Author Archives: Rex Beanland

My Solo Show In Edmonton

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to show my urban landscape paintings in Edmonton.  This short video clip shows some of the opening.

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Video Lessons On Line

I am very excited by this new opportunity that has presented itself to me.  That is the opportunity  to share my video lessons to a wider audience on line.  I have my own video production company and we have produced a number of art instruction DVD’s for other artists.  I have also used it to produce my own video lessons for my classes.  Now I have the opportunity to combine and expand my interests by, in a sense, teaching through the video lessons.  My intention is that the videos be a little more of a stand alone instructional tool with higher production values.  At present my videos have been taken by ArtClick.tv and I am most grateful to them for this.

The first video I have produced in this new endeavour is a cityscape from my recent time spent in Edmonton.

Here is a preview of the video lesson.

 

 

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Plein Air Painting At The Elbow Falls Boat Launch

There is a very enthusiastic group of plein air painters that meet at least once a week to paint on location.  I have painted with them on occasion and it’s always a most enjoyable experience.  Last Friday, Oct 3,  a call went out that CTV wanted to do a human interest piece on this group and more bodies would be welcome.

Rex Beanland, Painters At The Elbow Falls Boat Launch

Painters At The Elbow Falls Boat Launch

Susan, my wife, and I went along.  I’ve passed the boat launch many times but never been in so I was very surprised to end up in this beautiful little gorge with large rock cliffs on 3 sides and a bit of a rocky beach on the other side.  The Elbow River cuts right  through it.  It was a little cool but after a while the sun came out and it was transformed into a beautiful warm spot.  The feeling of being enclosed by the cliffs lent it an unusual air.

I have painted on location many, many times in the past couple of years and I always enjoy it a great deal but this time, for some reason was special.  I looked for a long time at the various possible subjects until one just jumped out at me.  The colour was mostly a dark grey with accents of orange in the rock so I knew that I would mostly be using Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.  There was a bit of early snow.

 

Feeling very comfortable that I had a plan of attack firmly in mind I

Rex Beanland, Rex painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch

Rex painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch

Rex Beanland, Susan painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch

Susan painting at the Elbow River Boat Launch

began painting with total abandon.  The only analogy I can use is that my brush ‘danced’ on the paper.  I felt completely free and in the moment.  It was like I was just the vehicle that enabled this painting to come into being.  The paint was flying and as you can see it was dripping all over the place.  The painting is very accurate to the actual scene but I think it has a tremendous energy.  But for me it’s really the fact that it’s a record of a wonderful, almost spiritual moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Rex, the painting, and the Elbow River

Rex, the painting, and the Elbow River

Rex Beanland, Elbow Falls Boat Launch, watercolour, 18 x 24

Elbow Falls Boat Launch
watercolour
18 x 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 New Works Gallery Bound

Winter Sun, Calgary watercolour 29 x 21

Winter Sun, Calgary
watercolour
29 x 21

Winter Sun, Calgary  was accepted into XI International Watercolor Biennial in Mexico at the Alfredo Guati Rojo National Watercolor Museum.

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Construction Season, Calgary, watercolour & white gouache, 18 x 24

Construction Season, Calgary
watercolour & white gouache
18 x 24

 

Construction Season, Calgary is based on a scene at the end of our street when city crews were installing a new water line.  The man leaning into it is cutting a huge concrete structure and the dust and smoke completely obliterated the trees and house.  I did a small plein air study then did this in the studio.  I used white gouache extensively for all the dust.  I wasn’t sure what to make of this painting for quite a while because of it’s unusual subject matter.  Over the year that it hung on my wall I came to like it more and more and finally submitted it to the Federation Gallery in Vancouver for the Scenes of Western Canada show.  I felt the subject matter particularly appropriate for that show.  It felt very satisfying to have them accept it.  I think there is a immediacy to it that I like and of course I love the heavy machinery.

 

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2 New Workshops in Edmonton

I gave 2 workshops in Edmonton last weekend.  They were sponsored by The Paint Spot a great art store, gallery and studio just off Whyte Ave.  I have to thank Kim and her staff for making me feel so welcome.  They are big supporters of Canadian and Albertan artists.

There were 2 classes both very enthusiastic about learning more about watercolour.  It’s always a wonderful experience to be in a room like that.

