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A Whimsical Twist

Hello there! Hoping everyone had a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas and start to the New Year!

I just wanted to share and explain how I came to start my new series of lighthouse paintings, you know, the ones with the ‘whimsical twist’ as I call it! They’re sort of realistic but at the same time not! I think the proper name for this style would be abstract realism. I pondered over the concept for a while, knowing I wanted to do something different but having this underlying urge to make them recognizable.

In 2016 Dean’s mum and uncle came to visit us from the UK. We travelled around the province as much as we could to show them the sites. We went to Brier Island where Dean and his uncle took a whale watching tour while his mum and I stayed on the island. We drove around a little and found ourselves at the Western Light lighthouse. I took some photos of this magnificent lighthouse and vowed I’d paint her one day! This was to become the first in my series.

I then had to decide what I was going to do with it. I could just paint it from the photos I’d taken, but that just wasn’t what I wanted to do. After a few sketches I was beginning to see how I wanted this series to go. The wavy lines could work, couldn’t they?! So I took my large 24” by 36” canvas that I’d already prepared with gesso and sketched out the basic shapes with thinned paint. Keeping the sky colours somewhat ‘sky’ coloured and blending the edges. I have to say it was hard work but a lot of satisfaction when it seemed to go just right. Blending acrylics can be quite a challenge; they dry so quickly you have to keep them moving. My paintings usually end up with a lot of layers and this was no exception, in fact I think there were a few tubes of paint gone into this one alone!

This painting took quite a few hours over a number of weeks. Every time I started to work on it, the time just zipped by, it was like being in a time warp! I’d just get started it seemed and then it was time to go to bed or eat! If ever you want to forget what’s going on in the outside world, just start painting!

Here’s the start, middle and end result of the first in this series...

Brier’s Light, 24” x 36”, Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas

If you follow me on social media you probably already know that I’ve completed the next painting in this series, Peggy’s Delight, based on our most famous lighthouse! There will be two more to come in the next couple of months, so please stay tuned!

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