Tag Archives: Ottawa

Comfort Painting

We’ve all heard of comfort food. You know, the food that is easily made, tastes delicious, makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Food that is good for the soul.

So what do I mean by comfort painting? On those days when I just want to sit back and relax and not worry about a thing, I usually engage in what I like to call comfort painting. That is, painting without thinking. There is no end product in mind, just paint going on a canvas step by step. Similar to comfort food, it is simple, enjoyable, and just makes me feel good.

At any given point, I usually have at least 2 or 3 paintings on the go. These are usually the non-comfort painting type. Their culinary equivalent would be that intricate recipe with 100 ingredients that takes 4 hours to prepare and leaves a huge mess in the kitchen. Enjoyable, but only on those days when you really feel like it. Lately, I’ve had no desire to continue tackling those, but I’ve engaged in quite a bit of comfort painting.

Step 1 - paint the background using a palette knife

Step 1 – paint the background using a palette knife

Step 2 - Add some of the foreground

Step 2 – Add some of the foreground

Step 3 - Continue building the foreground

Step 3 – Continue building the foreground

Finished Painting - Acrylic on three 12x16" canvases - Total size 36x16"

Finished Painting – Acrylic on three 12×16″ canvases – Total size 36×16″

Zoomed in Section

Zoomed in Section

Displayed in my room over my bed

Displayed in my room over my bed

I realize these paintings aren’t as interesting to look at as the non-comfort painting type, but while the thermometer is sitting at -39oC (that’s -38F for you American readers out there), I really can’t be bothered to do anything that requires thinking. So as the temperature rises, so will my painting creativity. Fingers crossed that happens soon. Ottawa, I’m over the cold. Let’s move on.

Hope you are all staying warm if you happen to be experiencing this lovely arctic-like weather.

What is your favorite comfort activity on such days? Or comfort food? As I’ve already mentioned, I enjoy comfort-painting, especially if it is paired with something warm and delicious from my crock-pot.


Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Don’t Want to Ruin My Shoes

Yup, another “Rain Painting”. Brace yourselves…

I like doing these because they allow me to just go to town with a palette knife. Don’t have to worry about staying in the lines, or being too exact, and after a long day at school, it is my favorite way to unwind. This one is similar to Rain, Rain, Go Away and Best Buds  but it is spanned across three 12×16″ canvases, making it three times as great!

As usual, I started off with a quick background.

Background using a palette knife on three 12×16″ canvases

Once that was dry, I drew some guidelines of the buildings in the background with some white chalk. Then proceeded to colour them in.

Finally, I added street lamps, a picture of a man holding a woman in his arms, who is holding an umbrella over them, and I added some highlights to the background. And voila!

To give you an idea of the size, I took a picture with my bed as a reference. It’s a double bed (or maybe a Queen…I’m not quite sure).

Close up of the left panel

Close up of the middle panel

Close up of the right panel. Do you recognize the buildings on the hill? Hint* in Ottawa, on a hill…

Zoomed in on the couple in the rain

View from the bottom. All the edges are painted so no frame is necessary.

So what inspired this painting, you ask? Well I bought a new dress this past weekend (okay, actually I bought 2…) and I have nowhere to wear it. It is pretty and red, just like the girl’s in the painting. Maybe if I wear it, a knight in shining armor will whisk me off my feet! In the rain, of course.

I’ve got three other paintings on the go right now (and only one of them has anything to do with rain) so hopefully I can finish those soon and share them with you here. School is getting a little busy right now since it is almost exam time, so I may be MIA for awhile.

I’m also working on 2 commissioned pieces, but won’t be able to share those with you until after the holidays, since the people who asked me to paint them would like to give them as a Christmas gift. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise since it might be for YOU!

Happy Wednesday folks 🙂 Anyone started Christmas shopping yet?


Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Alexandra Bridge

I’ve always been intrigued by bridges. I don’t know what it is about them, but I find them fascinating. I remember going to Paris, and my most vivid memory is not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but rather going for a boat ride down the Seine River and going under at least 20 different bridges. The architecture of each one was so intricate and so different.

Some of the bridges along the Seine River

Ottawa is kind of similar in that regard. There are countless bridges that go over the Rideau Canal, and then several more that connect Ottawa to Gatineau. When I go for a run outside, I usually follow the path behind the parliament building, which then takes me into Gatineau. The last stretch of this loop goes over the Alexandra Bridge back into Ottawa. The view at this point is incredible. You see the locks along the canal, the back of the parliament building, and the Chateau Laurier.  It’s truly majestic. I’m pretty sure I usually have a ‘Runner’s High’ by this point too, so that probably makes me like it even more.

This painting is intended to be the first in a small series of paintings of bridges. Ideally, I’d like to do them ‘en pleine air’ […atrist speak for painting outside…] however it is too cold right now, so I worked from a photograph instead.

Photograph of Alexandra Bridge

Oil on Canvas – 12×12″ – I started by priming the canvas with a background of deep reds and purples. Then added some guidelines with chalk.

Then I started to build the bridge and add some blues to the water.

I added some more details to the bridge, like the side walk and the lines on the road.

I added the truss to the bridge.

The finished product!

Zoomed in view of the bridge. I painted all the detailed parts with acrylic paint since it dries faster so the colours wouldn’t mix too much.

Recognize the building in the background? It’s the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Although this painting isn’t all that big, it took a ridiculously long time to paint. In fact, I started this one mid-summer (however, it went untouched for at least 3 months after I initially began…) and only finished it today. The detail work takes a long time, especially since I’m a perfectionist, so I kept going back and redoing parts. I’m glad it’s done though. However, I’ll probably still go back and touch it up a few times…

Do you prefer realistic paintings or more abstract works?

I personally don’t like paintings that look too realistic, both from myself and other artists. I like when it is obvious that it is a painting, and not a photograph or a digital drawing. I like globs of paint, smears and smudges. I like having to take a step back to make out the image. Therefore, this is definitely not my favorite painting, but I like what it represents.

I already know what bridge is next in the series. I’ll give you a hint. If you go skating along the Rideau Canal, you will go under it near downtown. Any ideas?



Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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