Wednesday, 30 April 2014

I have been busy

I have been very busy painting up a storm but not producing much that I was happy with.

This first painting was painted last Thursday.  Three Monday Painters decided to take advantage of the good weather and we headed to the RBG arboretum.  We hiked down below the Lilac Dell to one of our favourite locations.   I was drawn to the warm glow of the sun on the field in Princess Point on the far side of Coote's Paradise.  I have failed at this scene on many occasions but I am very happy with this one.

This second painting was painted on Monday at the end of Ferrie Street in Hamilton.  It isn't a great painting but probably my best ever urban landscape.  I haven't painted very many buildings and am not very good at them.  I feel good enough about this one that I may not be so intimidated by them now.

Monday, 21 April 2014

From Ferrie Street

The Monday Painters weren't scheduled to paint because it is Easter Monday but the weather was looking too good to not paint so about a dozen of us headed to the end of Ferrie Street.  The location is up high looking out over Bayfront Park and the marinas with the high level bridge and the escarpment across the bay.  It could not have been a nicer day.  It was about 22 C with only occasional light wind gusts.

There are some things that I love about this painting and some not so much.  The perspective is off and the foreground trees are too thick but Debbie likes it so it may survive.

Friday, 18 April 2014

An Old Cemetary

It was a bit windy yesterday but still a great day to paint.  Five of us headed to the Copetown Marsh to paint.  It was too windy to stand in the open but we found this very old cemetery just visible from the road.  It was high on a hill and the farmer had plowed all around it isolating it and making the trees stand out against the sky.  I am not sure that I like this one but it got pretty good reviews from the other artists so I will reserve judgement.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

More Fun with Pastel Pencils

Monday was too windy to even think about painting outside but today was a good morning with the sketch group,  The model was a fellow named Jeff who was quite a character and fun to draw.  These really are a joy for me.

Tomorrow looks to be a good day so a few of us "Monday Painters" are heading out to the Copetown Marsh.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Plein Air Challenges

It was another warm sunny day so a few Monday Painters decided to head back to Spring Valley Park even though it was a Thursday.  I was attracted to the warm glow on the top of this hill and the sun on the trunks of the tall red pines.

It was quite windy and a bit unsettling.  Small twigs kept dropping all around me and every once in a while I
would hear a loud crack.   I was about half way through this painting when there was an extrememly loud crack and the tree that is dead centre in the painting snapped off just above the bend in its trunk and came crashing to the ground.  Other artists came running to check that I was okay.

This painting didn't quite get finished but the tree is now immortalized in a painting.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I love dead trees

I don't love that trees are dying but as a painter I love the shapes of long dead tees in a marshy area.  They remind me of pride filled soldiers standing in the hot sun only to eventually succumb and topple over.  Monday was a struggle for me and I am too embarrassed to show my attempt at hills trees and snow but yesterday was a different story.

I was standing on the edge of this wetland with a small rapids gurgling to my left and songbirds singing to my right.  It was about 12 C but with the sun on my back I only needed a light jacket.  I felt energized by the warmth and inspired by the scene and eager to attempt a new method of painting.  It was much slower than normal and there was much scrubbing off but I am very happy with this one.

I can't wait to get out again tomorrow.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Spring is Here

It is so nice to be out painting with no gloves.  Monday was another special day because we were painting snow scenes dressed in light sweaters.  There were about a dozen of our Monday Painters at Spring Valley Park in Ancaster.  I am really happy with this painting.  It reminds me a bit of Tom Thomson's "Path Behind Mowat Lodge".

Tuesday Cathy Gibbon's class was at Courtcliff Park in Carlisle.  It was cold, windy and cloudy when we started however we painted for five and a half hours and by the time we finished it was much warmer and the sky was a clear blue.  I managed two paintings.  The first I overworked and the second one which I am posting was done in about twenty minutes with a palette knife.  Sadly this is the best of the two.  It was however a great day of learning.

Wednesday was life drawing with the BFAA sketch group.  Cassandra is a great model and as I get better at my life drawings and portrait sketches my landscape compositions are getting much better.

After the life sketching we had a brown bag lunch gathering of plein air artists in the Burlington Art Centre studio.  About thirty people showed up to do a show and tell around painting on location.  There were members from quite a few of the groups that I paint with along with a number of artists interested in giving plein air painting a try.  Most of us had samples of our artwork and some had their easels and painting equipment set up. Plein air painters have to be some of the friendliest people anywhere and it is absolutely safe to generalize here.