Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Zen of Plein Air Painting

NFS 8x10 Oil on Birch Panel
A bunch of us were at S. Cooking Lake this morning before we head off in different directions for holidays. We had 1 1/2 hr. to get something down so there was excitement in the air. It was a hot morning day so I'd underpainted my panel with hot pink which I find helps as I don't have the white glare to start with. Everything was going swimmingly and although I didn't finish, I felt happy that I could finish it up pretty quickly at home. When we got back to the cars one of the girls asked if she could see mine so I opened my box and the painting fell jam side down onto the leftover piles of paint. I think by that time I was so dazed by the heat and concerned about picking up kids, I couldn't really react. I must have stood there looking like a guppy. I'm sure there is something to be found in this .. perhaps detachment, or funny memories. Well it will be funny a few days from now!
I'm taking my paint box to B.C. so hopefully I'll have some beaches painted when I get back.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Elk Island Summer Solstice Paintout

We had a great time yesterday at our Summer Solstice Paintout at Elk Island. Some of us caught a bit of Bluegrass at Katie's Crossing in Ardrossan

and then off to Elk Island for the evening. We were greeted a few minutes into the park by a big guy

and then ate potluck dinner at the lakeside and planned to paint until dark. Normally that would be about 11:00 but at about 9:30 the weather gods decided to test our mettle with a windstorm.

We finally had to abandon our paintings after being buffetted for about 1/2 hour or so and get back to our cars. Once we had our stuff safe, we decided we had to stay and watch the sunset. We laughed and chatted portrait painting as the sun went down in a spectacular setting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

South Cooking Lake

Ragweed at Bob's Point Study 1
Oil on 7x8 Panel
This little study was done last Wed eve. at a lake near Edmonton called South Cooking Lake. There was a lot to process and I was just glad to come away with some colour information. It was a glorious evening with good company and not a mosquito in site due to the dryness. It seems so unlikely as we had snow into the third week of May but as the land was still frozen, it didn't benefit the soil and the area is now in a state of severe drought.
I was curious about the name South Cooking Lake; apparently Cooking Lake has been a stopping place on the Carlton Trail from Winnipeg to Edmonton since the 1880's. Around the turn of the century, the first homesteaders coming to this district used this trail named by the Cree Indians �O-PI-MI-W-SIOO-SAKYAKN� (Place Where We Cook Lake) or Cooking Lake.

Ragweed at Bob's Point Study2
6x8 Oil on (Linen) Panel

We had such fun last week and yet felt it was a lot to take in so we decided to go back to the same place again. I have to keep reminding myself that although this is the second summer we've painted outside, it's probably less than a dozen times in total. I can say that I enjoy it more each time and really that's the important thing.

This weekend we are going to Katie's Crossing to listen to some music and then painting at Elk Island until the sun goes down which will be verrrry late because it's the Solstice. Hopefully it won't make the buffalo edgy.