Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Private Classes in My Studio

I've decided to take on a few (very few) private students.   The private instruction will be held in my personal studio with the emphasis on "painting from life." 

You can read more about this and my past workshops and classes by clicking here (and checking back into the archives also).

I welcome any questions you might have so feel free to contact me.

Thank you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Tang Horse #2"

"Tang Horse #2", 6x8 inches, oil on linen on panel


Recently I've been busy painting some larger works in my studio, so haven't posted for a bit.  After painting in such a small format the past number of months, it's really a treat to go back to something on a larger scale. 

This Tang Dynasty horse is one from the series I painted.   Early on in my career I painted real live horses and as a kid spent hours drawing horses and dogs.  I always wanted my own horse and have had a lifetime love of all things to do with them, which my Dad passed along to me.  

I've had to satisfy myself with sculpting them in paint - this seems to be working for me fine. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Mr Bear", oil on panel, 6x6 inches

"Mr Bear", oil on panel, 6x6 inches


This teddy bear belonged to my daughter and now hangs out with a gang of stuffed animals in her baby's bedroom.  I must admit, since becoming a grandmother, I'm finding many things to do with babies suddenly very interesting to paint. 

Painting dailies allows me to experiment and challenge myself with all the quick starts and finishes that a small format provides. One of the best things about painting these little miniatures is that I can paint anything I want to and have fun with it;  Mr Bear was no exception.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Crabapples", oil on panel, 5.5x6 inches

"Crabapples", oil on panel, 5.5x6 inches
One of the great things about taking on a project to paint dailies is that it's a wonderful way tochallengeoneself, keep your work fresh and develop as an artist.  It's with this pursuit in mind that I begin each new painting.  I love to begin paintings and for me, this is the easy part.  The challenge is always in finishing the work in such a way that it retains its freshness and doesn't get overworked.  

Our neighbour has the most beautiful bounty on their crabapple tree and I could hardly wait to snip a few branches to set up for one of my little paintings. I'd been looking forward to painting these little rosy apples and so was totally sandbagged by the difficulty that was presented. 

It was, by virtue of the small format, a very simple concept; no difficulty there.  But as I quickly got into the painting I struggled with areas of it, not the least of which was dealing with the speed in which the greenery wilted. In the end, since I worked on it over a few days, I just went with the wilting, curling leaves and tried to make the most of it.

There comes a certain point in every painting where aesthetics trump the concept - or the reality. An artist must always be cognizant of this and be willing to look for possibilities that present themselves along the way, for the beauty of the painting.  

In this particular instance, it became increasingly clear that the table top that I'd set up my still life on was competing with my beautifully rosy round apples and sabatoging my painting.  Once I'd established this and altered the surface to a more neutral colour, allowing the beautiful apples to be the star of the show, things began to hum again. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Porcelain and Grapes", 6x6 inches, oil on linen on panel

"Porcelain and Grapes", 6x6 inches, oil on linen on panel


When I decided to take on the project of painting dailies again, I was really excited about the prospect of painting each and every vessel and object I've been storing in my studio.  I have collected so many lovely vessels over the years because I wanted to paint them.

This is the second time I've selected this particular little vase, with its lovely blue pattern, to be featured in a painting.  It's becoming apparent, at this rate, it could take me several years to get through the collection in my studio cupboards.

I've painted "Porcelain and Grapes" in one of my favourite complementary colour themes - orange and blue.  I'm sure this diminutive vase will make an appearance again.  I find it irresistable.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Trio", oil on linen on panel, 4.75x8 inches

"Trio", 4.75 x 8 inches, oil on linen on panel


Early on in my career I frequently painted my children.  People would ask me, "Doesn't it bother you to sell paintings of your children?" and I would tell them that it didn't.  Well, I have a confession to make.  Now that my children are grown, there are so many paintings of them that I would give anything to see again.  I must have been an extremely ruthless artist way back when.

This was painted from a photo of my kids that's been knocking around my studio for years.  Twenty to be exact.  I've always wanted to paint it and now I have. 

I remember this beautiful summer day with such clarity and such fondness.  While painting, I was absolutely taken back to those wonderful years of my life.

