Friday, December 30, 2011

Sundown near Manitou

Sundown near Manitou
The weather continues to be unbelievably warm for this time of the year, its almost the end of December and the temperature has been hovering around 0 degrees Celcius forever.  I manage to get out and do plein air work almost every day and it has been very instructional for me.  Working in the studio seems to be a stale experience after the excitement of working outdoors on "real" subjects. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Honduran Child
Christmas is once again upon us my friends and neighbours.  I wish for you all a happy time spent in meaningful and loving moments with loved ones now and in the New Year!  I share with you this watercolour of a little Honduran girl I met a few years back when I did some humanitarian work for the people of Honduras.  Feliz Navidad !!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Plein Air Pastel

Yesterday was a lovely day for December 19th, the temperature was hovering around 0 C while I was doing this pastel down in Wellington Park.  What a bonus to experience winter this way, I absolutely love sitting out of doors and painting, especially by Wellington Creek because of the mesmerizing sounds of the water as it makes its way down to the lake. Pastels can be kind of addictive but I promise not to buy any more!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The extraordinary thing about the ordinary thing

I watched a video made by a staff photographer from National Geographic magazine who stressed the concept of paying attention to the ordinary things in our life.  (kind of goes against the current trend in marketing methinks) I like this concept alot, in fact I love it and have lived most of my life following it.  There is much beauty in our backyards and beneath our feet.  The late Canadian photographer, Courtney Milne, made amazingly beautiful photographs in his backyard pool.  My brother, Richard Baschak, is a master photographer who elevates frozen water droplets into wondrous images that evoke celestial objects of far away galaxies. I am a humble painter who attempts to follow in the footsteps of past and current artists that celebrate the ordinary.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Shimmering Water

My latest plein air of the lovely Wellington Creek.  An overcast day, temperature hovering around 0 C, with bits of sunlight once in awhile.  Quite contemplative place to sit and paint, the water gurgling and chickadees fluttering about, I even saw a couple of robins. What a life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Snow

I painted this a little while back when we experienced one of our first snows out at the Beach.  It was painted from my studio window and is a tiny little thing, 6 x 8 inches.  I enjoyed flicking the specks of snow on at the end, rather fun to try and achieve a realistic effect in a painterly way.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hue and Saturation

This watercolour is pushing hue and saturation somewhat, but I swear it is not terribly different than what I have seen on some summer evenings out here.  I don't know, maybe I will wash it out a bit.
CC's are welcome.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Joy of Collaboration

Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Every once in awhile I have the joy (I could use many words to express this) of collaborating with good friends at our various Retreats.  The painting above was painted by Dean Bauche, Jan Layh and myself at our Retreat in Denare Beach, SK this past summer.  Rocks were the theme of many participating artists as this location is well known for the Precambrian outcroppings abounding about there (some are loaded with precious minerals like zinc, copper and gold).  I was entrusted to take this painting home and finish it, the only demand was that I didn't break the first rule.  People in the know will understand what that means!  I only had to sharpen up some lines and do a bit of glazing.  Seems like its done.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Magpie

I have a love/hate relationship with magpies.  On the one hand I find them annoying when it comes to attempting to attract songbirds to the yard because they tend to scare them all off.  A case in point is my determination to build a purple martin palace for my yard this past summer.  Well the magpie was not pleased and he pretty much told me so one summer morning when I came across him sitting on my wood pile.  We had a staring match for a good minute, which I found amazing because they are usually very shy of humans.  Looking at him I had a sense that he was telling me that he didn't appreciate being dive bombed by the purple martins who had taken over the yard.  Magpies are a very striking bird and I particularly enjoy seeing them in the winter, when their plumage really stands out. Had a hard time photographing this oil painting, I think the pearlescent paint was messing with my camera lense.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To A Certain Cantatrice

 Found myself thinking about the countless people of the occupy Wall Street movement when I came across this Walt Whitman poem. Do you see the relevance?

Here, take this gift,
I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or general,
One who should serve the good old cause,
the great idea, the progress and freedom of the race,
Some brave confronter of despots, some daring rebel;
But I see that what I was reserving belongs
to you just as much as to any.

