“Welcome Bay Arbutus” (2014) – new painting

"Welcome Bay Arbutus" 2014 24" x 36" acrylic on canvas

“Welcome Bay Arbutus”
2014
24″ x 36″
acrylic on canvas

“Welcome Bay Arbutus” is another of my Pender Island paintings. This is a quiet little bay on North Pender Island and depicts a day, one November, that was cold, wet and foggy……what our family refers to as “it’s west-coasting outside”. Wellie weather.

“Welcome Bay Arbutus” is finally finished after two years of working on the canvas sporadically. At three feet wide it is one of my favorite sizes of canvas to paint on.

Working for such a long spread out time on this canvas created some interesting situations. First, I had to keep reminding myself what it was that first attracted me to the subject matter and what I wanted to present. The second thing that was tricky was keeping the style the same over the course of time. Last week I discovered that the painting looked like it had been painted in three different styles in distinct zones. One area I have no idea what I was originally thinking….apparently a sponge was handy and I used it (a lot!). The only way to solve the “three style” painting was to completely attack the areas that did not work, ignore what had been done in the past, and paint as if I was painting by scratch. In the end it all worked out and I am really happy with the piece.

Painting by Debra Hunter

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

More New Knitting – Knit Gift Items Made in Alberta, Canada

naturally dyed knittingI completed another order of naturally dyed and hand knit items this evening. Coffee Sweaters, Coffee Mug Sweaters, and Coffee Press Sweaters will be off on a journey to the Whyte Museum Shop in Banff, Alberta. These items are perfect for the upcoming gift giving season. This latest grouping contains a few pieces I absolutely love, and now someone enjoying the Rockies can enjoy them too.

 

Naturally hand-dyed and hand-knit items and gifts by Debra Hunter
Studio H
Red Deer, Alberta and Pender Island, British Columbia

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“Autumn Walk, Dr. George Trail, Gaetz Lake Sanctuary” – New Painting of the Canadian Landscape (Red Deer, Alberta)

blog Autumn Walk  Dr George Trail Gaets Lake Sanc 2014 border

“Autumn Walk, Dr. George Trail, Gaetz Lake Sanctuary”
2014
11 inches by 14 inches
acrylic on panel

This painting captures a morning walk through fall leaves along the Dr. George Trail. The Dr. George Trail is a 1 km loop the runs through the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary located just behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, AB, Canada. A mix of evergreen and deciduous trees plus wetlands and grasslands makes for an interesting stroll.

I have decided to work on a series of paintings based on this natural area. We frequent the area often and see it throughout the seasons;  the sanctuary has endless possibilities for paintings. So far I have completed three finished paintings and three in progress from this area.

For the last few months I have made the switch from painting on bigger canvases to painting on smaller panels. The switch has also included going from detailed up close subject matter to broader landscape views. I expected the switch to not make much of a difference in the way that I painted, however I was very wrong. The first challenge was paint seemed flatter on the panel, I eventually solved that problem with working in some glazes to build depth. The second challenge was working on a smaller scale. I thought the smaller scale would create stiffer contrived pieces, but strangely the smaller paintings ended up looser (well after the first painting or three that is!). The paintings look more like something out of my sketch books. At first it seemed odd, but after I thought about it, it made complete sense. The smaller size was like working in a sketchbook, as was the smooth surface. I also have sketched “landscapes” for years, but have only painted them on rare occasions. So the big decision now is whether I continue to paint like I sketch or do I tighten it up. The other option is to paint the same painting two different ways. This may seem a bit repetitive, but could also be very interesting in seeing the outcome. I’ll have to see if the right spot inspires me to try the two painting scenario.

Painting by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“Growing Wild (Medicine Beach, Pender Island)” – Pender Island Art

"Growing Wild (Medicine Beach, Pender Island)" 2014 6 inches by 6 inches acrylic on panel

“Growing Wild (Medicine Beach, Pender Island)”
2014
6 inches by 6 inches
acrylic on panel

In “Growing Wild (Medicine Beach, Pender Island)” I decided to try something new, I chose to paint a black and white painting. This is another small scale painting at 6 inches by 6 inches, however I feel the scale and subject matter really work. I love the simplicity of black and white, and the quickness of the paint going down resulting in a very unfussy painting that isn’t over done. This is definitely my most favorite of the paintings I have completed recently. Chances are there will be more black and white paintings in the future.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

“Orville’s Barn” (2014)

"Orville's Barn" 2014 acrylic on panel 6 inches by 6 inches

“Orville’s Barn”
2014
acrylic on panel
6 inches by 6 inches

This past weekend we were out driving near our cabin. A barn that we pass often caught my eye. The barn, that sits on top of the hill, has been in rough shape for as long as we have known, but it now looks like it is ready to topple. I decided it was time to record it before it was gone.

