Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Well, it has finally happened, we have moved into our new home. Feels great to have some living space after living in the cramped apartment for a year. Now I can finish off my studio and get back to painting. Heck, I think I won't wait for the drywall to be finished, I will get right at it over the Xmas holidays! I have posted a photo of a place dear to my heart since I haven't had a chance to paint lately. There are some out there who will recognize the creek, Mistik that is. Best wishes to you over this wonderful season and good tidings for the New Year!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Special People

This letter is for Barb Bauche, her devoted husband Dean and their children. Barb is having issues with her throat (she is a throat cancer survivor) and is in need of prayers from all who wish to think of her in Lovingkindness. She absolutely loves her times down in Eastend, Sk. where they have the good fortune to stay for many weeks of the year. The Bauches have invited many of my friends and myself for an annual Artists Retreat and we all have grown to love it as much as she does. This painting was painted on the deck of the ranch house where we stay. The deck is my favourite place to paint, people are constantly tripping over my gear! Barb, get well please.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspired by the Land

I recently attended the closing reception to a wonderful Art show entitled "Inspired by the Land". The show was at the Chapel Gallery in North Battleford, Saskatchewan and the curator was my dear friend Dean Bauche. Dean gathered together a diverse group of painters, photographers, writers, crafters, scientists and musicians who all together sent a message that we are all part of this creation, that we are diverse but we have a common message. The land, and all that is in it, inspires us, in whatever medium we work in. The contributors, Richard Baschak, Courtney Milne, Allan Sapp, Jean Sonmor, Judy-Kisikaw a Bear, Wes Fine Day, Sharon Butala, Trevor Herriot, Charles Fox, Angela Edmunds, Glen Sutter, Ovid Mercredi, Electric Skychurch, Angela Merasty, Lyndon Tootoosis, Darwin Atcheynum, Noelle Lucas, Maria Chickness, Margerat Naytowhow, Annie Roberts and Audrey Fine Day put together extraordinary work that as a whole made a tremendous impact on the audiences. There is talk that the show may travel to far away places and well that is should as it sends an urgent message. We must all live in harmony with our environment and its inhabitants. I am extremely grateful that I was a witness to the positive energy and goodwill present at that time. Thank you!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It occurred to me the other day that I have a lot to give thanks for. Where do you begin? Firstly to my Creator of course, my parents for having that thought that they should have a baby, my siblings, my friends, my work, my Art, the birds in the air, the leaves on the trees and the list goes on and on and on. When one puts themselves in this frame of mind it opens up so many avenues for the creative self. So thanks to everyone out there who has taken the time to visit my blog site and my website. I am appreciative of that! This oil painting represents the same place as the previous post, Mistik Creek in winter. I have included it on this post because we have had snow in these parts recently and one is reminded that winter is on its way, a bit to early for me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rocks and things

This oil painting was done in August. The place is Mistik Creek, Manitoba, and as some of you may know is one of my favorite places to paint. I suppose it is a power spot for me, the geography is a magnetic draw and I never tire of exploring and painting the place. My thanks to Karen Clark for purchasing it, I know it is going to a good home

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Late Summer Storm

The other day we had a fast weather system go through, a very dramatic storm with lightning and thunder right overhead. I reminded me of a similar storm back in early August, which I was so impressed with that I decided to paint a landscape to remember it. I called the painting, "Wisdom, be Attentive", because I felt it was important to pay attention to events happening around us, every waking moment of our lives. The storm portrayed here was over Manitou Lake, SK. I keep telling my friends that this is the view from our guest bedroom when they come to visit us.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Late Summer

For a little over a week now we have been experiencing the summer that never happened when it normally does. In celebration of that I am posting a painting I created a few weeks ago. It is an attempt to portray fields of flax on a bright summer morning. Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shellmouth Artists Retreat

Well, another Shellmouth Artists Retreat has come and gone and I am, like all the other participants, suffering withdrawal. It happens every year, you spend a glorious 6 days painting and communing with the other artists and before you know it the fun is done. I completed a half a dozen paintings and worked out of doors quite a bit, something I enjoy very much. The painting above was the first one I completed. Hope you all enjoy it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Home Sickness

I was browsing through some images of paintings I have done in the past and I came across this one, which is a view of Rocky Lake, MB. My family had a cottage for many years here and we spent many wonderful days here swimming, boating, fishing and all the other things people do at the lake. My family has all moved from northern Manitoba now, we just moved my Mother down to a little retirement village south of Winnipeg last weekend and she is the last to leave. Its a kind of funny feeling you get when you drive out of town, will I ever be back?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Painting from memory

