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Showing posts from October, 2009


7"X5" Oil on board

I switched back to oils today and, as I finished rather late (I had to carve the pumpkin first), I wasn't able to get a very good reproduction.
It is a lovely night for trick-or-treating but I am wondering how many we will get. Everyone is so spooked about H1N1.

Life Drawing

12"X9" Watercolour on paper

This is very old, just a study from a life drawing session many years ago. I am not even sure why I still have it but it does serve as a reminder of what I need to do much more of. There is a life drawing session that I keep meaning to join on Tuesday nights, or is it Thursdays? One of the days that my kids need the car anyway, and J. isn't back until late. Am I just making excuses? Probably but as it is in Niagara-on-the-Lake public transit is not an option. If I could just go once it might help me to break down the barriers.

Fall Lunch

3.5"X5.5" Pen & wash

A beautiful Fall day, a few hardy souls still sitting outside on the patio. I haven't been doing much sketching at all for the past couple of weeks and I really must try to get back into the habitPeople are very hard, for me at least, when I am trying to catch them unawares. They tend to move long before I am done.

Stripey Squash

7"X5" Acrylic on boardNot a great painting day. I decided that I had been doing too many paintings from photographs and that I needed to do a still life. However, I think this is one I should have saved for the oils. Also I should have given more thought to the composition, I was in too much of a hurry to just get something done. Never mind, it is all grist to the mill.

October Morning

7"X5" Acrylic on board

You can't trust the weather at this time of year. This morning was bright and clear and the sun made such pretty shadows on the fallen leaves. It kept diving back behind the clouds though so I had to snap a picture to try to freeze the moment. That is my only excuse for doing this one from a photo, as it is the view from my living room window at about 8:30 this morning.

Grand Lake Again

6"X4" Watercolour on paper

Another plein-air sketch from a previous autumn up at Achray. I may have mentioned before that Grand Lake is where Tom Thomson painted the Jack Pine. He served as a fire-warden there in the 1916.

Lock Four

16"X20" Oil on board
This one is a couple of years old. The scene caught my eye one day driving over the Glendale bridge. The sky was almost black but the evening sun had just managed to find its way under the clouds to illuminate Lock Four to the South. I didn't have a camera with me at the time, so I went back the next day and took a picture anyway. I tried to get the lighting effects from memory.

Morningstar Mill 4

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Not the mill, strictly speaking, but the falls behind.
The thing I have enjoyed the most about this little series has been learning how to achieve the various textures using acrylics. I really must try something larger soon. Something that I can take my time over. I took longer than usual over this one, I think, but I could have gone on much longer.
Now that it is scanned I can see that I should have spent more time on the foreground. I should have made the lower edge darker, to close the frame, and probably picked out the little saplings more clearly. I may come back to it later.

Morningstar Mill 3

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Yet another angle on the mill.


6"X4" Watercolour on paperMy apologies for another unproductive week. Here is another plein air sketch from a previous October visit up North. I love drawing canoes: like musical instuments, they have an organic feel that makes them seem virtually animate.

Morningstar Mill 2

5"X7" Acrylic on board
As promised, the second in the series. SOLD

Morningstar Mill

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Morningstar is an old watermill on the Escarpment (in other words it is powered by the same drop as Niagara Falls, just further West), refurbished by volunteers and open to the public. I have a few images taken at around the same time and I will probably turn them into a series.

Apple & Pear

7"X5" Acrylic on board
A bright but cold day today. The temperature only got above 10 C for about an hour at midday. Fortunately I only had two sides of storm windows to paint, so I managed to finish. We will put them up next weekend and then I willl call it quits for the winter. Lots of yard work still to do though.
Buy now $50 + S&H

Fall Maple

5"X7" Acrylic on board

For various reasons we didn't end up going up north, so I painted storm-windows instead. I used a photo from a previous visit to paint this image.
When those of us who live in Niagara, or Toronto talk about going "up north", we really mean northern Southern Ontario. Northern Ontario is something else again.
Achray campground is actually only around lat 46, south of all of North Dakota, Seattle and much of Maine; the South Coast of England starts at around lat 50. It is pretty remote though and the weather is quite different. Fall will already be considerably more advanced there and the temperatures are already below freezing at night.


6"X4" Watercolour on paperWe are supposed to be going up to Achray this weekend. We may regret it as the forecast is for cold and wet but it has become something of a family tradition to go there for Thanksgiving.
If we make it I hope to do lots of painting. This is an image from a previous Fall visit, painted in the pouring rain.


10"X8" Oil on boardI have had rather an unproductive week so far so I thought I would dip into the archives again.Shortly after we moved into this house the only art supply shop in town went into liquidation. Everything was on sale and I bought myself a full supply of oil painting materials. I had never really used oils before, not since paint-by-number days anyway and I loved them. After years struggling with watercolours I found them very liberating and I love the buttery texture and the way that one colour can be worked into another.This was my first oil painting. My house before repainting the outside. For a glimpse of what it looks like with its new colour you can go here or here

Squash & Jug

5"X7" Oil on board

Sorry about the bad photograph. I finished this late and had to use artificial light. The white balance can be adjusted but there is no way to get rid of the reflection.
I am not sure what kind of squash this is, some kind of Hubbard I think, but a gorgeous deep orange colour. They are very tasty.


5"X7" Oil on board

I switched back to oils for the first time in a few weeks,I couldn't see doing this sky with acrylics. It was interesting though, I found myself missing the acrylics, things started to get really muddy. Maybe I should save the oils for paintings that I can work on over a few days.