Sunday, January 31, 2010

Concession 4 in Orono, Ontario (third view)

4th Concession, Orono (11 x 14 in.) oil on canvas, by Carol Berry, copyright 2008

I painted this landscape three summers ago, before we moved our summer trailer to our current campground on Concession 4. Every weekend, from May to October, we had been camping at Emily Provincial Park. On this day we took an exploratory drive down this pretty road following a sign for a private campground. I wanted to see how well this private resort would compare with the provincial park. It turned out that the campground was just as pretty as Emily, with big, private, spacious sites. That drive changed our life, a year later we moved our trailer there.

During that first trek down Concession 4, I stopped the car every kilometer or so to take more photos. I later painted four paintings from the photographs I took that day, including this small oil painting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My first watercolour

Angela (15 x 20 in.) watercolour, by Carol Berry, copyright 1993

I have not painted for three months, but everything I do when I'm not working as a graphic artist is geared towards getting me there, including creating this blog and going to meetings at my art club. While I am in this "between" time, I'm going to continue to post a couple of times a week, featuring paintings I've done in the past.

Here is my first watercolour painting, a portrait I did of my eldest daughter, done many years ago. I never tried watercolour until I was in my mid thirties. I was not introduced to it during my fine arts student years. I was finally taught this flexible medium in an illustration class I took while studying graphic design. I loved it, everything about watercolour made sense to me, probably because there is so much technique involved. There are many ways to use watercolours, but at that time I was shown the wonder of transparent glazing, mixing colours on the paper by painting layers of the three primary colours and burnt siennia.

A few years ago I switched back to oil paint, partly because the original watercolour paintings cannot be distinguished from giclee prints and mostly because I did not want to have to pay for expensive mattes, glass and frames to be able to show my paintings with my art club.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

4th Concession, Orono (another view)

4th Concession, Orono (11 x 14 in.) oil on canvas, by Carol Berry, copyright 2009

I painted this landscape a couple of years ago. We spend our summer weekends in the countryside, north of Newcastle, Ontario. I personally think that we are located on the most scenic road in the region. Over every hill is another picturesque view and I'm hoping to paint each of them en plein air starting this spring.

I used a photo I took on location as reference for this small painting. I love the diagonal patterns of the hayfield on the hill behind the farm. The fresh greens are almost monochromatic as this is early summer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The support of a father

My Handsome Dad (18x24) conte on paper, by Carol Berry, copyright 2008

I drew this portrait of my father to mark his 75th birthday, almost a couple of years ago now. He has always been very supportive of my art, starting when I did my BFA at Concordia University.

My father's great-aunt, Henrietta Mabel May, was a member of the Beaver Hall Hill Group in Montreal in the 1920's. Mabel May enjoyed a long and successful career as a painter. My maternal grandmother studied Art and Music at Mount Allison University as a young lady and she painted and played the violin her whole life.

Being an artist in my family was definitely encouraged.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the company of friends

From life, DVAC (24 x 30 in.) oil on canvas board, by Carol Berry, copyright 2005

I am posting this portrait done during an evening life session at the Don Valley Art Club. I value my 10 years of membership at the art club very much. For almost four years I have been working full time as a production designer, based from my home. Therefore it is very important for me to get out during the evening to paint or see a demo at the art club in the company of so many warm and talented members who I can truly call friends.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

4th Concession, Orono

4th Concession, Orono (11 x 14 in.) oil on canvas, by Carol Berry, copyright 2009

Here is a painting that I painted last year. I was trying to paint a quick study, only to realize that I can't paint quickly in the studio with photo references, my natural tight style edges in. I think I have been procrastinating because I haven't painted for the past 3 months. October surgery did interfere and then preparations for Christmas and our family trip to Montreal for the holidays.

I have been creating a new plein air painting kit based on the recommendations by Tom Brown. I must admit that I draw great pleasure reading painter's blogs and trying to see their painting materials. I'm almost finished constructing my wet panel carrier, foam core and duct tape are my tools of choice. To procrastinate even further, I spent all last weekend assembling a full height canvas storage rack, adapted from a couple of new Ikea shelving kits and augmented with two trips to Home Depot.

I am not in any hurry to get outdoors in this cold Canadian January weather but I am determined to get painting soon, I have my new WN Artisan oils that I want to learn about!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cherry Beach, Toronto

Cherry Beach, study (11 x 14) oil on canvas, by Carol Berry, copyright 2009

There are so many paintings of Cherry Beach, though not so many from the water. I sail at Cherry Beach and I always take my camera with me. My small sailboat is often seen with its sails flapping, but I'm not in difficulties, I'm happily snapping away.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Whiskey, a wedding gift

Whiskey (18 x 24 in.) oil on canvas, by Carol Berry, copyright 2009

I painted this last summer as a wedding gift for close family friends. I loved doing this, although it meant that I wasn't able to get out to paint en plein air. This was the first time I painted a complete burnt umber underlayer.

Artist blogs are a wonderful inspiration

I am setting up this blog as a quick experiment, I run the Don Valley Art Club website as a self hosted WordPress site and I have used the free service but I've never used Blogger before and I wanted to see how easy it was to get started with it. I'm going to be making recommendations to my fellow art club members and thought I'd better have experience with both of the major players in the blogging world.

To see more about the Don Valley Art Club go to