Friday, September 24, 2010

A Gray Day on the Water

A Gray Day on the Water - 2.5 x 4.5 inches

I just got back from the last painting trip of the year. We spent two weeks on Hornby Island, a small island off the east coast of Vancouver Island, a great place to paint the waters of the west coast. It is amazing to sit by the water, on a sunny day and paint what you see. As you can see by my picture it wasn't always sunny!!
I had picked up an art book of Carol Evans paintings while I was on the ferry and she really inspired me on this trip. She paints the waters and shores of the coastal islands in beautiful watercolors. She had one picture that was done on a real cloudy, gray day and when we had the rain I decided I would give it a try. My husband, Steve and my dog, Rusty and I settled in the truck at Phipps Point and I got started. (Steve reads and Rusty does what all dogs do, sleep.) At first it was just gray and I was really surprised how much and how quickly the skies and the visibility changed. At one point I was working on the background and looking around I decided that I needed some more darks in my sky as there was a really black cloud above us. Suddenly that cloud opened up and rain drops fell, I am sure they were at least 1 inch in diameter! We have power windows so Steve began madly fumbling for the keys so we could shut the windows. Fun and memorable moments often go with plein air painting!!


Monday, September 6, 2010

The PNE and The Family Outing

The Family Outing - 10.5 x 14.4 in

I am sure everyone has thought I went into my fall hibernation as I have not posted for a bit. I have been very busy with the PNE, The Pacific National Exhibition. I am involved with a market on the grounds and I do drawing demos there during the day. The days are quite long, not that I am complaining, they do go quite quickly but it does not leave a lot of time for other things. It is a great opportunity to meet and talk with people about my work and get some kind of feeling for how others see it. The Family Outing is the picture I have been working on while there.
As you can see I have made real headway on this piece. It was an excellent one to do as a demo as once I did the head of the larger bird and a rough layout at home I was able to work on it and talk with people at the same time!! I have left the details of the feathers on the both birds and the red of the second bird to do in my studio. I am quite excited about my picture; it really has a left of its own. I can hardly wait to see it done.
This will be my third picture of the sandhill cranes and I really enjoyed working on it. While talking to people I learned that although the cranes are only starting to come back to the Fraser Valley, there are other parts of Canada where they are present in large numbers. This pair was the only successful pair to raise a chick at the Riefel Bird Sanctuary this year so it was very nice to hear that they are doing better in other places. I know this picture will be a real hit at the Sanctuary Gift Shop later this year.