Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Now Colour

Last post I introduced my latest commission and posted images of my value sketches. I am reposting the value sketch here. This scene is all about depth and to properly represent the huge expanse stretching to Georgian Bay I need to get the values, colours and shape sizes correct.

I have now done a colour study.  This is 9" X 12" and the desired finished painting will be 12" X 16"  The purpose of this study is to play with shapes and colours keeping in mind the values from the previous study. I need to lighten the foreground rocks to make them believable, lighten the dark midground trees on the right to push them back and the far distant landscape is possibly too light and maybe just little too blue but I can't make that call until I make the other changes.

 I am starting to think that I can make this composition work. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

I Love Commissions

I am working on a commission for a dear friend and paddle partner. I have narrowed it down to two scenes from last Octobers canoe trip.  I started with these value studies and would like to thank my very talented nephew Jamie Christie for getting me thinking about using Prismacolor markers. These were fun to do and I will do more preliminary sketches with then in the future.  I might even buy some coloured markers.

The top left image is one of Bob's photos and top right is my sketch done on location.  AY Jackson painted the same scene from almost the same location but that is a story for another time.  I painted the sketch while sitting on campsite 30 on OSA Lake and I suspect that Bob took his photograph from the same place.  The bottom image is my value study for a painting.

This second option is the one that Bob wants me to do. Bob took the photo from the top of The Crack in Killarney Provincial Park.  It is a long tough climb for a couple of old guys but oh what a vista.  It is an incredibly high La Cloche peak with a relatively flat plain below it stretching to Georgian Bay.  It will be tough to show that perspective but well worth a try.

The final image is our paddling crew on "The Crack" looking back towards OSA Lake and more La Cloche mountains.  This great bunch of guys drag me along with them and all I have to do is paddle and paint.  An outdoor artists dream deal.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Painting Kids Painting

I had a great time at the Dundas Museum and Archives this afternoon. 

 When I was there yesterday hanging my show I was told that they had invited youth to come paint outside this afternoon.  They wanted to know if I could come and set up and paint.  I said sure and invited some friends.  

This was painted quickly and while it isn't one of my best paintings it captures young Max sitting on the stairs of the Doctor's house merrily working on a painting of his grandmother sitting on a bench and totally oblivious to the fact that it was only 3 F.  I painted it in a rush because I didn't expect him to stay long but he managed three paintings outside over about an hour and a half.  I was impressed because he, like us,  worked with no gloves on and my hands were cold and stiff by the time I finished.  I wish that I had taken a photo of his painting to show here.

His determination reminded my of my grandson Max.

April 14th Opening

It has been a very busy few months but my solo show consisting of thirty plein air paintings is now hanging in the Dundas Museum and Archives. I decided a little over a year ago that I needed to become proficient with acrylic paint so that I could use them while traveling and especially on canoe trips. I decided this show should be all acrylics and I had no idea how much stress it was going to be. The paintings were all propped up in our living room and depending on the light and my mood they looked fantastic or they looked terrible.

Having said that I am really excited about it now that it is up.  The lighting in the gallery is far superior to our living room.  All paintings were painted on location in places like OSA Lake in Killarney or the Tablelands in Newfoundland or Paudash Lake.  The gallery is open to the public but be aware that there are often meetings in the room.  I am really excited about the opening reception on April 14th from 1:30 to 3:30.

I would love to know what you think of my work.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas

It is a busy time of year and sadly both my painting and posting have been neglected again.  These three paintings were all done on Monday afternoons with the Monday painters.

This first one was painted in a rush because there was a cold wind and a storm headed our way.  We were very exposed on the radial trail on the face of the escarpment looking across towards Dundas and Clara's Climb.

This second one was painted on a very windy day at Dyment's Market at the top of Sydenham Hill in Dundas.  The wind was so strong that I was hunkered down beside my Subaru with my easel tied to the mirror.  It was another day with a threatening storm.

There is no better place to paint the week before Christmas than downtown Dundas and I cannot think of a better subject on an extremely cold day than Detour Cafe.  It was chosen mainly because it enabled me to hunker down in an alley between The Horn of Plenty and Cumbrea's. It forgot gloves and my fingers became too stiff to hold a paintbrush so this one isn't quite finished.

 I would like to wish all those who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas and everyone a Happy New Year.  May next year be filled with love and laughter.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Paddling in Killarney

We spent five days paddling in Killarney Provincial Park in October.  OSA Lake has been on my bucket list for a number of years now and with the help of our son and his friends I finally made it.  Thank you Nathan, Kristian, Read et al. We hiked and climbed to the top of "The Crack" as a side trip to a tough portage but it was well worth it.  The views out to Georgian Bay and over to OSA Lake are as fantastic as any that I have seen.

I produced eleven paintings in five days.  It was very humid and drizzled off and on.  I had a tube of yellow paint that didn't like the dampness and didn't dry properly so I ended up with some smeared greens on most of my paintings.

These first two paintings were painted on Kakakise Lake. This brilliant red maple was on our campsite and difficult to ignore.

All but one of the other paddlers went on a day trip during our layover on OSA Lake so I had a quiet day with no distractions on an incredibly beautiful lake. I produced seven painting here.The rock is a gorgeous white quartz and I had trouble making it look like rock and not snow.  It isn't hard to understand why some of the Group of Seven were attracted to this area.

OSA Lake may no longer be on my bucket list but it is certainly a place that I would dearly love to go back to.

Our last night was spent on Killarney Lake.  I managed one painting before it was decided to rush one of our members out of the park and to a hospital.  Three of us were left behind to pack up the next morning and paddle gear out so chores kept me from painting.

Bob is fine and we are all looking forward to next year.  They are talking about White Otter Lake and Jimmy McOuat's log castle which would be another item off my bucket list. Let the planning begin.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Change of Plans

I had planned on posting canoe trip images however I have been taking Laurie Wonfor Nolan's "Painting Outside the Frame" class at the Dundas Valley School of Art" and today was the last class.  The semester was a blast and I learned a lot from Laurie's sometimes totally off the wall exercises.

For this first painting she gave us a choice from a number of black and white images and we had to paint the image using a limited palette.  I used Payne's grey, yellow ochre and titanium white with just a little red to do the roofs. We were forced to pay attention to values.

In another class she suggested we bring an image of a favourite painting by a well known artist and either copy it or do our version of it.  I chose Tom Thomson's "Summer Sky".  When I brought this home and placed it beside my paintings most of them disappeared. The ones that held their own are in fact my favourites so I need to be more daring.

For this third painting we were asked to bring in three things that represented us to create a still life.  The canoe is a porcelain spoon holder that sits on our kitchen counter and I hope that the other two items are obvious.  These are a form of self portrait.

This last exercise was today.  We had to paint the words to a song in a Marc Chagallish style. I don't get many points for copying his style but I had a lot of fun doing this.  It reminded me of the shear joy of painting as a young artist and I may do more of these just to reinforce with myself why I paint.  Can anyone guess the singer/songwriter and song.

If I were to create a short list of the people who have most inspired me in my art Ian Thomas would have been added years ago and Laurie would definitely now be on it. Thank You for pushing me.