Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Craving Sunlight

The thing about winter is quite often there can be long periods of overcast days with little direct sunlight. It is in that spirit that I post this painting, painted in the height of summer under very warm temperatures. This is definitely a hot subject!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reminiscences on a blustery winters day

Sweet peas
Couldn't help posting this small oil painting of my Sweet Peas on this chilly Saturday afternoon.  Winter has arrived in my part of the world, lots of snow and cold temperatures.  In a couple of months these pretty little flowers will just be a dream!

Monday, November 17, 2014


I have been fascinated for a number of years now with the very ancient Trypillian culture who inhabited what is now modern day Ukraine.  This unfinished painting attempts to depict some samples of their pottery, agrarian ideas and the land they loved and respected so much.  Samples of pottery date back 6000 years BC.  I find that amazing, in part because so much attention has been given other great cultures while overlooking this one.  I understand that they were simple farm folk, had great respect for women and the land that gave them sustenance. In fact, the women pretty much ran the show. Their deity's were female, they never overstayed a piece of land, preferring to move on and let the land lay fallow.  Agriculture sure has changed, hasn't it?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Yabahar An Audiovisual performance: Nohlab at TEDxReset 2014

Today I fortunately came across this amazing man and the instrument he created.  I expect that there are many people in the world who are enjoying the music he makes as you read this.  Check out this link to have a listen for yourself!  One reason it resonates with me so much is I feel that the space it is in is where I go in my best sessions of painting.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pansie en plein air

Pansies  Pastel on Paper
We've had a wonderful break in the autumn weather lately so I've had a chance to sit outside and do some plein air pieces in my backyard.  Seems like I do all this garden work and never have a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labour so its awfully nice to be in the sunshine and soak everything up.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Midsummer Evening

A midsummer evening  Oil on Canvas  36 x 48 in
My niece Tatianna was married this past August on a beautiful day/evening.  Part of the ceremonies involved a memorial to a friend that passed away suddenly.  This involved lighting a number of Chinese lanterns and setting them adrift in the evening sky, which had an almost full moon suspended on the horizon.  This was followed by an amazing fireworks display and memorable music.  It was a very touching and meaningful occasion and made a deep impression on me.  This painting came of that experience.

Friday, September 26, 2014

High water on Little Manitou

High water on Little Manitou  6 x8 Oil
Painted this from my Kayak the other day, Saturday I believe.  Should remember it because although I painted it when the waters were perfectly calm by the time I was finished the weather had changed and I had a devil of a time paddling back across the lake to get home safely.  My heart was pounding, and not just because it was hard work! The things I do to satisfy the Muse.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumn en plein air

Flood Aftermath  Oil on Canvas 9 x 12

I painted this sitting on the shore of the Assinaboine River at Shellmouth, Mb. It was the morning and I remember everything about it, the warm temperature, the stillness occasionally broken by a fish jumping, no mosquitoes and the overall serenity.  The flooding has changed the geography quite a bit in the last number of years. I couldn't get to another favorite spot because the river had created a new tributary!

Friday, August 8, 2014



These are the last of my Peonies for this season, I sat in the backyard awhile back and had a great time attempting to capture their essence.  Next up will be the Sweet Peas or Dahlias.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer en Plein Air

Brady's Coulee, Eastend SK
Another plein air piece painted from the deck of the CPR Station masters home at Brady's Coulee, near Eastend Saskatchewan.  Its an oil on paper board and was done in the early hours of the morning around the beginning of July.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wolf Willow Art Retreat

Bradys Coulee, Eastend, SK Casien on  Paper
Just nicely recovered from my annual pilgrimage to Eastend Sk where we Artists congregate for a number of days of art making and merriment.  I confided to my friend Dean Bauche, the host of this fabulous event, that someday I want to come back for an indefinite amount of time.  A wonderful place to be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I love pansies, used to eat them when I was a young tyke. Another good flower is Carragana, taste like lentils. Anyways, this is a plein air piece celebrating their beauty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Village Perk

The Village Perk
I painted this 8 x 10 oil on last Sunday, felt like painting something local. The Village Perk is a funky little Cafe down by the lake where great coffee and food is served.  The tables and chairs are very retro and the atmosphere is nice and laid back.  Ken, the owner, keeps it open for the tourist season only.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Robert Genn's Passing

