Friday, December 21, 2012

Point Paradise

This is the western point of our Singleton property. A finger of 1.2 billion year old marble points and plunges into the 50 foot deepest portion of Singleton Lake. The red cedars on this point are probably much older than their limited size would suggest. Point Paradise will be a great place to sit and watch the world go by when we finally get a chance to slow down.


I love the marble rock shores of Singleton Lake. The rock may be tough on the canoe but I am very, very careful. The reflections in water always interest me and I enjoy practicing the best ways to handle the different colours and textures without getting dragged into the photo-realism approach to painting. The water level was really low. I will do my patented "rain dance" to fix the situation. It is not pretty but it works....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Singleton Marble

The Frontenac Axis connects the northern Canadian Shield with the Adirondack region. It is an important biological corridor linking Adirondack Park with Algonquin Park. Singleton Lake is right in the middle of all of the action. We try to preserve this natural corridor the best we can within our little corner of paradise. The marble ridges run northeast to southwest. Sedimentary limestone rock is transformed into marble by a lot of heat and/or pressure. The marble of the Frontenac Axis is commonly mistaken for granite. The entire region has been taken for granted... The rock forming the shores of Singleton Lake is about 1.2 billion years old. At one time there was a lot of water and currents flowing around these marble ridges. The water level still fluctuates a lot as revealed by the etchings on the rock. Currently the water is the lowest that I have seen it. The altocumulus gravity waves reflected in the water were an indicator of a low pressure area and warm front on the way.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Singleton Sunset 2012

The sunsets are spectacular most evenings across Singleton Lake. The colours change really quickly so it would be a race against time that I would certainly lose - at least in this case. The lake was actually ice covered. I decided to enjoy a larger canvas in the warm studio to attempt to do my best with this vista. It was raining outside. A beaver came to inspect some trees on the lake front that they were eyeing for dessert.
I plan to do many more sunset paintings of this vista so I added the year in order to differentiate between them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fresh Air

The Arctic air behind a cold front is fresh in both temperature and quality - unlike the air behind a summer cold front. The ice formed from shore to shore to shore overnight behind one such cold front. The sheet of "glass" required that aqua animals needed to break breathing holes to get around and stay alive. One such hole is in the front left of this painting. Air bubbles trapped under the ice must be rich in carbon dioxide from the exhaled breath of the rodents. I suspect this hole was done by a beaver. The family of otters would have punched a riot of holes while the beavers are more solitary swimmers. I am not sure a muskrat would have been big and strong enough to punch such a hole through the ice. There is always something to paint at Jim Day Rapids.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cold Front 12-12-12

This view is looking easterly across the open field beside the Singleton Studio. A cold front had just passed through and I wanted to catch the convective clouds before they got too far to the east and before the temperatures dropped too much. Typically just behind an anabatic cold front skies clear for maybe an hour and then cloud in again as air continues to rise above the wedge of cold air. There was almost no preciptation on the front - at least at Singleton Lake. I always like the way the majestic white pines stand out alone against the sky.
I also felt motivated to paint on the 12th day of the 12th month in 2012...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wellington County in Late July 2013

Wellington County Museum - Plein Air Paintfest with Phil the Foreaster Chadwick July 22 through July 26, 2012. We have wonderful skies in Wellington County, fields and farms and the Grand River. Classes will be out most of the day, with a home base in the lower level of a big old bank barn. If it rains, there is a terrific view down the slope to the river. The barn will have tables, chairs, electricity and cold water. Coffee, lunchroom and washrooms in the main building.
Sounds like fun to me...

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Cumuli

There were more than one cumulus clouds in the western sky and this explains the title for this skyscape. As I painted some became vigourous enough to produce snow flurries. As the air mass became more unstable the winds aloft were brought to the surface and once again my hands got very cold. The wind also rippled the surface which was perfectly calm when I started. It was cloudy by the time I finished.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Snow on New Ice

It was cloudy and cool with snow pellets showers and a few true snow flurries. This was the first snow of the season at Singleton Lake although nearby areas had measurable snow a few days before. I was interested in how the snow formed patterns on the new ice. As I painted I noticed that the patterns changed dramatically. I think the snow melted into the ice and as it did, the patches of white snow blended into the darker swirls in the new ice. The change is quite dramatic when one is looking at the images below separated by maybe an hour. When one is in "the zone" and busy painting this dramatic change was only noticed because I couldn't seem to get the drawing "right".
A flock of red polls came by as did an immature bald eagle.

