Monday, 23 July 2012

Niagara Peaches 2012

5"X7" Oil on board


Every year I seem to need to torture myself by trying to paint the peaches, I always regret it.

This time the main problem was the light. A thunderstorm was rolling in and it was getting darker and darker. It was too late to turn on artificial light as that would have changed the picture completely.

Never mind. The purpose of these still life paintings is really just practice, so I guess it served it's purpose. I probably learned something, although I am not sure just what.

$75 - Please contact me for more information
sarah[at]splynch.com

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Blackberries

3.5"X2.5" Acrylic on canvas paper

The blackberries are wonderful this year. I have been picking about a pint a day. I am freezing them as I pick so that I can make a big batch of jelly in the Fall when we have fresh apples. So far I have about 5 pounds (2.5 kilos).

I pick them every morning when I come back from my walk, and this morning I decided that I should paint some before they went in the freezer. So I made this quick acrylic study while I was eating my breakfast. Pretty tricky, as I had to be careful not to dip my brush in my cereal
 
I am not sure why the blackberry harvest is so much earlier here than in Europe where it has always been an Autumn fruit. It may be the varieties or something to do with the climate. One of my best childhood memories is going up to Highdown Hill with baskets and walking sticks (to pull down the high brambles).  We used to do this usually just before going back to school in September, often taking the bus.

When we got home we would boil them up with apples from the orchard at the bottom  of the garden, Granny Smiths usually, then they would get strained through cheesecloth overnight. We had an old-fashioned gas stove with a plate warming rack where people usually have an exhaust fan these days. This was perfect for tying the cloth-wrapped blackberry mush. Once the juice was all strained out, we would add one pound of sugar for every pint of juice and boil again to the soft ball stage. The apples provided enough pectin that there was no need to add any extra and the jelly would be bottled in jars with cellophane across the top, held with elastic. It doesn't sound very sanitary, but I guess we ate it all so fast that it didn't get a chance to go bad. The mush of course went on the compost heap. Wast not want not.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Orphaned Buildings 3

5"X7" Oil on board

With its white picket fence and faintly nautical air, this would probably be described as a "Cozy Cape Cod Cottage" in the real estate listing. Once upon a time this was a quiet little street just off Niagara. That was before the QEW ran less than 50 feet from the front door.

They have recently widened the highway and placed a 10 metre high wall along it. I am not sure whether that would be an improvement or not.

 $75 -Please contact me for more information.
sarah[at]splynch.com

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Orphaned Buildings 2

7"X5" Oil on board

Well I had all sorts of good intentions but I see it has been over a week since my last post.

Here is another old Ontario farmhouse, on Vine Street North, just over the Niagara Street bridge. Once upon a time there must have been just one Vine Street, then the QEW (the Queen Elizabeth Way, or "kew" as my GPS insists upon calling it, is the main highway between Toronto and Fort Erie) came along and cut it in two.

Now this cottage is nestled between the Ukrainian gift shop on one side and the gas station across the street. However, the largely unspoiled exterior and big shade trees allow us to get a glimpse of what it must once have been.


 $75 -Please contact me for more information.
sarah[at]splynch.com