Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Birch Tree Painting - Sunkissed Birch

Sunkissed Birch
18x24 inches, acrylic on canvas

In keeping with my birch tree theme, this sunkissed birch tree painting again has a high water line, but I have switched back to brushwork.  All of the elements previously explored are still present, just now in a much softer rendition of a very similar composition.

close up of leaves
There are some things one can achieve with brushwork that cannot be easily achieved with the knife, like the subtle layering of colour seen in the leaves falling from these trees.  It gives them a certain glow as one colour is seen through the next and the next.  It allows for very subtle colour changes as seen in fall leaves.

another close up of leaves

This painting has been sold.  To see available paintings, 
please visit my website:



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Birch Tree Paintings - Tall Lake Birch

Tall Lake Birch
10x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

This birch tree painting is a good example of how one idea leads into the next.  This painting follows closely on the heels of the previous two 8x10 birch tree paintings (previous post).  

As you can see I continued with the knife work and kept the water line high.  However, this one bosts knife work in the yellow leaves on the trees and in the ground cover at the base of the trunks.

close up of leaves

These elements had previously only been done with a brush.  

close up of ground cover

It helps that the canvas for this one is a little larger.  Sometimes it's difficult to get the knife into small spaces.



This painting has been sold.  To see available paintings, 
please visit my website:


Friday, September 13, 2013

Birch Tree Paintings - Three Birch Afternoon and Sun Up

Three Birch Afternoon
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

These two little birch tree paintings were painted in quick succession.  Sometimes I get into a groove of using a painting knife, as I did in 'Light Through Tall Trees' and 'Flowering Woods', and want to keep going.

The knife can provide such interesting textures and makes a great tool for painting trees, especially birch trees.  Because of the thick nature of the application, once I start with the knife, I like to go as far as I can with it.  A little brushwork is sometimes needed as long as it doesn't take away from the over all feel of the piece.

Sun Up
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

The leaning tree is something fairly new that I've been working with.  I find it adds a little more realism to the composition and can provide a source of tension that a landscape sometimes needs. 

What I find interesting about these two pieces, is how they make me feel relative to the height of the water line.  If you take a look at one, then the other, see how each one makes you feel.

'Sun Up', because it has a higher water line, makes me feel protected, whereas 'Three Birch Afternoon', leaves me feeling exposed.  The colours could be playing into these feelings as 'Three Birch Afternoon' has cool colours, and 'Sun Up' much warmer colours.  But it's an interesting exercise none the less.  

Interestingly: despite my pull toward 'Sun Up', 'Three Birch Afternoon' actually sold first and both were on display at the same time.



Both of these paintings have sold.  
To see available paintings, 
please visit my website:





Saturday, September 7, 2013

Forest Painting - Panoramic Landscape - Flowering Woods

Flowering Woods
12x24 inches, acrylic on canvas

In this forest painting I carried through on the knife work once again as in 'Light Through Tall Trees', but changed the composition to a panorama and reintroduced flowers similar to the flowers in 'Cathedral'.

These last three posts will give you an idea of how an artist takes a composition from one step to the next all within the context of the same idea of a forest with light coming through the trees.  I think this will always be a reoccurring theme in my landscape work, as there is no end the the possibilities, and no lack of joy in painting them.



This painting is still available.  To see details and purchase information, please visit my website:


or contact me at:

info@artistsuzannemclean.com

Monday, September 2, 2013

Forest Painting - Tall Trees Landscape

Light Through Tall Trees
24x36, acrylic on canvas

After 'Cathedral' I wanted to take this idea of tall trees a little further.  So I chose a much larger, narrower canvas to get that feeling of trees soaring high into a lush canopy.  

Although a similar idea to 'Cathedral', you can see what I mean about the composition changing.  In this piece, not only did the composition change, but the way in which it was painted changed as well.  

'Cathedral' was mostly brushwork, which gave everything a very soft feel to it.  'Light Through Tall Trees' was painted mostly with a painting knife, giving everything texture.

