Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#2004 "Killbear Morning Altocumulus"

After completing #2003 "Killbear Kilcoursie Bay Sunrise", I simply turned the easel clockwise to the west to view the other tip of Killbear Provincial Park. Davy Island could be seen as its own entity. The Twin Points formed the mainland but they were indistinguishable from the distance of my vantage from the beach.

The altocumulus cloud was distinctively shaped with some of the individual moisture tuffs revealing a local wind maximum and deformation zone. Only a slight increase in wind speed is required to create shear. A smoke ring is simply a puff of wind and it is a three dimensional circle of spin. Each puff of wind must generate its own three dimensional "smoke" ring. The atmosphere has a thickness comparable to the skin of an apple more or less. Actually 99% of the atmosphere is found within 30 km of the earth's surface. The earth's radius is about 6400 km so the atmospheric layer is only 0.5% of the earth's radius. That's shallow and that is why clouds and atmospheric circulations tend to be horizontal or flat as a pancake.

Thus we think that the clouds and atmosphere are stratified into layers. Only those swirls within the horizontal cross-section through the 3D smoke ring are made visible in the pancake atmosphere. Meteorologists identify these horizontal cross-section swirls as either cyclonic (counter-clockwise) on the left side of the wind with the wind on your back - or anticyclonic (clockwise) on the right side of the wind. In the three dimensional world these swirls are just cross-sections through the smoke ring with the puff of wind and their sense of rotation arbitrarily defined by your viewing point of reference.

If we look along the same direction as that same puff of wind and follow the smoke ring with our right thumb we see that both cyclonic and anticyclonic spin can be found along the same smoke ring. Meteorological convention has just separated this single, simple physical phenomena into two separate branches. The cyclonic swirl must always lie to the left of the wind maximum looking downstream with the wind. The anticyclonic swirl must always lie to the right of the wind maximum looking downstream with the wind.
That puff of wind that created the smoke ring in turn generates a three dimensional skin that envelopes the moving air associated with the wind. The 3D deformation skin is very much like the outer skin of a jelly fish. A cloudy, horizontal cross-section through the fabric of the deformation skin reveals the deformation zone. I have made a meteorological career out of describing the defomration processes and sharing with that others. A deformation zone (DZ) reveals everything you need to know about that portion of the atmosphere. The DZ was always there in plan view to understand and I believe the ancient mariners and farmers did have a practical grasp of what it all meant.
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Monday, October 30, 2017

#2003 "Killbear Kilcoursie Bay Sunrise"

I was up at 6:30 am and painting by 7 am. I drove to Kilcoursie Bay of Killbear Provincial Park. There was no one around. It was very quiet. This sandy beach was very handy to the Beaver Dams Lane that accessed the camp sites.

A seagull tried to mooch something but I didn’t have anything suitable to give. It friends also arrived but there was still nothing to share - but I had company. The sun was rising over Lighthouse Point so I started to work with my feet almost in the water. I was looking southeasterly along the length of the Killbear Provincial Park southwestern shore. The morning light always changes quickly but it is the best time of the day to paint – especially on small panels. There is no need to worry about the light as it is fleeting anyway. The gull and its friends gave up on me and I was all alone again. This small and very rough panel took in a lot of paint.
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Sunday, October 29, 2017

#2002 "Killbear Flagged Pines at Sunset"

After completing #2001 "Killbear Sunset Across the Twin Points", I simply turned the easel clockwise to view the shoreline of Killbear to the northwest. The trees of the Killbear coast were heavily flagged with the onshore winds. The light from the setting sun was stunning. There were several people taking pictures of me painting. I guess that they do not see plein air painters very often. One person remarked on the weather and said at least it was not raining. These were very true words given that Ontario had essentially remained in a long wave trough position for several years. The best part of the summer of 2017 was still to arrive.

