Sunday, December 26, 2010

Big Brown Bear Rides a Trike

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Big Brown Bear Rides a Trike, December 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 50x40cm

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Firebird and a Giraffe

More painting-presents by the kids. These were for my folks. Keira has been inspired by Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird and it has featured heavily in her artwork of late. If you look carefully, even the Ballerina Polar Bear she painted for Amanda is in a Firebird costume.

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Keira Brown, The firebird, December 2010, Acrylic and metallic glitter on MDF, 32x40cm

Finnegan Brown, Giraffe on the Plains, December 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 32x40cm

Dragonfly Triptych

“Auntie Margie” likes dragonflies…

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Keira Brown, Dragon Fly Triptych I, November 2010, Acrylic and metallic glitter on MDF, 40cmx40cm

Finnegan Brown, Dragon Fly Triptych II, December 2010, Acrylic and metallic glitter on MDF, 40cmx40cm

Tim Brown, Dragon Fly Triptych I, December 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40cmx40cm

Polar Bears

The kids had so much fun making paintings for my folks and sister (more on that in a moment), not to mention the Cows for Nana earlier) that I got them to paint a couple paintings for Amanda to take to work and hang up in her office.

(Amanda already got her Family Portrait from me).

Both the kids decided to paint Polar Bears.

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Finnegan Brown, Peter the Polar Bear, December 2020, Acrylic on MDF, ~40x35cm

Keira Brown, Ballerina Polar Bear, December 2020, Acrylic on MDF, ~40x40cm

Coming soon on Tim’s Art Blog:

More holiday gift paintings… maybe tomorrow, after all the gifts are given away...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Piggy Rides with her Violin

Painted for our violin teacher... She likes pigs (and, presumably, violins!).

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Piggy Rides with her Violin, December 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40x50cm

Coming soon on Tim’s Art Blog:

More paintings…? Only 17 shopping/painting days until Xmas – and there were a couple more I wanted to get done… Luckily in a little over a week all the madness around here will be done and I’ll have a little over three full glorious weeks with no scheduled activities. Oh, we’re going to do some sledding… and visiting friends we just don’t get around to seeing regularly enough… but we’re also going to get some stuff done (and for me, that’s going to be painting!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Portrait 2010

I tried to paint this in secret – like I had done with the Small Critters on Bikes. Painting in secret while Amanda was at work or after she went to sleep and then just hang it up one night or afternoon and wait to see how long it took for her to notice… unfortunately, being somewhat LARGER, it was considerably harder to hide away – the small critters could be tucked in a book… this beast… not so much…

Anyway Amanda found out I was painting “something” – having spied the back of the large painting hidden away in basement. At that point I pretty much had to just show her lest she build up in her mind some sort of brilliant masterpiece that no physical painting I could ever produce would ever live up to.

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Family Portrait 2010, November 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 81x59cm

This is the biggest painting I’ve worked on for quite some time. It was fun, but challenging… Same level of detail on larger painting = lot more work (and a lot more time!). It almost felt like the high productivity level I was feeling just a month ago ground to a halt. It almost did… the last week I was almost sick of it – and the stuff that needed to be done was just fixing up wonky little details… ugh… it was hard to motivate myself to work on it, but impossible to move on with other projects until this one was finished.

Well finished it is. Time to move on to something else…

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dromedary Rides a Touring Bike

Carrying on with the BIG Critters on Bikes

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Dromedary Rides a Touring Bike, November 2010, Acrylic on MDF, ~50x40cm

I’m not sure how many of the others I’m going to repaint. I have some new critters in mind. Maybe I’ll do some of the others when I’m done some of them and don’t have an immediate new idea but want to just keep painting…

Coming soon on Tim’s Art Blog:

A family portrait…

I’ve been working on it for a few weeks now – hiding it, working on it during the day or after Amanda’s gone to bed, trying to keep it a secret as it was kind of going to be an xmas present… unfortunately it’s rather BIG and not so easy to hide and Amanda found out about it… She didn’t actually SEE what I was working on, but I had to tell her not to walk into part of a room she was about to walk into and she sort of figured it out.

After a couple of days I kind of left it out for her to see because once she knew I WAS working on something I knew she’d be imagining what it might be and getting better and better in her head and by the time she actually saw it… no matter how hard I’d worked on it… it wouldn’t be anything like what she was probably imagining and thus be a great disappointment. It makes things easier now, not having to sneak it around and work on it at odd hours, but it would have been nice to simply hang it on the wall one day and see how long it took for her to notice…

Then some more critters…

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bison Rides a Mountain Bike

I decided I’d start on a second series of Critters on Bikes. The first bunch were fun, and a lot of people seemed to like them. To start with I thought I’d simply redo some of my favourites from the first series (no thinking involved, just start painting!). I have a couple new ones in mind too, but to start with it seemed right to start where the first series began…

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Bison Rides a Mountain Bike, October 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 50x40cm

I’ve started the Touring Camel and then I might work on the Cyclocross Moose… then move on to some new critters. These, however, are much bigger that the original series. The original series were small paintings on paper to fit in to these wee picture frames Amanda had bought (so the bigger ones were 18x12cm (~7”x5”). The new ones are on Medium Density Fibre board with their own frame for hanging built into the back and are roughly 50x40cm (~20”x16”). I’m also using slightly better paints.

