Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Living In The Heart

“Fear lives in the head. And courage lives in the heart. The job is to get from one to the other.” (Louise Penny)

For those Louise Penny fans out there... On the return trip from Prince Edward Island this year, we spent a few days in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec. Located south of Montreal, it is the home of Penny’s fictional village of Three Pines. According to our B&B host, most agree that the village of Georgeville, south of Magog, most fits Louise Penny’s description of Three Pines. This is my overly-ambitious plein air watercolour of my impressions of Georgeville. The road entering and leaving the village, and the parkland it encompasses, seemed to form a heart.

“Heart Of The Village” (14” x 10”)

We All Do What We Need To Do

“We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.” (Barack Obama)

This is the seventh in a series of paintings in which I have attempted to portray the dichotomy that I felt when travelling in China. On our tour we were shown the China that they wanted us to see. In our off hours, we saw the China that really exists. After thoroughly enjoying a musical/theatrical presentation of the history of this vast land, we walked the streets in the waning evening light. I saw this woman on the sidewalk doing alterations on an old treadle sewing machine. Her friend sat with her for company. I was struck by the contrast with the elaborate and beautiful costumes of the stage production we had just left.

China Series: Evening Out (24” x 24”)

The Power of Water

“Water is the most perfect traveller because when it travels it becomes the path itself!” (Mehmet Murat ildan)

At the end of May last year we were beginning our journey across this wonderful country. Near Thunder Bay, Ontario we experienced the power of late spring run-off over Aguasabon Falls. It was breathtaking! The water drops with thunderous pandemonium over a 30 meter drop on its way through a gorge of 2.6 billion-year-old bedrock and on to Lake Superior. White water all the way! This is my attempt to capture this fury in acrylic paint.

Aguasabon (24” x 18”)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Importance of Public Parks

“Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighbourhoods.” (David Suzuki)

In Stouffville we are fortunate in having a very large public park right in the centre of town. It has play areas, ball diamonds, picnic areas, a newly constructed bandstand and a creek running through it. Hey, what a great title for a painting!

A Creek Runs Through It (14” x 10”)


“All is well with him, who is beloved of his neighbours.” 
George Herbert)

I am continuing with paintings of my hometown, Stouffville, Ontario, Canada. It's a small town close to Toronto. Even though it has grown tremendously in recent years, it still retains a small town atmosphere, one in which neighbours and neighbourhoods play an important part. This painting is of O’Brien Street, one of the prettiest streets in the old part of town.

O’Brien (14” x 10”)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

East End Store

“Don’t worry about how you ‘should’ draw it... Just draw it the way you see it.” (Tim Burton)

Old stores with false fronts have always fascinated me. The false front was meant to give it presence. When it was built it was at the east end of town and probably needed all the presence it could get. Today, while still a storefront, it is again lost with a small modern shopping area on the next corner. Although I have changed it little and attached a vintage sign to the side, I still love its cozy quaint feel.

East End Store (14” x 10”)

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Evidence Lost

“A bookstore is one of the many pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” (Jerry Seinfeld) 

What once was, is no more. I used to see this bookstore on Highway 6 at Concession 16 on the way to the Bruce Peninsula. As most artists do, I would stop for a quick sketch or a few reference photos. Sadly, I never took the time to pass through its doors. I probably added to its ultimate demise as a purveyor of much loved books. I present this watercolour as a tribute to the dying breed.

New and Old Books (14" x 10")