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May Common

16"X20" Oil on canvas

Anyone who has spent any time in Niagara-on-the-Lake would probably recognize this as one of the military trails that cuts across the Common. Butler's Barracks is behind me and I am walking towards the river, so I am heading due east.

It is around 10 in the morning, so the sun is ahead of me and not yet at the zenith. The shadows are deep and slanting slightly towards me. I have posted WIP here and here

When I am working from a photograph, I am always most comfortable when not too much time has passed since the taking of it. I am not sure that my visual memory is as good as some and I like to be able to "feel" the location still as I paint. Sometimes, like right now, I am lucky in that the weather has remained pretty stable for the past few days, so I can just glance outside the window to recapture the colours and the play of light.

The excellent Karin Jurick started a social art project a couple of years ago called "Different Strokes", whereby she would post a picture every week and invite other painters to give their versions of it. She would then post the resulting works on her blog. I thought that this was an excellent idea, and in fact many others have copied it since. However, after trying for a few weeks to participate, I discovered that I wasn't actually very good at it and nor did I find it very satisfying. I have never been much good at working from other people's photographs. Apart from the fact that it is a practice rather looked down upon by "serious" artists, I find that I have no connection with a subject that I haven't registered personally and so I am unable to do anything much with it.

$700 - Currently available at TAG Art Gallery in St. Catharines

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