Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tom Thomson’s “Dawn at Round Lake"

Visit the Weather Doctor, my Friend Keith Heidorn to see CSI applied to Tom's painting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Approaching Cold Front

A long north to south cold front was crossing Lake Huron during the early afternoon hours. Gusty southerly winds had already blown over #1082 "Range Light Mourning" which as a larger piece of canvas, behaved like a sail. Mid level instability was sufficient to produce rain showers that reached the ground as pale sheets as in the northern portion of this painting. The altocumulus castellanus to the left were less well developed and had not yet developed into full fledged towering cumulus clouds and showers. The upper levels of the atmosphere were still layered and mainly stable. The fishing boat (steel turtle) had just headed out and I sketched it as it went past.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Range Light Mourning

A long north to south cold front was crossing Lake Huron during the early afternoon hours. The cirrostratus had already cover the sky in a thin veil. Thicker. lower and more opague wisps of cirrus were now spreading westward in advance of the cold front. This was followed by even lower altocumulus clouds that had edges that were more oriented form the southwest to the northeast. This mid level moisture was thickening into altostratus on the western horizon. Rain was definitely on the way but we had plenty of time to finish this third demonstration piece for the "Wind, Waves and Weather" plein air course.
I left a fisherman in the painting but I let him catch a fish and that is the splash in the water to the left of the range light. The fishing wasn't really that good. The calm water arching up and to the left is the wake of a small motor boat that is out of the painting and on its way to Chantry Island.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Breaking Waves

This is looking northward from the rocky point near where we painted all morning.The wave action was still swell. The trees were still in shadow and actually interested me more that the waves. A few strips of cirrostratus were pushing across the sky to the north heralding the change in the weather scheduled for Wednesday. A warm southerly wind would dominate the weather ahead of the next approaching cold front.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Waving to Chantry

The goal behind this demonstration piece was to illustrate how to observe and paint the elements of something that is in constant motion. Waves and clouds are good examples of such moving targets. The swells were still rolling in from Lake Huron as a result of the northwesterly winds from Monday and overnight. The wave action was swell (so to speak). There were no clouds.
I also emphasized the observation of colours and how these colours change with lighting and wetness. Sand is a great example of this.
The composition of this piece is designed to guide the eye along the wet sand to the remains of Chantry’s “Short Dock” and on that subtle line to the even more subtle but colourful sailboat. The sailboat is headed past Chantry Light and the secondary but more obvious point of interest.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Saugeen Tug

This view is from 9 am looking south across the Saugeen at the assortment of turtle boats and a single tug. The far shore was all in shade except for a glancing slice of light across the roves and the northeast surfaces of the boats. A cold front had just passed through and a brisk northwest wind was pushing the waves upstream against the flow of the Saugeen. These same winds were blowing the tree boughs on the far shore to the east as well. The cold frontal stratocumulus cloud had cleared out leaving blue bird skies for the late morning and early afternoon. Some altocumulus gravity wave clouds crossed the scene later in the morning and I included these in the painting although there wasn’t much room available at the top. This layer of stable clouds was riding the elevated cold frontal surface. There was rust showing on the fleet and I wanted this neglect to show in a “pretty” way. The first day at the "Wind, Waves and Weather" Plein Air Course, Southampton.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Smoke Cedars

This is the view looking southerly across Smoke Lake through a stand of cedars. Through the title I am not suggesting that anyone actually smoke cedar bark - I just thought the title might be humourous. There was a complex tangle of roots from the tree cedars all trying to find the sparse soil on top of the rock. I enjoyed this unusal composition which is not my typical painting. Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 11 X 14

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dry Towers

At 5:30 pm I headed out to stand on the front hill. I had expected to find fair weather cumulus but there were several lines of embedded towering cumulus to the east. None of these towering cumulus produced more than a few drops so they were basically dry, cries. As I was painting the wind shifted from the southwest to the northeast. The cooler and drier wind from the northeast provided the necessary shear to tilt the clouds that were still in the southwesterly flow. The clearing with the northeasterly gusts provided my favourite shade of sky which I felt compelled to put on the canvas. These same winds also threatened to blow over the easel which I had to tie to the white spruce on the front hill. It was a fun evening with a bit larger canvas.
Oils on burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 14 X 18

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shower Curtains

I set up my easel on the beach of the Kearney Lodge, Lake of Two Rivers. A cold low centred near Earlton was causing spokes of showers to rotate across Algonquin Park. The cold low wheel had many spokes so that the dry periods between the showers became shorter especially during the afternoon when the limited daytime heating had made the air mass its most unstable. This particular band of showers emerged from the west and gradually pulled a curtain of rain across my view. I had to retreat to the car briefly to keep the canvas dry.
I displayed this painting as a backdrop for my evening "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman" presentation at the park. My friend Tony Bianco had praise for it. We had 96 people out to hear the presentation. It was well received.
The title is meant to be a humourous pun on the common bathroom item. Instead of keeping one dry, these atmospheric shower curtains made one rather damp.
Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 11 X 14

Friday, July 3, 2009

Morning Rain Clouds

The old cold low continued to spin its weather over Southern Ontario. Some morning embedded altocumulus castellanus was visible every now again during breaks to the east. More overcast towering cumulus were bringing showers in from the west. The roof of the balcony was the only thing that kept me and the canvas from getting soaked. The colours of the clouds were my main interest in painting this scene.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day TCUs

A towering cumulus (TCU) was laying down an isolated shower on the American shore. Not a drop fell during Canada Day Celebrations on the north shore of the St Lawrence River. The weather and clouds were shaped by southwesterly winds down the St Lawrence under a cool and unstable upper cold low situation. I didn’t have any cerulean blue so I made do. Some sailboats cruised by so I put them in the painting.Oils on medium rose acrylic tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 11 X 14

Algonquin Park CSI

My good Friend and fellow artist Keith C. Heidorn, PhD is the Weather Doctor. Keith has compiled a piece on his website about my work with the art and weather of Tom Thomson. The timing is perfect as I present "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman" at the Amplitheatre at Kilometre 34.6 of Alongquin Park at 8 pm on Monday July 6th - hope to see you there!

"What inspired Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s greatest artists? Join Phil “The Forecaster” Chadwick as he tries to convince you that the weather was Thomson’s inspiration and that the proof is in the painting."

Here is Keith's widely used website