5.5"X3.5" Marker on paper
I went out at lunchtime, hoping to paint, but it poured with rain. So I sat in the car and did this, Lake Ontario looking north.
4"X3" Watercolour on paper
The colours of Fall are endlessly fascinating. Not just the reds and oranges of the maples and sumachs, but the purple and gold of the michaelmas daisies (today is Michaelmas) and the goldenrod which cover every patch of uncultivated land in Southern Ontario. I will be exploring this theme for the next little while I expect. This is certainly the time of year when Ontario is at its finest, even the flat fields of the Niagara Peninsula have a special charm under the October sun.
7"X5" Acrylic on paper
This is my contribution to Different Strokes this week. I decided to concentrate on the abstract shapes instead of the tones and I thought that acrylic would best suit that purpose. I am still not terribly comfortable with the medium, but I am finding that my "Stay-wet" palette is a big help. It even kept them workable for the last couple of weeks, as promised, so I will try to use them more often. Thanks again to Karin Jurick for providing the subject for this.
3.5"X5.5" Marker on paper
The bar and the greenroom at the Courthouse Theatre share the "John Drope Hall", a magnificent room which has a temporary divider installed for the summer season only. In the winter it is restored to its former glory and is a lovely place for wedding receptions and events, with these floor to ceiling windows looking West over the Niagara-on-the-Lake rooftops.
5"X7" Watercolour pencil on paper
It could probably be in just about any small town in North America, but this one is Niagara-on-the-Lake. The trees are starting to turn so fast that I am going to have to keep on top of these if I want them to be seasonal. I only took this photo a week ago, but the colours are already slightly out-of-date.
7"X5" Watercolour pencil on paper
This is my contribution to Different Strokes this week. I thought I was being smart cropping the photo to eliminate a lot of the detail but I hadn't reckoned with "The Hand". Never mind, I am very grateful to Karen for providing me with a subject once a week. This one was rather fun because I don't actually do all that many figures. I will probably continue to participate for a while at least. At least there is one day when I don't have to come up with something on my own.
10"X7" ballpoint on paper
I spent all day in meetings. I couldn't go out to sketch at lunchtime because I didn't get a lunchbreak. Many of my colleagues appear to be as enthralled as I was by this "webex" session. This is a virtual meeting where the chair is at a remote site and we connect through the PC and telephone.
6"X9" Marker on paper
The Avondale Dairy Bar is one of my favourite places in the Niagara Peninsula. I have wanted to paint it for years but it is very hard to encapsulate in one painting. One of the best parts about it is the view, especially on a summer evening when there is a boat going through the canal. Then there is the inside, with it's 1950s decor and the Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers hits that they play incessantly. The best part about it is that it isn't "retro", it just is, I don't think it has changed since it was first built. Then of course there is the ice-cream! I may well try a few more of these studies to see if I can find anything that works. At least this one has the evening sky reflected in the upper glass.
5"X7" Watercolour Pencil on paper
Today I am breaking one of my own cardinal rules, never to paint from a photograph I haven't taken myself. I couldn't resist the challenge presented by Karin Jurick on her new blog, Different Strokes from Different Folks. The idea is that she will post a photograph every week and challenge other artists to make their own rendition of it. Mine is pretty straightforward, some have come up with quite imaginative renderings, check them out. I actually found it quite hard to paint a believable picture of somewhere I have never been. Usually I use a combination of photo reference and memory and often sketches too. Here I had no idea of the atmosphere of the place, couldn't feel the wind or the sun beating down, couldn't smell the sea.
7"X5" Oil on board
There is something very autumnal about squash. These are called Ambercup
and are very delicious.
It seems that most of the best painting spots in the house are back-lit which always presents a challenge for me. My favourite spot is on the kitchen table but it isn't always practical. When I can be bothered and have time I set up a light box with an artificial light source, but there isn't really a good spot to put that either, so I just have to make do. These were on the old chest in front of my bedroom/studio window, so the direct light was pretty intense.
We are supposed to get the tail-end of Ike through here today and all the forecasts say 90% chance of torrential rain all day, but so far we have had 30C and bright sunshine. I should have been working on the house, but took the bad forecast as an excuse to take the day off.
5"X7" Acrylic on board
I have talked a lot about the tomatoes that we process every year, I thought it was time to immortalize the ritual with a painting. We are about halfway through the 14 bushels we plan to freeze this year and here are my boys hard at work last night. I took half a dozen pictures before they got fed up with me and I chose this one as having the best composition.
This is quite a departure for me, I have very little experience with acrylics and I think this is the first time I have ever done a figure study with them. My old friend Georgina, a very accomplished artist herself, encouraged me to give them another go. I bought myself a "Stay-wet" palette today and I must say it does help, although I do miss the buttery texture of oils, and I am used to being able to paint wet-in-wet. I will definitely persevere though.
4"X5.5" Marker on paper
This is about 100 metres south and six months after this one. I have been a lot better about doing something at noon every day this week. I am lucky to have such great subject matter close at hand. This one was a bit awkward because I had to do it standing up, which I always find challenging.
For more information visit the Friends of Fort George website.
5.5"X4" Marker on paper
This House was the home of John McFarland and his descendants for 150 years. The original John McFarland, emigrated from Paisley, Scotland around 1782. John McFarland and his sons built the house about the year 1800 from bricks made in a kiln on the property.
These marker sketches sometimes turn out better than I expect. I have a new scanner, and although it is much better than the last one (no pink caste) colours are often a bit subdued. I usually correct to bring the copy closer to the original, but this time I didn't because the lower key is actually closer to the brick colour I was looking for than the orange highlighter gave me. I am not selling it so I don't feel too guilty.
4.5"X3.5" Marker on paper
I have been away such a lot recently that I don't have much in reserve. There will be a lot of these for the next little while. They are sort of fun though. The umbrellas on the green-room patio are all broken and keep falling over like this one.
5"X7" Marker on paper
And now for something completely different. Sometimes it is good to use this continuous line technique just to loosen up. I may be doing more of these when I have very limited time like right now. Going to Connecticut tomorrow, seven hour drive, so I won't be painting much.
5"X7" Oil on board
Busy day, back to work tomorrow, kids go to school. I managed to finish the east wall of the house, not as much as I hoped to achieve, but not too bad. I may try for the west wall too, but I really should spend some time working on the windows and other finish-up projects.