Monthly Archives: April 2018

Canyons and Mountain Mist

So here is the “Bow Lake Glacier Falls”  and “Canmore” scenes that complete my four week study of Alberta scenes

It’s been a fun class! One artist surprises us each week by including animals in her scenes (bears in the water fishing for salmon and moose in the foreground of the mountains).

I’ve often been asked why I still take classes  —-I always learn more and you can’t beat the peer support you get from fellow artists.  We have a good laugh, sharing successes and helping each other when we literally can’t see the mountain for the trees or there’s something blocking that water from flowing!

Some people go to cooking classes or book clubs:  we share recipes, but colour mixing recipes instead of food, and we share stories but instead of using words, we use our paintings.  Can you hear the sound of water? Can you smell those evergreens and feel that crisp Spring air with just a shadow of winter’s bite?

So with all this in mind I say farewell to western Canada (for now) and started a new course with Robin this week.  This time we’re tackling the landscapes and beaches of Florida.

So things are going to be heating up!

Gonna Climb Me a Mountain!

So last week we were painting a scene from the foothills of Alberta, this week we painted a scene from Belly River – Waterton Lakes National Park.

Alberta Mountain Spring Runoff

The colours are very bright, but this is how the mountain lakes and springs are in Western Canada.  Apparently it relates to the glaciers melting……mineral content, light angle etc.  I just think it looks really beautiful.  It was a fun piece to do.

This week we started on a scene from the Bow Lake Glacier Falls area in Banff.


Like Riding a Horse

Back at it!

Ok, so I know it’s been a very long time since I posted!

Last year was a series of highs and lows.  The greatest low being that I have not painted very much: life sometimes gets in the way!

We enjoyed travel with friends and family.  We hosted friends and family.  I volunteered a little with the OAS Art in the Park (unfortunately illness prevented me living up to all my commitments there, but it’s such a worthwhile venture I just had to try to support it in any way I could).  Although I haven’t painted I have been “painting with my camera,” collecting scenes and ideas for future projects, so all has certainly not been wasted or lost creatively speaking!

But here we are, well into 2018!  New start!

Pushing forward…

The first few months seem to have flown by.  I have signed up for a 4 week class at the Oakville Art Society to “jump start” my paint brushes.  My first class was on Monday. The class is called “Painting the Foothills of Alberta” and is all about painting snow scenes and big Alberta skies.

Robin Mitchell is the teacher and I’ve taken classes with him before (look back at my writings about “Out of my comfort zone: painting outdoors for all the world to see”.  I took Robin’s plein air courses before writing that).  I enjoy his teaching style.  He comes across very relaxed and has a very supportive way of teaching.  I also enjoy his sometimes quirky (like me) sense of humour.

He starts his class painting.  Robin had completed a painting of the scene at home and then he started the same scene in class so we could observe the process, giving us a running commentary of what he’s doing and why.  So we have the reference photo, his completed painting and the new painting he does in class to refer to.  After about 30-45 minutes he had pretty well completed the new painting on his easel! The guy is really talented!

That was our cue and we all got started on the same scene trying to utilize his suggestions.  I always love how a whole class can work on the same scene and yet everyone’s painting turns out so differently.  We included 3 deer on a frozen lake which was cause for some hilarity as our deer started out looking like dogs or something Santa would never dream of enlisting to pull his sleigh! Robin circulates the class offering suggestions as he goes and is always right there if you have a question.  At one point I was so wrapped up in my creative process, I’d stopped looking at the reference photo and actually forgot about a key component: a snowy road leading up to the mountains!  This is what I’ve missed.  Losing yourself in the paint is so restorative!

Our Spring weather seems to be elusive at the moment and I’m hoping that perhaps next week we’ll have a warmer scene to work on that will perhaps motivate the “weather Gods” to heat things up a bit.  As I sit writing this, the occasional snow flake dares to drift by the window!  I really need to get this snow scene finished so perhaps Spring will make an entrance!

Well, my paint brushes (and deer) call to me.  I will add a photo of my completed snow scene later.

Deer“Oh Deer”