Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jim Day Reflections

An approaching winter storm had generated overcast altostratus skies and a raw easterly inflow to the low. The associated leading edge of the warm conveyor belt (the deformation zone) was already east of Singleton. I tried to paint in a sheltered location out of the wind - overlooking Jim Day Rapids. It was not the temperature of minus 2 Celsius but the wind that made the difference in comfort level. My hands got really cold so I reverted to gloves to finish the painting. The oils were also getting surprisingly thick and pasty. The thicker texture is part of the joy of plein air painting.
I love the reflections in the dark water and the way the ground water ice has formed from the cracks in the Canadian shield. It is paradise indeed - albeit a bit chilly at the moment. A pair of bald eagles kept an eye on my progress - at least at the start. The eagles left for the other edge of the property and more suitable game to hunt.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Singleton Ice

This is the view looking southerly across Jim Day Rapids. The ice was really solid and provided a level area to pace back and forth as I painted and picked my colours. The wind picked up and it got decidedly chilly. I had to retreat to the home to warm my hands. The paint also got rather pasty but that adds to the plein air effect. As always, I was interested in the shapes and colours of snow, ice and water - all H2O. I didn't want to get bogged down in busy details while still hoping to capture the essence of the scene. Ice makes a multitude of colours especially at the water's edge.
The patch of cirrostratus on the western horizon was a harbinger of the approaching winter storm. Snow and freezing rain would certainly force me to paint inside on Wednesday.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February Spring

The flurries ended and the skies cleared. I decided to set my easel on the edge of Jim Day Rapids to stay out of the brisk westerly winds. I wanted to capture the different colours of ice and snow at different stages of decay. It may be February by the calendar but spring was certainly in the air. I also wanted to catch the essence of the live maple tree on the right and the decayed stump on the back left. It was pleasant to be in the sun but out of the wind.

February Ice

There is so much subject matter around Singleton Lake that I simply went and stood on the shoreline looking west. The sky was leaden but with bright patches on the horizon. There were flurries in the air but clearing was on the way. I wanted to match the colours of the different types of ice and how they picked up the colours of the sky and the reflections from the shoreline.
I wouldn't walk on the ice unless I was wearing my bathing suit which is not typical of February. The ice should be thick and solid but this was a warm winter for sure. The blue birds were already back ... if they ever left for warmer climes.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Long Reach Gray Day

It was a gray day at Singleton Lake. The temperature was near zero and the falling snow was wet - wet enough that my canvas would get wet as well. No oil can stick to a wet canvas. I was most interested in capturing the colours of the waters of Long Reach outside the window. I also like the curve of the snow covered granite and as always, the white pines reaching into the sky. My brushes were causing me some grief... time to go shopping!

This body of water is called everything from the Lyndhurst River, the Gananoque River or Long Reach. The water really flows through Jim Day Rapids but there are no rapids where this stretch of water connects to what is confirmed to be Long Reach and part of Red Horse Lake. As a result, I think it only right to call it Long Reach...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arts on the Arch

I am just beginning to paint the arch full time. There is still meteorology to do but the inspiration within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve is something that needs expression. I am proud to be part of the "Arts on the Arch". The very professional web site will promote the region and reveal the hidden treasures that abound.
This is the plein air view outside our new front door... life is good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Great Blue Heron Detail

Oil is not meant for photographic realism. The paint is typically opague and has body and texture... that's why I like it! It doesn't stop me though from still trying to make things look real - so they could actually live amd breath.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Great Blue

I have a great respect for great blue herons. They are quiet, efficient and solitary stalkers for a living and don’t leave much evidence of their passage. They seem to prefer seclusion away from the hustle and bustle of man. They are death to the large resident frog population of Singleton Lake but everyone has to eat and as long as everything is in balance, it is good. For me, their arrival marks the start of spring and their departure, winter.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A2A, Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Association - Saturday Feb 25th

I will be  presenting "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman!" at the A2A, Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Association Speaker's Forum on Saturday Feb 25th at the Rockport Community Hall. The presentation contains nature, art and science - and a fair bit of humour. Here is my copy of Tom's painting that started me doing this material twenty years ago... I was in my studio and did not have a tornado bearing down on me...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This is an afternoon view of the eastern entrance to Killarney Channel... another painting from the 2011 Annual Killarney Adventure. The cirrostratus on the southeastern horizon is from a storm that missed us!

Phil and the Southampton Art School 2012

I will be painting with the Southampton Art School again in 2012. It is always a fun time. The two courses are "Making Waves on Chantry Island"  August 20 - 22, 2012 and "Killarney: The Annual Adventure" October 1 to October 5, 2012. I try to instruct, guide, coach, encourage and empower people to really see and have confidence to apply paint to canvas. Afterall it is only paint and the real goal is to stretch our horizons - there are no limits except those we impose on ourselves. Most important, it is all about fun and being outside... and sharing the experience! Clicking on the images will link to the Southampton Art School for these courses.
I look forward to these trips and these two very special locations to paint. There is no shortage of material and weather! Here is a piece from Killarney 2011..

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

Does anyone know where this is? This image is from the spring of a couple of years ago.

Indigo Bunting - Detail

Here is a closer look at the indigo bunting from Singleton Lake. There are not a lot of brush strokes but enough...

Friday, February 3, 2012

George Lake East Basin - Killarney

This is the remarkable view from Camp site 77 overlooking George Lake. Several canoes came and went while I painted. They barely even stirred the mirrored surface of the lake. Bold, simple strokes...

Flagged Pines - Killarney

I am catching up with some Killarney plein air paintings from October. The pines are heavily flagged to the northeast due to the prevailing and strong southwesterly onshore flows. I worried at the start but it turned out very well indeed. It did capture the scene without painting each pine needle. This view is from the appropriately named Red Rock Bay.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Singleton Indigo Bunting

Some studio work blogged by email...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Anyone Know Where this is?

Does anyone recognize this location? As I start to paint full time I wonder what kind of art I should concentrate on: weather; wildlife; portraits; landscapes? It's only paint .. but I get most enjoyment out of a plein air impressionistic realism treatment of weather. However I completed a nice indigo bunting this week which I will post soon (I want the oil to tack up before I try to photograph it).
Any guidance anyone?