Mindful Monday: At water’s edge with Isabelle

Being mindful of the last night days of summer, we have been having family picnics near the water several times a week. After eating we explore the beach or park. This was lovely evening at Kin Beach. Photograph by my husband.

At water's edge

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Baynes Sound Acrylic Painting

baynes-soundThis little painting was inspired by several of my morning commutes along the Old Island Highway on Vancouver Island. When I drive to teach on call at Bowser Elementary School, I’m often treated to beautiful sunrises in Baynes Sound, just south of Comox Valley. I love the sun peeking through the stormy skies of Qualicum. The pink, orange and purple skies of the early morning are often gone by recess as the rainstorms and clouds roll in.

I finished this little acrylic painting this weekend. I’m so pleased to have resolved it! I started it before Christmas and then left it to sit on a shelf in my studio because I couldn’t quite figure out the sky….first it was too orange, then too blue, then too plain! I was pleased with the water and estuary in the lower portion but looking at the sky was driving me nuts. Sometimes I reach this point in painting where I’m afraid to do anything to the painting because I might wreck the good portion. I’m sure I’m not the only artist who feels this way. Finally I decided to darken the sky with a blue glaze to accentuate the texture of the horizontal scratch marks that I originally created with Golden Light Modelling Paste. Then I gently brushed in the clouds and added some white highlights to the water.

Summer Islands

Today I was thinking of islands in the summer and shallow waters of the BC Coast, where shell beaches laminate turquoise waters. This painting continues my use of warm undertones and abstraction. I could probably think of something else to write if: a) it wasn’t 10pm and b) I didn’t have to teach Kindergarten tomorrow. So all you get are pictures…..

Sunshine-y Studio

Finally, a nice bright sunshine-y day in my studio! Prior to today it has been so dark and dismal that I hadn’t been painting even though I’ve set up my easel near the beautiful bay window. I have had this huge easel since college but I haven’t had room to set it up in the last few years. It is lovely to have it out again. I broke my paint pots in the move to the island, so my paints are now scattered across the desk instead of grouped by colour. I need to remedy this disorganization before painting again.

Today I am working on an abstract painting that is inspired by a watercolour that I painted earlier this year. I’m working on using thicker paint and more deliberate shapes in combination with blending. You can see that I sometimes keep track of colours on a sticknote. With this painting I was thinking of beaches, dunes and estuaries….a hybrid of Comox harbour and the Oregon Coast. There are aspects of the painting that I’m pleased with, such as the colours, however I will have to revisit another day. When trying new techniques it is best to give the painting a little breathing room.

Since I wasn’t ready to pack up my paints for the day, I continued with another little landscape. I thought it was going to be a beach but it seems the sunshine inspired golden fields instead.