Quite often I paint from memory. I find that painting in this manner is much more playful and spontaneous. The painting above is an example of that process, it is what I call a remembered landscape. Eastend, SK has many wonderful viewpoints and the pastel painting recalls one of those vistas. I plan on doing some larger canvases at our Shellmouth retreat, which is coming up very soon now. One of the canvases is 5 feet x 4 feet, one of largest I have personally worked on. Should be fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spirit of Manitou Studio Trails

A little while back our Art community here in Watrous and area hosted the Spirit of Manitou Studio trail tour. I have to say that it was a resounding success. We had a very good turn out with people coming from distant places to view the variety of art on display. One reason for this is the healing waters of Manitou, which attracts people from all over the world. I had visitors from Spain, California, Texas, Toronto and all over Canada. This is the second year for the tour and we are already planning for next years event. The painting above is another one I did at the Eastend retreat back on the July long weekend. It is a casien painting on paper and was painted on site. I am now gearing up for the Shellmouth Retreat.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


This is a small pastel I painted on my last day at the Eastend retreat. I wanted to do something quick, while the sun was just right, and I also wanted to have a reminder of the wonderful sage that grows all about down there. I have been slowly collecting Unison pastels and building up a set of pastels that I can take with me to paint out of doors and I must say that I am very pleased with them. Now I have to figure out how to carry them with me on my excursions! As an aside, I had the good fortune today to see an exhibit of the Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles shown at the Mendel Gallery in Saskatoon. What a painter she is, I was enthralled and could have spent hours just sitting there and soaking them in. You must go and visit them if you are in the area.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Plein Air Painting

After a bit of a break from posting on the Blog I am back with new material and thoughts. Firstly, my Dad has suffered a major health setback and the family is preparing for the worst possible outcome, that he may pass on. I believe that he is prepared for this as he has been talking a lot lately of seeing his mother again. Its just hard to let go, you know?
I had a wonderful time at our annual Art Retreat down at Eastend, SK on the July long weekend. My wife Crystal came as well as my brother Richards wife, Arlene. We had many interesting people down this year, Bruce Rice the poet, Dennis Evans the retired Fine Art professor from the university of Regina, Barb the lady who makes things from found objects and the regulars. We painted, cooked great meals and had readings in the evenings, as well as some great hikes. I spent the majority of my time painting out of doors and came back with some great little paintings, which I will post on this blog from time to time. This painting was done in the morning at Whites Ranch and what a lovely spot it was to paint. We were surrounded by Wolf Willow that was in flower and these flowers emitted that most amazing fragnance, it was like being in heavan.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eastend Art Retreat

Hello again, its been a few days since I last posted. I have been quite busy building my new home and unfortunately haven't had much time to paint, let alone even think of it. But, that is about to change because in a few days my wife and I are off to Eastend, Saskatchewan for our annual July long weekend Art Retreat! I will be meeting some family and dear friends for 4 days of painting and celebrating great relationships. We stay at a lovely ranch situated in the hills above the community of Eastend with breath taking views of the the south west. I plan to do alot of plein air work while I am down there, there are countless places to paint wonderful views. This painting I have posted is done from a place called Jones Peak, maybe the highest view point around. It is a watercolour I painted at last years event. Happy painting everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stormy Afternoon

I was driving from Saskatoon the other day and came across this scene just a bit south of Young. In the distance you can just make out the west end of Manitou Lake, where I will soon be living. I am always in awe of the aura of blue light that is emitted by the lake at this location, it is really something to behold. Of course there was this awesome storm front we watched all the way home, so typical of the Saskatchewan landscape.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Forest Deep

I have been quite busy building my new home at Manitou Beach, SK of late. (I am a carpenter in my other life) As I work I think back to some great times I had while living in The Pas, MB. One of those times was a canoe/camping trip with a number of friends up around Cranberry Portage, Mb. We had some wonderful times and saw some amazing scenery. This painting has its roots in that trip, I came across the scene while portaging around some rapids. You know, even in the Forest Deep you can come across signs of humans disrespect for the environment, ie: coke cans and plastic bags.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dawn on Rocky Lake

This morning I was greeted by a wonderful spring dawn, the kind where the robins are singing, sparrow hawks soaring about and the most wonderful colour abounds. I was reminded of a painting I had done of Rocky Lake, MB, where my family once owned a cottage. It is a fantastic little lake, lots of limestone outcroppings and neat little islands and great fishing. I have a friend there, Ron Scott, who is a talented musician and an experienced outdoorsman.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ice Break Up

