Sunday, May 31, 2015

1218 Little Rideau Lake

Started 9 am Thursday May 24th, 2012. Painting Place the south shore of Little Rideau Lake at N44.68019 W76.31321.
A group of artists from the Rideau Lakes Artist Association got together to paint on Little Rideau Lake. The weather was terrific.
This view is looking northwest from the shoreline across Little Rideau Lake toward the village of Westport. Light southwesterly winds shaped the cumulus clouds into disjointed streets. The clouds occasionally cast shadows on the distant shoreline.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

1582 Sunrise Embers

I did this last week in the studio...
The sky was not really on fire but there were embers of heat in the October sunrise - 6:30 am October 2nd, 2012. The moment was fleeting so I decided to record it for a later experiment with the oils.
This lighting occurs just as the sun clears the horizon and lights the deck of closed cell stratocumulus from underneath. The blue portion of the sun's spectrum is tripped out by Rayleigh scattering. This leaving only the long wave, robust reds to illuminate the bottoms of the large water droplet clouds. These water droplets have been growing all night and scatter the red light in all directions - forward and backward through Mie scattering. I am making all of this up but it really is based on science.
The astute observer might find "s shaped" deformation zones in the bright cloud edges. This are not mere accidents but reflect that weak positive or cyclonic vorticity dominated the atmosphere and that a storm was approaching - heralded by warm air advection.

Friday, May 29, 2015

1208 Islands

Started 10 am April 19th, 2012. Painting Place at Ivy Lea National Park Campsite 110 looking to the southwest from N44.36338 W75.98691.
My view was to the southwest up the St. Lawrence. There are quite a few small islands perched on knobs of Canadian shield. I included three of these islands in this particular painting. I wanted to focus on the colours and the patterns in the upwelling current and waves.
It was actually quite windy and I needed the weight of my art brief case to keep my easel in place. The Gananoque Cruise boats were on "patrol" and their huge wakes compounded by the strong currents brought back canoeing memories from decades ago. Riding the tour boat wakes was always a thrill ride but the reflection off the granite shores of the islands made the result really tricky when the two waves interacted - double the peaks and double the troughs and you didn't want your canoe to be in either.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

1207 Blue Line

Started 7 am April 19th, 2012.
In my Creative Scene Investigation (CSI) presentation I often describe the physics of the "white line" on the horizon of a lake. It is typically due to sun glint looking toward a strong source of light - the sun.
A bright line can also occur along a lake shore even with the sun to your back! The distant area is bright because of the surface area effect caused by looking at a distant area of a flat and highly reflective surface - water. In order to be bright these areas must reflect the colour of the sky. Typically the lake surface will be rippled by wind action caused by drainage winds flowing down the river channel leading into the lake. The rippled water surface will tilt some surfaces of the small waves to reflect light from the sky which "glints" to your eye. The adjacent smooth water surface will be the darker colours of pure reflection from the distant shore. The contrast between the dark reflection of the shoreline and the brighter reflection of the sky from the rippled water surface creates the "blue line".
The difference between sun glint and "sky glint" is both the colour and the brightness of the line. Sky glint is also transient with the wind while true sun glint is persistent with, well, the sun. When one observes sky glint, you can be certain that there is surface wind involved and with daytime heating, it is only a matter of time before the wind blankets the lake with wave action. The "blue line" is an example of that situation.
The low deck of stratocumulus in the western sky was evidence of increasing moisture on the west side of a surface ridge of high pressure that had enforced "blue bird" skies the day before.
No bugs in the paint this morning but a raccoon did show up to see what was happening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

1210 Ragging Waters

Started Saturday April 21st, 2012.
Ragged Falls is a special place!
Nothing is more Canadian than fresh, clean, cold water tumbling off the wilderness of the Algonquin Canadian Shield on its way to the ocean. Tom Thomson likely painted the environmentally rich pool at the bottom of this falls. I hope there are still large trout in those waters. I know there are bugs for them to eat! What place could be more iconic than this when we add in Tom Thomson's dove gray canoe at the top of the falls?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

1203 Sunrise Long Reach

Started 6:30 am April 14th, 2012.
It was time to practise what I preach. At 6:30 am I was out standing (so to speak) on the granite outcrop that pokes into Jim Day Rapids. This is the view looking southeasterly across the whirl pool formed a long time ago when water really gushed through the waterway. The sun rising to the left cast a faint yellow-rose colour to the cirrostratus. "Cirrostratus coming at us" meant a storm was approaching but it would be a while before it arrived with precipitation. This is the same system that threatened tornadoes of mass destruction to the American Midwest. Weather is important!
I always enjoy the way that the light filters through the trees. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpeckers, barred owls and a host of other creatures provided the sound track. There were no biting insects!
The title is intended to be just a bit humourous since the sun does have a long reach...