First Ice, Nov 27

The sun was still low on the southeastern horizon and there was no wind - it was looking like a beautiful morning. I wanted to record how the first thin sheet of ice looked in the morning light. The current in Jim Day Rapids would always keep the central portion ice free. I will let you be the judge if the painting was successful.
Flocks of geese, mallards and mergansers kept me company. I had to put gloves on because a breeze developed and I just can't take the wind chill anymore! The temperature wasn't even that cold at minus 4 Celsius but my hands still got very cold. The wind chill was a real motivator not to overwork the painting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Getting Organized - well sort of...

Before I head out to paint this morning I thought I should get at least a bit organized. Blogs are great but details on courses and presentations soon get buried deep in the list. I decided to make a page on my "Official Chadwick Art House" site devoted to "Courses Only" and "Coming Events". If one follows the new link  at the top of "Phil's Links" you will be directed to that new page which I will keep current - mainly so I can stay organized myself.
Here is a work in progress from sunset a few evenings ago...

Monday, November 26, 2012

1965-2015 Canada Celebrates 50 Years of Our Flag

I have been truly honoured with the commission to produce a 4x6 foot canvas to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Our Canadian Flag. There will be a minimum of 7500 prints reproduced, signed and numbered by me - wow. The talented organizers of the "Flag Project" really think big! I will leave it for them to identify themselves in the coming days and weeks. Corporate sponsors are being contacted as well. Brockville may become identified as the birthplace of the Canadian Flag - and rightfully so. John Matheson is well known to be the architect behind the successful committee that unanimously selected the design of the flag. Imagine what a challenge that would have been! I have met with John who has thrown his whole support behind the project. An official Flag Project Website will be launched soon.
John with his copy of my art book.
John with his Order of Canada holding his own book "Canada's Flag"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wilson Street Studio Art Retreats 2013

I have just spent the weekend touring the wine country of "The County" - a blast! Prince Edward County have reinvented themselves as the destination for lovers of vino, vistas and food. Thus it is a perfect place for artists. I scouted some painting locations and found enough material for three weeks of painting - more than enough for 3 days. I didn't have to look very hard!
Keith and Helen of Wilson Street Studio are organizing the Art Retreat and I expect it will be more fun than we could dare to imagine. I am scheduling some fair weather so please give this Art Retreat some consideration. Here is the official invitation. Come to the County and let's paint!

Thursday May 16 to Sunday May 19, 2013
Join Phil at this three-day Art Retreat in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

Phil's Post Impressionist style is strongly suited to capturing the farms, fields, small towns and rivers of the County. Your three days in the resort begins Thursday evening, after check in, with an orientation session and a discussion about locations, style and the art of plein air painting.

We stay in a "country inn", a former schoolhouse in the south of the County. From there we move out each day to capture the blossoming of spring in the villages and countryside. For more information, click the following link to head to the Wilson Street Studio website.

Space is limited, so don't wait too long to book your spot.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thousand Islands Fine Arts Association _ Workshop

I have been asked to conduct a presentation and workshop for the Thousand Islands Arts Association. It will be fun and I am quite looking forward to getting back to some art ... from the meteorology of Sandy and other storms... It has been opened to non TIFAA members. Please contact the President Belia Brandow through the above link or at  
By the way the weather next Thursday looks spectacular under a northeast to southwest ridge of high pressure. Winds will be light westerly and skies should be mainly sunny. The temperatures will be up to plus 7 Celsius but the sun will make it feel warmer...