A lot of people still are not sure if it is spring or not considering the crazy weather we have been having of late. In these parts there are people who claim that the ice does not really melt, it just sinks down to the bottom of the lake! Sometimes I wonder if there isn't some truth to that. This painting celebrates the beauty of the northern parts of Manitoba, near Flin Flon. I have taken some liberties with the scene but it is based on a lovely little lake called Neso. Hope you enjoy it, I always do.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pond Lilies

Today, the 13th of May, it was 1 degree Celcius outside and it snowed like the Dickens! It is a very interesting contrast to see snow flakes and fresh green leaves, those poor delicate little things. I feel sorry for the birds as well, trying to eak out a living amongst the snirt (snow and dirt). Anyways, to pay tribute to more summer like conditions I have posted this little painting of lilies, one of my favourite subjects. Hope you enjoy it, and the weather where ever you are!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I just got word that my painting, "Quietude", sold at a Federation of Canadian Artists Chapter show in Kamloops British Columbia! Although it is nice to sell paintings I am always a bit sad to see them go; a person puts so much of themselves into those pieces that an attachment forms with them. Maybe I'm just a pack rat! The lady that purchased the piece said she was quite taken with it and therefore I am glad it is going to a good home. I love water and this piece is all about that peaceful easy feeling found by the waters edge.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Langenburg Arts Council

I just got back from Langenburg, Saskatchewan, where I was invited by the Langenburg Arts Council to deliver a knife painting workshop. The workshop was a great success. I was re-united with friends I haven't seen in up to 5 years, ladies and gentleman who have been regular participants in our annual Shellmouth Art Retreat, and new acquaintances who were a pleasure to work with. I was hosted by Jan Layh, a wonderful artist and a dynamo of energy. I also had time to hike in my beloved hills surrounding the Shellmouth valley. I have plans on doing a major piece to celebrate its existence. The painting above was done on a past retreat at a secret place some of my artist friends make a habit of visiting when we are all together.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Little Manitou Lake

Little Manitou Lake is claimed to have healing powers. Its waters have a high mineral content, particularly salt, which aids in ridding the body of toxins. I know that the healing powers it gives me happen when I sit down with my portable easel and paint its natural beauty. The crocuses are out in full force now and it is a sight to behold.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Palette Knife Workshop

I am looking forward to the upcoming weekend because I will be giving a workshop on palette knife painting in Langenburg, SK. Langenburg is the home of my friends Jan and Don Layh, Sandra and Jack Hollenburg (they have a group called "Silk and Steel" and are wonderfully talented), Mabel Mund, and numerous other talented artists. Our famous Shellmouth art retreat is only minutes away. It will be exciting to be back for the weekend.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Calm before the Storm

I was happy to discover that I live very close to Canada's oldest Waterfowl sanctuary, at Long Lake, Saskatchewan. I believe it was established even before Confederation which was 1867. Now I know why there are countless birds of all makes and sizes in the area. Nothing heralds spring more in my mind than the sound and sight of our feathered freinds. I have painted a pastel to honour them and their environment. It is called "The Calm before the Storm." Do you know the feeling?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Storms

Woke up the other day to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. I am old enough to know better, in Canada you can expect any kind of weather at this time of the year. This is a small oil painting to commemorate that early morning snow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Breakup

Mistik Creek has been one of my favourite haunts for many years. It is a lovely creek that meanders amongst the Pre-cambrian rocks of Northern Manitoba. I have spent many memorable times there with my brother Richard, a wonderful photographer. Check out his site at http://www.richardbaschakphotography.ca for some amazing photos! This watercolour is called Mistik Breakup. Enjoy it this Earth Day! Maybe do something for old Mother Earth today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Peaceful Morning

What a great time of the year, so much happening all around. I love water and everything that happens in that space and could spend a lifetime painting that motif. Hope you enjoy this picture. It is a watercolour of an area not far from the town of Watrous, SK.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pain & Suffering

For those out there who enjoy poetry, a poem by Rumi, entitled "That Live In Us."
If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is
your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

Why lay yourself on the torture's rack of the past and the future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear--to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Its Winter again

We have gone from 16 Celcius to O with wet snow and howling winds, winter is back for awhile. Thought I would post a painting that celebrates the warmer weather we had for a couple of days. It is called "View from the Chapel."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


