painting and photographic works

Archive for October, 2010

Skies – Two West Coast Painting

Here a couple more of my paintings from the early-nineties on the west coast (of Canada) theme.   No doubt the skies  in these paintings were influenced by skies in some works of Emily Carr

Bending to the Sky

“Bending to the Sky” 61 by 61 cm (24″x2″) acrylic on hardboard (Masonite)

Although I don’t recall where the scenes for these paintings were, I suspect they were very close together, perhaps even developed from the same reference photo.

Turning Sky

“Turning Sky” 61 by 61 cm (24″x2″) acrylic on canvas

During this period of time I was painting exclusively with acrylics, either on hardboard panels or on canvas. At this time I would build my own stretcher frames and stretched and gessoe the canvas myself.


Photos for the End … of October

I managed to take a few iPhone photos today (October 29th 2010) and have spent the evening putting creative finishing touches on them.

PhotoShop Mobile still seems to be my first go-to app for iPhoto processing although increasingly I am using Iris.Although I haven’t used it today I also often use PhotoFX.

Here are 5 of the photos that I am happy with:

Lear on Landing Approach

Brake Lights

Colors I See

I am thinking that “Colors I See” would make a good painting. I may give it a try in oils or pastels.

Orange Dripping

Morning Porch Light

Island View Beach

This is another of my painting from 1992, the same era and series of my Candles in the Rain. Again this painting was inspired by Canada’s west coast, but this one instead of looking into the deep, dark rain forest, captures  a scene looking from a beach out to the sea.

Waiting on Island View Beach

Island View Beach is on the east side of the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). While on vacation we spent a few days camped near Island View Beach.  Many hours were spent on the beach playing with my dog, flying a kite and doing a bit of sculpture. The sculpture was created by assembling pieces of beach driftwood that were lying around. It was, I recall, fairly physical work moving about some sizable pieces of wood and for some having to dig holes to anchor some pieces. This 24 by 30 inch (61 x 76 cm) acrylic on canvas  painting is based on a photo I took  of what I came up with.


Diamonds in a Waterbowl

I like the creative challenge of finding diamonds in the rough  – or finding and creating interesting compositions out of rather ordinary things and images.

Here are the results of a recent undertaking. These three abstract works came out of one one photo by applying different crops and adjusting the contrast and color saturation levels:

Waterbowl 'A'

Waterbowl 'B'

Waterbowl 'C'

And this was the original image – nothing fancy, just a simple image of a dog’s waterbowl and the reflection in it:

Water Bowl - original image

Candles in the Rain

This may be my personal favorite of my own paintings . Candles in the Rain is the painting which I have considered to be my signature piece (it serves as the homepage icon on my website) and I can not imagine ever selling it. This may not be my “best” painting but it does serve as an important milestone in my painting journey.

"Candles in the Rain", a painting by Randall Talbot

This 20 by 24 inch (51x61cm) acrylic on hardboard painting was completed in 1992. It was one of a number of paintings during this period inspired by Canada’s west coast and particularly the Gulf Islands and southeastern Vancouver Island.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s I had a number of vacations in this region, traveling by bicycle and car. I was also quite inspired at the time by the works and style of Emily Carr. To see more of my coastal paintings from this time please visit this page of my website:


Twitter Artists Unite!

I am excited by a very unique, upcoming art exhibit that I am planning to be a part of. The exhibit will feature post-card sized works of artists from around the world who have come together in an informal community via  Twitter.

The exhibit is being organized by Norwegian artist David Sandum and will take place at a public library in his hometown of Moss in Norway. Given the talent and diversity of the Twitter artistic community this should be a very interesting exhibition.

Not only is this exhibit just a really neat idea but it is also for a good cause. All proceeds from the sale of the works on display will go towards the purchase of children’s books for the library. Each of the works is to sell for a very reasonable 100kr or about $17. To learn more about this project please visit the blog post of David Sandum.

To see the works of and to learn more about, the artist behind this project visit the web site of David Sandum.

Sunrises and Long Shadows

With the changing of the seasons (it is mid-October 2010 as I write this), my way of looking at my world for artistic inspiration must, and does, change. I particularly notice this as I walk around with my camera. I find I do a lot of this walking about at around 8 in the morning or 6 in the evening. The things that I photographing at those times two months ago,  just aren’t there these days. Some days recently I’ve felt a bit empty as I can’t seem to find anything to take a picture of. I know that this is just a transitional time as I refocus my eyes to see different things and to see things differently. I know from experience that I have and will find subject matter in any season.

My morning walks used to be filled with bright sunshine, saturated colors and high contrast. These days as I set out in the morning, the sun is usually not over the lip of the river valley (although it still can put a spotlight on the tall, downtown buildings). The streets are in a uniform shadow. After the last few weeks of beautiful fall foliage, most of the leaves are now an indistinct brown and are on the ground or have been raked up and disposed of. The light is very flat, the contrast is low, the colors faded.

My seasonal bright spot is that as I climb the stairs out of the river valley I am regularly treated to a colorful display on the eastern horizon. It is a great time of year to look at and notice the dramatic colors and contrast in the sky around sunrise (and sunset).


"October Sunrise" over eastern Edmonton


My autumn afternoon walks are likewise different from those of summer. The sun is close to setting, very low in the western sky. The shadows it casts can be very long. The clouds can be lit from underneath and have a lot of contrast.

Long shadows (and dramatic skies) of an October Afternoon

So where do I go from here? Bold colors are hard to find . Gone are the lovely greens of summer against blue skies, as are the bright yellows and reds of autumn. So now I must look for the beauty in subtle color variations and  the forms of naked trees (these forms that have great appeal to me as painting subjects too).  I also can still ( for a few weeks) look to the skies for some dramatic colors to satisfy that craving.

Late Afternoon Sky

Of course when the snow comes (which could be any day now and almost certainly by mid-November) and when I am walking in darkness, I will have to shift my focus yet again – but I am confident that I will always find something worthy of photographing and perhaps even painting . This moving target for interesting subject matter is part of the fun of living in a four-season climate.

Land, Trees and Sky in Black and White

Following are some black and white photos taken in Dawson Park in Edmonton’s river valley on October 2nd 2010. The autumn colors have peaked  and while there is still enough color that it can be a focus on my photography, I find myself being drawn towards images in black and white. This day featured some wispy white clouds which looked dramatic against the deep blue (black) sky.

Guarding the Ridge

Under the Canopy

Dragon's Breath

Bones Against the Sky

A Lonely Post

Zen Photos

Sometimes the simplest images can be the most powerful.

Zen is … contemplation, according to one definition. I am attracted to photos that facilitate and even encourage contemplation by the simplicity of the subject, the value range and/or the color of the image.

Here are three recent photos of mine  that fall in this category:

One Lonely Cloud

Tree and Tower


“One Lonely Cloud” and “Soaring” were taken with a Nikon D80 and post-processed with Capture NX2. “Tree and Tower” was taken with an iPhone 3Gs and cropped and edited with the  PhotoShop Mobile app.