I'm always experimenting with different techniques to see what can be achieved.  With this piece it was all about getting the layers just right, balancing dark and light, so you feel like you're there in the woods, light filtering through the trees. 

 
This painting has sold.  
To see available paintings, 
please visit my website:



Thursday, August 29, 2013

Forest Painting - Cathedral

Cathedral
24x30 inches, acrylic on canvas

The composition for this forest painting is an idea I return to again and again.  There is just something I love about the feeling of being deep in the woods, light streaming through the trees, all is quiet.  To me it's that place where one goes in meditation, physically or spiritually.  

Everytime I revisit this idea it manifests in a different way, sometimes with fall colours, sometimes with lots of rocks, sometimes with flowers.  But it's always a place I love to spend time.



This painting has sold.  To see available paintings,
please visit my website:


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Birch Trees Painting - Lake Birch

Lake Birch
20x24 inches, acrylic on canvas

The idea for this birch tree painting 'Lake Birch' was actually taken from another painting called 'Down the Lake', painted from a photograph I took of the mountain range that follows Kootenay Lake down to Nelson and beyond.  

Down the Lake
12x24 inches, acrylic on canvas

If you look at the section where the birch trees are, and cut away the rest of the lake and mountain range, you have 'Lake Birch'.  I really liked the relationship between these two trees and wanted to try painting them again in a slightly different composition.

With this new composition we see more mountain, more lake, and more trees.  What could be better?


Both of these paintings have sold.  To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mountain Painting - Glacial Stream

Glacial Stream
12x24 inches, acrylic on canvas

This mountain painting 'Glacial Stream' was an exciting challenge to me, mostly because of the perspective.  I wanted to try something new, something I hadn't done before.  But even after sketching it out, I wasn't sure if it would work.

My husband and I had just come back from a trip to Lake Louise, and seeing mountains other than Kootenay mountains for a period of a week, really gave me some interesting ideas about how to paint them.  This one in particular kept coming back to me, the colours, the shape.  I think it was a composite of about four different mountains I had seen all rolled into one.  


rock face

Before this painting, most of my mountains had been blue, or blue and grey in nature.  But this one just begged to be different.  Most of it was painted in simple one stroke brush lines, just changing colour and angle, as I went on down the mountain.  The real work was in the trees, making them appear to recede up the mountain, gradating colour and size.

where near becomes far


This painting has been sold.  To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mountain Landscape Painting - Down the Mountain

Down the Mountain
16x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

This mountain landscape painting 'Down the Mountain' is a piece I especially love.  It's a view that's so high in the alpine, all we get between mountain and sky are little scrubby flowers growing on a bare minimum of soil.  

The fun part was painting all the flowers and grasses in between the rocks.  These trees are very like the trees in 'By the Sea'.  And the sky, which at first I didn't quite know what to do with, suddenly came out in these beautiful ribbons of colour.

All in all it's a rather understated piece, but remains one of my favourites.



This painting has sold.  
To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kootenay Lake Landscape Painting


Kootenay Lake
30x36 inches, acrylic on canvas

This Kootenay Lake landscape painting has an interesting history, originally painted in a completely different style than what you see here.  As I went along and learned from other pieces I had done in this style, I just kept picking up this piece and working on it, changing it, changing colours, trying new things, and adding elements to it, until it is as you see it here.  

What I'm most proud of, and what never changed throughout the history of this piece, were the leaves on the trees.  They came out just perfect the first go round.  The water, the sky, and the rocks, however, are another story.  Even the mountain has been worked on and modified.  It was originally a fairly straight shoreline, yet now there is an inlet or a small bay hidden away in there.  I love mystery in a painting, it adds such a magical element to a piece.



This painting is still available.  To see more details or for purchase information, please visit my website:




Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Coastal Art - West Coast Painting - Landscape Painting

By the Sea
10x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

This is another piece that is quite special to me, not because it reminds me of Georgian Bay, this is not Georgian Bay at all, but of something I cannot quite put my finger on.  A lot of what is happening in this piece was quite unintentional.  So, it was like painting a surprise.

