I took photos of an apple tree in bloom by the ocean a while ago and finally decided it needed to be a painting. It seemed so fragile there in a way and yet obviously had been surviving in that location for a long time.
I live on one of the Gulf Islands off Canada’s West coast. After a recent winter storm, we were out of power for about a day. No big deal. We’re used to that. But then, our main (actually only) communications line hit the main power line (both crossing from one island to another) in the wind and ended up in the ocean. No phone land lines, no wifi and very little cell phone service with sporadic access to data …and most importantly – no 911 service. Five days later we got a temporary fix. Anyway, all that to say “Blooming at the Edge” is sometimes a more active struggle than you might think!
This is an imagined landscape but very much inspired by my experiences of exploring the west coast of Canada. Sometimes there are lots of people around, lots of boats but at other times the stillness and feelings of peace and solitude and deep and pervasive. Some details below to give a better idea of the textures and colours.
Another plein air painting that I did just before the weather changed to “real fall” and started raining most days. It was a hazy day though and I tried to capture both the aerial perspective of the further shore as well as the reflections, shadows and transparency of the water. The white structure is the ferry dock which locals would recognize. Feeling deeply grateful to be able to spend time in this beautiful place trying to capture some of that beauty in paint.
This piece was painted for a specific show where all the artists create a work on the same substrate. This year it’s square 12″ x 12″ canvases. Oyster catchers are such such wonderfully odd looking birds and they inhabit that edge between land and ocean which is delightful to paint.
Next in the new series, this one explores the warm tones of the rock in the evening light against the cool blue of the sky and the black ocean. I also wanted to express a feeling of the scale. Those cliffs are really high! I’m feeling like I’m starting to get somewhere with my painting explorations but there will be a slight pause while I do all the needed prep in order to get ready for my open studio. Organizing, varnishing, framing etc… Well, I will likely do a few more small paintings because I can’t not! but I plan to pick up the sandstone explorations after (Canadian) Thanksgiving.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to get out plein air painting with our local group. We have so many great options of where to go and this time we went to Drumbeg Park. There was quite a lot of haze in the air partly from humidity and partly because there are often wildfires at this time of year. Creating that atmosphere was the challenge I took on for this one.
It really was a lovely day that after I did the first one, I decided to do another quick painting! For a change I painted another artist as she worked. That was fun. 🙂
This painting was inspired by the local rock formations. I think it could be the beginning of a new series – there’s so much scope for exploration …and even when it’s pretty realistic, it can look quite abstract!
A larger painting that I will be including in my upcoming featured artist slot in a local gallery. I love the feeling of movement and as well the capturing of a feeling of time. There is a sense of both high and low tide; both morning and evening; transparency and reflections.
The shapes of the waves are stylized and rhythmical. The clouds are wind-blown ribbons.
The shapes of the waves turn into fish…
Hints of sea stars, sea anemones, sea weeds and more…
A gull wonders if it’s time to fly off with the others.
This one is full of the details of life at the ocean’s edge, but it also has the feeling of something allegorical. Although I am not exactly sure I can analyze what the allegory is! The heron – that ancient bird – seems like a sentinel guarding this life. It feels like a sort of ending. An eternal moment frozen.
Having some fun with oyster catchers and capturing the feeling of the edge between ocean and land. Growing up in Ontario, the idea of tides is something I have had to learn as an adult. It’s fascinating how the shifting water levels shape that edge. I could watch the many creatures that take advantage of this habitat for hours.