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.
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.
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.
My 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.
22″ x 28″ Oil on Canvas
by Cheryl Peddie
So glad this snow is on my canvas, instead of in on our sidewalks!
I will be painting live, from 12-4 pm at the: ‘High River High Tea’ Monday, May 19th Evanescence Art Gallery
61 8 Ave SE, High River, AB
Refreshments • Door prize • Fashion Show
Admission by donation
In order to attend, you must RSVP!
Tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone or by email with a credit card prior to May 17. 403-652-2512 or evanescencegallery[at]gmail[dot]com
‘Through the Forest and the Trees’
16″x20″ Oil on canvas by Cheryl Peddie. SOLD
This one brings a smile to my face because it is the product of some good-natured teasing by my framer. After doing a beautiful framing job on my last art show, Lead Designer (aka ‘The Framing Goddess’) Melanie Figueroa with Atlantis Fine Framing & Art Studio commented that all the pieces I’d done for this show, were either horizontals, or squares. There wasn’t a single vertically-oriented painting in the bunch!
I promptly got out a new canvas and painted this piece, to begin balancing things out!
Thanks for reading, it means a lot to me that you’re here.
I’m so pleased to have my work up at the Bee’s Knees Cafe for the next month. Thanks to co-owners Jessica and Barbara, and all the team there, for the opportunity. All my work there is for sale – all you have to do is give me a call and you can purchase your favorite painting over the phone. I take cheques, MC, & Visa. Stop by for a coffee and lunch and/or dessert. Their food is unbelievably delicious. Visit them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/pages/Bees-Knees-Cafe
The Bee’s Knees Cafe
220, 412 Pine Creek Road
(Near De Winton)
Thanks for reading; and check back soon – I’ll be giving painting demonstrations there this month – dates to be announced.
All my best, Cheryl.
I’m delighted to announce that I’m joining the team of talented teachers at Cochrane Arts Central this fall! First classes began yesterday – what a great group of creative students we have! Everyone was willing to try out new ideas and got lots of fun paintings done! And thanks so much to everyone there for making me feel so welcome! I’m teaching two weekly classes there: Tues afternoon 1-4pm, and Tues evening from 7-9:30. If you’d like to join us, please call Marla or Tanya at 403-932-3773.
I was first introduced to the Cochrane Arts Central team on Aug 25, at the 1st Annual Plein Air Challenge at ‘The Crossing at Ghost River’. The Crossing is a stunning corporate and event center, nestled into the glorious landscape northwest of Cochrane. I felt instantly at home amongst the warm camaraderie of the other artists and our hosts, not to mention the chipmunks and birds. Much to my delight, Marla Blackwell, owner of Cochrane Arts Central and I were both awarded with prizes in the competition. Marla and I received 2nd & 3rd places respectively in the Professional Category!
Our paintings from the competition will both be available for purchase at Cochrane Arts Central’s Gallery Grand Opening this coming Sunday, Sept 15 from 12-4pm. I’m looking forward to being there. The Gallery artists will be in attendance – hope you can join us and celebrate this wonderful center for artists in Cochrane.
Thanks so much for continuing to join me on my artistic journey. Best, Cheryl.