A. Resler Art: Blog https://www.areslerart.com/blog en-us (C) A. Resler Art (A. Resler Art) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:04:00 GMT Eternally Hopeful https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2017/1/eternally-hopeful Eternally HopefulEternally Hopeful16 x 20 Oil on Canvas This painting was composed for the Okotoks Art Gallery Sesquicentennial Exhibition "Strong and Free". There is deep significance to this piece. I invite you to read about its detail in my Blog.

"Eternally Hopeful"  16 x 20, Oil on Canvas, by Annette Resler

Composed for the "Strong & Free" Sesquicentennial Exhibition at Okotoks Art Gallery, January 13 - February 11, 2017

The criteria:

To create an original work of art incorporating at least two symbols from the list of "Very Canadian Things" provided by the Okotoks Art Gallery.

My inspiration:

I chose Group of Seven, the maple leaf and "eh" from the list of Very Canadian Things to be included in my composition of "Eternally Hopeful".

Having been present at the 90th Anniversary Vimy Ridge Memorial Rededication on April 9, 2007, it was without question that I would include the significance of  that experience in my painting.  "Mother Canada", a remarkable sculpture which is part of the Vimy Ridge Memorial, felt to be the perfect component to reflect a well known work of art by Lawren Harris, a member of the Group of Seven, known as "The Old Stump, Lake Superior".  Harris' study piece, "The Old Stump, Lake Superior" became the subject for his renowned painting "North Shore, Lake Superior".

Influenced to create a similar composition in my "Eternally Hopeful" as "The Old Stump", I used the statue of Mother Canada in a similar, shape oriented landscape setting, including two prominent hills one sees on the Vimy Ridge vista.  The draping of her robe serves as homage to the roots of the old stump.

The maple leaf, painted in a loose, almost abstract way, is intended to give a focal point for "Mother Canada" to be casting her view. The shape of the leaf represents the cradle of a nurturing nation into which we each play a part - past, present and future.

I have long stated that my definition of Canadian's use of "eh" is an acronym for "eternally hopeful".  It seemed appropriate to give this title to my painting as it reflects my continued optimism for our great country.  Accepting our past with humility while moving forward with honour, truth and reconciliation.

(A. Resler Art) #Canada150 Eternally Hopeful Okotoks Art Gallery Sesquicentennial https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2017/1/eternally-hopeful Sat, 07 Jan 2017 19:30:34 GMT
Looking for shrubbery https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2016/1/looking-for-shrubbery Painting greens.  Every speck of colour mixing is a fun challenge but for me greens are a particularly so.  So many textures and temperatures are found in nature and every leaf of every tree has its own personality.  I'm sure that is a great parallel to make about human kind in general!  Many of my subjects involve some element of landscape which inevitably includes some element of "shrubbery".  I love putting myself into the location of my subject, feeling the breeze and listening to the rustle of the "greens" or enjoying the absolute still of oncoming dusk, such as the case in this piece, "Waterton Dusk".  

Waterton DuskLooking for shrubbery - painting greens.

(A. Resler Art) Alberta landscape Annette Resler Waterton National Park beaver pond oil painting reflection https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2016/1/looking-for-shrubbery Wed, 13 Jan 2016 16:36:39 GMT
I'm in a plein air state of mind https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/4/im-in-a-plein-air-state-of-mind The days are getting longer and more inviting for painting en plein air.  If there is one challenge I am giving myself this year it is to paint out of doors more often.  Although I painted this study in my studio today, I consciously placed myself mentally into the setting of being along Etherington Creek. I gave myself the same timeline to capture the important parts of the scene as if I was at my easel along the creek.  Is it perfect? Nope.  But it is giving me the sense of what the atmosphere would be on this sunny day with shadows cast by the rocks along the rushing water's edge.   Etherington Creek Study 1

(A. Resler Art) Alberta landscape Annette Resler Etherington Creek Study oil painting https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/4/im-in-a-plein-air-state-of-mind Tue, 28 Apr 2015 03:26:21 GMT
Alla Prima Landscape - studio work https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/2/alla-prima-landscape---studio-work Today's beautiful winter sunshiney, cloudy sky was not a whole lot different than the summer day where my photo reference shows plenty of atmospheric activity.  The big difference in today's winter sky was the predominant band of chinook cloud that took hold for awhile. (That will be a subject for another day.)

