Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice

Wouldn't it be nice if winters were always this way?  I have enjoyed this winter so much, being able to paint outside practically everyday and going for long walks in the hills and fields with my two dogs.  I plan on going out tomorrow again and finding a nice place to paint and enjoy life. I like listening to Van Morrison and Neil Young while painting, funny how music and painting go together so well! The painting above is an oil of the hill across from Wellington Park.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Baby its cold outside

Lone Pinion
This pastel is my response to the bloody cold weather, I withdraw to my studio and memories and re-create past experiences.  Crystal, Michael and I came across many amazing vistas when we were down in southern Utah and this lone Pinion tree was one of them.  They are extremely hardy trees and seem to grow anywhere, they remind me of our hardy pine trees in the Precambrian shield country growing out of rocks.  Anyways, it was a hot day and just looking at this painting takes me back.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock Painting

Rock Paintings
One of the high lites of Retreat in Denare Beach last summer was a tour of Amisk Lake and what is purported to be aboriginal rock paintings on one of the islands we were shown.  (secret location) That is the subject of the painting on this post.  Truthfully, I had a hard time making out the paintings on those rocks so I have done the same with my painting.  The best things in life are often subtle and understated anyways.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Black and Yellow make Green

Amisk Lake
I recently read of an artist who regularly re-cycles paintings that didn't work out by simply painting directly over them, no underpainting or toning of the canvas.  Because I happen to have a few of those laying around I decided to try it myself and the painting above is the result.  If you look very close you might still see signs of the previous painting underneath.  I simply did a rough charcoal sketch of the scene and then went directly into it, what a fun experience! Oh, by the way, black and yellow make a nice green.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Morning on Schist Lake

I've been spending quite a bit of time lately working on paintings of Schist Lake, Mb, where I had the pleasure of being this past summer.  A fellow painter, Ron Watt, took us on a boat trip around the lake one glorious morning and I am eternally grateful for that!  My only regret is that we didn't get on the lake a little sooner in the morning so that we could have caught the mist on the water.  This painting portrays the last vestiges of that pristine morning (I hope). I'm going to give this one a rest for awhile as I find I am fiddling with it which could mean it is telling me that it is finished or just needs a break from me for awhile.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Being There

There have been some lovely sunrises (and sunsets) lately, maybe its got something to do with the angle of the sun and time of the year.  Anyways, its been a joy to paint outdoors in such conditions because the temperatures have been unseasonably warm for winter in these parts.  I feel that being there when the sun rises and sets and attempting to paint that phenomena is a rich experience that enriches my life.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Pretty much every day the dogs and I take this path down into Wellington Park and beyond.  Its a nice, arduous walk that gets my heart pumping and I always see something brings delight to my eye.  I think I am developing an extensive vocabulary of colour, sometimes after a walk my eyes are literally vibrating!  There always seems to be happy combinations of colours and patterns outdoors. Never boring.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

All the Diamonds

Of all the songs out there, Bruce Cockburns "All the Diamonds," off of his Salt, Sun & Time album has to be one of my personal all time favourites.  Everytime I hear this song it sparks a deep personal response in me, I was so pleased when he played it at a recent concert that I attended.  Cockburn is one of Canada's greatest poets, in my humble opinion, and his lyrics invoke wonderful imagery in my fertile mind.The other day, which was extremely warm for January 9th (11 Celcius), I had the distinct pleasure of painting an alla prima painting near my new home of Manitou Beach while listening to the album on my iPod.  Life is good, all my children I have spoken.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clearwater Lake Revisited

Clearwater Lake, Mb
I was rummaging around in my studio today and came across an unfinished canvas of Clearwater Lake, Mb.  I remember wanting to capture a certain weather effect I had witnessed back there, a windy day with the sun at a low angle lighting up the distant shoreline, but I couldn't quite get my head around it until today.  I think I was into reminiscing about the good times that were had back there with family and friends so it came quite easily to me this time around.  Any one out there remember scenes such as this?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Love Birds

My Sacha loves to take pictures of herself, its another endearing trait she possesses.  Anyways, I took the liberty of using one of her photos for this watercolour.  I say liberty because she also often takes liberties in my studio/gallery by walking out with my paintings.  It's OK, its not like I don't have a few of them hanging around and its nice to know they are going to hang somewhere where people appreciate them. Sacha's Nana, a talented watercolorist, is working on a similar picture as well. I am happy to report that these two lovebirds are going to married this year on September 1st.  (the day of my happy marriage to Crystal).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sundown near Snake Island

Sundown near Snake Island
My friend, Avery Ascher, sent me a photo she had taken of a sunset on Clearwater Lake, looking towards a tiny island called Snake Island.  As some of you may know I was born and raised near this lake and spent many wonderful days and nights at what has been classified as one of only two "True Blue Lakes" in the world.  You'd have to go there to understand what that really means but believe me, it is pristine!  Thanks Avery for sharing this with me, I hope I have painted what you feel as you look out your cabin window towards that supernatural body of water.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Here's a wish for a year filled with peaceful, abiding and compassionate living to all my friends and family out there.  All the best!