Like many places across Canada, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) hasn’t been having the greatest weather. A lot of dull skies and rain. My secret (well, not so secret) longing to own a cottage with which to enjoy nice weather inspired this 48″ high by 36″ wide oil painting – still wet on the easel.
Category Archives: Canvas (Paintings)
The large 48″ x 48″ cat painting seen at the top of the photograph is an original oil & oil stick painting entitled “Who’s For Dinner?!“
This graphic painting with a bit of dark humour to it, has received so much positive attention from visitors to my Williams Mill studio in Halton Hills that I am now offering a giclee reproduction on canvas print of it.
The original painting “Who’s For Dinner” is 48″ x 48″ . It is a black, silver & white oil stick and oil painting on gallery mount canvas. The edges are painted black. Please feel free to contact me about the original painting’s price.
There are two sizes of giclee.
36″ x 36″ giclee on canvas is at the introductory price of $300 Cdn + HST. The slightly metallic silver oil paint looses this metallic sheen in the reproduction, but as you can see above, the two are remarkably similar. The print is also on gallery mount canvas and the edges are black. Only for the original will be 48″ x 48″.
12″ x 12″ giclee on canvas is at the introductory price of $79 +HST. It is also on a gallery mount canvas.
Perhaps, the poor Golden Lab “Guilty”, should be “Concerned”.
What do you think?
“What the Cat Saw”, an exhibition of 13 cat art works, is on display at the Dragon Fly Arts on Broadway Gallery in Orangeville, Ontario, until the morning of May 24th, 2011. The majority of the art work are oil paintings but there is also an original lithograph. You can see part of the black and white original litho “yes?!” in the bottom right of the photo above.
What’s a lithograph you ask? Although the term lithography is often used in reference to posters or other fine art reproductions, that is NOT what this is. This type of lithography refers to an original work of art, the way an original etching or serigraph is. I drew this cat in reverse on a big piece of limestone that had to be sanded perfectly flat. The drawing was then etched on the stone, and special lithography black ink was rolled over it. Arches paper I had torn to size was placed on top of the inked image, a cover felt on top of that and then the whole thing was run through a press, ONCE. Details, texture and values are achieved through the accurate etching, the quality of the drawing on the stone, and the careful inking. I did this 13 times to achieve an edition of 13. The drawing on the stone was then ground off. The resulting 13 prints are the art.
It was great fun to set up in the window of the Dragonfly Gallery, a first for me. Why the Dragonfly Gallery? Quite a few reasons actually. I don’t mind selling amongst potters and jewellers at all. At the Williams Mill, I am quite accustomed to working alongside professionals who work in all media. The Dragonfly is a mini Mill type gallery with studios at the back. A bigger reason through is Joan Hope, the owner of Dragonfly. She LOVES her artists. She is proud of them, can talk knowledgeably about what they do and she looks out for them. As well, she values her customers and works hard at knowing what they want! In fact, she won the the 2010 Hills of Headwaters “Best Customer Service Experience “. Plus, many local hardworking, creative artists I know and admire sell out of the Dragonfly. So, count me in!
As the work went up in the window, many a passerby would stop, watch, and comment, too. A young man enquired about the 5 foot high “Silver Light” painting, and the slightly smaller “Blue Eyes Inside”. After a pleasant conversion about my art, we discovered, he was the great nephew of the iconic Joyce Wieland, often regarded as Canada’s foremost female artist and the late wife of the equally important artist Michael Snow. It was a long time ago, but when I did lithography (the lithograph Yes?! is an earlier art work), I did a residency at St Michael’s Workshop in Newfoundland. At that time it was located in a small village about 30 minutes outside of St. John’s. The previous tenant who I had just missed? Joyce Wieland. When I left, if I could have stayed just a few hours more I would have had the privilege of meeting Christopher Pratt and his then Wife Mary Pratt. How great would that have been!
Oh, life and its mysteries! lol
And speaking of mysteries.. if you would like to solve the mystery of “What the Cat Saw” visit Dragonfly Arts on Broadway until the morning of May 24th.
Available for purchase – $113 + shipping. Above is portrait #6 completed March 18th, 2011. Started number #7 today. Only ninety-three and a half 6″ x 6″ portraits to go for my “100 Little Portraits” project.
