From the deck

Not much is happening in this painting/sketch I did from the cottage deck today (while waiting for family to arrive). It rained halfway through which worked out, since hiding inside gave the base layer a chance to dry. But, by then the tide had come in and I missed all the rock detail on the beach.

I settled for the blue bench, the fire pit, the picnic table, the fence and the twin-trunk Ash tree as scattered focal points. It was a paint-what-you-see kinda day.

I stuck with my colour mixes from yesterday which worked well in the background. I could have made the foreground darker to match the gloomy day but the green of the grass is kind of a happy green so I left it.


Kingsport Beach

The tide was coming in when I captured this early morning stillness on the Minas Basin last Thursday. There was some debate about this with the other artists until the rocks in the foreground vanished. I had to concede as I was sure it was on its way out.

The foreground could use a little clean up but I’m very happy with the values, the far shore, the sky, and the reflections.

Reflections seem to be a practice theme for me this summer.

Habitant Estuary

Squeezed in a quick sketch from the deck this morning, of the salt marsh/estuary balanced between high and low tide.

I’ve missed some painting time because I’ve been writing. It’s difficult to make time for both while doing all that other stuff that seems to flood your schedule… stuff that’s apparently necessary if you want to live a balanced life.

I admit to being slightly resentful of the word “balanced”… it’s a no man’s land between feeding the sensible need for order (chores which “must” be done) or yielding to the sweet ache of an obsessive, single-minded focus on making art.

“Lopsided” is tempting.

Teetering evenly between the two leaves me feeling mildly malcontent.

Fruit Ladder, Boates U-Pick

Many orchards in the valley are slowly being replaced by vineyards or more dense methods of fruit production. The Boates U-Pick orchard still has that traditional feel to it with wide spaced shady apple trees. I set up with the intention of painting the ladder and the old Massey Ferguson tractor that was beside it, with the trees as a backdrop. As luck would have it, as soon as I set up the farmer needed the tractor, so the ladder had to stand alone. With en plein air you have to be flexible. Most all greens were mixed using hansa yellow and ultramarine blue.

Rainbow Haven Beach, Cow Bay

Flags, kites, and an umbrella (which I rescued when it came flying in my direction), along with colour coordinated lifeguards (and their stand) caught my eye for this plein air adventure. Rainbow Haven Beach is a popular beach on the Dartmouth side of HRM. Our family has enjoyed it for a couple of generations. It was a joy to visit today with my sister… and to break in a new palette.