CHERYL BAILEY
Contemporary Landscape Artist

Blog/News

My huge week! 3 paintings sold AND I  received news this afternoon that I was elected yesterday to membership in the Ontario Society of Artists . I can now put OSA after my name!  The membership roster is SO impressive -- including Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven and Doris McCarthy! I can hardly breathe!!

This is a portion of  the letter of acceptance and congratulations that I received: "The OSA has a long tradition, which began with its founding in 1872. We are Canada's oldest continuously operating artists' society. The OSA was instrumental in establishing major art institutions, such as the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art. Among its offshoots are the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, the Sculptors' Society of Canada and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour."  

I feel very honoured to belong in such a prestigious group of artists.

Thank you for your interest!

shown below --New diptych -- The Birches and the Redbud.          Cheryl Bailey, OSA     :D

 

(posted on 17 Jan 2018)

Lately I visit the Rockies in Alberta or British Columbia more often. Bad weather sometimes socks them in with low clouds and there's nothing much to see. Then the clouds lift and it's like a star has stepped out onto the stage to entertain  just for me!

There's nothing like a sunny day in the mountains to bring on the oohs and aaahs. A special treat I hope all Canadians will experience at some time in their lives. Is there anywhere else where so many photos are taken? The splendour of it all!

I love to paint the mountains. Now that I am a somewhat regular visitor to our Rockies, I am getting the feel of the mountains and can attempt to pass on the immensity in my paintings. Here's the previous version of Mount Edith Cavell which sold to a buyer on Artbombdaily.com 

The newest abstraction/simplificaton is below. Mount Edith Cavell On Stage

 

Well, not everything is fresh!   Today I am getting started on a larger version of a successful small painting that I did in November.  I'm not sure yet how similar this painting will be to the small one and when I say 'successful', I mean it works very well. Everything about the painting works- the composition, the colour, lines and shapes all just feel right. 

This  previously loved idea with fresh paint and canvas will ramp up my restart after the Christmas break  in preparation  for the Kingsway-Lambton Art Show on April 7th in Toronto. All winter, I'll be painting spring! with a few mountains thrown in for variety.

The painting:

There is a birch tree in close proximity to the redbud. Both trees are native to Ontario but the redbud is an understory tree. The redbud in bloom is quite magical as magenta popcorn blossoms poke through the bark  all along the the branches. In 2016, our young redbud suffered a large broken limb in the a spectacular March ice storm. When discovered, I propped up the limb with a strong crutch shaped branch from a poplar and tied the break with a makeshift cloth bandage. Surprisingly, in the spring of 2017, the broken limb was blooming, as beautifully as ever.  

When the magenta redbud blossoms glow against the shadowed areas further down the hill and the morning sun rises warmly in view, Spring is in full swing!

The original 8x8 is shown on the blog post two below this one. Here are the original views I began with:

 

Just received word that our group exhibition Progressions VII is now hanging at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg Ontario. This would be a thrill for any artist-  and I am no exception! The education department at McMichael in cooperation with Fleming College Haliburton School of the Arts supports advanced artists  as, for the seventh year in a row, these  artists are exhibiting their 12x16 inch landscapes. I don't have a closing date at the moment but the show is expected to be up for 3 months in total- so probably at least 2 more months.  I hope you can take it in.

The paintings were all painted in the Pine Cottage at the McMichael in September. My piece is Indian Paintbrush at Mount Robson.   Red indian paintbrush, a plant native to Canada, was blooming in August in the meadow in front of the mountain. So beautiful. We didn't even have to climb up to see this meadow, it was right beside the road. This was a fun composition for me, resulting in several versions of the painting- a là Lawren Harris who often painted a scene several times.

The McMichael is an iconic art gallery in Canada with a very large collection of Canadian paintings particularly the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.  Definitely worth a trip. Current exhibitions - all fantastic - include :

The Group of Seven- Director's Cut (opening Dec 9)

The Group of Seven Guitar Project (which is wonderful- Linda Manzer, luthier,  went to my high school!)

Alex Janvier

Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice

Check out the website at www.mcmichael.com

Visiting hours Tues - Sun 10am-4 pm -- note that the gallery is not open in the evening. Not sure why.

ENJOY!

Indian Paintbrush at Mount Robson

 

(posted on 29 Nov 2017)

Away From Home

It's been nearly a month since we've been home. We're catching all the rays of  sunshine  we can in Florida, stocking up for winter in Canada where the sun is still getting lower in the sky. 

Two small paintings are ready for critique on Tuesday. It's the last chance with my mentor until he comes back from his trip away from the Canadian winter. They are shown below.

When I'm down south here, I set up a mini mini studio at the bar counter in the condo. I have a mini palette with my mini bottles of paint, and my mini canvases. Since I'm a pretty tidy painter, it works without creating a mess of drips and splotches of paint on anything. 

It's probably good exercise to do small paintings now and then but I am happier on the bigger canvases on the big easel. 