It was getting dark and I was all by myself when I finished. I could barely see the panel in the dark. It was time to quit for the day. There was a lot of paint applied to this small and slippery panel.
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Saturday, October 28, 2017

#2001 "Killbear Sunset Across the Twin Points"

After setting up my tent in the Granite Saddle Campground of Killbear I headed to the northwest and the lane that lead to the Killbear Visitors Centre. The tent was quick to set-up and almost throws itself together. That left me more time to paint. I was still tired and could have easily talked myself out of painting but there were just too many new opportunities to paint. I am glad that I pushed myself to the easel.

I headed to the rocky shore and climbed across a few rocks to the west. The sun was low on the western horizon. Davy Island and the Twin Points formed the landscape to the west-northwest. There were other witnesses to this stunning sunset. I think they were surprised to see a plein air painter almost standing in the water. Some people secretly took pictures - I have nothing to hide. Red clouds at night... sailor's take fright. This sunset was painted using a lot of oils on a smooth and slipper surface.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

#2000 "Killbear Islands"

I turned my easel to southwest after completing #1999 "Killbear Sheltered Coves". A couple of islands and an interesting cloudscape finished the day. I had to go and set up my camp at the Granite Shores portion of Killbear Provincial Park before it got too dark.
The large island is called Longs and is outside to the south of the boundary of Killbear. McLean and Sister Islands lie further to the southwest. That is Rose Island in the background. The islands were backlit and thus quite dark in the shadows. A summer storm was on the way.
There were lots of people walking around and taking photographs. One lady wanted to purchase the painting but I need to photograph it and document it first for my memories.
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

#1999 "Killbear Sheltered Coves"

After the drive from the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (the TOM) in Owen Sound and the flat tire along Highway 400, I was a just a bit tired. I felt though that there was a need to make the most of the stay at Killbear Provincial Park. I headed out to the Lighthouse Point to find something to paint. The Sentier Lighthouse Point Trail took me to an automated beacon. The light was no substitute for the Imperial Tower of Chantry so I painted the surrounding landscapes instead. I set up on the rocks and started to paint. There were a lot of visitors. One lady jumped out of her skin after seeing a “huge snake that looked like a cougar”. I suppose that the eastern fox snake was equally terrified.

The eastern fox snake is endangered. The populations are doing well on the inaccessible rocky islands offshore in Georgian Bay but apparently these snakes leave their island sanctuaries for the mainland to select breeding sites. They often swim 10 kilometres or more in straight lines in order to mate. Once on the mainland, these long snakes are susceptible to humans. After mating they return to their island homes.

The Massasauga rattlesnakes are also having a tough time with 27 snakes being killed on the roads within Killbear in 2005. Reptile fencing and road underpasses were constructed to guide the snakes and so far in 2017, only two snakes have died on the roads. Rattlesnakes need the rocky outcrops but also the marshes where they hunt their prey.

This view to the northwest showed the expanse of Killbear Provincial Park. It is really a series of sandy coves on a large granite ridge. It has a very interesting history as summarized by the plagues which I photographed.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#1998 "Lost in Leaves"

This is the eight demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants and we were still on Scubby's Bluff.

One participant had tackled a subject matter that included a tangle of sumac leaves and one that I would have shied away from. It is always good to get out of your comfort zone so I dove into a similar bramble of bushes and experimented how I might tackle those challenges. I decided to draw the main stars of the sumac leaves in dark and thin oil. After the drawing of the stars, it was just a matter of filling in the puzzle pieces and handling a few of the supporting characters. It was still a tangle of leaves that one could easily get lost in but it was fun. The leaves were not abstract but just tangled and maybe confused.
Cirrostratus along the high and leading edge of the warm conveyor belt was approaching from the southwest. A summer rain storm was on the way to put dampness on my camping and painting trip. It was still going to be fun though!