With all the signs of spring around I had this feeling of melancholy as I was saying good bye to the signs of winter the other day. Despite the seemingly long winter we have had I do enjoy the snow, the way light and shadow play across its surfaces and many other characteristics common to the season. Oh well, I will find inspiration in this new season, spring.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Easter season is upon us. I am happy to be going home to visit my aging parents, haven't been back to see them since before Christmas. Mom is busy making perogies and Easter bread for my brother and I, can't wait to tie into them! Blessings on all of you out there, say a prayer for someone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I've got Romance on my mind these days, after all, spring is in the air. The dogs and I observed some magpies and stellar jays making preparations to their nests the other day and it was quite peaceful to just observe their actions. That was a bit of romance in action I suppose. I am attempting to learn a classical guitar piece entitled "Romance", a lovely piece of music. My son is working down in Seattle these days and while thinking of him the other day I remembered this little watercolour I had of the area. It is called Romance.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Spring is in the air for sure. In celebration of that I am posting a painting I did of some sun drenched apples, one of my favourite foods. Been so busy lately that I haven't had much time to paint.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Clearwater Lake

Well it seems like spring is starting to happen. Signs of it are everywhere you look now, melting snow, Canada Geese flying back and forth, robins and blue jays in the trees and that wonderful fresh quality to the air. Love it! I am posting a picture that I painted over a year ago of an absolutely stunning lake called Clearwater Lake. It is in northern Manitoba and is classified as a "true blue lake", one of only 2 in the world! I love it dearly. This view is of a place we call the "Caves", which is actually crevices created by the fractured Dolomite. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bright Sunday Morning Gift

Yesterday morning dawned bright and cheerful so I went for a snow shoe out in the country around my apartment. There was a bit of frost on the trees and some ice crystals in the air, causing the air to shimmer in a wonderful way. I painted this pastel in celebration of the morning gift.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dawn on Percy Lake

This is a 14 in. x 10 in. pastel of a body of water called Percy Lake, Manitoba. My artist friend Jan Layh has a cottage and we have spent many memorable times there. The little lake has spawned many paintings. My wife took up painting while we were there for are anniversary, I think she figured that if she couldn't beat us she may as well join us and she went on to produce a very nice little painting that always brings back fond memories. That is the thing about painting on location, the place is embedded in your memory in more ways than one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

For Sale

It occurred to me that I could offer these paintings on this blog for sale, kind of a stretch of the imagination in these tough economic times. So here goes, if any one is interested in any of these paintings please contact me. The cost is a minimum $100.00, plus shipping. This latest painting is a pastel, 12 in. x 7 1/2 in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Patterns in the Snow

I came across what I believe is some beautiful patterns in the abundant snow we have in the neighborhood the other day and I decided to paint my version of them with pastels. I deliberately included the grasses because they contributed to the overall effect that so enamored me. I also enjoyed painting the effects of the sunlight because I miss its warm, friendly face.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Pastel Painting

It occurred to me that soft pastels would be fun to use painting hoar frost, and I was right. A sharpened piece of chalk is just the thing to use to get that particular look of fuzzy frost on branches. On my daily walks I (and my dogs) have noticed that there are lots of small animal tracks in the snow. I usually notice this at this time of the year, its been a long winter and the animals are sensing that spring is just around the bend.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More gray days

Man, woke up this morning to -43 Celcius, what brutal weather! The up side is the days are getting longer and when the sun does come out you can feel it on your body. This is a watercolour of a lovely place called the Shellmouth Valley. I have a wonderful friend who lives right on the edge of the valley, she has a wonderful view, which is what this painting is about.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

British Columbia

British Columbia is on my mind these past few days, I received an invitation to compete for a place in a Federation of Canadian Artists show to be held in Kamloops in May. I lived in Chilliwack for three wonderful years, working as a carpenter. Life was great as there was lots of work and lots of opportunity to play. Chilliwack is nicely situated in the Fraser Valley and a person is only an hour away from the ocean, Vancouver and the mountains. Sometimes I wonder why we're not still out there!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Big prairie skies

What really strikes me about living in Watrous, Saskatchewan is the expanse of the sky and landscape, it seems like you can literally see forever. It is not totally flat, like some of the prairie can be, it is actually quite hilly. Because the vista is not impeded by large tracts of forest one has the experience of wonderful aerial perspective and amazing colour, even on gray days. I mentioned large tracts of forest because I am a born and bred Northern Manitoban, which is typical boreal forest country, interlaced with lakes, rivers, streams and swamps. One does not really see great expanses of sky unless you are on a large lake, such as Clearwater Lake, which is one of two "true blue" lakes in the world. The prairie grows on you and I look forward to painting it in all of its moods.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Last day of February

