June 30, 2010

A new boat painting

Here is a blog post about a new boat painting that I completed just prior to the plein air event in Saint John. Click here to see it and read about the painting.

June 20, 2010

Paintings ready for exhibit

Reversing Falls Bridge, Tide going Out, 10 x 14", watercolour,
yesterday and today
Here is the one that I almost finished yesterday, but stopped early to meet up on time with the other painters. I went back to the Reversing Falls Bridge Look off and finished up. Then I decided to do another painting. The weather was foggy and the mood was quite different from yesterday. Today I arrived before the tide got down to the level of the falls so it was very quiet and the water was calm. Yesterday had been sunny and the water was rushing out of the river quite noisily as I arrived. I was an hour earlier arriving today and the tide is always an hour later each day so there was a significant difference in the water level. . As I arrived at the bridge a cluster of cormorants came flying out through the space underneath it. They would have been marvelous to capture in a painting to give a sense of the space, but I shall save that for another painting. There were many cormorants fishing all the time that I was there and I even saw one eating a fish it had just caught! . That is part of the joy and the challenge of painting out of doors. There are so many things to paint! Happily, I always carry my camera so I can capture for later most of what caught my eye. But I missed the cormorant with the fish in it's beak. . Here is today's bridge painting:
Bridges in Fog, 10 x 14", watercolour, today
Again, Ihave to apologize for the poor presentation of my photos. I shall have to clean them up when I get a chance on the right computer.
After the cool dampness of the riverside, I felt like coffee to warm me up so I went to downtown Saint John only to discover that the Old City Market was closed. No coffee without walking further! Rats! So I walked and found the Magnolia Café, which looked interesting; it was also closed. But it was in a beautiful location so I did a painting instead. This is a view along Prince William Street, looking toward King St and Market Square.
The Old and the New, 10 x 7", watercolour, today
The title of this one refers to the brick buildings in the foreground with the modern office tower in behind them. Saint John has some beautiful old architecture (if you like old brick buildings, which I do) The ones that I find really neat are the ones where you can see different layers of bricks and stone work and can see where changes have been made and new structures built on older ones. Each of these buildings in the painting have their own unique patterns and brickwork and I did not do them justice. Next time.
So, now I have enough paintings for the exhibit, which is a good thing as they are to be turned in 9 am sharp tomorrow morning. If you wish to see them, they will be on display from June 23 to September 4 at the Saint John Arts Center. The opening of the exhibit is this coming Friday, June 25 at 5:30 pm. If you are in the area, come meet myself and the other artists.
And now for something new, a picture of me, painting. Here I am on the trail looking out to the Reversing Falls Bridge.

June 19, 2010

Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy

View from Manawagonish road, 7 x 10", watercolour, today
So here I am in lovely Saint John, NB, painting my fool head off. The Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy is a group of artists who gather to paint scenes outside, in the Fundy region. Today and tomorrow is the annual paint out where we converge to paint and create an exhibit. Tomorrow I will give you the details of where and when they will be displayed. After a full day of painting I just want to get these images posted and then rest for tomorrow's day of more painting.
Above is a view I have long admired. The island in the picture is part of the Irving Nature Park, where I hope to go paint tomorrow.
After painting there, I went on the the Reversing Falls Bridge, which is a Saint John icon. There is a touristy café with a lookoff looking up at the bridge. I painted there and made a painting which needs just a bit more done to it before I frame it (or post it, you will be able to see it another day).
Then I met up with some of the other painters of the group and we set up at and around the Saint John Power Boat Club, where there was lots of stuff to paint. The interaction of the different shapes of the boats and the relatively calm water made for too wide a variety of subjects. I focused on one boat and painted it in 3 different compositions.
Fractured Reflections, 7 x 10", watercolour, today Portrait of a White Boat, 10 x 7", watercolour, today
The One that Got Away, 14 x 10", watercolour, today
The title for this one might sound a bit obscure, but you will understand as I explain. I was just starting to paint in the reflections (my drawing was finished, thank goodness) when I heard the motor start up. A man and a woman had been working on this boat all afternoon at the shore and now it was time to return it to it's mooring. So I finished the painting from memory. I had a few minutes to concentrate really hard before the boat moved away so I think that I did ok with it.
As I am working on a different computer than usual, I have not been able to process my photos as I usually would, so you can see the edges that I usually crop out. In fact, the first painting in this post shows you how I secure my paintings while painting. I use binder clips and a varnished plywood board. The paper usually dries fairly flat and I find this very portable and simple. When the paper dries with a ripple, it is easy enough to flatten it out, as long as I am careful.