Last fall, I created a 6″ x 6″ cold wax portrait oil painting in an inspiring cold wax workshop with Janice Mason Steeves. The little monochromatic portrait received a lot of attention in class, on my blog and in the studio. At Christmas I was commissioned to paint a 6″ x 6″ Siamese cat portrait oil painting. Not only did I enjoy creating this little portrait, it was surprising what a little treasure a portrait this size is. So for the sheer joy of it I decided I will paint 100 6″ x 6″ portraits over the next few months. I have other painting commitments so I won’t be following the theme other artists have followed, for e.g. 100 portraits in 100 days, but I hope you’ll keep checking back to see what’s new. Better yet, subscribe to my blog and those portraits will arrive in your mailbox!
Meanwhile, I have other exciting news. My concept for the Salmon Run Project was accepted. This show opens June 9th, Art Gallery of Mississauga. As soon as I pick up my “salmon” I’ll start posting on that art project, too. Stay tuna! lol
I have the good fortune to have the friendship of talented artist & art leader, Paulette Murphy. Because of her, I had the unique & rewarding experience to help create Beaux-Arts Brampton Artists Co-operative – a both feet plunge, steep learning curve dive into the world of fine art. Below is a repeat of what I wrote for the Williams Mill Artist Blog http://www.williamsmill.blogspot.com
“Recipe for a Good Life” is a beautiful looking cook book as well a source of delicious, nutritious recipes prepared using the key ingredients thought to combat cancer. Paulette Murphy, an award-winning visual artist, and recipient of Brampton’s “Artist of the Year Award” is the founder and visionary behind the successful Beaux – Arts Brampton Artists Co-operative . Dawn Friesen is her friend, a fellow artist, and graphic artist working in Brampton.Passionate about good health, proper eating, and art, as well as having a personal connection to cancer, the two artists conceived of a book combining this insight. They put a call out to their large network of artist friends for art work and favourite recipes using the anti-carcinogen ingredients .The art work of three Williams Mill artists - Christine Montague (me!) , Sheri Tenaglia & Eileen Millen – are included in this book. My mom’s fish bake recipe is also in the book. This attractive book is ideal for art lovers, foodies, and those in search of a yummy and nutritious recipe.All recipes have been tested by a nutritionist.Only $25 – a portion of which goes to charity.You can see and buy this terrific cooking & art book in Sheri Tenaglia‘s studio in the Yellow Mill, Williams Mill.OR scroll down for some other locations.
Pastel drawing Soy Beans by
Christine Montague, Williams Mill artistDirectly through Potluck Projects c/o Paulette MurphyDowntown Brampton area, call for address and an appointment 905-457-0058The book is available from any bookstore. If you can’t find it on the shelf, ask the sales person to order by the ISBN # 978-1-77067-262-8Chinguacousy Wellspring Centre5 Inspiration Way, Brampton, ON905-792-6480Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday; 9 am – 12 noon on SaturdayPrefer to purchase online? Go to -www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/ Located in both the art and the cooking sections. FYI There is no personal connection between Dawn Friesen, the author, and Friesen Press.
It has been a while since my last adventure with cold wax and oil painting (Read more about it here).
Experiments that I had begun since that time didn’t seem to set. I wondered if I had received the wrong Dorland’s wax product, or if I used too much oil paint in my ratio of wax to pigment. But as it turned out, I had my work too textured, and the under layers could not dry. When I shaved off the thicker parts the drying process began.
So, the other day, I decided I would put some left over paint to good use and mix in some wax. There was enough for one little small panel. But, like trying to eat one just one peanut , next thing I knew – I had pretty well used up my little stockpile of prepared wood panels (i.e.panels were gessoed, sanded, & their sides masked). A whole series of pink, white & silver of heart & Valentine’s Day inspired works lay drying in the studio – hearts emerging from the clouds, floating over the falls (“falling in love” get it?), hearts rising. A couple of bouquets too.
As the cold wax process uses a lot of oil paint – the cost of artist quality Winsor & Newton oil paints does limit how much I can afford to experiment. With Valentine’s Day in mind, I added Permanent Rose (what better colour for true love), and Silver to the Dorland’s cold wax.
First I dolloped the oil and wax mixture on the panels with a palette knife, then used the Wilton Dough Scraper spread and smoothed it over the surface. I also used the scraper to remove and push the wax mixture to create my texture, and values. The light pink is the stain from removed wax. The darker pink is where the wax is thicker and smooth.
