Sunday, July 29, 2018

Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” - The entire book explained

Wisdom can be found in the natural world. We just need to look. Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” returns us to our rural roots. There is no need for technology. There are no equations. Simple scrutiny of nature can lead to understanding the important processes at work in the world. Some of these ancient poetic observations are treasures supported by modern science. Some are simply nice poems. Both are fun.

Published by Tundra Books you can find Elly MacKay’s book at this link.
Excerpted with permission from Elly MacKay’s Red Sky at Night (published by Tundra Books, 2018).

Every piece of weather wisdom used in "Red Sky At Night" is explained by clicking on the image of the page... I will get to every page but it may take some time...

 Click for a complete explanation of this weather saying...
 Deformation zones with an approaching warm conveyor belt...
Warmest regards… Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night”

Wisdom can be found in the natural world. We just need to look. Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” returns us to our rural roots. There is no need for technology. There are no equations. Simple scrutiny of nature can lead to understanding the important processes at work in the world. Some of these ancient poetic observations are treasures supported by modern science. Some are simply nice poems. Both are fun.
Published by Tundra Books you can find Elly MacKay’s book at this link.
One piece of weather wisdom is so important that Elly uses it as the title of her book. A red sky at night also graces the cover. Yes that piece of weather wisdom is most important.

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. 
True (in temperate zones). In some parts of the world, the saying goes, “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.” But whether you are on the sea or in the meadow, red skies (but not red clouds) at sunset mean there is calm air in the western sky. By the next morning, that nice weather should be right overhead.  Excerpted with permission from Elly MacKay’s Red Sky at Night (published by Tundra Books, 2018).

A red or orange cloud free sky at night does lead to a sailor’s delight. The path of light from the sun must be unobstructed by its longest path through the atmosphere. Rayleigh scattering from atmospheric molecules leaves only the longest red wavelengths of the direct beam of white light from the sun on the horizon. The short wavelength blues are the first to be scattered followed by the progressively longer wavelengths. I have used the following graphic for years to explain Rayleigh scattering - really.
Only the longest orange and red wavelengths make it to the sailor’s eyes much to their delight. With no clouds getting in the way of the direct beam from the sun there can be no weather and no ascent in the atmosphere to produce any rain. 
Red clouds at night is another story. Red clouds at night, sailors take fright. I am nobody’s poet but this version of the classic weather prose gets the point across.  Those red clouds indicate that there are both moisture and ascent in the atmosphere – there is weather on the way. Cloud droplets in a really moist atmosphere get even larger and scatter every colour out of the direct beam from the sun except of red. The structure of those clouds completes the weather story. If those red clouds appear behind deformation zones as in red streaks in a sunset sky, wind and daylong rain are nigh.

The large particles that comprise clouds are responsible for the Mie scattering of all of the wavelengths of light – even red. That is why clouds tend to be white. All colours are equally scattered by the larger particles. As the particles increase in size more of that energy is forward scattered in the direction the light was originally travelling. Bright red clouds at night indicate that larger particles are scattering the red sunset colours directly into the sailor’s eyes. Abundant moisture makes those cloud droplets larger so that the redder the sunset clouds the more frightened those sailors should be.

The photo I took of these red sunset clouds preceded the biggest snowstorm of that winter. I saw it coming and perhaps should have been frightened. Being a meteorologist I was excited and took the picture instead. 
Warmest regards… Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Thursday, July 26, 2018

CPAWS Press Release for DRAW 2018

The DRAW 2017 artists retreat was everything I’d hoped it would be - adventure and camaraderie among artists in the wilderness, the inspiring influence that immersion in nature always has on my work, and the excitement of seeing it in the work of the others. All this, followed by the pleasure of having our art exhibited together, and auctioned at the gala in October, a successful fundraiser for CPAWS-OV’s campaign to protect the precious Dumoine watershed.
Aleta Karstad
Bishops Mills, Ontario

Sharing the Dumoine experience with a group of like minded artists is an experience you will not forget. The Dumoine puts the "wild" into the plein air painting of wilderness. You have to be there to really experience the beauty of Canada - with nothing between you and nature as it should be - immersed in the moment.
Phil Chadwick ... Here is what I painted in DRAW 2017

CPAWS Press Release has much more information.
 CPAWS Press Release

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Weather Wisdom: Yellow streaks in a sunset sky, wind and daylong rain are nigh.

