Showing posts from November, 2011

Where The Eels Went Into The Ground (oil on canvas 16 x 20 in.) Sold

17 November finds me perched at the base of a tree on the steep side of a short deep ravine surrounded by ploughed fields on Laurier Road north of Casselman, Ontario. I can almost see down into the entrance of a cave - the cave where First Nations people say is "the place where the Eels go into the ground". A creek meanders along the bottom of the ravine and disappears under a tangle of sticks and autumn leaves before the cave mouth. Above that a vertical bank rises 10 metres high, a wall of clay laced across by tree roots.

Exhibition and Book Launch

ANNOUNCING The exhibition of paintings done this fall in the South Nation Watershed will be held at the South Nation Conservation office in Finch on Thursday, as well as a presentation about our field work and the launch of the book! Date: 24 November 2011 Time: 6:00 - 8:30 pm Place: South Nation Conservation, 38 Victoria St., Finch, Ont. contact SNC: (877) 984-2948 contact Aleta Karstad (613) 299-3107 "Art & Science in the South Nation Watershed"  is a full-colour book of paintings and journal from this fall's travels about eastern Ontario, enriched by 15 years of familiarity with the South Nation River watershed. In the tradition of the Group of Seven but with the eye of a naturalist, Aleta Karstad paints the Canadian landscape "en plein air". This book showcases nineteen of her jewel-like paintings from the watershed of the South Nation River in easternmost Ontario. Each is accompanied by insightful and lyrical journal entr

The Biologist And His Dog (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.) Sold

8 November 2011 finds us skirting the perimeter of the Winchester Bog, searching for view into it, or a creek out of it. The South Castor River flows out, but the bog itself is hidden, somewhere beyond vast cornfields being harvested by huge combines. The evening breeze brings us the feathers-and-field-corn smell of a chicken farm. We found the South Castor River in a ditch-like groove between the flat fields. The view beneath the bridge span has some nice shapes - a composition of sinuous Manitoba Maple trunks leaning out past the steep grassy bank, and the sky reflection at a stony riffle. Then the Biologist and his trusty Dog, crossing on the stones, complete the scene. Fred plucks a few handsfulls of drifted sticks and snail shells from under the feet of Marigold, dropping them into a long, sturdy plastic bag printed "Popcorn" and "Mais Souffle" in orange and yellow. We inherited what is proving to be a lifetime supply of these bags in the 1980's when the N

Red Maple Trunks (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.) Sold

24 October 2011 finds me sitting at the base of a huge old, many-trunked Maple in a grown over fencerow in the woods, near the Sand Road Maple Farm, south of Moose Creek, Ontario. The mossy log that was one of its fallen branches stretches toward me and everything is being sprinkled with falling Maple leaves. Behind me stand several ancient White Pines, all gnarly and some fork-trunked, old pasture trees that grew up twisted because of White Pine Weevil. The pines and this maple flourished, thick- trunked and full-crowned in the open during decades of agricultural use of the ground, as we can see from the branching close to the ground.

Metcalfe's Victoria Park (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

The afternoon of 12 October 2011 finds me in Metcalfe, in Victoria Park, painting the footbridge that crosses Cassidy Municipal Drain. This is a culvert-fed, turbid rock/rubble/mud stream through a village green lawnpark, a tributary of the Castor River. A man in a plaid shirt walks a brown and white bulldog across the foot bridge and along the brick path to the park bench. When I look up again he is crossing the street to the bank, the dog swinging its tail cheerfully.