Sailing on Little Manitou, SK

As some of you may know by now, Robert Genn has passed on. He was the gentleman who originated the Painters Keys internet site that has since gone on to be a magnet to thousands of people worldwide with an interest in reading his online letters and ruminations on Art and related matters.  Robert Genn was a wonderful Canadian artist, his paintings are instantly recognizable. He was witty, funny, well versed, philosophical and so generous.  It is hard to imagine how he found the time to do his twice weekly letters and still manage a busy schedule of painting and related business but he did.  I will be indebted to him as I go out on my own plein air excursions, another thing that he excelled at.  So thank you Robert for your example of how to be human.  Also thanks to his daughter Sara for continuing on with his legacy.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I got up quite early yesterday morning (5:00) and enjoyed the natural world from my deck that faces the lake. My watercolours were handy so in a  contemplative and purposeful way I painted my experience in those moments.  I had barely started painting when a large Raven flew overhead me with a small bird in its beak, likely a Robin chick, so I included that in the piece.  A thought entered me saying "this is." This is as natural as the way the wind causes the surface of the lake to turn another colour and texture. This is as natural and right as the sky turning from a pale rosy tint to blueish green.  Its hard to put thoughts on paper sometimes but I'll try.  We can trust Nature, she always gets it right.  We should not impose ourselves on Nature, that is not Natural and Healthy.  I am grateful to be taught the most amazing things by observing the seemingly simple and underated things in Nature.  This is not the first time the Raven has talked to me, but maybe thats a story for another time. Thanks for coming by.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A painting for my Grandson

Its been awhile since I last posted. I have been busy paying the bills using my carpentry skills most of the winter but I have had some time to paint.  This painting of foxes is for my Grandson Cohen to hang in his nursery. I wanted to paint something of interest for him, sort of like "wheres Waldo" with the foxes hiding in the bushes. Unfortunately this family of foxes home is currently being destroyed to make way for some bone ugly tract homes and condo's in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, across the backlane from where Cohen lives. Thats progress for you.  Instead of what do the foxes say we could ask "where will the foxes go?"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Guitarist

The Guitarist Pastel on Paper  12 x 9 in
I cannot remember the name of this Lady, I know she is Russian and plays the classical guitar superbly. I was struck by her demeanor and how she was so in the moment. A pleasure to listen to, I must do a search and find her again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mockingbirds Song

Mockingbirds Song 48x48in Oil on Board
Last spring while out in my backyard I heard the most amazing demonstration of bird song in my life and it made a profound effect on me. For 30 minutes I stood transfixed while this bird sang its heart out, singing two measures and then two more, all completely different and continuously until it flew off.  I noticed that it wasn't a particularly pretty bird, proving that you can't judge a bird by its plumage! Its turns out that it was a mockingbird and I am crossing my fingers that I will hear it again this spring. I'll always remember the details off that evening, things like the light, temperature, the intoxicating scent of the lilacs and wolf willow and all the other sounds permeating my part of the world in those moments.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Awaiting spring

A watercolour painting of a sentiment about spring like conditions that have not as of yet arrived in my part of the world.  I remember the soft pastel shades of new and old growth mixed together and the moisture laden air with peppery scents of new leaves and the excited songs of newly arrived birds.  Ah, it won't be long now!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A pastel

Radiant Morning Pastel 9 1/2 x 12
I drew this pastel over a year ago and discovered it hidden away in one of my portfolios so I thought I'd share it. Its based on a little grove of trees down the road from my home. I kind of pushed the colour abit, by hey, its my world!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Autumn painting

Put the finishing touches on this en plein air piece from last fall today and also found a nice frame for it kicking around the woodshop so its a good days work!
Wellington Pond in Autumn

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Village Inn

Village Inn

Its been awhile since I've done any en plein air work but the weather was so nice yesterday morning that I decided to set up near Wellington Creek and paint the view towards the Village Inn.  It was sunny and around 0 Celcius so it was very pleasant to stand there for a couple of hours and paint. Not a soul around, just me and my two patient dogs. This is an oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches. How tranquil it was to paint to the sound of the water gurgling around the stones and ice!