Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1514 South Shore White Pines

Now for something different...
I like the was that the white pines cut into the sky. The white pine to the right had an osprey nest at its top. The ospreys keep any branches from going higher. I almost called this painting "The Nest" but I didn't think that many people would get it without an explanation. The birds were gone for the season. The sky was gray and the only real colour was from the few leaves remaining on the deciduous trees.
I used a lot of paint on this small, slippery surface.

Monday, March 30, 2015

1512 Grady Road Homestead

The best that I could do was to pick a similar day in some inspiration as compared to what was happening outside. It was minus 8 outside with enough wind to make it feel cold to really freeze my hands.
This is the view along the road allowance into my Brother's Jim place. The lane heads northward from Grady Road into a wilderness paradise on the top of Foley Mountain. The village of Westport is in the valley south of Foley Mountain. It was a sunny and cold day and I liked the colours of the trees and the sky and how they all intertwined.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

1518 Long Reach Sunrise

The temperature was minus 25 Celsius but that did not stop me from slugging through the deep snow to at least photograph some scenes that I wanted to paint. This view is from the front yard of Singleton Lake looking east-southeast toward the rising sun. The sun was just getting above the Long Reach forest. I was trying to think of a funny title that rhymed with "Tequila Sunrise" - a great song by the Eagles but so far I have not come up with anything catchy.
I used a lot of paint on a rather small home-made panel.

Friday, March 27, 2015

1521 Jim Day Dawn

The minus 25 Celsius temperatures have kept me inside the studio. This is the view from the front yard at Singleton Lake across Jim Day Rapids just after sunrise. There is not much open water left but enough for the swans and ducks that have stayed for the winter. The Canada geese apparently left for Florida with the other snow birds. I like winter and the clean Arctic air. This will be the kind of winter we can expect in the future due to climate change and global warming.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

1536 Red Horse Castles

These are quite active cumulus bubbling up while I was paddling around Red Horse Lake. A vigorous updraft will form knuckles around the upper edge encircling the updraft. Strong vorticity curls driven the the wind of the updraft, draw the moisture outward once the level of the inversion is reached. The prevailing wind direction was northerly and the inversion was probably the result of subsidence ahead of the approaching ridge of high pressure. These cumulus clouds had reached their vertical limit at the subsidence inversion even though the updraft was vigorous. The cold air ass in the wake of a system which had passed through the day before, is typically unstable in the low levels. A simple observation of the characteristics of the clouds can reveal much about the past present and future weather.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

1539 Long Reach Cold Front

Every sky is different and presents different challenges. The meteorology may be similar but is never the same from day to day. This is a cold front and I was looking southwest in its wake a couple of hours after it had passed through. The layers of higher altocumulus clouds were thinning. The northwestern edges of the clouds were lines shaped by deformation processes. The lower streets of turbulent stratocumulus clouds were parallel to the boundary layer winds in the unstable and cooler air mass. These lines are barely recognizable from the vantage point of the ground but are obvious from the bird's eye view of the satellite. I really did paint what I saw. Although I am making the meteorology up, it is accurate science. Really... The patterns are not that complex and they repeat themselves - a lot - everyday. If you learn the patterns once, you will have them a lifetime. I have sketched in only a few of the deformation zones... there are always more - progressively smaller and less important.
These clouds are clearly black- lit and that tells you were the sun was and thus which direction I was looking. Isn't science the same as art? Both can and should be beautiful.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1541 Spring Paradise

Spring seems like more of "a theory" this year. Climate change with the weakening of the jet stream has placed eastern Canada right in the middle of a cold, snowy trough - the downstream reflection of the warm and dry ridge over the west coast. Over time this weather will become our climate so get used to it. We still forecast spring to happen but it will take some time as the cold trough lingers. It could be worse - we could be on the downstream side of the trough like the Maritimes and be pummeled by storm after storm. These lows have access to all of the heat and moisture from the Gulf Stream and the cold of the Arctic vortex so they are real heat engines.
So this studio painting is more like a dream of the spring to come. This is a spring time view of Point Paradise looking northwestward from Margaritaville (my canoe). There was a light wind from the west in the wake of a rather weak cold front. The low based deck of stratocumulus clouds were revealing the wind direction. I liked the way that the sky peeked through the rather thin boughs of the red cedars. The colours of the new vegetation were striking as well. This is a beautiful piece of land - peaceful. This would have been a favourite camp site for generations of travelers. The swimming is great as well.

