February 28, 2010

East Quoddy Light, III, watercolour, 5 x 7", February 2010 Click here to view and bid on ebay.ca
Here is a one of a series of the East Quoddy Lighthouse on the island of Campobello, off the coast of New Brunswick. We went for a great day trip last summer. It truly was a day of island hopping. We took 2 ferries to get there, first from the mainland to Deer Island. Then from Deer Island there is a seasonal private ferry which takes one to Campobello Island. After that there are still 2 more islands to cross to get to the light house, though this is done on foot, and only when the tide is low enough. The lighthouse is situated on it's own tiny island, sticking out into the Bay of Fundy. According to some sources, it is the most photographed lighthouse on the eastern seaboard. It really is a gem, this pristine white tower with a bright red cross on it's landward side, it is nestled in a complex of buildings which continue the theme of red and white. Also listed on ebay for this week: Fishing Boat at Wharf's End III, 5 x 7" (ebay) and click here for blog post and Blueberry Pickers, 5 x 7" (ebay) and click here to read my blog post about this painting

February 26, 2010

Plein air painting now on ebay

Fishing Boats, plein air, 7 x 10 inches, August 2009, watercolor
Here is an older work, from last August, that has SOLD on ebay.

Two Sailboats

"Sailboat Duo" 7 x 5 inches, watercolour, February 2010
Here I continued with the theme of sailboats against a soft foggy background. I left out any bright red this time and the mood of this one is therefore softer and more serene. I would like to do this again larger, so that I could develop the ripples in the foreground in more detail. Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, my work continues on the larger iris painting that I started earlier this week. So far it is going well. I shall post more about it soon.

February 24, 2010

Sailboats on a misty day

"Red Sailboat sketch" 5 x 7", watercolour, February 2010
Here is another little painting based on that same day in Annapolis. One can see that the composition of the boats is the same and that the only thing I have really changed is the colours of the boats. One might wonder why I repeat myself like this, but it is expressly to experiment. What happens when I change just the colours of the boats? I think that this painting grabs one's attention more than the previous painting (see it here) from two days ago, whereas the previous one has more of a pleasing softness. The focal point of this painting is most definitely the red boat, while in the sailboat trio I find that my attention moves back and forth between the foreground white boat and the red one farther away.

February 23, 2010

White Iris, a close inspection

"White Iris, Imortality" 7 x 10", watercolour
This is one that I am very pleased with. It took me a long time to decide on a layout of the drawing. I wanted something that allowed the fall of the light on the petals to show the shape of the blossom. I stayed very loose in the background because I did not want to detract from the flower itself, but I did want to show the iris leaves. Without leaves, there are no flowers, after all. I think that the soft verticals of the background foliage offers a nice balance to the billowing crinkled translucent petals.
I will not be offering this painting on ebay, but rather in one of the galleries that show my work. If you are interested in this or any of my paintings shown here, please contact me via this link:
Stay tuned for the next iris painting, which will be a full sheet, 20 x 30 inches. I have started the drawing today.

February 22, 2010

Sailboat Trio

Sailboat Trio, 5 x 7", watercolour, February 2010
This is another painting from my experiment in small quick paintings. These boats were taking part in a sailing race in Annapolis Royal on a cool overcast day. The cool misty day created the soft greens in the background. Before the sails were hoisted and the race began all the boats were tied together in the river, it looked like the sailors were comparing notes before the race began. Perhaps I shall paint the cluster of boats soon too.

February 18, 2010

Winter Woods, Snowy Landscapes

Winter Woods II, watercolour, 5 x 7", January 2010
Winter Woods III, 5 x 7", watercolour, January 2010
These are more in my continuing experiment with small paintings. I am fascinated with the shapes that trees make when surrounded by snow. The shadows stretching out toward the viewer decorate the snow with an endless variation of patterns.

February 17, 2010

Iris sketch

Dual Iris, 7 x 5", watercolour, Feb 2010
This is a quick sketch done in preparation for a larger work. I hope to do either a full sheet or a half sheet of this same pair of blossoms. I am not looking forward to drawing all the convoluted wrinkles and folds of the petals so that is the main reason why I have not started yet. Tomorrow promises to be a day mostly for painting (I hope!!) so perhaps I will get a good start on it then.
What I was focusing on in this sketch was loosing some of the edges of the petals. Using the lost and found edges to give a feeling of 3D space, where the lost edges that fade away disappear into the background and the sharp edges push forward towards the viewer. I try to establish this right at the outset. I tint the petals only lightly and when dry I paint in the deep background tones, trying to get them dark enough in one go. While this is still wet, I touch the edges I want to soften with a wet clean brush. I make a stroke with clean water into the petal, which gives the pigment of the background a chance to move into the petal, giving a nice soft edge. It is easy on something small like this. Much harder to keep everything at the right stage of dampness when the area I am working on is so much larger. This is why my flower pictures often have the edges of the flowers often running off the edge of the page. Plus I would just as soon use as much picture "real estate" on the actual flower itself.

