Saturday, June 30, 2018

#0540 "August Convection"

Looking due north from the top of the hill behind the home of Watershed Farm on the 12th Concession of King Township. The winds were light out of the west. The weakening August sun was creating low-topped cumulus mixed in with stratocumulus aligned with the stronger westerly winds aloft. The cloud bases were darker under the taller cumulus and also due to the lower sun angles. The lower buoyant energies available in August give these clouds a characteristic look although they were trying to grow. They were destined not to make it any bigger than you see in the painting.

Once again, the family Chesapeake was with me and I threw the ball most of the afternoon. I quit painting around 5.30 pm. There were billions of flying ants in clouds that drifted by the hill. Some found there way into the paint where they quickly got stuck. Some got blended into the oils, as there was no way to save them or get them out of the paint - thus they were mashed to become part of the pigment.

I had the speakers on at the back patio and painted to Jimmy Buffett as well as Lightfoot, George Fox, Willie Nelson and Paul Simon. Life is good.
 For this painting and much more...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

#0052 "Noname Lake"

From the summer of 1977...

This is the view looking back over the motor of a small boat while fishing at Noname Lake, Goose Bay, Labrador during the summer of 1977. We caught some really nice speckled trout on that trip. The cirrostratus was coming at us with a warm conveyor belt of a low pressure area but it did not rain on our exercise.

As I recall a very senior officer walked into the Forecast office early on a Friday afternoon at CFB Shearwater. The officer might have even been the Case Commander who I had met a few times. I was doing my very best with advection fog and trying to get really detailed with the comings and goings of zero visibility. You never learn if you never try. Apparently there was a training exercise going to Labrador and they wanted some meteorological support. After checking with the Supreme Commander I said yes. It was more of a fishing trip with a fine group of the Canadian military. This painting was one of the results along with meeting and fishing with some great guys. We flew into that lake on a Sea King Helicopter. I was honoured to be part of that group.

Elvis was still alive then and I was setting up the apartment in the Dartmouth anticipating the arrival of my partner of two years. She was finishing her work and training in Toronto.

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this painting and much more...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#0085 "Spring on the Thousand Island Parkway"

From the summer of 1979 after arriving in Edmonton and the Alberta Weather Centre...
This is a scene near Brown's Bay, Ontario about 10 miles west of Brockville on the north side of the Thousand Island Parkway - the Old Highway #2...just opposite Sugarloaf Island.

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom of the condo in Mill Woods, Edmonton Alberta. We had moved from Nova Scotia so that I could pursue the Masters of Meteorology Program with some of the very well respected professors at the University of Alberta.
 For this and much more art...

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

#0102 "Grassy Slopes - Edson, Alberta"

From the summer of 1981...
We were near Edson Alberta on a trip to the Rockies in the late summer of 1980. This scene is right across the road from painting 0103 "Alberta Harvest". It is impossible to predict what might catch your eye as a subject matter for a painting.

I would have painted this in the studio in the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo in Millwoods, Edmonton, Alberta. I never stopped painting even as I was learning the meteorology of Alberta.
 For this and much more...

Monday, June 25, 2018

#0094 "Backwoods Ontario"

From the summer of 1980...
This is typical landscape for western Ontario near Thunderbay. We were driving across Canada to the next posting as a meteorologist at the Alberta Weather Centre in Edmonton Alberta. I was supposed to be entering the Masters of Meteorology program at the University of Alberta with some professors who I respected greatly. Our daughter would have been barely a month old on the driving trip across Canada. I remember that trip well stopping at Ponderosa and other other restaurants along the way with a little baby. I was trying to be loose with the paint after painting in a photographic realism style for a while!

I would have painted this in the studio in the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo in Millwoods, Edmonton, Alberta. I never stopped painting even as I was learning the meteorology of Alberta.

The government cut the educational program before I could go to class. I still took some courses as time permitted but not the entire program.
 For this and much more...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

#0134 "Fall River"

From 1984...
This is looking southeast along the Shubie Canal in the fall of 1983..from our backyard along Lockview Road in Fall River Nova Scotia. The canal system was supposed to link Dartmouth and the Atlantic to the Bay of Fundy. The canal was not very successful. The water way did provide some wonderful canoeing though. I would put the two small kids in the canoe after coming home from a night shift and paddle for a couple of hours into the adjoining lakes. Lake Thomas was upstream toward Halifax and Fletchers Lake was downstream.
The internet did not exist when I painted this in 1984 but a search for information now reveals a ton of information at a click of the keyboard. The Shubenacadie Canal was a Canadian canal in central Nova Scotia linking Halifax Harbour with the Bay of Fundy by way of the Shubenacadie River and Shubenacadie Grand Lake. Begun in 1826, it was not completed until 1861 and was closed in 1871. The canal enjoyed a few years of healthy traffic especially during the Waverley gold rushes of the 1860s. However the canal company showed little profit and experienced many problems relating to frigid winters which damaged the locks linking the freshwater lakes.
Our two tame ducks were rounding the rocks I had piled there. Annie and Jake would come for some bread from the hands of our children most days. I lost my finger nail moving those rocks which were supposed to help stop any erosion and provide a little pool for the kids to play. They were not in school yet.
 For this and much more...

