Chickadee, Acrylic on Masonite, 24 in x 24 in
I havent painted since art school, i just felt i couldn’t paint at all, i hated everything i did. During a bout of depression, i suddenly picked up a brush and just started painting freehand. I blocked in the bird, then added tones in raw umber, and just added layers. Everything is not perfect and i like that. I dont want realism, i want a looser style and movement.
It did help a bit with the depression, but it never goes away, just abates.
This is my serious face, Gouache on Canson Canvas paper, 12 x 16 inches
I have been experimenting with painting with brushes lately instead of pencil crayons and pastel crayons.
I started with acrylics but to be honest I don’t really like them. And then I tried to wash and I really love them. I think it’s because they dry very quickly and give beautiful matte colours. It just seems to be the right medium for me. I use Holbein gouache and stick to limited palette: Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson. I added a watercolour Paynes Grey because Holbein doesn’t make a gouache in it.
I have been really struggling mentally lately. Facing some big financial problems, missed 2 house payments. Still waiting for my Veterans claim, but found out today a buddy of mine waited 18 months. It’s been over 6 months wait for me. Awful to make people with mental disorders and depression wait so long.
I think it’s time I write my story down as if it was a news article because I need to get it out. I realize there’s no justice in this world but when you’re destitute, it hurts to know people who did this to you got away with it. Trying to count my blessings but it’s hard just to get out of bed.
RCMP musical Ride candidate, mixed Media on Canson Canvaspaper
And I am continuing to try to paint freehand as much as possible and just paint in the bottom layers in tones and colours and then adding layers and details on top of it. I choose my background colour with whatever colour I feel like doing at the time.
This Hanoverian/ thoroughbred foal will be a candidate for the RCMP musical ride. This was their first time out in the field and they were pretty lively but stayed close to mum!
i used gouache instead of acrylics and it seemed to go a lot better, I’m not sure why. I like the matte finish of gouache better I guess.
i feel excited about art again, wish I could afford those big canvases and try to sell some!
Fearless, mixed media on Canson Canvas paper
A new style for me that I am trying out.
I basically took some canvas paper and did a quick sketch of the horses mouth and body and then just added tones and values. A new style for me that I am trying out. I basically just took some canvas paper and did a quick sketch of the horses mouth and body and then just added acrylic paint.
I’ve never had success with acrylic paint I just never liked it so I thought I would give it a try but I just couldn’t get the detail that I wanted so I ended up adding coloured pencil, pastel pencil and pastels to it so in other words it’s a mixed media.
Because of all the encouragement I thought from the other participants in the musical ride program I just decided I am an artist and I’m just going to have at it and just paint on the canvas.
I have to say that this is one painting that I actually love. I can’t say that about any of my other paintings are use me just do them and throw them on the side.
This one made me feel like a real artist and that I am much freer and looser which is what I’ve always wanted but with enough detail to make me happy.
I was in the army the last six months I couldn’t paint anything, I couldn’t finish anything really. I’m so glad that I had the courage to start up again but it’s because of encouragement from other veterans and soldiers like me. They believed in me and they told me to keep at it even when I couldn’t see it and I didn’t see any point of painting.
it feels like a whole world opened up.
One week old Foal, CP on Stonehenge paper
Another RCMP foal we visited at their breeding farm in Packenham, Ontario.
Straight to Auction, Polychromos CP on Fabriano Hotpress WC paper
This is one of the foals from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride horses, born recently at their breeding farm. Because the only colour accepted in the ride is black or dark liver, this filly will be automatically sold at auction, priced from $8000 plus. They are a thoroughbred, Hanoverian mix, and are some of the most sought after horses in the world.
I recently got to visit the farm and take part in training with the RCMP Musical Ride as part of the Soldier On physical therapy programme for Canadian Veterans. It was a great experience and met some wonderful serving and released members who all struggle with issues and we manage to find a common ground. We support each other and brought a lot of positive energy into this world.
These are a series of paintings I did when I was depressed. Even picking up a crayon is hard! You tell yourself… What’s the use???? And all sorts of drowning thoughts.
But keep at it. Don’t you quit! It WILL come back. I promise.