Frozen Toes and Winter Paintings

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One of the few outdoor activities I enjoy in the winter is painting. In Canada, many plein air artists stick to the warmer seasons; I am the oddball. I do require a few ‘extras’ to help make it more bearable though. I’ve frostbitten a few toes, so now I use heated insoles. I also keep heated handwarmers in my pockets; I can only use thin gloves so I can grip my brush better. Finally, I make sure to have a hot thermos of coffee at the ready. Winter painting is challenging, but there’s a big advantage – no bears! Still, I’ve tried to convince friends to join me often, but with little luck. Granted, on the colder, windier days sometimes I wimp out and just paint in my car!

This winter, I added a new pochade box to my collection! For my non-artist friends, a ‘pochade’ is a special palette and easel designed to sit on a camera tripod. Most artists have a few, as each box usually has a limited number of painting sizes for which they’re suited. I have two, on which I can paint smaller pieces. I wanted to start working much larger though, so required a pochade with a larger space for mixing my paint. I asked my my uber-talented artist friend, Hermann Brandt if he could help. Hermann lives in Cochrane AB, and is not only a painter, but also a sculptor and woodworker too. Hermann’s answer was a palette that sits on the legs of my tripod. I then have a separate piece that sits on top of the tripod and holds my painting. I’d been looking for a similar style, but they were all too heavy and cumbersome. Hermann’s palette has worked like a dream, and I was able to support a fellow artist and our local economy. Win-win-win! Plus, it’s pure maple wood (how Canadian can you get!?) – look how beautiful…

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If you’re interested in having Hermann build you something similar, contact him at: www.hermannbrandt.com or by phone: 403-604-2394.

Here’s a few of the winter painting excursions that kept me busy this year.

A cold day at the beginning of January. Here I’m painting with my ‘Guerilla’ pochade box. It was such a windy day; hiding beside a grove of trees. But I had to paint that day because the hoar frost covered trees were irresistible.

These two images are from my new palette’s inaugural painting days! For most of our winter, we enjoyed unusually warm and sunny weather. This location is west of Calgary, just off Coalmine Road. My new palette worked like a dream. Highly recommended!

And then there’s the days where you forget your tripod – d’oh! Luckily my car has a hatch, so I was able to set my pochade in my lap and still get some work done.

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A blustery day that was threatening snow. And within an hour or two of finishing this sketch, the snowstorm hit. It ‘grounded’ my plein air excursions for the following week or two; was glad I got out to paint when I did.

And then the end of February finally came and I was off to Mexico!!

From Left to Right: 1) Painting at the beautiful Casa Buena Art Retreat – just a couple hours north of Puerto Vallarta in the Riviera Nayarit. Owner Jane Romanishko hosts many workshops all winter long for frozen Canadian artists to enjoy. Thanks Jane!! Highly recommended. www.casabuenaartretreat.com 2) Painting boats near San Blas; afterwards we were enjoying cervesas and lunch at Casa Manana restaurant… I have such a rough job! 3) First rule of plein air… never ever leave your easel unattended! Here I am, caught red-handed defacing a fellow artists canvas. Of course he hadn’t started painting on it yet – I do have *some* professional standards. And we both paint in oil, so it was easily wiped off. 🙂

Since I’ve been back home from Mexico, we’ve been enjoying an early spring. Hopefully my next months of plein air will be filled with greenery, flowers and warm weather. Thanks for reading; until next time,

Cheryl Peddie

Je T’aime France

I just spent the two most glorious weeks ever, in France. I joined the ‘Monet Immersion’ artist’s retreat planned by the Colorado based company, ‘My Art Trip‘. It was a great choice. Owner Sue Ann Humm, and Instructor Susan Rubin were great hosts. Friendly and knowledgeable, these ladies had no end of interesting tours and day trips we could take, and offered us lots of flexibility for free time to paint also. I was traveling solo, and always felt relaxed, happy and safe. The other artists on the tour were a joy to meet and paint with; I’ll be keeping in touch with many of them.

