Friday, December 24, 2010

"Table Mountain" oil 24 x 30

South Africa’s greatest icon. I can't explain the painting but I can talk about what it means to me:

The rocks of the foreground are the immediate issues facing the country but the tide, like life's ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Troubles come and go. The middle distance sea is calming, and the Cape Doctor spreads a mysterious futuristic cloth over the mountain. All highly symbolic for a dreamer like me, saying great things are possible now and in the future.

This is the view from Blaauwberg, similar to what Mr. Nelson must have seen on Robben Island. The mountain speaks not of politics, not of the Koi inhabitants, not of Van Riebeeck nor of Parliament – it speaks of all these and yet not of any one of them in particular. Like wisps of Time, we have spread our various cultures before it.

I first painted Table Mountain nearly fifty years ago, and several weeks ago Yvonne Katzin sent me her photo, making it possible for me to paint an up-to-date version in oil as regards the foreshore as it is now, and the ship approaching harbour. We are still arriving.

My Table Mountain is on stretched canvas, 24 x 30 inches, unframed. Basic price 1440 Canadian dollars, shipping is extra. I'd be grateful if you would forward the link below to anyone who may be interested in buying the painting. Home from home.

See Table Mountain at (You may have to cut and paste the link).

Tip: click on the image above to see an enlargement of the painting but afterwards do click your BACK button to return here.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Salmon Creek" oil 11 x 14 on RayMar

Small streams such as these can bring about the miracle of existence, not only for the salmon but for all.
This is on the Columbia Gorge in Oregon but it could be anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. The painting is as a result of my week-long painting trip down to Portland, back up the coast to Port Angeles and home to Victoria BC.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Freighters off Port Angeles" 11 x 14

Looking across the strait we can see the smoke of Port Angeles USA in the distance, over an hour away by ferry. The Strait of Juan de Fuca divides the US from Canada at this corner of the Pacific Northwest.

I liked this scene because of the mood, the mountains, and the way that the windlines in the sea emulate the clouds above the Olympics. Here's my prelim charcoal sketch:
If I do a preparatory sketch like this beforehand it helps me to decide whether the scene might make a reasonable painting or not. So it's worth it I think ...

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Centre for Plant Health" 8 x 10

Quaint but true, it's where the Department of Agriculture takes care of plants here on Vancouver Island.  I parked the car on a hill corner of East Saanich Road and Lowe Road. (That's the town of Sidney in the far distance).
First I did a quickie with medium- and dark felt pens, grouping the darks together.

This helps me to work things out before committing to canvas. It also saves time, I managed to paint the actual oil in little over an hour. 
The nice thing about ART is that we may simplify - for instance, look at the photo below and see how an artist can exclude the wire fence -- if you compare my photo against my oil painting you'll see that I have taken a little artistic license!

The Centre for plant health, Saanichton, Vancouver island, Canada.
Thanks, Ron

Friday, December 03, 2010

"The Lookout" oils 11 x 14 en plein air

Yowser! I forgot to pack brushes this morning, so when I got to Beacon Hill Park - I opened my pochade box to find nothing but tubes! Nudda. I decide to "paint" anyway - so I improvised with a cleaning rag and my palette knife!  When I got it home I softened some of the hard edges with a finger and a broad brush. Cheating.

Once again the clouds were wonderful here on the Pacific Coast of Canada complete with sunny breaks over the Olympic mountains of Washington State in the distance. After 45 minutes of "painting" the rain came down but I was done by then.

I learnt two things: Bring brushes; you can cope with anything (and nothing) in art!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Downtown Victoria" from Gonzales Observatory

Seen from Gonzales Observatory, this is downtown Victoria in inclement weather  - a narrow break in the clouds illuminates the taller buildings of this wonderful capital city of British Columbia.
Oils, 11 x 14 on RayMar canvas panel complete with a Melamine backing to avoid warping - soft hair brushes were used - five of 'em! (Different sizes).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Boats at Seaside, USA" oil 11 x 14

Boats coming in to berth at Seaside. In the background, random pilings of tidal buildings long since abandoned in this cute seaside hamlet on the Pacific Coast of America

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Gonzales Sideloader" oil 11 x 14

It was really COLD up on Gonzales Hill this morning, but a Sideloader vessel passed by while we were painting obligingly giving us a focal point. Those are the Olympic mountains of the USA in the background - the dip in the mountains is where Hurricane Ridge is located, it's a mile above sea-level, so I'm told.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Restful and Fragrant" oil 11 x 14

The lavender farm in Sequim, Washington State. A place to meander and rest among the fragrant lavender rows.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"High Tide, MtDoug Beach" 8 x 10 oil

Painted en plein air this morning, there's a bit of shine-back on this painting because of the amount of linseed oil that my Langnickels demand in order to get the strokes on the canvas. While a soft mongoose brush is a pleasure with which to work, one has to change one's way of applying paint! Dry-brush technique is out of the window ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Oranges Wedges" 6 x 8 oil sketch