I also have some other ideas for paintings and stuff… Oh to find the time to work on them all…

You can see the original Bison painting HERE.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Again With the Cows…

Around the time I was painting Cycling Past Cows Under Cumulus Clouds and the kids were starting their first paintings on MDF, I had them paint a couple of cows on paper. I drew a simple cow on a piece of paper and had them paint it.

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Keria Brown, Cow Wanting to Find Some Grass, October 2010, Acrylic on Paper, 30x24cm

Finnegan Brown, Cow Standing in the Sun, October 2010, Acrylic on Paper, 30x24cm

They turned out so well I thought it would be fun to do something similar on MDF so I hatched in my devious little mind the “Brown Cow Project”. I cut, glued up , and prepared three (nearly) identical sized boards. Then, I drew a cow on some cardboard and cut it out to use as a stencil and drew three identical cows: one on each of the boards. Then I let the kids at it – they could paint their cows anyway they wanted…

Originally I thought I might get Amanda to try painting one of the cows (as I’d already just painted some cows…) but she didn’t seem all that interested so I painted the third one.

Here’s what we came up with:

Keria Brown, Brown Cow Triptych I, October 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40x29cm

Finnegan Brown, Brown Cow Triptych II, October 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40x29cm

Tim Brown, Brown Cow Triptych III, October 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40x29cm

The irony being that none of them ended up being brown… but they were painted by Browns! Despite my vision of something resembling uniformity only one ended up looking much like the original drawing/stencil… (you can try and guess which one) but that’s all okay. Far be it from me to stifle a collaborators own artistic vision!!

I love painting with my kids…

Painting with the Kids Again (Part Three)

Finnegan finally finished up his painting he started some time ago:

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Triceratops and Daspletosaurus Talking to Each Other, October 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 40x36cm

Friday, October 15, 2010

Painting with the Kids Again (Part Two)

The kids got working on their paintings the other day:

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Finnegan is painting a couple dinosaurs.

Keira, I thought, was painting a unicorn ballerina on the stand with a dragonfly on her nose, but it seems to have turned into a cheetah…?

It was good to see them taking a bit more time on things…

Keira is done hers.

Cheetah Ballerina with a Dragonfly on her Nose, Ocotber 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 36x40cm

Finnegan has decided his needs a bit more work. He worked on it a bit more yesterday and plans to do so again today…

In the meantime, while Finnegan was working on his some more yesterday, Keira did some more painting on paper. I have found that giving them all available colours they tend to mix them all together and things gets a little… “muddied”…? So yesterday I gave Keria only two colours (of her choice) and an “assignment” to pick one shape, paint one colour inside the shape and another colour outside the shape. The result was one of the best paintings she has done yet!!

Unicorn Heart, Ocotber 2010, Acrylic on Paper, 25x32cm

We are painting fools, we are…

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Painting with the Kids Again

We’ve been doing quite a bit of painting around here over the last couple weeks. At some point the kids asked why they couldn’t paint on the big boards like I do? The immediate response that came to my head was “because you’re too darn fast!?” I tried to explain it a little better than that. Simply preparing one of my artboards is a pretty labourious project that takes up a considerable amount of time, spread out over a number of days… too much time, I thought, to supply kids with when they paint a picture in a matter of minutes…

But then I thought; “Why not indeed!?” But, to give them a sense of the work involved (and hopefully understand why I won’t be providing them with such luxuries EVERY day we paint…) I had them help out with the preparation of the boards. I cut all the pieces on my own (table saws and four-to-six-years-olds just don’t seem like a good combination). But I had them gather round and watch the board and frame being glued up. When that had all dried completely (the following day) we started applying gesso!

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

I’ve had then do three coats and even got them to sand after the first coat… hopefully they’ll take their time with the painting (at least five minutes…)!?

They applied the first two coats on Sunday and the third today. I promised them they could paint on them tomorrow – stay tuned for their immanent masterpieces!

Simple Printing with the Kids

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and thus all the kids regularly scheduled activities were cancelled. This meant we could make it to Something on Sundays at the Mendel Art Gallery.

This week they were doing some very simple (and clever) prints. First we drew a line drawing on a piece of Styrofoam (cut from a Styrofoam tray), then coloured them with washable markers. After that was complete we wet a piece of paper, placed the Styrofoam plate face down on it and pressed it with a roller – Presto! Simple Prints! (Relatively) mess free and not requiring sharp objects like other simlar block printing methods.

