Hazy Days of Spring

HazyDaysofSpring

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

In the Pink

In the Pink - 6"x8" oil on canvas
In the Pink – 6″x8″ oil on canvas

I believe that this is my favorite piece I’ve done in a long time. I love that I finally figured out a way to paint geranium leaves in a loose, colorful way. I always puzzled over how to convey their frilly and ruffled, yet substantial nature. I painted this small, 6″x8″ piece as a way to unwind after working on a larger canvas all day.

It felt so refreshing to just watch and feel my hands and body moving, pulling all sorts of fresh colors together. I love the blues, purples and hot pinks. And I love that i just let most of the brush strokes lay where they were. At first I thought they needed more; that they seemed just scribbled and unfinished. But I realized that they were deliciously, perfectly whole, just as they were.

I consciously resisted adding any more to them, and was thankful I stopped. I reveled in this self-acceptance. It was one of those times when I glimpsed my own knowledge and value. And all because I chose to trust in my own intuitive ability. This one’s gong to stay in my collection.

Thanks so much for reading. Cheryl.

Blossoms

Blossoms oil painting
Blossoms

Blossoms
12″ x 12″ oil on canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

‘Blossoms’ was a good lesson for me in judgement. Or, make that – a lesson for me in NON-judgement. I began this piece as a demonstration at Galleria in Inglewood – the gallery that represents me. I’d originally planned to do a more detailed still life of books and mugs on a shelf. It was a gorgeous summer day though; the gallery was playing awesome music and I just felt like painting from my shoulder. Maybe other artists know what I mean? Just splashing the paint on the canvas, Letting loose and piling on the pretty colors. ‘Blossoms’ was the result.

Trouble was, that the next day I looked over my canvas and thought ‘WTH IS this mess?!!’. Sure it was fun, but… this piece was so flat, wasn’t it? The flowers looking up at me had no depth; they were a mishmash without a light and shadow pattern I usually strive for.

So I went into it, and yet again, let loose. I did fix up some of the blooms that I hadn’t yet gotten to. Adjusted some of the temperatures and values. Added a couple petals flowing off the canvas. It was fun. By then I had so much oil on the canvas that I really couldn’t add any more without making mud.

When I stepped back to look at it I still couldn’t quite decide how happy I was with it. I mean, there was no perspective, still very limited depth, and still no firmly established light and shadow pattern. And yet…

It’s pretty. I love the blues, purples, and pinky-corals. And my kind friends and acquaintances on my Facebook page seemed to really like it. But it was still unsettling. I mean, creating it wasn’t that HARD. I felt like I was cheating. Shouldn’t something I’m charging money for require more justification and evidence of my artistic skill? Surely something that was this fun to create couldn’t possibly be in the same ‘league’ as my more detailed urban scenes, for example.

I wish I could say I had some sort of revelation at this point. That I realized I don’t have to exhaust myself or analyze a canvas to death, to make it valuable. I guess I still enjoy the detailed pieces too – just in a different way. And maybe there’s room for both – I could bring a little more ‘fun and loose’ into even my more intricately composed pieces. I like the idea of that, because work and life really shouldn’t HAVE to be so hard, to be of value.

But, it’s 9:00 now and time to open up my studio for the day, and begin again.

Thanks for reading; all my best. Cheryl.

Day 28 – Painting for Parkinson’s – You Can See Forever Here

YoucanSeeForeverHere_9310_web

‘You Can See Forever Here’
Southern Saskatchewan in Early Autumn
12″x24″ unframed oil on canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

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

I thought a painting of southern Saskatchewan might be fitting for this day; the last day of my ‘Painting for Parkinson’s’ project. My Dad grew up in Moose Jaw – just east of where I took this photo. This is one of the most ethereal places in the prairies. From the elevated position along the highway, it feels like you can see forever. There’s such a vastness there, it’s hard not to feel the magnificence of our world. I defy anyone who’s ever made jokes about how dull the prairies are, to travel that highway on a clear day and stay of the same opinion. It’s simply breathtaking.

It’s a bittersweet day today. In some ways I feel like I’ve had my Dad right along side me again, along for this journey. And now in a way, I have to say goodbye to him yet again, as I wrap up this last day of my project. Still, I’d not have missed this opportunity for anything in the world. All I have to do is think about what good we’re doing – all of you who’ve reached out in support of me and this project. We’re making this world a better place and hopefully making a difference in the lives of those who need a hand. Dad would have been so grateful and amazed by the incredible circle of support and connection we’ve created. I’m so blessed to be sharing this time of my life with you all. Thank you.

Blowing a kiss to you in heaven Dad, as always. Love, Cheryl.

