July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

November 10, 2016:
I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Branching Out

Branching Out
oil on panel
private collection

On my second day at Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus I decided to use my 8x8 boards again and experiment with the tree top idea that has been swirling around in my head since I painted "Looking Up" and "Against The Sky". I decided to use oils in a limited palette which helped to keep my plein air supplies nice and light. I also borrowed some walnut alkyd from a good friend (thanks Deb!) with the hopes that the paint would dry more quickly... it did! I decided to stay around the main campus area so that I could easily take my boards back to the studio when they were complete. I painted four boards that day using only Cadmium Yellow Light, Phthalo Blue, Yellow Ochre, Crimson and Titanium White. At first I had not included Yellow Ochre, but as I began painting I felt like I couldn't get all of the greens and browns I wanted, so I added it. I have to say that I had virtually never used Yellow Ochre until this spring and it has fast become one of my favorite colours! I especially love it in oil paint.

I have to give a shout out to Don Michael Jr. and TJ Lynde for encouraging me to experiment with a limited number of paints on my palette. I still have plenty to learn and it was fantastic to spend an entire day focusing on this exercise. As it turns out, I think I actually use a more limited palette than I realized. Yes, I have plenty of colours to choose from in my box, but when I lay my palette out I pick and choose the blues I want, the yellows, reds etc. Once I get painting often I don't even end up using all of the colours I have squeezed out. I think I will challenge myself with a limited palette again because I think it encourages mixing and experimenting, but I am not going to beat myself up on the days when I want to squeeze out 10 or 12 colours.


-Don said...

Branching Out is a beautiful painting and a wonderful metaphor. It's exciting to watch as you experiment with new materials and new ways of doing things. Thanks so much for the 'shout out'. I'm glad you have found my words encouraging. It's nice to know someone listens to me - I think I'll point my wife and kids over to your blog tomorrow. :-)

Happy Creating!


Nicki said...

Hi Don,

Thanks so much. I'm glad you caught the metaphor- it was intentional. I've enjoyed the bit of experimenting I've done and I hope to do more now that the kids are in school and I've stopped crying about that! :o)