Friday, October 09, 2009

"House on the beach" (Ocean Boulevard) Oils 12 x 16

Today I re-sized the house THREE times on my canvas before I was happy with the composition. Fortunately, I used charcoal and could wipe the image with a paper towel each time. I had it much bigger but it seemed to be in my face, so I gradually got it down to what it appears now.



My thanks to Richard Schmid for showing me the way in his "Alla Prima" book. I have read it many times over and still I'm finding something new ...

Ocean Boulevard is that thin strip of land between the sea and Esquimalt Lagoon in Victoria, BC, Canada. To approach the house one has to drive across an old wooden bridge and park close to the sea. I saw a kayaker, hundreds of seagulls, human strollers and even a few horses out to play. And of course, 30 other artists from the Al Frescoes - including my artist daughter Jenn!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

"Mugo Pine" watercolour 8 x 12

Tree experts Fred Hook and Mike Meagher told me that this tree is a Mugo Pine. Usually a mugo is a smallish bush but it can be as tall as a tree. They also know the whereabouts of this specimen which is in the Ross Bay cemetery - Fred says that many of these trees were planted there in 1937 but few survived.


As long ago as the second of September 1996 I painted this watercolour en plein air with a few FCA Victoria members, this small group of outdoor artists was to evolve into the present-day Al Frescoes.

Only this week when I attended the AGM of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team did I learn the actual name of this tree that I had painted thirteen years ago

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Blue Bridge" oils 11 x 14


The striking thing about Victoria's Blue Bridge is that it appears WHITE against a clear blue sky. The paint-out was organised by the Downtown Victoria Business Association - several artists were asked to go downtown and paint the city. Michael Yoder of DVBA is planning an exhibition of these paintings soon.


I chose to simplify an otherwise busy harbour scene - all sorts of vessels were coming and going in the two hours it took to lay this plein air baby down ... click on the image to see a bigger view then hit your BACK button. Thanks for looking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"James Island" from Island View Beach - oils 11 x 14


I hadn't had much luck here at Island View Beach on Vancouver Island in the past yet Keith Hiscock said it was fine. Coming from the maestro that's high praise indeed ... I am enjoying Richard Schmid's tip about painting without any medium (apart from the initial turps block-in) -- I find that painting straight from the tube gives the work a 'firm' look.
As usual, click on the image for a bigger pic. Then hit your return button.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Lady Jane at ECAIP" oils 11 x 14


Our 1969 Morgan is called Lady Jane, and she posed for me at the English Car Affair in the Park at Fort Rodd Hill in Victoria BC today. In his landscape book Richard Schmid says he can use oil straight from the tube so I tried this today and was delighted with the juicy thick brushwork. HMmmnn ...

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Woodwyn Farm" oils 12 x 16

One of our artists had been driving up and down on the edge of this farm for 45 years - and this was the first time he got to see the inner sanctum of Woodwyn Farm thanks to Richard Leblanc, who gave us permission to come here today.

Some of the buildings date back to the eighteen-hundreds. The 200-acre Woodwyn farm is situated on Vancouver Island, in the district of West Saanich.


As with my other paintings on this blog, click on the images to see a bigger picture but do hit your BACK button to return.

Friday, August 07, 2009

"The Channel" Cattle Point 8 x 10 oils


I started to paint a scene in front of me, then I glanced to my right and saw THIS scene with this silvery channel and the Canada Geese! I immediately scrapped the first scene and nailed the geese and channel in an hour thanks to a speedy use of broad brush and palette knife. I was drawn by the contrast between the mirror-like calm of the channel and the choppy wavelets immediately behind. Then the spindly legs of the major Canada goose reflected in the channel just stopped me! Done deal.


It looks better when it's bigger, just click on the image to get a larger picture then press your BACK button to return here ...

