This is a painting of the waterfront of a summer camp I attended as a child. It was at camp where I learned a love for canoe trips and cemented my love for the outdoors. My years at summer camps had a great impact on my life and I used to look forward to attending camp all year long. I created this painting as a part of a fundraiser that is taking place during a camp reunion in the spring. If you worked at any of the KW YMCA camps, you should certainly consider coming out to the reunion.
This past weekend I was in Guelph for their annual Art on the Street art sale. It was a lot of fun and I ended up being interviewed/photographed for both the Guelph Tribune and the Guelph Mercury. While at the show, I passed the time by creating a new painting of a point at sunset.
My aunt and uncle commissioned a painting to hang above their fireplace at their chalet at Blue Mountain. They wanted the painting to have a connection to my grandparents, who spent a lot of their time up at Blue Mountain. I decided to paint the orchard runs which are opening up next winter and are the closest part of the hill to my aunt and uncle’s chalet. As a tribute to my grandparents, I included their faces in the hill. They are difficult to see, but if you know they are there you can find them. My grandparents are no longer with us, but like in the painting, if I know they are there on the hill, their presence can be found.
I have recently started making small magnetic paintings for art shows. Some people say they will put them on their fridges and I know a few students who bought paintings so that they could go in their school locker. Creating paintings on such a small scale is a challenge for me but it is a lot of fun. The paintings take a couple hours to complete. The paintings have to have a fairly simple composition because they are so small. Some of them have turned out quite well and I might turn them into larger canvases.
My latest painting shows the reflection of a puddle near the shore of Georgian Bay. It was not until I was about half way through painting it that I realized I had painted this scene already but from a different view. I have so much reference material from the shores of Georgian Bay that it is easy to forget exactly where I photographed each scene.
Near the top right of the painting there is a hill. My recent painting of Beechy point is the view from that hill. The large tree in the centre of my latest painting is the same tree that can be seen on the right of my painting of Beechy Point.
I now think of myself as a reasonably good painter but it was not always so. When I was younger, the only brushes I had access to were rough old fat brushes and the paint I used was water soluble.
When I tried to paint with the watery paint and the ratty old brushes, I would inevitably make a mistake that I would be unable to fix. This snowman is one example of my early painting failures.
When painting the snowman, I messed up the torso and in frustration, I painted the whole thing black. Somehow this snowman has survived the many christmases since then and still has a spot on the family tree.
Years later, I found that when using acrylic paint, I could paint over any mistakes I made and to my suprise this paint along with better brushes allowed me to create paintings that I could actually be proud of.
Here is a video I created of me painting my latest picture. This video does not show the whole painting process because there is a lot of tweaking that happens to get things just right. The video does show about half the time I spent on making the painting. I am pretty happy with how the video and the painting turned out.
This past summer a couple friends and I went on a 10 day 200 km kayaking trip along the north shore of Lake Superior. The landscape along the coast was beautiful and quite impressive.
About halfway through the trip we had a day where the wind and waves got a little too intense and we decided we should find a sheltered bay and set up camp. We found a spot along the coast about 5 km east of Le Petit Mort Rocks that seemed reasonable. There were very few spots flat enough to set up our tent so we ended up on top of a large rock by the shore which you can see in the photo below.
Although, it was not the most comfortable campsite on the trip, when the sun started going down and the wind subsided, the shore behind the campsite lit up beautifully and that is the subject of this particular painting to the right.
I just finished touching up my latest painting. It’s a big one at 28 x 36 inches. When working on a painting this big it is easy to get caught up in the details. When I thought I completed the painting a few days back I put it up on the wall and left it there for a while. As I repeatedly looked at it over the next day I was able to see things that I never noticed when I was less than one meter away from it. So today the painting came off the wall and I touched up all the little things that were bugging me.
The location of this painting is special to my wife and I as it is the spot where I proposed to her back in 2008. I told my girlfriend I was going to take a photo of us at the top of the hill. I set up the tripod hit the timer and then got down on one knee and popped the question. When I opened up the ring box the ring somehow popped out and nearly tumbled down the large hill. I quickly snatched it up, and put it back in the box and held it out just as the camera took the photo. Just for the record, she said yes.