Tag Archives: Art

Painting Holiday in Italy!

I do apologize for the months of neglect.  I didn’t even wish you a Happy Canada Day but with it being our 150th perhaps I’m allowed to say Happy Birthday Canada all year long.  More on that later!  I did participate in an art show in June with our Artists of Oxford group at The Arts Project in London, Ontario, called ‘Canadiana’  I had three paintings there and one of them was a new one.

My husband and I also took a trip in June, to Italy.  It was a big deal for us, celebrating a milestone birthday and a milestone anniversary!  In fact it was the first time the two of us have been overseas together.  We had a terrific time, and while I’d love to share with you the many photos I took (over 1000) I am sure that is not what you’re here for.  So, instead, I will share the paintings I did and tell you about my painting holiday!

You see, a friend of mine had recommended this place called The Watermill in Posara, Italy, which holds painting holiday workshops.  We visited Florence first, before being picked up at Pisa airport by the Watermill staff, and spending a week there.  Later, after we were dropped off there again, we visited the Cinque Terre, Milan, and Venice, driving our own rental car (tip:  don’t do that, take the trains!)

But The Watermill will stay in our hearts and minds as the true holiday.  Okay maybe one or two pictures are warranted:

Courtyard of Watermill

Side of Watermill. Our window was the far one.

They  were so welcoming, catered to our every need, and we made lovely friends there from all over the world.  And I got to learn some painting techniques from master watercolor artist Keiko Tanabe!  The countryside around Posara is absolutely beautiful.  Every day had an excursion to an interesting place for us to paint or just explore.  So many interesting things in a short distance, that most tourists would miss.  (If only we could have stayed in Lucca a few more hours for the outdoor Green Day concert!!!).

Anyway, I gained some great plein air painting experience and instruction and best of all, we two both had a great time!

Here are the paintings I completed during the week:

Vernazza, painted using Keiko’s photo reference and following her demonstration. Later, after the painting holiday, I was able to actually go see this place!

Verrucola. Painted mostly en plein air. Finished in studio with my photograph as reference.

Market Day in Fivizzano. Painted en plein air at beginning then finished in studio from memory.

Convento del Carmine. Painted mostly en plein air, finished in studio with my photograph.

It wasn’t all fun and games, we worked hard!  🙂

Painting in Verrucola

Sketching in Lucca

Discussing progress in Convento del Carmine

And now, I’m off on another trip!  This one across Canada, by train, with my daughter!!

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Oxford Studio Tour

May 6 & 7 is only two weeks away!  Some of you may have taken the opportunity to drive around the countryside of Oxford County, Ontario in previous years, so you know what a fantastic selection of original art can be found.  You also know how much fun a daytrip or weekend jaunt like this can be if you pair up with a friend or family member, or gather a carload of them.  We have 18 locations featuring 38 artists, and our brochures are available all over the county in libraries, tourist offices, and businesses, as well as at each studio.  Admission is absolutely free, and all you do is follow the maps and the red signs to get to each studio.  Then you just wander in!  The artists will be there to answer any questions you have (we love when you ask questions), and will leave you alone if all you want to do is enjoy the feast for your eyes.

Below is a small sampling of my own art, in case you are new to it.  I paint traditional subject matter with watercolours and I also do fractal art, all on various surfaces.  Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll stop by my open studio/gallery, at the back of my home which is Location #3.  I’m in Otterville, which is a little off the beaten track for many travelers but it’s worth the drive.  I’m easy to find, on Main Street near the historic mill and waterfall.  And my good friends Sue Goossens and Rhonda Franks, whose work I admire very much, are nearby at Location #4, along with Ashley Beecraft.  I’ve never met her but she makes really cool looking ‘misfit beasts’.

See you soon!

Lianne Todd Art Samples

Oxford Studio Tour basic information

Under the Milky Way

There’s a new juried show opening, at the Elm Hurst Inn in Ingersoll, ON.  It’s called Spectacular Skies.  The title of the show immediately made me think of the night sky: in particular, the night sky in places where light pollution hasn’t destroyed the ability to see the Milky Way in all its glory.  In spite of so many nights away from cities, I’ve yet to really see the night sky in its full splendour, and I hope to do that someday.  I was pondering where, in the world, might be a good place to do this, and my mind went back to this lovely and somewhat isolated cottage at Glen Coe in Scotland.  While thinking about all this during a car trip, I happened to be listening to SiriusXM’s 1st Wave channel, and ‘Under the Milky Way’ by The Church came on.  Complete with bagpipes mid-song.  So, that settled it, I was definitely going to paint this scene.  I dug out my photos of the cottage, changed the composition a little (the photos were taken from a tour bus), imagined it at night, with the Milky Way above it, and got started.

I photographed my work as it progressed, and put all the photos together in this little video.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you’d like to see the framed finished piece, which is a full sheet watercolour on paper (22×30″), it is hanging at the Elm Hurst until May 17.

