Gaspereau River

Gaspereau River watercolour sketch

Cabin fever and sunshine drove us outside today. I dropped hubby off at the put in with the canoe, then drove down to the takeout to paint for a couple of hours. Plein air skills get rusty over the winter. Kudos to the joggers, cyclists, dog walkers, and hikers I saw who resisted the urge to see what I was doing. Everyone kept the recommended distance. Getting out to paint today was good for the head and heart! You could say it was a breath of fresh air.

Morning Mist

Morning Mist 8×10 oil on canvas

I took the reference photo for this painting several years ago thinking I would do it in watercolour. The recent pandemic has caused the postponement of an oil painting class I was taking from Ron Hayes at ArtCan Gallery. Unable to work on the one there I decided to try this one in oils in my home studio to pass the time.

It’s not entirely keeping me from obsessing about the train wreck unfolding across the globe but it helps. I hope it brings you a moment of peace. Wishing a speedy recovery to all who are sick and please everyone stay safe.

Cloud revision

Ireland 7×14 watercolour

Though some of the white space has disappeared, I feel these clouds are stylistically more in line with the realism of the beach compared to my last post. It’s very easy to overwork clouds and I am almost never satisfied with my first versions. Another layer likely wouldn’t be prudent. It’s time to leave this and move on.

Light and Fast

Ireland 7×14 watercolour

I worked this up today from a photo I shot on a vacation a few years ago. I initially wanted the hard edge on the clouds but have since changed my mind. I’m not sure that’s it though. The shape is odd and the centre is a problem in how much it pulls the eye, Lifting off pigment could fix it but more than likely would make it worse. Perhaps carrying the dark cloud farther to the right would be a better solution for unifying the right and left of the composition. Maybe a bit of both.

Misty North Mountain

North Mountain watercolour sketch 2
North Mountain watercolour sketch 1

I was going to write today but a misty North Mountain was calling. I tried some loose work on the first sketch but dissatisfied I simplified my composition by taking a closer view and let the water and paint do most of the work on the second sketch. Let me know which you prefer and why.

Camouflage

Camouflage 8×11 watercolour

This one took a while to complete. The title says it all. I did add a little more contrast to make some of the branches and the owl come forward in the painting. The blue green moss is a mixture of cobalt blue, hansa yellow light, and lemon yellow. Interestingly, the dark greens were mixed with the same pigments in different amounts.

Once again I have to thank Pam Butler for the great reference photo she let me use. It really makes a difference to begin with a terrific photo.

Water’s Edge Winter

Water’s Edge Winter – Tonal Study

I’ve stalled on a fairly complex painting at the moment. So today, I went to a coffee painting demonstration done by my friend and fellow artist Jean Leung, at Tides Contemporary Art Gallery in New Minas.

Jean Leung at Tides Gallery

Her work was inspiring so I went home and I painted the above scene while winter still has its grip on us. My limited palette included ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and raw sienna but no coffee.

Working mostly wet in wet and adding pigment at different stages of drying created the various hard and soft edges. This is based loosely on technique and composition used by other artists I’ve seen and is purely for practice.

Tomorrow I hope to get past the masking stage of the larger piece I’m working on. Some coffee may help with that… but I’ll take it decaf with cream and sugar please.