Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pent up Humanity - please spread it

This video touched me deeply and I felt I had to share it with everyone. Please watch it. As you do, shed the cynic in you, and release your pent up humanity.

Please spread this. The world needs more hugs. Much more hugs. My challenge to you all: Can we go viral on this one? Can we spread hugs like nature spreads H1N1? Imagine. Now do it. Please.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lowville Park

Ask anyone in Ontario and they will tell you we are not having a great summer.

The old adage:
Q= What comes after two days of rain?
A= Monday
is working perfectly here.

So when the weather man said this was going to be another rainy Saturday, I was not going to roll over and play dead any more. Today was the Ontario Plein Air Society had a paint out at Lowville park and I was not going to miss it. We ended up being only three brave souls today, but the skies obliged. After a brief shower, the clouds broke open and the sun came shining through. The day was excellent. Not too hot - not too cold. I spent the whole day at the park and did this one:

This park is so attractive it sucks you in to paint it. I have painted here before and will undoubtedly come back. The creek snakes through the park and every corner is another painting waiting to be put on canvas. I took my time, with many breaks and enjoyed the glorious day. I started at about 10:30am and did get back home until 4:00pm. Despite a few interruptions (including the nice gentleman who agreed to take some shots of me painting), I was able to focus on painting en plein air.

Lowville Park, Oil on canvas board, 9"x12"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Plein Air Oil Setup and Gear

See video on how to build this pochade here:

I have been asked to share my plein air setup and gear several times now, so I thought I would post a few pictures of my setup with some explanation. What you see below is my pochade setup. The whole kit fits perfectly into my backpack and is light enough to walk with for those out of the way spots.

I built this pochade to fit my Mijello Artelier Peel-off Palette. I like this palette so much, I have one for acrylics and one for oils. My acrylics stay wet for weeks in this palette and of course the oils are fresh for weeks as well. I am not sure about the peel off idea. It doesn't work for me, but that is a minor issue. I can always scrape my dry paint off.

The palette fits perfectly inside the pochade when open and sits snugly in the back when closed. This saves me space in the backpack.

The gear that I carry for painting is listed in the first image above. One thing that is not listed and that I find I really need is a bubble leveler. I really like to have my painting level so I can avoid a tipped horizon line. Aside from a folding chair and an umbrella, there is nothing else I need to paint.

When it comes to carrying my wet panels (paintings), the carrier below (I built it today) is a must have if you are painting in oils. It took me less than an hour to build this carrier using a miter saw, wood stapler and a screw driver. It holds up to seven panels for those long trips that I hope to go on soon.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Credit from the Village Bridge Done

I am really enjoying working with Oils. None of the urgency that watercolours and acrylics force on you because they dry so fast. This is really a contemplative medium with perhaps more nuance and contemplation than spontaneity and speed. Mind you, I like both ends of the spectrum and will continue to enjoy my watercolours, but something about oils is deliciously captivating.

Anyway, here is the finished painting from Wednesday. I spent the afternoon working on it through a headache but I am very pleased with how it turned out. I hope you agree.

The Credit from the Village Bridge, Oil on primed masonite board, 8"x10"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Credit River from the Village Bridge

I braved the threatening clouds today and headed out to paint en plein air. No group this time. Just a lone wolf on the hunt for a scene to paint. I ended up just north of the 401 on the bridge entering the Credit Village. The bridge, obviously over looks the Credit river (my theme for the year I guess!) is narrow, but I managed to find a spot away from the cars and the bikes. I didn't have much time and it actually rained a bit on me but not enough to soak the umbrella. The river is much wider than I chose to paint it. I was mostly interested in the shadows and the aerial perspective so I chose to make the river narrower. Call it artistic license! There is a lot of glare in the photo which basically washes the colours away. I will take another picture later.

The painting is not yet finished. I still need to tweak it a bit but I thought I would share it with you anyway.
The Credit River From The Village Bridge, Oil on primed masonite board, 8"x10"