I went to Eagles Nest Park and met up with Kathy Haycock. We hiked down a trail to the valley floor and found ourselves in a very wild and tangled wetland. Kathy very carefully walked down an old closed trail to get a more open view. I elected to paint the trail climbing up around a rock outcrop. We both struggled and got frustrated by the mess of trunks, branches and shrubs. As is often the case we both liked what the other managed to produce but we were both unhappy with our own.
In hindsight I discovered that Kathy actually came to paint the Eagles Nest Vista. Oops! Sorry! I was outside painting in good company so I was happy. At least until we had to cart everything back up to the parking lot.
I haven't been motivated to paint much since the death of a very dear artist friend and mentor about 18 months ago. Debbie told me the only valid excuse, in her mind, for me not doing more work around the house was if I was busy painting. I got painting.
I decided to go back to my original joy. Watercolours. I had forgotten how much fun it was watching paint flow to places that you didn't think that you wanted it or accidental blooms that formed because you had too much water on your brush. With watercolour I can blame the paint for mistakes. I don't have to take ownership of the looseness.
Can it really be a year since I last posted in my blog. A very busy year culminated with the sudden loss of my very dear friend and mentor, Catherine Gibbon. I have been a bit overwhelmed and my art suffered. It is time to wake up and make time to work.
I worked on this 20"X24" painting for a full class (about 5 hours) and put it away for two weeks. It was close but it still needed some work. I brought it back to class and put in a few more hours on it. I am really excited about this one. These aren't masterpieces but I have made the jump to painting larger from my sketches. I have always found the idea intimidating however I can now see me spending a lot of time in my studio at the lake.
Go home to a new home. We are moving.
Debbie and I are moving into my family home near Bancroft, Ontario and the thought of having a studio, albeit small, with a view of the lake has me energized. I was starting to feel like I was in a rut. I am getting better but I am doing the same thing over and over. A new home in a new environment seemed the perfect time to rethink what I am doing. I have taken Laurie Wonfor Nolan's abstract class a couple of times and she has inspired me to paint big and to think of composition in abstract terms. I have wanted to do some large pieces from my sketches so I enrolled in her open studio class to get help.
I am excited and encouraged by this result. It was thrilling to be using a big brush and full arm movements while I painted it. I am not sure that it is finished but I will put it aside for a week or so and look at it fresh. This painting is 24" by 30" acrylic on stretched canvas.
Yesterday was hanging day for the 6th annual Monday Painters show at the Dundas Museum and Archives. It is hard to believe that I have been painting outside with this group for more than six years. It has been loads of fun and I have learned a lot from this very talented group. There are 42 paintings by 22 of my artist friends and in my mind it is a show well worth seeing. I won't be at the opening because it is the same weekend as the Beyond the Valley Studio tour but it is a chance to see some fantastic artwork and chat with some of the artists. They will be the ones with the name tags and they are all very friendly and approachable.
I am an artist who works almost exclusively from life. Either in front of a sitting model or outside at my easel or better yet sitting on a rock during a canoe trip.