- Walt Whitman

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Schist Lake, Manitoba

Bright Morning on Schist Lake
It's snowing out like crazy and I am in my studio working away like a beaver on numerous pieces.  This oil was painted last weekend at a get together we hosted here at Manitou Beach and depicts an island on Schist Lake, where Karen Clark (one of the painters who attended) lives. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Warm October Afternoon

I painted this pastel on one of the last days of Autumn.  The dogs and I came across the deer on the hiking trail south west of Wellington Park, what a great day it was.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fading Glory

In the spirit of my photographer friend from Manitou Beach, Al Bowman, I submit this watercolour/pastel of the sun going down over the hills of Manitou Beach, SK.  Al is a spirited photographer who insists that he just likes "snapping pictures" but I feel he is much more talented than he gives himself credit for.  Check out his work on Facebook. I call this painting "Join the Union" simply because I was listening to a song by that name performed by Strawbs. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Painting from Memory

This small pastel was painted from memory and depicts one of the many roadside pullouts we stopped at on our way down the northern coast of California.  I was struck by the solitary tree standing against the incessant winds off of the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mendocino Afternoon

This is another pastel piece that I managed to do in the time allotted me by my tour guide operator Michael Baschak, of the bay off of the village of Mendocino California.  I am glad that I took my pastels on this trip as they allowed me to do fairly quick studies of the places I visited and offered a quite good selection of colours for that locale.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


One of the places I really wanted to go to when in California was Mendocino.  I had heard a lot about it over the years, how it was a haven for the sixties generation and artists of every make and colour.  Going there wasn't a disappointment and it lived up to all my expectations.  Mendocino is actually quite a small little village, probably not much larger than Manitou Beach.  The architecture is quaint and funky and there are strict guidelines in place to ensure it remains that way.  Crystal and Michael let me loose with my pastels for a little over an hour so I made good use of my time by heading down to the edge of the village, close to the ocean, and set myself up close to some other plein air painters who were up from Berkley, CA for the day.  I felt right at home.  This pastel is one of the two pieces I managed to complete in my time allotment.  Nothing like a deadline to get me moving!

Monday, October 17, 2011

California Dreaming

Crystal, Michael and I are back from our trip down to California and what a trip it was.  We followed the coast all the way down and I know Crystal had her eyes tightly shut more than once as Michael maneuvered his way around some tight slow corners on the edge of the Pacific Ocean!  I could feel my abs working on both sides of my body as we made our way down the coast.  We made many stops along the way to explore the coastline and the redwood forests, it is all quite overwhelming and there is to much to say in just one post.  The pastel above was done en plein air at a place called Agate Beach, where we camped for three days.  There usually was fog in the air which added a serene quality to the place.  I didn't sleep much while I was there because the sound of the huge waves, which reminded me of freight trains, was constant and very loud.  They sounded like they were actually moving large rocks at times.  I brought a couple of pounds of pebbles back from the beach for my rock garden!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Glorious Autumn

We are being blessed with an amazing Autumn in our part of the world.  The other day I took some time and sat under a tree in our Wellington Park with the idea of doing a pastel drawing of the splendor before me.   It was such a great experience to sit there with my two dogs and enjoy the warm breezes and solitude of the place.  I hope I can get out again while the leaves are still on the trees!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Something outside my window

Titling paintings can be an interesting exercise sometimes and this painting was no exception.  I gain alot of inspiration from simply looking out my studio window and what I see outside these days is Autumn happening.  So, I saw something outside my window.  I leave the rest to you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thinking about Utah

The Bridge Over It
The other evening my wife suggested I vacate the house and go to my studio (some call it the Man Room) as she was having a friend over to do Reflexology.  So, like the dutiful husband that I am, I retired to my room and proceeded to do the pastel you see above.  (It doesn't take much arm bending to get me into my sanctuary)  I prepared the support for this piece using quite a bit of marble dust and a dark toned acrylic paint, using a ragged old brush that some might throw in the garbage. You can judge the scale of this natural wonder by comparing the size of the trees below to the natural bridge above. The impetus for the picture came from reminiscing about last Falls road trip to the beautiful state of Utah, in particular the southern half where we encountered the most amazing vistas.  The sandstone arches are totally mind boggling and inquisitively wonderus (my own word).  This Fall Michael, Crystal and I are going to Oregon and California, following the coast all the way down.  I am very attracted to water, being a Cancer, so this should be a fabulous trip.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eastend Plein Air

