Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Buzzard Lake Sunset Shore

The line of showers and thunderstorms had passed Buzzard Lake allowing the sunset to illuminate the eastern shore opposite camp site 423. The lighting is magic for just a short time period and I wanted to illustrate capturing those colours in plein air. The camera cannot do justice to the brilliance and intensity of these very transient colours.
Oils on burnt sienna oil tinted foundation panel -a small (5x7), slippery surface!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thursday October 22nd, 1964 - A Day in Brockville and Canadian History (This coming Wednesday is Oct 22nd, 2014)

The Chosen One
 On Thursday October 22nd, 1964 a red maple leaf made a permanent mark on Canada. On this day, 50 years ago, the Flag Selection Committee voted on and chose the now famous Maple Leaf design as our new flag. The vote was unanimous in favour of the Maple Leaf design and it was sent on to Parliament.

The Flag Selection Committee was appointed by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in mid-September 1964 to find a new Canadian flag. The flag used at the time, the Red Ensign, was only unofficially Canada’s, having never been publicly approved by the royal family or government.

To manage this multi-party committee from within, Pearson appointed Leeds MP, John Ross Matheson, a proud Brockville resident. Matheson had been advising the Prime Minister with regards to a new flag since 1963 and had already put forth a design as early as May of 1964. It was Matheson who had the single maple leaf design put forth to the committee out of the thousands of designs they looked at - and it was Matheson who convinced the committee to vote for the maple leaf design.

So raise a toast and salute the flag, because today is the 50th anniversary of its first baby step to becoming what we proudly fly today!

For more information on Brockville – Birthplace of the Canadian Flag and the 50th anniversary of Canada’s flag, visit the website at www.50YearsOfOurFlag.ca 
It was a privilege to work with John Ross Matheson on the "50 Years of Our Flag" Projects. John, Bob Harper and myself designed the following.

Forest Waterfall

The sound of the waterfall was unmistakable in the forest. I landed the canoe and started looking for it. It was exactly what I had hoped that I would find. The heavy summer rains were still draining from the Killarney highlands. This waterfall was just 30 feet from making it to Charlton Lake. The midday sun occasionally broke through the trees to illuminate the tumbling water. It wasn't a mighty fall of water but for me, it was just what I needed.
The photo was taken as the painting neared completion with the inspirational waterfall in the background. There were just a few mosquitoes but not enough to rush my plein air work along.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twisted Island

I simply turned around after painting 1476 “Killarney Foggy Sunrise” and there was another painting. The pines and twisted white cedar was all that was needed to create a composition.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Killarney Foggy Sunrise

I set up on the east end of an island. The sunrise and meteorology of the sky was very interesting. Fog and stratus was just lifting due to the strong solar heating of Killarney, even in late September. It took me a while to paddle to my painting spot even though I had started early. The fog on the slopes east of Grace Lake had Kelvin-Helmholtz curls indicating an upslope flow. Meanwhile the tops of the stratus above the mountain tops had southerly curls at their top due to wind shear. Crepuscular rays were even evident at least in a transitory fashion. There was even a white line of sun glint on the eastern horizon of Charlton Lake. Meteorologically, I had to paint this scene.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Pool

This central area of Graham Rapids is a confusion of sound, foam, water and reflections. One might think that it was a simple painting to execute but they would be very wrong. It was a challenge to capture the inspiration of noise and entropy. There were a multitude of colours and reflections and I tried to do them justice. I do believe that it came together at the end using very wet paint on top of wet paint.

I spent all day at Graham Rapids. The subject matter was challenging but it is good to stretch your limits if you are able to. I used a lot of paint!

Head of Graham Rapids

I moved the easel to the top of Graham Rapids. I liked the reflection of the rocks and the trees in the fast water. The sound of the rapids drowned out all other noises although I occasionally felt like I heard something and that I was being watched. Margo told me that there was a sow black bear and a cub staying nearby. I never say anything but it felt weird. The sheep dog and chased the bears a couple of weeks previous.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Graham Rapids

To quasi quote the Marx Brothers, I “Spent a Day at the Rapids”. For those who didn’t remember and don’t have access to Google “A Day at the Races” (1937) was the seventh film starring the three Marx Brothers, with Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones, and Maureen O'Sullivan.
I canoed through Charlton Lake to the falls that empties Cross Lake in Charlton. There was a quaint cottage on the south bank and I was careful not to intrude although I had already met the owner and her dog. When I paint, I barely leave even footprints behind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Can't See the Rocks for the Trees

The rain finally ended and I decided to head out with one more canvas. I stood on the same spot as I did for 1467 Frood Lake Rain. It was sheltered from the chilly northeasterly wind.
During the time of the Group of Seven, extensive clear-cut logging and fires had decimated the forests. The quartzite of the La Cloche Mountains was revealed and certainly attracted the artists. The Group had no problem seeing and painting the rocks.
The clear-cuts are now growing back. So much so that it is difficult to see the rocks for the trees. The views from the La Cloche peaks that drew (humour intended) the Group of Seven are now obscured by the forest. It is actually a bit ironic although the forest is certainly better for the nature of the area. I saw a pair of otters and a doe and fawn frolicked nearby as I painted.
Painting at the end of a day is satisfying. It is one more kick at the can and the darkness prevents you from over-working the paint. It was quite dark when I finished so I am not yet sure how I made out.