Jun 4, 2015

Plein Air Adventure - Long Beach, Tofino, the Real West Coast!!!


The bags are packed,
paints, cameras ready,
dog in the car,
Great to be on the road.

Rusty, Steve and I were headed for Long Beach, Uclulet and Tofino.

First Stop - Wickinnish Beach. No matter what the weather, an amazing sight to see!  Wide open beach, waves just rolling in.  The constant roar of the waves, the screech of the seagulls, what more could you want?

It was also little overwhelming when I thought about painting!!  We wondered around, stopped and soaked it in.  
Like chocolate in the store window, the waves caught my eye.  I knew I couldn't devour them there so I started clicking with my camera.  These I will savour later.

Steve and Rusty decided to wonder and I set up shop.  

When you are looking at miles of open beach it really is hard to get started.  When I feel that way I just sit down, grab a pencil and start!!  Once those first marks are made, it seems to energize the page.  Add this, darken that, include this, sharpen that; suddenly becomes my visual conversation and before I know it things are happening!!  

One little thing I did forget - bug spray!! Who would think that on a cloudy cool day, with a breeze off the water that the BLACK FLIES would be out!!  Got nailed twice behind both ears and one on my neck!

No visit to the coast is complete without a fog picture.  The marine fog sits off the coast in a gray bank, rolling in and out throughout the day.  One minute bright sun and then back it comes.  We had our share of cloud and fog but really there is so much to see it wasn't a problem.

We wondered down to Uclulet and Amphitrite Point.  This is way you can get a great view of the Broken Islands of Barkley Sound.  The Uclulet Community has built a great trail that winds around the point and along the coast. There is a picture waiting at every turn!!

  Who can resist painting a lighthouse?  

Somehow it is a more concrete subject and easier to set up the focal point.  Amphitrite Point Lighthouse has been standing for 100 years.  When you see how close it is to the edge of the rocks and how big the waves are on a Good Day, it is hard to believe it is still there!!

The rocks and the beaches aren't the only things on the West Coast.  Pacific Rim National Park also has some forested areas.  Some are the scraggy firs in the marsh area but some are really big.  They are not the size of the true old growth but certainly large enough to catch your breath.  

Our 4 days on the coast went way to fast. We took one last look at the water before heading out.
Campbell River was our next stop.  Still on the island but the east side.

My sister lives in Campbell River and arranged for me to join her on a kayaking trip in the channels at the the mouth of the Campbell River.  Quite an adventure! We put in at the Spit and then headed across the main part of the river.  No fiddling around as it is also the runway for the water planes!!
 Once we were across we entered another world of winding channels through marshlands.  We needed the high tide to allow our entry as some of channels are very shallow, with shadowy tunnels through the branches of the trees.  When the salmon are running my sister says the fish are so thick and jumping about it seems like they will hop into your boat.  No fish today, but a few seals followed us about to see what we were up too and geese and ducks gave us a wide berth.  The bald eagle we saw was not too interested, he was busy with the crows that were chasing him away.

Of course I tried my hand at painting again.  Nothing beats settling in on a log and getting to work.  It nourishes the soul.!!

All to  soon it was time to go but I am pumped and ready to head out again!

Here is my painting of Amphitrite Point Lighthouse - 100 years old this year!!  

Amphitrite Point Lighthouse - 5 x 7, Watercolour
Have a great day and tell me about your first plein air adventures of the season.

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