Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Canterbury Light

DVSA fall classes started this week and we had a perfect afternoon to paint in Catherine Gibon's landscape class yesterday.  We met in the parking lot of the Canterbury Hills Conference Centre which is the centre of a huge conservation area.  It is still too early for strong fall colour but there were some nice bright yellows here and there.  I found a wonderful spot in some old growth forest.  It was very shady and dark where I was painting but the sun was shining brilliantly on some yellow leaves in the background.  I love painting back lit trees and especially if there is some good colour behind them.  I think that I am getting closer to what I am striving for with every attempt.  I spent an hour and a half painting a disaster and then about 15 minutes painting this one.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Ontario Plein Air Society show and sale

It was another fantastic OPAS weekend.  Fifteen artists all had some wall space in J E H MacDonald House in Thornhill.  There was a painting challenge where we were given two and a half hours to paint a painting somewhere within the festival area.  We headed out at 9:30 AM and had to be back by noon to frame our paintings and set them up on our easels for judging.  I stayed on the gallery grounds and painted the house which means I have now painted Tom Thomson's shack and J E H MacDonald's house this summer. The judges were local councillors so probably not the best art critics but I ended up with a third place so I am not complaining.

The calibre of art both in the gallery and in the challenge was amazing.  This is a wonderful group of very talented artists, all with a love of painting outdoors, and I am proud to be able to say that I am one of them.  They have dragged me across the line from hobbyist to serious painter.  There was only one painting sold (not one of mine) but I painted lots and received a lot of very positive feedback from many of the roughly four hundred people who went through the gallery.

Here is my painting from Saturday morning. 11" X 15" watercolour.  It placed third in the challenge.

Here are my watercolour and ink sketches from today.  These are in my small 5" X 8" Journal.  I must apologize to Judi because she is nowhere near as short and wide as I painted her.  Figures definitely aren't my strength.

Friday, 14 September 2012

OPAS show

The Ontario Plein Air society is having a three day show in J E H MacDonald house to coincide with the Thornhill festival so Debbie and I went there last night to hang seven of my paintings.  Tomorrow and Sunday I will be painting on the grounds where J E H MacDonald painted "The Tangled Garden".  Many of the Group of Seven visited MacDonald and stayed in this house so maybe I will be able to absorb some of the creative energy here.  If not from the spirits of the group of seven then certainly from looking at the great artwork of the other OPAS members. This is one of my new paintings hanging in the show?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Paradise Lost

Debbie and I spent a wonderful week, with my father, at my parent's house on Paudash Lake.  I used to love the lake with all the small cottages tucked in the birches and pines but oh how that has changed over the last few years.  More and more of those cottages are being replaced by huge summer homes with massive lawns spreading down to the lake.  Stone walls and concrete docks are replacing the trees and the lilies.  So many people think that they are escaping the city when in fact many of them are just bringing suburbia with them.

Now when we look down the shore from my parent's beach all you can see is very expensive toys.  This view used to me one of my favourites anywhere.  This painting will never be for sale because I wasn't in a happy place when I painted it.  We tossed around names such as "The Joneses" and "Conspicuous Consumers"  These boats are rarely away from the docks and they are far too big for our lake with all its small bays.  The sole purpose of the boats and other toys that I left out is to impress.

Monday, 3 September 2012

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

On Sunday August 26th a large number of the members of the Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS) met at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection to paint, socialize and have a one day show in the gallery complete with juried awards.  I didn't win any awards or sell any paintings but again I didn't expect to.  It was hot and sunny but the humidity was low so it was a perfect day for watercolours.  A number of us produced paintings of Tom Thomson's shack. I would like to go back some day and attempt it again.  I have it looking much larger than it really is.  The shack should be smaller and the trees a bit larger.