Saturday, June 23, 2018

#0145 "Windsor Junction, Nova Scotia - Revisited"

A memory from 1985...
This is the Windsor Junction Train Station outside Bedford Nova Scotia as it appeared in mid-summer just before it was demolished in late August 1984. George Orwell would not have approved. It was offered for sale for $1.00, as long as the buyers would remove it off the property...unfortunately there were no takers. A lot of people would have traveled those tracks on their way to the Maritimes and two world wars.

This was the second time that I painted this characteristic structure. I painted #0137 "Windsor Junction, Nova Scotia". I was intrigued by the contrast between old and new. We attended the church across the road. I took several pictures and those images plus the feelings of the moment are what the painting is based on.

I would have painted this in the basement guest room of our home at 167 Lockview Road, Fall River, Nova Scotia. I was painting high realism in oils at the time.
 For this and much more...

Friday, June 22, 2018

#0096 "Silver Sands, Nova Scotia"

From the summer of 1980...
This was at the beach in the summer of 1978 at Silver Sands, just northeast of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I was trying to be really loose with the paint.

I was learning the science of meteorology at CFB Shearwater. The Maritimes is a great place to learn about the weather directly from the atmosphere. We moved to Alberta so that I could pursue my Masters of Meteorology with some professors that I respected greatly.

I would have painted this in the studio in the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo in Millwoods, Edmonton, Alberta. I never stopped painting even as I was learning the meteorology of Alberta.
 For this and much more...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

#0142 "High Tide at Eastern Passage"

From 1985...

This was another foggy morning at Eastern Passage. It was a quiet morning at the port on the east end of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Notice that no one was working during lobster season. I thought that was strange but there must have been a good reason. I hope these boats are still a float.

I would have painted this in the basement guest room of our home at 167 Lockview Road, Fall River, Nova Scotia. I was painting high realism in oils at the time.
 For this and much more art...

Sunday, June 10, 2018

#0093 "Quaint Cove"

This is the view in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia from the Government Pier in the spring of 1979. The red boat always stays red but the super-structure changes from white to turquoise and back again over the course of several years. In 1979, the top was turquoise.
Peggy's Cove was quiet in 1979. There were tourists but not like now. We spent a lot of time at Peggy's Cove in the BC Era - Before Children. The best days were during the nastiest and windiest fall and winter storms. One could safely watch the waves crash over the rugged granite shore while enjoying a bowl of really tasty chowder at the Sou'Wester Restaurant ... Good times all brought back to the top of one's memory bank by a simple painting. For me that is what art is all about. If the art invokes similar memories in others, then that is definitely special.

Shearwater was my first meteorological posting. If you wish to learn about the weather, go east young man. The weather was always changing and the art of a careful analysis of the science and the observations were key to understanding the meteorology and the concern of the day. I wish I had a few of those early analyses on hand plotted maps with coloured terrain. The weather of the eastern seaboard taught me a lot. I am still learning.
The Sou'Wester was celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2018 and going strong. We always return when we get back to Nova Scotia.
I would have painted this in the studio in the corner of the guest bedroom in our condo in Millwoods, Edmonton, Alberta. I never stopped painting even as I was learning the meteorology of Alberta. Funny... I do not remember getting old?
 For this and much more art...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

#0071 "Red Roses"

From the fall of 1978...
A group of three roses at distinctly different stages in blooming. The drawing went really well in water colour. I rarely purchase flowers. There is a reluctance to contribute to the premature death of something so beautiful. Sometimes I make exceptions though. My Dad brought home flowers almost every Friday. I did not get that "purchase flowers" gene I guess.
 For this and so much more...

Friday, June 8, 2018

#0064 "Cold and Lonely"

From the winter of 1977-1978...

This was an abandoned home in Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia during the winter of 1977-1978. This was once a proud home but people move on I guess. This cold scene made me feel very nostalgic. I forget whether this was East Chezzetcook, Head of Chezzetcook, Lower East Chezzetcook, or West Chezzetcook. The rugged coast of Nova Scotia naturally divides the close knit communities.
I was still learning about the weather of the Maritimes and as much as I could about real meteorology. Winter weather was even more challenging than fog. The frontal zone would align along a northeast to southwest orientation along the length of Nova Scotia. Abundant cold and dry winter air to the northwest contrasted sharply with warm and moist air over the Atlantic. The lack of friction and the release of latent heat over the ocean would fuel some vigourous storms that would then ripple along the frontal boundary every few days in the winter. I updated the 1955 work of J. J. George who studied this important forecast problem. His work was just as applicable in 1978 before satellite and radar data became readily available. My update of George's work got good reviews even though I found out that people thought the the author was dead...

The science of winter storms was still elusive even if there had been a few successful forecasts. Never stop learning...

I would have painted this in the guest bedroom on the southwest corner of our apartment in the Woodlawn Mall area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My studio was in the extreme corner and the sewing area on the opposite wall when guests were not visiting.
 For this and much more art...


#2198 "August Showers"

Wednesday August 8th, 2018 was a very similar day to Friday November 2nd, 2018 when I actually painted this skyscape. It had been raining...