Friday, October 24, 2014

Killarney Chair

It may look like a single Muskoka chair on the granite but this was Killarney. It had to be a Killarney chair. The empty chair is either a happy invitation to come and sit awhile on the edge of Killarney Channel “ to slow down and enjoy the fall colours. For those who view the glass as half empty, it can be a lonely chair vacated by those who left with the summer. Either way, I had fun capturing the moment in oil with a rather large brush.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Forest - 2014

I had just watched the noon news regarding the senseless and cowardly terrorist shootings on Parliament Hill. I decided to paint.
October 22nd was also the day marking the 50th anniversary of the Flag Committee's selection of the single maple leaf as the Canadian flag. The selection still had to be ratified by Parliament and that was no easy task either. My friend John Ross Matheson engineered the entire process much like playing a game of survivor.
I had to stand out of the chilly northeast breeze in order to stay comfortable. This painting location was just a few steps outside the Singleton Studio. Most of the trees had lost their leaves. The red oak were still hanging on. The red cedars in the intervening field were also interesting. The deer browse them up off the ground until it becomes uncomfortable to reach for the cedar twigs. The cedars may not taste very good but it keeps them alive.
I blocked the painting in like puzzle pieces. I then lade the colour in very thick and heavy. It was fun on the small and slippery surface.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Turning Colours in Killarney - Willisville

There was frost on the roof and even some snowflakes in the air. When the sun came out it was pleasant but still chilly. This was the view looking southward along Highway 6. Apparently the Red Dog Restaurant is only a couple of kilometres down the road - just over the hill. The soft maples were starting to turn red. There was even some yellow in the aspen and ash trees.
I have these painting pants that I use for plein air work. They were a bargain and I could not pass up any great deal. The best thing about them is that they have a multitude of zippered pockets for keeping valuables such as keys, small camera, GPS and flash drives. The worst thing about them is that they have a multitude of pockets. I know the keys and computer memory sticks are in there somewhere - " I just can't find them. The solution is to always place certain items in the same pockets.

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 
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!