I am a believer that you don't need to go too far to find inspiration when you paint en plein air. It also helps me to think of these 'on location' experiences as information-gathering sessions rather than trying to produce a 'masterpiece'. This way I can relax and just throw the paint around.
This image was a quick reaction to the view from the parking lot overlooking the Weaselhead on 37th St. I feel that it is a companion piece to "A Snowy Morning In Springbank".
9" X 4"
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This is my first attempt at using oil paint. Originally this was a watercolour but as often happens it needed some adjustments and I decided to modify it with oil. As much as I love watercolour I appreciate the ability to add lights over the darks with an opaque medium. I'd always been interested in oil but was turned off by odour issues. For this work I used walnut oil and found that there weren't any odours in my studio. I guess that by eliminating the turpentine or paint thinners it is possible to enjoy a good work environment. I had tried some odourless thinner before but it was far from odourless. Anyway, the way that oil paint can be pushed around was neat and if it is possible to keep fresh air in the studio I'll certainly try it again.
I was intrigued by this scene on the Bow Valley Parkway during a recent painting trip to the Banff/Kananaskis area. I must admit I had in mind some of the Group of Seven's paintings of burnt out areas.
By the time I did this, our last portrait, I was well into the groove and it came together quickly. I think this one, of all the portraits I did for the class, most closely combines accuracy with expression.
One of the many benefits I derive from teaching Basic Drawing Skills is that I get to put some concentrated effort into drawing and drawing really is at the heart of all art. As mentioned in a much earlier post, I am an experimenter and I have to put in a lot of effort to explore, learn and progress and this class is a major dose of that effort.