My painting of the big sky and landscape north of the Big Rock took on a more refined look after spending a bit of time on it in the studio today.  There is still some finishing detail to add but I felt it warranted being posted to show the difference from the original block in.

I do love this Alberta countryside! Big Sky - work in progress update

(A. Resler Art) Alberta landscape Annette Resler WestGuild Artists big sky oil painting work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/2/alla-prima-landscape---studio-work Sat, 14 Feb 2015 03:52:17 GMT
Charcoal Wild Rose https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/2/charcoal-wild-rose It used to be when an instructor in a workshop would suggest that drawing was a necessary part of painting I would be stricken with fear and apprehension.  I don't draw.  I just want to paint.  At least that's how I USED to feel.  Enter a bit of playing in a variety of "drawing" mediums coupled with a greater understanding has made me realize that even "bad" drawing done with focus is better than not drawing at all!

It takes lots of practice like anything else and I am as surprised as anyone to realize that drawing is FUN!  I am trying to incorporate it more in my planning for painted pieces.  I have learned that there is little risk of losing creative spontaneity by adding this element to planning my painting.  If anything it provides greater reward in the process because the study done by drawing as a separate exercise teaches me details in how I can be more free in the paint application.   My hope is that it will encourage a better understanding of values.  I can't wait to put brush to canvas (or Baltic birch) to develop the new work in the studio.

Today, as I enjoyed a day in the studio with a friend, I sketched this wild rose in charcoal as a study while she painted her piece at the easel.  Thank you, Gloria, for a memorable day.  I wish the miles were fewer between us so that we two artists could "geek out" more often! :)  It's great to share this art journey with you. Charcoal Wild Rose

(A. Resler Art) Alberta Annette Resler WestGuild Artists artist charcoal drawing wild rose work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/2/charcoal-wild-rose Tue, 10 Feb 2015 05:19:24 GMT
Alla Prima Landscape https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/1/workshop-work-in-progress What a wonderful day spent in the company of 10 other students and instructor, Doug Levitt, painting a landscape in oils using the "alla prima" method.  I felt moved to paint a big sky using a photo I'd taken last summer on a visit out to the Big Rock as my reference.  The landscape is stunning at every turn from this location, just west of Okotoks - the Big Rock to the east, the Rocky Mountains to the west and to the north, this expansive view.  The studio session leaves me with a good start on a piece that will hopefully convey the sense of magnificent clouds in their many formations.  My goal was to try to create a "big" feeling on a smallish canvas (18 x 14).  It's a great exercise and I have much to learn, but capturing larger than life subject matter in paint is a challenge as there simply is no canvas big enough for the absolute beauty.  We paint so that we can share moments with viewers and hopefully convey the mood in the grandeur.  

(A. Resler Art) Annette Resler WestGuild Artists alberta landscape alla prima big sky oil painting okotoks landscape work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/1/workshop-work-in-progress Sun, 01 Feb 2015 02:44:26 GMT
Waterton preview - work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/1/waterton-preview---work-in-progress My photo reference for this piece is one of hundreds of pictures I have taken with my camera, adding to the thousands of images forever stored in my memory of the Waterton Lakes National Park area.  Waterton is a gorgeous place to visit - I am a bit of a broken record on that point :)

I chose this particular reference with the intention of conveying the hazy conditions of the day.  Forest fires had been burning in BC and the usually pristine mountain views were muted because of smoke in the air - still magnificent, just a bit more subdued than on another given day.

