/evening-calls/87569

Evening Calls was a great learning opportunity for me. It taught me how repetition can enable us to learn about more about our capacity for creativity. And it taught me not to judge my ‘failures’ too harshly, because they’re usually what provide me the opportunity for my successes.

I began this piece long before I actually started painting on this particular canvas.  It began with my usual value sketch. Just a small 2″x3″ pencil sketch in my artist’s journal. And then, again as I usually do, I painted a small 2″x3″ color sketch of it. I decided to work this piece in a small format – just 7″x9″ on another canvas. After I finished it though, I just wasn’t that pleased with the result. It was a lovely enough painting I guess. But it just didn’t glow like I remembered the scene looked that evening.

Now, my typical working style is that I only paint one version of most of my references. In the 15+ years I’ve been painting I’ve found that a second attempt is rarely as successful as the first. I know a lot of artists regularly paint a study, often on location (ie ‘plein air’) and then a second piece in their studio.

I always found though that trying to create a studio version of a study was terribly unsettling. I could never recreate the feeling I had of discovering all the wonderful moments in the painting the second time, as I’d experienced painting the first canvas. The feeling of creating a second piece was never as spontaneous or fresh as the first. Also, perhaps worse, my perfectionistic and critical dialogue would spin in my head, pointing out all the places that didn’t look ‘the same’ as the study. I typically found it to be a frustrating and self-defeating exercise, and would rarely come out with a better piece anyways. And so I decided that this must just not be ‘my style of working’ and gave up on the idea of being able to create two, enjoyable painting experiences and as a result two uniquely lovely paintings, from the same reference.

However, this time was a little different. I’d put the original away for a few weeks; didn’t really think much of it afterwards short of feeling a little disappointed in it. However this time I’d scheduled to do a painting demonstration at Galleria in Inglewood shortly afterwards. I’d had a reference in mind that I wanted to paint, but for some reason that morning, I woke up not feeling like working on it that day. As I was preparing my supplies to leave I quickly changed my mind deciding to give my Glenbow study a second attempt. The result of my demonstration that day is the 11″x14″ canvas above named ‘Evening Calls’.

What a thrill! I actually was able to create a second painting that was (in my humble opinion), even better than the first! And the process was just as enjoyable – perhaps even more. I’d finally overcome my own roadblock. It enabled me to see that no matter how used to a working process we may get, we can always step out of it and end up with a great result. Sometimes it just takes time. Maybe sometimes it’s that the right time for us to learn something new hasn’t happened yet. I don’t really know how it all works I guess. And maybe sometimes it’s ok to not know. Sometimes it’s just about accepting yourself and the way you work each moment. And knowing that when it’s time to find a new way it will call to you itself, and show you the way.

This is another reason why I paint. Thanks so much for reading and for allowing me to share my thoughts and feelings with you about creativity and art. Happy day. Cheryl.

10,000 hours

‘The Journey’ – 7″x9″
Southwest of Calgary, AB along Highway 22
Oil on Canvas  • SOLD
by Cheryl Peddie.

My morning coffee didn’t do the trick today. As I found my eyes getting heavier, my motivation to get to the studio began to fade. Then my Monday morning blues hit. My brain began to whirl – why on earth was I trying to ‘be’ an artist in the first place – after all how many artists really get anywhere with their craft anyways? Isn’t this really just a pipe dream? And besides, after all the years I’ve been painting if my work was ‘good enough’ wouldn’t I be selling tons of it already? With these questions nagging at me, I went looking for some inspiration online. Happily I found it. But maybe not in the places one would expect. I found it in Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours. From his book ‘Outliers‘, the premise goes that it takes 10,000 hours to truly master a skill.

Well I thought, surely I’m nearly there. Even though painting was primarily just a hobby of mine for the first 7 years or so, surely the last few years of working at it more seriously have made up for it. And after that many years, wouldn’t my lack of results still prove that I should just hang up my brushes? Not being a math whiz I dug out my calculator. The results left me a little gobsmacked. Even with generous approximations of the number of hours I’ve spent painting over the last 15 years, my total came to just slightly over one-fifth of that golden 10,000 hour mark – 2640 hours to be ‘approximately exact’.

Although I was a little floored to realize I still had over 7000 or so hours to go, I also felt a little lifted. Suddenly I didn’t expect to ‘prove’ myself through the dauntingly blank canvas that waits on my easel. If it turns out to be a dud and ends up a frisbee, (hurtling through my studio towards the garbage can) it won’t mean I’m not a ‘good’ artist. It will only mean that being a creative person is a journey. A journey in which success doesn’t mean creating a masterpiece each time I step into the studio. Success means stepping into the studio. Every hour, every day, every week, every year.

In fact my whole thought process reminded me of a conversation I had with a fellow at Galleria, while I was doing a painting demonstration there this weekend. The nice man asked me if I believed that creativity and artistic talent was a ‘gifted’, innate thing, or if it was something that could be learned. I replied that I truly believed it could be learned. And that if there was a ‘gift’, I believed it was the gift of having enough desire for it. So much desire that we’re willing to spend enough time at our art to become proficient at it. I guess I should have taken my own advice!

So in contrast to how my morning began, I’m heading to my studio, anticipating success. Every hour of it!

PS – the painting above was finished just this past Thursday. (Hour 2635) Thanks for reading! Cheryl Peddie.