I discovered this 10 x 12 plein air oil painting in a closet in my studio just now.  It was painted a few years ago down in Eastend and portrays the view from a hill overlooking Don's ranch, where we all stay when we are down there for our annual retreat on the July weekend.  I had a call from my painting buddy Dean Bauche early last week inviting me to go down there and do some encaustic painting with him.  Would have been nice but I had to be in attendance for our Art of Import Show and also in Regina for my wife. (she needed a chauffeur).  The good thing is I got to see a wonderful exhibit of the Regina Five Painters, I was particularly taken with Art MacKays work.  Canada's painters are severly under rated and should be getting alot more attention on the world stage.  Funny thing happened when I walked into the Gallery, Danny Bauche yelled, "hey, I know that guy!"  So we had a nice chat and I ended up spending time with Deans daughter instead of him.  Funny how life is.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pristine Waters

Pristine Waters  Pastel on Paper
The pastel painting above is another of a series of works I am doing based on my week long stay up at Denare Beach this past August.  As I might have mentioned before I used to live in the vicinity of Flin Flon and until I got back up there after an absence of 3 years I never realized how much I missed the area.  I look forward to going again soon, my friend Sarah says I have a place to stay, right Sarah?  I love water and rocks, with the odd tree thrown into the mix.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Morning on the Water

Morning on the Water    
The weather has been exceptionally fine lately and I have been managing to get out on the water in my Kayak practically every day.  One fine morning I took my watercolour kit with me and painted this piece above.  Actually it was such a fine morning that I skipped going to work, a person can do that when you are self employed!  Just have to work twice as hard in the afternoon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Burden of Leadership

The Burden of Leadership
The painting above is an encaustic and oil on a masonite panel.  I painted it while at our Retreat in Denare Beach in August of this year.  Looking at it now I decided to title it as above because it struck me that this man, sitting on his throne of horns, has a lot to think about. Canada just recently lost a potentially great leader in Jack Layton, a man I admired from the moment I became aware of him.  It is my opinion that great leaders hold their constituents before them and put their personal desires behind, in favor of serving their country first and foremost.  I honestly don't see that in Canada right now and I think I am old enough now to know the difference. A writing by Lao Tzu comes to mind:

It is better not to make merit a matter of reward
Lest people conspire and contend,
Not to pile up rich belongings
Lest they rob,
Not to excite by display
Lest they covet.
A sound leader's aim
Is to open people's hearts,
Fill their stomachs,
Calm their wills,
Brace their bones
And so clarify their thoughts and cleanse their needs
That no cunning meddler could touch them:
Without being forced, without strain or constrain,
Good government comes of itself.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Tranquil Morning
I have always been a dreamer, as long as I can remember I have been in awe of natural wonders of what is known as life on the planet earth.  I still get snippets of memories from my childhood of times spent in the raspberry bushes, looking up through the berries, branches, the clouds beyond and my grandpa as he picked and just being totally in the moment.  I can still hear the bumble bees and grasshoppers and smell the earth and the berries on those hot summer days. The door of their house slamming and Baba calling for me, probably worried that I fell in the river or was off on one of my numerous adventures.  I was famous for disappearing and turning up in another town, looking for my Dad (a railroad engineer who made frequent trips up to northern communities). I credit this wonder with my fascination with painting the landscapes of places I love, that being in the moment and being oblivious of extraneous noise that can hide the true beauty of life.  The pastel above is a celebration of just such a moment I had on Schist Lake, Mb.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rock Paintings

Rock Painting Oil
I took a boat ride on Amisk Lake to look at some rock paintings.  The paintings were quite hard to find and frankly I was left wondering if they were the real McCoy, know what I mean?  It's like looking at cloud patterns or other naturally occurring events, it is in the eye of the beholder.  Leonardo da Vinci was a proponent of using these accidental images in his under paintings as a prominent part of the painting. I marvel at how these images appear in my paintings, maybe they are something that comes from the subconscious, bubbling up from down under like champagne.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Plein Air Painting

Mud Lake Oil
One of the first things I did  up at Denare Beach was set myself up overlooking Mud Lake which is just minutes away from the DenarePlex, the site of the Art Retreat.  A lovely setting, I was up on some pre cambrian rocks looking down at the lake.  Out near the middle of the lake was a small outcropping were sea gulls and pelicans were hanging out.  A supernatural experience.  I found out when I got back that the conservation officers were out in the area trying to trap a rogue bear that was wandering around in the vicinity! I'm not surprised because there were blueberries everywhere you looked.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Schist Lake Morning

Schist Lake Morning Oil
One of the great things some friends and I did while up at our Denare Beach art retreat (Shellmouth North) was to go on a boat ride in fellow artist Ron Watts pontoon boat.  Ron has a lovely cabin on Schist Lake and together we travelled up and down that fabulous lake in the early morning where we spotted numerous loons, pelicans and eagles.  The above painting is one of two I have painted of that experience, and I definitely have a few more planned as it was a very stimulating experience on a supernaturally beautiful lake.  Thanks again, Ron, for the hospitality!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Value of Thankfulness