Please continue watching my website. I am working on continuing this project to include a line of greeting cards to further support the work of Parkinson Alberta. Thank you.

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 26 – Painting for Parkinson’s – Looking into the Sky

LookingintotheSky_9303-web‘Looking into the Sky’ – $80 –
Evening over Nose Hill Park;
5″x7″ unframed oil on extra-deep canvas
– by Cheryl Peddie –

This Painting has SOLD!!!!

New! I can also now accept credit card over the phone.
Contact me directly at (403) 201-6532 or cheryl(at)emergecreative(dot)ca Thank you!

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

Growing up in Saskatchewan, I always wanted to paint really successful skyscapes. And even though I have lots of photo references of them, I’ve put them off for the most part. I LOVE skyscapes that seem to zoom off into the distance horizon of the painting. Skies that you feel like you can reach right into, they’re so deep and vast.

So why have I put off enhancing my ‘skyscape skills’ for so long? Because they can be SO deceptively difficult. I have two main considerations with them. First, there’s rarely as much color in the clouds and sky as our eyes perceive. Most of the colors are quite greyed. So, using technicolor vivid shades that can sometimes be in the sunsets of our imaginations, can made the scene look almost aggressive, and not ‘true’. I’ve always had a challenge with these ‘colorful greys’. The palette in most of my paintings tend to be quite bright and clear. Creating lovely greys requires a sensitive eye and careful hand. And, a confidence that we can express something softer and delicate that will still be attention-getting. Something I’m only just now (after 17 years of painting!) beginning to feel comfortable with.

Second, when we tackle a skyscape we have to remember that what we’re painting is air, and that clouds are really just water vapor. What can easily happen is that our clouds end up looking heavy, seemingly ready to drop from the sky! What is needed here again is a light, quick hand. Too much brush work and paint that is too thick can rapidly weight down the clouds. When they’re kept relatively transparent and delicate, the feeling of the air is kept intact.

Thanks so much for reading and for following my journey. It’s hard to believe we’re on Day 26, and I only have two paintings left. I will savor every moment of creating them; it’s been a truly rewarding experience for me. Thanks and hugs, Cheryl.

*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 7 – Painting for Parkinson’s – In a Whirl!

InaWhirl-web‘In a Whirl’ – 8″x10″ Oil on Canvas – SOLD!! –
by Cheryl Peddie

I am donating 50% of this painting’s sale price to the Parkinson Alberta Society!
From Sun Feb 24 through Sat Mar 23, I will be creating one painting per day
and donating 50% of my sales to Parkinson Alberta Society.

Well I admit. I’m cheating changing things a little today. I started a painting yesterday (Day 7) but I just couldn’t get it finished. It was a little bigger than the others from this week so it’s taking a little longer. I still have it on my easel today putting finishing touches on it. But I also completed a fun little piece today (ie Day 8). It’s an ‘intuitive painting’. So rather than trying to hurry my Day 7 canvas in order to get it up here in time, I’m using my little piece from this morning as my Day 7 painting. So Day 8’s gonna be Day 7, and Day 7 will be Day 8. Clear like mud?!

So initially I figured this would be like treason. What will everyone say?! I’m cheating! And I’m not sticking to the rules of my own project! OMG I HAVE to stick to what I set out to do. I can’t just change the rules willy-nilly just because I was being lazy! It won’t really be an accomplishment if I do that when the going gets tough! My Dad had to do tough things when he was ill. And I can’t even do this right!? What kind of tribute is this then? What worth will this have?

And then my therapist’s voice got in there and slowly helped me ask myself: How ‘tough’ does ‘tough’ need to be? Who defines the rules of my life? Do I, and the things I do, only have worth if they’re done perfectly? Why does a change mean a failure?

And after all that, then my Dad’s voice started in. Wondering why I was making myself so upset when just doing the project itself is such a precious thing, no matter how it gets done. And telling me again that maybe we don’t always have the answers at to when ‘what’ should happen ‘when’. That there’s a time for everything to happen, and maybe things turn out better when we just accept and wait for the right time, rather than rushing everything according to when we think the time is right.

So, with some self-acceptance back in my heart, and without further adieu, here’s ‘In a Whirl’. My Day 7 (aka day 8 in disguise) Painting for Parkinson’s. My love to you all, and thank you for reading Cheryl.

Day 3 – Painting for Parkinson’s – ‘The Latin Corner’

TheLatinCorner-web‘The Latin Corner’ – 8″x10″ Oil on Canvas; Unframed
– 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!