Monday, March 23, 2015

1522 Jonas Street

Jonas Street is one of the most important thorough fares for us in Lyndhurst. Jonas leeds directly to Red Horse Lake Road which is our only access to home - across Latimer Bridge. The sign on the upper right succinctly says that access to home across that bridge will be unavailable for the 48 hours of March 7th and 8th, 2015. The project is going to come in at less than half the budgeted amount. I believe that this street might be named after American-origin Loyalist and Tory Jonas Jones
I would rather build bridges than burn them. It is important to build a bridge properly so that it is safe and secure - build it right the first time so you don't live with the mistake for another century - just my opinion though.
The trilogy of Latimer Bridge access paintigs. #1519 "Latimer Closure" #1522 "Jonas Street" #1523 "Red Horse Snow"

Sunday, March 22, 2015

1519 Latimer Closure

The saga of Latimer Bridge is a long one. This is the view looking up the hill from "The Outlet Road" along Red Horse Lake Road toward Latimer Bridge and the only way into our home. Making art is making memories.
The new bridge is now in place. I tried my best and most convincing debates to move it back to where the bridge spanned Lyndhurst Creek prior to 1913. The safety, security and the empathy of a bee-line path avoiding any intrusion into the front yard of my good neighbour, did not hold up against any added expense for a longer span. The image below shows the twisted detour to a slightly shorter span.
However, it is time to move forward... there is melting snow to paint before spring really does arrive.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

1523 Red Horse Snow

Red Horse Lake Road is the only modern, overland way into our place. The best way to reach us over the centuries has always been by water - specifically by canoe. Those ancient travelers with a good imagination, invented stories to remember their routes through the maze and amazing landmarks. Someone probably fabricated the story about the naming of Red Horse Lake. It is a good story and the lasting image is the outline of the steed standing up to its belly in the deep water of the lake - apparently browsing on the Red Cedars. I will paint this rock some day...
http://fineartamerica.com/blogs/1523-red-horse-snow.html - has the outline of the horse standing in Red Horse Lake.

Friday, March 20, 2015

1526 Cedar Point

This is the other side of "Point Paradise" looking toward the southeast. Thre is almost no soil on this outcrop of marble that points toward the deepest portions of SIngleton Lake. The red cedar trees are tenuous though. They are exposed to the full strength of the westerly winds but the still manage to cling to survival although every now and a gain, one gets blown over. These trees may be fairly small in dramatic contrast to their likely age. They are probably ancient but I have no good way to determine just how old they might be.
The sun was still rising in the southeastern quadrant of the sky. It was cold and windy enough to push me into the studio to complete this painting of a special place.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

1527 Cedar Shadows

The ancient red cedars were strongly back lit and casting a long and dark shadow across the snow and ice. I was standing on the ice of Singleton lake. The snow was really deep making travel a bit tricky and strenuous. I liked the deep colour of the trees and the dark blue and purples of the shadows.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

1503 Secret Cascade

This is the son (or daughter, I do not know which) of #1478 "Forest Waterfall" ... "The sound of the waterfall was unmistakable in the forest. I landed the canoe and started looking. 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."
Turning a 14x11 inch plein air painting into 4x3 footer is a challenge. There is always the need for more information to fill in the blanks. I alternated from feeling that this effort was going to be something really special to wondering "what the hell" am thinking. I was trying to keep the vitality of the sketch alive in the strokes on the larger canvas without going to abstract or even weird. This kind of exercise sometimes needs a rational supervisor to say "OK, you have worked hard enough. Step away from the easel". I realize that less can be more but isn't more, sometimes more? We shall see... wish me luck. I will take luck over skill sometimes ...

Monday, March 16, 2015

1538 A Longer Reach

This is the grown up version of #1533 "Long Reaching Deformation Zone". The small panel begged for a larger rendition because of the design and the meteorology. I hope that bigger is better in this case. I have painted enough clues into the cloud detail within the warm conveyor belt (WCB) that it should now be clear where the col of the deformation zone skin must be located. Do the winds within the WCB veer or back with height? The winds veer more or less consistently with height... so the col is further to the west in the distance. The upper winds relative to the storm are out of the painting. This is actually good science and can reveal a lot about the location and strength of the approaching storm. There are several steps to reveal how the meteorology and weather can be deduced... but the simple solution is that it is not snowing in the painting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1528 Ancient Red Cedars

These red cedars may be gnarled and not overly large but I bet they are as old as the the hills - so to speak. The wood twists along the line of the trunk and perhaps this makes them so resilient to the elements. These trees on the east shore of Singleton Lake are typically exposed to a lot of wind. A branch was broken off and laying on the ground but I suspect that an ice storm was the villain that ripped the branch from the old red cedar.
The Eastern Red Cedar is not really a cedar, it's a juniper. This fact helps explain why it looks like a juniper. The tree that frequent this point of land like to browse on these red cedars. The rough foliage keeps them alive.

Monday, March 9, 2015

1529 Point Chadwick

This painting is just from a week or so ago... In several other paintings I have called this piece of land "Point Paradise" because of its beauty. It was one of the three potential building sites for Linda and I. The draw back would have been the long and expensive lane required to access the site. I have done more conservation efforts than anyone to help protect this point of land and the entire property so just maybe it would be fair to brand it with our name - thus the title of this painting.

