Saturday, October 2, 2010

Life Drawing (Better Late than Never)

Figure drawing on Monday night again, I forgot to put this up here (it's over on WC)

I found these first two quick takes (3 minutes) the most interesting to do. While I was working on the quicker poses, it struck me that if if two tech goals are:
a) To be able to draw a subject w/o looking at the paper (as in blind contour drawing);
b) To be able to draw a subject with only occasional glances at the model while focusing on the drawing;
then putting these together:
Wouldn't it make sense to be able to draw a subject with only a few glances at the model AND the paper? Hmmmmm.....
So I gave it a try - stare at the model for a few seconds, place my charcoal on the paper, close my eyes, and start to draw, trying to collate my memory of the model with what I thought my hand was doing. As I moved from blocking in towards more detail, I had to open my eyes more in both directions. It's actually quite an intriguing feeling, very different than the more traditional approach of visually combining the subject and the drawing to (more or less) create a tracing. Not that I'm very good at that either, but I think these things help stretch the brain muscles!

Anyway, here are some of the (more passable) quick takes (22x34 compressed charcoal on newsprint):

Then the longer poses, both nupastel & conte on Kraft paper, 24x36:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grand Desert, Dyke Rd., #7

Another day, andother Grand Desert. This time I took a picture I had started yesterday & reworked it.
Oil on canvasboard, 9x12

The fog was rolling in and out all afternoon, sometimes the sky seemed almost clear, and sometinmes more like this:

The light when the fog is heavy is wonderful for painting; unfortunately one can't see the motif.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grand Desert, Dyke Rd., #6

Today was foggy and warm out at Drand Desert, but with a good wind that left me pretty sticky woth salt after a long afternoon. I caught two paintings out there, one is still too wet to scan, and (right now) I like this one better. The fog and ground mist were actually quite interesting; looking north it moved from a brown tint through to an ochre to almost blue (much higher up)....

10x14, oil on canvasboard

There were plenty of distractions, particularly the birds...I think I surprised the hawk when I first arrived, he had been on the ground busily tearing at something, but flew of as the car approached. Then for the next half hour or so he hedgehopped - rarely more than 10 feet in the air, but never setting down. I think he wanted to make sure I didn't share his meal....

Grand Desert, Dyke Rd., #5

Spending time out there is getting addictive.
Oil on canvasboard, 10x14.

Now I'll put it away to dry for awhile, and then get back to it once the weather turns...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grand Desert, Dyke Rd., #3

This was from my third trip out to Grand Desert:

There's still lots of work to do before I put it away, but it's a step up (I hope) from its plein air origins:

It was an interesting day; when I first arrived, this is what was tearing down from the north, enough to make one feel a little paranoid!

But then it veered east as it passed by. and started crumbling as it hit the water (to the south), and didn't make it far out to sea.

On the other hand, this bank pretty much held all afternoon to the south, moving in but then moving out again, never coming ashore:

While this came in from the northwest, looking positively mountainous:

and passed to the southwest, making for wonderful effects as it passed between me and the sun:

These opened up on the way home (diving west); torrential downpours and high winds followed by clear breaks while driving straight into the sun. Fun and games!

Oddly enough, I don't think I had a directly cloud overhead all day.

And when I got home, it had all gone away, leaving just a lovely sunset:

Life Drawing

Trying to get caught up here....This is from last Monday (Conte on Kraft paper, 24x36):

It feels good to be back at "work".

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grand Desert, Dyke Rd.

The day wsan't too bad to start, but towards the end the wind was strong enough that I had to hold the picture with one hand while I only fell over twice. Still lots of work to do, but tomorrow it's supposed to rain so I can play with it in the studio.

This is mostly Rembrandt and Sennelier pastels, 24x36, Kraft paper.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some photos from today...

Another spectacular day, though a bit wet and windy...
Surfers at Lawrencetown:

Off Dyke Road, Grand Desert:

Dyke Road

Done at the end of Dyke Road, Grand Desert, Nova scotia. Quite a variable day:
Pastel on Kraft paper, about 18x24:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Golden Glow

It's a perennial member of the sunflower family that grows prety abundantly around here, at least when it doesn't get knocked down by hurricanes. It makes for lovely bouquets with goldenrod, nightshade, and wild asters...
Pastel, 12x16, on toned pastel paper.

Conrad's Beach, Dawn

taken yesterday up at Conrad's Beach. I had gone up to paint, but the mosquitos made that impossible....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Laneway (RIP)

Alas, the sad end to the trees I was drawing last week....

Maynard Lake (continued)

Cleaned it up a bit in the studio this morning, it's too wet to go out and draw....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Maynard Lake

Up behind the house. Spent about 2 hours on this this afternoon, it still needs a lot of work. But the late afternoon up there is wonderful, as the light rakes across the woods at the end of the lake.

MacDonald Point

I was up scouting for places to paint yesterday in the Lawrentown Beach area, and took this photo looking out to sea from the top of the cliffs. What was really striking was the color range of the sky, and the way the sea and sky merged over on the right horizon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tacky Romantic Photo of the Day

But I still like it :)
After the Hurricane:

Sunday, August 29, 2010


This is one of my favourite motifs. Unfortunately I can't do it from further back, because the willow that once held Patrick's tree fort fell over, and has sprouted a whole new crop of shoots, which blocks the way. I'll see how far I get on this tomorrow afternoon.

Update -2010/09/06 - alas this one will never be finished. I got distracted by the hot weather and warm ocean water, followed by Hurricane Earl which took out some of the trees on the right. Though I do have enough photos & drawings to work this sketch up as an oil this winter

Birch Cove (continued 2)

The picture has been touched up a bit more, sprayed with workable fixative. Interesting the effect of different lighting for the shoot. The lst is too red, and this is too blue (the lst was shot inside, this outside in the shade...). Anyway, from here it will probably be put aside until winter.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Birch Cove (continued)

The next stage is to use a workable fixative, which will darken it significantly, and then redraw....

(PS, thanks to Larry Seilerover at Wet Canvas plein air forum for some helpful criticism. Not that he would necessarily agree with what I'm doing to this :) )

Something old....

Circa 1968....

Birch Cove

From the other side of lake banook. I am going to proceed to do this one in complete this the next chance I get, but thought I would keep a record of the original....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And a little something else

These new neighbors showed up in a rosebush next door. It's late in the year, I hope they make it!

And a little more plein air

This one is about 24"x36", pastel on Kraft paper. It's Japanese Knotweed, and other stuff....

A little plein air

It's been raining today, so for the first time in a few weeks I get to organize my photos & pictures & start uploading them....None of these are finished in any sense; ideally with the line drawings (more to come) they'll be the basis for work to keep me busy this winter.

From the back corner of the garden, towards B&B's shed. Pastel (Sennelier, Rembrandt, Conte, on Kraft paper)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

They deserve each other, but do we?

I'd say that until the rest of us are willing to do what the fellow below does, and stand up for civilization, the answer is sadly yes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Few Words of Wisdom

It seems to me that today if you want to produce art seriously and make for yourself a little corner of originality, or at least keep for yourself a thoroughly guiltless personality, you must immerse yourself in solitude. There is too much tittle-tattle. It's as if pictures were being painted by stock exchange players, by agents of people avid for profits. Apparently you are supposed to need the mind and ideas of your neighbor to do anything at all, much as a businessman needs the capital of other people in order to earn a sou. All these transactions put your mind on edge and falsify your judgement.
Edgar Degas, 1856

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Clearing the decks from last year...

Both are conte on Kraft paser, approximately 2'x3'.