Fond Memories…


The Farm

Oil on Canvas

16in x 8in

While driving along the lonely roads just south of Calgary, I came across this lovely little farm on the edge of the Tsuu T’ina Reserve on the South edge of the city. The scene drew me in with the curving dirt road leading up to what I imagined to be a lovely old farmstead with so many memories. I pictured it forty years earlier and imagined what it would have been like to play in the barn, climb a tree, sip lemonade on the porch and ride a bike down the dirt road. I pictured this small boy running up that road to what was maybe his home, or maybe his grandparents home, the sun shining and a slight prairie breeze blowing in from the mountains to the west.

As I sat in my car, I thought that I could be that boy, but as a man, visiting an old seldom seen friend. Going back in time and reliving a beautiful time in this life. One that was free of all the worries of adulthood.

And it made me think how art can bring back these memories. Rekindle deep feelings of joy or pain. Love and sorrow for us to sit with and wonder.

I often think that the reason I am drawn to certain subjects, is not because it might make a nice composition, or anything I was taught in art school, but because it speaks to a part of myself as the artist, that is that old friend to the scene I see before me.


Plein Air 2nd Place…

Last Sunday, August 17th, I had the opportunity to take part in my first Plein Air Challenge put on by Reflections West. Close to 50 artists made their way to the beautiful Leighton Centre to paint, chat with fellow painters and eat an amazing BBQ lunch. Afterwards, the finished pieces were put up in there house for judging. I thought I had done fairly well and was happy with what I’d produced but didn’t think it would win anything. It was simply fun to go out there and have a morning painting in the woods with my wife who read and drank coffee and said “orange, it needs orange”After the judging was complete, I was pleasantly surprised to take 2nd place in the amateur category!! (you have to make over $10,000 annually to be considered a pro!)Here it is! It took me about an hour and a half to complete before time ran out and we had to get back up to the centre.

Oil on Canvas

8in x 10in
At the Leighton

Digital Painting…

Here is a digital painting that I just finished. These works are more sketches than final pieces in the themselves  so I could work out composition and colours etc. An interesting exercise in that, I know the way I personally make a living is through digital manipulation of photographic elements to create a final image for advertising. I never really gave any thought to using this practice for my painting until I was reading an article in the latest Plein Air Magazine about Chad W Greene who uses both digital and traditional materials to create works of art. So I thought, why the hell not? I could at least use it for a study. Here are a couple of digital paintings that I am going to paint in oils most likely starting today. Proctor Barn LR The Road copy