The details follow:
Hello TIFAA members. We have opened up the workshop to non TIFAA members for a cost of $15.00. There is no charge for members . Please let me know ASAP if you are bringing a guest. You do not need to bring painting supplies as the day will be presentations, demonstrations and discussions. You can however print a landscape painting if you wish ( preferably a plein air ) and Phil will attempt to apply his “CSI” knowledge . Hopefully we will have time for 2-3 paintings. This will be fun and a great learning experience .
Workshop : Presentation/ discussion and demonstration by Phil Chadwick the Weather Forecaster and Artist. Phil’s presentation will be of interest to all fine artists.
Date: Thursday November 22/ 2012
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m.
Place: Mallorytown Community Centre
10:00 am -12 :00 – Tom Thomson presentation and discussion
12:00 - 1:00 – LUNCH - Please bring your own lunch * – coffee ,tea will be provided
1:00 – 3:00 Phil’s artist Journey and his new book “ The Passion of Phil the Forecaster “ recently published Sept. 24 /2012
You can get a preview of Phil’s work at
Phil has also written the “ Weather of Ontario” published by Lone Pine. It is found in many book stores and at Home Hardware in Brockville
How does Your painting “weather” the CSI critique. Hopefully we will have time for 2-3 paintings.
*P.S. The newly renovated restaurant in Mallorytown is now open and you can also get great subs at Purcell’s.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Robert Genn's Excellent Newsletter

The Painter's Keys at has been a wonderful resource over the years ... and continues to be. Robert used my letter in the last issue of his excellent newsletter available at I find that his writings very often hit a chord with me. Artists apparently follow similar paths. I hope you sign up for his free newsletters and enjoy them as much as I do.
Sorry that I am not painting for a couple of weeks. Meteorology and family sometimes takes precedence... and that's OK. The oils will start to fly again in November. If you want to see the meteorology that I do, visit COMET at You can register for free and learn more about the environment than you ever dreamt was possible. I have many modules on Satellite Meteorology (The Satellite Palette) and also lots of information on Performance Measurement...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Joys of Plein Air

The little things when out surrounded by inspiration is the reason to paint outside. The plein air artist sees a lot of interesting parts of nature - this past week I had the camera handy enough to record a fisher watch me paint - if only for a minute.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Thinning Forest

The combination of falling leaves and falling trees was allowing the horizon to peek through the remaining forest on the west shore of Jim Day Rapids. There were still a few lily pads hanging on. One bull frog watched me the entire time I painted. It was mainly sunny again! The cloud bases had shot through the cloud tops since the cold air mass was quite dry. This just means that the lifted condensation level for the mixed air mass was higher that the top of the morning layer of cloud. This is a typical progression for a cold air mass. Oils on burnt umber/burnt sienna mixed oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 11 X 14 (inches)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Morning Cloud-2012

I never tire of painting clouds. They are always interesting. The layer of stratocumulus on the western horizon was still convective even after a long October night. I suspect cloud top cooling was the main contributor to the cumulus cloud tops. I was very faithful to the cloud and sky colours. The autumn colours are probably at their peak.  The cold air mass was certainly unstable so by 10 am the sky was overcast with daytime heating cumulus and stratocumulus. By noon the cloud bases had shot through the cloud tops since the cold air mass was quite dry. It was mainly sunny again! This is a typical progression for a cold air mass.

Tom's Zeppelins

I am painting "copies" of Tom Thomson's pieces that I plan to discuss in my coming book "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman". I have been advised that this is fine to do it this way and the process of getting premissions from the various galleries has now gone into months. The paint flowed. On close examination Tom's brush strokes were really fast and furious. It would have been dark as well and tough to see either by lantern light or the light of the full moon. His brush picked up paint from either side of his stroke and blended them together. There were really not many double strokes so the colours still remained relatively unmixed. The colours were different on the computer image I looked at on the laptop and the book version. As a result I didn't worry much about matching the colours exactly. It is a good exercise to paint copies of each of Tom's paintings that I wish to use in my book. It really forces me toe examine each stroke and to discern more clues hidden in plain sight. I discovered another more subtle example of conditional symmetric instability (CSI) on the left edge of the painting. I even painted "Rigel" in the spot it would appear if there were no clouds. Tom has a flick of white paint in about the same spot and it made me wonder whether he played the same joke and laid the star on top of the transient cloud that could have moved out of the way of the star as he painted. This fleck of white paint is possible especially if Tom's sense of humour is like mine. No one will ever know for certain.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Forest Interior 2012