A week later, some of the areas still weren’t setting fast enough for my liking. Out came the palette knife to remove areas too thick. I accidentally scratched a piece with the sanding paper I was using to clean up the back of the work. Hmmm. I liked the way that looked, and next thing I knew, I was dramatically changing some of the 3″ x 4″ blocks by incorporating sanded away texture. Isn’t that what experimenting is all about?
Below you see the Wilton Dough Scraper I bought at the Janice Mason Steeves cold wax workshop.
Well, it’s official. Punxsutawney Phil was not able to see his shadow & the States will have an early spring. Hard to appreciate under piles of snow, but still, great news. Read about that here.
Wiarton Willie, as seen to the left, in warmer weather, is our furry version of a tradition that has German Roots. Did you know that Wiarton has a festival celebrating what our albino groundhog views? Read all about it here
The Wiarton Willie painting I did a while back was inspired by the crazy (wonderful!) statue of Wiarton Willie we saw while on vacation in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario. A giant white obelisk against the blue sky – lots of shadow here. This painting could just have well been called red, white, and blue.
As I sit by the radio, and listen to the never-ending school closings and events cancellations list – I am quite content If Willie doesn’t see his shadow today. G-o-o-o-o, Spring!
Happy Groundhog Day, Everyone!
P.S. Apparently looking at the color blue brings on feelings of relaxation and restfulness, as well as takes aways fear. I believe it. When I paint big blue skies it always makes me feel good, as if I have been away somewhere.
This may not have been on most people’s wish list but it certainly was on mine! After purchasing the large cabinet of the same series for my new studio in August, this rolling cabinet has been high on this artist’s wish list. This is the taboret that will hold my palettes as I paint. I chase the light in my studio and so a table on wheels is a must. Also, as the Williams Mill, where my studio is located, is open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, I always have a quick bit of cleanup for safety purposes each week. Furniture on wheels is a must!
This item is the Mastercraft Base Metal Garage Cabinet Product #68-1224-2. It is pricey, but we , err, santa, was fortunate to get it on sale. It is built like a tank, and is a terrific height. One door locks. The drawers even come with a liner to keep items from moving. Warning, though. It took my elf helper about 4 hours to assemble. It assembles beautifully, but you need to set aside a lot of time, and clear a lot of space for its assembly. The wood table top is so nice (and shiny!) I am going to feel quite guilty getting that first bit of paint on it. I am considering having a piece of glass cut to fit the top and use the whole thing as a palette, Normally, I use up to four disposable paper pallettes at a time spread across the kitchen cart I have used until now.
Note: The cabinet I first purchased which inspired this one is the Mastercraft Metal Garage Tall Cabinet Product #68-1221-8. It holds a huge amount of goods and the construction is impressive. The bottom shelf holds over 400 lb. if you have a particularly heavy piece of equipment. Both items are very heavy and we used a dolly to take them from the car to the studio. The box this cabinet came in had a very small dent. We took the chance the contents were not damaged as it was the only one in stock. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The last piece in the box was slightly dented – something we decided we would live with as the box was so heavy, and we had already done so much work. Lesson: always take the box with no dent!
I finished this 30″ x 40″ oil painting December 2010 – the last painting of my design before I began my commissions due for Christmas. This figurative painting is of the model, daughter, visiting my studio at the Williams Mill. This painting symbolizes many changes. It features my new studio, one of the few times I’ve painted an interior. My daughter, my model, is usually painted in casual summer get up.
Happy New Year!
Somehow, I forgot I did this oil painting. A gift to my son on his 18th birthday, it hangs in our house in the dining room – a room we rarely use (isn’t a dining room table for folding laundry?). It shows him climbing, carefree, at about the age of four, on the War Memorial, located near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is painted realistically, and static, while the figures on the statue are more “ghostly” and moving.
On the eve of Remembrance Day, I though I would share it with you. With all the gut wrenching news in the Toronto Star recently about Canadian War soldiers injured in Afghanistan, and some pretty heart-rending reporting on CBC radio as well, an image of youth, hope and peace can never hurt.
Note: One day, when I was working in this oil painting, a visitor to my studio mentioned her (great?) uncle had been one of the models for one the figures in this monument to peace.
One of the joys of being an artist is the opportunity for life long learning, discovery and play (to misquote Hamlet “The play’s the thing!”). Artists are probably one of the poorest (financially) of the professional demographics, but the reward of infinite growth is priceless.
