This piece started life as a study for a large commission and then became a painting that I liked in its own right. The feeling of this imagined landscape is of Ontario lake country in the fall. The leaves of the birches have turned gold while the occasional maple splashes red. A barred owl gazes out and the moon is full in the early evening sky.
A last plein air from this past summer. As you can see, another gorgeous day, sunny and a bit breezy out in the bay. This view takes in Entrance Island and the mainland to the east. In the foreground some of the curious and fascinating limestone formations that are a common sight here.
Here’s my setup with the under-painting layer already done. In the photograph it’s harder to see the island and distant mountains than was actually the case. You can get a good idea of the rolling limestone “dunes” with embedded limestone rocks though. I’ve been a bit intimidated about trying to capture these formations but I think it turned out quite well!
Another of this summer’s plein air paintings …and another beautiful sunny day but I was able to stand in the shade while painting this time. As I was painting, the water was rising and the small puddles gradually joined together. I just had to decide on a moment and stick with that. So I picked a moment when the great blue heron was fishing on the flats.
In this setup photo I have just finished the under painting and cleaned up my palette before starting to mix paint for the next layer.
What a lovely day that was! I feel so very fortunate to be able to spend time in this beautiful place celebrating it with my brush.
This is the next in my “Skyflowers” series inspired by the southern Ontario farmland I grew up around and the late summer wildflower Queen Anne’s Lace. Here the clouds are both puffy cumulus and wildflowers. Have you ever noticed that most Queen Anne’s Lace have one tiny flower in the middle that’s red or purple? Of course they are mostly clusters of tiny white flowers so they work well as clouds, I think.
I just had a three day open studio as part of the Gabriola Thanksgiving Studio Tour. It was a wonderful experience slightly tempered by the necessity of keeping strict COVID protocols. Welcoming people into our space after being quite solitary for the past year and a half was heart-warming. People were so thrilled to be able to take part in this activity and visit many artists studios throughout the long weekend. This painting was shown at the central gallery where each artist displays one piece of work.
The idea for “skyflowers” – or clouds that taken on the aspect of various flowers – drifted into my mind and just had to be painted. The seascape part is very much inspired by the local waters here amongst the Gulf Islands off Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada.
Here are irises cascading into the ocean behind an island at sunset.
I built up and scratched away layers to enhance the evening glow in this part of the sky.
One more piece of sky clearing showing the shape of the iris clouds.
This painting is definitely not the last of this series. 🙂
About a week after my first visit to Nola’s pond, I had the chance to go back and focus on the now blooming waterlilies. What a treat. There is something about painting waterlilies …I guess Monet was onto something!
Another lovely day in late June spent painting a garden. I was so pleased to be able to create this piece which ended up having quite a personal resonance for the owner.
And here is the setup in the strong sunshine we had that day.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my plein air set up? It’s a Coulter Easel, and I have been using it for a couple of years now both for plein air and often (at least for smaller paintings) in the studio too. It is compact and very ergonomic with the palette and painting held at the perfect heights for working …and in cases like this with sloped ground, it is very easy to adjust a leg of the tripod to compensate for the terrain.
My next exploration with a big sky. This one was starting to get closer to what was in my head. I had a vision of clouds as flowers and thought “why not?” As artists we do not have any constraints expect those we put on ourselves. Kandinsky said, “There is no must in art, because art is free.” Whatever I imagine, I can paint! So freeing!