Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Painting Winter & Snow"

Canadian Arctic
Acrylics on Watercolour paper
10 1/2" X 7 1/2"

I love painting Winter.
There is something about snow that excites me as I begin.
It took a long time for me to find my stride in this genre
This is a blog entry about how snow looks at different times and how I have interpreted it in my art.

Snow can be tricky to paint
as while it has no colour, it reflects the colours that surround it.
I like painting Winter on the coldest days, when the temperatures 
plummet well below any comfort level.
that is why most of my snow has undertones of blue and grays
with no yellow highlights.

When a very cold day is bright with no sun visible
you actually see no colour excepting the things around the snow, such as cars, houses and people.
the photo above was taken on an extremely cold day a few years ago.
You can see that there are no colours with the exception of whites, Blacks, and Grays.
The scene is  a very cold day after a Hoar frost
and a gentle snow was falling.

This photo was taken the same day, the absence of colour is apparent when you see the red parking

"No sky, no colour."
Seems like a very strong thought coming from an artist, 
but often times ones enjoys a rest from our visual senses 
when we are surrounded by peace and quiet, even if it is just visual.
I have come to love these days, there is something peaceful about just a moment in time when everything 
is black and white.

This painting is in a good home now

An interesting after-note;
On very clear  nights  when the Moon is full
at any time of the year the same thing happens.
The Moon does not cast any Yellow hues, 
and the beauty of the scene it produces has the same effect.
Whites are dominant and reds disappear.
Oh the Magic of our visual senses.
I have added various scenes that I have painted of Snow/ Winter, along with
some photos I have taken in my area, either after a snow or a Hoar frost, and as well showing the difference between the day/night/and no visible sun days.
These will give you a good idea of how the colours of the snow works.
If you have any questions./comments please Email me @
I will answer each and post them here.

You will notice this painting with a line of trees along a walk.
It was a sunny day and the colours are totally different.
Still the only Colours I used were blue/white/a bit of black,
and brown for the tree trunks.

This painting is looking toward the West just at sunset.

My first attempt of painting the Larches in Winter, Not great,
but the person that bought it loved it.

This photo was taken at dusk in a field covered in Hoar frost.

The stand of Larches facing west, the sunrise`from the East  is glowing in The West sky
(Totally covered in Hoar frost)

The same Larches a few days later

Taken the same day as the above sidewalk photo

 A bright sunny day after a Hoar Frost.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Storm Over Canola Field"

"Storm Over Canola Field"

Acrylic on Masonite
24" X 24"

It has been a long, long time since I painted anything that did not have a tree in it.
This exception is a scene I have wanted to paint for quite a while.
In Southern Alberta, we have storms, big storms, and the clouds as they roll in are just breathtaking.
At my daughters home they have a back deck that is about 20 feet off the ground.
And, all you can see for miles and miles is Canola growing during the season.
This view is due East, and the bright spot in the middle of the clouds is the sun still rising in the morning.
The fields are rolling hills. undulating with changing colour.
That morning I could feel the electricity in the air, and because it had rained overnight I could smell the rain.
This area of Canada has without a doubt, the most incredible skies.
Even more so, the storm clouds are just beautiful in all their power.
Because of the very close proximity to the Canadian side of the Rocky Mountains, we expect storms.
But our elevation is such that at times you feel if you stand on your tip-toes you can reach up and touch them.
I shall remember my feelings watching this cloud moving toward me.
I  hold my breath when I look at the painting even now.

I hope I have captured the Magnificence of this cloud.
The beauty of the rain it fed to the fields 
and the cleansing feeling I felt
as it passed over me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Willow Bay"

"Willow Bay"
Acrylics on Birch Panel
24" X 24"

Over the course of my years, and recently here in my blog,
 I have had talked about my love affair with the natural beauty of the Northern Part of Manitoba, Canada.
Growing up in isolation, then on to town life, and then the city, I have found that in my mind, I have
never left that natural pristine beauty.
For the greater part , my art encapsulates trees, nature and the world around me.
always, influenced by those early years when I originally connected with the beauty of Nature.
Make no mistake, there are no Natural Wonders there, just a raw beauty of Nature growing unimpeded.
Of Forest fires that devastate, highways running through and city people wanting a weekend of time beside a 
lake shore.

Willow bay is a  bit of a walk  from the old cabin I grew up in.
The Lake shore was always visible.

The I cabin  grew up in  had no running water, no electricity and no inside facilities.
That all would come much later, but there was never to be running water in the place.
There was an Arteisan well just outside the front door.

My good memories were always outside those walls.
Amongst scrub Poplars, Birch trees, Willows  and Canadian Spruce.
of sitting beside a creek that flowed into the lake that was full of fish during Spawning season.
There were Deer, Moose, and Brown Bears.
Oftentimes Lynx would roam the area.

But it was quiet
the skies were clear and the stars shone their brightest.
Some nights the sky would look like a shot gun full of diamonds was aimed upwards to the heavens,
and fired,
where they settled in, never to fall.

This painting is of Kyle & Cathys  (Brother & Sister in-law) Cottage nestled on the shore line of Willow Bay.
(Known as Deightons Beach when I was a child)
My favorite place in the whole world.
It is calm, it is beautiful and it is secluded.
This area shaped who I was to become in my elder years.
I am so fortunate to have known it.
The details of this painting are below, it took a long time, and the very last
correction was the slope of the cottage roof, It just never rang true to me, but I finally got it.
I hope you enjoy the painting process of this , one of the most personally pleasurable works of
I have ever attempted.

 Initial stage;

Before I changed the slope of the roof;