Throwback Thursday

Tynehead, oil on canvas board, 12 x 16 in, 2004

I took an oil painting class in 2004 with Gerald Smith at the Ottawa School of Art. This is the first oil painting I completed (aside from one when I was 12). The exercise was to complete a painting over the course of two classes based on a photo we brought in. My photo was one I took at Tynehead Park in Surrey, BC.

During the class a student asked Gerald how to put the paint on the canvas. She had never done it before. He said, “You take your brush, dip it in the paint, and then put it on the canvas. I’m not going to do it for you or even show you. Do you think anyone in any of my studies ever showed me? No. You just do it.”

Be still my beating heart.

The Sides of a Canvas

I don’t paint the sides of canvases.


It indicates that the painting is finished. I don’t consider my work finished. There is always something that can be improved or changed.

It can prettify the work. I’m not interested in pretty (unless it’s a device to lead you to something else). Beauty and pretty are not the same thing.

It’s a painting. I’m not interested in trying to make the painting into something it is not. It feels like it is trying too hard. That’s not to say that paintings are not other things. It will become what it will become.