November, 2018     Volume 2, Issue 3.

It's Time for a Gift of Art!

Whatever holiday you're observing this season, it's time to celebrate those who mean the most to you, and what better way to spread the love than to give them something made by a local artist?

I've got Gift Certificates and e-Gift Cards available this year, that can be used on anything from custom orders to commissions!

Watercolours by Dwayne

Offering the following products and services:
Original paintings
Signed GICLEE prints
Custom framing
Gift Certificates and eGift Cards

Upcoming Events...

Please join me at the following upcoming shows and events: Follow me on Social Media for up to the minute information on where I'm going to be, and what I'm working on.

Speaking of Commissions...

This commission, of a parent osprey landing in a nest full of younglings, came about as a direct result of my recent feature in "The Link" magazine (described in detail here.) 

At one of my shows this year, I was approached by a couple who had seen the magazine, and wanted to know if I was interested in customizing a painting for them. They lived next door to a tall tree with an osprey nest near the top, and they loved watching the ospreys come and go. They wanted to know if I could incorporate the actual nest in a painting, and include juvenile birds as well.

Working together, we designed an image that they liked, one that was pleasing to the eye as well as rife with symbolism. For them, the outstretched wings of the parent osprey represented it offering sanctuary to its offspring from the impending dark clouds.

The watercolour took me about a month to complete, and I just presented it to them a few days ago, and they were very satisfied. I'm giving them the opportunity to name it, and they're still thinking about it, so I'm just calling it "Unnamed Osprey Painting" for now.

I won't be selling any prints of this painting as part of the commission agreement.

Got an idea for a commission of your own? Let's talk!


In Progress...

This progress shot is from the watercolour painting that I'm creating for the Fall session of my "Illustrative Watercolour" course at the Art School of Peterborough.

In the course, we all work on the same source image that is personalized slightly for each student. In this case, we're all working on the same barn, but have each chosen a different rural scene to be reflected in the windows. 

Watch the next newsletter for information on the “Illustrative Watercolours” course in the school’s Winter term as well as two one-day workshops that I’ll be leading. One will be on painting cobblestones, and the other will be all about matting, framing, and stretching your own canvases.
More details definitely to follow!

Presenting "Until Called"...

"Until Called"
©2018, 22" by 14", Watercolour

I have long been fascinated by the Franklin Expedition – the British Navy’s ill-fated attempt to find the North-West Passage in 1845 during which all 129 crewmen perished. This fascination of mine has been renewed in the last few years with the exciting news that Parks Canada has discovered the wrecks of both of the ships from the Expedition: the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror. What’s even more exciting is the fact that both wrecks are in remarkable condition and lie in relatively shallow water, making their exploration that much easier.

If you’ve been following either my Facebook posts or my newsletters in the last few months, you’ll already know that lately I’ve been obsessed with painting real-life objects inside glass vessels. It started with me putting Bill Mason inside a mason jar in my painting “Canadian Mason,” and was explored most recently with “Viking Spirits” in which I painted a Viking boat inside a bottle on a cobble-stone beach.

It was as I was painting this last one that it occurred to me that I should do something similar with the ships from the Franklin Expedition. I envisioned that each ship would be frozen in ice within its respective bottle, and both bottles would be sitting on a rocky beach somewhere on King William Island in the Canadian Arctic.

I pulled out my books on the subject, dusted them off and started to refresh my memory as to the details of the men’s final days. As I delved into things, and expanded my research to include online resources, I discovered some pictures of Crozier’s Landing, the rocky beach where the men gathered as they abandoned the ships in a desperate attempt to walk south out of the Canadian arctic to salvation. This seemed like exactly the beach I had been looking for, and it is what I used for the background. The fact that those rocks are out of focus owing to the fact that I had to enlarge a small picture to work from, only seems to draw more attention to the bottles and their contents.

There have been precious few documents found from the expedition over the years. On one search of a campsite that the Franklin men had used not long after they had disappeared, the searches found a tiny scrap of paper with only two words written on it: “until called.” I have been haunted by these words since I first read about them having been found, trying to figure out what the rest of the sentence was that they belonged to. So, it made sense to name the painting after the truncated phrase.


In the Framing Studio...

It's not all about my art!

I've been having a lot of fun in my framing studio this year, and have been experimenting with a number of different types of framing techniques. From shadow boxes, to canvas stretching, to insetting used paint-brushes inside frames. 

Got an idea for something you'd like mounted inside a custom-built frame or shadow box? Let's talk. The possibilities are endless.

What Postal Strike?

If, like me, you’re at all concerned about the ongoing strike at Canada Post then rest easy. All my orders will be going out using a different courier!
And if you can’t decide, or don’t know exactly what the people on your list want, consider a gift Certificate or an e-gift card. Tell them that they can put the money towards a custom order or even their very own commission!
Buy now...

About Dwayne...

Watercolour artist Dwayne James lives near Lakefield, Ontario where he paints as often as he can, that is when he’s not spending time with his daughter, twin boys, and his very forgiving wife.

Dwayne studied archaeology in University, and as a result learned how to write creatively. “The most important skill I learned in University,” he says, “was the ability to pretentiously write about myself in the third person.”

With no formal art training, Dwayne has always preferred the self-guided, experimental approach. In fact, he taught himself how to illustrate archaeological artifacts while completing his Master’s degree at Trent University. Said his thesis supervisor at the time: “There might not be much in the way of coherent theoretical content in Dwayne’s thesis, but damn, it looks pretty!”

After working for close to a decade as a technical communicator, Dwayne chose to look at being downsized in January 2009 as an opportunity to become a stay@home Dad for his newborn twins and pursue his painting and creative writing. It is a decision that continues to make him giggle with wild abandon to this very day.

A self-taught painter, Dwayne’s  highly-detailed watercolour paintings have been described as “unconventional” yet “absolutely authentic.”

Fascinated by both texture and dimension, Dwayne channels nature to create personalised images that are not easily captured with conventional photography.

Dwayne seizes a moment in his paintings that shifts every time you view them. You may have seen watercolours before but, chances are, you have never seen watercolours like Dwayne’s.

Copyright © 2018 Watercolours by Dwayne, All rights reserved.

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