The weather was too mild to paint in the studio. Gusty southwesterly winds and the odd spit of rain were great conditions compared with what they would be in another month or two. I wanted to practice my handling of fall foliage and the view toward the provincially significant wetland was perfect for that. It was a scene full of details and colour but only a small portion of it all could be included without getting lost in the forest. I liked the colour of the two red cedars - of course the sky poking through the holes in the forest canopy. Oils on burnt umber oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 10 X 8 (inches)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Morning Showers

The morning clouds turned into showers. The cloud patterns are actually quite revealing. A strong southwesterly wind aloft created the banding in the stable layer which I interpreted as the top of the planetary boundary layer. The bands are arched (like a deformation zone from which I can apply the conceptual model I invented) which supported the convection which I witnessed to the west. The clouds were changing quickly but I managed to stay true to the meteorology. A shaft of blue sky opened up between the convection on the western horizon. This convection eventually moved through and pushed me inside. The minimal shelf cloud in the third image below is the visual clue to a stronger shower to the west. I got a bit wet but the painting was pretty much done anyway. I shouldn't overwork the spontaneity of the brush strokes in the clouds. We wouldn't want to turn them into boulders in the sky ... Oils on ultramarine blue tinted oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 11 X 14

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tunnel Through The Trees

The lane to the neighbour's is in the middle of the dark spot on the right side of the canvas. That is the tunnel through the wall of trees. The autmn colours are really starting to show through. I have been happy to chronicle this annual transformation. A couple of pilated wood peckers and a few crows flew through the scene - I almost included them - almost but not quite. Some small bugs pasted themselves into the sky so I guess I got that colour bang on - so to speak. If I left them there they could have been the crows that I saw ...  I like the way the sky pokes through the holes in the trees. Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 8 X 10 (inches)

Thursday, October 4, 2012


The current at the bottom of Jim Day Rapids shapes the pollen and duck weed floating on the surface. There are deformation zones and chains of vorticity maxima and minima. These patterns on the top of the water can be used to read the water currents in the same way that the cloud patterns in the atmosphere can be used to read the atmospheric "rivers". There are also fluid like patterns in the shapes and colours in the forest. It would appear that everything has a fluid aspect to it. The human body is even composed of about 57% fluids.
The wind was funneling up Long Reach and caused ripples in the surface of the water. These ripples reflected the sky colour while the surrounding calm water surfaces reflected the colours of the forest.
I used a lot of paint an wanted to have fun...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Singleton Arctic Smoke

It was clear overnight with a beautiful full moon. The air was the coldest just at dawn and that was when the Arctic sea smoke really started to boil off the waters of Singleton Lake. I don't expect to be swimming anymore. Each wisp of Arctic sea smoke takes heat from the water. Banks of fog formed and soon it was completely overcast with stratus. Cool northeasterly drainage breezes kept the Arctic sea smoke churning until almost 11 am. I got a late start and the sky started to change before I wanted it to. By early afternoon the fog was gone and replaced with fair weather cumulus clouds - a beautiful day!
The geese provided the sound track again. The fall migrations has started.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Singleton SC Streets

A cool Arctic air mass my be clear first thing in the morning but it will likely cloud over by midday morning especially on the first day following the cold front. The rain associated with the cold frontal passage provided the moisture which was still in the top layers of the ground. The September sun provides the heat to float hot air balloon parcels of air skyward. The air mass was convectively unstable especially in the low levels thus accelerating the air parcels upward on their way to become cloud droplets. The result was cumulus clouds with flat bases that were generally about the same height above the ground throughout the air mass. These clouds get organized into streets parallel to the average wind through the boundary layer. The distance between the cloud streets depends on the height of the boundary layer - both of these distances are about the same. My hands even got cool while I painted although the sun was pleasantly warm on my back!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Three Degrees