I will honestly admit I have never painted a barn before, I worried that it seemed like a cliche thing to do, especially here in Alberta. Perhaps at some point everyone has to paint a red barn.

I like the fact that this is painted on a small scale, after all a six inch by six inch painting is quite small. The wonky window frames are actually like that in real life; it is a wonder the barn is still standing. It is a nifty little piece.

And by the way……..it actually is Orville’s Barn.

 

Painting by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

www.thehuntergroup.ca

 

“The Star Money” (2014) – new fibre art piece completed

 the star money

“The Star Money” 17″x17″ (2014) naturally hand-dyed silk and cotton with glass beads

Last night I finished “The Star Money”, a piece based on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale of the same name. The base of hand-dyed silk is embroidered with cotton and silk threads (again hand-dyed) and glass seed beads. In viewing the piece in person in shimmers as the light hits the piece due to the glass beads and the texture of the silk.

I think it is interesting to interpret a folk tale using folk techniques. Originally these tales would have been shared in homes in a day where cloth was stitched by hand, just as this piece was.

It is a whimsical piece with the homespun feel of the folk tale.

I suspect this could be a theme I may continue with, after all I have 210 Grimm’s Fairy Tales to choose from.

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Artwork by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
www.thehuntergroup.ca

“Hay Bales at Horne Beach” (2014)

"Hay Bales at Horne Beach" (2014) 11 inches by 14 inches acrylic on canvas

“Hay Bales at Horne Beach”
(2014)
11 inches by 14 inches
acrylic on canvas

We just spent a weekend at the cabin. As the weather was changeable with periods of rain dotted with spots of sun it was easy to find a couple of hours to paint. Thanks to my husband giving me a rather lovely iPad Mini, I am currently testing a new way to approach my painting where by I shoot a scene on the device and then use that as a reference for the painting. This is the first painting completed this way.

Sometimes I will paint on location as some of you may have seen on my Island Home Blog, but after a few close calls with rising tides I think having the reference image to finish up with will be handy….and safer (let’s just say last time we cut it too close!).

The scene inspiring “Hay Bales at Horne Beach” is a field that over looks Lake Isle (Lac Ste. Anne County, Alberta, Canada), about 100m from our cabin. Very rural. Very Alberta. A moment captured between rain storms with sparkling clear Alberta skies. Trust me, those skies turned very black shortly after when the next storm blew off the foothills.

 

Art and photography by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta
www.thehuntergroup.ca

blog H

“Grain Elevator and Tansy” (2014)

"Grain Elevator and Tansy" (2014) 14.75 inches by 15.25 inches

“Grain Elevator and Tansy”
(2014)
14.75 inches by 15.25 inches

“Grain Elevator and Tansy” is my most recent fibre art piece to complete.

Grain elevators are a classic Alberta scene, however many are disappearing as they age and cities and towns expand. It was nice to acknowledge these giants of the prairies using age old stitching, dyeing and beading methods.

This piece consists of hand dyed cotton, dyed in natural hand crafted dyes of marigold, cutch and madder. The piece is then detailed with hand stitching and hand beading. The stitching threads of cotton, wool and silk are also colored with natural dyes. If you look closely there are some pale yellow threads in the stitching dyed from tansy collected from ditches in Alberta and then turned into dye. Truly a home grown piece.

Photography and art by Debra Hunter
Red Deer, Alberta

www.thehuntergroup.ca

blog H

“Sunset, North Saskatchewan River” (2014)

“Sunset, North Saskatchewan River” (2014) 32inches by 40 inches naturally hand-dyed cotton, silk and wool hand stitched and hand beaded

The latest fibre art piece is completed after an ambitious and labor intensive 2 months. This is the largest piece I have tackled to date measuring in at 32 inches by 40 inches. The fabrics and threads have all been hand-dyed in hand crafted natural dyes. Cutch, lac, madder, pomegranate, logwood and tansy are the plant-based materials that bring the color to the piece. Thousands of glass beads add the light and sparkle to this Alberta landscape. Unfortunately an internet picture can’t convey the scale, it is really a piece that makes you stop and look (and touch…….the beading is really cool to touch!).

Here are a few of the details:

sun

sun

 

trees

trees

 

river and dead trees

river and dead trees

 

island

island

 

river

river

 

more trees

more trees

 

Working large definitely has its challenges, from the amount of time the piece takes, to finding a work space that works for stitching, plus finding a mounting method that works. The bigger piece definitely does provide more visual impact than the smaller pieces I have done. It was a great experience to work large and it is something I will do again.

 

Artwork by Debra Hunter
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca

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