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Showing posts from November, 2011

Small Pond Arts Logo Design

Many desperate acts of design (including gradients, drop shadows, and the gratuitous use of transparency) are perpetuated in the absence of a good concept. A good idea provides the framework for design decisions, guiding the work. – Noreen Morioka (updated 2015 version) Names are very important to Krista and me and we brainstormed dozens of them and deliberated for weeks until we were absolutely happy with " Small Pond Arts " (during the logo design process, we dropped the "Ranch" to simplify the name). The next step, of course, was to create a visual identity, mainly a logo, for this new venture, so I set about doodling some concepts that had to do with the overall theme of "a big fish in a small pond." With the sketching underway, the typeface had to be carefully chosen; it had to convey a friendly, artistic playfulness while walking the very fine line between professionalism and whimsy (it couldn't be staid and boring, nor could it be s


15" x 22", watercolour, 2002,  collection of Steam Whistle Brewing I had a show at the Steam Whistle Brewing HQ in 2002 and did this painting for that –and then for them to add to their collection afterwards. I set up the still life of fresh beer on my parents' back patio one summer evening and I added the watermelon because it's a refreshing seasonal symbol to me and it adds visual interest since the colour of the rind matches the bottles and the red flesh is (obviously) complementary. There's a second pilsner glass behind the front one, but it's hard to spot unless you look closely. I did a number of shots and arrangement variations and this one was my favourite, but I should have moved the second glass a little to the right so it's in view (especially since there are two bottles visible).  The invitation I created for the event: (look at that URL! ha-ha.) Click here to see a similar painting to the one in the invite.

Australian Landscapes (part 2)

   each: 11" x 15", watercolour, 1998, private collections These are the last two of my five Australian landscapes I painted back in the 1990s. I shot the photo ref for the top painting myself at Wilson's Prom and the bottom painting of The Twelve Apostles was shot by my cousin, Liz. Bonus Australian painting: 14" x 18", oil on canvas, 2002, private collection I also did a number of small oil paintings of the Sydney Opera House from various interesting angles, but this one is the best of the lot. It was undergoing a bit of a restoration but I managed to take a lot of nice pictures. Maybe I'll do some larger oils of this beautiful structure one day... Australian Landscapes (part 1)

Australian Landscapes (part 1)

each: 15" x 11", watercolour, 1998, all paintings in private collections My  previous post (and the fact that I'm currently in the midst of painting ten new local barnscapes) put me in the mood to post these old landscapes inspired by my trip to Australia in 1993 (the first and third paintings are based on photos my cousin, Elizabeth, took, the middle one's mine). I don't remember where Liz said she took the photo for the top painting; the middle one is at Wilson's Promontory in south Victoria, if I remember correctly; and the bottom one is a close-up of Uluru  (the formation formerly known as Ayer's Rock). Australian Landscapes (part 2)


30" x 40", oil and acrylic on canvas, 2008,  private collection Detail. This is a commission I did a few years ago where the client wanted a painting that combined my realistic yet painterly style with the traditional patterns of Australian Aboriginal art. I did some research and found a style of patterns that suited my photo reference of the kangaroo and adapted the geometry and layout to fit around the marsupial. Relatively speaking, the kangaroo was easier to paint than the painstaking lines and dots behind it. I used acrylic for the pattern (because it was made up of flat colours) and oils for the kangaroo (because I'm more comfortable blending colours in that medium).

Lisa (Green Chair)

40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2008 Detail. This one's colours are more vibrant than the first of this series, and, being the most recent, you can see a progression towards more chroma over the four paintings ( here is the painting done just before Lisa's). In retrospect, I prefer the subtleties of the first one, but the lively saturated colours of the last two are still pretty neat.