Wind in the Hills

Creative Sparks

What makes your imagination light up? If it’s nature – here are some thoughts to help you push your limits. Perhaps you could paint the wind or capture the warmth of the sun in your art. Consider the motion of the stars. Here’s the challenge: give yourself a single theme that will resonate with every brush stroke. If nature is not your area, then choose a single attribute  such as sorrow, joy, weariness or strength to be the spark for your creating. So much to imagine – so much to paint! Acrylic painting “Wind in the Hills” by Cheryl O 
Roses In Paper

Art Show Opening!

You are invited to Cheryl O & Students Art Show – the opening is this Saturday June 1st from 2:30 to 4 pm – everyone welcome! The show is at Westmount Branch Library on Wonderland Rd. S. and continues until June 28 during library hours. Lots of wonderful paintings to enjoy! Come and cheer the artists on this Saturday. 
Approaching Storm

Touching Your Soul

What makes good art could be debated from now till the cows start painting. However, I think it’s fair to say that – great art comes from what touches your soul. When you can render art about what moves you in such a way that it also touches someone else – that’s good art.  This journey of art begins by putting the brush time in and struggling to express the subject in the unique way we really feel about it. When the gems finally start forming in the way you had hoped, it’s such a lovely affirmation to find out that others may love it too. It’s not necessarily easy to get there, but so worth the effort. Paint on! 

The Trouble with Portraits

In some ways, painting a portrait is the ultimate painting challenge. Even when painting in a more free style, the artist is hoping for a recognizable likeness. That means accuracy in lines and shapes. Move that nose over a quarter of an inch – and it’s someone else. There are some common errors that those learning to do portraits struggle with. Here are a few of them: 1. Shrinking areas of the face where nothing is happening – for example the forehead or cheek space is too small. 2. Making the eyes too large. In some ways, this error is the opposite of number 1. We know that eyes are important, and we tend to make them larger because of this. 3. Putting lines in to complete a shape, when there are no lines on the model. This happens often with the mouth, which usually does not have a solid outline unless the model is wearing lipstick. The rule here is – if you don’t see it don’t draw or paint it. Some of my favourite quotes about painting portraits are from John Singer Sargeant who said, “A portrait is a painting of someone, but the mouth is not quite right.” and “Everytime I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.” It takes a lot of concentration to do a good portrait. Hats off to those students in the current portrait class – but don’t make the forehead too small after the hat is off! 
Tulip Painting

Movies for Artists

Not sure what you are up to this weekend, but if you are interested, here is a list of movies about artists. Surprisingly, I have not seen most of them myself. I did enjoy “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” though. Not so much for the story line, which is very low key, but for the beautiful sets and lighting. It was like watching an old master’s painting in action – lovely. As for Vermeer, of all the famous artists from history, we know very little about his life, so it is definitely a work of fiction. Here’s the link: Great Movies About Art and Artists – from Total Art Soul. What about you? Have you seen some of these movies that you would recommend? Maybe this summer I’ll find time to catch up on some of them. 
Birches by Tom Thomson

Paint Like Tom Thomson – 1 Day Workshop

Saturday May 25 at Westmount Branch Library in London, you can paint step by step through this beautiful painting “Birches” by Canadian artist Tom Thomson. Bring a bag lunch or plan to go to a nearby restaurant for the lunch hour. Also bring your own paint and a canvas or watercolour paper 16″ x 20″. This one day art event is like a mini painting retreat – fun and educational. For complete details and how to register, click here: Art Courses with Cheryl O