Friday, 1 September 2017

The Desired Effect

“To make a perfume, take some rose water and wash your hands in it, then take a lavender flower and rub it with your palms, and you will achieve the desired effect.” (Leonardo da Vinci)

This watercolour, “Knee Deep in Lavender”, was inspired by a trip to a lavender farm in Sparta Ontario. Hope you will all take some time to stop by the Stouffville Studio Tour to meet and enjoy the art of this community’s wealth of artistic talent on October 14th and 15th.

Knee Deep in Lavender (14” x 10”)

Friday, 18 August 2017

Because We’re Curious

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” (Walt Disney)

I have a small group of of close friends who are artists. We meet frequently through the winter months to push each other and try new things. This past winter we set up a still life and tried to interpret it as if we were a famous artist that we knew little about. I chose Joan MirĂ³. I had never seen a still life painted by him. Here is how I thought it might look if he had.

Nature morte comme MirĂ³ (15-3/4” x 15-3/4”)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Culture is an Intersection

“Culture is the intersection of people and life itself. It’s how we deal with life, death, birth, disappointment... all of that is expressed in culture. (Wendell Pierce)

This is a favourite view. I painted a small plein air watercolour of this rural intersection close to my home in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. I thought that it was worth a reinterpretation. I love the quotation from Wendell Pierce and the linking of intersections and culture.

Nineteen and Ten (10” x 14’)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Lake Kushog

“A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.” (Gaston Bachelard)

This is a watercolour that I started a couple of years ago as a plein air sketch, found it again and finished it this week. It is a view of Lake Kushog in the Algonquin Highlands south of Dorset, Ontario. In 1860 Kushog Lake was called Kakwakshebemahgog on some maps and Kahshahgahwige-mog on the survey. This is Ojibwa meaning “that which doesn’t run straight, with a lot of narrows where you can see through or beyond.” Probably Kushog is a corruption or slang version of these longer names.

Lake Kushog (14” x 10”)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Sakura Hanami

“People think their world will get smaller as they get older. My experience is just the opposite. Your senses become more acute. You start to blossom. (Yoko Ono)

Sakura Hanami: Japanese for “cherry blossom flower viewing”. During the springtime in High Park in Toronto, this is one of the most anticipated events of the season. I experienced it for the first time this year. It was spectacular! This watercolour is an attempt to capture that experience. With the weather calling for sun but with the chance of showers, many in the crowd had colourful umbrellas to cover all eventualities. They seemed to echo the canopies of blossoms.

“Sakura Hanami” (14” x 10”)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Emotions From The Sky

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” (Pablo Picasso)

I just finished a watercolour of something that my wife Margaret pointed out to me. It was a stark white farmhouse on the east side of Ninth Line, south of where we live in Stouffville, Ontario. It was set against another “will it storm or won’t it” sky that has become the norm this year. It was another interesting challenge!

“Ninth Line” (14” x 10”)

Monday, 3 July 2017

Life Is A Tide

“Life is a tide; float on it. Go down with it and go up with it, but be detached. Then it is not difficult.” (Prem Rawat)

Happy Canada Day weekend everyone! As we reflect on 150 years of Canadian Confederation, I would like to share a watercolour that I just finished of a scene a few kilometres from its birthplace. We stayed in Victoria-By-The-Sea, near Charlottetown PEI. In the morning and again in the evening, over several days, we would walk down to the shore to experience the various tide levels. This one struck me and, over the past year and a half, it continued to eat away at me until I had finally found the time to try and capture it in paint. I hope you like it.

“Red Mud” (10” x 14”)