Friday, 14 September 2018

Painting the Same Scene

Kamouraska, Acrylic, 24" x 18"

Blog 37

When this week’s blog is published, I am at the end of my painting trip in the Kamouraska region. When I was sitting down to write this blog, I realized that this is the ninth time that I go together with the group. Four of our group of six or seven artists have been the same over the years. Others had to miss out due to illness and other responsibilities. Some of you might wonder why we continue to go to the same place year after year. It is not just that the members of the group get along so well or that the house is just perfect for our group, but rather we are drawn back to the ever changing landscape along the St. Lawrence River.

It is fascinating to discover the area again every year. Sure, there are some favourite spots that we have painted a couple of times, but the scene and the paintings never look the same. The light changes not only depending on the time of day but also dramatically depending on the weather. For the St. Lawrence River, the changes of the tides give you very different views of a certain area. An area that might have been inaccessible during high tide might provide a fascinating view at low tide. However, it is crucial to watch the incoming tide as the water moves in quickly, and you want to be able to make it back to shore in time.
Painting a scene for a second time is similar to watching a movie for a second time; suddenly you see something you missed during the first time. You concentrate on certain aspects because you already know the plot. You are attracted to different aspects of the scene. Painting en plein air certainly heightens your observation skills and forces you to make a decision with regard to the moment that you want to capture, because your view changes constantly. If you want to keep up with the changes, you either have to be extremely fast or satisfied to capture a certain moment. Otherwise, you would constantly change the composition and colours on your canvas.

I hope you enjoy the variety of works from past trips:

I will have lots of new for you next week.

If you would like the art of the Group of the Seven, I offer the following workshop on September 28, 2018, 2pm - 4pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9:

Painting a Symbol of the Canadian Autumn
We will study A. Y. Jackson’s painting “Red Maple” and create our own 16" x 20" fall landscape painting inspired by his painting. No experience is necessary. All materials are included in the registration fee of $35. Please register by September 24, 2018 at 6pm by sending an e-transfer to Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you would like more information for this workshop or have any other art related questions. To see a full list of my fall workshops and courses, please go to

Friday, 7 September 2018

Creating en plein air

Blog 36

When you read this blog, I am getting ready for my painting trip to the Kamouraska region. I will be away from September 8 - 15, 2018 for a week of uninterrupted painting time with some of my painting buddies. After my return, I will hopefully have lots of new material to share with you.

I am slowly getting back in the rhythm of painting. I continued with the tree painting from my workshop in May. However, I hit a roadblock and have to let the painting sit for a while before I will continue. I don't like the red leaves in the foreground. I am debating whether I should add more roots and leave the leaves out.

During a painting demonstration at Da Artisti Studio & Gallery last Saturday, I spent more than three hours painting a scene from our trip from Toronto to Vancouver in 1995. It is the first painting in a row to accompany my journal entries from the time. Unfortunately, during the trip, I was not in the habit of taking a sketchbook along. While I have two photos that show me painting during that trip, I was not able to find any sketches. Once I have created enough artworks to accompany my stories, I plan to put the travelogue and the paintings together in a book.

Nowadays, I have a sketch pad with me in my purse all the time. There are so many occasions where my little sketch pad has helped me to bridge some waiting time or to capture a certain moment. This summer, I also took every chance I had to spend time painting or sketching with some artist friends in the vicinity of our houses. You do not have to travel far to find interesting spots. If you are in the right mood, you can find something to draw or paint right in your house or backyard. The problem is that we are often too ambitious and look for the perfect spot instead of finding pleasure in the little things around us, like a beautiful flower, an interesting tree trunk, or a piece of fruit on a plate. I hope you will grab your equipment of choice and study the world around you.

If you would like some help, I offer a drawing beginner drawing course at François Dupuis Recreation Centre starting on September 17, 2018. As soon as I have my fall work schedule, I will also offer additional workshops from my studio. If you would like to receive information about my upcoming courses, workshops, and exhibitions, I encourage you to go to my website to subscribe to my monthly newsletter or you can find the information on my website at