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Showing posts from 2013

Horse Guards Avenue

5"X7" Acrylic on board

From Victoria Embankment.
This is the last of the London series for now. I think that I will concentrate on sketching and still-life for a while. It is time that I took a break from working from photographs.

St. Paul's from the Thames

5"X7" Acrylic on board
St. Pauls approached from Tate Modern, across the MIllenium footbridge.

Happy Christmas.

Paddington Underground

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Paddington railway (overground) station featured in the books about the bear of the same name (by Michael Bond). The underground station is perhaps less well known but dates back to 1863 and was the original western terminus of the Metropolitan Railway.

St Paul's Covent Garden

5"X7" Acrylic on board

Designed by Inigo Jones in the 1630s as part of the "Covent Garden Piazza", it is also known as the Actors' Church for its close association with nearby West End theatres and the neighbouring Royal Opera House.

The famous setting for the opening scene of Shaw's Pygmalion, it also saw the first recorded (by Samuel Pepys) English performance of a Punch and Judy play. It has its own in-house professional theatre company, Iris Theatre, and the Orchestra of St Paul's, a professional chamber ensemble, is also based here.

On the day I was there there were mime artists, jugglers and magicians performing outside.

The Shard

7"X5" Acrylic on board

I am not sure whether I like it or not, but it is certainly a striking building. Here it is seen form the other side of the Thames, London Bridge in the middle ground.

The Shard

London Cormorant

5"X7" Acrylic on board

For all I know this is a daily routine, although I felt quite special, witnessing this display. It would be easy to believe that this guy was a statue. He held this pose for several minutes, silhouetted against the afternoon sky. Finally he folded his wings and rested for a few more minutes before taking off.

 There were no Cormorants on the Thames when I was young, so it is testament to the cleanup of the water that there are now enough fish to support them.

The Eye

5"X7" Acrylic on board

London was at its best when I was there earlier this year. It rained almost every day, but true to form, the sun shone every day too.

I have mixed feelings about the London Eye but is certainly quite spectacular, especially in the late afternoon light. This probably doesn't rank as the hardest thing I have ever attempted (that position is reserved for the rainbow), but anything that requires a freehand circle with varying contrast  has to rank quite high.

The series I have started here were to be studies for possible larger works. I have a feeling that this one won't be revisited.

Urban Forest

5"X7"  Oil on Board

The urban forest canopy plays a major role in making our cities liveable.

According to Wikipedia "they filter air, water, sunlight, provide shelter to animals and recreational area for people. They moderate local climate, slowing wind and storm water, and shading homes and businesses to conserve energy. They are critical in cooling the urban heat island effect, thus potentially reducing the number of unhealthful ozone days that plague major cities in peak summer months."

Lock 2 Gulls

5"X7"  Oil on board

Morning on the Welland Canal.

Three Trees

5"X7"  Oil on board

Actually they are larches and for some reason they turn a different rates.

I can't think about larches without thinking of Monty Python, but for anyone who doesn't know, this is what Larch Woods Canada has to say:

 "The Eastern Canadian Larch [larix larcina] is also known locally as Tamarack or Juniper. The larch is often referred to as the deciduous conifer because unlike other conifers it drops its needles in the fall. Larch is a dense, rot resistant wood that has a superior ability to neutralize bacteria. The beauty of the bold grain patterning along with the larch’s other characteristics make it a superior cutting surface.

'Tamarack' is from the Algonquin word 'akemantak' which means "wood used for snowshoes".

Historically, tamarack was widely used in wooden ships, for timbers, planking and to join ribs to deck timbers. Native Americans used the roots to bind seams of birch bark canoes, the wood for arro…

Towards the Falls

5"X7"  Oil on board

Looking south-east, from the Welland Canal, there is a perpetual plume of water vapour hovering over falls.


Two Trees

5"X7"  Oil on board

If I could afford to have a home for each season, I have always thought that my fall home would be in southern Ontario or Quebec. The colours are almost good enough to eat.

Fall Common

5"X7" Oil on board

I don't know how many posts I have already named "Fall Common". Here is another one anyway.
Late afternoon on the Niagara-on-the-Lake Common, long shadows and golden light.

Short Hills October again

5"X7"  Oil on board
According to
"The landscape in the Short Hills area is Quiet unlike anywhere else in Niagara. It has been moulded into a jumble of small but steep hills and valleys by the last ice age." I am not sure if the 'quiet' is a typo and should read 'quite'. I can think of a few other quiet spots in the region. It is especially lovely at this time of year.

For Sale $75 +S&H

Short Hills - October

5"X7" Oil on board

I haven't blogged for months, in fact I haven't painted for months. Lots of reasons, no excuses.

The autumn colours always serve as an inspiration though. I have some time on my hands now, having just finished a contract that proved to be a lot more full-time than I had anticipated. I am going to try to get back into painting every day, maybe even be a full-time painter for a while.
For Sale $75 +S&H

Spanish Wall

5"X7"  Acrylic on board

Somewhere south of Rincon there is a road that follows the old Spanish Wall along the coast. It is not part of any tourist route and the road isn't in very good shape but it is well worth the detour.

The Horned Dorset

5"X7"  Acrylic on board
The Horned Dorset is the only five star hotel in the Caribbean, or so they claim. It certainly oozes understated luxury. I had the pleasure of lunching there during my recent visit to Puerto Rico.

Pink and White House

7"X5"  Acrylic on board
This house overlooks Pools Beach in Puntas. A choice location.

The Aqua House

7"X5"  Acrylic on board
At last I am working on some Puerto Rico pictures. This house is in Rincon, I love the colour.


10"X20" Oil on canvas

I decided to call this one done. I am not doing very much painting  these days, too busy with other things.

I am going back to Puerto Rico next week, maybe I will find inspiration there again.

Niagara Winter Series #1

10"X20"  Oil on canvas
I am starting a new series, not sure how far I will get. I seem to have the attention span of a flea and abandon most of my series after about three paintings.

I thought that this format would work well for the unremittingly flat landscape around here.

This image would be fom somewhere around East-West Line and the Stone Road, around five in the afternoon in late January or February. I took some liberties with the original photo, which I took some a few years ago.

Masterworks 3

I haven't been painting much recently (although I am working on a slightly larger piece which I will post when it is finished), so I thought I would post some sketches.
Today I went to a Niagara Symphony concert at Brock. One of the pieces was the Aaron Copeland clarinet concerto. Zoltan Kalman was the soloist and the guest conductor was Earl Stafford. I love sketching musicians, although they can be a challenge.


5"X7"  Oil on board
I usually make a point of keeping my paintings seasonal but I have been singularly uninspired by this season so far. I prepared this image some time ago but didn't develop it for some reason. The reference was taken in September on a misty morning in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I am hoping it will jump-start my creative process.