Friday, March 6, 2015

1532 Wolfe Howl

We were at the Wolfe Howl Ice Fishing Tournament. A cold front was on the way and was heralded by a frontal squall line - namely, the clouds in the painting. White-out conditions accompany such frontal squall lines. Blowing and drifting snow was thick enough that we could not see the hood of my Brother's big red Toyota Tundra. Such squall lines do not last much more than 15 minutes. The snow banks in the painting are from plows on the front of trucks that cleared temporary ice roads to the various fishing huts - including that of my Brother. We still managed to get temporarily stuck as the snow was two to three feet deep with higher drifts.
The "bite" was on but I still headed out to absorb the weather. The fish are only active for a couple of hours after dawn and another short period before sunset. The fisherman has to be ready for the fleeting moments of "the bite" which is something less active than a "feeding frenzy".
 If you look carefully, I think you can see the wolf howling in the clouds!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

1531 Storm Comin'

This is a classic deformation zone hemming in the leading edge of moisture with the warm conveyor belt. The assembly of all of the four main circulations that create a storm is called the "conveyor belt conceptual model". I was looking southwestward down Long Reach from in front of the Singleton Art Studio. The branches of the old shag bark hickory tree reach into the lower right of the painting. There are a few white pines that also intrude into the sky above the overall canopy of the hardwood forest.
The sun in the mid winter sky is low on the horizon. The 22 degree halo measured from the sun is formed by two refractions of the sunlight passing through the through tiny hexagonal ice crystals with diameters less than 20.5 micrometers. The light is refracted when it enters the ice crystal and again when it leaves.
I used a lot of paint on this small 5 by 7 sky scape - it was paint that I was going to have to discard if I didn't use it soon. The paint was thick and almost gooey. I loved it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

1535 Red Horse Stratocumulus

It was a windy day to be canoeing. The turbulent stratocumulus clouds where churning in from the northwest. Time lapse would have really revealed all of the twisting and turning going on in the sky. I did my best with the brush. The virga are the darker streaks in the lower right that drift downward from the convective cloud base.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

1530 Sunset Hillside

I really like the play of light on trees. A hillside exposes lots of trees to the special light of the setting sun. Actually, painting is all about the light ... and using some fun colours. This was fun!
I painted on a green tinted canvas which was planned to be the complementary colour of the red sunset light. The idea was to make the colours sparkle and scintillate. Maybe it worked. I am no comedian but I call this the Red Green approach to light and life. Remember, we are all in this together! That is how my simple mind remembers the complementary colours.
I typically do not buy or use a tube of any shade of green. I mix my own. Sometimes this is not the case though. Some colours are best to be bought and some colours can only be bought.

Monday, March 2, 2015

1533 Long Reaching Deformation Zone

The large arc of cloud is the leading edge of the warm conveyor belt approaching from the southwest. I was canoeing down current along Long Reach headed for Chip's Elbow. The simple arched cloud shape reveals the weather that was to unfold during the next couple of days. It may not be rocket science but I find the atmosphere to be pretty interesting. The chilly easterly inflow to the approaching storm was already giving me a bit of a tail wind. It would mean that my paddle back home would be a better work-out than my paddle outbound.

Notice the banding in the stable layer that must be perpendicular to the wind direction. If you watch the motion of these gravity wave clouds, you can discern where the col of the deformation zone must be. If the gravity waves are moving progressively downstream (generally eastward) the col must be upstream of your location. Conversely if the gravity waves are stationary or moving even upstream (generally westward) to you location on the ground, the col must lie downstream. The trick is to determine the wind direction in the atmosphere relative to the mean or average motion of the clouds comprising the warm conveyor belt. This analysis might take some time and more than one beverage. Good luck!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

1534 Stratocumulus Swirls

Clouds are shaped by swirls. The mean wind just move the clouds from Point A to Point B across the landscape. It s the differential winds that do the sculpturing of the cloud droplets. Lawrence Nickle always referred to the Group of Seven as painting "boulders in the sky". The outer edges of some clouds look as hard as lots of rocks that I have painted. This bold "boulder" approach applies to convective clouds for sure. If the winds from a violent convective storm should hit you, it would feel like a boulder. Lawrence's soft wispy cloud treatment was perfect for ice crystals and stratiform clouds like cirrus. So just maybe, everyone is right but remember that it is perhaps best to learn more about the clouds in your scene. Not two clouds are identical and cumulus clouds do not look like fluffy sheep heaped in the sky.
These are turbulent stratocumulus clouds shaped in a strong northwesterly wind over the west basin of Red Horse Lake. There are countless swirls in the sky and I will analyse a few of these for you. There is always a deformation zone associated with a swirl. These lines reveal the location of other swirls even though they might be exceedingly subtle. Swirls can be oriented along vertical or horizontal tubes and every angle in between. No matter how complicated and chaotic the clouds might appear, their shapes can be easily understood by understanding the swirls.