I treated myself to a double scoop of maple walnut ice cream and watched the sunset and the next batch of cirrostratus cloud approaching from the southwest. Everyone in Southampton wore a friendly smile... what a wonderful and peaceful and happy place. It was a privilege to have these artists come to the Southampton Art School to paint with me...
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

#1997 "Forever In Time"

This is the seventh demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants.
The fishing turtle-style boat “Just in Time” always seems to be in harbour. That was convenient as I needed to paint a different boat. I had a request to demonstrate another boat other than a sailing vessel. Other participants of Wind Waves and Weather shifted westward so I went west as well – go west old man, go west. One very young participant and keen was painting the same fishing boat so I felt that it might be instructive and interesting to see what I would do with the identical scene. The onshore lake breeze was just starting to develop with the daytime heating inland so that the calm water and strong reflection were rippled during the painting of this scene.
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Monday, October 23, 2017

#1996 "Saugeen Sailors"

This is the sixth demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants.
I asked the participants of Wind Waves and Weather what they wanted as a demonstration painting. I do not wish to infringe on their painting time but sometimes relaxing and watching me paint can be helpful. I try to describe what I am doing and why but often it is experience beyond any language. I roll my brush in my fingers and never really think of it. Sometimes I scrape paint on to the heel and sometimes the ferrule of the brush and then simply lay it where it belongs. These are natural reflexes developed over fifty years. I also leave varying amounts of the complementary tint of the canvas to peek through the brush strokes. The Canadian flags were three strokes apiece.
I have painted this row of sail boats before so I knew them well. I placed them high on the canvas and concentrated on the reflections and the water. The encouragement I received from the group was gratifying and still makes me smile. I covered things like how to do the sail boat masts and how to drive the brush where you want it to go... like driving a car... you look where you are going and not the front bumper. I forgot to take in progress pictures of this painting as I was so engrossed in the moment. The participants were so inspiring that I quite forgot. These pictures are courtesy of the participants.
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

#1995 "Benjamin-Charles the Turtle Boat"

This is the fifth demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants. A day at Scubby's Bluff allows one to paint anything and everything from boats to trees to islands.

I arrived early around 7:15 am at Scubby’s Bluff on the last day of Wind Waves and Weather. I wanted to get a painting completed before anyone arrived in order to demonstrate the many possibilities of the sunrise light. The Benjamin-Charles was parked where the tugboat “Pride” used to reside. The fishing boat in the turtle craft style was still interesting enough to paint. The morning light was perfect and the temperature was just right. It was a Goldilocks morning to paint. A young chap drove in and appreciated my efforts. He ascertained that his favourite fishing rock was already occupied. He was a fun fisherman and very knowledgeable. Apparently the walleye where back and running up the Saugeen after being absent for too long. He had caught a 22 pound salmon the previous week . He knew his craft and appreciated mine. I liked him a lot. He was a conservationist at heart but loved to fish – nothing wrong with that. Art is about making memories and the story of the young fisherman became part of that creation.
There is still some confusion over the name of this style of fishing boat.. I have even heard it called a beaver boat.
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#1994 "Lake Breeze Cumulus over Southampton Beach"

This is the fourth demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants. A day at the beach is always full of inspiration.

The participants were struggling with clouds. Generally they were trying to be too perfect and precise with a subject that changed in colour, tone and shape by the minute. I wanted to teach them to unwind, relax and not worry about the exactness of any interpretation of the moving target. Typically a similar cloud is waiting in the wings should your immediate subject exit the stage. These cumulus clouds were over the southern portions of Southampton Beach and still moving inland when I observed them. I blocked them in and painted quickly. Art is all about making memories and even though these clouds are long gone, the experience still lives on in the painting.
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Saturday, October 21, 2017

#1993 "Land Breeze Cumulus over Chantry"

This is the third demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants. A day at the beach is always full of inspiration. I was on the beach by 8 am and the families and children arrived by mid morning. Everyone seemed o enjoy sharing the beach with the dozen plein air artists.

