Artist’s Statement and Painting Process
I am a Canadian realistic artist focusing mainly on bird and farm animal oil paintings. My work harkens back to an earlier time when everyone knew the names of all the species of birds, how to ride a horse and milk a cow. I hope to instill a love and respect for our planet's bird life through my work.
The gorgeous luminosity of oils thrill me and I delight in detailed realism. I hope that the viewer is touched by the emotion in my paintings. I am constantly looking at the world through artist’s eyes and thinking about my next painting.
MY PAINTING PROCESS
IMAGES - I always take my Canon Rebel EOS T3i camera with me when I go out in the car. There are many birds and animals in the farm country around our cattle farm in King Township. I have literally thousands of shots of birds and animals in the countryside where I live. I also go to festivals and shows where farm animals will be such as plowing matches, fall farm fairs, rodeos, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, etc. I then go through the images, pick out one I especially like and then process it on the computer in Photoshop. I crop, enhance by adjusting the colour to the contrast I like the best, resize and print the image.
SUPPORT - I prepare my own supports by going to Home Depot and buying ¼ Masonite 4’ X 8’ sheets. I have a employee cut these large sheets to the sizes of paintings I want to make, e.g. 6” X 8”, 8” X 10”, and larger. I take them home, sand all surfaces including edges, and gesso then repeat the sanding and gessoing two or three more times.
Oil paints – I originally used artist’s quality Winsor & Newton but am now switching over to artist’s quality Gamblin oil paints because the company Gamblin produces the safest oils.
Medium – Winsor & Newton Liquin Original because it makes the oil paint dry much faster so I don’t have to wait days between layers.
PAINTING - I paint two or three layers to get the colour and consistency I require. I then let the painting dry thoroughly.
VARNISHING - I use Gamblin’s synthetic-resin varnish called GamVar that has been designed to remain transparent.
FRAMING - I get all my paintings framed at a professional framer.