Boxing Week Sale

All art in my Etsy shop is on sale at 15% off and you need to use coupon code BOXINGWEEK  at the check out to get the percentage taken off. Sale continues until January 4, 2014. The sale does not include the items in the sale section of the shop.

You can fine my shop here:


Himalayan Blue Poppies (Meconopsis grandis)

The Himalayan Blue Poppy is one of those plants that every gardener wants to try however; it is also one of those things that is oh so easy to kill. I’ve tried to grow three different plants and even tried to start them from seed, and I still don’t have a single surviving plant in my garden even though they are supposed to be hardy here. Guess I’ll have to settle for a pastel painting of this stunning blue poppy. I used a reference image from the free reference image library on Wet Canvas. For some reason the picture is a little dark and flat looking, so some of the flowers and foliage don’t come across as well as they are in reality but the blue color is fairly accurate.

Himalayan Blue Poppies (Meconopsis grandis)

Himalayan Blue Poppies, Pastel on Paper, 9×12″

A Portrait of Phragmipedium Geralda

Growing orchids happens to be one of my favorite past-times so when I picked up painting again; slipper orchids where one of my first subjects. Back then I mostly used colored pencil but when bad shoulder problems started to manifest I knew it was time to find another medium. Now I work primarily with soft pastel since it’s the most direct of mediums that requires less preparation and cleanup than oil paint which is my other preferred medium especially for larger landscapes.

Phragmipedium Geralda was my first orchid and has been with me the longest and has to be one of the easiest to grow so naturally it had to be one of the first orchids that I had to complete in pastel. Actually this is the second orchid portrait since I did complete a small portrait of the Star of Bethlehem orchid last year on Ampersand Pastelbord; however, I do seem to prefer the Wallis Professional White paper over the Pastelbord since it holds more pastel and is less likely to smudge while I’m working with it thereby making details easier to render. I’m also finding that the Wallis paper works wonderfully to create a soft and airy quality that I just couldn’t achieve in colored pencil. I used my usual Terry Ludwig, Unison and Faber Castell pastel pencils.

Phrag Geralda, soft pastel painting, orchid art

A Portrait of Phragmipedium Geralda, 18×12″ Pastel on Wallis Paper

>Grand River Gallery


I wanted to share my latest bit of news, I have been accepted into my first gallery since picking up the art again. The Grand River Gallery is located in Caledonia, Southern Ontario, Canada, and is a lovely place to enjoy viewing beautiful work by several talented local artists. The owner, Rene Ariens accepted my pastel Woodland Path and my orchid portrait Lady Rothschild as part of his collection for the next few months. Be sure to drop by the gallery if you’re in the area.
The website: Grand River Gallery
Woodland  Path

Woodland Path

Lady Slipper Orchid Portrait

Paph Lady Rothschild


>A Portrait of Angraecum sesquipedale

This is my first attempt at creating a floral portrait using soft pastels and I hope that it didn’t go too badly considering that the pastel will smudge so much more easily than coloured pencil, but it does move along so much more quickly. The smudging and correcting wouldn’t normally bother me with painting landscapes, but seems to be much more noticeable when it comes to creating the more detailed subjects, as is the case with flowers. Ah the adventures of learning a new medium.

Angraecum sesquipedale helped support Darwin’s theory that if nature would produce a plant with the super long nectary such the case with sesquipedale, then there would need to be a pollinator that could reach inside to retrieve the nectar. You can read more about the history of this orchid at Wikipedia Angraecum sesquipedale. And another link from Jay’s Orchid Encyclopedia for those who might be interested in growing this orchid, it is amazingly easy to cultivate.

The reference photo was taken from my own plant when it bloomed over the Christmas holidays and it is this Mid-winter flowering cycle which gives it the common name of the Star of Bethlehem. 

Angraecum sesquipedale

Angraecum sesquipedale

>My First Post

>Blogging is a whole new experience for me so I hardly know where to begin. Since this is all about my art work and artistic journey, then it seems fitting to show you some of my work that I completed prior to the blog.

I began painting in oils a little over a year ago after a 13 year hiatus from painting; needless to say, I was a little rusty. Much to my amazement, I did remember how to use a paint brush, must have been muscle memory. However, those first 10 paintings didn’t turn out so well, due to inferior student grade materials, and a general lack of compositional know-how. Things are improving though after a good deal of research and help from the people at Wet Canvas and much personal trial & error.

I have also been learning a good deal about landscape painting from the online classes by the award winning Canadian landscape painter Johannes Vloothuis who can be found at:  Without Johannes instruction, I think my artistic development wouldn’t be getting very far at all. Nevertheless, I still have far to go in regards to landscape painting.

I also like to draw and paint plants such as orchids and lilies and have been working with coloured pencil, hard pastel and pastel pencils. Unfortunately, I find that I need to put down the pencils since they are difficult to use due to a painful shoulder. So now I am beginning to paint with soft pastels such as Unisons and Terry Ludwigs, and so far they seem to be much easier to work with. More about that it my next post.
Here are some examples of artwork that I have completed:
Phag Bouley Bay hard pastel on paper 11×15

Paph Michael Koopowitz coloured pencil on paper 11×15

Paph Lady Rothschild coloured pencil on paper 11×14

Yellow OT Lilies Coloured Pencil on paper 11×14

Pink Lily coloured pencil on paper 11×14

Maple Rooted hard pastel on paper 11×15

Forest Spirits hard pastel on paper 15×23

Towards the Green oil pastel on paper 12×18
Two Willows Oil on Canvas 16×20