With my soft mongoose hair brush (no.8 again) I painted this small study using thick and juicy brush strokes.
Should you click on the image you'll see an enlargement,  but press your BACK button to return here.
Thanks, Ron.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"Captain Bill McKechnie" oil 6 x 8

Today as a guest I painted with the group of seven portrait painters at Goward House in Victoria BC. Captain McKechnie was once the master of the "Queen of the North" many years before it met its end. Nice, chatty fellow with a wonderful Scottish accent. Afterwards group leader Jim McFarland invited our sitter to choose a portrait to take home, much like the "Star Portraits" on television. Captain Bill chose mine which is great.
I used four brushes, two of them Langnickels - the smallest of which was a No.8 so the session was quite a challenge for me, trying to get the finicky detail in.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"Mount Baker from Cattle Point" oil 11 x 14 en plein air

Mount Baker looks great with side lighting and the challenge was to separate the snow-from-the-clouds-from-the-sky tones. Shaun Cunningham, a photographer with a good lens happened to be passing by and later he sent me his JPG of my scene as it is actually.

Shaun Cunningham's JPG of me painting in the wind at Cattle Point. the wind won, I had to stop play!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Maple Bay Gem tree" 11 x 14 oil on RayMar board

An Arbutus (Madrona) tree in Maple Bay, Vancouver Island. I was drawn by the gem-like appearance of the foliage and the boathouse tucked-around-the-corner .

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Seagull at Holland Point" oil 6 x 8 canvas on board

Painted en plein air at Holland Point just a few feet to the left of the previous painting location (see below). I used my new Langnickel series 5590 brush again - it's extremely soft (made from Mongoose hair) but it gives a silky effect - I like to see brush marks in my work - I want to show confidence and even bravado!

And yes, the seagull was really there, I worked quickly to get him down on canvas. He stayed for at least ten minutes...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Holland Point Cove" oils 11 x 14 plein air

We are lucky to live in such a paradise, the sun came out, the sea was calm, so were we - sunny and calm. My lady love read a book whilst I painted - it took me an hour and twenty minutes to sketch this scene and I'm happy with it. I hope you are too ...

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010

"Stream, Michell's Farm" oils 11 x 14

I saw this from a narrow road with no place to park, so I drove around to another field, parked, and began to paint from memory. The result is a simple composition with few distracting elements - lending some impact to the work I think.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Rubin and Bo Sweep Clean" oils

Rubin is the name of Bo's horse. Bo has an immaculate farm called Hunt Valley Farm and I mean it is CLEAN.  This is Bo sweeping Rubin's stable. I liked the halo on Rubin's head with light from the window.
Oil on stretched canvas 11 x 14. Click on the image for a close up look and hit your BACK button when you're done. Thanks for looking, Ron.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Hunt Valley" oils 8 x 10

From the stables at the Hunt Valley Farm in Central Saanich (Vancouver Island) one can look across the field to this white house with its steep-pitched upper roof line.  Fog rolled in during this rainy morning, creating atmospheric perspective to the far trees.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Expediter" study in greys 8 x 10

It was a grey day at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club today. The Expediter was hauled out by the owner for power washing - decks and hull. The drapes are to prevent overspray during blustery conditions. The club had spent money on extra concrete and drainage to prevent the grunge from falling back into the water. Good one.

For me it is a challenge trying to separate the greys.  I enjoyed it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Beaver Lake Reflections" oil 11 x 14

I could tell (even before I had stopped the car) that this was going to be my scene to paint.

In spite of the overcast and drizzly conditions, many artists turned up here this morning.
The benefit of having other artists around is that you may get some advice - and Keith Hiscock was very kind in his appraisal - I took his hint and avoided the "soldiers-in-a-row" scoops in the left-hand water's edge by limiting them to one instead of three little bays. He told me that it often happens to him when he paints poles and trees - spaced apart at regular intervals - I didn't spot my fault until he was gracious enough to mention it to me in the most tactful means possible. Thanks Keith.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

"Astoria haul Out" oil 11 x 14

Astoria is a quaint village on the border between Oregon and Washington, with an iconic steel bridge between the two states. There it is in the background.
I was stopped by the man who is dwarfed by the extremely heavy hull and of course the reflection in the water. The seagull shape repeats the V slings. This is the good vessel "Mary" hauled out.

