Showing posts from November, 2013

Festival of the Whirligigs (oil on canvas 6 x 8 in.) $310

18 October finds me painting from the canoe, as whirligig beetles cavort on the mirror-dark water of the south end of Elbow Lake, 5.5 km northwest of Battersea, Ontario.  The canoe is tied to a repeatedly-sprouting Beaver-felled Red Maple in a lee from the wind. The wind is still flexing the regrown brush-like tops of the White Pine across the water. The bay is covered with patches of Nuphar  - Yellow Waterlily, with all the flowerheads nipped off and their stems protruding from the water. I am barely able to

Burreed Caligraphy (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

5 November finds me painting on the south shore of the Ottawa River, at the end of a path from Francois du Pont Park, just west of Petrie Island. The thin curved leaves of Burr Reed draw calligraphic reflections on the water in a language unknown to me, but obvious to the river edge. As I sit painting, the meaning soaks in, elegant and clear. If the invasive European Reed, Phragmites australis were growing here, not only would it crowd out the native Burr reed, but the river would be entirely hidden from view except from higher up and farther back.  As Fred and Owen have been surveying these Ottawa River marshes for Unionids, they've been impressed by the dominance of Burreed ( Sparganium ). The haven't seen any Phragmites , invasive or native, and only a few patches of Cattails, usually the probably-alien Typha angustifolia . Nothing could be more superficially different than a Burreed's spherical fruit-head of protruding spikes, and a Cattail's stalk of compac

Hawkridge Chipmunk (oil on canvas, 6 x 8 in.) Sold

17 October  finds me painting just below the high granite crest of of Hawkridge, north of Morton, Ontario. The trees are part of the sky here, and I am part of the leaves and the mossy, lichen rocks. The pastoral landscape below, seen through the thin tray tree trunks and what's left of their autumn leaves, is soft and blurry like a smudged pastel drawing. Blue Jays echo their voices back and forth across the crest of this high granite ridge, and a White Breasted Nuthatch honks a few times.  I am painting the wall of the top of the ridge, where stands the straight trunk of a Maple that is all gnarled and twisted from eight to twelve feet above the cliff edge. When Fred and I stood at the edge of the cliff, just above where I sit now, I photographed the mid section of the tree, considering it as the subject of a painting - a rather macabre portrait of a tree twisted and tortured by some mysterious influence, some effect of growing up past the edge of the cliff, and exposed to