Wisdom can be found in the natural world. We just need to look. Elly MacKay’s “Red Sky At Night” returns us to our rural roots. There is no need for technology. There are no equations. Simple scrutiny of nature can lead to understanding the important processes at work in the world. Some of these ancient poetic weather observations are treasures supported by modern science. Some are simply nice poems. Both are fun.
 Elly MacKay's "Red Sky At Night"
Published by Tundra Books you can find Elly MacKay’s book at this link.

One piece of weather wisdom that Elly examines is …
Yellow streaks in a sunset sky, wind and daylong rain are nigh. 

True. Cirrus clouds look like “yellow streaks” at sunset. The Latin name for these clouds mean wispy hair, which is just what they look like. These clouds are a sign of changing weather. “Nigh” in this saying means coming soon. Excerpted with permission from Elly MacKay’s Red Sky at Night (published by Tundra Books, 2018).

Yes, this is my favourite weather rhyme and very true. Those cirrus cloud lines in the sky are called deformation zones and they tell of the approach of a storm. At sunset you are looking westerly and those high cirrus clouds behind the deformation zone are coming your way. 

Deformation zones are always associated with a current of air and their characteristics reveal everything about the weather. Think of this particular current as a rising conveyor belt transporting warmth and moisture to the north. This southerly current of air follows a high pressure area while it precedes a low. Fair weather with the high must be replaced by stormy weather with the low. 

Observers of a warm conveyor belt which is the yellow diverging arrow in the above drawing, will first see the leading edge of thin cirrostratus high in the atmosphere. As the transport of heat and moisture continues this cloud will thicken behind a lower level deformation zone. Nimbostratus and rain will follow behind an even lower deformation zone when the warm conveyor belt completes its delivery of moisture. 

The image below is looking eastward at the same warm conveyor belt. The clouds on the right are a real life example of the scientific graphic on the left. I took that picture looking upward at the approaching layer of clouds from the approximate location of Phil’s green eye in the left portion of the image.
The deformation zone lines in the sky result from the stretching of the air between the opposing circulations around the high and low. The accompanying graphics hopefully saved a lot of words.
In actuality the deformation zone lines are just where quasi-horizontal layers of moisture intersect the three-dimensional skin that encapsulates the mass of air. That warm and moist air is being transported to the north as part of the energy balance of the earth. More on this later…

The atmosphere is a fluid like any other substance that flows. One can create your own deformation zone using a paddle to create a current (jet stream in the image below) in a pond. The leading edge associated with this flow is a deformation zone made obvious by the contrast between the open water and the duck weed. 

Yellow streaks of deformation zone cirrus foretell of the moisture being transported to your location by the warm conveyor belt of a storm. There is a lot of very fine science in a little prose. 

In fact art is science and science is art. I have painted a lot of deformation zones and have turned those into a science on which I based my 36 year career with Environment Canada. The weather is your friend. 
 For this and much more art.
My thanks to Elly MacKay, Tundra Books, Penquin Random House and COMET (for the scientific graphics) where I finished the last decade of my career publishing meteorological training modules. 

I am thinking of explaining the science behind more of the weather wisdom sayings as time permits. 

Phil the Forecaster Chadwick

Friday, July 13, 2018

Miskwaa Studio and Outdoor Art Gallery

The Art World continues to change in a good way... plan to visit the Miskwaa Studio and Outdoor Art Gallery between Bobcaygeon and Buckhorn off Highway 36. It is worth any drive.

Yes... I have some art there as well.

