Looking Back from Houston’s Beach

Today, while the group was honouring Maud Lewis by reproducing her paintings, I headed out to Houston’s Beach to practice some winter sketching at high tide.  The sketch could have been entirely done using raw sienna, burnt sienna, and ultramarine blue. And, while I tried to keep my palette muted, I couldn’t resist throwing in some bright reds. Maud might have approved. 

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Ford Mercury at Noon

8×10 Watercolour – There’s something about a lovingly restored, old Ford Mercury heading across the Grand Pré dykes on a summer’s day.  This was a good opportunity to play with linear perspective and rule of thirds in my composition. The main shadow was under the truck, so it was pretty close to noon when I took the reference photo last summer. Is there a feel of magic realism to the scene? Can you hear the summer sound of grasshopper wings?

January Thaw

When I saw the mist rising on the Habitant River this morning I got my gear together and headed outside. 

I wanted to catch the atmospheric effect but I also wanted to practice some atmospheric perspective.  

But, the January thaw (+9) also brought rain. So, I quickly laid down some wet-in-wet without even touching my water supply (you can see the raindrops on my easel). 

Then, I retreated back inside for a through-the-window finale. Gouache was used for the foreground snow. I’m not sure I met my goal but I think I got the mist right… and it felt good to get out… so yay!

Hauling Traps

  “Hauling Traps” is a contemporary take on an old tradition. It’s an 8.5″x14″ watercolour of hauling lobster pots. I painted it from a reference photo (with permission). The photo was taken on a family member’s lobster boat in Neil’s Harbour.

In other parts of the province, lobster season starts on the last Monday in November and runs until the end of May. That means a lot of hours spent on the icy cold Atlantic waters in the dark in all kinds of weather. As much as I love lobster I couldn’t do the work these men and women do – much respect!

Andrew’s Cottage 

This painting is of the family cottage of my friend’s husband. I used two combined reference photos. One showing the right hand trees from the fall and the other with just the cottage in the summer.  I blended the two seasons together to get a September feel to the piece.  There’s a beautiful new home where this once stood. 

The Fleet, Castletown Beara, County Cork

It’s been a couple of years since our trip to Ireland. I finally did this painting of the fishing fleet to use in a brief demonstration I agreed to put on for our group. It’s mixed media but mostly watercolour.  I chose a fairly monochromatic palette to accentuate the light. The boats are at rest but there is still so much going on. Can you feel the tension between busy and quiet?