This title might be cryptic. For the three or four days after 911, air traffic was stopped over North America. Some brilliant and curious meteorologist investigated the impact of this on temperatures and sky cover. He discovered that the skies were much clearer with the direct effect that night time temperatures dropped on average three or four degrees below the averages established prior to 911. The infra red radiation from the ground at night was not intercepted by the jet contrails and returned to earth. Simply, the nights were clear and cooler with no air traffic.
As I continue to watch the skies, I continue to be dissapointed at how much cloud is man-made. Jet contrails account for a large percentage of the ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. What should be blue skies with a ridge of high pressure are almost always tainted by contrails spreading out with the winds aloft. The blue skies become transformed into overcast but really thin cirrostratus.
This view looking westward from the very shore of Singleton Lake is a typical ridge of high pressure. I think that all of the cirrus clouds in this painting are the results of jets flying in and out of Pearson and the other major airports of North America. There are three main contrails in this painting which also contributes to the title I picked. While I painted several jets left their mark in the sky. I included just one of these contrails coming from Europe and the north. The high contrail casts a shadow on the lower layer of cirrostratus.
The lower and much darker layer of stratocumulus on the western horizon is composed of large and old cloud droplets trapped under the radiational inversion at the top of the planetary boundary layer. Northerly winds just above this inversion created rolls in the cloud top.
The cold air at the ground created "Arctic steam fog" that pooled over the west basin of Singleton Lake and obscured the shore line. Heat and moisture from the lake comprised this fog - my swimming days are likely over for the year as the water cools down to downright chilly temperatures. My hands even got cold while I painted but the sun felt great on my back!
Migrating geese and feeding blue jays provided the fall sound track of this painting.
So if I am ever given the "third degree" on why I painted "Three Degrees", this will be my answer and I am sticking to it.

White Pine

A group of three or four otters kept me company at the start. They poked their head and shoulders high out of the water like synchronized swimmers. They snorted a few times, bristled their whiskers and then continued down Long Reach. The otters had way more facial hair than the Olympic swimmers. It started to rain just as I was finishing up.
Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commercial canvas - 12 X 10 (inches)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September Reflections

The water was a mirror at 7:30 am. The fall colours were becoming increasingly apparent with each passing day. The rising sun felt great on my back. It was a wonderful morning of painting! Light northwesterly winds developed as the land heated. Surface air parcels rose from the ground like hot air balloons to be replaced by air parcels from aloft - bringing the wind with them. The forecast was for fair weather cumulus based on this observation of wind. It is not rocket science..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September Sky 2012

I try to do a September skyscape every year. The skies start to get increasingly interesting in September after the blue bird skies of summer. This is the 2012 effort. A band of rain passed through Singleton Lake in the morning along a trough line. The air mass remained convectively unstable and southwesterly streets of cumulus developed after a very brief period of clearing. It got progressively stormy and gusty as I painted. The gusty winds are a signature for an unstable air mass. Showers and towering cumulus clouds threatened several times but I was able to finish this before the cold frontal showers arrived.
A turkey vulture took a passing look at me and I stroked it in with the but end of my brush. It was gone in a second with the strong winds.

Front Porch View

A wall of drizzle crossed the lake as I headed out to get my easel. The drizzle changed to rain so I set up my gear under the front porch. The view to the northeast across the field is spectacular. The fall colours were just starting but the real attraction for me continues to be the play of light through the holes in the trees - especially the white pines. The darker shapes in the sky are the nimbostratus cloud bases while the whiter swirls as the rain. The sky was starting to brighten as I finished up the painting. Wednesday morning September 26th.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Passion of Phil the Forecaster