Melody  36 x 48 Oil
After reading the latest post of Robert Genns Painters Keys, which was about thankfulness, I considered my experience up at the Denare Beach (Shellmouth North) retreat with respect to the idea of giving thanks.  For sure we always as a group said grace before we partook of the fabulous meals prepared for us by fellow artists but there is also saying thanks to all the participants for their help and critical comments that served to enhance the artistic experience.  There is giving thanks to God for the supernatural geography that is Amisk Lake, Schist Lake, the creeks, forests, blueberries and bears.  Their is thankfulness for the humor of singing Karaoke at 1:30 in the morning with people that sing way better than you, or worse.  Skinny dipping in the crystal clear waters of Amisk under a full moon at 1 in the morning with other loony artists, and the loons.  The list goes on.  So thanks, and thanks again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Denare Beach Art Retreat

Blue Hotel  Oil on Canvas 36x48
I am back from a week of painting in the wonderful community of Denare Beach, SK.  Our annual Shellmouth Retreat was moved there to give Jan Layh a bit of a break this summer after busily planning for her daughter Avery's wedding in a few weeks time.  What a fantastic place to be for a week of friendship and art making.  Many thanks to Karen Clark and Sarah Trevor, who organized this fantastic event.  I made new friends and reconnected with the supernatural wonder of the precambrian shield country after being away for nearly three years.  It has wetted my appetite to get back there and paint the landscape once more.  Also thanks to the artists of that area who came out to participate and to the public who supported all of us at the wind up on Saturday, what an amazing turnout!  We were treated to some special music performed by the Hanson's, a local duo, who played while be danced our heads off!  The painting above is one of 9 that I completed while up there.
I would like to invite my readers who are in the vicinity to come out to my solo show here in Watrous at the Gallery on 3rd.  It is titled "Conversations with Place," and will feature many of my works of the area.  It opens on Wednesday, August 17th.  The opening reception is August 19th at 7 pm.  Hope to see your there!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day Lilies

I discovered some rather nice plants in the lot down from me last year and I got the vacant owners permission to tend some of them.  One of the species is the Day Lily, which I have attempted to portray in pastel.  This seems like a particularly good year for them as they have abundant blooms and don't seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Blue Hotel

Here at Manitou Beach we have an intriguing old building on the edge of the lake.  In fact it is now partially submerged because of the increased amount of water we are dealing with at the resort.  I am told it was once known as the Blue Hotel back in the glory days of this community.  Recently it was used as a brine shrimp processing plant.  At the present time it is abandoned and probably due for destruction.  It is kind of a sad commentary on what was once a grand and popular place.  I don't like seeing buildings such as this being permanently lost because once they are gone, their gone forever.  I plan on doing a series of paintings of this wonderfully evocative place, hopefully before it disappears.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Today was a wild weather day, very unsettled and some extremely evil looking clouds.  This morning on my way to work I witnessed a very interesting weather event and I guess it stuck in my head because it came back to me in my studio this evening.  I had simply wanted to tone some canvas's for an upcoming Retreat and instead this painting manifested itself.  Somewhat like my buddy Chris Wikman I used some funky colours that I normally don't use, and although they are much more toned down than Chris's I think they are successful and reminiscent of nature.  I called it "Praludium" because I was listening to a Bach piece by that name played by the guitarist John Williams.  I thought it fitting and somewhat uncanny how this all happened.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wind in the Grass, Smoke on the Wind

This pastel was a plein air effort from the hill above the dam at Eastend.  I was up there with Dean Bauche, Bonnie McNabb and Ovid Mercredi.  There was a pretty stiff wind blowing and I had to hold onto my pastel board tightly to keep it from taking off on me.  For sure I didn't have to worry about blowing the pastel dust occasionally.  I love sitting in nature and painting, and when the elements are particularly active, it is even more vital.  Plein air pieces form a lasting memory for many years after. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Pastel from Eastend

I have a few more pieces of art I created, with the help of a greater hand than mine, from my retreat down in Eastend.  This one above is from a favorite place of mine to sit, it is on top of a butte that overlooks the Frenchman River basin.  It is quite high up and can get quite hot at times.  Most times I get the gears from Red Tailed Hawks who take exception for me being in their haunt.  I have suffered the odd sun burn and have lost one large painting knife up there.  Maybe its become the prized possession of a large bird, likely a wise old Raven.  I understand that they like tools.  This is a wonderful place to be...........

