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.