The first day I did a demo of one of my favourite scenes from Calgary, the Stephan Ave Mall.  It’s a good example of the monumental style street scene and has great shapes and composition.

Rex Beanland, Christmas on Stephan Ave, watercolour, 13 x 18

Christmas on Stephan Ave

 

This painting is all about value, the colour is completely secondary.  But if you have a good composition and a good value then the painting  will be successful.  As a friend of mine said: Colour gets the glory but value does the work.

 

 

 

 

 

On the second day I did something I’ve never done before which is do a demo that I hadn’t  practiced.  This time I went in cold and  that made it a very interesting experience.  There was extra focus when I began the painting.  But it did allow me to demonstrate the process I go through before I start a new painting.  I always do a thumbnail value study in pencil.  I find this practice very important.  Since I’ve been doing this I notice the quality and especially the consistency of my paintings  improved dramatically.

Rex Beanland, Sunlight On Jasper Ave, watercolour, 13 x 18

Sunlight On Jasper Ave

 

This is the demo I did on the second day.  It’s a view down Jasper Ave.  My main thought process was to see and paint the buildings on the left side as a single shape.  I think it’s very successful.  I really like the sense of light.  I plan to do this painting again as a demonstration for my new distributor ArtClick.tv.  Next time I do it I would like to improve the sky and also change the composition a little to bring the building on the right a little closer to the edge.  Bringing that building right out of the frame at the bottom was the biggest change I made after the workshop when I got back  in my studio.

Anyway it was great to meet everyone and it was a lot of fun. I look forward to returning.

 

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Art In The Garden

It was a great weekend, Aug 9 – 10 at our Art In The Garden Show & Sale.  For the 6th year in a row we were blessed with beautiful weather.  For me the fun of art shows is always the networking, meeting other artists and new people who are attracted to my art.

This video shows the process for completing this painting.

Art In The Garden Demo

 

 

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Drawing On The City: A Solo Show & Workshop In Edmonton

I’m very excited by this solo show I’m having at the Naess Gallery in Edmonton.  I’ll be there for the opening and also for my workshop the weekend of Sept 20-21.  If you get a chance I hope you’ll be able to take in the show.

Drawing On The City Invite

 

 

I’m also looking forward to my workshop at The Paint Spot on Sat – Sun, Sept 20 – 21.  The first and probably most important aspect of this workshop is that  painting successful urban landscapes in watercolour is first and foremost about using good watercolour techniques.  We’re just applying them to buildings people and cars.  So we will be looking at what makes watercolour so luminous and exciting namely good washes.  Secondly we will be looking at simple techniques to easily create cars and people.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and very informative whether you are new to urban landscapes or if you’ve already tried it.

If you are interested contact The Paint Spot.

Phone 780-432-0240
Toll Free 1-800-363-0546

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Art In The Garden 2014

Rex Beanland, Art In The Garden Invitation 2014Rex Beanland, Art In The Garden Invitation 2014, backEvery August for the past 6 years I and some friends have put on our own art show called Art In The Garden.  It’s held in the beautiful garden of Rosemary Bennett.

By some act of a higher power we have had beautiful sunny weather each year and we hope for the same this year.  There are refreshments, comfortable places to sit and enjoy yourself and I’ll be doing a demo on the Saturday.  There will be paintings, Rose’s glass works, unframed originals and art cards.

I hope that you can make it out.  It’s always a fun day.

 

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Painting Edmonton On Location

I have a show coming up in Edmonton at the Naess Gallery from the end of August to the end of September 2014.  This show will feature cityscapes.  In order to get Edmonton subjects I have been painting in Edmonton twice in the past month.  I was there last week for 4 days and it was a fabulous time.

The first reason that it was so positive is that it was the first time I have ever painted on a busy sidewalk, smack in the middle of downtown in any city.  I was a little apprehensive but it turned out to be a great experience.  Many people stopped and everyone was extremely  positive.

The second reason I enjoyed was the actual paintings I did.  I’m very happy with the results.  I have long been a proponent of plein air (on location) painting but I continually discover new joys in doing it. In fact I recently came across a quote that sums it up nicely for me:  “Plein air painting gives us the improvisational spirit, something that an artist may not get in a comfortable studio. By planting your feet on the ground, you feel the power of “earth energy” and a new-found honesty. Plein air strokes take on pioneer wisdom. While challenging, even daunting, the new complexity tests your ability to think things out.”

