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Memories from Summers

About 2 summers ago I had dreams of heading out camping, sitting in the beauty of the wilderness, a glass of iced tea (or something stronger) sitting by my side and my easel in front of me ready to capture the emotions and beauty of my surroundings. Painting an outside scene, in the outdoors, as the scene is “happening” around you is called “en plein air” which is basically French for “outdoors”.


I have a confession, since purchasing the easel I have only painted one image “en plain air”. I never really did much more on the painting after the initial attempt as I wanted to leave the image the way that I captured it, sitting at my campsite at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park.


Saskatoons in Summer

Life doesn’t always work the way we plan it. Summer may not be when I am most active as a painter, but the camping and explorations of the outdoors during these few months leave an imprint that allows me to paint the memory of the event in the cooler and quieter months of fall and winter.

 

Some images I struggle with, and am still working on - deciding if I can find a way to show the vision that struck me. I am inspired by the the texture of wood, broken logs becoming part of the new, cracked trees with spikes and textures that call to be painted. This next painting I worked on on an off for probably a year after I took the photo that inspired it.


Along the Path

 

Two significant visual memories were during our trip to Mount Robson for our anniversary this year.


I hiked a portion of the boardwalk into the Ancient Forest/Chun T'oh Whudujut Provincial Park and was surrounded by the serenity of blues and greens, the smell of cedars and the quiet of the forest. Standing regally amongst the new pines were beautiful ancient cedars holding court over the forest and visitors alike.


Ancient Royalty

At the Robinson River Provincial Campground, during our cool weekend evening strolls, the sight of the mountains captured my imagination. The tall trees in the foreground spiked up into the star filled sky, black against the blue tones of the tall mountains that seemed just as close, protectively watching over us.

Overseeing the Park

From the experiences of the outdoors comes images of trees and of the woods, yet this is as far as any similarity goes as I try new ways of expressing the thoughts, feelings behind the image and continue to grow as a painter. Some image show layers of painstaking brushstrokes, others are the barest concept of an image; from warm sunlit afternoons to cool blue evenings the memories of summer feed my winter dreams.



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