We arrived and painted in Paris for three days, then for seven days in the little town of Giverny. Perhaps you haven’t heard of this town – many folks I told about my trip didn’t, either. So why did I choose it? Because it is the home of Claude Monet’s famous gardens. I could talk for days about all the beautiful colour, architecture, food, and new friends I met on my trip. However I’d prefer to share a few of the plein air paintings I created along the way – I think they say it better than I ever could.

Thanks for stopping by and viewing my work.

Winter Light

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Winter Light – 14″x18″ oil on birch

WEEKEND UPDATE: I regret to share that I’ve come down with my inevitable winter cold, and won’t be able to attend Lineham House Galleries in Okotoks to paint today. There’s lot of other artists working there today though, so please do consider visiting – it’s a special gallery. I’m sure you won’t regret the trip!

Lineham House Galleries
33 Elma St W, Okotoks, AB
Open 11am-5pm

WHAT’S NEW ON MY EASEL – ‘WINTER LIGHT’ 14″x18″ oil on birch, above.
Wanted to share a taste of the wintery scenes I’ve been working on in my studio.  This is a painting I have attempted in previous years but never finished. I could never come up with anything that had the special glow of light that I saw while first painting in the area – until now. I’m very pleased to have completed ‘Winter Light’ this week, and it is available for sale. Price: $700 Framed; $525 Unframed.

It is oil so will require time to dry before it can be delivered, but it will be ready in time for holiday gifting.  For inquiries about ‘Winter Light’ or others, please call me at 403-201-6532.

Painting Demo & Upcoming Workshop

SPECIAL EVENT: PAINTING DEMO – SAT NOV 18!

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‘There is a Season’ 11″x14″ oil – Available at Lineham House Galleries, Okotoks – $425

Join me and a fine group of other artists at the Lineham House Galleries on Sat Nov 18 from 11am-5pm. We will be helping kick off the ‘Light Up Okotoks’ celebrations by painting live throughout the day! I have a selection of my artwork there for their latest art show. And of course the gallery is full of beautiful paintings, jewellery, textiles, sculpture and more. All by local area artists and artisans. This is a 110-year-old Historic Alberta Home that has been restored to its best. It’s’ worth a tour just for the architecture alone.

DATE: Sat Nov 18, 11am-5pm
ADDRESS: Lineham House Galleries
33 Elma St W, Okotoks, AB

For more information: visit www.facebook.com/events/linehamhouse or www.linehamhousegalleries.com/


UPCOMING ART WORKSHOP – ONLY 3 SPACES  TWO SPACES LEFT!!

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Sandy Beach Park – 16″x9″ – Collection of the Artist (NFS)

Are you an artist who would like to improve or begin painting winter landscapes? Join me at my Winter Landscapes Workshop for Oils & Acrylics. You will learn how to use your whites to create better depth, light, and shadows! Also you’ll learn how to successfully handle bare trees, water and ice more confidently. This small-group workshop (8 students max) begins on Fri Nov 24 from 6-9pm – I’ll be doing a painting demo (refreshments and snacks provided) and discussing some of what you’ll learn over the weekend. Then you’ll be painting on Sat & Sun Nov 25-26 from 10-4pm each day. To learn more visit: https://cherylpeddie.ca/cheryl-peddie-workshops/

DATES: Nov 24 (6-9pm), Nov 25-26 (10-4pm each day)
LOCATION: Kensington Art Supply, 6999 11 St SE #120, Calgary, AB
FEES: $250 includes demo & refreshments
TO REGISTER: Call me at 403-201-6532 – ONLY 2 spots left!! Visa & MC welcome.

What’s on my Easel and More…

ART SHOW:

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‘As Seasons Change’ 12″x16″ oil by Cheryl Peddie

This will be a busy weekend enjoying and creating art for me. The Group Show ‘Gathering In’ will be opening at Lineham House Galleries, Sat Oct 21 from 11am-5pm. Address: 33 Elma Street, Okotoks AB. The show features artwork that has ‘harvest’ as its theme. I hope you’ll have some time to take the show in, and see my artwork that I created around this concept. For more info please visit:  www.facebook.com/linehamhouseokotoks/ My painting above, ‘As Seasons Change’ will be one of those featured.