Some Sidenotes:

 ... in the off chance you might be thinking that I'm still as ruthless as ever, let me just say that this painting could very well be the study for a larger piece.  It's right off the easel, partly wet and partly dry.  I'll take a proper photo of it once it's varnished.

I've joined Twitter!  My son thinks it's a good idea.  You can follow me @BobbiDunlopArt.

If you'd like to receive my miniatures as I post them for auction on Daily Paintworks, please fill in the email box above. Thanks for visiting!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Counting Sheep?"

"Counting Sheep?"
oil on panel
5.5 x 6 inches


In deciding to paint something for Daily Paintworks "Paint Your Mug" Challenge,  I realized it would be impossible for me to choose a favourite mug.  I love vessels and part of the joy each morning is getting to pick a different one from the cupboard.  

Perhaps that's why I love painting still life;  observing light flowing over all these beautiful surfaces and round plump shapes make my fingers tingle to sculpt them in paint.

I painted this child's mug years ago in a painting called "The Black Sheep?".   The mug belonged to my children and I've always thought it has such attitude, perhaps even naughty or non-conforming.   I've recently become a grandmother for the first time and that could be the reason this little mug follows so closely on the heels of my teddy bear painting. 

I assure you, this mug was a perfect angel while I painted it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"BOM Bear" - Aid for children in the Horn of Africa

    " BOM Bear", oil on linen on panel, 6x6 inches

100% of proceeds going to aid the children starving in the Horn of Africa

Daily Paintworks, has invited all its participating artists to join in a fundraising challenge which will aid the children of Africa presently suffering the ravages of famine.

From Daily Paintworks:

"The UN has said up to 400,000 children in the Horn of Africa could die without aid and up to 11 million people require food assistance.  In March of this year, over 1,500 artists and buyers stepped up and sold and bought fine art, through their Help Japan Challenge to help the people of Japan.  We hope to create the same opportunity to help the children starving in the Horn of Africa"

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be sent to aid an organization helping children in the Horn of Africa.  Shipping costs for the painting will be borne by the winning bidder.

My donation will be going to Oxfam Canada - in turn the Canadian Government will match the donation (by September 16, 2011).

I will provide a receipt to the buyer as proof of the donation, however, it is the artist who will receive the tax benefit. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Lively Hat

"The Lively Hat", oil on linen on panel, 8x6 inches

To Purchase CLICK HERE

This painting is of the lovely Natasha whom you might recognize since I've painted her numerous times.  Each Tuesday morning, for several months, Natasha would come to my studio to sit for me. I always looked forward this morning of companionable conversation, as I explored her wonderfully familiar features with paint and brush.  

For me, there is comfort in painting a model again and again.  There is an intimacy and thrill of rediscovery as  my brush anticipates a familiar plane; a beautiful sparkle or a graceful line.

Natasha donned a lively hat on this particular day that I began this miniature from life...then completed it from a photo much later.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rome Bus Stop

"Rome Bus Stop", oil on linen on panel, 7 x 8 inches (appx)

This auction has ended - to purchase this painting please contact me by email

While hustling through the streets of Rome one rainy 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.

Another acution offering in "Daily Paintworks" ...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Pondering the Master"

" Pondering the Master", oil on linen on panel, 6 x 7 3/4 inches


I often find myself "pondering the master" while painting. This tiny ceramic vessel with its lovely windmill pattern has appeared in my work more times than I can count and I never grow tired of painting it.  It brings fondly to mind, Rembrandt, and my trip to his home and studio in Amsterdam.  A well-squeezed tube of cadmium scarlet paint complements the blue windmill.  The copper coffee can, which contains walnut oil to clean my brushes, was just fun to paint.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


"Angela" oil on linen on panel, 8x5.75 inches


Another offering for my auction on "Daily Paintworks".   Angela is a beautiful model to paint; I think her smile is very reminiscent of the Mona Lisa.  As diminutive as this portrait is, it looks surprisingly important in a frame.

I've been busy with a couple of commissions this summer and I'm now looking forward to painting some new little gems for auction on DPW. 

