Planted Field

Take every opportunity to sketch. The power lines follow a lane into a farm. There is just a hint of growth in the fields and the trees are still showing spring yellows. Sketched from the car while waiting for my husband.


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.

The Look-off and Huston Beach

It was a big day of painting! First stop was The Look-off. To the east is the Minas Basin. To the west is the Annapolis Valley. The views are spectacular. We had a lot of visitors including one couple from Switzerland who will be travelling across Canada for the summer.

The second stop was at Huston Beach where once again I was drawn to cows and barns.

For both paintings I did a practice sketch to work through some colour choices. I always like the looseness and spontaneity of the sketches almost more than the finished pieces.

Twin Oaks Road

Today is the first chance I’ve had to get out for a session with the Plein Air Artists of the Annapolis Valley. I spent some time sketching and rearranging the elements into a stronger composition then worked on trying to establish hard and soft edges. And, despite accidentally painting the barn roofs dark and having to go back in with white gouache, I’m pleased with the results. Those critters are cows btw.

Watercolour Workshop photos

Artist at Point Prim – Photo credit Bernadette Leblanc

This is a shot of me painting on the edge of the cliff at Point Prim last week during Poppy Balser’s workshop.

Below are several more shots from the workshop for anyone who’s interested.

The workshop had some very talented artists from all over North America and it was a pleasure to meet and paint with them.

A quick study by Poppy – boats with reflections
Poppy demonstrates her magic at the Digby Marina!
Gentle group critiques were encouraging.
It was a cold wind
The Lighthouse at Point Prim

Anchoring against the wind
The ferry to New Brunswick leaving Digby

The workshop attendees getting some tips

Poppy Balser Workshop Day 3

This is as far as I got on the Point Prim location today. I tried to use all the colours and methodology we’ve learned so far and a few times I thought it was a lost cause. It more or less came together in the end. I was reassured by Poppy saying it was the most difficult scene to paint at the Point. There’s still a bit of tweaking to do but it will have to wait for another day.