For a while now, I have been curious about the encaustic (from the Greek word “to burn in”) or hot wax painting process. I had a series in mind that I envisioned with the built up, molten, textured, luminous look that results from painting encaustically. However, upon research, I discovered that the traditional hot wax process, with its fumes (as well as potential toxicity) of melting bees-wax, carnauba wax, damar resin, and pigment, was out of the question in my poorly vented studio which shares air space with 6 other artists. So recently, when Canadian painter Janice Mason Steeves http://www.janicemasonsteeves.com/ promoted her workshop in the “Cold Wax Process” -no heating wax, no excessive fumes- I enrolled.
Things to find out. How would this process differ from hot wax? How could I apply it my portraiture painting? Would it have the luminous and texture potentials of hot wax? (FYI I have noticed in word searches that bring readers to this article that it is wondered if canvas can be used as a surface. No. You want the solid surface of a panel os some sort so the wax doesn’t crack when the canvas bends.)
Jan has a beautiful studio in Rockwood, Ontario, that was large enough for 8 of us to each work at a table of our own. Our goals were to play, experiment with colour, texture, and application on our prepared panels. My biggest challenge was “to play” with the medium. I am goal and product oriented, and any attempts to “play” resulted in one question “what if I did…?” branching into multiple more. I knew I was hooked when 10 prepared panels just weren’t going to be enough!
Dorland’s generously supplied the cold wax medium needed. This is the most remarkable product with a multitude of uses. (Sham – Wax!! :D) Check it out here http://www.paintspot.ca/cgi-bin/advice.pl?s=98 For our purposes we mixed it 50:50 with our oil paint and then squeegeed the resulting colours on in layers. Then the creative exploring started – wiping away, scraping, scratching, writing into, lifting off, blending, brayering in textured pattern from material, lifting off with newspaper, stencilled into – whatever this creative bunch thought to do.
On the second day, Jan instructed us to make ugly work, i.e., no thinking about finished products. Explore, experiment and play were the order of the day. But at the end of the workshop, when we took a look at each other’s work, it seemed, we all failed ! Every piece – and we were a productive group – had a fascinating element. Eight very tired (playing can be exhausting) but very happy cold wax converts drove off into the sunset.
Encaustic Painting with Hot wax: Artist Jessie Fritsch has a nice explanation here http://www.jessiefritsch.com/encausticinfo.html
Great explanation here about is cold wax “encaustic”. AMIEN stands for Artist Materials Information and Education Network http://www.amien.org/forums/showthread.php?2054-encaustics-with-no-heat
Here’s another example of my cold wax work.
A new painting – a 20″ x 20″ oil painting study of a child created for “Second Saturday Collectors Special” at the Williams Mill where I have my studio. Admired but still available!
Here is the latest large (60″ x 30″) oil painting. New looser, contemporary style, but it conveys everything I wanted it to. Can you feel the uplift? My son, crossing a tidal pool in the red sand shore of Prince Edward Island, is doing his best to walk on water and not step on the myriad of life found in its depth. Past this tidal pool, home and night awaits. The reflection symbolizes this beautifully.
Above is the 18″ x 24″ oil painting I did for August’s “Second Saturday Collectors” Special” at the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre , a centre of over 30 working artist studios & their galleries, plus a main art gallery in Glen Williams (Georgetown) , Halton Hills, Ontario.
Artist Carmen Hickson and I (Christine Montague) started an exclusive art event at the Williams MIll recently entitled “Second Saturday Collectors’ Special” . Wait, you say. I am not an art collector and so this event must not apply to me!
But if you think about it, the moment you take that first step, and buy an original work of art, you are a collector. That may not have been your intent, but by making that commitment, you have done more than passively purchase an item to hang in a room, you have done something even better. You have bought something that you respond to emotionally and that speaks to your heart. You have also done something more! You have just supported your local entrepreneur -which is what being a visual artist is (they suffer all the same risks) – and have contributed to your country’s cultural economy.
The event has already created a buzz among the other artists at the Williams Mill where I have my studio and this past Saturday, 5 other artist also participated. Congratulations to Simon MacDonald who immediately sold his painting of a regional scene, with another couple standing by hoping to make it theirs! Wow!
So here’s what the buzz about “Second Saturday Collectors’ Special” is all about -
- Purchasing art is exciting and special. We want you to experience that special thrill. So on the second Saturday of each month, a brand new art work is unveiled at 12 noon in the studios of each of the participating artists. The unveiled art is a surprise to all. This is even great fun for the other artists at the mill.
