Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Where's the Sun?"

October Sun through Big-leaf Maple leaves, Durrance Lake.  Acrylic Painting SOLD

One of the fun parts of painting out of doors in a park is you often have people stop by and watch. Last weekend while painting at Durrance Lake Regional Park on the Saanich Peninsula several people came by and stopped to watch for a time before resuming their dog walking, Sunday stroll or heading out to a fishing spot. One such group was a family with 3 kids, all under the age of 12. All the kids asked questions, but the youngest girl was most curious and asked the most questions. The first one was "Where's the sun" and since I was clearly staring directly into the sunlight to do this painting, it was a perfectly legitimate question. I crouched down to her height and I asked her to count the number of big branches on the side of the tree that you could see before you hit the sun. "Four" was her answer and I asked her to count the number of branches she could see in the painting..only two. If I had a bigger painting I explained, and put all the branches in, then I would be up to the point where I would need to paint the sun.

I hope however, you get the feeling of the strong sunshine in this painting with the maple leaves lit up by the October sun, standing out from the near black of Mt. Work and its reflection on Durrance Lake.

Finding Patterns in Unexpected Places.

Harlequin Duck and Sandstone, Drumbeg Provincial Park

I'm always looking for strong patterns to use as subjects for paintings. Last month,while on Gabriola I was just finishing a painting and noticed that the light had shifted to highlight the sloping shelves of sandstone and incoming tide. The effect, with reflection of the sandstone on the waveless water was a strong chevron pattern. I worked quickly to put down some of the information on my canvas before the light changed and we had to head out for dinner. I put a Glaucous-winged Gull in the lower left hand corner, but later painted it out in favour of the more strongly patterned male Harlequin Duck.