Two landscapes

Posted: August 10th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Landscape Painting, Plein-air Landscape | No Comments »

Here are two landscapes I touched up recently. The first one is in a field near NavCan in Cornwall, ON, overlooking the St Lawrence River. Environment Canada predicted rain but I took my chances because the sky was so spectacular. The poplars blowing in the wind attracted my attention, more so because rays of sunshine occasionally illuminated the field. I did get rained out, after completing the sky and trees. The grass was done at home.


Poplars in the Wind
oil on board

This one is from an outing with Don to Colonel Danforth Park. I completed the water on location and touched up the rocks and grass at home.


Rapids after the Rainfalls
oil on board

Mount Pleasant Cemetary

Posted: August 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Alla-Prima Painting, Landscape Painting, Plein-air Landscape | No Comments »

Here is a little tree study (8×6) I completed in Mount Pleasant Cemetery yesterday. This cemetery doubles as an arboretum and has beautifully landscaped grounds. It’s a great place to practice painting trees! This one is some kind of nut tree, but without a label I can’t identify it. I’ll keep my eyes open next time I’m walking there to see if I can find a labeled one.


A Brush with the Highlands

Posted: August 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Alla-Prima Painting, Landscape Painting, Plein-air Landscape | No Comments »

This weekend, I attended the plein-air painting festival held in the Haliburton Highlands. In spite of stormy weather predictions, we had beautiful sun and no rain interrupted my painting.

First, I want to talk about my new Alla Prima pochade box, The Bitterroot Lite, built and designed by Ben Haggett ( I’m in love with it! It’s very portable and with a good tripod, can be set up anywhere. Here I am on two different rocks along rapids — where I could never have set up my old clunky heavy metal easel.

l_me_pochade2009 l_me_pochade_2_2009

Being so close to Algonquin Park, I decided I would paint along the High Falls trail in the southern section of the park.

I tackled rapidly moving water which I thought would give me a good challenge. Did it ever! The first painting was started on Saturday where I focused on the rocks and the gesture and flow of the water. I ran out of time and completed this one in the studio using a photo.


On the High Falls Trail
Algonquin Park
oil on board

I completed this one on Sunday:


Rapids at High Falls
Algonquin Park
oil on board

On Monday which was the final day of the festival, I was awarded the third prize for my painting Dark Fall Day, one of my first plein-air paintings completed two years ago!

I had a wonderful time. Rob came with me and became a turtle for the weekend, lying on sunny rocks and swimming in the rapids. It wasn’t all play for him though, he did work on the orchestration of his thesis symphony which is due in September.


Rob, helping me find the best view of the rapids

Colonel Danforth Park again!

Posted: June 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Landscape Painting | No Comments »

This is another painting from the Colonel Danforth Park. This time, two trees with lots of character which presented the very big challenge of having LOTS of small barely visible branches.

When Don, John and I went out to paint last Fall, we thought it would be warm because the sun was out. What I’ve come to realize but didn’t know then, Colonel Danforth Park is often very windy. On that day, the wind was cold and cutting through our clothes. I was freezing and shaking and had stupidly chosen a spot in the shade. I was the first to give up after my first lay-in. John was in the sun and lasted a bit longer. He managed to complete a quick 1h sketch of Highland Creek (nice one too!). Don, also in the sun, was determined to paint his trees which he had started on a previous outing. He toughed it out the longest at 1.5h. By the time he gave in, he couldn’t feel his fingers anymore.

We jumped into his car and headed to Tim Horton’s for a hot chocolate!

In any case, I had worked out my colour scheme and taken photos. I did this one at home, trying to maintain the feeling of an alla-prima painting though it’s not. I consulted Kevin McPherson’s work for how to do the branches.

Trees in the Park

Trees in the Park
oil on board

Painting at the Brickworks

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Alla-Prima Painting, Landscape Painting, Plein-air Landscape | No Comments »

I went landscape painting at the Don Valley Brickworks today. It was a beautiful and surprisingly quiet day. I saw a heron, an eagle, a snapping turtle and many small birds and insects.


The Old Brickworks
oil on board