Last Monday, the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society were happy to have some relief from the bitter cold. We enjoyed a mild and sunny day along the lake near Colchester. Instead of a hot water bottle, I added a little bit of highly concentrated rubbing alcohol to my paints to keep them from freezing. Working only in black and white, I created a value sketch out behind the home of another artist who spent the day preparing for freezing rain, making sure her paths to all her maple trees were clear. We all helped her out when we needed to warm ourselves with a little labour.
As expected, the weather turned nasty again, so I hunkered down in my studio and finished my painting, “Maple Trail” 18” x 24” acrylic on board.
“Shannon Cowan is a writer and editor whose novels and articles are published in the United States and Canada. She and her family have built a green home and have converted six acres of semi-rural brush into a working farm.” Source: http://www.eartheasy.com
On October 30, 2012 she wrote an article for Earth Easy about children caring for chickens. She goes into all that is necessary to establish a small chicken farm for egg production and how involving children teaches them about our food supply and the care of poultry. She notes, “Although challenges do arise, watching chickens cluck and peck happily in the earth is a source of peace and entertainment.”
With permission from Shannon Cowan, I developed this peaceful painting from her photo.
Last Thursday, the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society braved the frigid temperature and went to the Canadian Transportation Museum just west of Kingsville, ON. Behind the museum is the Heritage Village which features restored buildings from 1826 to 1920. Arriving there at 9:45 am, I started painting my interpretation of the pioneer village. Although it was cold (-14 degrees C), the sun was laying down some awesome shadows. It was not long before my paints froze and my paint brush was encrusted with ice. With only a bare image, I went in search of the other members who seemed much more prepared to endure the morning’s outing. Hearing of my adversity, our fearless leader pulls out a hot water bottle! It provided me with just enough time to obtain a value sketch.
In the warmth and comfort of my studio I competed this piece entitled “Sun Shine on the Village”. I also added a hot water bottle to my list of survival gear.
#Geese at #McKeePark in Windsor, ON. I got this #pleinairpainting part way done seven months ago… but today I finished it!
I was out with my daughter and saw a man shoveling off Cedar Creek while his kids were skating. True Canadian winter!
I painted this piece, “The Nature Centre at Ojibway Park” on January 19, 2015 with members of The Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society.
January has proven to be a very productive month…
There wasn’t actually a man fishing from the dock I was painting, but there should have been. I put my dad into the painting because he always loved to fish. From my vantage point, it appears as if I am watching over him from a balcony garden, giving rise to the painting’s title: “Watching Over the Neighbour”.
It was the blue colour of this farm house that caught my eye on a run through the County, but it was the sunlit snow that I tried to capture in the painting. I think I should have stuck with one or the other… reason enough to keep on painting.
“Wind Tunnel”, a 12″ x 16″ piece I painted in Alberta in July of 2007 came up for resale at an online art auction through Gardner Galleries in London, ON. The auction closed today and my painting was sold to the highest bidder for $305 (Roughly $400 including buyer’s premium and taxes).
It’s nice to know that my paintings hold their value. I read somewhere that paintings sell at auction for roughly 10% of what a gallery will charge for them. Maybe I need to raise my prices!
This week, Bench at the End of the Pier sold from Art with Panache Gallery in London, ON. I will be going up to London Wednesday to replace the ones that sold.
The first painting completed in 2015 is “The Barn Behind the Steam Engine Museum”. It was -12 in Kingsville, ON and I couldn’t stand outside, so I painted it from the comfort of my car! It was a little awkward trying to balance a palette of colours and a bucket of water.
My second painting this month is called “Walkway to the Willows”. This was inspired by a photograph I took at Point Pelee, Ontario.
My third painting, “Christmas Eve” was a recreation of a painting called “A Taste of Snow” that I originally did in 2003. I needed a Christmas themed painting and I couldn’t find the original, so I had to repaint it from a photograph! Check out the before and after:
I’m just adding some finishing touches to a fourth. More to come!