Phew! Finally done. And loving the end result of this little piece. The Latin Corner was a little pub/restaurant (?) that used to ‘live’ on 4th Street SW in Calgary. I used to work in that neighborhood ‘in the day’, and I’d often walk up and down 4th because of the great restaurants and cute shops. I loved the awning on this building and the red facade. One thing made me laugh as I was painting this piece – some how I seem to have uncovered this bizarre skill for painting cars. The car in this photo is only the second one I’ve done. The first was in my Day 1 piece, ‘With Gratitude’. I’d thought that one was a fluke, but given I did it again I’ll take claim of in being a bona fide skill. Huzzah! Thanks for reading – you all are yet another reason why I love to paint. Cheryl.

Please note that this piece will require approx 3-4 weeks after creation and prior to shipping, to allow paint to dry and cure. Thank you!

Three Things

Sugar-n-Cream-web‘Petit Point’
11″x14″ Oil on Canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

At the beginning of 2012, I began a journal called ‘My three things’. Each night I’d write out three things that made me feel really good that day. Well, maybe it wasn’t every night; more like as close to every night as I could – I’m no night owl. It was a peaceful way to end the day. And even if it were a trying one, there always seemed to be some little thing that would pop into my memory. Some nice little moment that, when put to paper, seemed to resurrect the day from the dreaded ‘wish I’d just have stayed in bed’ pile.

My new 2013 journal however remains blank-paged. Don’t really know what it is; the chain some how got broken. And I’m missing it. I remember last year, when I’d have a low day or two, I’d page through that journal and remember all the little shiny bits of days that I treasured enough to write them down. Moments that without my journal, would have been lost in the blur of all the ‘had-to-do’s’, like grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, or pumping gas when I was already late for a meeting. And it always lifts my spirits, soothes me or helps me relax. Never fails.

So I thought perhaps I should begin my journal again, though this year, right here – in a new venue. These are some more of the reasons why I paint. So, here they are – three things that made me feel good today:

1) Finally buying myself a new heated throw. So yes, it’s got a gigantic logo for the Winnipeg Jets on it. (Hockey’s the one with a puck, right?) But it was one of the last few at Wal-mart so I grabbed it. Nothing feels better than cranking it up and burrowing down in the sofa cushions. Bliss.

2) Washing my Shih Tzu, Emma’s ‘bankie’ for her. She knew exactly what I was doing – watched carefully as I tucked it into the washer. And when it came out of the dryer and I fluffed and folded it up on her sofa spot, she flopped about in it with glee. Guess it’s just like clean sheet day for humans.

3) Hot cocoa and those teeny marshmallows. They’re made of the same stuff as the big ones, but they just taste better, you know?!

Thanks so much for reading. If it inspires you to begin your own ‘Three Things’ journal, let me know in the comments below. Take care. Cheryl

Cowboy Blues

CowboyBlues-web

Cowboy Blues – 11″x14″ Oil on Canvas – SOLD
by Cheryl Peddie

I painted ‘Cowboy Blues’ as a demonstration at Galleria in Inglewood, back in December. This is actually from a picture I took at Gratitude Cafe, in Kensington from the fall. It’s a great little restaurant, filled with lots of unusual trinkets, books, and displays. This coat rack was loaded down with bags, wraps and this awesome hat. The sun was hitting it just right; my perfect subject matter for a painting. If you’ve not been to Gratitude, you’re missing out. Now I’m no vegetarian, but I still found lots to love on their all-veggie menu. I sat for quite some time, just taking in the atmosphere and watching the bikes and shoppers go by. Thanks for reading. Cheryl.

Feb & March Workshop Dates are Set

I’m excited to announce two more painting workshops set for this winter & spring. I’d love for you to join me:

RedUmbrellas-webTues, Feb 26 – 6-9pm: Streetscapes
Most folks love streetscapes. But many are apprehensive to try painting them because of all that detail! We’ll explore ways to simplify them and still create pleasing compositions. Hint: It doesn’t always involve those teensy tinsy brushes!

InmySistersKitchen-web

Wed, Mar 20 – 6-9pm: Unfussy Florals & Foliage
Just in time for the first day of spring! Florals and foliage can easily become stiff, and lose their sense of natural liveliness. We’ll work on ways to depict the delicate freshness of the blooms, while balancing it with their fullness and volume.

Price per workshop: $35 plus GST
What to bring: pencils & sketchbook; art supplies; photo references or any still life objects you’d like to paint from
Located at: Atlantis Framing – 4515 Manhattan Rd SE, Calgary
To register or for more info: Call Atlantis Framing at 403-258-0075 or me, Cheryl Peddie, at 403-270-9755

Thanks so much for reading – you all are yet another reason why I paint. Best, Cheryl.