Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thinking of Tom Thompson

I figure Tom Thompson definitely is Canada's greatest painter.  He was a man who was most comfortable outside, like me, and painted the majority of his paintings plein air.  These paintings are often called "sketches" but actually in many cases are superior to his studio paintings because of their freshness and vitality. He was not a rich man (like me) and often painted on wood panels that he would salvage from work sites (like me).  I love how the grain of these wood panels show through his finished works as they uncannily add to the painting.  Many have tried to replicate this effect (like me) to no avail. I figured I'd try anyways cause the Lord hates a coward. I title this painting Morning Shadows, it is painted on a birch panel and is 10 x 12 inches in size.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thin Ice

I managed to do a small plein air this morning while the sun was shining, I call it "Thin Ice" as it depicts a sciff of ice on Wellington Creek.  I liked the contrast of the water and ice with reflections.  Right around the time the sun disappeared my dog Oreo practically jumped in my lap, which meant it was time to pack it up and go for a walk, which was the original intention in the first place.  Dogs are long suffering.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Looking for the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

There is so much beauty right at our doorstep, we just have to take the time to look, hence the title Looking for the Extraordinary in the Ordinary  I painted this oil over another painting that I wasn't quite happy with, although it portrays the same lake that I spent many wonderful times at with family and friends.  I have spoken before of how it is one of the two "True Blue Lakes" left in the world today.  Rumour has it that Bill Gates dropped down in his Lear jet at the airport beside Clearwater Lake and hired a guide to spend the afternoon out on the water, reading a book will some of the biggest lake trout around swam around beneath the boat! A number of years ago I watched a CBC documentary by Pamela Wallin where she interviewed Bill Gates about his Foundation and interest in providing a computer in every public library in North America.  I convinced the local librarian to contact the Foundation and lo and behold they were given a brand new computer!  Thanks Bill.  He truly is quite a philanthropist.  A number of years ago I painted a much smaller version of this 30 x 36 in. piece.  After watching the National Geographic show "The Big Melt" I am concerned that scenes such as this may soon be a thing of the past, at least for a few thousand years!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Runoff near the Village Inn

I painted this morning sitting near the Village Inn here at Manitou Beach.  This rock formation was created last year as part of a major overhaul of the beach front needed to deal with the increase of water coming into the lake.  The result was we gained a lovely water feature complete with a Fred Flintstone type of bridge spanning over the creek.  A nice place to be, our family installed a bench in memory of our sister Angelene Tysseland who passed away last winter. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is on the way

Spring is arriving.  I quite often find inspiration looking out of my studio window, as I did this afternoon.  This is an 11 x 14 pastel of my neighbour Murray Westby's yard, minus the spruce trees.  Hey, artistic license prevails!
I am trying to use pastels the way my buddy Wolf Kahn does, no small feat.  I don't want to copy his style but I am interested in his philosophy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Golden Morning

The dogs and I managed to get out this morning before the snow started to melt to much, I want them to get some exercise before it gets to messy out.  I am fond of this little slough I call Wellington Pond but I don't know if it actually has a name.  It drains into Wellington Creek and is starting to melt in this extraordinary weather we are currently getting. While painting this pastel I saw a flock of Canada Geese overhead, what a sight and thrill to the ears!  I know that my senses become acutely aware of my surroundings whilst I am painting and truthfully, that is one of my greatest pleasures of painting out of doors.  It is like having a continuous conversation with my Creator, acknowledging this extraordinary gift called life on the planet earth, if that makes sense to anyone. I figure David Suzuki understands, another gift to mankind.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ides of March

Ides of March
I think March came in like a lion even though the 1st was a rather nice day.  The other day as it was blowing and snowing outside I painted this pastel from the window of my studio, as I often like to do.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bull Lilies

I haven't posted for awhile as it seems I've been on the road so much lately traveling to far away places to visit good old friends.  This painting was started at a weekend retreat held here at Manitou Beach awhile back and I finally had some time to get back at it.  Today I found myself nit picking away at it, a sure sign either to call it done or put it away again for awhile! I absolutely love the abstract nature of nature and definitely want to continue to explore that quality in my painting.  I don't think it is physically possible to paint every ripple in moving water, and why bother.  I like making it up based on the experience I have being in the presence of such an event.