PAINTING DEMO:

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One of my painting demos from this summer; Painting ‘Live’ at Just Imajan Gallery in Cochrane Alberta for Canada Day.

Also on Saturday, from 11am-1pm, I’ll be doing a painting demo at Kensington Art Supply. Address: 6999 – 11 Street SE. I’ll be creating a new autumn themed landscape in my alla prima impressionist style, and chatting with the audience about painting while I work. Hope you’ll join us. For more info please visit: http://kensingtonartsupply.com/kas/saturday-october-21-alla-prima-demo-with-cheyl-peddie/


UPCOMING ART WORKSHOP – ONLY 3 SPACES LEFT!!

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Sandy Beach Park – 16″x9″

Are you an artist who would like to improve or begin painting winter landscapes? Join me at my Winter Landscapes Workshop for Oils & Acrylics. You will learn how to use your whites to create better depth, light, and shadows! Also you’ll learn how to handle bare trees, water and ice more confidently. This small-group workshop (8 students max) begins on Fri Nov 24 from 6-9pm – I’ll be painting a demo and discussing some of what you’ll learn over the weekend. Then you’ll be painting on Sat & Sun Nov 25-26 from 10-4pm each day. To learn more visit: https://cherylpeddie.ca/cheryl-peddie-workshops/.https://cherylpeddie.ca/cheryl-peddie-workshops/  TO REGISTER CALL ME AT 403-201-6532 – ONLY 3 SPACES LEFT!!

Just Plein Fun

Up until 2014 much of my artistic practice revolved around still life, urban scenes, floral and interiors. However at that point, my focus took a radical turn. I’ve turned into a devoted landscape painter because I learned to paint ‘en plein air’.  For newbies, ‘plein air’ basically means painting outside from life. I began painting plein air by taking a workshop in Jasper from artist Liz Wiltzen. After that I was hooked.

I’d tried painting landscape from photos for years. But I never was able to achieve what I was hoping. My colours were always off and nothing I created felt ‘real’. I wrote the genre off, thinking I just wasn’t a landscape painter. Was I wrong. Once I began painting outside, away from photos, I could actually see the real colours I was trying to capture. And even better, I was part of that image – it was all around me. I could see, hear, taste, smell and feel everything. What a difference. Now I can’t imagine working exclusively from a photo because it’s far too limiting. Below are a few of my most recent plein air works – I hope you enjoy.

PS – If you’re an artist and would like to take a plein air workshop from me, visit my Workshops page. I have a class lined up for the end of July in Calgary. I hope you can join me.

 

 

 

New! The Painted House

The latest genre I’ve been enjoying painting is ‘street scenes’, aka (to the artsy set) – ‘urban landscapes’. My passion for them started in 2015, when I painted a series of street scenes in small towns around Alberta. My year culminated when I painted a collection featuring Calgary’s neighborhood of Sunnyside. The collection was a great success at my end-of-year showing at ‘Framed on Fifth’ Art Gallery. This summer, I’ve been creating a collection of urban paintings of the town of High River, just south of Calgary.

An Interesting Turn of Events

Once I looked at both collections as a whole, it became clear that my paintings weren’t completely as I’d expected. (You’d think I’d have been more conscious of this shift as I was actually painting…but I wasn’t. Such is the life of an artist!) I’d thought I would be painting broader scenes filled with lots of buildings, people and ‘busy-ness’. However, most of the paintings I had created were of individual homes and businesses.

Yet for some reason, instead scolding myself for venturing so far off course (as I’d normally do) I realized I hadn’t made a mistake. These paintings were exactly as they should be. They weren’t street scenes at all – they were portraits!

As portraits, the collection of work suddenly makes sense. I have always been drawn to more intimate subject matter, with a shorter depth of field and design that minimizes distracting backgrounds. Seeing the paintings as portraits enabled me to see the next step I needed to take…

‘The Painted House’ is born

This next step is to offer custom home or business portraits. And so I’ve created ‘The Painted House – Custom Home and Business Portraits’. I adapted the name from the Victorian and Edwardian houses called ‘Painted Ladies’. These homes were painted in multiple colours to enhance their architecture. I adore character architecture and colour is an important key in my artistic style, so the name suited both me and my art.