I was going for coastal again, but where these ice flows and the lovely blue in them came from I'm not sure.  The hazy sun was completely improvised and the trees, done wet on wet (which is sometimes when a painting can go very wrong), just came out in a few simple strokes.  

And yes, I have decided to keep this one!



To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Small Works of Art

Alpine View
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

Now that I had several larger pieces ready for shows, it was time to do some smalls.  Some, like this one, have similar compositions to larger pieces, simply because I absolutely loved painting them.

A Lovely View
8x8 inches, acrylic on canvas

Mountain Air
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

Peninsula
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

Smalls are a lot of fun and a great practise ground for trying new colours and compositions.  This piece is similar to 'Rocky Shore', 'Purple Mountain' and 'Song on the Wind', but again there are different elements that make it unique unto itself. 



All of the above painting have sold.  To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Coastal Landscape Painting - Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home
16x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

Moving right along...  Now that I was happy with how I painted water, I felt quite free to keep trying it.  Although this water is quite tame compared to 'A South Wind', there are many subtle changes in colour representing depth and shadow, current and reflection.  It seems that all of the elements I had been concentrating on throughout the past 10 paintings came together in this one piece.

'Fly Away Home' was meant to be a west coast piece, but instead more accurately captures a feeling of Georgian Bay, my absolute most favourite place in the world.  And because of this, I keep changing my mind as to whether or not I even want to sell this piece.

I grew up in Ontario and spent many summers north, in and around Georgian Bay, so it feels like home to me in a special way that no other place does, and I have not yet had the opportunity to paint there.  Painting for me really didn't start until I moved to the West Kootenays of B.C. 



This painting is still available, 
for more details and purchase information, 
please visit my website:


or contact me at:

info@artistsuzannemclean.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

West Coast Art - Seascape Painting - A South Wind

A South Wind
16x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

Now that I felt I had a handle on painting water in this new style, I challenged myself to make it one of the main elements of the composition in this west coast art, seascape painting 'A South Wind'.

For this composition I used a photograph to capture the main elements, and although I had already painted water in a few previous paintings, this water brought with it some new challenges.

I could see from the photograph that it was rolling and also changed colour again and again.  But, once I laid my first stroke, which was a little hair-raising, it all fell into place.  The light hit where it hit and the shades of the water changed as they were supposed to change.  It was like having an 'ah ha' moment.  Suddenly it all made sense.

This painting now has the water I am most proud of so far.



'A South Wind' is still available.  To see details on this painting or for purchase information, please visit my website:


Or contact me via email at:

info@artistsuzannemclean.com



Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alpine Mountain Painting - Landscape Painting - High Alpine

High Alpine
16x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

Once I started this journey of more freely translating how I perceive my world, paintings like this alpine mountain painting 'High Alpine', came very quickly.

I was finally translating what and how I saw my world onto canvas.  And this was only the beginning.  With this new way of working out a painting, I got to play with colour relationships in a way I had only dreamed about.  It came with a learning curve and certainly some challenges, but it felt so natural to me.

Part of the challenge was to let go, not overwork, or over think what I was doing, and let it evolve naturally.  And it did, painting after painting.


This painting has sold.  
To see available paintings, please visit my website:




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Saturday, July 13, 2013

West Coast Mountain Painting

Across the Lake
16x16 inches, acrylic on canvas

As in a previous post where I talked about multiple paintings coming from  a single composition, I thought I would show you this particular composition, and how it developed along the way.

This west coast mountain painting was another first in this new style of painting along with 'Over the Mountain'.  Both were painted on the same day, my birthday (which has been known to bring great changes to my craft), and inspired similar compositions to follow.

Jack Pine
16x16 inches, acrylic on canvas

From 'Across the Lake' came 'Jack Pine' with the addition of a tree.

Two Jack Pines
16x16 inches, acrylic on canvas

Then from 'Jack Pine' came 'Two Jack Pines' with the addition of two trees and some colourful scrub.

