Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Neighbors Garden

Chesapeake Garden
12 x 16
oil on canvas board
Fortunately my neighbors are great gardeners!  This garden is near our coast home and is a delight to walk by.  I sadly don't have much of a green thumb and restrict my gardening efforts to our desert home where I don't have to worry so much about watering.  Cactus and sage survive my efforts.  As usual I tried to put way too much detail in and spent over half the time on this painting taking out unnecessary information that was very distracting.  Still a lot going on here but I'm happy to leave it for now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Unusual Plein Air Painting Location

Fraser River Log Booms
8 x 10
oil on canvas board
Where else would one go to enjoy peace and quiet, natural beauty and timeless moments but the local sewage treatment plant!  A park has been created around it and it has become a popular destination for picnickers, walkers and cyclists and though it is only 20 minutes or so from downtown Vancouver it is possible to find a spot on a sand dune with no one in sight, only birds, boats on the river and the occasional plane taking off from the nearby airport.  The only downside is a whiff of nasty odor every now and then but I managed to find a nice place upwind with a good view of the river.  The next time I paint this scene it will be of the tug that went by as I was painting in the log booms.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dangling off a bridge

Harbour study
8 x 10
oil on canvas board

I drove back and forth over the bridge and finally parked the car, jumped over the railing and sat on a chunk of concrete hanging out over the little inlet.  My goal was to pay attention to the values and simplify as it was quite a busy scene in front of me.  It was so restful though to sit there with my pochade box on my lap listening to the birds and the occasional dog walker passing by.  I've often seen fishermen standing on this bridge, what a wonderful place to spend some time.  No fishing this time I guess because I had it all to myself!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Fall Colors
8 x 10
oil on canvas board
I've been posting little but painting lots, not for the purpose of producing a finished painting but instead to play and experiment with some of the concepts that I have been learning from Stapleton Kearns blog. He is so very generous with his knowledge and there is much to learn. At the same time I want to take a far looser and more colorful approach to painting but the basic rules of landscape painting can still be applied. The little painting above is based on a scene I photographed as I was pulling out of a park after a plein air session. The sun had momentarily come out from behind the clouds and I quickly parked the car again and got some great photos. Now I see what painters mean when they say one has to catch the scene quickly or the light changes. The hard part was to try not to put too much detail in and I finally had to put down the small brushes and stick to the big ones.