And the winner is..

Thank you to everyone who joined my mailing list and by joining entered my pet portrait contest.   The winner is Emma Storey, who has very graciously accepted her prize. Congratulations, Emma. Emma has and has had many pets and will have to decide which will be the portrait subject.  I'm looking forward to seeing her choice.  I will post the painting here once it's completed, likely in the new year.
In the interest of fairness, I cut up my mailing list and drew one name from the pile

To those of you who didn't win this time, I am happy to accept pet portrait commissions any time.


A Caribou is a Reindeer, but not an Elk

A caribou is a reindeer by another name.  Both belong to the species Rangifer tarandus, although their long separation across continents--caribou in North America and reindeer in Eurasia--means some differences have crept in over thousands of years.  As far as I know, for example, Canadian caribou don't fly.
Woodland caribou, painting oil on panel, by artist Shannon Reynolds
Woodland Caribou, oil on panel 8" x 10"
Even so, I painted this Woodland Caribou for last year's Christmas postcard.  The original painting is available for one more week at the Red Brick Cafe in Guelph where my solo exhibition continues until December 13th.

Woodland caribou postcard "We caribou you!" © Shannon Reynolds 2014
We Caribou You! postcard © Shannon Reynolds 2014

And, of course, neither a Caribou nor a Reindeer is An(ne) Elk.

A languid Elk at my brother's family's campsite in Jasper this summer


Painting from a live model

There's really no substitute. I love to set up my portable paintbox and tripod and paint with a limited colour palette in one burst of intense concentration.  There was a great turn out last Wednesday night for the sustained pose at the Cambridge Centre.  Here is my oil painting of our lovely model, Irena.
portrait study oil painting woman's head from single live sitting by Shannon Reynolds
Irena, portrait study from life, oil on gessoed board (detail)

portrait painted from a single live sitting by artist Shannon Reynolds
Irena, portrait study from life, oil on gessoed board, 9" x 12"


Win a Portrait of Your Pet

Until December 13th, when you sign up to my mailing list (see form to the right) I'll enter your name in a draw to win an original portrait of your pet painted in oils on a 6" x 6" canvas from your own photo.  Just like this one:
Golden Retriever oil painting portrait © Shannon Reynolds small pet portrait commission
Tasha, Golden Retriever, oil on panel 6" x 6"
When a friend of mine wanted a surprise portrait of her parents' dog last year, I decided to bend my rule about working only from in-person sittings or photos I've taken myself.  For this stealthy portrait, we resorted to a cell phone snapshot.  While not ideal, the result was so successful that I've decided to offer this option to people who'd like a more expedient and less expensive option (for portraits of pets only).

I'll draw the name and contact the winner on December 14th and make the announcement here and on my facebook page.

Of course, if you'd prefer not to leave things to chance, or can't wait until the 14th, you can always commission one of your own by contacting me directly. Just follow this link to my website and click the info tab at the top, then contact at the bottom to get my email address.


Angry Birds Through the Front Window

...of the Red Brick Cafe in Guelph, where they can be seen daily for the next few weeks, while my exhibition is hanging.

Mute swan busking, Canada Goose, House Sparrows fighting, Ring-billed Gull, oil painting Shannon Reynolds
Angry Birds (detail), oil on birch panel, 30" x 40"

Angry Birds seen through the front window
My show at the Red Brick in Guelph is in its second week.  It runs through December 13th, so you still have plenty of time to stop in for a look.  Get in touch if something catches your eye.


Solo Exhibition of Paintings at the Red Brick in Guelph

A solo exhibition of paintings by Shannon Reynolds at the Red Brick Cafe in Guelph
Shannon Reynolds
at the Red Brick Café
8 Douglas St. Guelph, Ontario, Monday- Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 11am-5pm
October 26 through December 13

My paintings will be hanging at the Red Brick Café in downtown Guelph until December 13th. The exhibition features a few large paintings and many smaller landscapes and animal studies as well as some oldies but goodies from earlier series, notably my dj hands.  There's something for everyone.  The historic cafe/gallery space is high-ceilinged and light-filled with several comfortable rooms.   If you are in Guelph over the next few weeks, I hope you stop in for a cappuccino or a craft beer and let me know what you think of the show.


Doe, a Deer

a female deer.  Elegant creature. Tick vector. Driving hazard. Muncher of gardens.  We spotted this one and several others in the long grass near a popular surfing beach on Nova Scotia's south shore.
oil painting portrait of a young, female, white-tailed deer by Shannon Reynolds
Young Female White-tailed Deer, oil on panel, 12" x 12"


When Thanksgiving falls just a week before a federal election...

the dinner table can become a battleground.  Fortunately for us, we banned all political talk beforehand and the potential melee was forestalled...

red fox, hound, Canada goose, red-winged blackbirds, and gull fighting
Clangor, oil on panel, 18" x 18"

Red-winged blackbird, Mute swans, Red fox, Coyote, American Kestrel, and Hound all screeching
Cacophony, oil on panel, 18" x 18"
at least until after dinner when we relieved any lingering tensions by throwing fallen walnuts at each other in the nearby park.


Too cold and Damp for Nuit Blanche...and Barn Owls

We didn't brave the cold to see the overnight art spectacle this year, but I heard we missed a sculpture of one of these stealthy killers constructed entirely of Lego blocks by Toronto Artist Ekow Nimako.

Barn owl, oil painting, Shannon Reynolds
Barn Owl sketch, oil on panel, 6" x 6"

This is my far more humble sketch of a Barn Owl painted earlier this year.   Even in Southern Ontario, we're at the very northern tip of  its habitat.  Maybe if global warming continues, the Barn Owl will venture farther north, and then we'll have yet another reason to preserve small family farms, which offer ideal nesting and hunting grounds.


Wrong Bird Right City: Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole, oil painting, ornithological art Shannon Reynolds
Baltimore Oriole in Magnolia, oil on panel 8" x 8"
We usually get one of these on our Magnolia Stellata, which blooms before anything else, each spring.  The oriole's orange and black is always a shock after so many months of grey, but would blend right in with our sugar maples over the next couple of months. 

Oh, and I'm not usually one to jump on the bandwagon, but Go Jays Go!


We've been infiltrated

Red fox pouncing painting oil on panel urban wild Shannon Reynolds
Red fox mid-pounce, oil on panel 8" x 8"
...or perhaps we've done the infiltrating. Where once there was a den of foxes in a municipal storm sewer drain pipe in the park near my parents' downtown house, now there is a den of coyotes.  A brazenly curious wild pack.  It seems coyotes are supplanting foxes as a top predator in the urban landscape. Even in the city we live so intertwined with the wild world. 

Coyote cub pack in storm sewer drainpipe, Spring 2015 (photo credit Ben Reynolds)


Black Swan for a Blue Monday

Black swan portrait, oil on panel, painting, Shannon Reynolds
Head of a Black Swan, oil on panel 6" x 6"