Bygone Summer Days

Memories of they way things might have been in the days before TV, internet and video games. Long summer days when child’s play depended on imagination, when time was marked by meal times and the sun and when days stretched out for endless play. I imagine this little guy waiting for the neighbour’s son to come over to play, to haul stuff in his cart or to race out back down to the creek.

Please have a look at this latest piece on the Featured Pieces page.

#summer #latesummer #heritage #farmhouse #summerholiday #trees #lane #acrylicpainting #painting #ottawaart #ottawaartists #613art

On show at the Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd, Orleans, ON

On the verge of summer

Promenade Arteast’s Member’s Exhibit

(Ground floor, opposite the Trinity Gallery)

August 10 thru October 18

Larnod

Foyer Gallery Exhibit

Trinity Gallery

August 10 thru September 14

Spring among the birches

Arteast Mosaic 2022 Exhibit

Trinity Gallery

September 14 thru October 18

Green Cathedral

The luminous canopy of this lane in late summer is particularly beautiful and the cool, quiet has a spiritual quality. It’s a bittersweet time of year with summer on the ebb, like the last drop of wine in the glass, you have to savour before it is gone.

See my rendition on the Featured Pieces page.

#summer #latesummer #fall #trees #lane #acrylicpainting #painting #ottawaart #ottawaartists #613art

Saplings

Beautiful young maple in a sunny spot, sheltered by other trees. I love everything about landscapes, sometimes the vistas and, as in this case, the details. Have to stop and stare and appreciate. 

It’s dangerous living near humans. It’s unlikely these young stems will ever reach their full potential in a hundred years. Am sure there will be many reasons these will fall prey to clearing, pruning or felling.

For a better look, check out the Featured Pieces page..

#summer #rockliffpark #maple #trees #acrylicpainting  #florals #painting #ottawaart #ottawaartists #613art

On the road again, Shenkman Arts Centre, Aug 10 – Sep 14

Looking forward to showing my piece, “Larnod”, as part of this exhibit with the Foyer Gallery.
Come see all the work on offer and meet the artists at the

Reception: Friday, August 19, 6-8pm

The GIVEAWAY of the paintings based on your summer photos, including my “Sangria“, will take place at the reception.


#ottawa #ottawaart #ottawaartgallery #ottawaartscene#thingstodo613 #ottawaevents #ottcity #613 #613events #artshow#vernissage #giveaway #artinperson #inperson

Lillies by the lagoon

A beautiful walk of a summer’s afternoon on Petrie Island. Can never get over the beauty of these striking day Lillies. Just pure joy. A reminder to live in the present. They only last a day.

Inspired a play with the colour complements: orange and blue, and red and green. A riot of colour. Fun!

Check it out on the Featured Pieces page.

#summer, #petrie, #petrieisland, #lagoon, #daylillies, #daylily, #acrylicpainting, #florals, #painting, #ottawaart, #ottawaartists, #613art

Down by the Rideau

Acrylic, 30×40 on gallery wrap canvas

Another beautiful day in June, down by the river. Lots of windfalls about. New homes, shade and shelter for the river population. Decomposing starts. Not in a hurry, the fallen trees will return to the soil in about a hundred years but will be a source of food energy for a lot of wildlife along the way.

There were lots of Canada geese and mallard ducks about. Signs warning people not to feed but the birds don’t know that. Best image was a mother duck shepherding a couple of ducklings to join the crowd of moochers. Just had to be wary of the heavyweights in the crowd, the geese.

(If you were expecting to see some of the water foul, they are camera shy and a little downstream to the left, LOL)

For a better look, check out my Featured Pieces page

#spring, #river, #Rideau, #acrylicpainting, #landscapepainting, #painting, #ottawaart, #Ottawaartists, #613art

On the verge of summer

Warm in the sun, not quite the hot of summer but still nicer to be under the shade of the now mostly leafed trees.

I heard her before I saw her, a beautiful pileated woodpecker. A flash of red among the young green ground cover. A surprise on the ground like that. I stood a while watching as she bobbed her head up and down.

I have to remind myself to enjoy the moment instead of trying to catch that perfect shot. Patience is still something I have to work on. Predictably as I tried to switch to a telephoto lens, she flew off and called out with a mocking cry somewhere up in the trees, out of sight.

It only seemed fit, I paint her into the picture. It is her wood more than mine.

PS. I really can’t tell the difference whether it was a male or female, but I liked to think it was a female foraging for ants, beetle larvae and termites for her young.

For a better look, check out my Featured Pieces page.

#spring, #woods, #pileatedwoodpecker, #acrylicpainting, #landscapepainting, ottawaart, #ottawaartists, #613art

Royal Purple

From as early as the fourteenth century BCE, purple was only for the rich and powerful. (Read all about it and more in “The World According to Color” by Dr. James Fox – excellent book! Recommend it.)