The landmark Prince of Wales Hotel is a significant piece of local and national history.  Built in 1926-27, the hotel added prestige to the landscape, enticing travellers with its charm.  It remains today a "must see" place.  One gets a real sense of the awe that early visitors must have felt and an appreciation for the foresight in building such a dynamic structure in a remote location. Waterton - Prince of Wales Hotel - snippet of a larger work

The photo along with this blog entry is a snippet of the larger piece in progress.  The original is 36" x 24", Baltic birch surface, painted in oils.  This one, probably more than any of my previous paintings, has challenged my understanding of values.

It's been a joy to end my year of painting and to start a new year of painting with this work.  Stay tuned for a view of the finished piece.

Happy New Year, dear reader!

(A. Resler Art) Annette Resler Prince of Wales Hotel Waterton oil painting work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2015/1/waterton-preview---work-in-progress Thu, 01 Jan 2015 23:58:01 GMT
Check please! (value check on Cameron Falls) https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/check-please-value-check-on-cameron-falls I learned long ago about the principle of black and white images - if it's an effective image in grayscale, then it will likely be successful in colour.  This is a snapshot of a portion of the Cameron Falls painting converted to grayscale as this is a super way to check the values.  The concept of values is so important and it's one of those things that took me a long while to wrap my head around.  Once it starts making sense, look out!  You are checking values at every juncture along the way...it definitely is the key to keeping interest in your painting!

My Cameron Falls is getting closer to being finished.  Yesterday it was about getting my feet wet painting the water...today it was mostly about landing the feeling of sunshine on the rocks.  Tomorrow will be the overall "once over" to make adjustments in values, edges and enhancing highlights and low lights.

(A. Resler Art) Annette Resler Cameron Falls WestGuild Artists grayscale oil painting value check work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/check-please-value-check-on-cameron-falls Wed, 24 Dec 2014 06:53:19 GMT
Rocks and Water - work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/rocks-and-water---work-in-progress I have been exercising restraint by not delving into the foreground but now that rest of the painting has  a greater block in I now need to balance it with some water action.  This is where I get my feet wet!!  It truly does come to life while painting and I am also instantly transported to the moments standing near Cameron Falls when I am painting this.  That is the joyous part of painting representational art.  The more I paint, the more I realize this.  What a constant (and wondrous) learning process.   Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to "geek out" with you. Cameron Falls Work In Progress - foreground water

(A. Resler Art) Annette Resler WestGuild Artists oil painting painting water representational art work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/rocks-and-water---work-in-progress Tue, 23 Dec 2014 06:01:59 GMT
The little falls that could - work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/the-little-falls-that-could---work-in-progress Cameron Falls at Waterton National Park are one of the most recognizable falls in Western Canada because of their unique "H" formation.  If you haven't visited Waterton, I highly recommend it be added to your "bucket list".  I really feel it is one of those best kept secrets of an absolutely breathtaking setting that many folks have yet to discover. 

I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of painting water - I often say water, rocks and clouds are three of my favourite things!  This piece is in its early stages of being blocked in.  With the luxury of spending more time in my studio, I have found it very helpful to do more planning in my paintings. My Coach, Doug, is happy to know that I am actually now enjoying this added focus rather than being somewhat haphazard in my approach due to.....squirrel!!.......yes, I have been prone to distraction. Cameron Falls, Waterton Work in ProgressOil painting, work in progress

First step with this piece, after selecting it as my subject matter, was to determine the best size surface to paint it on.  I had a lovely 30 x 40 canvas just waiting for a powerful image.  I did a small version in a quick study to help me gain a better understanding of the values and composition.  Pleased with how that went, I am moving full steam ahead!

(notice the inventive method for securing the canvas to the easel :)


(A. Resler Art) https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/the-little-falls-that-could---work-in-progress Sun, 21 Dec 2014 20:48:40 GMT
Birdhouse "Under Construction" https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/birdhouse-under-construction How I love to paint on birch!  This piece is fitting to have wood as its surface - the little birdhouse in this reference has weathered many storms.  In fact, the rock holding its roof on is an indicator of just what it's faced over the years.  Such a character home for the mountain bluebirds or whatever species decides to become the tenant :o)  Oft have I passed these birdhouses on rural roads.  Birdhouse - Home of the Blues?

