Category Archives: Painting

On Tour Sketchbook

We just did the fairly annual week of the Juan de Fuca Festival in Port Angeles, followed by a few days off camping.

Leroy Bell

Leroy Bell

The festival was great this year; we saw many amazing acts, like Leroy Bell here, an amazing songwriter and singer.

wide beaches here

wide beaches

Then we headed off to the wild Pacific coast to camp.

did I mention you can drive on this beach?

did I mention you can drive on this beach?

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.

Lake Quinalt

Lake Quinault

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.

LC Smith with right hand return lever

LC Smith with right hand return lever

When it isn’t raining the beaches are wonderful.

famous weird tree

famous weird tree at Kalaloch

interesting heap of debris

interesting heap of debris

sandpipers

sandpipers

We always love to see restored vintage camp trailers like this one, an old Shasta.

Shasta trailer

Shasta trailer

Saw a lovely butterfly, too.

DSCN3310

I regret not doing more sketching, but with driving, cooking & eating, sleeping late and general laziness I only had time for a few watercolours.

village scene

village scene

windmills from the beach

windmills from the beach

closed but rumoured to be going to open again this year

closed but rumoured to be going to open again this year

Coho ferry arrives to bring us home

Coho ferry arrives to bring us home

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Filed under Painting, Photography, Sketching, Travel, Typewriters, VW Vans, Wildlife

Plein Air Day 2016

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.

victoria harbour

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.

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Filed under Painting, Sketching

The Sheep-Dog

Thinking I was painting a picture of a dog, it was pointed out to me by two family members (who shall remain nameless) that it more resembled a sheep.

So I decided to use the Polling Feature that appears as a button just above the box in which I am typing these words to try and settle the matter.

woof, or baah

woof, or baah

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Filed under Animal psychology, Painting

Bird Feeder

Gazing out to sea she stood alone at the rail as the ship sped down the fjord, when she became aware of a man feeding French fries to the gulls; a situation that would force a change of plan for the moment at least, or so she thought.

12-IMGP4436

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Filed under Birds, Books and Short Stories, Painting

Endangered Species

Olivetti Tropic- modded

Olivetti Tropic – modded

1-Document (10)

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.

Red Tailed Hawk at Swan Lake

Red Tailed Hawk at Swan Lake

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Filed under Birds, Painting, Photography, Typewriters

The Long Hottest Summer

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.

drink this, it's delicious

drink this, it’s delicious

Not all the rivers are like this, some are smaller and have swimming holes that we always hit when we pass through town.

heading to the old swimmin' hole

heading to the old swimmin’ hole

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:

3 bank portable Underwood

3 bank portable Underwood

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.

lake at Marble Canyon

lake at Marble Canyon

The lake beside this one, Pavilion Lake, has extremely rare freshwater coral growing in it.

in the ferry lineup

in the ferry lineup

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.

visitor centre, Clearwater BC

visitor centre, Clearwater BC

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!

 

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Filed under Painting, Photography, Travel, Typewriters

Plein Air Aftermath

After the Mothers Day paint in I didn’t do any art for a week, until today. This afternoon I went out to a national historic site, Fort Rodd Hill, and sketched in the warm sun for two hours. The painting board was 12″ x 16″ and I spent about 2 hours, which means I covered 96 sq. in. per hour. At the Mothers Day paint in event I worked on a 9″ x 12″ board for about 4 hours, covering 27 sq. in. per hour. So today I worked 3.55 times faster than last week, and I think the result was as good or better. They say ‘haste makes waste’ but I say sometimes it doesn’t pay to work too slowly. Procrastination also has benefits, too.

Fisgard Light from Fort Rodd Hill, Victoria

Fisgard Light from Fort Rodd Hill, Victoria – 96 sq in/hr

Mothers Day - 27 sq in/hr

Mothers Day – 27 sq in/hr

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Filed under Painting