These are the 3 paintings I did on location.

Rex Beanland, Sunrise, Edmonton, watercolour, 12 x 16

Sunrise, Edmonton
watercolour
12 x 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, On location Hotel MacDonald

On location Hotel MacDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This painting of the Hotel MacDonald was started at 5:45 in the morning.  The sun was just rising and that orange glow caught part of the building.  10 minutes later the light completely changed so I kept this particular view in my mind.  I enjoyed the challenge of integrating the darker shape of the trees.  I was lucky to find this little unused door way where I could keep out of the way of the pedestrian traffic.

Rex Beanland, Jasper Ave, watercolour, 12 x 16

Jasper Ave
12 x 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, On Location, Jasper Ave.

On location Jasper Ave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the afternoon I moved down Jasper Ave and was quite inspired by this scene.

Rex Beanland, Dominion Hotel, watercolour, 16 x 12

Dominion Hotel
watercolour
16 x 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day I moved to Whyte Ave and found the shape of the historic Dominion Hotel building very attractive.  The sidewalk was very crowded since this was the first day of ‘Art Walk’.

 

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Springtime – The Challenge Of Painting Greens

I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring this year, in part because of the long, long winter that we have had.  I continue to paint on location 2 – 3 times a week and a fact of on location painting in the springtime is ubiquitous presence of green.  I have heard many times over the years that green is one of the more challenging colours to paint.  I believe that one reason for the particular challenge of this colour is that it is so pervasive in our landscape and also because  nature displays an almost limitless variety of greens.  I doubt if any other colour in the landscape comes in so many varieties.  It is intimidating to not only get colour perspective with green i.e. having it recede into the distance but also to harness what can be an overwhelming variety of green.

This spring I seem to have been doing a lot of plein air painting that involves this green challenge.  It has been a fascinating experience to try to make sense of it all.

The challenge really began when I volunteered to do a demo for the clothesline sale at the Leighton Centre in early June.  Previously, I have used some photo that I’ve been working on as my subject for the demo.  This year I wanted the challenge of painting the actual landscape of the Leighton Centre, and the landscape at the Leighton Centre involves a lot of green.  The images that follow show some of the paintings and studies that I have done this spring that have a large amount of green in them.  I love this type of on-going challenge and I have learned a great deal from my experiments with green.

This first image is a little study I did the week before the Clothesline Sale to get familiar with the subject.

Rex Beanland, View From Leighton, watercolour 9 x 12

A study of the view from the Leighton Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Demoing at the Clothesline sale, 2014

Painting my demo at the Clothesline Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Home In The Foothills, watercolour, 11 x 20

Home In The Foothills
Watercolour
11 x 20

 

 

 

 

 

This is a studio painting based on a view of the foothills near the Leighton Centre.

Rex Beanland, Springtime In Southern Ontario, watercolour 9 x 12

Springtime In Southern Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a plein air study done in late May during our visit to south western Ontario.

Rex Beanland, Early morning at Olympic Plaza, watercolour 7 x 14

Early morning at Olympic Plaza

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Downtown Creek, watercolour, 9 x 12

A little creek right in downtown Calgary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This study was done on location at a little park right in the centre of Calgary.  I quite like it because it’s not obvious what it’s all about at first glance.

Rex Beanland, Bow River Pathway, 8 x 11

Bow River Pathway
watercolour
8 x 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rex Beanland, Old Strathcona, Edmonton, watercolour, 9 x 12

A residential street in Old Strathcona, Edmonton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This final plein air study was done in Edmonton in mid June.  I have a show coming up in Edmonton at the end of August so I spent a few days there getting reference material.  This is the area of Old Strathcona just off Whyte Ave.  I loved the thick canopy of trees.  I’m not sure what type of tree they are but they so remind me of Winnipeg.  So different from the trees of Calgary.

Whatever comes of all this work with the colour green it has been a fascinating journey and I feel so much more confident in my handling of the colour.  This is particularly useful because as I mentioned at the top of this post, the world is absolutely alive with greens particularly in the spring.

 

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