Sunday, December 15, 2013

My 12 favorite paintings of 2013

I'm not a prolific painter by any means, but, in checking my records I see I produced 56 paintings this year. 14 of which were small shell paintings on wood blocks, 2 watercolors and the rest were oils.  Part of the reason for the large amount ( for me its large anyway ) was that in January I entered a 30 paintings in 30 day challenge.  Believe me they were not all great paintings but some were worth keeping and tweaking on to improve. Some even ended up on my favorite list.

Here, in no particular order, are 12 of my favorites paintings with some comments on what I liked about the piece:

On the left was a typical scene from our boat travels into British Columbia.  I can picture myself there now by looking at that painting. I love how I've captured the fog and the hills.  This is B.C. to me.
The painting on the right is a local scene.  I am happy with the atmosphere I created in the sky with the clouds in a bright blue summer sky.

I was pleased with both of these two florals I painted.  I was challenged with them both because I wasn't use to painting flowers, ruffles with highs and lows creating depth of each petal. I think I'll try more florals.  I didn't realize how much I liked pink until I painted these … I guess thats part of the reason I liked the beets I painted also.  I thought the color combination was really nice here.

I liked the dappled sun I created in the painting on the left above.  I think I tweaked with both of these paintings and made them worth keeping but in my rush to post the 12 favorites I didn't take the time to find the finished photograph of them.  
The painting on the right made the favorite list because it not only brought back memories of the event but that I was able to paint the gesture of the 'Story Teller'.

I was really pleased with the atmosphere in the painting on the left above.  
I thought I captured the  essence of the location.  
I thought I did a good job with the rocky beach of another scene from B.C.  I like the trees also.

Maybe the cow made my list of favorites because I thought it really did look like so many of the cows I've seen.  I liked the way I didn't make the grass detailed, also I like seeing the sun on her.
The center painting is typical of my small shell block paintings … I like them all so it was hard to pick out one favorite.  This one is 6" x 6" on canvas.   Last, but not least for sure, is a painting of a little ceramic bird I picked up in a second hand store many years ago.  It really isn't that cute but for some reason I hang on to it.  I placed it on a cardboard box and when I finished painting it I felt after many tries through-out the years, I had finally captured the look of this bird.

I'd love to hear which is your favorite of these 12 paintings and why.  


  1. The cow gets my vote, followed closely by the boat. (A haiku for you)!.

  2. Thanks Sally … yup, that cow just has a sweet look.

  3. Hi Nancy! I love all your landscapes - especially the BC ones! :)

  4. my favorite has to be the boat. I love that stream of smoke that just draws my eye across the canvas. I can feel the movement.

  5. Thanks Angela. I'm so glad you like the B.C. paintings. I have always loved B.C. since the first time I was up there and maybe just maybe I will be able to show the feelings I enjoy when there in my paintings.

  6. Thank you Maria. I'm so happy you like the boat painting … I was worried about painting the smoke coming from the boat when I started … When I got to that part of the painting it just seemed to paint itself. I call that lucky ...

  7. Oh, my, you made this difficult for me!
    I love all of your work.
    I think the reason I love your style is because you take the time to use many soft edges. This approach makes all of your work appear to have been painted by the same person! They all really say, "Hey! Look at me, I'm a Nancy Van Blaricom painting!
    And it is for this reason (and many more) that I have chosen the middle floral painting. I love the softness, but as well, the softness is extremely evident because of the value scheme. The dark background has a strength and solidity, whereas the soft petals portray a gentleness. Strong value contrasts such as this are what make or break a painting. And this one made the cut for me!

  8. Hi Nancy. Thanks for sharing your favorites. Though I'm partial to your waterscapes, I am very impressed with your florals, particularly the peonies. The subtlety of your lights and darks in the petals is exquisite.

  9. Hi Susan. I'm so happy to hear which of my paintings you like best. I struggled with the peonies for awhile and to hear they are a favorite is so nice to hear. I enjoyed painting both of these florals and I think I will attempt to do more in 2014.

  10. Donna, thank you for all of your comments. I appreciate them and love to hear that my work is coming together and saying they are mine. As an artist I strive to have my own style. Yippee, it sounds like I am finally finding it. The painting of the Alstroemeria's is the first one I ever did with a dark background. It was fun and I thought made a statement. I'll definitely try this again.

  11. This is a tough one - the research vessel is so well rendered; the beets look good enough to eat and all of your shell paintings are beautiful - so I have 3 favorites. Congrats on completing so many paintings; will have to see how many I painted last year (and probably be disappointed in myself!) Happy Holidays.

  12. I like the first one with the water and the fog. Nice atmospheric quality

  13. Thank you Deb. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my records and saw how many I had painted, but, those little ones add up fast, not to mention the 30 in 30 days. Thanks for dropping by.

  14. I like the first one with the hills and fog also Julienne. It might be because of the memories of when I was there also. It was un to try to paint it like I saw it .. glad its your favorite also.