February 16, 2010

Thoughts of spring...

Bright Star II, watercolour, February 2010, 5 x 7"
Time for a break from boats and winter paintings... thought looking closely I realize that the colour scheme is not much changed from the subjects that I have been working on lately. You may recognise that this is a reprise of the lily painting done in December. I wanted to take another try at it as I found it took me too many tries to get the values right in that one. This one came together more quickly.

February 12, 2010

Winter Landscape

Winter Sunshine, 5 x 7", watercolor
Back to the views of winter again. This little field overlooks a larger one that in turn looks down toward the Joggins, a narrow creek and salt marsh area running out to the Annapolis Basin. But this particular view no longer exists. There is now a neat and tidy red house built right about where my signature is sitting in the painting.
There was also a venerable apple tree smack dab where the center of the painting is, but I left that out as it would have not added anything to this painting. Someday I might paint this view again, keeping in the apple tree in such a way to have it add to the beauty of the view, not detract.

February 10, 2010

Wharf's End, Digby

Fishing Boat, Wharf's End, 5 x 7", watercolour, Feb 2010
Fishing Boat, Wharf's End II, 5 x 7", watercolor, Feb 2010 SOLD
In order to learn more about composition, I sometimes do several versions of the same scene. Here are three takes on the same view, a fishing boat moored at the end of the wharf, as seen from the main street in Digby. Each of these little paintings have bits that I think went especially well. If you have a particular favourite of the three, I would love to hear about it.

February 9, 2010

Sugar Woods

Sugar Woods, 7 x 10", watercolour, Jan 2010
While we are still in the heart of winter, preparations have already begun for this year's production of maple syrup. There are sugar maples in the woods nearby, and they are beautiful trees. These trees do not have buckets hanging from them in this picture, but they might soon!

February 6, 2010

Summer Pasture

"Summer Pasture II", 5 x 7 inches, watercolour, January 2010
"Summer Pasture" 5 x 7", watercolor, January 2010
While I enjoy painting snowy scenes, I came across the reference for this while searching for another photo. I have been meaning to paint it for a while and these little sketches made a nice break from the relentless snow and cold that is outdoors.
As you can see, the shape of the land is almost identical in each one, but I was experimenting with changing how one's eye moves over the picture by changing the lines of the fence and the colours of the field in the foreground.

February 5, 2010

sailboats again

I have been away for a couple of days, so today is a good time to share with you some older paintings, both from last year. These will be listed on ebay this Sunday (Feb 7) I will add links at that time.
Sparkle, an Abstract Seascape, 6.5" x 11", watercolour, August 2009
You may recognise this one from Paint the Town this summer. Even though no one bought it then, I still love the loose texture of the paint on the paper. To me it looks like the light sparkling or shimmering off the water on an overcast day, caught just when the sun in breakng through the clouds far out over the water.
"Quiet" 5 x 7", watercolour, December 2009
SOLD on ebay.ca
With this one I recycled a drawing that I had done earlier in the year and did another version of the same image. It is good practice for me to work on perfecting how I apply the paint in smooth washes. That is what gives this painting it's quiet, soothing mood.

February 2, 2010

Snowing again

"Tree Shadows, 2010" 5 x 7 inches, watercolour, Jan 2010
Seeing as we are having another snowy day, here is another picture of a snowy, sunlit woodland. I have painted this clump of trees before, as I find it beautiful.

February 1, 2010

Lots of snow

"Snow Trail" watercolour, 5 x 7", Jan 2010
SOLD by auction on ebay.ca
We have had a LOT of snow lately and so I am, surprise, painting pictures of our snowy landscape. The track in the above painting runs along a brook which runs near our home. The track and the brook give me all sorts of painting opportunities. This one came from a morning after a fluffy snowfall, when the bright sun made for very nice shadows reaching across the fresh powdery snow in front of me. Keep watching for more snow and winter woodland paintings soon. Maple sugar season will start within a month or so and I would really like to make some pictures showing the process. Doing some of these "fast and loose" paintings will help me to get ready.
Here is a another little painting from my "trying not to fuss" series. I am really pleased with the way this one turned out. From now on I will try to post paintings on here before they go live in an auction. This one got away very quickly, though.
Stormy Sailboat, 7 x 5", watercolor, Jan 2010
SOLD on ebay.ca