Wednesday, June 16, 2021

#2501 "Killbear during Camelot"

I always resisted labels - being typed as a particular type of artist. Whatever caught my eye was fair game for the canvas. Being just an artist was more important than painting the societal, flavour of the month. Whatever was in vogue. I resisted the label even if it increased the probability of a sale. 

Sketching it in... 

All of nature is inspiring so why not interpret as much of its beauty as possible? I also admire the creativity and artistry of Paul Simon. His song "One Trick Pony" is a favourite and summarizes my thoughts. The lyrics of "Rhymin' Simon" are true and honest like those of Marko Burrows. 

  • "He's a one-trick pony
  • One trick is all that horse can do
  • He does, one trick only
  • It's the principal source of his revenue
  • But when he steps into the spotlight
  • You can feel the heat of his heart
  • Come rising through" 

This landscape is a view from Killbear looking south toward the navigational light which I painted in #2310 "Killbear Light". This image was taken by the father of my friend Cameron Lindsey in the autumn of 1963. The timing was just before JFK was assassinated. The senior Lindseys were enjoying a beautiful autumn day in Killbear and the kids were somewhere else - including Cam. The timing and the windy turbulence of the environment reminded me of the Kennedy "Camelot" and that association explains the otherwise cryptic reference in the title. 

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1929–1994) used " Camelot" to refer to her period in the White House as the First Lady of the United States. The first Camelot was experienced during the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The word has come to be associated with a place or time of idyllic happiness. Killbear on a sunny autumn day was also such a place. The turbulence of the Killbear winds foreshadowed the turmoil that was coming to Camelot with the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. The Kennedys brought youth and glamour to the White House but that died in 63. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

#2500 "Cold Frontal Deformation Zone Sunset"

The cold front had passed through Singleton. The rain storm recorded in #2499 "March Lamb Showers" was history. 

The winds had veered to the northwest and the heavy rain showers had ended. The knife edge of the hang-back altostratus deformation zone was still on the northwestern horizon. The definite banding in the undersides of that cloud deck where the result of gravity, shock waves caused by the strong westerly winds aloft that were evicting the storm out of eastern Ontario. 

SCUD cloud was being whipped up by the brisk northwesterlies. These shreds of stratus rolling with the tumbling vortices of moisture, were what really caught my eye. Even in what might appear as a turbulent chaos, there is order. Note the wavelength regularity of the stratus if you link similar cloud elements together. 

I try to enjoy every sunset. There is a new one every day. They are all free if we only spend the time.  

I use a second palette to keep my oils bright and clean when I work with colours like yellow. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

#2483 "Cirriously Summer"

Painting is a solitary, thoughtful process. I like to sit and ponder the existing and future strokes everyday whether I have a brush and palette in my hand or not. Sometimes the strokes just feel right as they are going on the canvas. Hopefully one feels the wrong strokes before they get even applied. The poem by Marko Burrows describes the process of painting and life very well. Here are just a few of those words. 

  • The paint on my brush keeps on flowing
  • In small dabs and long strokes it feels right 
  • Blending, colour and texture, that’s going
  • To reflect, almost dance, in the light
  • But up close, you can’t see any structure
  • It’s a jumble of chaos and strife
  • But step back and look at its wholeness
  • A painting is a lot like life

A couple of Boston really enjoyed #2065 "Summer Cirrus" which is 22 X 26 (inches) and based on a photo taken from my kayak at 8:45 pm on Friday July 28th, 2017 Singleton Lake. The gravity waves and lines of cirrus are what attracted me to this painting. I rarely do commissions but I felt this could be a fun adventure using one of my favourite paintings as a launching board. They wanted a canvas almost 4x6 feet in size. That large size adds an entirely different dimension to the project but life should be an adventure and a challenge as well as being fun. 

I did some fun investigative sketches to find out where this commission might go. One of those evolved into #2477 "Three Amigo Canoes at Sunset"

I realized from the feedback and ongoing conversation, that if I wanted to thrill my Boston clients, I was going to have to be really bold. They appreciate the fauve style and I really enjoy painting that way as well. They loved the darker blues of #2065 "Summer Cirrus" and wanted something in the foreground. Based on Michael's suggestion, I selected the foreground modified from #2505 "April Afternoon Convection". The paint got really thick on the canvas with lots of interesting texture.

The title came to me as I pondered the art one day. I enjoy puns and weather terminology. This painting was all about summer memories and the energy in the sky and weather. Both of these fun concepts go seriously well together during a summer holiday adventure. The title and the painting is intended to evoke those happy times, enjoying the lake and the summer sky - make you smile. 

The end result was the above and to quote Michael and Alison "Wow this is absolutely stunning!!!!! We love it!!!!" So that's a wrap. Step away from the easel... 

 For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

#2499 "March Lamb Showers"

March was going out like a lamb but a snowy lion was waiting in the wings. It was a very mild plus 10 Celsius when I headed out to paint but the cold front was just on the western horizon. 

The one band of rain was just about to stop so I headed out to the front ridge. There was likely to be another convective rain band with the passage of the cold front. There was no time to waste and several more hours of heavy rain were on the western horizon. 

I know that my hearing is not as good as it once was but I can still hear nature if I immerse myself within it. The cardinal was whistling its territory and there were lots of other birds getting busy as well with the approach of spring. The southwesterly winds were gusting and making lots of noise as well in the tops of the trees. 

