Showing posts from May, 2013

Toadsong in a Rock Pool (oil on canvas, 5 x 7 in.) Sold

7 May finds me watching Fowlers Toads hollering from a shallow pool on the flat limestone shore of the west end of Lake Erie, Ontario. Fred and I have walked from the sandy beach west of Point Abino, where the soft sand of the upper beach is tracked with the hopping prints of an endangered species, the Fowlers Toad. We have been tracking them for several evenings, on the Point Abino beach and also on Bay Beach, east of here - but this is the first time we've followed their voices to one of the spots where they breed. The call of a Fowlers Toad is similar to the call of the larger American Toad, but lower pitched and of shorter duration. The American Toad makes a long, high trill that goes on and on for over ten seconds, but the Fowlers Toad's call, though also a trill, is rather like a bray. Some say it sounds like the cry of a baby. All of the tracks head east toward the sound of the breeding chorus, and several Fowlers Toads hop along the wet sand within reach of the c

Red Oak and Dutchman's Breeches (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.) Sold

1 May finds me sitting close to the base of a huge Red Oak, painting Dutchman's Breeches as it blooms among moss and fallen branches on a low rocky bluff by the side of the one-lane track named Fishing Lake Road, north of Battersea in eastern Ontario's Frontenac Arch. It is a hot and sunny spring day, and we stopped here to investigate the "Hartrick Tract", a property recently purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Pot Lake Fjord (oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.)

30 April finds me painting at the head of an embayment on a small lake on a Nature Conservancy property in Ontario's Frontenac Arch. The narrow bay is embraced by high granite outcrops, like a miniature Norwegian fjord - with Pines on a cliff to my left (south) and mixed forest on a high ridge to my right. I'm sitting on the ground to paint, amidst tiny pale blue violets, delicate spears of spring grass, and the nodding yellow bells of Twisted Stalk.  A pair of Turkey Vultures soar and circle, etching a thick-and-thin caligraphic ballet on robin's egg blue above the White Pines. The clouds are reaching and gesturing across the sky in unison with the sweeping branches of the Pines, and the black silouettes of dead stumps in the reflection of the sky echo the weathered stump infront of me.  I spent a long while studying the scene before I began to paint, not wanting to