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Garden Steps" oil 20 x 16 (SOLD)


The garden steps at Swan Lake in Victoria BC. I did this painting in front of about twenty-five thousand strollers-by as a demo at the Moss Street paint in, 2009. It's based on my smaller oil sketch which I painted en plein air some weeks ago.  Click on the little white envelope below for any questions. Click on the image for a larger view of my painting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"On the Beach" oils 11 x 14

The scene is between the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and Gyro Park in Victoria BC. 15 minutes walk from the Gyro car park along the beach to the shady trees facing the water. The dinghy was drawn up on the beach with the sun behind - one of my favourite lighting situations. The scene could be anywhere on a tropical isle but of course it is here in wonderful Canada. One of my fellow paint-out artists noticed the Sargent influence in my brushwork. Right on!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Trial Island" fr. Ross Bay Beach oils 11 x 14 (SOLD)

I have suddenly realized that I shouldn't make the painting look like the subject - instead I should make the subject look like a painting! I call this my Wilson Paradox. This way I simplify, and render the painting with loose interpretive colour and brushwork.

The rocks have been simplified so that the eye goes over them and deeper into the distance. Also, I have taken liberties with the colours.


It's not that I need to take shortcuts, it's just that I need to be "painterly" - I need to see with my own vision of the subject before me ...

SOLD at Moss Street July 18, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

"Two Trees" Pendray House, oils 9 x 12


Because of my weekly contact with other artists, I'm beginning to paint looser and thicker which certainly helps produce the kind of TEXTURE I'm looking for in my paintings. It's the portrayal of LIGHT combined with sound COMPOSITION that matters to me now.


To see a bigger picture simply click on the above image but remember to hit your BACK button to return here. All my work on this blog is for sale, click on the small white envelope below to ask about pricing and shipping.

This particular painting can be seen at the Morris gallery on Alpha street in Victoria BC.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Garden Steps" oil sketch 14 x 11


The sun came out sporadically - long enough to nail the shadows on the stone steps beneath the Nature House at Swan Lake today. It was a joy dropping in the flowers of white, pink, yellow and red at the end of the paint-out!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"McMorran's Beach" oils 6 x 8 study


This is a preparatory study.



If you want to know the online price of any of my paintings simply click on the tiny envelope icon below here to send me a message.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Beach at Mount Douglas Park

"Mount Dog Beach number 3"


A wonderfully sunny day on Vancouver Island - Mount Douglas beach. A chilly wind kept me company while I painted this first scene today - 11" x 14" oils.

I find myself coming back to this spot time and time again. Yes, I did have time for a second one:


"Seagull Rock" (Mt.Doug beach) which I painted on the shallows as the tide ran out. Nelson the seagull obliged by posing impassively on the rock and I had fun searching out the blues, pinks and greens that I saw in the water. This is a rapid oil sketch 8" x 6" which is on show at the Small Paintings exhibition currently on at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Cherry on the Rocks" 9 x 12

Beacon Hill Park above Queens Lake facing away from the Petting Zoo. The sun came and went, and at the end of the paint-out it rained. Otherwise a fine painting day al fresco.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Two paintings in the sun today


"Cherry Tree - Moss Street #2" 6" x 8" oils
See this plein air study at the Morris Gallery in Victoria BC.


I popped down to Moss Street and painted this particular tree - a passing student from the nearby central school looked over my shoulder and said to his mates "why is he painting a tree?" Why not? Man makes cars, boats and 'planes but only God can make a tree. The above cherry tree oil sketch took me an hour, so at 4pm we drove to Oak Bay marina and spent another hour painting this second sketch:


"The Boulder and the Boat"

8" x 10" oils
The works are for sale, use this small white envelope below to ask me about pricing and shipping.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Moss on the Rocks" oils 8 x 10

 
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Today we were at Cattle Point in Victoria (on Vancouver Island). It was so cold (with a light rain) that we turned our backs on the sea and took shelter from the chilly wind by hiding on the edge of the bush, looking inland.
This is a distillation of the scene - yes one can see the distant trees, the rocks and of course the yellow and green moss but I just took from the scene the elements that I needed for this abstract - it certainly is not a photographic representation but more of an interpretation of the mood and essence of the place. Click on't for a larger view - and I'd be interested in your reaction - click on COMMENTS to send me your response to the painting.