Nowadays we take it for granted, as we often do for many other colours. Like many painters, its easy to invest in the local art supplies store and buy a tube of the stuff or its component colours and then of course struggle to make it seem as brilliant and alluring as Mother Nature’s display.

Tried to do it justice on these gorgeous irises in our back garden. 

For a look at how I did, please go to the Featured Pieces page.

#spring, #floral, #iris, #purple, #acrylicpainting, #painting, #ottawaart, #ottawaartists, #613art

Blossoms

A long awaited harbinger of spring, the cherry blossoms finally bloom in late May. We are lucky to have a tree in our backyard. It has gone through some rough times but is still hanging on and again put out a magnificent display this year. An unexpected hot spell forced the buds open almost all at once and then heavy rains about a week later brought the curtain down too soon on the wonderful show. The burst of colour and the sweet smell brought in a few bees, a welcome site.

Check out the close-up view in Featured Pieces.

#blossoms, #cherry, #spring, #acrylicpainting, #florals, #painting, #ottawa, #ottawaartists, #613art

Spring among the birches

Check out my latest spring offering on the Featured Pieces page. Memory of a gorgeous walk in the woods at Mer Bleue.

Passion in life is often driven by contrast. A beautiful spring day versus the cold just days before is glorious because of the contrast. Add more days like this and it is soon taken for granted again. Birches are outstanding and beautiful in much the same way. Striking white lines against the darker backdrop of the wood, intrigue the eye. In turn they will blend in more as the new reds turns into the greens of summer.

#merbleue, #spring, #birches, #landscapepainting, #acrylicpainting, #painting, #ottawaart, #ottawaartists, #613art

Quiet

Latest in Featured Pieces… another from Gatineau Park

Based on a reference taken in October, a gorgeous fall day in Gatineau Park. The quiet and calm of this spot was captivating. Near a trail, it nevertheless felt untouched by people. In fact, probably few would have paused … these woods remind me of Robert Frosts’ famous poem. The snow not yet arrived here but soon it would and would be quieter still.

Fall Lake

Based on a couple of photos in Gatineau Park, near Lac Carman this October, this is a study in colours (warm vs cool, complementaries, and values).

The inspiration is Tom Thomson’s sketch on panel: “Red Leaves” (1914) and his painting: “The Pool” (1915-16). Both are part of the National Gallery’s collection and are worth a close up look. Get really close to see the complexity of the images, Tom’s extrordinary skill, strength and mastering in capturing the feel of the Canadian bush. The commercial images on calendars, postcards and mugs just don’t do justice to his work.

… I didn’t come remotely close of course but it was fun and sobering. I’ll definitely go back again to look some more and maybe a little more will sink in.

This piece has found a new home. If you would like a look, please check it out on the Private Collections page.

As long as I live, I will give you air to breath

I invite you to have a look at my latest in Featured Pieces. I admit, I have a thing for tress and this one was special. I visited and photographed this tree in the fall with the plan to paint it. It was fun to paint and kept thinking how in our busy lives (yes even retired people have busy lives), we mindlessly skip by things we should take more note of. Our beautiful and increasingly scare long lived trees and what they do for us is one that particularly affects me.

This beautiful Bebb’s Oak is about 120 years young. In our great great grandparents time it was transplanted to become part of the Dominion Arboretum which was established in 1898. This rare natural hybrid of white and bur oak is a member of a family of ancient trees. In 2017 a violent storm downed two of its large branches and tore away a third of its trunk. Despite this, it is a survivor and expected to recover and continue growing. Unless we destroy it willfully or thru neglect, it could live for another 1000 years into the early 2300’s.

Both for its impressive physical proportions and the timescale of its life, it commands our awe and respect and for its contribution to the air we breath, our gratitude.

Ardeth’s Tree, Dominion Arboretum

120 years young this beautiful Bebb’s oak, which is a natural hybrid of white oak and bur oak, will have many more centuries despite suffering significant damage in a violent storm in 2017. Over 5 feet across at it’s base with a span of nearly 19 feet, it is majestic. It is a member of a family of ancient trees that if left alone can live up into the multiples of 300 years.

In a society immersed in the “now” rushing headlong into the “next”, it takes effort to grasp the historical timescale of the life of a tree like this. 

I hope it is cared for, preserved and appreciated for generations to come.

Iris

English weather today. Rain was welcome today ( … not enough for the farmers unfortunately). Refreshing.

(Picture news: 36×24 piece in the works, called Trillium Woods, featuring these beautiful flowers in a woodland setting. References taken off the bike path near Greens Creek.)

A few spring flowers

Have been remiss posting pics, mainly due to the stay at home order. Got a few of the sour cherry blooming in the back yard. Waited in anticipation and soon after begun, it was over. All the more beautiful as it is brief. Ventured as far as the bike path near Green’s creek and was happy to get a picture of the trillium and fed quite a few mosquitoes in the process. …ahhh the joys of spring.

