I took off early on Monday morning to beat the city rush hour and got to Whitney at 10:30 after crossing through Algonquin Park. I checked into the old style East Gate Motel took a small break and headed out exploring. I had studied the area of Whitney in Google Maps, so I knew the spots that I wanted to explore, but there is no substitute for first hand scouting. I checked out a few spots, all were excellent, and then I settled down and did a watercolour off the dock in Whitney.
That was followed by another one off of Airy Road. The evening was festive with 6 artists telling tall tales and enjoying the warmth and a glass or two or more.
Tuesday was park day. I headed into the park with a couple of other artists and we were told that they were expecting us and had freshly ploughed the road all the way up to Opeongo Lake. I drove in all the way and did three 8”x10”s on the lake shore. The seclusion was amazing. My two fellow artists chose spots about two km back and I was alone on the lake. At first I couldn’t paint at all. All I wanted to do was take in the feeling of being all alone in a vast winter wilderness. Breath-taking and humbling. It was getting dark by the time I gathered my gear and headed back to Whitney. Along the way out of the park, I had a brief encounter with a moose crossing the highway. Thankfully I will driving slowly and we ended up just eyeing each other while I waited for her to cross.
Distant Shore, Galeairy Lake. 8”x10” Oil on Panel, ($300.00)
The next day I chose to paint in the outskirts of the park along old highway 127 and Airy road. We had a nice bright day and I did another three 8”x10”s. Back for a quick shower and dinner with the hope of another half day of painting before heading home…
Alas, that was not meant to be. I woke up on Thursday to heavy snow coming down. The town was happy to see the snow because it meant the start of the snow-mobile season. For me and the other artists, it meant a hasty retreat back home before the roads became impassable and we were stuck as unwelcome guests.
The trip was exhilarating. I am battle hardened and ready for a few more months of winter and winter painting on weekends. Stay tuned!