Here’s what we came up with:

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

And Here are the printing plates:

I may have to try this at home sometime… thought I’d have to buy some washable markers…. I’m not a big fan of markers…

Looks like they have a lot of fun stuff lined up for Something on Sundays this fall… I’m kind of sad we’ll be missing most… Ah well, we do plenty of artsy things around here!

Cows… Clouds…

Not exactly Critters ON bicycles… but critters… and bicycles…

I have a couple longer (75-100km) routes that I cycle southwest of the city from time to time (which I haven’t ridden nearly enough this year!). There are a couple small herds of cows kept out there. I’ve stopped a few times to take photos thinking I’d paint a picture of them someday… Here, finally, is one:

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Cycling Past Cows Under Cumulus Clouds, 2010, Acrylic on MDF, ~40x32cm

...and for those interested in the magic of art production:

The work in progress sometime last week…

Friday, October 8, 2010


We’ve been doing quite a bit of painting around here lately. Unlike the tones of drawing we’d been doing previously, painting – especially BIGGER pieces – is pretty tricky to do on a flat surface… For the last couple paintings I did (Retired Rat Roams Rural Roads, Tentacle Creature loves Pretty Unicorn, and the Soldiers of Neukirch Uniform Plate) I dug out his old tabletop easel that my grandmother had used for I don’t know how long.

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Handy sturdy little thing, probably built for her by my grandfather or step grandfather. Somehow it had come into my possession and sat unused for years.

Of course with all this painting going on, the kids got rather excited about he idea of painting themselves… and I got excited about them painting – though had avoided it for some time being rather concerned about the potential for MESS!

As I said painting on a flat surface just wouldn’t do (sleeves in the wet paint and getting smeared all over EVERYTING!?) so I realized we’d need more easels.

After snooping around downstairs I found a bunch of tiny little ones:

The seems a little spindly and I had no idea where they came from., but we tried them out anyway. I thought maybe Amanda had used them for the summer camp she had run years ago. After using them we realized there were not really made for children to actually use as easels ( I later discovered they had come from my mom and were really for display purposes ONLY!).

Being a handy sort of guy, however, I decided to copy the simple sturdy little easel my grandmother had.

In a couple of hours I had manufactured two simple, solid, sturdy easels for the kids!

Then I made another, bigger version for myself (in anticipation of working on LARGER pieces in the not to distant future!).

I think I might make a couple more smaller ones – in case we have any smaller friends come over to paint with us!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soldiers of Neukirch

So this is a bit of a story…

Well… this is another housewarming gift for another friend (also named John) who just built a new house. John and I are both interested in Military History and… well... little toy soldiers and miniature wargaming

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Soldiers of Neukirch Uniform Plate, 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 32x40cm

(Again, not a great photo of it... I took like thirty pics and this one had the least glare...!?)

Those familiar with the hobby will also be familiar with “uniform plates”. These are reproductions (often in books) of paintings of soldiers of a given period – showing particular details of uniforms of different regiments and such.

Some in the hobby (especially those interested in the 18th Century “Horse and Musket” era) come up with their own “imagi-nations”. Countries of their own design – often based on those involved in the European wars of the era. John has a couple little countries of his own design that games are often set in – Neukirch and Luteland.

So what I’ve done here is I’ve painted a uniform plate or sorts detailing the uniforms of a few of the soldiers from the army of Neukirch.

I’m probably explaining this poorly… basically it’s kind of an in-joke. Those familiar with the hobby will probably find it hilarious, and the rest of you will probably wonder if we’re all just a little bit touched – harmless, but not altogether there…

Um… yeah…

Back to critters and bikes soon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Visions of the New Gallery (Part 2)

I had recently posted about public art displays of childrens visions of the new gallery. They have since put up a few more – including Finnegan’s!!

Amanda and I had spotted them the other night when we were out at Persephone (Which is right next door to where the next Art Gallery of Saskatchewan is going to be).

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

This afternoon we rode down to have a look

Finnegan’s vision of the new Gallery.

You can see the original HERE.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tentacle Creature Loves Pretty Unicorn

There’s a perfectly good explanation for this….

No, I’m not producing hentai/shunga tentacle porn fan art. It’s a housewarming gift for some good friends that just moved back to Saskatoon. She’s into unicorns and he’s into… well… Lovecraftian Horror (among other things…). In my mind’s eye I originally envisioned this as a diptych – one picture with a unicorn rearing, the other with a large tentacle-creature… but I lacked the time… or just go lazy… (if spending the time I spent painting this can be considered “laziness”…). I also imagined each of them being about twice as big… but didn’t have the materials at the time… so…

(Remember: click on the pictures below to see a slightly larger version)

Tentacle Creature Loves Pretty Unicorn, 2010, Acrylic on MDF, 42x32cm

I really need to learn how to take better pictures of my paintings… or be a bit more patient and wait for the varnish to dry… or maybe a clever combination of the two.