June 17, 2010

Red Boats Visiting Digby

Red Boats Visiting Digby, 14 x 21", watercolour
June 2010
Now Available at Bluefin in Digby
The title of this painting is in response to the gentleman who was viewing cards made of my first red boats painting. He stated, "those aren't Digby boats" Perhaps he thought that I was taking some artistic lisence. However, the thing about boats, is that they float, and move around. For whatever reason, those boats came up to the Digby wharf in December of 2007. They belong to the fleet of Mr Kenney who operates from the wharves of Westport on Brier Island. Regardless of where they came from, the line of the bright red boats against the dull colours of a December day caught my eye. I have painted these boats before but this painting is composed a little bit differently.
Another viewer had commented on the last painting that it bothered him that he could not see the top of the wharf. So I painted the one above to see how I liked it with sight of the sky above the wharf. Here is the older painting...
Red Boats, watercolour, 9 x 30", 2008
Private Collection
Visually I find the top of the wharf distracting. Maybe it is the fish shack in the extreme upper right that bothers me. I think I should have left it out or moved it closer to the center. I could have added more vehicles to balance it, but I did not want to fuss. I shall just learn what I can from this one and move on.
So what do you think about the two paintings? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Flower Season

June is the month of spectacular blossoms here in Nova Scotia. Tulips and daffodils are followed by irises and lilacs. Now the peonies and roses are coming out, dramatically unveiling their curves and shapes in the warm sunshine. I have been happily photographing many of them, saving their images for quieter days when I can devote myself to painting them.
Right now the main focus of my free time is getting my vegetable garden ready to be ignored once the kids are done school. Everything is planted now, I think. My husband will laugh at this as I have been saying this for a week: "I finished planting everything today" When he heard this for the third or fourth time, he began to expect to hear it again the next day, too! I have mulched most of what has come up with old hay, to cut down on weeds and the need to water. I have quite a large vegetable patch as I like to be able to wander into the back yard and then decide what I am going to serve in the way of vegetables for supper. And even better when the kids come to the supper table with fresh vegetables that they have picked for themselves! (Dream on, mom!)
So, despite lovely flowers in my garden I have not done much painting of flowers or anything much else, but here are some blooms to tide you over.
Tree Peony Sketch, 5 x 7", watercolour
June 2010
Private Collection
Tree Peony Sketch II, watercolour, 5 x 7"
June 2010
The blossom pictured in the paintings above is a tree peony blossom. I did not actually grow this one, but I was given it in a bouquet. I hurried to photograph it and paint it before it faded. I want to do a much larger picture, as I have coveted tree peonies for years. Someday I will plant one in my garden, but until then, I shall have fun painting this one.
I shall have painting time in plenty this weekend, as I shall be attending the annual paint out of the Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy in Saint John, NB. For more details about the paint out, click here. I will be painting out and about in Saint John on Saturday and Sunday. The paintings will be hung at the Saint John Art Center with an opening on Friday June 24 at 5:30 pm. I will post some of the paintings (I hope!) on Saturday or Sunday evening. Some of the areas that I would like to paint include the bridges crossing the Saint John River and the Old City Market. If you see me painting, please feel welcome to stop and say "Hi"

June 6, 2010


Waiting it Out, 10 x 14", watercolour
Diploma Collection of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour
I am very excited to announce that I have been elected a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (CSPWC for short). After attending their most excellent symposium in Cape Breton last August I felt encouraged enough to submit an application to be a member. My application was successful and I am one of a few to be selected this year to join the ranks of over 265 very accomplished Canadian artists. The goal of the Society is to recognize, encourage and nurture excellence of work in watercolour. You can read more about the Society by clicking here: http://www.cspwc.com/ I am thrilled to join the ranks of the Society, which includes members such as Jean Pederson, Bill Rogers, Chris Gorey and many many more fantastic painters. All whom I have met within the Society have been very generous in sharing their knowledge, and I look forward to learning more from them in future. Stay tuned for more Society news, as there will be an information session about the Society, complete with a demo by yours truly, scheduled for Digby July 17, 2010. Contact me for more info if you are interested.