Yesterday afternoon I headed down to the lovely Coutts Centre for an afternoon of painting. I was fighting the urge to stay home as we had thrown a big party for some family that are moving to Panama. Needless to say, the night was filled with tears, laughter, dance and song, as well as some libations which we all indulged in a little too much.
So after a mental wrestling match, a couple of Tylenol and a BIG bottle of water I headed south for the afternoon. The rain which was forecast managed to hold off and I took a walk around the grounds looking for a place to paint. Several promising sites didn’t cut it because they weren’t in the shade and after about 30 minutes passed, I settled into a nice spot by the marsh looking towards the Poppy Garden and Chicken House (which has been converted into a summer residence). I quickly got set up and roughed in the general tones and values and wiped back where the building was to sit. I started with the centre right area and got my drawing in quickly, then I started to lay in changes to the value structure of the scene. It progressed nicely and I knew I had to start shutting it down as I could hear a little thunder moving my way and I had a ways to get back to the car.
This is where I ended up. I’m going to continue to work on it a little to refine some of the areas but I know not too much with this one. I like how loose it is overall with the sharpest edges and brightest colors where I want you to look.
So here is my 15th painting of 30. It was from a shot taken while heading through Southern Alberta. For those of you who have driven highway 3 or more commonly known as the Crowsnest Trail, past the rocky tomb of The Frank Slide (yes, there was a town under all that rock) and then through Coleman on your way to Crowsnest lake and the B.C. border, you will have seen one of the most majestic mountains in the, oddly named, Crowsnest Pass. You’ll never guess what it’s called… Crowsnest Mountain. Standing 2785m, it is the highest of the peaks which form the panorama – Seven Sisters mountain can be seen just behind it to the north. It attracted a rather famous British mountaineer named Edward Whymper, who was the first to climb the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Whymper was unable to successfully put this feather in his cap and the first ascent went to Tom Wilson in 1904 (Wilson was the first white man to set eyes on Lake Louise).
The painting took me about three hours to complete and again, delves into some experimental brushwork that looks half OCD and half too much Gin. But I have to say, I am really enjoying the strange feeling of expressing the way something makes me feel and interpreting what I’m seeing rather than mimicking it.
At the very end of HWY 66 past Bragg Creek is a great little spot in the Shadow of Forgetmenot Mt. beside Little Elbow Campground. I was up there last year to get some reference and came across this happy little scene. Hard tom paint as there is lots of stuff going on. Keeping in mind that these are designed to be sketches.
Here’s another image from the Waterton Area. It was on a day that I saw a huge herd of Elk in a Valley behind where this shot was taken. I’m not posting over the weekend as I’m busy in a workshop at the Banff Centre but I’ll get back to it on Monday. I’ll probably retake the photo in the morning as it looks a bit wonky under my work light. I think I may trim off the most of the blue at the bottom when I mount the sheet. A bit much I think.
This was from a picture I took while I was down in Waterton. I rode out one morning to see what I could find and came across Spread Eagle Road just a few miles from the park gates towards Pincher Creek. Looked like decent gravel road and the Vstrom is born to ride on this stuff so up I went. After a long windy tour past some gas wells and random cattle, I ended up at the highest point on the journey with this convenient pull out. You can just see the trees over the hill. It was a beautiful spot to get some pics and have a bite and a break. The results are below.
One week in! Here is a scene I painted earlier this year and decided to give it another go. It’s along 69th St. West of the city where I have frequented many times in the car and on the motorcycle. Lots to paint out there.
I was just south of the city looking for a location for a commercial project when I came across this little gem. It has sat on the hard drive for awhile now but I decided that it was time to get it up on the laptop and get to work. There have been a few moments when I’ve been told that I get too much in my head when I paint, and I need to just “paint”. Let it out with a wistful freedom and an attitude that it will just happen and I don’t need to force it. Make decisions on the fly as in – the sky is too light or too dark, the road is too hard edged and the centre of interests needs more life. This happened with this painting and I can see the results as the image came into focus without working it to death. I could have gone on but I needed to stop. There could have been some refinement, but hey, done is done.