Recently I decided to go out locally with a friend plein air painting. We had an idea to go to a nearby farm field and paint the cows in their bucolic setting! Great idea but the farmer had moved the cows and there wasn’t one to be seen. I will spare you the details of how each place we decided to try fell flat for one reason or another. I think we were on our fifth idea – and putting miles on in our search – when my friend suggested calling a friend of hers and going to their garden. Well that turned out to be wonderful! They gave us wine and snacks and I got to paint the last hollyhocks of the season and an enormous bumblebee …a lovely afternoon of painting after all.
I’ve been seeing quite a few tree frogs around this year and each time I see one, I am surprised and delighted.
When you see how small the panel is this is painted on (4″x4″), you can get a feeling of how tiny the frog is …but even so, I may have painted it slightly larger than life sized. I enjoying playing with some abstraction in the background but also adding some hits of turquoise to brighten this tiny green being.
Recently, I went out painting with a group my friend Elsa Bluethner and I started up – “Gabriola Plein Air Painters”. I did two paintings that day. This was the first, then we went for a quick swim, then another painting. What a lovely late summer afternoon!
This was the second painting looking towards the left of the first one and into the almost blinding sparkles on the water. I was pretty pleased with how I captured the feeling of the light in this one.
Another mini painting today. I am really enjoying painting birds these days. They are so full of colour and personality. This is a spotted towhee which are fairly common where I live in British Columbia. I also had some fun creating the rather abstract background with swirls of paint.
There have been some stunning sunsets lately. I tried to recreate the feeling of one particularly lovely one I saw on the way home at dusk. My aim was to explore how the pale orange faded into the turquoisey-blue above. Since that evening, it has started getting cooler so now looking at this, I see the beginning of the end of summer…
On another note, why is there a special name for pale red and pale purple but not pale orange?? Or what would you call it?
Another mini painting, this one inspired by my own garden. We have some fireweed growing on one side against a fence. If you’re not familiar, fireweed is pretty, grows very tall and has flowers that come out over several weeks working their way up each stalk. So all kinds of bees have been visiting every day to get the fresh pollen. These plants hum joyously with life for most of the summer.
There’s something so endearing about small birds …and they are endlessly fun to paint! This one is a Chestnut-backed Chickadee, I believe. They have that classic chickadee profile and head tilt. I also had fun applying the paint to create a rather abstract background.
We’re now nearing the end of summer but Indian Summer still won’t be for quite a while. In Canada, we expect some cold fall weather first and then a feeling of the return of summer before it’s true Indian Summer. This painting was a commission to celebrate autumn in the Niagara region of Ontario and I was really happy with how it came together. I hope you can hear the rustling of the corn stalks and smell the hazy atmosphere of the last real warmth before winter sets in.