 Winter has not yet begun but I have started THINKING SPRING!  I have been invited to participate in a  prestigious fundraising show called the Kingsway-Lambton Art Show in Toronto. It will be happening on April 7 for one big day. If you are in the Toronto area, it would be great to see you there! More details will appear later in the winter.

One painting is still in progress but here are the other 2 paintings I've done in Florida with the spring show in mind:

The Birch and the Redbud 8x8

 

 

Spring Forest Floor 12x12                

 

 

 

(posted on 28 Oct 2017)

Just put "Western Skies" 36x36 up on a post to FB for tomorrow. Was thinking that I didn't have to take much license with the clouds. The snap I took from the car shows that the sky really didn't change much. It's already such an abstract sky! We were travelling back to Calgary from Banff in March when we saw this configuration  in the sky. 

I've made up some art theory mugs for the artists at my studio group-- the Etobicoke Art Group. Included info on the mug:
the 16 elements of composition/design/play in the system, 

the descriptors for colour definition

the 6 ways to add power to a painting

how to make a colour look luminous

and last but not least.... our fearless mentor's oft heard comment "Too much subject, not enough Artist?"

What a great group and such a joy to be a part of.

There's lots going on in the latest painting "Western Skies"--  high key/low key complementary colour (blue-orange) system, high value contrast, unity provided by the black underpainting, harmony in the palette, balance, repetition in the shapes, gradation in colour and shapes, transition provided by large diagonal shapes connecting, texture on the surface both physical and visual. 

Feel welcome to send me your comments :D and have a great weekend!

         

(the vertical 'cloud' in the photo is windshield reflection)

 

(posted on 3 Oct 2017)

Thanks Orangeville.com for the  mention!

Here's the link:   Orangeville.com

At the Jurors Walk for the Headwaters Festival Juried show, two of the jurors gave critique of the works they chose to include in the show for the artists who were present that afternoon. It was interesting. One juror queried the level of abstraction in the parts of one of  my paintings- more abstraction in one part than another. 

The Headwaters Arts Festival Juried Art Show opening reception will be on Friday September 15 beginning at 7  pm. The show is free entry at any time except on the night of the opening as it is a fundraiser for the Headwaters Arts. Tickets for the reception are $25 (tax included) and available  online at www.HeadwatersArts.com or by calling 519-943-1149. I am sure tickets are available at the door but please call to be sure.

The exhibition is at the Alton Mill Art Centre in Caledon, Ontario. This is a little west of Highway 10 in the small village of Alton. It is a lovely old knitting mill building.

Please let me know if you plan to attend and I will watch for you. Happily, I have 2 paintings juried into this provincial exhibition. Usually the refreshments are in the lower level. The exhibition covers the entire main floor of the Alton Mill Art Centre for this event only.

 

(posted on 2 Jul 2017)

How Long Does It Take to Paint a Picture?

The short answer to this question is that it varies a great deal. Beginning to end, sometimes a week, sometimes a month until all decisions are completely satisfying.

Some paintings almost seem to paint themselves. Others are a bit of a struggle to pull out of the depths. At present, I always begin with a pencilled value sketch to develop the composition and show myself where the lights and darks will be.

The composition usually takes a great deal of time for me. I don't like repetition (i.e. do overs) so I like to get the composition right in the first go round. The drawing may start out complicated. I keep sketching and simplifying. My simplest paintings are some of my best. Often, I am thinking about the drawing when I'm not actually drawing.

The next part (after deciding the composition is ready) is deciding what colours to use. I like to shop the colour wheel, looking at all my choices. A rose in any colour is still a rose. I don't paint roses but you get what I mean. If I am having a hard time deciding, I have a bigger shopping chart for colour inspiration.

My colour plan could be complementary colours, analogous colours, monochromatic. Then I start out with one colour in the right value and go from there. My values (lights and darks) stay pretty true to my original plan but often the colours come around to something not so near to the original plan. My colours are mixed from a limited number of bottles of Golden brand paint. All my greens are mixed. And I like the challenge of matching the values of several colours so that the area will appear flat.

Eventually, I get something that I am pleased with and can go to the canvas.

The one thing the value sketches don't show is the colour contrasts. So sometimes I need to adjust the plan on this account. Being a visual artist, means you will know it is right when you see it. If I make a drastically poor choice , I will need to go back to the black underpainting and begin again in that section. If all goes well, I save the most fun for last, putting in a juicy bit of colour somewhere as a focal point.

Did you know that a focal point doesn't need to be interesting in and of itself? It just needs to bring your eye over to that part of the painting so you can spend some time looking around there. Here's the latest - just a snap from Instagram- still a few decisions to make

(posted on 20 Jun 2017)

Today I completed Wild Lupines 12x12. This is a little departure for me as it is flowers--usually I do landscapes-- and very flattened shapes. What do you think? Send me your comments on the contact page.

In the natives meadow, the lupines are silhouetted by the darkness of the deer browse line(where the deer have eaten all the leaves under the edge of the forest) . This darkness makes the flowers glow just like the luminosity provided by the black underpaintings that I use. Here's what I mean:

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