Just because a work of art has not sold only mean that the right eyes have not seen it yet. It is not enough to hang art on the wall and wait. Social media and the positive power of communication through the internet has changed everything. But that takes dedication and creativity which is an art form in itself. I always thought that art needs to be displayed in the environment it was created to really be able to understand and appreciate all of the nuances. This is rarely possible but Daniel Marlatt has succeeded... enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

EcoArtists: Reconnecting People to the Beauty of Nature

In early June my friend Aleta Karstad was recognized for her conservation efforts through art, as a recent recipient of the “Robert Bateman Award” from the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF). This award recognizes people who furthers the appreciation for Canada’s wildlife and habitats through artistic expression. 

People make the difference. In "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate" by Naomi Klein one message is that real change must start with the grass roots people. People like Aleta are the real leaders. Politics and business are much too involved in self promotion and power to lead the way. History reveals this to be only too true. I tiny percentage of the wealth amassed by these groups could solve the environmental woes.
I attended the recent Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) Conference in Halifax in June and shared these thoughts with another friend and the editor for CMOS. Here is the result of those conversations.

In early August Aleta and I and a dozen or more other artists will be back on the Dumoine with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) as part of DRAW 2018. Maybe we can make a difference. Here is the plein air art that I completed as part of DRAW 2017. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Kingston School of Art Juried Show

I rarely leave the property... There is more than enough material at home to keep me occupied. Claude had his garden. I have my lake and of course the weather. The clouds come to me and that makes it fun and easy. With no time spent traveling I can spend more effort trying to get better.
There are exceptions. The Kingston School of Art is a good reason to venture forth though. I have a piece at the Window Art Gallery until July 29th. The Opening Reception is Saturday July 7th from 2 to 5 pm and I will try to attend. It means I will have to shave though and wear something different than a bathing suit...

Friday, June 8, 2018

Dumoine River Art Retreat 2018

A group of artists have been selected to create works of their choosing on site at the shores of the Dumoine this August. The name of the event is called Dumoine River Art for Wilderness (DRAW).
I participated in DRAW 2017 and created 33 or so en plein works while painting up a storm. They may be found here on my Fine Art America site.
I was fortunate enough to be included in the 2018 roster. Here is a link to that group. You may not recognize me with my bug suit on but that is really me. The black flies and mosquitoes were quite ferocious. The weather was also marked by thunderstorms and heavy rain. None of this stopped me from rising with the sun and painting all day looking for that special spark of inspiration. The above is what sunrise on the Dumoine River trees looks like. Here are the other paintings that I did in DRAW 2017.

DRAW and CPAWS is very important. Their mission is to preserve corridors for nature in this time of climate change. Artists step up the the plate to protect the important things that really matter. The Group of Seven most notably AY Jackson were instrumental in preserving what we know today as Killarney. I am proud to be part of this group...

I will post updates here. Phil the Forecaster

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wind, Waves and Weather with Phil Chadwick

Date & Time: May 27-29th, 9am-4pm
Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate    
AdultMaterial List Available Here

In this three day, outdoor painting course, students will learn about painting water, and everything surrounding it! Situated on the shores of gorgeous Lake Huron, students will learn about weather patterns and how they directly affect the water, skies, and the great moods of the Great Lakes! The instructor will be painting in oils, but watercolours and acrylics are also welcome.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Phil the Forecaster's Guide to Cloud Identification

Environment Canada used my cloud picture library to publish the following. The weather is your friend once you get to know it... There is a story behind every cloud and it is important to be weather-wise.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Artistic Journeys...Enjoy the ride

The artistic journey really needs to be unique on the verge of getting lost. You do not get anywhere new by following someone else. In 2018 it seems like everything has been said and done already. It would seem that creative repetition and artistic journey overlaps are unavoidable. Even though similar brush strokes might have been completed before it is still the first time for me. There are only so many ways that one can dip the hairy end of a brush in the paints and transfer those pigments to a canvas.
As I progressed from photographic realism when I started my trip with Mario Airomi in the late 1960's to what I do today, the inspiration has remained unchanged - the natural world. I do not get the same zing from anything person-made. My style has indeed loosened up but the shapes, colours, values and texture I paint on the canvas can be found in nature if you look hard enough. Those same characteristics can also be found in those early canvases at the start of my journey.

