Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lost and Found

I accidentally broke my website last week. And by 'broke' I  mean I basically destroyed it. "How?" I hear you wondering. Oh, you know, by doing something stupid.

So for the past week I have been picking away at the site, trying (with some help) to get the thing functional again, and this morning...EUREKA! I invite you to take a look here. There have been some renovations done, and some more still to do, but I think it is looking pretty spiffy. And if things are working the way they should be, this blog post will actually APPEAR in the site itself. *crosses fingers*

While we are on the subject of my stupidity, the other dumb art-related thing I did recently was to send in a meticulously presented grant application with the wrong number of CDs included. In my defense, it was a French form and I am a native English speaker. And who knew that when they said FIVE copies, they really did mean FIVE! Fortunately, the nice people at the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Qu├ębec let me know of my error, and I was able to correct the situation without being penalized or having my file dumped in the trash. Whew! Now to wait for the jury's decision. *crosses other fingers*

So what else have I done lately that wasn't stupid? Well, I made this:

Turcot Bridge 32x36 collage on panel

Monday, September 14, 2015

Black Orpie

Our old Orpington rooster is getting on in years, so it seemed to me that his portrait was overdue. Kepler is a handsome dude - and he knows it! His feathers gleam iridescent blue-green in the sun, and he has a fine voice. What more could a hen ask for?

Black Orpington Rooster- 14x12, painted paper collage on panel.

Friday, August 7, 2015


For the first time in a long time I have painted a landscape. And yes you read that correctly, PAINTED, not collaged. That makes two oil paintings in a row! No, this is the start of a major change of artistic direction. I had a couple of overdue commissions to execute and figured I had better get them done.

This painting is pretty big: 36 X 24, oil on linen. 'Waterfall' was inspired by a photo my daughter took in Mount Royal Park in Montreal a couple of years ago.

Waterfall 36 X 24 oil on linen © 2015 Alyson Champ

Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed New York's Central Park. As you can imagine, Mount Royal is a gem! It is a green oasis atop the summit of a small mountain, right smack in the heart of North America's most beautiful city.... Not that I'm biased or anything.

View of Montreal from Mount Royal
© 2012 Anna Kiraly

Okay, well maybe just a little.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oil Painting

Since switching over to collage full time eight years ago, it's like a mini vacation for my brain whenever I get a commission to do an oil painting.

I recently had the pleasure of immortalizing a Canadian stallion (yes, Canadian IS a breed of horse) who belongs to a friend of mine. He is a beauty and a true gentleman, so the job was a pleasure.

First I gridded up a drawing from a photo that my friend and I selected as our best portrait reference option.

To avoid unnecessary labour, the drawing was transferred to the panel via tracing paper and then drawn over with thinned oil paint to preserve the lines.

Then comes the  blocking in the major colour and value areas. The finishing of a painting is - for me at least- a process of gradual refinement.

I always marvel at artists who can work on isolated areas of a painting at a time. I need to bring the whole picture along simultaneously so I can see how all the parts relate to each other. I was taught to do this, and as I work, I can still hear one of my old painting instructors shouting to the class, "Start everything at the same time; finish everything at the same time." I guess that advice stuck!

Here is a detail of the portrait near completion, and the finished product below.

Avery, 14x18 oil on panel

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

And Another Thing

Keeping with the Mackinac Island in summer theme, here is another collage hot off the work table.

Wrought Iron Fence - 8x10 painted paper collage on panel.

I must confess I rather like this one and will be a little sad to see it leave for Mackinac's Little Gallery. I hope it finds a good home!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Summer is in full swing here on the farm. The vegetable garden is growing gangbusters- and so are the weeds! Weeding is what I do instead of a hobby. The results are worth it, though.

When not in the garden or the barn, you can find me in the studio. Here are a couple of new collages destined for Mackinac's Little Gallery in Michigan. 

The Windermere 6x8

Wicker Rocker 5x7

Both collages say 'summer' to me. How about you?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Work and Recent Work

It's a busy time of the year for work on the farm....oh, who am I kidding: it's always busy. Our lambs are growing;
Wool covered lawn mowers.

the garden is planted; we have ducks, broiler chicks, and new laying hens in the barn. And we have this little guy. Do you see him? One of these things is not like the other.

Chick, chick, chick....goose?

That little ball of fluff in the middle of all those chicks is a GOSLING! He (or possibly she) was hatched in an incubator I borrowed from a friend. I'm looking forward to having a goose around again since Henry the Watchdog doesn't bark. He just watches.

And in the new works department, these collages have recently arrived at Mackinac's Little Gallery on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The first one is already sold!

The Grand Hotel, Summer 10x6 (Sold)

The Iroquois Hotel 6x8

And I especially like how this one turned out. Wouldn't you like to stay there?

The Iroquois Patio 8x6