Spring Returns slowly to the Valley

7×10 watercolour 140 lb Fabriano cp

The promise, this week, is for some warmer weather by Thursday. I caught the reference photo for this painting as the starlings were flocking to a tree in my backyard. Still not a lot of green here, but the rain and the coming sun should turn things around soon. In the meantime, burnt sienna, is still one of my main colour choices.


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. 

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?

MacDonald Cottage, Huntington Point 

The Charles MacDonald society held a painting event today that brought out a few dedicated painters and several mom’s with small children (some with fairy wings. The mom’s set up blankets on the grass picnic style and handed out art supplies and snacks. There was a bit of painting, a bit of running around, several trips to the facilities which one little girl called a “pee party”, and lots of community catching up. 

Eventually, once snack and attention spans disappeared, and babies were nursed to sleep, the mom’s packed up as if on queue, followed by the other painters, and then us.  

It was an enchanting morning.
A bit of cottage history–after having a successful concrete business during the First World War, Charles MacDonald continued to employ several people through the Great Depression by enlisting them to build a series of cottages using concrete.  The buildings are quaint and storybook-like. Charming on the outside and very rustic on the inside, it would be an interesting stay. If you become a member of the society and make a substantial donation you are permitted to stay for a week.    Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea as there’s no cell phone coverage nor several other amenities. The builders were creative though and the lack of  straight lines made it fun to paint.

If you’d like to know more about the concrete house and cottages you can check out their facebook page. https://m.facebook.com/Charles-Macdonald-Concrete-House-Museum-424816460875210/

Many thanks to the Charles MacDonald society for permission to paint the cottage. 

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…