Thursday, July 23, 2015

965 Jones Boathouse

Started around 1 pm Tuesday April 15, 2008. Painting Place from the old River Road Bridge N44.50362 W75.80454.
I stopped at the old bridge where the "River Road" used to cross the mouth of Jones Creek. Apparently the construction crews feared they would never get to the bottom when they were carrying in rock for the bridge. This is township property but the local owner has used it now for a tomato garden. When she came over, she said she usually asked people to leave. I smiled and showed her my art. She made an exception for me. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

988 Three Sisters

Started around 12:15 pm on Wednesday June 11, 2008.
And the clouds just keep on rolling. Starting just after high noon, I sketched the view to the northeast looking from the balcony of the condo at 55 Water Street East. The towering cumulus clouds are what caught my eye. They developed and moved off so quickly that what resulted in the painting is a composite of many different individual clouds. Thank goodness that the islands and terrain did not move as well. The condo Kitty seemed to approve.
At one time a bridge was planned to join Brockville with Morristown with the three islands, the Three Sisters providing the base for the towers supporting the spans. That never happened although there is some stone work on the closest of the islands. Traffic would have landed on the lawns of Fulford Place, however, and Senator Fulford managed to block completion of the project. Had it been completed, the history of the region would have been quite different.

Monday, July 20, 2015

982 Savage Sunrise

Started 8:30 am Monday May 12th, 2008. Painting Place at N44.50688 W75.78943.
This was painted from the southwest point of Green (A) Island overlooking the flat granite point of Savage Island. The sun was still getting up.
I was planning to paint from the other point but I noticed a Canada goose on a nest and I didn’t wish to disturb her. She (or he) got quite used to me after a while and we did not bother each other. The mate spent its time paddling around in front keeping an eye on me. The geese seemed to remember me and didn’t put up much of a fuss.
The osprey were still playing at there nest. Their call is more like that of a songbird and not a raptor!
The clouds on the southwestern horizon were thickening up from cirrostratus into the odd band of detached altostratus. A low pressure area was on the way and the northeasterlies up the river responded, The waves on the way back to shore were rather large with white caps. As a result the Savage sunrise was foretelling stormy weather on the way. It came to pass.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A FAB - Plein Air - Experience

So far, we have a small group signed up for the FAB - Plein Air - Experience of August 7-8-9. That is fine by me. Plan A and Plan B are being finalized and will be communicated to the intrepid painters. Painting locations must have shelter and some basic facilities - as well as a good exposure for the morning and afternoon light with vistas to match. There are many such locations in the Frontenac Arch Biosphere but we only need three. The focus will be on painting and I will share the lessons learnt over the decades - as well as those I try to learn every day.
We will certainly talk about the weather - we will paint in it for sure. The attached painting is from one of the special locations that I know well.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Started Sunday August 3rd, 2008.
It was 4 pm on the balcony at "The Executive" condo in Brockville. We were all enjoying the weather on a beautiful August afternoon.
A cumulus on the American shore shot up to a massive towering cumulus (TCU) in a matter of minutes and I grabbed a canvas and paints to have fun with it. With convective cloud, the shapes, patterns and colours change by the minute and I had to rush before the TCU started to shower out. This was only the first in a series of TCU's that produced showers for the rest of the day. Only one or two way to the east over New York State, ever made it to the cumulonimbus stage.
The "ICU" in the title could be one of two things. It was initially meant to be "I see you" but at times during the process of the painting, it could have meant "intensive care unit" as the survival of the sketch was in some doubt.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

1306 Rain Clouds

Started 4 pm Monday June 10th, 2013.
Rain was certainly on the way. The shelf of clouds on the horizon was there because rain was falling just to the west. The rush of air downward with the rain was lifting the convectively unstable mass of air upward to saturation causing the shelf to develop. The knuckles on the edge of the cloud shelf are indicative of the strength of the air movement and in this case, the instability. I figured I had over an hour to lay in the shapes and colours. Would it be enough time? A raven flew by so I sketched it in. I admire the "Einsteins" of the bird world.
It started to rain fairly hard at 5:15 pm. I retreated to the studio.
It rained all night and most of the following day. The upper jets used to blow strongly from west to east and usher lows eastward on their way. With a warmer Arctic the upper flow is weaker and now meanders like the twisted flow in a flood plain - "ox-bow lake lows". Slow moving systems will become more common and linger for days.

Monday, June 29, 2015

1441 Just 'n Time

Started 6:30 am Friday August 22nd, 2014. Painting Place N44.50136 W81.37268 Near 11 South Rankin St. Southampton, Ontario.
I was set up on Scubby's Bluff by 6:30 am on Friday August 22nd (my Mother's birthday). The fog was quite thick. The street lights were still on and bright. I decided to paint the two fishing boats on the opposite shore as an illustration for the participants who would arrive around 9 am. The crew started to arrive for the one boat so I made that part of the painting a big priority! They were gone by 7:00 am so I had to finish the other boat and the details after that. The fishing boat that remained never moved during the entire workshop. It was aptly named "Just 'n Time" which was always true since it never moved.
I was using my palette from the Kawarthas' plein Air Trip and it was getting tacky and time to start anew. The oil paint had been on the palette for a couple of weeks and almost none of it was wasted. The paint was sticky and proved to be a trap for the small night-time bugs that still flew in the early morning hours.
I watched what were most likely salmon and rainbow trout snatch morsels from the surface. I even saw the large dark shapes in the shallow water with their huge tail fins breaking the surface like sharks. I never saw one of these trophies caught.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

1422 Developing Showers

Started 2 pm on Tuesday August 5th, 2014 - Tom Thomson's birthday (1877).
The cumulus clouds were developing into towering cumulus and it was only a matter of time before showers started to reach the ground. An approaching cold front would help to organize them as well. The analyzed position on the cold front on the accompanying map was a bit too fast - too far to the southeast. The front has yet to sweep across Singleton Lake. The main band of showers were still west of Kingston at 4:30 pm local and I suspect that was the front.

Friday, June 26, 2015

1419 Multicell Thunderstorms

Noon on Wednesday July 30th, 2014.
The names for the paintings normally come to me while I am painting. My mind may wander/wonder and the reason for the painting and the name fuse. That was certainly the case with "Multicell Thunderstorms".
I often hear people complain that "they" were forecasting thunderstorms today but "they" were wrong again - I never got a drop of rain. "They" are those typically incompetent weather forecasters who can never get it right, even when "they" do. Showers and thunderstorms do not cover every square inch of a forecast region and this was why "POP" or probability of precipitation was invented. A meteorologist needs a thick skin and a smile at all times.
If people could read the sky they might realize that those clouds on the northwest horizon were indeed multicell thunderstorms. There was sufficient wind shear in the atmosphere to cycle multiple updrafts through the flanking line and into the main event where they become the dominant updraft. After their twenty minutes of glory, each of these updrafts weaken and flow downstream into the anvil. Such was the case this afternoon. I half expected to see warnings issued when I went in to check the radar. At 2 pm the line of thunderstorms looked to be developing a line echo wave pattern which can be the signature for damaging winds.
The streets of cumulus ahead of the line of thunderstorms are typically aligned parallel to the boundary layer winds. This was true in this example although it was not a classic case as viewed on the visible satellite imagery.
I did not hear thunder as I painted so the thunderstorms had to be more than 20 kilometres away. Radar confirmed that they were actually about 40 kilometres distant.