Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Art Student At The Pantheon I" - completed painting

Oil on linen, 12x14
The sun finally peaked through the cloudy skies today and allowed me to photograph this painting for you. We've been experiencing unseasonally cold weather recently, as well as less sun. I am blessed to live in a very sunny part of the world so I was very happy to welcome this light back into my gloomy studio. I've also been working on a companion piece to this one and will hopefully be able to post it soon. Please read the posting below for an explanation of these inspiring art students at the Pantheon in Rome.

Working under the natural north lights in my studio, I am really affected by the overcast periods. But, it's a great time to do other things in my studio. This week, I managed to prepare several sized canvases. A number of canvases were done on my usual Fredrik "Kent" linen, which I give a 3rd coat of Williamsburg oil primer to, and several more were made on Utrecht 74D raw linen which I've just applied rabbit skin glue to. You can see a demonstration of the preparation of raw linen on my demonstration blog, Dunlop Demonstrations
I'd like to also invite you to visit my official website, Bobbi Dunlop Fine Art and while you're there sign up for my newsletter!
To view these paintings close up, just click on them and they will enlarge.....enjoy! and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Student At The Pantheon' - work in progress

Detail 'Student At The Pantheon' - work in progress
Oil on linen, 12x14 - work in progress

The Pantheon is referred to as the glory of Rome, and its magestic beauty is no less than breathtaking. Some of Italy's most famous kings and artists are buried at the Pantheon, most notably Raphael. I was taken with the collection of art students, focused intently on their sketchbooks, both inside and out. I love to watch people and the young students were particularly irresistable to me. This painting is one of several from that experience. This smaller painting is a work in progress....almost done. Detail above....
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Monday, November 5, 2007

'Apple Delight'

Detail - 'Apple Delight'
Oil on linen, 10x14
Such a simple subject but incredibly irresistable to sculpt with paint. Who would imagine that these two little mac apples would be able to carry a painting with such grace and beauty. And what a joy it was to paint them. This is a subject I will turn to again, I have no doubt.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

'Apple Blossoms & Pear'

Detail - 'Apple Blossoms and Pear'
Oil on linen, 18x14
'Apple Blossoms and Pear' is now was painted from life with a branch picked from an apple tree, in the spring, and completed only now. The blossoms are now just a memory, and the fruit long perished, so in finishing I really had to rely on my memory and the concept that was so firmly in my mind. Because the painting was completed without the set up in front of me, I left areas in their original, roughly painted state, which I'd grown to like very much. All of the focus and beautiful brushstrokes have been devoted to the pear. Please see the detail of it above, and click on it for a close up look.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Teapot with Shallots' - by Bobbi Dunlop

'Teapot with Shallots' - Detail
Oil on linen, 11x20

This is the first painting completed on my beautiful Utrecht linen which I primed from the raw state and demonstrated in my blog, Dunlop Demonstrations If you click on the images above, this will enlarge it and you might catch a glimpse of the beautiful canvas, peeking through the paint. Preparing my own canvas from scratch and stretching it onto stretcher bars is rather time consuming and most artists don't feel they have the time to do this, nor do they want to. Personally, it is a joy for me and I derive such pleasure from applying brushstrokes of paint onto a canvas knowing that every mark on it is from my own hand. There's just nothing like it, to my mind, and it is well worth the time and love that goes into it. In addition, I feel that I am experiencing a practice that was not optional for the great Old Masters, such as Rembrandt, who personally ground and made his own paints. This painting isn't varnished yet and I will rephotograph it once it is. Varnishing always brings life back into the paint and the painting.

Please visit my new website Bobbi Dunlop Fine Art and sign up for my newsletter!

'Girl with Basket' 1981

oil on canvas board, 24x18- 1981

It's been awhile since I've posted to my website and my blogs. I have been working on several larger pieces and will post the most recent one today. But, more importantly, I wanted to share this painting with you.

'Girl with Basket' is a painting that I did very early in my 'career'. I was 24 or 25 years old at the time I painted it - 1981. This is not my original painting, but a copy, and I'm very sorry, I do not recall who the artist is to give them credit. If anyone knows the artist whose original I copied, please let me know. I hope this artist will take satisfaction in knowing that they served to inspire a very young artist. At the time I painted this, I was dabbling in pastel, pencil and oil. Soon, I discovered watercolor, a love affair which was to sustain me for fifteen years.

My oldest daughter, Danica, and I have just returned from a trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This prairie city is my birthplace, where we travelled to visit my beautiful Mom and Dad and my brother, sister and their families. My family has given me immeasurable encouragement and support since I was a very little girl. Their enthusiasm and steadfast encouragement through the years has meant everything to me and has been instrumental in bringing me to this point in my life.

