Friday, December 31, 2010

Golden Water

Golden Waters
Today is Friday I guess, haven't been keeping much track of time lately as I am in Holiday mode!  Seeing as how it was only minus 13 Celsius with no wind chill to speak of I decided to hike down to Wellington Park and do a plein air piece of the the Creek.  This one is 10 inches square and I started it without any coloured ground, wanted to keep the colours brighter.  I enjoyed myself immensely and was finished it just as I started to get cold.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plein Air Painting

Wellington Plein Air Afternoon
I haven't posted for awhile as we have been busy with company over the Xmas season.  My children came home for a visit, there was a funeral for my sister in law Angie and a number of other things conspired to keep me out of my studio and the out of doors.  That changed the other day when everyone left.  I packed up my paint box and headed for the hills not far from here and painted the picture above.  Had a heck of a time deciding what colours to use for the snow and finally decided to just wing it!  I believe that it captures the moment and place and will serve as a reminder for me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Re cycling

Approaching Snow
This painting is a re cycling effort, something I do occasionally as I am not one to throw things out.  The options are simply burning canvases that are not satisfactory, cutting them up and throwing them away or white washing them and starting over.  This third option appeals to me because I have always been interested in texture so painting over a previously painted canvas reveals some very interesting textures and can add to the charm of a picture.  Speaking of charm, I am discovering the charm of Manitou Beach every time I venture out for my walks with Crystal and the dogs, or just by myself.  There is beauty in the simplest things.  This painting portrays an approaching snow storm coming from the south west side of the village.  Let me know what you think of it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rocky Lake

Rocky Lake Sunset
I took some time yesterday to re-work a painting of Rocky Lake, an old haunt of mine where our family used to have a cabin.  The lake is surrounded by Precambrian rock, sometimes manifesting itself in cliffs and fascinating flat forms.  I am much happier with it know as it has a somewhat nostalgic feel to it.  It is a great place, we had many good times there and I hope to visit it this coming summer on my way to our Art Retreat at Denare Beach, SK.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Waters of Life

Tumbling Waters
Something amazing happened the other day at the funeral service for Angie Tysseland in the stunning 3rd Avenue United Church.  Family and friends remembered her in song and word where many people were so overcome that they couldn't sing and others poured out their hearts in soulful performances.  Angies brother Scott spoke of his sister in a manner that made people laugh put them at ease and Nick Nostbakken gave his mother a send off worthy of speakers like Obama or Winston Churchill.  Where does this strength come from?  I know that Angie is a great composer but I always come away from performances of her music with a stronger belief that it is destined for greater audiences.  We will miss you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Celebration of a Life Lived

The Red Umbrella
Tomorrow, starting at 10 am, many people will gather to celebrate the life and music of my sister in law Angie Tysseland.  We will gather at 3rd Avenue United Church in Saskatoon and remember an amazing women who had a great musical talent.  I commented to my wife Crystal yesterday how my grief could be compared to an ocean of waves, the big ones crashing over  and overwhelming you with wild emotion, never knowing when they will overtake you.  This oil painting I have posted is a plein air I painted near the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon while Crystal was with Angie for her first Chemo treatments.  It is a wonder how memories come back, much like the ocean waves I have spoken of.  If you care to, please come tomorrow and help us celebrate Angies life and accomplishments!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golden Pears

Golden pears

I found this small painting (6x8) in the back of a studio cabinet a little while ago and decided to make some radical changes to it.  What I ended up doing was applying imitation gold leaf to the background and did that ever make the pears pop out!  Painting the still life is a contemplative practice for me and adding the leaf elevated the pears to an iconic level, somewhere where I went whilst painting. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Backyard Painting

Abandoned Cottage
I came across this tiny abandoned cottage down the back lane from where I live awhile back and determined that I would depict it some day.  Today was the day.  I am sure that no one has lived in it for quite some time and it is slowly returning to the earth, from whence it came.  I loved the textures and light playing across its surfaces and likely will have a go at again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Going to Sleep

Winter Birches
Crystal and I just came back from Saskatoon where we visited her sister Angeline, who is dying from Ovarian Cancer.  It goes without saying that it is a sad thing to witness, such a vibrant personality laying in that bed.  She has been writing a book, for God's sake, in between chemo and radiation treatments and is fretting now because she feels she might not be able to finish it in "time".  She told me I would be the first to read it as I guessed the geographical location part of it is based on.  This painting, a watercolour of birch trees in early winter,  kind of sums up my day today.  Faded glory but still very beautiful, maybe even more so.  Love you Angie.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Cherries

Three Cherries Oil (6x8 in.) $100.00
I came across this small painting (6x8 in) this morning whilst cleaning up some of the clutter that inevitably piles up in the creative process.  I remember setting the still life up this summer on the window sill of my studio window and working on it for specific amounts of time, when the sun was "just right" and then coming back to it the following day, if the conditions were similar as the previous session.  I enjoy how it brings back impressions of that time, like a diary of sorts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Painting what you know

Rose Hips and Snow
I may have said this before but there is much to learn from painting what you know in a place that is familiar to you.  As many of you know, I love water, trees and snow so I find myself continually re-visiting that motif and I find that there is much to learn from the experience.  I get a kick out of making my eyes vibrate by using texture and odd colour combination's to achieve a certain effect.  This scene is taken from Wellington Creek here at Manitou Beach, SK.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Early Morning In Hills of Manitou
Awhile back Crystal, the dogs and I went for a walk in the neighborhood of Manitou.  It was a lovely day, the temperature was just below freezing and the light was fantastic.  Sometimes I think she hates going for walks with me because I am forever stopping and gawking or commenting on the beauty of the surroundings.  Driving is even more dangerous as I tend to look sideways or behind me as I hurtle down the highway!  Anyways, back to this painting.  Low contrast paintings are difficult to execute but very rewarding when you have a bit of success with them.  I am satisfied that this one somewhat captures the moment.