Salt Marsh Trail Cole Harbour

It was a small group of two artists and one support person on the salt marsh trail in Cole Harbour today. My first sketch had a lot more pen work while I let the colours mix on the paper using value and hue to define the tree shapes in the second. I was a bit ham-fisted as a lot of gear stayed behind in the car. The hike in to the paint site was a few kilometres.

Tomorrow – full easel and palette at Rainbow Haven Beach.


Hampton Wharf

Just when you think you’ve heard of every fishing community between Sydney and Yarmouth… Today’s plein air was done at Hampton Wharf on the Bay of Fundy near Bridgetown. The boat’s name is Fundy First. We had a good turnout with about seven artists setting up. The boat needs a bit more attention but I was focused on the reflections, the “green” water, and the lights and darks in the wharf. Because our painting time is limited, I left out two other boats that were docked and may do all three together from a photo some other time. These boats are well sheltered from the weather when the tide is out.

Gaelic College Week

Ocean Surf with Ron Hazel

The Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSPWC) Symposium was held this past week at The Gaelic College in St. Anns Cape Breton. Since my cousin lives only a hop skip and a jump over Kelly’s Mountain, I imposed on her goodwill for room and board and decided to get out of my comfort zone.

It was a solid week of learning from some masterful artists. Not only did I paint some decent waves but I finally clued in to some of the finer rules of perspective.

All are original works done on site with the exception of the two painted in Ron Hazell’s class where I tried to copy his examples with varying degrees of success. I even attempted a life study, Bill Rogers daughter was our model, which was a first for me! As Ron kindly put it, “these are just studies for a better painting later.” Still testing my limits.

Figure painting from life with Bill Rogers

En plein air at Englishtown with Chris Gorey

Still Life with Susan Patterson

Streetscapes with Ron Hazell

Cottage Living

The neighbours’ house by our cottage is a lovely home on a cliff overlooking the Minas Basin. I did this small sketch over a couple of days between visitors and activities while we’re staying at our cottage next door. Summer starts in a few days and the greens are moving to a richer hue. The goal was to work the darker greens in with the subtler shades. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve used Pthalo Blue. The effect was a very intense hue.

Spring Blossoms

Spring (finally here) brings the challenge of painting trees in bloom. While reserving most of the white, it was still difficult to make the blossoms look like petals and not just a cloudy mass. A few splotches of gouache around the outer branches helped, and some loose splashes of hansa yellow, ultramarine, and raw sienna defined the inner leaves and branches. A touch of indigo brought out the darkest darks. The background is softened to add to the dreamy quality of the subject. Hope you like it as it’s a little different from my normal style.

Minas Basin

A quick plein air today to make up for yesterday’s rainy weather cancellation. Sketched from Huston Beach looking across to Paddy’s Island with Grand PrĂ© in the distance. Visitors included a couple nearby who were listening to country music, three sweet homeschooled kids who were very fascinated (I suggested their mom include art supplies in their “classroom”), and a couple of flounder fishermen who were less interested in me than I was in what they were catching.

The edges got away on me a bit but I think it conveys the sunshine after so much cold and rain. Thoughts going out to our valley farmers.