My parent's home is a virtual art gallery of my personal work. My sister, Jacquie, visited me in my studio over the years, and with eagle eye would discover paintings that I'd rejected for one reason or another. This is one of them. Frequently, she'd resurrect paintings destined for the garbage. I must admit, I was never too happy about this at the time, but I am now so grateful that she saw something in my work that I couldn't see. That she had an unconditional appreciation for my work that I didn't have.

When I painted this in 1981, it was during a time that I passionately wanted to be an artist, and was trying very hard to be one. I wasn't too sure how to go about accomplishing this and had no idea yet how tough the road I'd travel was going to be. Self-taught, I had the discipline, to be sure. I had, in my heart, the burning desire and passion. And, I'd always been tremendously adept at flying by the seat of my pants. I guess those were the most important attributes for an artist to possess. Plus, I'm an eternal optimist. In retrospect, knowing what I now know, I'd do it all again, happily. Thankfully, my husband has been the one to support me through this wonderful journey and made it possible for me to follow my heart, while also embracing motherhood. I would wish that all artists out there have someone like him to stand behind them and be their dragon at the door.

After 25 years, this painting has stood up quite well. My sister has treated it lovingly and it has always hung prominently in her beautiful home. After this trip, however, I've brought it home to give it some tender loving care. I've noticed some areas where the paint has chipped and when I painted it, I didn't know anything about varnishing, so the painting has shown some deterioration as a result. Yesterday, I cleaned it, touched up the paint chips and will varnish it soon. It will be good to go for another hundred years, I'm sure.

My daughter got a chuckle out of the left hand of the woman, which is out of proportion. There is also a striking resemblance to myself, which is often the case with portrait painters. It is apparent that I didn't know a great deal about color mixing in those early days and what I did was purely instinctive with my limited knowledge and palette. What is in evidence, however, is the inspiration by a now unknown (to me) painter, and the passion and desire a young artist possessed. All these years later, I have a huge appreciation for this piece, with all its flaws, and I am able to glimpse the eager young artist who painted it.

No longer am I critical of the apparent lack of skill, nor do I remember the struggle and hard work that went into it. Gratefully, I now possess a healthy respect for my old painting; simply, for what it is..... I have become 'friends' with it. And like a good friend, feel an unconditional love.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

'Rome Bus Stop - Study'

Oil on linen mounted panel, 7x8

In May, my husband and I went to Germany to visit our oldest daughter who was completing her degree in Reutlingen. After exploring the beauty of this German city for a few days, the three of us travelled to Venice and to Rome. This was my first trip to Europe and as my husband told me it would, it changed my life and my view of the world forever. For one thing, it certainly has made it a lot smaller. Since then, I have had so much time to reflect upon this wonderful experience. I am hoping to paint from my travels and this is perhaps the first painting of many to come.

While hustling through the streets of Rome one morning, dodging umbrellas along the sidewalk, I happened to glance over and catch this little grouping at the bus stop. I couldn't resist it....such a wonderful scene but one filled with the flavor of this historical city.

Since then, my daughter has returned home and now our youngest daughter has set out to explore this wonderful world of ours, in her own way, too. She just celebrated her 19th birthday in Paris and has tasted the culture and history of England, France, Netherlands and today she's in Berlin. How I wish I was with Paris she saw the beautiful works of Monet and Van Gogh, among others, at the Louvre and also at Musee D'Orsey. Wouldn't you know, she made a special trip to see the Rembrandt exhibit at the Louvre, just for me, and that was the day that particular exhibit was closed! Rembrandt is my favorite artist of all and has filled me with inspiration enough to last a life time.

Please email me if you would like to purchase this painting.

Monday, October 8, 2007

'This is my studio...."

Today is 'Thanksgiving Day' in Canada....just a reminder to me that I am so thankful for so much in my life. It really couldn't be more perfect with my great friends, my ever supportive family, my chosen profession.

This is a photo of my studio, the place that I spend hour after hour in a pursuit that I love. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am, and thankful to be doing what I love so much.

My studio is my oasis, and visitors often comment on the sense of this when they stand in the space. Often, it looks like a garage sale waiting to happen with all the shelves containing pots and objects that make their way into my paintings. My husband often finds things that have been missing from home. He never knows when he'll see them again!!

My studio is the perfect artist studio. It's attached to a car wash and the space was thoughtfully designed. A flower shop was in the space before I came upon it and I've kept up the original awning which says, "Mayflowers". It used to say "Mayflowers Florists" but I had the 'Florists' part taken down. The space has a high 12'ceiling and beautiful north windows. It also has an east window, but I've covered those with blinds which I close when I'm working, in order to use the single, perfect north light source.

