Two Coyotes in Lyn Valley (oil on canvas 8 x 16 in.) Sold

4 February finds us thwarted in our intention to walk in to Lyn Falls northwest of Brockville, Ontario, to paint snow, ice, rocks and water. The path to the falls is unbroken knee-deep snow with a variable crust somewhere in the middle, and waist-high roadside banks cast up by the snowplows allow no room to park the van even if there were time to wade in to the falls before sunset.  So we stopped by the bridge over Golden Creek just upstream of its confluence with Lyn Creek, and followed Lyn Creek by foot along the road, where the stream narrows so the rocky far bank is close, shaded by overhanging Hemlocks.

Suddenly the view of the creek bed opens out and I find myself looking up the valley toward the sunset. Two sets of Coyote tracks head away up the snowy creek. There's no time to go back to the van for my paints and still catch the light as it is now - so I paint the scene in my mind, and with the help of my camera for the shapes of things, return home to paint. The photo comes out quite dark with the western sky so bright, but I remember the colours of the snow.

This is the far eastern edge of the Canadian Shield, where the granite bones of the Frontenac Arch meet the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain. Lyn Valley drops away from the high country along County Road 27 when one heads west toward Lyn, and the view of the valley bottom far below is breathtaking.  In this painting you are on the bank of Lyn Creek in Lyn Valley, one of the best kept
secrets of eastern Ontario.  A couple of hundred metres downstream is where we have found the upstream-most individuals of the rare freshwater mussel Ligumia nasuta. You can see a video about it. The slow reach of Lyn Creek in this painting is the next area to be searched in late summer low water. The Lyn Valley Conservation Area is nearby, but does not protect any of the spectacular habitat or the Species At Risk.

Dear patrons and supporters,

The originals of the Frontenac Arch series including this painting will be shown at a special exhibition at Grace Hall, Sydenham, Ontario, opening on 1 February and closing on 29 April. Everyone is invited to the public reception and "talk by the artist" on 22 February. 


  1. I admire your ability to paint the scene in your mind, and accomplish such beauty when you paint it at home.
    I'm definitely a fan.

  2. a verse of a song about another local creek at this time of year, which was the inspiration for the title of the painting -

    My white Kemptville Creek is as smooth as a highway,
    The Swamp Maple path, the marsh-dwellers’ abode
    Where Otters & Mink, and the Muskrat & Beaver
    Briefly emerge on the Coyotes’ road.

  3. A beautiful treatment of both the snow and the sky!


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