Monday, May 25, 2015

1202 Monarch of the Forest

Started 2 pm Wednesday March 28th, 2012.
This is a giant, multi-stem sugar maple tree on the top of Foley Mountain. My Brother Jim owns about 400 acres of prime Canadian shield and he looks after the trees and creatures contained therein... The large sugar maple is one of those creatures. He has transplanted some of the genetic offspring of this tree to around his home... hoping they would do as well as the monarch. I felt that this deserved a portrait for lots of environmental reasons. Some of the branches twist back and forth like gray rat snakes. I was concerned about killing the painting with a thousand strokes of the brush... one has to know when to stop...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

1199 Beford Mills

Started 9 am Saturday March 24th, 2012.
The restored grist mill in Bedford Mills on the Perth Road just south of Westport dates from around 1832. It shares the same name as the town in Frank Capra's movie "It's a Wonderful Life". Settlers were an intrinsic part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere along with the ample natural resources. The peace and solitude of the 19th century would have indeed made it a wonderful life although there would have been challenges for sure!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

1198 Spring Reflections

It takes a while for the paint to dry... so this is somewhat delayed... Started 3 pm Monday March 19th, 2012. Painting the edge of Jim Day Rapids N44.52228 W76.10478.
With spring one day away, I had some time to paint after a frustrating day of missed calls and no responses from people who should respond. I channeled my frustration into a positive experience. I let myself and the paint fly. I hope it was successful. It was a beautiful day and that is all that really mattered. A muskrat came up close behind me. I also took a paddle in Margaritaville to inspect the ice and the shoreline. The ducks, geese and eagles kept me company over the water. The bluebirds, red-wing blackbirds and robins kept me company over the land.
So I was really reflecting on the day and the soothing effects of the water and the enduring nature of the forest. Nature is the one true constant in life and it is priceless.

Friday, May 22, 2015

1196 Falling Down Ragged

Another visit to Ragged Falls on the Oxtongue River. This time I am looking down the water course at the tumble of white water molecules bouncing between the rocky bumpers like a billion balls in a giant pin ball machine. The calm water at the bottom of the falls is where I was headed. The water picks up some oxygen during this tumbling cascade. Small fish and insects get disoriented during their chaotic ride down the precipice. Fish are waiting for all three in the deep hole at the bottom. This makes the pool a great place to fish - something that is not lost on any angler, let alone Tom Thomson. We know for sure and have the pictures to prove it that Tom fished at the base of Tea Lake Dam. I bet he fished the pool at Ragged Falls as well. I would!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

1189 Great Blue

Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 20 X 16 (inches) Started 5 pm Saturday Jan 28, 2012.
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 resident frog population 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.
They have nothing to do with the other “great blue” whale except they seem to share the same attributes. Both species require our protection and more importantly, the preservation of their environment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

1188 Indigo

For being so spectacular, this male indigo bunting was rarely seen. It has made the forests and meadows of Singleton Lake home. It is one of a hundred other species of birds that we know about anyway, according to the Bioblitz held at our property. We will keep the land unchanged so that they will want to continue to live alongside us well into the future.
“The egg doesn’t fall very far from the tree...” I had to write this somewhere. Our daughter was looking for the expression that the nut doesn't fall very far from the tree but I like this version better!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1187 Gone But Not Forgotten

Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 20 X 16 (inches) Started 2 pm Friday Jan 27, 2012. Painting Place the Singleton Studio.
This is the view to the south across the mouth of Jones Creek. It was afternoon, early in the spring for a canoe paddle but the sun was warm and the water calm and inviting. This boathouse had long been neglected and there were a lot of construction issues showing up with age. It only stood in a couple of feet of water but that was more than enough to cause rot and ice damage. On the inside the swallows and other birds had pretty much taken over as the canvas “teeth” guarding the boat entry were no longer much a barrier for an agile flier.
Someone bought the home on the shore. Soon after the house had a huge addition and the boathouse was gone - but not forgotten. It was a landmark for years. Today there are only a few rocks showing where it once stood.
Note the difference in the forest horizon between that of the mainland to the right/west and that of Island to the left/east. The island is not large and does not support enough trees to block the sky from peeking through.

Monday, May 18, 2015

1009 The New Pad

Afternoon Wednesday August 27th, 2008. Painting Place on the granite point at Singleton Lake N44.52250 W76.10514.
It was another beautiful day at Singleton Lake. I stood on the rocky outcrop and painted the lily pads of Jim Day Rapids. I always liked the different colours and shapes of lily pads. It was very hot and the sun was taking my hide off so I had to take a picture and escape while I still had some skin left … as a result, I have classified this as a studio work.
The name is because this will be our new home, all being well. There were indeed many new pads among the lilies in front of me. The pads were very active with all kinds of frogs and in the quiet, you could hear them chirping and croaking to each other.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

1576 Cloudy Sunset

This is the sunset on April 13th, 2015 at 6 pm. I never get tired of the clouds or this scene looking westward across Singleton Lake. It is a good thing because I don't plan on moving. The biting insects had not yet appeared for the season but the setting sun limited my painting time and I had to retreat to the studio.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

1577 Windy Day

It was really a very windy day. I wanted to paint en plein air but the gusts to 40 knots or more would have blown me and the easel over. I had to retreat to the studio. There were some large trees blown down in the area including one on our property.
The water of Singleton Lake was several different shades of blue and even brown. The white caps were large and the swells rolled up the marble shreline. The turbulent stratocumulus clouds were whipping by and constantly being reshaped by the powerful winds.
Location of scene looking westerly from granite ridge in front of Singleton Lake at N44.522817 W76.105578.

