Despite a faltering vehicle, I have managed to get outdoors to paint with fellow members of the #WindsorEssexPleinAirPainters. With the arrival of spring, I eagerly shook off my hat and gloves. I knew my drawing skills would improve with unbound hands; but regardless of that result, I am pleased with my first leap into spring,
Spring’s Mosaic, acrylic on board, 20″ x 16″
Hopefully this will be the last plein air painting of 2015 that I will have to paint with gloves and hand warmers.
Years ago in Calgary, AB a young girl modeled for us with her bicycle. It was obviously pretty small for her but she went everywhere on that thing. After two hours, I captured her and the bike on my 18” x 24” board but nothing more. So the piece sat unfinished for 7 years as I tried to figure out how to finish it. When I packed up all our belongings and moved to Kingsville, ON the girl and her bike made the road trip with us. It was full of potential energy and I’m glad I finally finished it, “Late for the Party”.
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.