Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Sun of the Copse" and Environment Week

The first week in June is Environment Week and the Oak Ridges Moraine Artists are participating at the national headquarters of the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) at 4905 Dufferin Street. The "Sun of the Copse" is now dry enough to leave the Chadwick Art House. It was on my easel much of the winter. It is a 3x4 foot blow-up of the 11x14 plein air sketch, "The Copse" which appears in the Oak Ridges Moraein Art book. I hope that people enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Windy St Lawrence

This is the view northeastward from the balcony of the condo at 11 am. I fished walleye with Big Brother Jim in the early morning but still had time to continue to experiment with my water mixable oil paints again. The sky is always an “OK” subject.

The bank of altocumulus cloud was ahead of a cold front but hemmed in by a prefrontal deformation zone. A high band of thin jet stream cirrus was along a more west to east orientation and was associated with the more southern frontal system. I think that the lower cloud along the northeastern horizon was warm sector stratocumulus associated with the brisk southwesterly winds.
The winds were the real story on the northwest side of the ridge of high pressure. The winds and waves made fishing tough and the day was just going to getting windier. That is why I was back early enough to spend some time painting. The white caps of the waves speckled the St Lawrence as I was putting the finishing touches on the painting.
Medium burnt sienna, oil tinted canvas board 10x12.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Morning Pancakes

This is the view eastward from the balcony of the condo at 10 am – before the cumulus had a chance to get too vigourous. These flat cumuli always remind me of pancakes and they are most likely in the early morning which explains the cryptic title. The northeasterly winds were funneling up the St Lawrence as a cold high pressure centre passed to the north. The cumulus clouds were not going to develop much if any under the capping subsidence inversion with the ridge of the high pressure. The chilly winds were actually increasing with height as evidenced by the cloud curls on the top edges. I liked both the colours of the clouds and the sky. The lifted condensation level for the air mass is fairly high indicating that the flow is dry. There was widespread frost the night before across most of eastern Ontario.

The angle of the American shore slopes downward from right to left as it should with the flow of the St Lawrence. The distant trees were still dark and mainly in shadow.

This was my first experiment with water mixable oils. I like them very much. They are buttery and the pigments mix well like my regular oils. My Friend Doug Purdon introduced me to them and I will certainly continue to use them.

Medium burnt sienna, oil tinted canvas board 10x12.

Monday, May 11, 2009

1058 Windy Island

This island is just north of LiLac Island. The wind was stirring the waves around and I was getting reflection and refraction of waves off the granite shore. The water was choppy. The wind blown, flagged trees clearly revealed the strong and prevailing wind direction from the southwest. There was no easy way to beach the canoe on this piece of rock. A rock with a tree is an island according to the accepted definition in the St Lawrence. This piece of granite more than qualified although one would not have enough room to construct any kind of building.

The different colours of granite result because the higher rocks above the ice and water line are covered with lichen. The lowers rocks are scrubbed clean by the ice and waves. I always find the colours of granite interesting.

The pesky and hungry black flies are out and prevented me from painting in the woods.

1057 Windy Cumulus

It was really windy! Whitecaps covered the waters of the St Lawrence. Waves got up to three feet in height and although I have paddled in higher waves, I was glad that I had left the canoe in the boat house. Early May is not the time to go for a swim.

Cumulus clouds developed in the unstable air mass and some even produced virga. I liked the way the lifted condensation levels of the cumulus faded in the distance. There were also interesting colour effects on the American shore to the northeast.

It was really chilly in the wind off the water. I even put a glove on my palette hand to stay warm. It might have been 11 Celsius but it felt colder. I could have used a coat instead of my blaze orange sweatshirt – I certainly wasn’t sweating!

1059 Smuggler’s Highway

This rocky cliff forms the north side of a narrow channel to the west of Ivy Lea on the St Lawrence River. It is sheltered from the wind and prying eyes. Nevertheless, the cliff probably saw lots of contraband from the United States as it made its way into ready markets in Canada. This little patch of water probably had a lot of traffic during prohibition making it as busy as the current scenic “Thousand Islands Parkway” which it parallels and which lies just a few hundred yards to the north.

The different colours of granite and back lit trees of spring, continue to catch my eye. The pesky and hungry black flies are out and prevented me from painting in the woods.

11x14 Oil on tinted canvasboard