The title kind of comes from my daughter who, while I was painting it, seemed to be under the impression that the tentacle creature was trying to "hug" the unicorn and that they were going to "get married"...?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brown Family Painting Day

...well... "afternoon".... or at least part of it.

I'm almost ashamed to admit this is the first time I've sat down and painted WITH the kids... at home at least. They've done a lot of painting over at my folkswith Tempera paints and great big sheets of not-so-archival paper and huge brushes. They've gone through reams of paper - couple splashes here and there- NEXT! (Don't get me wrong I am very grateful my folks have had the patience to get them painting!).

We've painted with Acrylics at Something on Sundays.

But this is the first time I've busted out the paints at home and we all sat down together to do some painting. I don't know... paints always seemed to have the potential to be so... messy?!

Anyway, it was a great afternoon. Everyone had a lot of fun. I actually got some work done on a painting I am working on (I had fears I would be constantly cleaning up after, getting out more paint, changing sheets of paper, etc for the kids and not actually end up with any time to work on my own stuff).

I need to make some new easels. I wasn't sure where the dubious little ones the kids used came from. They definitely weren't really meant for painting... or drawing... or anything other than perhaps displaying art (small, light art). I also need to make a bigger one for myself. I went out and bought a pile of new MDF sheets to start doing some BIGGER works...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Visions of the New Gallery

Some time ago I had mentioned one of the weeks we had been to Something on Sundays at the Mendel Art Gallery, they had been having the kids paint their Vision of the new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan. They were going to select some of the pictures to go up around the building site of the new gallery.

The other day I rode by the site and noticed they had started putting some up - but none of the kids.

(You can click on the picture for a slightly larger version)

Yesterday I noticed they had put up a few more...

...including Keiras:

Yay Keira!!

(You can see a picture of the original in This Previous Post)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Critters on Bikes Small Series

Here, finally, is a picture of the complete series as displayed in out living room.

I find it gives a satisfying completeness to the whole wall. Now if only we could get some better LIGHT in there!?

...and here is the last batch (the Critter family) in their frame.

I like this one. They kid of tell a story... like a comic book page.

One might think I was considering comics again!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Last of the Critters on Bikes

Well… the small ones…

For those that haven’t been following along, three of four years back, my partner Amanda got a pile of picture frames of Xmas. I think my mom might have gotten them for her. They sat in a box for a year. The following Xmas she put them up on the wall – with the silly “photos” that came in the frames – an annoyingly happy looking family in black and white… She hung them up thinking they would motivate her to fill them with her own watercolour paintings. They hung there for a year. You wouldn’t believe how many people asked if it was Amanda’s sister and her family! Another Xmas rolled around and I decided to take it upon myself to start filling them with my own paintings. Every gift giving event since then I have tried to have one done – birthdays, Xmas, Mother’s Day, Anniversary, etc.

You can see them all by clicking on the Critters on Bikes label.

Here’s the bunch of them on the wall with the last frame to be filled…

For almost a year I’ve had a very clear idea of what I was going to put in there and I thought It should be for something big (like… say… a 15th anniversary…?). I also knew I’d have to fill all five spots all at once, as they sort of tell a story, so it would take a bit of time (like a week where Amanda’s away in Ontario visiting her folks…). Unfortunately I’ve missed the anniversary by about a week and a half… Ah well, she’ll see them tomorrow when she gets back from visiting her folks in Ontario.

Now the four little ones I wanted to be a continuation of the same picture – to make it work I actually painted it as one long picture and then cut it into the four individual pictures:

Critter Family Bicycle Train

Now there’s a bit of longitudinal exaggeration here because once I cut them I wanted at least an 1/8” extra all the way around the picture so it would fit into the frame properly – necessitating a full ¼” of extra space between the “live areas” of the pictures.

This is the only place you’ll ever get to see those all lined up nice and neat like that, because shortly after the picture was taken I cut them into the individual pictures…

Tired Turtle, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, ~8x11cm

Pretty Piggy, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, ~8x11cm

Bunny Boy, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, ~8x11cm

Squirrely Girl, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, ~8x11cm

Critter Family Camping, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, ~20x15cm

I should get a picture of the bunch of them together in the frame… maybe tomorrow when it’s light…

Now when I say “last of…” I mean I’m done with painting these tiny ones on paper. I’ll probably paint more critters on bikes at some point, but they’ll be BIGGER like the Retired Rat. Actually I think I’ld like to get back to painting on surfaces even bigger than that! Maybe not quite as huge as I was painting before (like, a decade and a half ago… when I was painting on 4x4 sheets of plywood…). Something about a metre squared… give or take…

We shall see..