Friday, May 15, 2015

983 Laker Headed Downstream

This was painted from the northeast point of Green (A) Island overlooking the portion of the St Lawrence River shipping channel where the lakers “crossover” from the American to the Canadian shore. I put in the navigational beacons as best as I could see them. One CSL Laker had just passed by as I was setting up. I blocked it in but couldn’t get enough information to complete it before it passed. A Canada goose gander was very vocal and keeping a close eye on me. The goose was apparently still sitting on a nest nearby.
The cirrostratus that was approaching during #0982 “Savage Sunrise” was now overhead and the sun cast a nice 44 degree halo. The cumulus was developing nicely over the land masses. The wind was in the process of picking up.
The “Algoisle” cruised by the Brockville just as I was preparing to sign my name on my studio easel. The timing was perfect and allowed me to complete the painting.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

985 Dandy Fluff

Another spring a few years ago - Thursday June 5, 2008. Painting Place N43.95226 W79.74563.
I had some time around 7:30 am so I went to the back yard for a change. I was attracted to the dandelions that had gone to seed. I just wanted to have some fun with the colours. The mosquitoes wanted to have some fun as well. Now I know why I tend not to paint outside much in June. It remained overcast with a flat light and actually showered briefly just as I was putting on the finishing touches. I took the painting out the next day to get the fluff just right. The sun had come out and I added some highlights to the fluff. Some might think this flower art is fluff ... they could be right.
The blue birds and bobolinks kept me company. They are comfortable around me. Unfortunately the mosquitoes also were around. My avian air force was not doing its job.
This piece was donated towards the Dinah Christie Celebrity Challenge. Other contributors included Dinah Christie, Robert Bateman, The Good Brothers, Robert Munsch, and Ben Johnson. Gabi bought it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

984 How Green is My Valley

This is a spring painting from 10 am Wednesday June 4, 2008. Painting Place N43.95246 W79.74608.
I was trying to get myself inspired. Keeping "Watershed Farms" show ready for real estate was killing my vibe. It was an overcast day so I simply went out and stood beside the crimson king maple on the front yard looking toward the north. The left side of the painting shows nicely mowed lawn courtesy of the Kubota orange Cadillac of machines. The right side doesn't get cut till late August as the birds are nesting. I was serenaded by blue birds, bobolinks, wrens and all kinds of sparrows and other birds. It was a fun morning.
The title is after the rather depressing movie about a coal mining valley in England starring Rodney McDowell or something like that. This valley is in direct contrast with every shade of green possible. The tree on the left is a Douglas fir that is doing rather well now that is was rescued from the neighbour's front garden. The different shades of green displayed by the apple, Chinese pear and plums trees made the painting fun to complete.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1572 Paddling

It looks as though these very vocal pair of Canada geese were out for just a paddle in the east basin of Singleton Lake. They were actually "getting out of Dodge" because I had shooed them away. They were the most aggressive of the four or five pairs in the area so I tried to level the playing field just a bit. The wake caused by their hasty retreat from my advances made the painting even more interesting. These geese were not out for just a Sunday paddle. They were escaping from the white haired plein air artist... Notice how the goose on the right is looking over his shoulder - at the crazy person...
These are the same geese that appear in #1557 "Homecoming". I used my handy dandy holder so that I could easily paint all of the side of the gallery mounted canvas.

Monday, May 11, 2015

1568 Shoreline Maples

The afternoon still had some great weather and time in it, so I headed down to Jim Day Rapids with a fresh canvas. The pair of Canada geese complained of my intrusion into their "squatter's rights" space. The colours of the three maple trees that fringed the shoreline caught my eye. Two of these trees were surviving while the third had been ringed by beavers a decade or more ago. It was quite dead.
Jim Day Rapids is on an historic waterway that connects the Rideau and the lakes around Delta to the St Lawrence. It was considered for a canal system prior to selecting the Rideau route. It was felt that the Gananonque to Kingston portion of the St Lawrence River was too vulnerable to attack from our neighbours to the south - those were different times.
I would have been standing in the same place as the artist who did the following painting in 1906.

Friday, May 1, 2015

1574 Cloud Street Sunset

The sunset of Tuesday April 21st, 2015 was highlighted by southwesterly streets of stratocumulus aligned with the blustery winds. The loon platform was blown into the marsh but I was going to have to wait until the wind subsided to retrieve it. The skies would clear as the sun completed its journey beyond the horizon. We were in the warm sector of the rather large low pressure area. Colder air was on the way. People were getting tired of winter...
The accompanying graphic describes the meteorology of parallel streets of stratocumulus clouds in an unstable planetary boundary level. It also explains why the bands get further apart and weaken due to friction as the sun sets and the daytime heating instability dissipates. Think of the circulations as three dimensional helical coils ( a slinky) with the updraft branch supporting the formation of the cloud and the downdraft branch enforcing the clear skies in between the cloud streets. The slinky comparison is actually quite appropriate.