Waiting for the green

Another walk in the neighbourhood. Temperature was 15C. Great! Lots of people about getting out on Easter Sunday. Perhaps one positive in the otherwise tragic COVID pandemic, is that the lockdowns have got people out in the fresh air and perhaps appreciating the beauty in their own neighbourhood. Warm spring day, but looks more like last fall. The green will come. Hoping not to miss it at its freshest.

Gatineau Spring

Brilliant spring day today. The run off is in full strength. Everything is waking up. Glimpsed a mink crossing the road. Wish I was fast enough to capture a pic. Was completely unexpected. Nice surprise.

Falls near the Dunlop Trail
Spring run off
Waking up
Winding Stream

So many sights, hard to drink it all in.

Run off abstract #1
Run off abstract #2

Break up continues on the Ottawa

A beautiful couple of hours at Petrie this morning. The air was pure spring, refreshing but warm. The sun was brilliant and spring was definitely in the air. The soundscape was just the gentle rustling of the ice moving downstream as it touched the edge of the still frozen bits along the shore.

And then there was the honking of the Canada geese returning from their trip down south. Can’t help feeling glad when I hear that. I know we don’t get along very well as the summer goes on. I am still sad when they leave in the fall and still in awe of them and the other migrants that travel huge distances for their winter survival.

Just to see them all arrive and honking, seems like they are delighted to arrive, glad the trip is over again and excited… all V-discipline evaporated, especially among what I assume the juvenile delinquents.

First snow on the farm

The cold days are more frequent than the warm now. But when the wind abates, there’s still warmth from the sun this early in the season. The snow will melt again before the holidays. Everything is quiet now.

Revisited a plein air spot for a couple of pics with the snow on the ground and completed this piece thinking of the fresh crisp air and the feel of the place. I like the spot and revisit it from time to time to see how it looks in the different light and conditions.

Featured Pieces

Petrie Gold

It was one of those beautiful, bittersweet days – sun, brilliant blue sky with cotton ball clouds scudding by. Warm when the sun was out but chilled when a cloud cast a shadow tracing over the landscape. It was a day to wake up and appreciate the brief remaining days before winter moves in. Nature put on its best show of gold, bronze and rust. Ref. Featured Pieces

Sisters, Braedale Holsteins

I love the countryside around Cumberland, Ontario. This summer, I stopped on Willhaven Drive to take a few reference photos of these beautiful cows. Almost the entire herd, came over to the fence. These 2 girls were particularly delightful. Clearly besties they nudged close to each other. One is scratching an itch on the barbed wire, while the other is licking the angle iron fence post. These beauties belong to Braedale Holsteins and are possibly offspring of Breadale Goldwyn, a bull named top sire at the World Dairy Expo, 10 times.

Pedigree aside, these two were a joy to paint.

Painting on location – Plein Air

Painting outside is one of the joys of summer. In the past, it was perhaps the only way to get the real feel of a scene. Other than that, the choice was to paint from memory and sketches. Nowadays, painting on location has morphed into plein air, which has come to mean painting small format pieces as works in themselves or to capture the colours and light to be used for larger in studio pieces.

Whatever the motivation, the challenges in doing work outside on site make it inhibiting for many. Equipment (weight and portability), access, weather, bugs and curious onlookers need consideration and trial and error to find out what works. Then there is the actual challenges of getting composition right, getting colours and values right, changing light conditions and the necessity for speed. Starting out, the results are underwhelming or outright failures. That said, what makes this a joy is the feeling of being immersed in the scene, all senses firing. The experience regardless of outcome is well worth the effort. In any case, you can always fix or repaint that great piece, back in studio.

My last effort, “Late Summer”, was such an experience. Sketched one morning using Procreate on an iPad, painted on another day and then finished off in the studio a few days later. The smell of the fields, the fresh air and even the couple of passersby that stopped to say hi, were all a pleasure.

In the hot summer sun

It has been a really hot July this year making plein air painting all the more challenging. Sunflowers have certainly epitomized the broiling summer. Nevertheless, getting out into the fields with bees and butterflies tending to the flowers was really fine. Carrying portable shade made the morning fun. Packed it in at lunch when the heat was reaching the peak and stomach singnalled it was time to go. Finished off the piece in the comforts of home.

Summer Lillies

It has been a scorcher July this year. This was a fun piece to do, plein air, under an umbrella under the crab apple tree. Amazing how much UV energy the tree absorbs. With that and the sum bock coating in the umbrella, it was quite bearable. An iced fruit pop didn’t hurt either. Have to enjoy the simple stuff in these difficult times. Hope you all stay safe.

Spring Runoff

Seems like it’s been a little slow in coming but its perhaps, maybe definitely here (no snow in the forecast for the coming week). Have to celebrate it! This was based on a photo from last May when we were allowed out. As it went on, the piece took over control and a stream happened and 2 young deer appeared.