Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rainy Day near Auburn

I am back from the plein aire workshop with Ian Roberts in Goderich, Ontario. It was a wonderful experience, for both personal and artistic growth. The 4 days spent immersed in the fundamentals of painting outdoors; design, composition, simplification, colour mixing, value determination, to mention a few were exhilarating and exhausting. The above painting was done outside in a small park pavilion with the rain pouring down . A damp and cold environment, which however, revealed a subtle beauty not normally available . Marina and I had so many laughs and enjoyed so many good times in this beautiful country of ours during our trip to and from Goderich and during the workshop.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Train Tressel

I am so glad that Marina called me on Monday and we went out to paint after we did our errands. The day was glorious and we found this little painting spot near the Pembroke Marina. Today we are in Goderich after a beautiful drive from Pembroke, filled with new and interesting sites, and a very funny driving experience with me driving Marina's standard, through the town of Harriston, very slowly through the intersections with the traffic opening before us like the Red Sea. For some reason we found this incredibly funny and we laughed until we cried. Today is the first day of our Plein Aire workshop with Ian Roberts, a very wonderful and talented landscape painter and teacher.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Doran Road

Again a very quick sketch, this one from Doran Road looking north across Highway 17. The major colour shapes are laid in but I did not take the sketch any further. The clouds were moving so fast and the light was changing so quickly I decided to stick with the initial conditions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Crab Apples and Chinese Bowl

This is one of my favorite still lifes. I was happy with brush work and the colour harmony from the very begining of the sketch.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cloud over Point Alexandria

This beautiful cloud rose after the sky cleared following a thunderstorm. This is a very quick sketch done after the rain cleared away and my equipment and I dried out.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Driftwood Park

Yesterday was a glorious day for painting outside. After a great road trip driving north on Highway 17 to Bisset Creek where I was determined there was a great painting subject and numerous side trips, Marina and I ended up at the boat launch at Driftwood Provincial Park.
Bisset Creek is truly a spectacular place but unfortunately because the highway is so close to the water there was no public place to park and set up our easels. We turned around and drove south and ended up with a beautiful, quiet spot to paint. High clouds were coming in so the sky was very light, that was my most difficult problem to solve yesterday, how to show a very bright day with difuse light.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Storm near Deep River

This particular view of the Ottawa River is near Deep River. When I set out to paint it was a very warm, humid day. In just a short time clouds had closed in and a storm came down the river valley from the north-west. It was spectacular watching the enormous clouds moving towards me and then feeling the cold down draft rushing in behind the still muggy air. The rain pelted down for about half an hour and then the skies cleared and the rest of the afternoon was clear and lovely.

Looking Down River

The Ottawa River flows south-east with the Laurentian Mountains on the Quebec side and a usually more gentle flood plain on the Ontario side. This view down the river is from a public wharf in a small Quebec town about 30 miles nort-west of Pembroke.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Muggy June Evening

A view from my friend Martin's deck across the farm behind his house. The air was heavy with moisture and the sun was setting, the colours were muted and golden. The photograph does not entirely depict the softness which is evident in the painting. I think I have some glare on the sketch which I will try to eliminate tomorrow when I rephotograph.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pear and Grapes

I did this study yesterday but did not finish it until the evening. I have to photograph my paintings in daylight so was unable to post until today. The composition is a little spare but I was very happy with the grapes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Swamp Iris

This is the second painting done on Monday at the same location as the previous sketch. The Snake River passes under Stafford 2nd Line through 2 large culverts here and there is a large marsh populated with numerous birds, animals, insects, and plants. The beautiful blue flags, or irises were in full bloom in clumps growing out of the water and near the stream. As always, I was attempting a loose painting style over a design of several colour shapes which formed the composition.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Into the Swamp

Monday was a perfect day for painting this view of the Snake River. The day was cool with wind, which kept the bugs away, and the sky was full of clouds which kept moving, letting us enjoy lots of sunny periods. Marina and I are working on developing a method for our outdoor sketching which will keep us true to our design and original concept. It is so easy to get lost in the complexity of colour and detail when painting outside, to the point of losing the impact of the large picture.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


These are some of the lovely flowers that grace my garden this time of year. I was aiming for a simple composition that echoed the simplicity of the vase and the flowers themselves.