My 'daily paintings' will vary in size from 6x6, 6x8 and assorted odd sizes.  You will find each one of them, as they are painted,  up for auction on Daily Paintworks at a starting bid of $100 (sometimes more).  Each painting can be  purchased through PayPal for the duration of the auction.  If they are still available after the auction,  they can be purchased at market value by emailing me.

If you'd like to receive my dailies in your inbox as I paint and post them, you can sign up by entering your email address in the subscription box provided on my blog.

I do hope that you will check in to see all the beautiful little paintings available for auction and see what I'm up to.  I think it's going to be fun!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I'm very happy to announce that I'll be teaching workshops, as well as a regular weekly evening class, at The Calgary School of Art beginning this fall, 2011.  

My first workshop will be held Saturday, October 15, 2011, 9am - 4:30pm.  The cost is $100.

The theme for this workshop  will be "Painting the Still Life from Life".   Please visit the 'Events/Workshop' link from my website or The Calgary School of Art website for more detailed information, including a supply list (will be added soon).

In addition, I will be teaching a regular weekly evening class at Calgary School of Art on Thursdays, 6-9pm. You will find more information about my class on the CSA website.

Please email me at bobbidunlop@hotmail.com if you have any questions about the workshops or classes.

The Calgary School of Art is a thriving, popular teaching facility with the added convenience of Cactus Art Supplies Store on site.  I am really delighted to join this teaching family.  Classes and workshops do tend to fill quickly, so please register early -  you can email me directly to register or register online with the school.

531 Manitou Road S.E.
Calgary, AB
403-287-7448 or 1-800-600-6928 (toll free)

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Salt Water Vase with Grapes" 6.24x6.75 inches, oil on linen on panel

To Purchase CLICK HERE

I spotted this Salt Water Vase at a local pottery sale and fell in love. Grapes are just plain fun to paint and
like a gorgeous pair of red shoes, accessorize any painting beautifully.  My second offering on Daily Paintworks! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've joined DAILY PAINTWORKS! ...

 "Turquoise and Rose", 8x6 inches (appx), oil on linen on panel


I'm happy to announce that I've joined the daily painting artist group, "Daily Paintworks"!

Recently, this group opened their doors to new membership and I thought it provided a wonderful opportunity to once again offer my little miniatures for auction.   "Turquoise and Rose" is my first offering. 

This is an art dedicated website, full of wonderful art with possibilities for every art collector. The best part is that it allows the first time collector an opportunity to buy one of my original pieces at a starting bid of $100.  I will also post a number of my paintings which are available through galleries representing my work.  As with most endeavors in an artist's life, it will be a work-in-progress.

Whether you are just starting out on this exciting road to building your own collection ... or expanding on an existing one, I hope that you enjoy looking!

Purchases are made through the secure PayPal website.  The "Click Here To Bid" link will be provided under each auction painting on this blog for you to make your winning bid or you can go directly to the Daily Paintworks website to do so. 

If you would like to receive each painting posted to my auction , please fill in your email information at the top of my blog. 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions ...  Good Luck!

Note:  Please note updated workshop info at right ... will post more about it soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Tang Horse #1"

"Tang Horse #1", 6x6 inches, oil on linen on panel

Another one of my little Tang Horses.  I've decided that each one has a definite personality of its own.

Here is a photo of the framed painting.  The colour is accurate in the photo above.

"Tang Horse #1", framed

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Tang Dynasty Horse and Rider #1", oil on linen on panel, exquisitely framed
Available for purchase at Space[Untitled] - $450
1409 - 11 Street S.W, Calgary, AB

"Tang Horse with Rider #1"

"Tang Horse with Rider #1", oil on linen on panel, 6x6 inches

This Tang Dynasty horse sculpture and rider was a joy to paint, particularly for the sculptural quality of the paint.    I tried to paint it simply and quickly, laying on the brushstrokes and not fiddling with them too much.  I love the intensity of this ancient horse's features.

This unframed  painting is available to purchase by clicking here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Painting the model from life

Painting the lovely model, Kerrie, from life (at Sarah Kidner's Canmore, AB studio)

"Kerrie", oil on linen, 12x16

This is my painting of "Kerrie", 12x16 which was painted from life in Sarah Kidner's beautiful studio in the mountain town of Canmore, Alberta.  (see photos below).  Also painting that day were my friends,

This painting was painted in a 3 hour session which is pretty quick for me.  I feel the painting is a great start and I'm quite happy with it.  But, if I want to finish it, I'll have to resort to photos of the model taken at the end of the session, which can never be compared to the real thing - painting from life.

