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.