If this sounds interesting, please read more about my process and how you can order your own Painted House here.

Hazy Days of Spring

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My newest painting is fresh off the easel. ‘Hazy Days of Spring’ grew from my obsession with painting the earliest spring greens I could find. I spent weeks going out to paint ‘plein air’ (ie in the outdoors on location) trying to catch those first soft green leaves. They looked like a soft haze over the treetops. Just a whisper of green – so delicate and lovely.

We had a particularly early spring this year in the foothills, so I got an early start to plein air season! I was delighted to catch those first days of hazy spring greens, and this is one of the resulting studio pieces from the images and paint sketches I developed.

I painted ‘Hazy Days’ on birch panel. I first coated it with multiple layers of gesso to create a good tooth for the oil paint, and for longevity. This is a new surface for my larger work. I often paint on panel when working plein air, so I thought I’d try it for my studio pieces also. It enabled me to create a wide variety of edges, strokes and finishes. Plus, its sturdiness held up to my scribbles and any kind of strength of brush stroke I threw at it. A beautifully versatile surface which enabled me to keep a loose feel, despite the larger size.

Here are a couple of details…

WET PAINTING SALE
If you’re interested in taking this painting home, it’s available today for a special one-day price. Click here for details.

Thanks very much for visiting,

Cheryl Peddie

Springtime, Where are you?

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Love Grows Best – 18″x24″ Oil by Cheryl Peddie

I am so sick of brown and bare trees. Unfortunately, I’m finding nothing inspiring about the drab greys, browns and cold winds outside. And the kicker is that without any leaves on the trees, the city noise is inescapable at my house.

Staying creative is tough when our environment doesn’t cooperate. It can drag at our moods, pulling us down into long days of low productivity. It’s a challenge to resist the pull, but it’s also a necessity. Not just because there are still shows to prepare for, or client deadlines to meet. I used to rely on those kinds of pressures to – well, bully myself into productivity. I think there’s a better way though. And frankly, there needs to be. Those hard-hearted tactics never work for long. Once the inevitable post-deadline crash comes, you’re sucked down into low productivity again – from sheer exhaustion.

So, I know what doesn’t work. What does work? For me, the answer is still a work in progress. Lately I’ve been scheduling sketches – no bigger than 5″ square – into my mornings. I’m doing them to give my creativity a chance to wake up for the day. Fortunately I love painting on small canvasses. It’s a skill I stumbled into early in my career. It’s a very peaceful, gentle way to start the day. And once I’m finished I’m better able to begin tackling a large commission, or sorting out some tricky perspective in a larger work that is ongoing. If you’d like to see and/or purchase some of my morning sketches, I’ve created a new page here on my website where you can do just that. Have a look at: cherylpeddie.ca/cheryls-art-shop/

I’d love to hear from other artists – what tricks do you use to keep you productive in studio?

Thanks for stopping by,
Cheryl

The ‘Sunnyside’ of the Street – Artist Opening coming up

SunnysideShow-FoFMy newest solo show, The ‘Sunnyside’ of the Street’ is coming quickly. Please join me at my artist opening on Thurs Dec 3, from 6-9pm at Framed on Fifth, 1207 – 5 Ave NW in Calgary.

I’ll be featuring a new collection of paintings from the neighborhood of Sunnyside and Hillhurst at the show. I am  inspired by these heritage neighborhoods in our city. Their smaller yet lovingly cared for homes and gardens speak to me of the importance of simplicity and moderation. A time when we had front porch verandahs – because visiting with neighbors meant more than how many square feet our homes measured. Double car driveways and garages weren’t considered a necessity because we could walk most places we needed to go.

So join me for a little nostalgia, some penny candy, a cool beverage and some socializing. I’d love to see you and get caught up before the holiday season swings into gear. Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you on Dec 3. Best, Cheryl.