Today Vincent Van Gogh would have become a five score plus senior citizen born 165 years ago in 1853. He started his artistic journey late at the age of 27 or 28. He painted an average of two paintings a week completing almost 900 canvases by the time he died at the age of 37 in 1890. He also left behind 1100 drawings on paper. He never knew how many lives he would touch in a good way.

I try very hard to paint like "me" but for sure there are canvases where our journeys look like they overlapped although I am not Vincent or Tom for that matter. My journey still needs to be unique to me. I may not know where I am going but I am not lost either.

The painting above, #0588 "Downburst" from July 2002 is mid journey for me. It hangs in Vancouver now. My supporter really likes it but also has it on the secondary art market. Some might see some Vincent influence in it.

Happy Birthday Vincent and thank you... from Phil the Forecaster

PS: I needed meteorology to support my artistic life style. There is weather every day... and I am really enjoying the ride!
 For this and more art...

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Have Brush Will Travel – But not too far

A plein air artist does not need to go very far within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere (FAB). The beauty of the FAB rivals anything you might find elsewhere in Canada or even the south of France. The Amazing Places of all Biospheres and FAB in particular, remain largely undiscovered but maybe we can change that – just like the Group of Seven immortalized Algonquin. The Group of One will travel with his “Paletten” and paint with you within the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. With the GPS location we will rendez-vous near 9 am and paint all day. If you are visiting away from home, all levels and types of accommodation may be found in the FAB from the resorts of The Opinicon at Chaffey’s Locks and the condos of the 1000 Islands Village east of Brockville to camping at Charleston Lake Provincial Park. Where you stay and eat is your choice although for sure, I can provide recommendations.
$100 per day including HST; Contact:
About this Plein Air Adventure —Meet at an Amazing Place Ready to Paint...
Phil will start each day with a short discussion followed by a demo which will emphasize a particular skill. Special emphasis will be placed on the techniques to compose, sketch and capture the particular plein air scene. The remainder of the morning and afternoon will be spent painting and having fun. 
Phil will give the participants individual attention. Although Phil will be teaching using oils, he is well versed in most mediums. It is not Phil’s intent to change, but rather to encourage a participant's individual style and allow them to soar to the next level or wherever they may want to go. Art should be fun … an adventure in making memories … Come… let’s paint.
Many locations have parking, washroom facilities and maybe even food… but you should bring water, sun screen and snacks. They also offer favourable morning and afternoon vistas so we do not waste any time traveling midday. Plan to start two paintings a day, one with the morning light and one with the afternoon light. There is no need to finish or polish that art… only learn.

The following map suggests three locations to start… 
One Amazing Place – 9 am at the Singleton Studio, 9 Long Reach Lane N44.52250 W76.104444 or with GPS put in 300 Red Horse Lake Road, Lyndhurst, K0E 1N0 … and follow the signs. 
Amazing Place Four - The Opinicon at Chaffeys Locks
Amazing Place Five - 1000 Islands Village eat of Brockville... 

There are thousands of reasons to visit the FAB... and they are not all islands. 

Plein Air Adventures for Artists at FAB Amazing Places
"Bring your art to life...with Colour, Light and Texture"

Phil… artist, canoeist and meteorologist.
Trained at Queen's University as a nuclear physicist, "Phil the Forecaster" has been a professional meteorologist since 1976. An avid canoeist, Phil believes that a fully equipped paradise needs only a quiet back lake, a canoe, art supplies and a fishing rod. As Phil says, "My desire is simply to get better - at art... life and fishing!"
This retreat is self-catered. Participants are to supply their own painting gear and food, suitable for spending a day outside. A suggested materials list is available upon request. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required upon booking.  
Local flavours and accommodation can meet all of your needs. 
A list of suggested supplies along with directions will be sent out upon sign-up.
Thank you :>))