Sometimes we just stop doing things for no apparent reason. For the past year I didn’t do any painting. I can’t figure out why. However, today was the annual Plein Air Challenge here, sponsored by a local art store. I’ve done it the past few years and decided I’d take part again. Last night I put my kit together and this morning I went out and did a painting. I was rewarded with a beautiful day, and a very pleasant time spent closely observing a boat and the harbour. One hundred and thirty people came out, and it was great to see them all over downtown with sketchbooks and easels. There were no prizes for artwork this year, only door prizes selected at random. I didn’t win any but I felt like I’d won a lovely day enjoying myself. Maybe I’ll be back painting and sketching again before I know it.
Category Archives: Painting
We just did the fairly annual week of the Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles, followed by a few days off camping.
The festival was great this year; we saw many amazing acts, like Leroy Bell here, an amazing songwriter and singer.
Then we headed off to the wild Pacific coast to camp.
June is never particularly warm around here, but we lucked out for a few days with lots of sunshine. I swam in Lake Quinault, which was freezing cold, but after a while I just went numb to it and it was wonderful.
There weren’t any good typewriters in the few antique shops I found, but there was an interesting old LC Smith on display in Olympic Stationers in P.A.
When it isn’t raining the beaches are wonderful.
We always love to see restored vintage camp trailers like this one, an old Shasta.
Saw a lovely butterfly, too.
I regret not doing more sketching, but with driving, cooking & eating, sleeping late and general laziness I only had time for a few watercolours.
Yesterday was the annual Opus Outdoor Challenge, and once again the weather was cool and grey, as is more like normal. Recently we’ve had July-like weather here, which is so rare it’s hard to fathom, since most people know that the earth is really cooling off, due to hell freezing over in the big country south of here. With most of the 50 or so blocks of the city in which we were permitted to roam and do plein air sketching in, I rode my bike two blocks and decided to sit down by the harbour on some rocks and paint a scene with the old bridge in it. Next year it may be gone, but it will remain in countless sketches and memories.
The 90 year old bascule bridge is either a classic or a relic, depending on whom one asks. I say classic, but the city said relic, so after years of debate they contracted with the largest construction firm in the country to build a replacement bridge next to the old one. I think the old bridge has cursed the new bridge, which somehow refuses to ever be finished. The new bridge will cost more than 100 times the old bridge’s price of $720,000 in 1924. Sub-standard (code word for very crappy) steel from China is causing the construction to be delayed while the manufacturer makes improvements to “quality control”. One can only laugh; or cry.
I have plenty of bird pictures, however, and recently many of hawks. While not strictly endangered, I do think raptors are not having an easy time of it. Not far from here a landowner cut down 10 acres of old forest so he could grow hay. There was a hue and cry about it, but the saddest part for me was knowing that the birds and other wildlife just lost another chunk of habitat. A naturalist said that those woods were home to a number of owls, just for instance.
As much as I enjoy photography, and while I don’t want to get into a debate about whether or not it is or isn’t art, I love drawing and painting in another way. When you take a picture of something it is easy to forget what you really saw there. When you draw something, it really sinks into the mind. Yesterday I painted this picture of a hawk that I photographed just a few days before. I feel like I really got to know this bird better by painting it.
I stole the title of this from a great old movie with Paul Newman and Orson Welles called The Long Hot Summer. But now we know for certain that 2015 is the hottest of all summers, globally speaking. Fortunately Canada has about half the freshwater on the planet, and we got to sample a fair bit of it this summer. For example, you can raft down this river and drink the water as you’re floating along. It tastes especially good going down class 1 rapids in 29C heat.
Not all the rivers are like this, some are smaller and have swimming holes that we always hit when we pass through town.
While out traveling around BC and enjoying the waters we found some out of the way antique shops with old and interesting typewriters, too. This was the best of the lot:
This little old gem was sitting on an Olympia Sm3, but sadly was too expensive for my budget.
While away I managed to do a few watercolour sketches.
The lake beside this one, Pavilion Lake, has extremely rare freshwater coral growing in it.
The above sketch is of an oyster operation. However, due to the warmth of the ocean water hereabouts, the local oysters developed a toxic bacterial infection and cannot be consumed raw.
At the risk of turning it into another world-beauty-spot-ruined-by-tourists I will reveal that the above sketch and the wild river of drinking water is in the aptly named Clearwater, BC. Please do not go there, this is for information only!