I just wanted to have some fun with the oils. The scud clouds were whistling along in those southwesterly winds and I decided to chase those with my brush. Scattered cumulus under deck (SCUD) are type of fractus cloud which are low above the ground and associated with convection - typically thunderstorms. SCUD are typically ragged and wispy and continually being shaped and reshaped by the turbulent winds. 

I had to be careful holding my large palette as the wind threatened to blow it into my chest. That would be messy. I know this from previous experiences. I did get wet but not soaked. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Monday, June 7, 2021

#2498 "Windy March Storm Approaching"

I was still out standing in the March marsh. A spring storm was developing. It would not arrive at Singleton until Thursday night - more than two days into the future. The lines in the sky already revealed its approach. These deformation zones are characteristic of the leading flank of the warm conveyor belt. They are shaped by linked pairs of anticyclonic circulations in the ridge of high pressure that we had been enjoying for many days. 

The wind picked up while I painted the skyscape. The fetch in the open water beyond the spring ice was not very long but it was enough to produce white caps and to make the lake quite rough. The wind buffeted my large palette and almost pushed it into my chest more than once. That would have been rather messy. Palette mashing into my shirt has happened before. I know from experience although may not always learn from the valuable lesson. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

#2497 "Singleton Spring Ice in the Wetland"

Spring had arrived. The sounds of the very territorial Canada geese and the red winged black birds filled the air. The ring necked ducks arrived back that morning as well. I wish there were more of them. I suspect that a lack of habitat and over-hunting in their southern range is the problem. Otherwise, the morning was beautiful. 

I wanted to record the different colours which are unique to spring. The shadows from the trees behind me changed colours as they crossed the different surfaces that stretched in front of me. There was a slight hint of rose in the colours of the trees as the buds started to swell with spring. The white walls of the Wick Pick Cottages shone like beacons in the morning light. You would not want to cross that ice unless you had on your bathing suit. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

#2496 "Singleton Roots Run Deep"

The Provincially Significant Wetland was at the bottom of this ridge. These trees on the north face of the ridge did not see the sun until mid afternoon. There was not much soil for these tree roots to spread into. The roots often ran along the surface of the marble ridge until they could find enough soil or a crack to grow into. 

The thick and luxurious moss was on the northern faces of these tree trunks that were also on the northern face of the ridge. The moss turned a brilliant green when it was caught by a shaft of sunlight. 

There were some exploratory woodpecker holes in these tree trunks as well. The tree on the right had been scarred decades previously and the bark would probably never seal the wound up. These are mast trees that provide food and shelter to a host of creatures during their entire life and long afterward as well, as they rot and return to the soil. 

The blue bird of happiness was still singing. 

A lone honey bee came to visit and landed on my painting hand. It was great to see her. I wonder how far she had travelled and from where? I saw a honey bee later in the afternoon while on the dock in Jim Day Rapids. It looked like the same bee... They are my friends. Maybe I should start keeping bees again... 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

#2495 "Path to Paradise"

After completing #2494 "Path Behind the PSW", I moved a few dozen yards to the east along the trail and painted looking up, toward the fork in Long Reach Lane. This is the shortest tractor trail and path to get to Point Paradise at the far western end of our Singleton Lake property. 

The snow was deeper along this portion of the trail due to the thicker forest to the south. You could still see the tractor tracks in the snow from when I drove the Singleton Kubota Portable Studio through the snow drifts to Point Paradise on Tuesday March 9th, 2021. I painted #2481 "Singleton Shagbark Hickory Point" and #2482 "Hickory Point in March" that day in early March. What a change in the snow cover as predicted by Singleton Philly on February 2nd. 

It was getting windy as the ridge of high pressure pushed further to the east. The rain with the approaching frontal system was still four days away. 

The birds were getting ready for spring. The great blue heron even arrived back home to the provincially significant wetland (PSW) while I painted. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

#2494 "Path Behind the PSW"

This is the tractor path behind the Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW). The provincially significant wetland north of our home is about 5 acres in extent. It may be small but it is still a very special place full of wildlife. 

I have placed nesting boxes and platforms all around and within the wetland and maintain a thick forest between us and the swamp on all sides. I have also placed branches in the shallow water to give minnows some cover and shelter as well. The Canada geese enjoy the floating, nesting platform even though the resident bald eagles continue to predate their nest every few years. The trumpeter swans were showing an interesting in the floating platform in the spring of 2021. Wood ducks use most of the duck boxes but flying squirrels like them too. Blue birds and tree swallows compete for the Peterson Blue Bird houses which I clean every winter. Trees that fall into the wetland roughly perpendicular to the shore are great for everything from the turtles to the several varieties of frogs that live there. Everything needs a place to live. Interlaced piles of brush placed on top of wood palettes line the wetland perimeter. These brush piles provide shelter opportunities for all kinds of critters. A piece of metal roofing on top of the palette gives those critters a dry place to survive as well. 

Everything was coming alive again. The spring peepers were hopefully getting ready to sing. The spring birds were certainly active staking out their territories. The bird songs provided the musical backdrop for my art but I could only really positively identify the blue bird. There were interesting songs that sounded exotic and I wished I knew the type of bird doing the singing. The great blue heron also arrived back home while I painted. 

For this and much more art, click on Pixels. Thank you. 

#2501 "Killbear during Camelot"

I always resisted labels - being typed as a particular type of artist. Whatever caught my eye was fair game for the canvas. Being just an a...