Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1699 Cirrious Skies

From December 2015 - With a simple change of one letter the title can be changes to a misspelled "Currious Skies" which alters the meaning... in a meaningful way. The curious looking sky could have been serious. It certainly foretold a change from the past several days of summer-like weather in December.

Cirrostratus was invading the sky from the southwest heralding a low pressure area. A system was approaching with weather. The clouds were really racing along especially for high level, ice crystal cirrus. The lines and gravity waves shifted continually before my eyes as I painted. This told me that the physical and meteorological processes creating the clouds were also very dynamic. Deformation processes were certainly at play along with the gravity wave ups and downs along the stable layer at the bottom of the warm conveyor belt. A diagnosis of the accompanying satellite imagery confirms the meteorology of the situation.


Friday, January 22, 2016

1696 Parry Sound October

From October 2015 - This is another of the 30,000 Islands reputed to be found in the Parry Sound area. It is a very good thing that I quite enjoy painting scenic trees and rock. I certainly like the flagged nature of the trees that endure the strong and sometimes hurricane force onshore winds. The row of stratocumulus clouds is aligned with the onshore winds in the unstable boundary layer of the atmosphere.


Monday, January 18, 2016

1108 March Lights the Shadows

From March of 2010.
I had some more time to paint and it was a beautiful day to do just that. I headed toward Jones Creek and the mighty St Lawrence River. There was a brisk east breeze so I set up within the forest of the old Browns Bay Campground. This wind is officially called the cold conveyor belt of the approaching storm - an important part of the conveyor belt conceptual model of a mid latitude cyclone.
It was still chilly at zero degrees Celsius but it was very pleasant with the sun on my back. I was looking north through the forest at the bend in Jones Creek which was previously known as the Toniata River. I have canoed this waterway many, many times. I had to gradually shift my easel toward the south to keep the sun on the canvas. A couple of dogs came to pay there respects while I painted.
The sunlight of March heralds the end of winter. There was far less snow in the forest than I expected. The same light cast the shadows which were an important part of my subject. If you put this all together, one has the title which may seem cryptic at first. The word "lights" is a verb here but one might think of it as a noun as well. Both uses of "lights" were intended. It was a fun day.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

1107 Crash of the Cataract

From March 3rd, 2010 - I was starting to loosen up with my brush so I grabbed a panel from the back of the grey Subaru. This is the view looking southwest across Lyn Falls and down the narrow channel carved between the granite ridges during eons of spring floods. There was still a lot of snow in the woods but the sun found its way through the bare trees to try to convert some of it to liquid to supply the cataract that crashed at my feet. It was a beautiful day and in addition, I think I caught the magic of the moment in my somewhat crude brush strokes.


Friday, January 15, 2016

1106 Spring Pro Rogue

From 2010... It was my first chance to paint in a couple of months. In a way, my art had be prorogued by lots of things - mostly work. It was a beautiful March day and I could wait no longer. The sun was melting the snow cover and that in turn was flushing as fast as possible down Lyn Falls. The spring and snow itself had been prorogued by the cold weather of February. Everything was on hold pending the arrival of some sunny days and temperatures soaring above normal. The temperature climbed to plus 4 Celsius while I painted. This allowed the spring fever to start and also to covert the snow into its liquid form so that it could rush to the sea. In many ways the day was a rejuvenation of my art, the spring and the snow.

I didn't worry about details and tried to let the background roar of the cataract find its way on to the canvas. Mainly, I wanted to have fun and bask in the sun as it climbed above the tree tops.

The word "prorogue" has been added to the Canadian vocabulary through the dysfunctional political system. I decided to use it in a positive fashion. This was the first dy back "to work" for the politicians who enjoyed a six week Olympic style, extended holiday.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1144 Racing the Rain

This is the eighth and last painting of my spring 2011 break-out paint-out with Lawrence Nickle.
Lawrence wasn't feeling well so I left right after a small breakfast and decided to paint before I had to rendezvous with Linda. I decided to paint from the dead-end scenic road south of Burk's Falls. It was a race with the weather. The cirrostratus had thickened overnight and bands of altostratus were streaking across the southern horizon with the warm conveyor belt of the spring storm. These same winds produced gravity waves in the cloud above the warm frontal surface. At ground level, I had a raw, damp easterly cold conveyor belt wind chilling me and my hands to the bone. The temperature might have been plus 6 Celsius but it felt much colder. Meteorologists call that "wind chill" while artists say it is just plain chilly. The painting was a bit of a race against the weather. I had to get it done before the altostratus switched to nimbostratus and rain. I made it with 5 minutes to spare.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1142 South Magnetawan Midday

This is the sixth painting of my 2011 spring break-out paint out with Lawrence Nickle. On day two of the Nickle Paint-Out we headed to the South Magnetawan River. I painted from the wooden bridge looking northward up the river and across the tangle of forest. The sun was on my back - there were few bugs and none of them were biting! It was a beautiful spring day. The solitude of the Canadian landscape is as rejuvenating as the spring.