Opening night at Paint Ontario

If you haven’t been to the Paint Ontario exhibit in other years (I hadn’t) this is really an exhibit worth driving to.  Such an amazing array of really good art portraying so many aspects of Ontario life.  Some really large pieces, some quite small…. mine fell somewhere in the middle, size-wise.  Maybe I should paint larger more often – the large pieces have such an impact.  I loved all the bright colours in many of the pieces, and some of the innovative mixed media.  Very inspiring.  I was also especially glad to see some watercolour pieces winning awards – and congratulations to all the award winners regardless of medium!  I don’t know how a juror would be able to choose, it must have been very difficult.

Anyway,  here is a little picture of me with my two pieces.  I was really happy they decided to hang them together.

Paint Ontario

I recently entered the juried show Paint Ontario with two of my paintings, and to my great delight, they both were chosen for the show.  I’ve certainly been painting Ontario for a long time but this was the first time I’ve entered – partly because it’s a bit of a distance from my house to the venue, and in other years there wasn’t the option of entering online via digital photo – you had to physically bring the painting.

Aside:  In the olden days 😉  juried shows often had you send slides of your paintings.  Remember slides?  And there was special tape to crop the slides with so that only the painting showed in the projection…

Anyway, the digital age is here and I’m really glad.

The two paintings I have in the show are ‘Four Chairs’ (which I posted in ‘A Beautiful Fall’) and a new painting ‘Resting, Killarney’, which I haven’t posted anywhere yet.  I think I will wait to post it.  I like to have people see the real painting first, sometimes.

Opening night is March 10 (this Friday) from 4-9 pm.  Admission is free for the opening night, and there is a cash bar.  Here is an invitation to the exhibit itself:

po_inviteacceptednight2017

A Beautiful Fall

We have been so lucky here in Otterville, as in many parts of Ontario this year, to have a beautiful fall.  We’ve had such warm temperatures and pleasant sunny days to enjoy all through September, October and November, right up to this past Friday, when I was out in my shirtsleeves digging up canna lily bulbs to put away until spring.  We reached a record high temperature that day – 20.7 degrees Celsius!

Well, that all ended on Saturday, as the rain came down and the temperatures dropped and the wind picked up.  I woke up early Saturday morning to the sound of our smoke alarms making the tiny beeps they make when the power goes out or comes back on.  In this case, it was coming back on, but that was not to last.  Pretty soon it went out again, and was out until about a quarter to 10 in the morning.  Back on just in time for our Welcome Back to Otterville studio tour to begin!  Quickly I got the cranberry wassail heating up in the crockpot, and the lights on in the gallery.

I didn’t have a lot of hope that many people would venture out on such a morning, but they did!  And many of them were new people who had never been on the tour before.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who came out of their cozy houses and looked at what we had to offer.  I hope some of you, if you are reading this, will be back soon!

For those who didn’t make it out but who follow me here, I appreciate your ongoing support, and here is a new piece of my art that I had on display this weekend.  It features a portion of Otterville this beautiful fall.  I truly hope whoever owns these chairs has had a chance to sit in them with a coffee or a glass of wine once in a while and enjoy the sun.

Four Chairs.  Watercolour on Paper.  15x22".  Lianne Todd.

Four Chairs. Watercolour on Paper. 15×22″. Lianne Todd. $450.00

Refreshed!

Welcome to my revamped site.  I’ve kept the same overall theme but now the home page is a static page with examples of my work, and this blog has its own page listed in the menu at top.  I am hoping this will make the site more appealing to those who are primarily interested in finding out quickly what kind of art I do, rather than reading what is going on in my creative experience.  It will also be easier for people to find a piece of art quickly, see its availability, and its price.  Part of my Twitter feed will be visible too.  If you’ve got more ideas for how to make the site more user-friendly, I’d love to hear them!

I’ve had a really nice summer, with my adult children living at home temporarily and a whole bunch of wonderful warmth and sunshine.  It has done a great deal for my mood and I feel ready to paint so much more than I have been in the past year!  I spent a few days at the end of summer at Killarney Provincial Park, camping, and took in some beautiful northern Ontario scenery – always good for the psyche.  I took lots of photos to inspire me this fall and winter.

It’s not hard to bring watercolours on a hike, you just need a little paint box that includes a palette in the lid (mine is the Van Gogh brand), some brushes that have water in the handles (Koi water brushes are great!), and a little journal of watercolour paper (Strathmore Visual Journal).  And a hiking partner willing to wait while you paint!

p1040210 view-at-top-of-the-crack001

Then we took a short another short trip to Rochester, NY and I bought a tube of my favourite – Schminke helio cerulean blue – and another new colour I will be trying out.  While there I visited the Memorial Art Gallery and spent several hours, while enjoying the sounds of the pipe organ as someone was given a lesson.  One of my favourite pieces there was Galaxy by Fritz Trautmann.  I may pay homage to it in watercolour sometime soon… stay tuned!