Maud Lewis

Maud Lewis was a Canadian artist who created beautiful folk art despite suffering terribly from rheumatism. The film “Maudie” detailed her life. I think it’s still on Netflix.

She was a talented folk art painter even going to the extent of painting every surface of her tiny one room home. Her entire house is preserved inside the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. There’s even a virtual tour which is worth looking through.

On WetCanvas, which is still alive despite the owners, we have a monthly challenge in the acrylics forum. The theme for May’s challenge (I know I know I’m late posting but I don’t think anyone is reading this, blogs seem to be passe but I’m good with talking to myself!) was to either do a study of one of her paintings or do your own inspired by one of her paintings.

Folk Art seems easy but funnily enough more people had a hard time with this than with other genres or subjects in past challenges.

These are mine. The first one is based on her “Snow dog” but instead of her white dog I used my Tallie. This is 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

A happy folk art painting of a yellow labrador retriever, dog, in a garden of tulips with plum blossoms overhead
Tallie in the Tulips

The second is a copy of “Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy Going Fishing” 13.7 x 12.5 inches. I used some crackle on it as I had a tonne left from another project.

Folk art painting of a ship going out to fish. A landmass with a lighhouse and several other buildings can be seen in the background.
Study of Maud Lewis’s “Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy Going Fishing”

The big one is 20 x 16 inches and is the top half of the inside of her storm door as seen in the museum. I had fun painting the canvas to look like wood!

Folk art painting of a door with a painting of a blue bird and flowers in a red vase.
Maud’s Door.

I enjoyed this challenge so much. Folk art is a genre I rarely do but appreciate more than any other.

I hope you enjoyed looking. As always, if you have a question, please ask in the comments below.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2022

Techno!

No, not the music kind. I do love that though.

Thwomp thwomp throw your arms around! thwomp thwomp (that’s me dancing to the beat)

Anyway…

I received a new Ipad and Apple pencil. I’m quite enjoying them. I downloaded both Procreate and ArtRage. I haven’t tried ArtRage much yet but I’ve been having fun with Procreate.

Procreate has a symmetry option which I’ve been having fun with.

digital artwork showing a symmetrical line work image of doves, swans and fish kissing
Kissing Kissing Kissing
digital art image of a colorful snowflake on a black background
Snowflake in pastels
Digital art image of a mermaid ticking the chin of a friendly sea dragon.
SeaPet

To create something similar.

This is what I did.

Layer 1: random color splotches then used a Gaussian blur to smooth the edges. I saw one lady online used the smudge tool to make it looks like those ones we used to do in school with colored pencil under crayon, I liked the smoother vellum sort of look. You could really do anything or even one bright color.

Layer 2: filled with a dark then set the drawing guide to whatever symmetry option and then used the erase tool to draw.

I like the monoline brush for these it gives a nice smooth edge.

Hope your enjoy!

Any questions? Comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2022

Abstraction and impressionism

This whole year has been an abstraction and I’m not impressed with it but I hope it’s finding you well.

I did these as part of a challenge over at WetCanvas. I got right in there with fingers and palette knives and large brushes. These all started out as innocent sheets of 12×18 watercolor paper, they ended up being various sizes depending on how much I tore the paper. I ruined a couple of brushes and one shirt but it was thoroughly entertaining.

These are some of my favourite places.

“The landscape”
“Water’s Edge, Niagara”
“Horseshoe Falls, Niagara”
“Sailing”
“The beach”
“The field”

Let me know in the comments what you think. If you’re on Instagram, give me a shout over there, so I can follow you, I mean that in a general Instagram way not like a deranged stalker or anything.

Stay safe and healthy.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2021

Art by the Foot Project

We are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Zeus. We have lost family, friends and pets before as many of you have but this loss was such a shock. We still find ourselves reeling from it. We all miss him terribly.

Poor Sampson is of course devastated. They hadn’t been apart in over ten years. We know it will take him some time to adjust but for now we are taking extra care with him, the poor guy.

I did this acrylic of Zeus, it’s a foot square and will be on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport as part of a community art project.

This piece is also on display. It is again on a one foot foam square. The museum gave each artist two to paint on. This is a mixed media piece with acrylic, a linoprint and pen drawing.  It is the lino print of the north wind but reversed from the one I showed you in a prior post. I added it to a stormy acrylic sky with a pen and ink drawing of the man that the Sun and North Wind were toying with.

I did it at the last minute over another painting so I hope that it holds up on display. I’m a bit nervous about it.

If you’re in the Quad Cities area,  The Art by the Foot exhibit is open and it displays art made by artists of all ages and abilities from the Quad-City area. The works were collected this spring and were required to be made on boards provided by the Figge. All of the works will be on view in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from June 20th to September 1st.