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Eastend 2011, the third day

Usually at art retreats I have to cease working in oils due to transportation issues and this time was no different.  I wanted to do a large painting like the previous days effort so I got out my acrylics and went at it.  The above painting is the result.  I call it Eastend Hills Afternoon.  The photo does not do it justice, much nicer to see the real thing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eastend 2011, the second day

High Winds, Bright Sky  30 x 30 in Oil on Panel    
This time around at Eastend Dean let me set up my studio space in the ranch's owners workshop, which suited me just fine because I have much the same setup at home.  Dean Bauche and Bonnie McNabb were also set up there but Dean good nature ably ribbed me about how I managed to take over half of the workshop. I let it pass like water off of a duck's back.  I painted the picture above on my second day down there and it is loosely based on the previous posts plein air piece.  I am always amazed at how much work a person can get done on the ranch.  Wish I could do the same at home.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eastend 2011

Bright Morning at the Y Road
We just got back from another amazing experience at Eastend, SK, where we attend a weekend Art Retreat.  The weather was fantastic with warm temperatures and a very nice wind to cool things off.  I managed to paint a few pieces, some in the studio and some with friends in the hills of Eastend.  I had some very special moments with close friends that are to personal to speak of here but they will stick with me for the rest of my life.  I post one of the pieces I did while sitting with my friends Jan Layh and Bonnie McNabb near the Y road.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shellmouth goes North

As I have mentioned in this blog several times I have the distinct pleasure and privilege of attending a week long Art Retreat in Shellmouth, Mb.  Well this year that retreat is going to be held at Denare Beach, Sk. because of extenuating circumstances and will be hosted by two amazing artists who go by the names of Karen Clark and Sarah Trevor.  I can't express how excited I am about this because I grew up in Northern Manitoba and who I am as an artist is largely defined by the beauty of the Boreal forest and Precambrian shield area that makes up the geography of the land north of my home town of The Pas, Mb. The painting above depicts Amisk Lake which is near the location of this years Retreat and you can bet that I will be found paddling my home built Kayak around the many islands and inlets of this amazing lake with my pochade box at the ready.  Thanks in advance girls, I know you will put on a wonderful event for us all!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spring Raining Down

Spring Raining Down  Oil on Canvas  $600.00
I call this abstract painting "Spring Raining Down".  To me it symbolizes alot of spring type attributes, I'll leave it to you to figure that out.  Maybe its a mistake to talk about what the painting means to me, I should just let it go out there and let the people make their own determinations about it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thinking like Leonardo Da Vinci

North Saskatchewan River near Moose Park, MB
I am currently reading a book entitled "Thinking like Leonardo Da Vinci" when I have a bit of time on my hands, which isn't much lately.  It is a wonderful read on an amazing human being, I have always had a great deal of respect for Da Vinci.  Without a doubt anyone would benefit from adapting some of his characteristics, stretching the mind muscle is a good daily practice.  Ovid Mercredi, a friend of mine, quite often encourages young people to study the great people that have come and gone in order to better their way of life.  Interestingly, he also recommends studying the infamous people as well so that you can learn how not to behave.  Sound advice for sure.  I'm looking forward to seeing Ovid and Gerry at the Eastend Art Retreat in July.  Ovid, like myself, spent time in The Pas, Mb, near where the above watercolour was painted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On the beauty of Blue Herons

I saw a Blue Heron today, the first I've spotted this spring, and it got me thinking about the elegance of these birds.  Quite often I have seen them standing in water by a road or marsh, perfectly still and waiting for dinner with a patience I can only dream of.  Or, like clockwork I see them flying overhead in the morning in the same direction and then in the evening coming back on the same flight path.  I don't like taking anything like this for granted as I believe it has a relevance beyond current human understanding.  I think our ancient ancestors had much more respect for the animal kingdom than we do, for reasons we are already beginning to forget, and that is a sad thing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On being Ruthless to be Kind

8 1/2 x 10 1/2 Pastel  $100.00 
This pastel is a re-worked version of a previous post.  After trying to flatten the warped paper it was drawn on I succeeded in smudging the pastel and was forced to toss it in the garbage or have at it again.  Being part Scotsman and Ukrainian I have a tendency to scrinch and save whenever possible so I opted to introduce the colour I was observing outside my studio window in an effort to save it.  I am happier with this result, what about you?  Seems appropriate to resurrect something dead in the spring of the year, ie; being ruthless to be kind.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lost in Utah