Each painting came from one idea, yet is unique unto itself simply by playing with the elements.



All three of these paintings have sold.  To see available paintings, please visit my website:


similar works are available by commission, please inquire:

info@artistsuzannemclean.com



Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Coastal Art - West Coast Paintings - West Coast Landscapes

Song on the Wind
16x20 inches, acrylic on canvas

Mountains were suddenly a dream to paint in this new style.  And this type of coastal art and west coast landscape was suddenly all I wanted to paint.  You may notice the same kind of brushwork ocurring now from painting to painting, very loose, and fluid.

Once I came up with this particular composition, I tried it a few more times with varying colour schemes, perfecting the mountain if you will.

Purple Mountain
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

One of the best ways to work on a new composition is to work small.  So I challenged myself to translate my original composition into two more smaller works:  Purple Mountain and Rocky Shore.

Rocky Shore
8x10 inches, acrylic on canvas

The hugest challenge for me though was not the mountain, but the was the water.  Water has always been a challenge.  When I first started painting, I avoided it as if I would melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if I even went near it.

But with this new style of painting came a new way of looking at water and painting it.



Song on the Wind is still available.  To see details on this painting and for purchase information, please visit my website:


Or email me at:

info@artistsuzannemclean.com



Thanks for stopping by


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mountain Landscape Painting

Over the Mountain
12x26 inches, acrylic on canvas

This mountain landscape painting 'Over the Mountain' marked the beginning of a new way of painting landscapes for me.  

From the beginning I had been searching for a way to paint that felt free, for lack of a better way to describe it, and to freely translate what I see into something visual.  

Primarily I see in colour, meaning that my brain more easily translates the larger picture of what I'm seeing into blocks of colour, paying more attention to shape and line rather than detail.  

So what I was searching for was a better way of capturing what I see onto a two dimensional surface, and this painting was it.  It was the beginning of being able to more accurately share my vision of landscape.  And it seems all I had to do was trust myself and let go.  It also helped that it was very early in the morning on my birthday and I set things up to start painting before I was fully awake.

This may sound strange, but I actually find this time of day to be a highly creative time and like to capture this moment of creativity before my rational mind tries to tell me 'you can't do that'.  

Anyone who is struggling with their own inner voice might find this helpful advice.  After all, all you have to lose is a little paint.   



This painting has sold.  To see available paintings, 
please visit my website:



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Forest Painting Landscape

Light Through Tall Trees
24x36 inches, acrylic on canvas

It's been such a busy year, I had no idea it had been so long since I'd posted anything on this blog!  This forest painting landscape was painted only a few weeks ago.

It's been quite the year of ups and downs and changes in my life and I seriously thought I had painted way more than I have.  Last summer season was so incredibly busy for me with four local shows:  Kaslo, Nelson, New Denver, and Castlegar, as well as print and card orders for Figments, that I was kept running all season long.  By the end of September I was looking forward to some quiet time in the studio.

But wintertime was busy with much work outside the studio, and my husband and I started major renovations on our house.  So instead of time in the studio like I had hoped, my attention was turned elsewhere.  However, now that summer is here again, and in full swing, I'm trying to spend as much time painting as I can.

All of my recent paintings are listed on my website:

This piece, 'Light Through Tall Trees', has already sold.


I will be posted all new work within the next week or so, so stay tuned.  To visit my website, please click here.  Or visit:  





Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 16, 2012

West Kootenay Landscape Painting - Down in the Valley


Down in the Valley
30x30 inches, acrylic on canvas

This West Kootenay landscape painting was painted with the intention of evoking a mid-summer afternoon in the woods.  

If you listen carefully, you should be able to hear the breeze rustling the leaves in the trees and a miriad of insects humming about the ground cover.  The day is warm and sunlit and the afternoon stretches well into evening before we realize that it's time to head home.

Painted with dozens of sublte shades of yellow, green, orange and blue.  Enjoy the detail in this piece and it's lovely texture.


This painting has sold.  To see available paintings, please visit my website:

http://artistsuzannemclean.com