- While owning original art is as important as the air to breathe for some, we understand that to many original art is regarded as a luxury item. You may love a work, but you are nervous about actually buying it. SO, for that day only, the art work unveiled, is offered at a very, very special price.
- Owning original carries bragging rights! The moment you buy a Second Saturday Collectors Special, you have purchased a real work of art, you beat out others to get it, and you have immediately made an profitable investment. How so? Because at 5 p.m. that Saturday if the painting hasn’t sold? The “Second Saturday” price label comes down, and the true value label goes up.
- Original art is an instant heirloom. It has provenance. Who throws out original art? Who puts it in a landfill? It will live on for ever. Hundred years from now, someone will be admiring that work and talking about you – who owned it.
- And last, but not least, you will have purchased locally. To be an artist at the Williams Mill, one can not be a hobbyist. This is a highly disciplined, entrepreneurial profession with long hours . Like farmers, artists are passionate about what they do, but artists never get to take a day off and every cent counts. We appreciate your business.
Carmen and I each create a new painting that is not unveiled until the second Saturday of each month. For that day only, each of our new paintings are offered at only a fraction of their worth.
For example, this month’s 18″ x 24″ oil painting one canvas ” Study for Summer Fun” – completed just this morning – was only $100 plus HST. It’s wholesale value is $300 plus tax.
Why was this work offered as a lost leader?
Visitors to our studio are always enthusiastic about our work, but through conversation, it would seem that many of these visitors have never bought original art.
So, we have set about to ease the struggle the potential collector may feel in taking that first step in buying original art. We sincerely want to help people experience the joy that comes from owning original art …and it is a joy!
We also have the fun of challenging ourselves in what special work we will create for this special day.
And to add to the excitement – other Williams Mill artists have decided to take part in August’s Second Saturday Collector’s Special. Now we can hardly wait for August. What wonderful works and special deals will August bring?
In early June, an A.J. Casson landscape oil painting “A Street in Glen Williams” sold for the record-breaking price of $542, 800. To see this Group of Seven Canadian landscape painting click here Do you know that Glen Williams – probably considered Ontario cottage country when Casson painted what was a contemporary painting then – is a hamlet only 15 minutes north of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada? And for travelers from Toronto, this cultural destination is only a 40 minute trip away. (It is also accessible by Go train and bus)
This painting is not particularly successful in its depiction of a “unique” place – these little houses and fall colors could be almost anywhere in Canada. But then that wasn’t Casson’s goal. What is remarkable that “Glen Williams” is still a beautifully preserved hamlet of 1850’s homes in a true glen, and that it is home to many, many present day artist studios! Glen Williams is protected by the Sheridan Nurseries farmland and the limited growth in the green belt around Toronto. This fabulous place with the Credit River running through it is protected from urban sprawl. But even more importantly, at Glen Williams’s heart is the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre - home to a huge centre of contemporary artists’ studios and where I have the good fortune to have my artist studio. www.christinemontague.com
The Williams Mill moniker is deceptive. The mill is only one of FOUR buildings which house visual artists and crafts people.
- The 1850’s lumber mill is home to graphic artist, painters, sculptors and potters.
- The 1850’s stone power plant is home to jewellers, a quilter, framing service, painters (including www.christinemontague.com) , and my studio mate found art assemblage artist www.theredpigstudio.com
- The courtyard has painting, woodcarving, stone carving (4 sculptors) . The gallery connects from the courtyard & represents the mill artists, and has monthly shows of other artists too.
- The last building is home to Glen Williams Glass Blowers.
So for those of you in wonder of this lovely bit of Canadian art history, or in sheer amazement at the price paid for this Group of Seven, Casson painting , appreciate the place this painting depicts as well. It is well worth the trip to visit this historic town – alive and well with a diverse group of award-winning contemporary artists. And you won’t have to pay half a mil to enjoy their work. www.williamsmill.com
Imagine this big Main Coon cat greeting you in the hallway when you get home or on the big wall at the stair landing! Well loved by all that visit my studio – even by those who aren’t cat fans (as one woman stated “Imagine if it was a horse!”) this cat would be a unique art work for the home. Painting #2 in the Giant Cat Series. 60″ high by 40″ wide. Black and white oil painting with gold and silver oil paint and oil stick. Next up – “Who’s for Dinner” – the 3rd in the series is almost finished too.