Showing posts from December, 2013

Pipers House Trees (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

26 December found me out on the road with my paint box and a blanket, taking photos of the ice and snow on the trees in front of our house and deciding which snow bank to sit on to begin my birthday painting. Then it began to snow. I have painted in rain with an umbrella on a number of occasions, and I've painted in snow with an umbrella, twice, with great difficulty. Snow flakes are so light that they fly up under the umbrella, settle on my palette, and stick to the paint on my brushes. I said to myself "been there, done that..." and took a good long look at the subtle colours of sky and snow which I knew would not show well in my reference photos, and decided to be satisfied with having conceived the painting on my birthday. This year I'm satisfied to have finished my birthday painting before the end of the year. Some times one finds it necessary to fly lower - but it's important to keep flying! We have escaped the terrible ice storms that clobbered areas

New Art Calendar for 2014

Welcome to my plein air studio – the great outdoors! This calendar for 2014 is a selection of my favorite plein air paintings. I paint outdoors because it speaks to me directly, to all my senses, and I love the challenge of painting not only what I see, but also painting to share the life and breath of a place and everything in it. Each painting is an adventure, beginning with the search for a subject, and then finding natural features to accommodate myself and my gear. Then I paint for as long

Loughborough Meadows (10 x 20 in.) Sold

15 October found me standing by a little creek meandering through a vast wet meadow, 6 km north of Battersea, in eastern Ontario's Frontenac Arch.  This is part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada's tract called the "Loughborough Wilderness". The once tall grasses of the meadow are now flattened and tawny, reminding me of a salt marsh at low tide. The meadows are bounded on three sides by massive ridges of rock covered with forest. The rocks can barely be seen among the trees from this distance, and the afternoon light was fading fast. I had carried all of my painting gear out here, stepping carefully over dry lodged grasses, trying to avoid wet spots, and looking for a scene to paint, until I came to the creek and unburdened myself of paint caddy, easel, box of canvasses stool, and backpack. Then I took photos all around, and argued with myself for a long while over whether the sky, the creek, or the meadow should be most prominent in a painting, where the hori

Not Fishing Lake (oil on canvas 6 x 8 in.)

14 Octobe r found us driving back on Fishing Lake Road at sunset, after a day of exploration in the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Frontenac Arch Natural Area. This road runs along a height of land, a granite ridge that has been cleared for a pair of hydro lines on giant steel towers. The long pond lies far below, between us and another granite ridge that is forested. This lovely view of the pond greeted us as soon as we met the hydro right-of-way, driving up into the grassy open landscape from the woods. Fishing Lake itself is not visible from Fishing Lake Road. We had hoped to see whether any clams live in it, particularly the rare Ligumia nasuta , listed as a "Species At Risk" - but the only access to the lake by vehicle is a private laneway. The pond edge is lined with pale green duckweed, a thin line of it shows along the wetland on the far side, and a broader patch on this side, at the lower left of my painting.

the Fred Calendar for 2014

One thing that very few people have witnessed is how charming my husband Fred Schueler looks when he's writing field notes. He's part of the landscape. From a few moments to several minutes, he's nearly as motionless as a rock or a tree. Fred is embedded in a scene as he's working to describe it. The light reflects from his vest, his hat, his hands, his beard, in the same way as it from everything around him - and everything around him is vulnerable to being noted by his pen, and soon entered into

High Country Juniper (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

October 14 found us again in the Frontenac Arch, making another traverse of Fishing Lake Road. We stopped at this granite outcrop with Juniper to look for Skinks. The sun was warm and the Juniper's shadow was long. The season is too late for Skinks, however and the weather is cool. Fishing Lake Road runs at first through forests of Maple, Oak, and pine, and then rises to follow the crest of ridges cleared for a huge hydro power line - grassland with outcrops of