Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unconventional Painting Tools

I had a burning desire to get into the studio and paint.  I have been working outside in temperatures ranging from -25 to -4 Celsius for over 3 weeks now on a new home for a client who couldn't wait till spring.  Nevertheless my nose is always running and all extremities are suffering from the extended cold.  It is nice to put some Chopin on the CD player and try some stuff in my relatively warm Studio.  Tonight (because I am a carpenter) I decided to use a finishing nail to assist me in this painting.  It worked quite well.  The scene is a common place little pond that drains into Wellington Creek not far from where I live.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grassy River

Grassy River
The wife basically kicked me and the dogs out of the house tonight, she has someone over doing reflexology and didn't want me practicing my guitar and ruining the ambiance.  So, out to the studio to work on an older painting.  I could do worse I suppose.  This little painting depicts the Grassy River near Snow Lake, Mb, Wekusko Falls to be exact.  My brother Richard knows the place well, he likely has taken a thousand photographs near here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Like a Rock

It occurred to me while I was meditating on the beauty of this small rock in Wellington creek that people could adapt the ability to let life flow around them, much like the water swirling about the rocks and branches in the water, offering little to no resistance.  In the process you would become polished like a gem as you tumbled about the creek bed of life, settling easy into new places amongst new neighbors.  Such are the things that I often think of while I work and play!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

The day after I painted this small oil Little Manitou froze over for the winter. This is early morning, the sun is just peeking over the eastern horizon and the foggy mist is hovering over the lake, casting everything into a wonderful ethereal effect.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Summer Reminiscences

Its been a rather gray day in this part of the world and I couldn't help reminiscing about the summer past. At a bed and breakfast owned by Martin and Margerat down at Shellmouth, Mb I came across a lovely pot of flowers sitting in front of the yellow cladded wall of their former home. I promptly took a photo of the scene with the idea of painting it someday. That day was today, it was an uncoventional start to the picture, I sketched it out with a felt marker and then went to it. Fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Plein Air Study

I went for a walk the other day at the local park which has a lovely creek running through it all year round and was so inspired by what I saw that I rushed home for my paint box (the one that I didn't forget at Jan's place in Langenburg) and painted this scene. I love sitting by water and painting as it is a very meditative practice for me, as I am sure it is for a great many other people. I am thinking of my friend James Dean from The Pas, Mb who used to accompany me on painting trips to places such as Mistik Creek and the Grassy River near Snow Lake, Mb. Wellington Creek is no match for those places but it does have that special something.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I had a great time with this painting. Imagine Don Layh's face when he came into his office (which I had appropriated for a studio) and saw his prized bottles of Scotch being used as a support mechanism for the pears you see above! I had arranged the pears in a precarious placement on top of a Scotch box, which in turn was sitting on the other box in a T form. All of this in front of a large window overlooking the valley below on a gray kind of day. He liked the painting and rewarded me with a drink of scotch, much appreciated Don. And congratulations on winning your two cases at the Supreme Court of Canada! By the way, this painting was done on a cigar box provided by Dean Bauche, who bought about 40 of them at a Dollarama for $1.25 each. We painted on them all weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All about Pears

I spent the Remembrance Day weekend with some dear friends down in Langenburg, SK. It was a time filled with painting, eating fantastic meals, listening to live music by the great musical couple Silk and Steel and generally having a great time. For some reason there was a focus on Pears, which a number of the guest artists had a wonderful time painting. The oil painting above is my response to some pears bathed in the early morning light pouring through my guest studio windows.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Rememberance Day will soon be upon us in Canada. My Dad tried to serve but he was too young so they sent him packing back home. Good thing because all his brothers were already in the army and someone had to look after Mother and the farm. After listening to Stewart Macleans Vinyl Cafe this past Saturday I was reminded of an amazing experience Crystal, Michael and I had in Winnipeg a number of years ago. You see, Stewarts story was about a Canadian bag piper who went to the Memorial at Vimy Ridge to play his pipes in honour of his parents. We were in Winnipeg's old hockey arena to take part in a Tattoo to honour a group of Cadets who were to be presented with various awards of distinction, including my son Michael. Part of the ceremony was the playing of Amazing Grace on the bag pipes, starting with one lone piper way up in the stands with all the lights in the building off. The piece culminated with I would estimate a couple of hundred bag pipers. Tears come to my eyes as I write this because I have never been so moved in my life. I think I can understand the effect those pipes have on soldiers in the battlefield after hearing all those soldiers playing that evening. God bless our men and women who served and are currently serving our country.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Manitou Morning

I came across this pastel on my studio desk this morning, under a pile of other stuff I have been working on and was struck with a pang of nostalgia for summer days past. Where I live is a constant source of inspiration for me, I am a lucky man indeed. I love pastel, the colour is so rich and the act of drawing is quite natural for me.