My focus is to paint from life. This is easy to do when painting still life, which comprises most of my work these days. I set up my still-life arrangements under my wonderful northlit windows. When I have a model sit for me, for portrait work, I take photos which I load to my computer to work from later. It's not nearly as rewarding, nor as fun, as painting from life, but my models can't possibly sit for me for the time required. I've found that having the initial hours of painting the model from life, it's truly remarkable how much information stays in the mind and can be recalled later, so the photograph becomes merely a tool.

For a number of years I taught students in this very space. At that time it was full of tables and easels; a busy, thriving workspace with several weekly classes as well as weekend workshops in oils and watercolor. I set the teaching aside about 3 years ago to concentrate more on my own work. To meet so many requests, I plan to offer a workshop schedule at some point in the future.

This past week has been a busy and productive one in my studio. The little 'Rome Bus Stop' study has not been neglected. But, as is often the case, I was held up by wet paint....hope to post it for you soon. In the meantime, I've got a new larger piece, also near completion, that I will post once it's done.

And, if that's not first newsletter is actually on the horizon! So, if you are interested, please sign up on my website at Bobbi Dunlop Fine Art I'd love to have you onboard.

In the meantime, Blessings to you all....

Monday, October 1, 2007

'Rainy Day In Rome' - Work in Progress

Oil on linen mounted panel, 7x8
One rainy day in Rome this bus stop scene stopped me in my many wonderful moments from our trip to Rome and Venice in May. Hope to post this painting soon!

Friday, September 28, 2007

'Shallot and Orange'

Detail: 'Shallot and Orange', oil on linen, 5x7

What great fun this diminutive still life was to paint. In actuality, the shallot and the orange represent a tiny portion of a larger painting I have been working on this week. For a break, I painted this jewel-like little treasure. Please email me if you are interested in this piece.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

'Tulips & Windmill" - Daily Painting on eBay

Oil on panel, 6x8 (appx)
Tulips are among my favorite flowers to paint....when I bought these at my local grocer I could hardly wait to set them up in my north-lit studio, to paint them.....This little painting is available and can be purchased by contacting me at or

Friday, September 14, 2007

'Pick Me Pear' - Daily Painting

Detail: "Pick Me Pear"

Oil on linen mounted panel, 6 x 8
Unfortunately, one pear was hurt in the making of this painting. This is an organic pear and it certainly was delicious. I wonder if it was a happy pear? Our youngest daughter, Lexi, who totally embraces organically grown products, including grain fed and open-ranging cattle and chickens, has really enlightened our family in this area. We always ask her if something is 'happy' before we eat it. Even cookies. It's fair to say that this little pear seemed to be saying 'pick me!, pick me!' in the grocery store. I couldn't resist its little stem sticking up so smartly in the air.

Monday, September 10, 2007

'Egg Tree' - Daily Painting on eBay

Oil on linen mounted panel, 6x8
Please look in the archives on this site to see other 'Daily Paintings' still available for purchase.

Monday, September 3, 2007

'Complementary Tea" - Daily Painting on eBay

Oil on linen mounted panel, 7 1/2 x 10
Click on the image to see it enlarged.
This isn't exactly a new daily painting...OK, in fact, I painted it a few weeks back. But, the photo is new. I know that those hard-core 'daily painters' out there will call this cheating to be posting this painting again, but I couldn't resist doing so. I've just varnished it and it looks wonderful now...again. It's amazing how varnishing, in addition to increasing the longevity of a painting and protecting it, can refresh and put the sparkle back into it. Just like when it's freshly painted and the paint is wet and luscious.

So, that's my reason for posting it again.....that and with all the balls I have in the air these days, with building my new website, managing my blogs, building canvases, taking on a commission and being sick, too, I just really missed seeing one of those little paintings again in the midst of things. After all, I'm an artist !, not a web builder/designer/writer/marketer/business woman extraordinaire!

Hey! Whose big idea was all this anyway?

Let's consider this 'Show and Tell' ..... The 'telling' part is that this painting is back on eBay this week. It's a little bit larger than the usual daily painting format, hence the starting bid is $125US. It is painted on linen mounted on panel which, of course, I've made myself. This painting will compliment any collection. A bid for 'Complementary Tea' can be placed by clicking on the 'Click Here To Bid' button below and you will find other available daily paintings, in my endeavor, in the archives of this site. Please email me at or if you would like further information on purchasing.