Friday, September 03, 2010

"Ross Bay Rocks" 11 x 14 oil study

The Ross Bay beach facing Trial Island lighthouse. This is a colour study I did on the beach this morning should I need to paint a bigger version later.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Red Barn and Daffodils" Metchosin

This is a bigger painting of a miniature one I did some time ago. This size is 10 x 20 on stretched canvas.
The scene is in Metchosin near Frank Mitchell's farm.
This image is very small, so click on it to see a bigger picture, then press your BACK button to return here. Thanks, Ron.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Salt Marsh" Wilapa Bay oil 16 x 20

When this painting said everything I wanted to say about the salt marsh - I stopped for fear of overworking it.  This is my second painting from my painting trip up the Northwest coast of the United States and I just love the random meandering of the grassy banks of Wilapa Bay. We had lunch at Bennett's in Grayland. The restaurant is tops.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

"Blue Pine" Mt.Tolmie, oil 11 x 14

Painted from Mt.Tolmie this morning. That's the Tuscany Village shopping centre opposite, with Mt.Doug above. I don't know the name of this blue pine but it certainly is eye-catching amongst the many garry Oaks in the area.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

"The Boondocks" oil 12 x 16


This painting won first prize at the annual Sidney Paint-In 2010.  The event was organized by Odette Laroche. The First prize is sponsored by the CACSP
The juror was Robert Genn:
In addition to the first prize award sponsored by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula, Robert gave each of the winners a signed copy of his book "Letters."

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Blue Dinghy" oils 8 x 10

Plein air painting with the Al Frescoes this morning at Oak Bay Marina, one of our local spots. Initially we were immersed in a fog bank and my fellow artists were delighted, taking photographs before the fog burnt off - it didn't last long enough to do a decent painting but maybe later we'll see a plethora of fog paintings from the ALFs ...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Agate Beach Rocks" 9 x 12 oil study

In this study I used the 'broad brush' technique with my new Langnickel brush which helped produce a blocky, geometric style of plein air painting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Rocks at Lowtide, Cattle Point" 8 x 10

Painted in oils en plein air in an hour, I was drawn by the sparkles on the water backed by a bank of mist (fog) on the horizon. I wanted a simple seascape that would reflect my enchantment with this fugitive scene - I came away a happy camper!

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Glamorgan Farm" 8 x 10 oil sketch

Glamorgan Farm was established in 1851 on Vancouver Island in the district of North Saanich.

This is an oils sketch I shall be using later to paint a much bigger piece. Yes, I took photographs but it's always handy to record some of the impressions and colours to remind me how I felt when rendering this scene.
I excluded a lot of finicky detail but will include some of it in my bigger version to come ...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Thunderbird Park" oil 9 x 12

Downtown next to the BC Museum is the Thunderbird Park with all its totems. I liked this one with the heritage Helmken House in the background. I was also delighted to have the whole scene bedecked in pink blossoms.
You may also click on the image to see an enlargement, but do hit your RETURN button afterwards. Thanks for looking.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

"Wait for Me" oil 11 x 14

This is my studio painting of "Mac" - my brother-in-law's new puppy, nine months old. We were at Oak Bay marina. The feeling of the work is of the dog being left ashore while master goes for a sail ...both the pet and the owner could be saying to each other "wait for me."

"Vineyard" line and wash 4 x 6

Not done en plein air but a memory painting, painting from memory based on all my visits to vineyards all over. I love line and wash

Folks this is really a very good painting, if you like it too please contact me at ronjbw at gmail dot com

Friday, July 02, 2010

"Anderson Hill" oil 8 x 10

This is McNeill Bay seen from Anderson Hill.  We were blessed with a cloudy day with wide patches of blue sky for a quick oil study like this. The scene is pretty much as I saw it on site, with me leaving out some details.

Here's my 'after' photo:

One of the challenges of painting outside is to reduce a 180-degree scene into a 9-degree acceptance angle which is ideal for a canvas 8 x 10 inches. Remember to CLICK on any of these images to get a bigger view. Then press your BACK button to return here.

"Sister Ships" watercolor 7 x 9.5

These are the two schooners berthed in the Inner Harbour of Victoria BC.  I have learnt how to make my watercolours LIGHT again, I can now safely return to my oils for the next painting (above).

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Clover Point" oils 9 x 12

Without fail, every one of the ninteen artists who were painting en plein air at Clover Point in Victoria BC did well today. In fact I have never seen as strong a showing of work as I did at the show 'n tell at noon. Wonderful clouds all 360 degrees. As they say here in North America, we really 'lucked out!'

Click on the image for a bigger view then hit your BACK button to return here. COMMENTS are welcomed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Saxe Point Cove" 9 x 12 oils

A group of 20 or so artists painted at Saxe Point this morning - when the neighbours across the way saw what was happening they came over to see our canvasses - I had excluded the house of this particular lady but she didn't seem to mind - painting is much about LEAVING OUT as it is about putting in ...

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Sunlit Path" (Government House Shed) oils 11 x 14

There are very many paintable subjects here at Government House in Victoria BC.
Today I chose this sunlit path, it's a quiet little spot near the boundary of the gardens. Only the buzz of the lawnmowers kept me company.