I consider myself to be a 'life painter' meaning that I paint what's real and in front of me.  That's easy to do when setting up my still lifes to paint, but the model often cannot sit for the number of hours it takes me to finish a painting. So, when this happens I must resort to using a photo reference to complete it.  One of the great things about painting from life though, and what I love about it, is that so much of the visual information stays with me.  Even when referencing a photo later, to complete a painting, it's the 'start' which will guide me and bring the model back to life in my mind. 

I'm happy with this 'start' and I might consider completing this painting.   When doing this, the challenge will be to retain the 'freshness' that is so much in evidence in a painting painted from life. 

On the other hand, if I elect not to finish this painting, I will keep it in my studio to look at.  Each time I look at the painting it will serve up a myriad of fond memories of the wonderful day spent with my amazing friends, painting from life. 

Painting with the girls...

(L-R): Liz Wiltzen, (my easel), Sarah Kidner, Gaye Adams, (Back): Jean Pederson

(L-R): Liz Wiltzen, Sarah Kidner, Gaye Adams, Jean Pederson, Bobbi Dunlop

Just spent a couple of glorious days painting the model from life with my fabulous artist friends: Liz Wiltzen, Sarah Kidner, Gaye Adams and Jean Pederson in Sarah's beautiful studio, nestled in Canmore, Alberta.

Jean and I drove from Calgary (45 minutes) and Gaye was visiting from Sorrento, B.C for the week. Unfortunately,  snow, fog and icy road conditions at home made it impossible for us to join the group until the last two days of the week.  Hard to believe considering we found the mountain town was enjoying spring like conditions.  

These women are truly inspirational and I'm so happy to call them my friends. It really doesn't get any better than this.
I've posted my painting from our 3 hour session on the last day, above.  The first day was a wiper.  Such is life ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Tang Dynasty Prancer" framed

"Tang Dynasty Prancer", 12x12, oil on linen

Here is the painting, framed.  A frame makes a painting look so much more important.  Unfortunately, the colour is not accurate in this photo but you can read about the Tang Dynasty horse and see the accurate colour in my post below.  

If you'd like to see this painting up close, just click on the photo.  Click on it twice and it'll be almost life size!  Thanks for visiting!

Please leave your comments, I'd love to hear from you.

"Tang Dynasty Prancer"

"Tang Dynasty Prancer", oil on linen, 12x12

My father, who passed away this past October at the age of 92 years, passed along his great love of horses to me. As I've mentioned in previous posts, as a young artist horses were the subject of many of my paintings; many of them my Dad's. The hearts of artists and poets throughout the ages have
been captivated by the beauty, power and grace of these wonderful creatures.

My Dad had such a way with them, such a gentle touch; it was apparent to all who knew him. Now, I do not see a horse without thinking of my Dad and the while I paint them, I think of him, as well.

As a still life painter, the Tang Dynasty horse has become a great source of inspiration for me. Within the Tang society (China 618-906AD) the horse played an important role and was revered for their vigor and strength. They symbolized strength and status, as well as reflected on the personality of their owners and the prosperous and powerful Tang Dynasty itself.

Ceramic models of the owner's horse have been found preserved in their tombs. Upon death, many Chinese horsemen were buried with clay horse sculptures and horses on which human figures are mounted, occupy a special place.  These would often be found either preceding or following the coffin.

The Tang horse portrayed in my painting "Tang Dynasty Prancer", 12x12, oil on linen, is not an authentic Tang horse but a reproduction which occupies a special place in my studio and which I treasure nonetheless.   I've painted a number of them which I'll display in future posts. 

I hope you enjoy their elegant, and often dramatic, beauty as much as I enjoy sculpting them with paint.  For me, with each brushstroke, the ancient horse comes to life.

This framed painting is available for purchase at: [Space] Untitled or for further information please email me at bobbi@bobbidunlop.com

Please see the post above to see this painting framed.