Plein Air at Clarke’s Bay

Clarke’s Bay View (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

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!

Clarke’s Bay Sparkles (6″ x 8″ oil on panel)

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.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Summer Pond and Summer Haze

Summer Pond (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

There are some wonderful gardens around and it is always delightful to be able to paint plein air at someone else’s place! The gorgeous pink waterlilies were still blooming while orange lilies bent at the edge of the pond. I wanted to capture the brightness of the sun on the leaves and the shadowy depths of the pond. There were all kinds of creatures around enjoying the space like hummingbirds and bees. I took the chance to quickly sketch in a dragonfly when one lit in front of me. It really completes the summer vibe.

Summer Haze (6″ x 8″ oil on panel)

The same afternoon, I did another view focusing in on the waterlilies from the other side. Again, my goal was to capture the bright sun on the lilies and lily pads and the contrast of the dark water. The quality of light had a hot hazy summer feeling hence the title.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Back Eddys View

Back Eddys View (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

We recently went on a trip to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. It’s not so far from where we live but it was still very different and a real holiday. We stayed at a place near Egmont. This location allowed us to do a boat trip up Princess Louisa Inlet – which is gorgeous! – and to see the Skookumchuk narrows – which was fascinating. The tide there runs the second fastest in the world at up to 19 knots creating tidal falls and enormous whirlpools.

This view however, was painted plein air one evening just looking out from the cabin we rented. There will be more paintings inspired by this trip later…

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

North Garden Path

North Garden Path (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

The second day I painted plein air at the festival, was overcast and rainy. The quality of light was completely different as a result. It was an interesting challenge. The above view was looking past the gate I painted the day before. This one was cropped in much closer to showcase some of the flowers and structures inside the community garden. It’s quite a charming place!

The Banjo Player (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I decided to paint one last piece but started it just as the banjo player was finishing up his set. So it ended up rather sketchy/blocky but I rather like it. When I started there were people standing watching but I wasn’t fast enough to catch them. However, I did manage to catch the banjo player twice! The seated figure is also him as he was starting to pack up his instrument. 🙂

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Gabriola Cultivate Festival

Gabriola Cultivate Festival (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I was invited along with some other artists to paint plein air at the Cultivate Festival here on Gabriola. This festival features theatre, music and art as well as having vendors of all sorts of crafts and food. I painted two afternoons and did four paintings. The above was the first one. I wanted to capture some of the energy of the event with people stopping to look at some of the booths and others chatting or listening to the live music. In the background are tall firs and cedars that surround The Commons.

The North Garden Gate (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

The second view I painted that afternoon was looking in the opposite direction at the gate to some of the community gardens. I really like the drama of the sunlit gate with the dark forest in the background beyond the garden.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Summer Glow and A Warm Light

Summer Glow (6″ x 8″ oil on panel)

I just got back a few days ago from being away for a couple of weeks. I was feeling a bit rusty and maybe even a little resistant to getting my oils out when a friend invited me to her place to plein air paint together. She has a lovely garden with a great variety of textures and colours so it was a lot of fun. I definitely feel back in the groove now! I did two little paintings. This first (above) was really loose and abstract inspired by the California lilacs and other shrubs.

A Warm Light (6″x 8″ oil on panel)

This second one was looking in another direction towards the orange door to her studio and the pots of flowers on the small deck in front. While I left the first one as it was, this one I tweaked in the studio slightly to enhance the dark/light contrast.

Which do you prefer??

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Twin Beaches – May

Twin Beaches – May (8″ x 10″ oil on panel)

I have painted plein air at this location a few times now and every time it’s so different. The level of the water and the direction of flow of the tide …the colour of the water …and the sky, the quality of the light – so much can change by season and by time of day. Of course things are changing even during the time it takes to create a small painting. On this day, the tide was coming in quite quickly but I mostly kept the original water level. I loved the colours in the shallows and on the wet sand.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

The Commons – Waiting to Bloom

The Commons – Waiting to Bloom (8″ x 10″ oil on raised panel)

Back in April, Elsa Bluethner and I gave a workshop on plein air painting at a local festival. It took the form of information sharing especially about approach and equipment and then we each did a demo. Mine looked towards the south showing a pretty gate to a community garden. This spring has been very cool and things are taking a long time to bloom. The small fruit tree in the foreground was just trying to start opening its buds.

Despite the cool grey day, everyone seemed to enjoy the event. I think we may be starting up a plein air club soon …as soon as it finally warms up!

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Degnen Bay Plein Air

Degnen Bay – Cold Spring Afternoon (8″x10″ oil on raised panel)

I went out plein air painting with an artist friend early in April to a protected bay on our coast. Lucky us that’s only about a 15 minute drive. There were a few boats moored here but I decided to focus on the fleeting sky and cloud structure and the effect of that on the water. Especially happy with the sky!

I didn’t want to start another 8×10 but my friend was still painting and had a 6×8 linen panel she was willing to give me to try. So here’s the second painting of the afternoon looking another direction. We were getting rather chilled so I ended up tweaking this one back in the studio.

Degnen Bay – Evening Light (6″ x 8″ oil on linen panel)

Once again, I decided to focus on the natural aspects of the scene – the lengthening shadows and new green of the spring trees while mostly ignoring any man made structures.

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer

Twin Beaches – March

Twin Beaches – March (8″x10″ oil on raised panel)

First plein air painting of the year. It was a lovely day to spend an afternoon outdoors painting. For a change I went with another painter friend which was pleasant and interesting. I paint quickly but she paints even faster – very useful when the light keeps changing. She did two paintings the same size as mine in the time I did one – and yes, beautiful work. Check out Elsa Bluethner’s website!

(C) 2022 Hilary Farmer