Parkshore Grill Triptych, St Pete

90 x 48 inches

Acrylic on three canvases

I have a love-hate relationship with working on giant paintings! I think the larger works have a presence, they shout at the viewer come, look, enjoy. Many have said that it feels like you could walk right into the scene. They can be dramatic and are considered statement pieces. I think sometimes bigger pieces give the perception of you being a real artist. Not playing cautiously, but going for it. On the downside, it takes a long time to complete bigger pieces. I find myself needing to back up or take a picture of progress made so I can evaluate what needs to be done. Small mistakes, not getting an angle or curve right stand out more. Transporting and shipping larger pieces is also takes some planning.

With smaller pieces, the painting goes quickly, so there is an immediate gratification of seeing the piece come together. They are easier to ship and more people can afford to collect the smaller pieces. However, they are like reserved you have to be willing to slow down and quiet your soul to take in the message that is more of a whisper.

A solo show was coming up and the gallery owner wanted big pieces. I had a few and set about completing this one for the show. The scene is inspired by one of the many restaurants along Beach Drive in St Pete Florida. High-end shops and restaurants, bordered by a beautiful park and beyond it boats sitting in the harbor waiting. When you search online for images of a city you often see skylines. Photos are taken from a distance, trying to sum up a place by its high rises. It shows evidence of man while remaining distant, interchangeable with other places. But when you walk around an area, stay on the ground you are going at a pace where you notice things. A cool courtyard, the flowers planted outside a home. You become part of the scene. And if you’ve been to such a spot all the memories of that place can attach themselves to that image. So this scene invites one to take a seat, enjoy, relax.

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Niagara-on-the-lake #2 & #3

Wellington and Picton- Niagara-on-the-lake Cafe #2

wIMG-6999Acrylic on canvas
24×24

This cafe is located at the corner of Wellington St and Picton street in Niagara-on-the-lake. Loved the flowers hugging the white picket fence and the different colored umbrellas. We roamed the streets in the morning before lunch, so most of the cafes were just getting set up.

I do work from photographs, but the advantage of being a painter means I can take artistic liberties. As I’ve been working on street scenes and landscapes for the last few years I’ve gotten more comfortable with trees. Knowing how much detail to go for, using different shades of green, letting sky peek through. So I modified the trees slightly. There was a lamp post in the scene, but you couldn’t see the light so I took it out. All the tables and chairs at this cafe were a black metal, with mesh tops, backs, and seats. I decided to add seat cushions and make the tables solid. It’s still a confusing mess of legs but it makes the scene a little more understandable.

One thing I enjoy about these cafe Street side scenes is even though the scene is a busy one, it invites one to slow down and relax, savor the moment. There will always be more on my to-do list than I can get to in a day. Hard work is good, honorable and necessary. However work needs to be balanced with rest, literal rest

as well as the taking the time for a leisurely treat. It’s no surprise that we are better able to handle all the demands of life when we call regular timeouts.

The Patio at the Charles Inn -Niagara-on-the-lake Cafe #3

wIMG_9514

Acrylic on canvas
24×24

Umbrellas the color of sunshine, this outdoor cafe is part of The Charles Inn at Niagara-on-the-lake In Ontario, Canada. It’s a few blocks down from all the gift stores and doesn’t get nearly as much tourist’s traffic. The greenery surrounds the patio and looks so pretty next to the windows and white trim of the Inn. It’s quiet, shaded and invites one in for a nice lingering breakfast.

What do you do to rest? To recharge the batteries and remember what important versus what’s urgent? To remind yourself that it’s OK to hit pause?

Umbrellas along Bloom Street

Celebration 5

Acrylic on Canvas

24×30

Eating outside, a picnic, around a campfire, at an outdoor cafe. For some reason getting out of the kitchen, or the dining room holds a special appeal. Maybe it’s the novelty, the change from the everyday. Perhaps it’s feeling the breeze blowing, sun on your face. Or the ability to people watch. Maybe it’s engaging more of the senses while enjoying the taste of the food before you.

One thing Celebration has is a number of outdoor seating options. Restaurants, benches along the water, even some rocking chairs at the edge of the lake. This scene is outside the Avocado Mexican Grill restaurant, along Bloom Street. I love the brightness of the umbrellas and the shadows from the tables. I arrived later in the morning, workers were getting ready for the lunch crowd that would arrive.