Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Third and Final Post Today

I apologize for posting so much on one day but I have been painting a lot and this is my first chance to get caught up.

We were back at Meyers Apple Orchards again today.  I love these harshly pruned apple trees so I decided to redo one that I painted last year to see what if any difference a year would make.  I did not go back and look at the first version and I wasn't even sure that it was the same tree until I got home and checked.

The painting on the left is the one that I painted yesterday and the one on the right is from a year ago.  They are of the exact same tree on the same sort of day.  The branches pointing up on last years were pruned off this year.

I enjoy constructive criticism so any thoughts?

There is much to be learned here.  There are some things that I like better in each of them so I will have to do this one again.  Maybe a large studio version derived from the two sketches.  It is about time for me to start working on larger pieces.

Culture Days

This past weekend Burlington had a very active Culture Days celebration going on.  I painted outside the city hall on Friday with the Burlington Fine Art Association and at Spencer Smith Park on Saturday and Sunday with the Monday Painters.  My painting on Friday was a disaster because it was very busy and I didn't see much that inspired me in any way.

My painting from Saturday is on the right.  I am very pleased with it because it was a very hot but gorgeous day weather wise so the park was full of people.  We were right on the breakwater and everyone wanted to talk to the artists.  Chatting with passersby can be a lot of fun but it makes it hard to stay focused on the work at hand.

This is my painting from Sunday.  It was even hotter so I found some shade under a tree beside Helen Griffiths.  It was very hazy when we started but it steadily cleared while we were in the process of attempting to capture the scene.  The top of the bridge was above the haze so the sun gleamed off the metalwork.  I elected to zoom in on the bridge while Helen kept it off in the distance.  Hers captures the misty feel much better than mine and the addition of the boats adds to the story. A good lesson learned.

Catherine Gibbon's class again.

I decided it was about time that I registered in Catherine's class again.  I have been painting a lot and my technique and therefore style have changed somewhat so I wanted to get some feedback from her.  After the first class I told her that I wanted stronger criticism and she replied that she couldn't help me much with technique but that she would help me develop a vision.  I am taking that as a compliment.

Here is my painting from that first class a week ago today.   I painted the same scene two years ago in watercolour and it was a disaster so I am very pleased with this.

I was looking forward to going back there today but alas it is raining off and on and very damp in between so class was cancelled.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

I Love These Trees

Last year at Meyers Apple Farm I did a painting of an apple tree that I was very happy with and I was excited to be going  back there yesterday.  In at least one of their orchards Meyers prune the tops off the apple trees so that all apples produced can be reached from the ground.  It makes for some very freaky looking trees because all the top of the tree is branches reaching down and all the leaves are close to the ground.

It was cool (14C) and a bit breezy with a gray sky filled with thick clouds but still a great day to paint.  I wasn't very happy with this painting but friends kept telling me what they liked about it and it was all the things that I had trouble with so I will have to think about this one for a while.  I like it but I am not excited about it.

I an heading off to Catherine Gibbon's landscape class in about an hour and maybe she can help me with some of the techniques that I am struggling with.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


It has been almost three weeks since I worked from a model and it felt good to be back in the Burlington Fine Arts Association studio with pastel in hand again.  Etienne is a great model and a joy to sketch.

This is not one of my best but I am happy with it.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Burlington Fine Art Association Juried Show

I am excited to be able to say that this painting was accepted into the BFAA juried show.  A lot of very talented artists submit works and I did not expect to be accepted.  I only decided on the day of submissions to even try.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Highlands East Plein Air Arts Festival

This year was the start up year for what is to be an annual event.  There were only 14 artists registered at The Highlands East Plein Air Arts Festival this year but we all had a fantastic time and it has far too much potential not to grow quickly into a huge success.  The Haliburton Highlands has some of the best painting sites anywhere and there are lots of choices for local accommodations.  A number of us all camped together so it was four days of painting all day and talking painting all evening.

This was my first of six paintings produced at the festival.  Four huge horses came to the gate and totally blocked our view of the barn and hill but when they realized that we didn't have treats for them they wandered off.  The farmer who owned the barn came and gave us a tour.  There was a 1968 Porsche and a Ski Doo of about the same vintage in the barn.

I am pretty happy with this one.

There were sever thunderstorm and possible tornado warnings for the area so we rushed to Glamor Lake to get some painting done before they hit.  We could occasionally hear thunder off in the distance so this was painted in a bit of a rush.  It received lots of positive feedback but I am still not sure if I like it.  I may darken the highlights on the rocks a bit and see if that helps.

This third painting is of Centre Lake which is about five minutes from my parents house.  I have painted it a few times in watercolour and I was excited at the prospect of painting it in oils during the festival.

I am really happy with the result

I can't wait until next year.  I had a blast this year and it can only get better.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Today was a Wonderful Challenge

About eight of us met up at Dyment's Farm Market again today.  It was cloudy, windy, threatening rain and at times sunny.  The clouds were moving so fast that the forms and lighting changed about every ten seconds.  On the brief occasions when the sun came out the field glowed a warm golden colour.

At first I tried chasing the light with this.  I put paint on and scraped it off again over and over until I finally decided to just take a mental snapshot and paint what I remembered.  I am really happy with this.  Excited considering the conditions.  The wind blew my easel over at one point but my palette landed right side up and I managed to catch my painting without too much damage.

I am headed to Wilberforce, Ontario on Wednesday for the Highlands East Plein Air Arts Festival.  At least a dozen artist friends are camping out together so we will be painting all day and socializing and talking art all evening for four days.  Hopefully there will be lots of other artists in town for the festival too.