Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aunty Marilyn's Passing

Notes from the Violin
carried away on the prairie wind
Auntie Marilyn has died.

Marilyns Roses  (Encaustic)

I received word that my Aunt Marilyn passed away from this world yesterday evening.  She was a favourite aunt of mine, I spent a lot of my youth at her farm enjoying her animals, garden, and cooking.  I always believed she had a special connection with her farm animals, some people do.  She lost her husband John just recently, they can be together again in a better place. I wrote the poem above while I was waiting for Crystal at the local grocery store.  There was an amazingly beautiful Rachmaninoff piece  playing on CBC Radio while I was contemplating my memories of Marilyn and I felt like writing something down that somehow expressed my feelings at that moment. I guess I lost another piece of myself.  Thanks for everything Marilyn.  Adieu. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

George from Poundmaker

This is a small watercolour of George, who hails from the Poundmaker settlement in southern Manitoba.  I met him a few winters ago up in The Pas while attending a workshop on the business matters of Art.  Great guy, a wonderful artist and musician.  The Trappers Festival was on while we were participating in the seminar.  We all went to the Friendship Centre to partake in the Hoop dancing and drumming.  Very memorable experience.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival, the oldest in Western Canada.  To help celebrate that I post this watercolour of an aboriginal dancer I witnessed at one of the last Festivals I attended before I moved to Saskatchewan.  He had the most amazing costume and is a very good dancer. I call him the Wolf Dancer, although that probably isn't his performing name. He was accompanied by a circle of drummers and singers.  It was a memorable moment for me.  It is events such as this that I miss.  Hope everyone has a good time and that it isn't to warm for the dog races!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Plein Air

A few mornings ago I had the opportunity to head out with my pochade box and paint this view from a hill overlooking Wellington Park, here at Manitou Beach, SK.  I like this spot and have painted here quite a few times already.  I can hear the creek burbling away down below and quite often I will see white tail deer feeding in the distance, keeping a wary eye on me.  I wonder if they are starting to recognize me?  Just as I was finishing this piece it started to snow so I spattered white paint on and it was done!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sleeping Child with Cherry Blossoms

Almost a year ago I was in Honduras volunteering for an organization called Brighter Horizons.  I was asked to paint a mural on the mission school wall and also help build a cinder block house for a women in need.  Marisa is a single mother with 5 children.  A lovely woman with beautiful children and poor as a church mouse.  When we handed over the keys to her new home I am sure they thought she had died and gone to heaven, it was a wonderful moment for all of us.  I went back to visit the following day and found she had already planted some flowers outside her front door.  I was very impressed because that is something I always do as soon as I can when I move into a new home. Anyways, this pastel is a portrait of her youngest boy, blissfully asleep on a worn out mattress under a cabana of sorts.  He used to follow me around all day, naked as a jay bird, and totally happy with the attention I gave him.   I plan on entering it in  the Haiku Inspirations competition in Vancouver this spring.  I based the composition on the following Haiku by Ferris Gilli.  Comments welcome and hope you enjoy the painting.  I am going to leave it alone for a day or two and see if it speaks to me one way or another.

cherry blossoms
the baby's hair too fine
to hold a ribbon

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Clearing Mist and Cherry Blossoms

Ever get a bit tired of winter and the gray days?  I have to admit that even I long for more sun and warmer temperatures.  I found myself thinking of when I lived in Chilliwack, BC; one of the first things I did once I had built our new home there was to plant a cherry tree in the front yard. Well, I have an opportunity to compete for a spot in an upcoming Art Show in Vancouver called Haiku Inspirations, which is running in conjunction with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in April.  It is a chance for me to dream away in my studio of spring and fragrant blossoms. The artist is asked to pick a Haiku poem that has been written by authors from all over the world and base the work of art upon it.  This painting  is my first attempt at the following poem written by Tito, from Kyoto, Japan.

in clearing mist
the creaking of a heavy oar...
cherry blossoms

Monday, February 7, 2011

Revisions to an older painting

Some of you may remember this painting from almost a year ago now.  The last time I worked on it I was not quite satisfied with the outcome, I felt it needed "something".  Well today I got out my handy dandy pocket sketch book and made a tiny thumbnail or two of other possible solutions to my problem.  The painting above is the result.  For now I shall give it another rest and see if it speaks to me further.

                                                         Cold clear rushing water
                                              Golden light glimpsed through spruce
                                                               The forest sighs

                                                                                                                            Haiku by Darrell

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sleeping Giants

The title "Sleeping Giants" was something that I picked before I began this pastel.  In my visits to the Mistik Creek and area I am always struck by the beauty of these Pre-Cambrian rocks protruding from the earth that they are so much a part of....  In the winter they are covered up in the most beautiful ways, the snow dresses them with soft blankets that conform to their profiles perfectly.  Imagine that, nature being perfect!  Hope you enjoy looking at the painting as much as I did creating it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dawn on the Prairie

As I was walking with my dogs this morning I noticed that the snow had a peculiar colour cast to it, seemed green to me.  Anyways this is my version of what I saw.  It is a pastel, which seemed to be the suitable medium to use considering all the pastel shades I observed.  Hope you like it, comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blue and Gold

After doing the last watercolour of Mistik Creek I was inspired to try my hand at another, this time a combination of watercolour and pastel.  I rather like the effect for this particular scene as the two mediums complement each other in the water and snow.  Its pretty likely I will try this again!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A view to the south

A lot of my friends and associates are heading south for a respite from winter and what am I doing?  I'm sitting on a wind swept hill facing south and painting a little painting of the view before me.  The time is just before sunset and the weather isn't to bad, maybe minus 15 Celcius, which is about my limit for painting out of doors. Obviously there are easier ways of doing things and warmer climes to paint in but for now I'll take what I've been allotted day by day and be happy about it.