I have to say, I love this idea and I thought it so clever of the museum to give artists this chance. I also love that it ranges from professionals to small children. That sort of encouragement is priceless!

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Groundhog

This is a 6×4 pencil crayon drawing on pastel paper.

Now if you’re wondering what pencil crayons are, they are what Americans called coloured pencils. Even though I’ve lived in the States for many years and sometimes use color instead of colour, and I almost never say toque and I  rarely drink a mickey or two-four… sure rarely sounds about right…anyway I can’t give up my pencil crayon terminology ..

Anyway here’s a grumpy groundhog. Not sure what he’s grumpy about unless he’s an American groundhog and would have preferred to be done with colored pencils. Sorry buddy..not in this house!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

Painting from the Masters.

I recently did an ATC trade on WetCanvas.com. The theme was “Painting from the Masters”. We weren’t  picky on what master/artist it was as long as the work we were copying were made before 1923.

An ATC is an artist trading card. They are 3.5 x 2.5 inches, the size of a traditional playing card.

This card is based on Berthe Morisot’s “Woman at her Toilette”. Morisot was an impressionist. She studied with landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corotin and in Paris under the tutelage of Joseph Guichard who had her copy Masters at the Louvre. I’m sure she would enjoy knowing that people are copying her! My version is in acrylic on 300 gsm watercolor paper.

This card is also in acrylic on watercolor paper. The original by Canadian, Helen Galloway McNicoll, was called “Buttercups”. McNicoll studied under William Brymer in Montreal. She also painted in Britain as a member of the Royal British Society of Artists and was vice-president of the Society of Women Artists. She was one of the few impressionist who was able to make a financially secure living from her art. She was deaf since childhood and died young from diabetes at the age of 35.

This card is based on a wooden panel painted by John La Farge simply titled “Fish”.. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement and was noted for his stained glass windows. He designed windows for the Trinity Church in Boston and Memorial Hall at Harvard.

To make this card look like wood I first did a ocher undercoat. When that was dry I painted over it with a thicker coat of an ocher/red mix. When that was almost dried, I gently scratched out wood grain like patterns with the edge of a palette knife and let it dry before adding the fish and decorations.

It was interesting copying the works of others but I have a tendency to change them to how I would like them to look, very cheeky I know but I can’t seem to help myself!

 

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

December Acrylics

These are some cards I made for a trade. They are all acrylic and in various card sizes, all smaller than 5×6. The first five were done with palette knives, some have a bit of brushwork.

It’s a challenge to use a knife on small pictures but it is entertaining.

This deer makes me laugh, he looked rather affronted at being painted.

“Deer Interrupted”

painting acrylic deer

“The Tree and the Icy River”

“Red and Gold Berry Christmas Tree”

“Snowy Path and Tree”

Palette leftovers.

The following are brushwork.

“A Small Fir”

“The Birches”

“Under a Purple Sky”

“The Firs”

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

Odds and Ends of the year.

This is a horse with tattoos, everyone has them now.

Ink and marker, 8×10 inches.

This is a lino print with Brusho (a watercolor product). 5×7 inches.

A quick drawing of a guy named Steve.

A cat that I embroidered on my apron because I like to be fancy when I’m cooking. This design is an original and is about 5×7 inches.

A photograph of a shadow from a lamp that looks like the Eiffel Tower.

A sepia self portrait, titled “Closer than she appears.”

The Chicago Waterfront.

And the Wells Fargo Bank reflected in the windows of the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. My favourite painting ” Blue Horse” by Marc Chagall lives at the Figge.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite acrylics of the year.

And yes to my Canadian relatives, I did spell “favourites” the American way.

A hot air balloon, 4×4 inches.

A still life, 5×7 inches.

A zombie that for some reason ended up looking like Patrick Swayze, 8 x 10 inches.

Another still life, 3×6 inches, I forgot to finish the lemon the left..ignore that please.

A sign for my house, 22 x 8 inches.

Some pizza, 3×3 inches

A fancy colorful sheep.

acrylic sheep animal colorful painting

And my favourite, an Ode to VanGogh and Space.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite watercolors of the year.

I haven’t wrote on here in awhile. I don’t know if people read blogs much anymore but I do enjoy writing so I’ll keep on keeping on even if I’m only entertaining myself. 

To catch up, with everything I meant to post this year, I thought I’d do a couple of year blogs to showcase my favorite creations of the year.

These are some ATC’s, that is cards that measure 2.5 by 3.5 inches. These are all done with watercolor. These were done for a trade. watercolor painting Virginia Spencer vmrs ATC

This is also a watercolor but is a little bigger at 7×4 inches.

Here’s a warmer watercolor,  also a miniature at 4×6 inches.

And here’s a watercolor of a leaf and acorn. I think this one was 5×4 inches.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018