The longer August nights and the weak gradient flow of the ridge of high pressure favoured the drainage flows of the land breezes from the heights of the Bruce Peninsula. The land breeze circulation create the bands of cumulus over the warm waters of Lake Huron. As I painted, these cumulus clouds drifted inland on the elevated return circulation aloft. The flip-side lake breeze circulation developed by late morning and tore these cumulus clouds into shreds. The lake breeze cumulus formed inland but some bands of cloud stretched out over the water along what I believe were low level deformation zones formed between the minor pressure centres within the large ridge of high pressure.
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Friday, October 20, 2017

#1992 "Life Saving Ready on Chantry Island"

This is the second demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants. It was time to end the morning painting session as the light had climbed overhead and was starting into the afternoon sky. I suggested that I do another demo while they ate their lunch.

During the mid 1800’s water traffic on the Great Lakes had substantially increased and the colonial government called for improved navigational tools for the mariners on the Lake Huron. John Brown of Thorold was contracted to build the lighthouse on Chantry Island, as well as 10 other lighthouses to help sailors navigate the Lake. Because of the expense and difficulty of building, only six were completed. The Chantry Island Lighthouse was one of these completed and it was lit on April 1, 1859.

This is the view into the Chantry Boat House and the back end of the life saving boat. This boat would only see service in the nastiest of conditions when life and limb were in peril. It was named the “Royale A” and I am not sure yet just why. In its day though, this boat would have to be ready to roll on a moment’s notice. In fact the rack supporting the boat was mounted on to railway wheels. Gravity would do the work with just a little shove. The light keepers of Chantry Island saved many lives.

A lighthouse keeper is the person responsible for tending and caring for a lighthouse, particularly the light and lens in the days when oil lamps and clockwork mechanisms were used. Lighthouse keepers were sometimes referred to as "wickies" because of their job trimming the wicks.

Chantry Island is located on Lake Huron, just over a mile southwest of the Saugeen River mouth in Southampton, Ontario. On the island is a majestic Imperial Lighthouse built in the mid 1800’s, as well as the Keeper’s quarters and a boat house. In 1822, during a hydrographic survey, Captain Henry Bayfield of the Royal Navy christened the island and named it after his friend and British sculptor Sir Francis Chantry.

Chantry Island is a glacial moraine and consists of stone above the water and beneath extending a mile north and a mile south of the island. These underwater shoals of massive granite boulders have made this area one of the most treacherous in the Great Lakes. There are over 50 known shipwrecks around the island and there are many accounts from the 1800’s and early – mid 1900’s of these disasters and lost lives.

The island varies in size depending on the level of Lake Huron. Today, with a low lake level Chantry Island is about 68 acres. In 1986 when the water level was at the highest of the century, the island was only about 10 acres, causing trees on the west, north and south sides to drown.
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

#1991 "Imperial Towers on Chantry"

This is the first demonstration piece for the Southampton Art School's Wind Waves and Weather 2017. We had a full and eager list of participants. The towering cumulus clouds were a happy and accidental juxtaposition with the Imperial Tower in the composition. The altocumulus cloud foretold of some weather on the way.

This is the view into the Chantry Light Keepers House and the Imperial Tower. Chantry Island is located on Lake Huron, just over a mile southwest of the Saugeen River mouth in Southampton, Ontario. On the island is a majestic Imperial Lighthouse built in the mid 1800’s, as well as the Keeper’s quarters and a boat house. In 1822, during a hydrographic survey, Captain Henry Bayfield of the Royal Navy christened the island and named it after his friend and British sculptor Sir Francis Chantry.

Chantry Island is a glacial moraine and consists of stone above the water and beneath extending a mile north and a mile south of the island. These underwater shoals of massive granite boulders have made this area one of the most treacherous in the Great Lakes. There are over 50 known shipwrecks around the island and there are many accounts from the 1800’s and early – mid 1900’s of these disasters and lost lives.

The island varies in size depending on the level of Lake Huron. Today, with a low lake level Chantry Island is about 68 acres. In 1986 when the water level was at the highest of the century, the island was only about 10 acres, causing trees on the west, north and south sides to drown.
During the mid 1800’s water traffic on the Great Lakes had substantially increased and the colonial government called for improved navigational tools for the mariners on the Lake Huron. John Brown of Thorold was contracted to build the lighthouse on Chantry Island, as well as 10 other lighthouses to help sailors navigate the Lake. Because of the expense and difficulty of building, only six were completed. The Chantry Island Lighthouse was one of these completed and it was lit on April 1, 1859.

