Resisting Temptation: Kings-Edgehill School Library 

When do you leave things alone!?!

The first version of this chapel /library needed some contrast on the facade but the details disappeared. Lifting-out captured some reflected light only to have the pigments bleed. Like the former students who couldn’t resist the temptation to carve their names in the soft sandstone bricks, I just couldn’t leave it alone. 

By the time I got home, the temptation to trash the whole thing was rattling around in my brain.

Today I worked in some defined lines and some calculated lifting off. Adding red hues in the darkest areas redeemed this enough to have a building pop out. Quelle surprise! Maybe I’ll hang on to it for a little while longer. 


Bee Hives, Spinney Mountain Road

Our plein-air session took us into the heart of the Annapolis Valley near Torbrook.  There were a couple of brooks but the temptation to paint water disappeared when I spied the beehives. I love bees ūüźĚ and their communal nature. So, in the sweltering heat I sketched a few of their condos.  And, though I had my bug jacket with me,  I wouldn’t have lasted long wearing it in those temperatures. Anyways, the bees were too industrious to bother with me busily painting away on the other side of the brook.

Cottage Days

We are at the cottage this week though with all the chores and to-dos, it doesn’t really feel like it yet.  I managed a quick sketch of the tide going out.   I tried some different brush strokes using a 1″ flat brush to capture the leaves of the enormous shady ash tree in the yard along with it’s shadow.  It gave an interesting dappled effect but with movement.  Did it work? Let me know what you think.

Kingsport Gala Days

For the past couple of years, there’s been a plein-air session during Kingsport Gala Days for anyone who wants to participate.  The day ends with music and fireworks.

There were about a dozen painters of various skill levels there this morning, myself included. 

Several people chose to paint this rose bush and memorial stone bench.  And, because I had a lot of trouble with it on a previous attempt, I couldn’t let it go either. I wanted another crack at it. 

I’m happy to say, while far from perfect, this attempt didn’t get the best of me. There was a modicum of improvement and now I feel I can let it go and move on to a different subject next time. 

Perhaps not fireworks just yet!

Annapolis Royal

This view of Annapolis Royal was painted from the opposite side of the Annapolis Basin at Granville Ferry.   It’s really a lot farther across the water than it looks and I used a little hyperbole to make the buildings more visible.  

I like a lot of colour and contrast. And, I had some measure of success catching the light on the water. But, I feel perhaps for the first time satisfaction with the greens. Aureolin Yellow, Sap Green and Mayan Dark Blue added wet-in-wet did the trick.

It’s been a blustery day and the breeze is ushering in a some heat and humidity from the southwest. Looks like we’re in for a sweltering hot weekend for my next Plein Air session in Kingsport on Saturday at the Kingsport Gala Days. 

I wonder if it’s possible to paint fireworks in watercolour !?!

Urban Sketch: Port Pub and Wayfarers’ Ale House

Urban Sketch: Port Pub & Wayfarers’ Ale House

Just finished today while waiting for another painting to dry. Finishing from a photo taken from a different point of view has presented some challenges. I found a couple of hard and soft edges though… a skill I’m working on!

The Port Pub (red building) has been here the longest, but with the addition of Wayfarers’ Ale House and Barreling Tide Distillery (not shown) the village is getting quite the reputation as a go-to destination.

Two craft breweries and a distillery — not bad for a population of 1,120 souls. The buildings sit along the Cornwallis River (Jijuktu’kwejk in Mi’kmaq -meaning narrow river). They also offer restaurant fare along with samplers so, many tourists and locals stop by for a ‘taste test’ or to refill their ‘growlers’ (refillable bottles). Definitely worth a visit! 

Low Tide, Halls Harbour 

It’s been a looong day.  I lost my phone at the paint-out this morning and have spent most of the day looking for it with no success.   

However, it was a solid painting session with the Plein Air Artists of the Annapolis Valley.  Peter Maartochio’s advice on the finishing touches was invaluable for rounding out the composition and details. I’m pretty happy with the results. In fact, the sharing of tips and techniques between artists is really uplifting – just like the tide that will be returning in a few hours.  Now, if it could just bring my phone back when it returns…