Dunlop Demonstrations Update and Upcoming NEWSLETTER!

Please visit my Dunlop Demonstrations blog Dunlop Demonstrations to view 'Preparing Canvas' in a complete step-by-step demonstration... (or connect through the link on the righthand sidebar).

In addition, please visit my new, freshly updated website Bobbi Dunlop Fine Art and SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER.....You'll be one of the first and it will certainly be 'hot off the press' as I haven't even sent out the first one yet! Another work in artist's life is never done. Maybe that's what makes it so much fun!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Day In The Life of An Artist.....

Well, as they say, you make plans and then life happens.

This seems to have been the case for me in the past couple of weeks. I worked so hard and with such enthusiasm preparing my beautiful linen supports. They are now curing in my studio and will be ready to paint on next week. This week I had admirable intentions of doing some little paintings for my blog, or even posting some of my larger works which are on-going in my studio, when I came down with that nasty flu. You know the one, 'that nasty one'. My friend, Lori Jay, just back from Greece and the UK, warned me about it, but too late. So, I have been down for the count this past week. Such is life.

But, the upside to being horizontal for the better part of this week is that I am now feeling refreshed and more excited than ever to get back to easelling. It's not easy to take time away from the studio but it's never a bad thing, one way or another. Particularly, since I have agreed to take on an exciting commission for a client. Since its being handled through an advertising agency, it's all a bit hush hush ... I'll tell you about it when I'm able. Perhaps that will be when the painting is finished. This will also mean that my concentration and focus will be on bringing this commission to fruition.....if you don't hear from me for a bit, you'll understand why.

In the meantime, please read about my delightful friend Allison McNeil and her newest venture, below.

'Sunflowers" by Allison McNeil

This award-winning painting is by artist, Allison McNeil, my very special friend and former student. Her beautifully expressive acrylic painting, "Sunflowers", was featured at the Down Syndrome Conference in Calgary, AB in May, 2007.
Allison is now happy to offer "Sunflowers" in a set of 10 art cards, signed by her, and reproduced on high quality note card with a folded dimension of 5.5 x 4.25. The cards are blank on the inside and contain information about Allison on the the back. Envelopes included. Suitable for any occasion.
Allison's sunny disposition and joie de vivre are evident in this uplifting, colorful image. Her work is available on eBay and Etsy. The price is $5.00/set. Please email Allison at for more information or visit her website at Allison McNeil Art

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Step #1 - Preparing linen supports

Carefully measuring and cutting Utrecht Belgian Linen for stretching and priming...For the complete demonstration, please visit my 'Dunlop Demonstrations' blog @ Dunlop Demonstrations or connect via the link on the right sidebar!

Preparing Canvas

Stretching linen onto stretcher bars.....

Preparing Canvas

Making rabbit skin glue

Preparing canvas

1st coat, of two, of rabbit skin glue, on belgian linen. Sand between coats. Ensure to apply rsg to portion which wraps around stretcher bars.

Preparing Canvas

Two coats of rabbit skin glue over two days....gently sand between coats. Then apply primer, below....

Preparing Canvas....

Applying the first coat of lead oil primer...Apply a coat of lead oil primer thinned with turps using a palette knife. Keep the coat thin enough to fill in the weave but allowing the weave to be visible. Allow this primer to dry over several days. Gently sand (wearing a mask, preferably outdoors). When dry, apply a second coat of oil lead primer, again keeping the coat thin enough to fill in the weave but allowing the weave to be visible. Allow this to dry for two weeks before painting on the surface. Note: I apply one coat of primer to the edges.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Preparing Canvases in my studio.....

It's been awhile since I've posted a new 'Daily Painting' .... as a full-time painter, it was always my desire to paint one little masterpiece each week, while working on my larger works. But, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way and here's one of the reasons why. I am one of those hands-on artists who savours every part of this creative process. I guess it's because it is so satisfying to be able to work with one's hands, be it carpentry, gardening or whatever. I have always built my own canvases and keep an assortment of different sized stretcher bars on hand at all times. I give my oil primed canvases another coat of lead primer so that I have my surfaces just the way I like them. Recently, my friend, artist Lisa Humes, visited me from Florida and brought with her some incredibly beautiful Utrecht raw linen as a gift. So, this weekend was spent not only stretching the raw linen onto stretcher bars, but preparing the supports with rabbit skin glue before priming them with an oil based primer. The photo above shows the process of applying rsg. After two coats of this over a few days, I will then prime the surface with oil lead primer, again preparing the surface to my idea of perfection. It's necessary to wait for a few weeks to paint on them, but it's so worth it. Please check my 'Dunlop Demonstrations' site to see the stages...hope to post them soon, as I do them. In addition to building these canvases, I've also been busy building my new website Bobbi Dunlop Fine Art Please visit if you haven't yet!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

'Pear and Grapes'

Oil on panel, 6 x 8 - SOLD
A simple subject...always fun to explore. It's been a busy weekend. I've revamped my official website, and have it up and running for you to view. See the posting below and the corresponding link...Hope to be posting to it regularly, so please visit often!