Monday, January 11, 2016

1141 Magnetawan Morning

I was painting with Lawrence Nickle in the spring of 2011- This is the fifth painting of my spring break-out paint out with Lawrence Nickle. On day two of the Nickle Paint-Out we headed to the South Magnetawan River and stopped when the Forestry Tower Road got too soft and sloppy. Lawrence was leery of getting his truck stuck in the mud. I certainly concurred. I painted from the wooden bridge looking southward toward the shaded hillside. The sun was on my left shoulder. It was a beautiful spring day. The sounds of nature woke up with the sun.

Lie is good!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pricing Art

Before the camera, the only “selfie” option for well-to-do patrons wishing to be immortalized, was to have their image either sculpted or painted. Paintings of George Washington included various numbers of appendages – standing behind a desk, one arm behind his back, or maybe all arms and legs visible. Cost was the deciding factor.

Historically, prices charged by artists were based on how many limbs were to be painted. Artists felt that hands and arms were more difficult to paint. “Limbs” would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, “Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.”

I have struggled with pricing something that to me is invaluable – a memory of an experience. At the start I tried to price by what I felt was quality. Patrons were invariably confused. The time it took to complete a piece of art was another approach. Patrons didn’t care if it took hours or days if they loved the art. For the last two decades, pricing has been based on the square inch – a hardware store approach to art. All 11x14 unframed paintings are $595 – everywhere. The framing and shipping costs add the only other variables into the pricing. Simple.

Of course, the pricing has to be validated by sales in the galleries. I consider ten or more sales at a particular price point as adequate validation. After all, something is only worth what the clients are willing to pay. Pricing by size is simple. Patrons are no longer confused. During my lifetime, patrons can be assured that the price will never go down. There are no “fire” or “scratch and dent” sales at the Chadwick Art House.

Theoretically, artists get better with practice and continued learning and exploration of their craft. Prices may even go up. Some galleries recommend price increases of 5 to 10 percent every couple of years. Faithful and supportive patrons seem to like this increase as well.

When an artist passes, everything changes. The economics of “supply and demand” kick in. If there is a demand with no longer any ongoing supply, the price is bound to be driven upward. The galleries and estates control this after-market as the artist is no longer in the picture – so to speak.

Some galleries prefer to work with dead artists. Vincent Van Gogh lamented this when he wrote “things are very strained between dealers in pictures of dead artists, and living artists.” This letter was found on his body, July 29th, 1890. Little did Vincent know that he was soon to make that transition himself when he penned those words.

Artists need to live in the moment and price accordingly. Artists can be content to realize that they can make a pretty good living from their work, after they are dead. Vincent only sold one piece during his lifetime and look where he is today. Hmmm in a grave beside Theo, his supportive brother.

Life is good. You can’t really put a price on painting a memory.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1186 Fire and Ice

From January 2012... Freezing rain again ... but a warm fire in the wood stove. No one is moving anywhere. About 4 mm of ice coats all surfaces - especially the smaller branches which are very efficient as ice collectors.
The number one priority was to stand outside and experience the freezing rain first hand - then go back inside to paint in front of the fire. Three doe bounded across the field while I painted. By the time I finished the painting, the atmosphere had lost the above freezing layer aloft and large flakes of snow had replaced the freezing rain... I won't bore you with the atmospheric details of what this means... but it means a lot to a meteorologist. The weather is seldom dull.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

1197 Long Reach March

This plein air painting is from the late afternoon of Friday March 2nd, 2012.
This late winter view looks southwest down Long Reach from the end Jim Day Rapids. The ice along the shore was pretty rotten and had a steely gray look. The snow blanketed granite and marble outcrops are characteristic of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere along with the mix of red cedar and tall white pines.