I came across this watercolour yesterday and decided it just needed a few minor things done to it to make it presentable in my eyes.  Thats the good thing about putting paintings away for awhile, you look at them with fresh eyes.  I'm calling it "Lost in Utah" because it was lost for awhile and it is a depiction of a place I visited in Utah last Thanksgiving.  I really like the sky, what about you?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thinking of Eastend

Hills of Eastend  Pastel
Every year on the July long weekend a group of artist's, which includes painters, poets, writers and musicians (also culinary maestros) gather at a wonderful ranch down at Eastend, SK for a few days of intense fun.  We paint, eat, drink, go hiking and sometimes rebuild after errant tornadoes pass through.  When its over it seems like it just started and we can't wait for next year to do it all over again.  Considering how much moisture they have been getting down there this winter and spring I'm guessing it will be as green as Ireland.  This is the stomping grounds of the American poet Wallace Stagner and countless dinosaur hunters.  It is a miniature Grand Canyon and a wonderful place to meditate, paint or just be still to hear the prairie wind amongst the native grasses and wildflowers.  I will always remember sitting beside a bunch of flowering wolf willow and being intoxicated by the aroma as I painted a plein air piece of the ranch below me.  Does it sound like I love this place?

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Greening of the World

New Green  Oil  $100.00
One cannot help but notice that the world around us is getting greener. Its a curious thing but before the leaves get green they appear as a lovely rose colour (a perfect complementary colour).  Interesting how the Big Oug in the Sky dresses creation.  The painting I have posted above was done alla prima on site the other day.  When I got myself set up on the side of the hill I discovered that I had forgotten my palette!  I quickly decided to carry on though as I was enthralled by the beauty before me, which can be quite fleeting.  In lieu of a palette I just took paint off the end of my tubes of paint and applied it in a hurried, haphazard manner with a brush and painting knife. Must say that I have never done that before but it worked out Ok.  I even put some new green grass in amongst last years growth, just because.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Aftermath

I was doing some snooping around in my workshop and started pulling mirror boxes out to see what was inside of them.  In one of them I discovered this painting that I had titled "The Aftermath".  It is a statement about the devastation caused by Manitoba Hydro in Northern Manitoba, particularly around Easterville.  It turns out that there are some far reaching ramifications to flooding boreal forests, like permanently displacing people who were perfectly happy living where they were prior to the flood.  I thought the picture was also interesting in light of all the flooding happening all over Canada right now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

After the Rain

After the Rain Oil on Canvas  $200.00
Me thinks that it is raining all over this great nation of ours, for some people it is a bit much for them to handle and my heart goes out to them.  I wonder if our politicians are re-considering their position on global warming?  Not.  Anyways on a completely other topic, I happen to love what happens to trees after a rain in the spring, they take on the most amazing vibrant colours and it is a real challenge to capture that in paint.  This painting is my humble attempt, I had the good fortune to be out with my paints the other day when I came across this scene not far from where I live.  Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ordinary Places

Old Grass New Grass  Pastel  $150.00

I guess I'm an ordinary guy who paints ordinary things.  I try to jazz things up a bit, sometimes with success, often not.  Colour excites me, as well as the lack of it.  No colour and some  colour is good, the challenge is the successful combination of both.  I think I'm going out to Saskatoon to buy me a bright lime green shirt with magenta flowers, maybe tulips.  Probably going to buy one of those fancy flavored ice cream cones while I'm at it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Robins and Crocus's

Robins and Crocus's Pastel   $100.00 

I had a bit of time last week during the mid afternoon to set up my easel in the back yard and do a pastel of the scene in front of me.  There were all kinds of robins zooming around and the crocus's were just starting to peek through the dead grass.  The temperature was warm, the ambiance was perfect,  so it was a real pleasure to be there and do the plein air piece.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring Pastel $175.00
As an artist and human life form I enjoy life and discovering new manifestations of it, particularly in the spring of the year.  It has been a long winter so when I start to see nature in the spring of the year I am amazed anew.  One thing that is visually exciting is observing the trees undergoing the wake up process.  One begins to notice how the tips of the branches begin to change colour, lovely pastel shades that gradually darken and change to the various shades of green we are familiar with.  Because it has been such a cold and drawn out spring this process is taking much longer.  I chose to do this plein air in pastel to celebrate the life and colour I witnessed yesterday afternoon from my backyard, it seemed appropriate.