(A. Resler Art) Annette Resler WestGuild Artists bluebird house oil painting work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/birdhouse-under-construction Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:20:29 GMT
Ready for a signature? https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/ready-for-a-signature Well, this bull elk is one step closer to completion!  I hope you can see the differences in how the depth has been created for the forested background, the snowy and rocky slope leading into the scrubby dry grass.  This young bull has been alerted by something in the area, perhaps by the photographer (my hubby!) who took some photos for my reference in painting.  Now this bull elk painting awaits being properly photographed...oh, and a signature.


(A. Resler Art) Bull Elk oil painting work in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/12/ready-for-a-signature Sat, 06 Dec 2014 06:41:01 GMT
Can you tell the difference? https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/can-you-tell-the-difference Kananaskis RamKananaskis Ram24" x 20" Oil on canvas

After careful review, I've tweaked here and there to arrive at what I think is now the finished, ready to be framed version of "Kananaskis Ram".  Finishing, and knowing when you're absolutely done, is one of the most discussed topics in FAQ's I see on many artist's pages.  We definitely are our own worst critiques and will endlessly add a stroke here and there to make it just right.

My goal is to create representational work with a painterly feel.  Sounds easy enough!  That urge to add more detail is a tough thing to ignore.  I'm learning.  If I liken painting to my experiences in playing jazz music, when there would be occasion to improvise, I think it will help me resist the need to tweak.  Once you have ended a jazz solo it's done, can't be REdone.  It is what it is.  A painting, however, can be "noodled" till the cows come home!  The contradiction is that sometimes you just do have to add those final touches.  It's a fine line (or edge, or value, or shadow...you get the idea)!


(A. Resler Art) Big Horn Sheep Kananaskis Ram Majestic Ram https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/can-you-tell-the-difference Sun, 12 Oct 2014 23:35:15 GMT
Elk in Progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/elk-in-progress Attempts to paint wildlife are proving to be very fun and very challenging!  I love a challenge.  "Elkington", as he has been referred to by a friend, is starting to take some shape.  I'm using a different approach in that the Baltic Birch surface has been treated with two coats of GAC100, an acrylic polymer to seal the wood, and rather than applying my usual gesso layers to add "tooth" to the board, opted to leave the natural wood finish.  "Elkington" is standing in a field of late fall/early winter grass so the natural wood painting surface can be left to show through, adding its own dimension.  That is my hope.  At this point in the painting, the antlers have been "rubbed out" from the dark green background exposing the natural wood colour below. I will paint in greater detail and colour switches but am enjoying the "block in" the rub out has created for the mighty rack.

Back to the brushes.

Until next time...

(A. Resler Art) Bull Elk https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/elk-in-progress Fri, 10 Oct 2014 20:17:37 GMT
Big Horn Ram in progress https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/work-in-progress This big guy was a new challenge as the only other form of wildlife I have painted seriously to date is my friendly little "Peek-Cow-Boo".

My husband took photos of the ram in the mountains near Banff a couple of winters ago.  He has been hinting that I should try to paint the majestic creature.

Try I have, and I am pleased with how he has come to life on the canvas.  I will be leaving him be for a bit to let him settle into the new setting to determine if there is some final tweaking to be done.


(A. Resler Art) Big Horn Sheep oil painting https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/work-in-progress Sat, 04 Oct 2014 04:45:38 GMT
WestGuild Artists apprentice! https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/westguild-artists-apprentice My first attempt at blogging and wow, what a great reason to share information! I am thrilled to announce that I have been inducted into the WestGuild Artists through their mentorship program as an apprentice!!  I'll update more on that as things develop as the opportunity is still surreal to me.  I will be participating in the WestGuild Artists Fall Show at the Hyatt Regency Calgary October 27 - 30, 2014.  Check out my Exhibition page for show details.

Until next time... 

(A. Resler Art) WestGuild Artists https://www.areslerart.com/blog/2014/10/westguild-artists-apprentice Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:14:41 GMT