The art book was published this morning. I think it will be OK. It is harder than you might think. There is an e-book version as well for the iPod. Hard copies are not inexpensive but there are 120 pages on premium paper to consider.  Here is a snippet from the first page ...
 "Write what you know about..." Mark TwainWell, there aren't that many words in this 120 page book so I guess I don't know much ... but there are lots of pictures and maybe they are worth thousands and thousands of words. This is one time it may be best for me to remain silent and let my art do the talking. Thanks for listening!    The "Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman" book is next... but I had better paint first and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
Warmest regards, Phil

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Awenda Provincial Part - Saturday Sept 15 - 7 pm

Tom Thomson Was A Weatherman!
7 pm... I can prove it...
There is a book coming out as soon as I can get it done.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Saugeen River Morning

I was headed home from the Southampton Art School via Paisley. On my way I passed Access Point 14 to the Saugeen River and could not resist the morning light. Flocks of cackling blackbirds provided the sound track. Trout rising for insects provided some interest as well... I like the colour of the shaded white cedars that lined and protected the river banks.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Killarney: the Annual Adventure - Southampton Art School

Killarney became one of my main painting destinations in 2006 ... and every October thereafter when the autumn colours are at their peak and the water is still warm and there are no biting insects. It is a magical area of red rock, trees and water. It is no wonder why the Group of Seven were so inspired by the natural beauty of the region. I know the Group of One continues to be inspired by the rugged nature and the equally rugged weather. It is worth the drive! "Wave Action" to above is a typcial scene that we will see. The image below, courtesy of Patrick Boerlin shows the kind of "work" we do en plein air in Killarney.
The food at the Killarney Mountain Lodge is simply amazing. The evenings around the circular fire place - sometimes with a live band - over a beverage or two - are incomparable. The Southampton Art School says we still have some room for others to join us. They try to keep the group size less than 10.... Link to Southampton Art School's Killarney. I hope you can come along!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Saugeen Ranger

This is the view from the south shore of the Saugeen River across the river mouth toward the range light. The onshore winds were blustery and strong and I had to tie my easel down.  Some of the Southampton sand got into the paint. The cirrus clouds were very interesting. If the mariner lines up this light with the inland range light they are guaranteed a safe trip into the river...

This is the eighth demo piece for the “Making Waves on Chantry” course. They were on lunch break and I wasn’t. We have an excellent group of 11 participants!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Southampton Sand

This is the view from the south shore of the Saugeen River across the sand dunes of the Southampton Shore toward Chantry Island. The onshore winds were blustery and strong and I had to tie my easel down. I wanted to demonstrate how to boldly go and paint a scene without fear. Some of that Southampton sand got into the paint.
This is the seventh demo piece for the “Making Waves on Chantry” course. They were on lunch break and I wasn’t. I didn't want to waste a minute with them.

Friday, August 31, 2012


This is the view from Scubby’s Point looking south across the silty and choppy waters of the mighty Saugeen River. The tugboat “Pride” was our companion and the sixth demo piece for the “Making Waves on Chantry” course. Bold strokes and some colour - fun..

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Southampton Midday CB

I turned my easel to face northward along the Southampton shore. A quasi-stationary front stretching west to east across the tip of the Bruce Peninsula was a focus for several thunderstorms. This particular thunderstorm developed an overshooting top as I painted. It collapsed about an hour later and got lost in the haze over the horizon. The lowering evident in the painting was possibly a shelf cloud from the forward flank rain and downdraft. There was no evidence of any rotation in the lowering or cell although it was a long way to the north and tough to identify even under ideal conditions.
This is the fifth demo piece for the “Making Waves on Chantry” course. The artists were on lunch break and I decided to paint a meteorological lesson and not waste any time. The onshore wind blew some (lots of) sand into the paint. We have an excellent group of 11 participants!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Onshore Breezes

I turned my easel to face southward along the Southampton shore. The cumulus fractus from the land breeze were being shoved onshore by the developing lake breeze. This cloud could transform into cumulus when it starts to rise buoyantly inland. People were just starting to arrive for the day at the beach.
This is the fourth demo piece for the “Making Waves on Chantry” course. I love to paint with bold strokes! I should use more colour though. There was sand on my palette because of the wind. We have an excellent group of 11 participants!