My good friend Barbara Amos and I headed down to Bowness Park there for a bit of painting therapy. We wandered around for about a half an hour looking for spots around the lagoon but were surprised to see that the paths around the lagoon was still closed from the great flood of 2013. The next logical spot was the river and as we navigated our way around the families barbecuing and playing bocci, we settled on a spot near a small spit of land that jutted out into the water affording swimmers some protection. Barbara found a spot about 50’ upstream from me and I ended up here. We had about an hour of light and I had to work quickly to get the rough shapes in before the sun set. As I worked a few people came over to stand behind me and watch me place the last few strokes before I had to call it quits. I’m pretty pleased with this one. I have a love hate relationship with rocks as I’ve found them difficult to capture. But I discovered that by simply letting go and “painting” and not over thinking the subject, it just went down kinda naturally. A successful sketch!
I came across this in the latest Plein Air magazine. A quote by master artist Quang Ho. In the article he describes how he starts with simple shapes, breaks these into details – shapes within shapes – and defines the shapes by adjusting the edges between them.
Painting is ultimately about completing spaces. In many ways, the beauty of one’s life is also about completing spaces, if having breakfast is considered a space, or a walk in the woods, all the way to the attention one gives to a lifetime. The more attention or beauty one gives to the spaces, the more depth and meaning the entire space may have.
Painting with my instructor and friend Doug Swinton down in Policeman’s Flats the other day. We spent a great deal of time driving around just trying to find a location to paint – even getting run off our first choice by a bunch of truck drivers hauling manure mixed with hay which had a particularly bad odour, so I’m kinda glad we moved. We ended up at the end of a road that had potential and quickly set up as the light was waning and it was getting bloody cold, 1 degree C.
This is a quick sketch (45min) of the trees and shrubs bordering a yard just to the right of camera. It was an interesting exercise as I painted very loose and with abandon. Brush strokes were put down quickly and much more gesturally than Im used to and it seemed to be pulling together oddly. I think having to race the light and the chill in the air played a big part in the fluid nature in which I got this down on the canvas. A great afternoon and a fun piece to create. The pint of beer afterward tasted might fine as well.
Out at the cabin at Edwards lake BC a few weeks ago and I wanted to get out and have an afternoon of painting. I wanted to try something a bit different in that, I didn’t want to pick a traditional composition that I would normally choose. After walking around the property for awhile and looking at all available angles, I chose this tree and the side of the garage and cabin itself. I liked the orange leaves and the slightly obscured buildings. Not what I’m used to and I was a bit intimidated by it but thought “what the hell”
The best part of my day was being accompanied by Kash. One of the littlest members of our extended family. He came over to me sheepishly and asked if he could paint. Knowing oil paint and little ones, mom would be pretty upset if clothes came back stained with a Cad Red Deep!. But Aunty Steph saved the day and brought out Grandmas acrylics and he was able to sit up behind me and let the paint flow.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any shots of his final work but I still would like to share mine. I think pretty successful overall. I think the right side is somewhat unresolved. I could add a tree or some interest on that side. The two buildings blend a bit too much. I know that they are obscured but I my thinking is I should have dropped the roof line of the garage slightly to differentiate to two a bit better. Colours I think are good and I like the overall tonality. The tree needs some work to refine it a bit. All in all, I was pleased with the effort.
Oil on Canvas
This is my first painting since the last set you saw from the workshop. It’s the first Plein Air ( in plain light) that I’ve ever done. Part of a evening outing with a group of fine people hosted by Doug Swinton. We only had about an hour as a storm was starting to move in.