The lighthouse stands 86 ft. above water level and is 80 ft. high from its base to the light’s center. The lantern room of the lighthouse was fitted with a Fresnel lens built and transported from Paris, France. The first fuel used was sperm whale oil and the first light was a fixed light, not the familiar flashing one. Other fuels used have been colza oil, coal oil, kerosene, acetylene and electricity. Its present-day flashing light is solar powered.

A lighthouse keeper is the person responsible for tending and caring for a lighthouse, particularly the light and lens in the days when oil lamps and clockwork mechanisms were used. Lighthouse keepers were sometimes referred to as "wickies" because of their job trimming the wicks.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#1990 "Bass Lake Afternoon"

The Plein Air Painters Thousand Islands Region (PAPTIR) started and organized by Robert Hedden were having their August paint out close to Singleton Lake. Although I was just back from the Dumoine Art Camp, I felt I still needed to paint some more. I was still not wearing my reading glasses to paint and I didn't even notice that they were not with me after the Dumoine trip.

I was down to my last panel from my canoe pack. This is a very rough piece of sealed masonite with a thin wash of white tint. I was painting on the coarse and textured side so there was little chance of including too much detail in the final painting even if I had been wearing my glasses. It was perfect for the plein air occasion. I liked the way that the pines of the forest stretched into the sky.
This property is referred to as GleannaLea Refuge and it is indeed a sanctuary. All forms of wildlife share the property unmolested. Three large grey rat snakes live in the renovated barn. I tried not to step on the countless garter and Northern water snakes. There is even a power supply transformer that looks like a large black bear. Dragons and butterflies are also prevalent... it is indeed a paradise sanctuary akin to Claude Monet's garden at Giverny.
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#1972 "Entrance to Grande Chute"

Some of the CPAWS artists returned back to the bridge that crossed Grande Chute. Vic, Angela and Lynne were my painting partners.
I stood in the middle of the bridge looking up the inflow of the west channel that fed Grand Chute. This time I wanted to include the black spruce and trees on the island. The palette flipped onto the sand and gravel of the Grande Chute Bridge. Like all things that are sticky on one side, the painted side of the palette landed face down into the sand. The added texture that followed in the remaining paintings was authentic Grande Chute sand. The sand texture added something very earthy to the paintings and was not something you would be likely to find in any studio produced art.

A dark thunderstorm was approaching from the northwest. I painted exactly what I saw. The sky was ominous but I painted on...
Saturday was the 140th Anniversary of Tom Thomson's birth in 1877 in Claremont, Pickering Township about 50 km east of Toronto on Lake Ontario. Tom was the sixth of ten children. Tom was only two months old when the family moved to a farm in Leith, eleven km northeast of Owen Sound. Tom died much too early just shy of his 40th birthday on July 8, 1917. I hope that Tom would have been pleased with my plein air efforts on this special day.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#1989 "Bass Lake Cottage Shore"

The Plein Air Painters Thousand Islands Region (PAPTIR) started and organized by Robert Hedden were having their August paint out close to Singleton Lake. Although I was just back from the Dumoine Art Camp, I felt I still needed to paint some more.
This property is referred to as GleannaLea Refuge and it is indeed a sanctuary. All forms of wildlife share the property unmolested. Three large grey rat snakes live in the renovated barn. I tired not to step on the countless garter and Northern water snakes. There is even a power supply transformer that looks like a bear. Dragons and butterflies are also prevalent...

From the map and Google Earth, one can see that the eastern shore of the west basin of Bass Lake is heavily populated by cottages and boats. This is what I wanted to capture on this small and rough panel. There was little chance of including too much detail in the final painting on the coarse surface even if I had been wearing my glasses.
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#0176 "A Misty Morning at Paul's Tree"

Another memory from 1987 The fog was lifting during the early morning hours at our campsite on the "small" island on Bass Lak...