Friday, April 27, 2012


Reifel Bird Reserve
8 x 10 study

On Saturday Opus Art Supplies challenged all artists to come out and join an outdoor painting challenge.   Before 10 am we were to pick up our canvas, on the large size at 16 x 20, and then paint within a defined area around Opus including some downtown and the waterfront nearby and then hand in the painting by 3 pm, awards at 5 pm.  Setting the mood for the day and first up was a fun interview and photos from a Kelowna Capital News team making me feel like a celebrity and before the photo shoot was over I had spotted exactly what I wanted to paint.    Planting my gear right by the waterfront pathway ensured a steady procession of artists, walkers, joggers and cyclists many making friendly comments as they passed by.  The most satisfying were the excited shrieks from the children as they discovered another painter!  Although the time limit of five hours sounded like there would be lots of time for lunch breaks and socializing the challenges of changing light, sun on the canvas and other peculiarities of outdoor painting had me at the easel for the entire time with only a five minute break for a cookie.  The whole project went sideways for about two hours with brief flutterings of despair till things finally went back on track.  Tantalizingly close to being finished but out of time I had to wrap it up and literally run back to make the cutoff.  The painting has some unresolved areas but I felt many aspects went well and I guess the judges felt the same way as the painting was awarded 1st place! 
The above sketch was done a couple of weeks ago near our home on the coast, the pond usually full of birds but they were shy while I sat there and painted.

Friday, April 20, 2012

More plein air studies

Ladner Fish Boat
8 x 10
plein air study

There is something I find very satisfying about spending the first few hours of the day out in the landscape painting the scene in front of me.   Again in the comfort of my car as this was a dreary cold wet morning.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

International Women's Day

Blueberry Field Study
9 x 12
acrylic on canvas paper

Back in March on International Women's Day I celebrated by packing up my paints and driving to a park near the Fraser River but instead of looking out over the river I parked the car facing the blueberry fields to the east.  The sunrise was glorious, radio playing wonderful classical music composed and performed by women and the heated car seats kept me toasty while the fresh air blew in thought the sunroof.  Then lunch with a best friend and sunset spent out on the dike with my birding partner and daughter watching the short eared owls swooping and diving through the marshes.  Some days are perfect from start to end!