Showing posts from July, 2018

White Pine Among the Boulders

"White Pine Among the Boulders" (oil on birch panel 8x8 in.) 22 June 2018 found me sitting on a mossy boulder, painting the base of an imposing White Pine in the Spednic Natural Protected Area, east of McAdam, New Brunswick. This is hilly forested terrain, full of gullies and boulder fields. The others have driven on up the road, in search of earthworms, leaving me here to clamber over moss-blanketed boulders until I decide on a subject to paint. I took many photos of Yellow Birches perched on massive fern-fringed rocks, clasping them snakelike with gleaming naked roots, but couldn’t decide which would be best for a painting.  Finally I’d wandered up over the hill and looked down to a sunlit valley of ferns and bushes. There at its edge rose up before me the tremendous trunk (about 80 cm diameter) of a lone White Pine, a mighty column sculpted in bas relief by grooved and plated bark, and towering its fine-needled crown up against the sky. I considered looking u

Spednic Lake Boulder

"Spednic Lake Boulder" (oil on birch panel 6 x 12 in. collection of New Brunswick Museum) On 19 June, 2018 Fred and I drove to Spednic Lake Provincial Park in one of the BiotaNB trucks, to explore and paint on the bouldery shore of Spednic Lake, the long lake that borders the Spednic Protected Natural Area near McAdam, New Brunswick. A brisk breeze was pushing low waves in long curving lines to slosh gently against the row of distinctive boulders of all sizes that countless winters of ice had pushed up against the shore. You can see the path through the lake edge grass, made by the gradual movement shorewards of the boulder on the far left of my painting. Poet in Residence Harry Thurston and I explored a few hundred metres of the shore, careful not to twist our ankles while stepping from rock to rock, and admiring green Dragonflies just emerging from the skins of their final aquatic nymphal stage that were still clinging where they'd crawled out of the water to

Jake in Palfrey Creek

"Jake in Palfrey Creek" (oil on birch panel 6 x 8 in. collection of New Brunswick Museum) The last of the series of portraits of biologists at BiotaNB, I finished this one of the young entomologist Jake Lewis, wading with his net, beyond the flaming spikes of Cardinalflower that bloomed so splendidly at that spot on Palfrey Creek in August. We were in the Spednic Protected Natural Area near McAdam, New Brunswick in our first of the two-year survey of this PNA. I delivered the finished painting this year. For my smaller oils I am now using birch panels instead of stretched canvas, and enjoying the satiny feel of each stroke, and its ready acceptance of the paint, with no struggle to fill the weave of the canvas. I'm pleased with the likeness of Jake, and everyone at BiotaNB recognized him immediately - quite the accomplishment with a full figure of less than 2 inches high! "Jake in Palfrey Creek" detail

Biologists With Maps - BiotaNB

"Fred and Don With Maps" in the Gagetown Courthouse, BiotaNB2016 (oil on birch panel 10 x 10 in.) collection of NBM This is my ninth consecutive year as "Artist in Residence" at BiotaNB, the two-week long biotic inventory of New Brunswick's "Protected Natural Areas", held by the New Brunswick Museum. My husband Fred is one of the 30 or so biologists, invited from all across Canada and beyond - and since my mandate at last year's BiotaNB was to paint portraits, one of these was to be of Fred. I had taken a photograph at BiotaNB2016 in Gagetown, that has been crying out ever since to be painted - of Fred poring over maps of the Grand Meadows Protected Natural Area with Don McAlpine, the Head of Natural Sciences at the NBM. Biologists are usually solitary in study of the organisms they love - it requires a lot of "quiet curatorial time" as Fred says - so the drawing together of so many of these solitary specialists in the collabora