Finally, February is over! Walking out side on a sunny day you can feel the warmth of the sun on your cheek, even if it is minus 37 with the windchill. Despite the cold I still manage and look for the beauty all around me. I love to go for walks with my two shelties (Piper and Oreo), and see what there is to see out there. This painting was inspired by walk I took on a similar day near my good friend Jan Layh's bed and breakfast establishment at Langenburg, Saskatchewan. I understand that the owner demolished what was left of the place and hauled it all away!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here comes the Sun

I'm not one to complain, but the sun hasn't shown its bright, cheerful face for some time now. As a consequence of that I decided yesterday to paint a watercolour celebrating its effect on hoar frost laden tree branches and deep blue shadows. It was a fun exercise and I am resolved to paint more in that vein.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frosty Days

Its starting to seem that this winter is taking a long time to be over with. The weather has been up and down like a yo-yo, it seems like the sun hasn't been out to much and to make things even more depressing, our world wide economy is going south big time. Actually, if you can get over all of that and simply take a walk outside with your eyes wide open it is easy to forget all the seemingly bad stuff. Lately we have had a lot of hoar frost in the mornings and that can transform the seeminly mundane landscape into a winter wonderland, sun or not. This is a watercolour painting of a scene within walking distance of my apartment where I take my dogs for a walk in the morning. It is amazing how there can be the most beautiful colour and light even on the grayest of days. Something to be learnt here.

Trapper's Festival

The annual Trappers Festival has come and gone in The Pas, Manitoba. It is the longest running winter festival in Manitoba and one of the oldest in Western Canada. It's claim to fame is the dog races, mushers come from all across North America to vie for first prize. Back in the early 1900's the dogs would run from The Pas to south of Flin Flon and back but they no longer do that. I sometimes wonder if they shouldn't reinstate that practice as a number of other Festivals are doing it now and it is becoming quite popular. Along with the races there is King and Queen Trapper events, the Fur Queen competition, musical and drama events and many other fun and exciting events. The Festival attracts people from all over the world that are interested in the older traditional ways of life. The aboriginal peoples participate in a big way, with dancing, arts and crafts and musical events, as well as winning many of the events that are hosted. I have painted a picture of an aboriginal fellow who is a wonderful dancer, he performed at the Friendship Center along with some traditional drummers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Prariescape

I painted this watercolour not long after I moved from The Pas, Mb. to Watrous, Sk. It epitomizes the grandness and beauty of the prarie landscape, and is so typical of Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of Manitoba. You can see an approaching storm from a long way off, the skies are totally amazing.

George from Poundmaker

I haven't been very regular with my posting so I am playing somewhat of a catch up game here, hence the posts that have the same date. This is a small watercolour of George, an aboriginal artist I met at an art show last February in The Pas, Manitoba. He lives on the Poundmaker reserve in southern Manitoba and is an awesome visual artist as well as a musician. He was playing his guitar when I conceived this pose. I don't think he has had an easy life but you would never know it by talking and listening to him. I admire him and wish him well.

Daily painting

Today I couldn't resist going outside and painting a small picture. I decided to go to a little park called Wellington Park, at Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. It is a little gem of a place and has a small creek that has managed to stay open all winter, despite the awfully cold temperatures we have been enduring. By cold I mean -30 Celcius and below. Today it was -4 Celcius and very foggy so it was definitely warm enough to paint with oils and a painting knife. I set myself up by the creek and enjoyed the sound of the water as I happily painted, serenaded by the bird songs of chickadees, magpies and some crazy robins that have over wintered here. My dogs curled up in the snow beside me and conserved their energy for playtime later on.

The Artists Father

I would like to share this watercolour painting I have done of my father. It obviously was a labour of love and I have captured a particular essence that my Dad exhibits. He is actually a good model and I wish I had thought of painting him sooner. He has suffered a couple of minor strokes and has other health issues that he is struggling with but he continues to exhibit humour and generosity. I had this painting propped up on my living room couch to view it when one of my Shelty dogs noticed it and immediately became quite agitated. She began to growl and tensed up her in a manner that suggested fight or flight. I had quite a laugh over that and was flattered that she recognized Dad.