'Among The Lilies'

Please visit my updated website

Thursday, August 9, 2007

'Complementary Tea'

Oil on linen mounted panel, 7 1/2 x 10
Here is the completed painting...see below for the work in progress. This painting was fun to do with all the glorious color and beautiful round shapes. I've had this teapot in my studio for some time and have wanted to paint it. Adding the complemenary oranges was just what it needed for 'Complementary Tea' .... This painting is available on eBay. Please click on my eBay Store DUNLOP STUDIO, to the right and at the top.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Work in Progress....

Oil on linen mounted on panel, 7 1/2 x 10
Click on the image to enlarge and you will see it approximately 2 1/2 times bigger than the original!

This painting will be available on eBay when it is completed....visit my eBay store by clicking the link at the above right.

Couldn't resist these little panels that I prepared last week specially for my Daily Paintings....the linen is beautiful, quality Fredrix oil primed linen and I've applied another coat of lead primer to make the surface just the way I like it. It's fiddly, but I find it so satisfying to prepare this linen and build my canvases myself....and it's heaven to work on. I pushed this painting as far as I could in one day...I like to work on a dry surface the second day. This first stage is full of possibilities, many of which I will discover as I apply pieces of paint over the dry tomorrow. This painting was inspired by my artist buddy, Joey Iantorno. Joey is an amazing artist, and person, living in Anaheim, CA. Although we live in different countries we manage to compare notes and inspire one another. The artist's life can be a rather isolated one, by choice, therefore meaningful friendships are forged and boundaries become seamless. This one is for Joey. Hope to complete it tomorrow, Joey.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

'Dazzling Pear'

Oil on linen mounted panel, 6x6 (appx)
Please email me at or for details

I've been away from the Daily Painting recently....busy working to complete a portrait of my Mom and also a few other larger pieces. The surface I work on is of utmost importance to me, so I've been experimenting with preparing surfaces for these little mini-masterpieces. I've got some beautifully primed linen mounted panels, which I've made myself, ready to go and I can hardly wait to try them I expect to get back to the little ones soon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Detail of 'Elegant Egg'

'Elegant Egg'

Oil on linen mounted panel, 8x6
Back from a wonderful weekend reunion with childhood girlfriends.....We've been friends since we were little girls of four years of age and lived along the same street. Feeling very blessed today to have these beautiful people still, and always, in my life - Cathy, Lori, Linda, Brenda and Terrilynn......

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Egg Tree"

Oil on linen mounted panel, 6x8
Please email me at or for purchasing details.
It's been a busy week and I'm back to the mini-paintings once again! My good friend, artist Lisa Fourcade-Humes, visited me from Florida....her first visit to Canada so it was pretty exciting to have her here with me. A trip to Alberta wouldn't be complete, however, without a drive into Banff National Park and the spectacular Canadian Rockies....I live so close to them, but this sight can still take ones breath away. I love to paint eggs, you might have noticed. They are incredibly beautiful to sculpt with paint and very hard to do. I guess I like the challenge. The little brass dish is a sophisticated contrast.....and the tube of paint, well, just couldn't resist it either. An Eucalyptus branch is the finishing touch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Tulips and Windmills"

Oil on prepared panel
Please email me at or for purchasing information.
Another little chiaroscuro painting which I began a few weeks ago, prior to my trip to Germany, Italy and New Mexico. Put the finishing touches on the tulip today, as well as the windmill pattern on the china. Couldn't resist painting a grape..... see detail of this painting above.

"Three Tulips"

Oil on linen mounted panel,
Please email me at or for purchasing information.
This painting of 3 beautiful tulips was fun to do.....tulips are among my favorite flowers and I seem to choose to paint them a lot. I started this painting prior to my trip and couldn't resist putting some finishing touches on the flowers's tough for me to do them justice in one single sitting. Today my artist friend, Rick Berg, visited me at my studio....his beautiful landscapes can be seen on his site

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Petite Ochre Pot" - SOLD

Daily Painting - "Petite Ochre Pot" oil on panel

"China Box"

This second daily painting again stars the small square china box. The once vibrant greenery, now yellowed and brittle, does not go unappreciated in my studio.