Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Painting... Good Accommodation and Food... and Good Friends

After a wonderful meal on Thursday evening our group of painting friends accepted owner Gertrud Sorensen's kind invitation to come to her home and studio overlooking Galeairy Lake. It was a wonderful evening of sharing ideas and stories... highlighted by a viewing of a DVD that documented the life of Doris McCarthy... a Canadian painting pioneer... a painter I have long admired (from a distance)for her commitment to her Art... and for energy and giving spirit.I left Gertrud's that evening... my own painting spirit further kindled by what I had seen in the documentary.

On Friday morning... after a good solid sleep and fine breakfast, I set out alone in search of new subjects down the old Madawaska Railroad bed...a goldmine of waterfalls,bog and swamp subjects.The ground was (thankfully) still hard frozen... but rutted badly from the late snowmobile and four wheel traffic. This rail bed has been a veritable highway into the back end of this area... but it has suffered greatly due to the lack of caring (and garbage) that the above mentioned users have inflicted upon it. The wooden covering on the one bridge spanning a section of the river has been so badly damaged that it has been condemned and barriers [placed at either end. A few ruin it for all.Sound familiar?

It didn't take long to back track and find a nice shoreline view... out of the cold wind... in the sun... with no noise except the chatter of ice shards along the river's edge. I decided to use the additive/subtractive method using the freshly toned panel method as my introduction to create a monochromatic study/base. It would serve as my method at the demonstration I had to conduct later in the evening at the Lodge. I spent a wonderful two and a half hours on a 16x20 inch canvas... "Melt water Reflections" and then headed into town for a steaming bowl macaroni-tomato soup and cup o' coffee.

Refreshed and re-energized... I headed back to the Lodge to see if my old friend and mentor Poul Thrane had arrived as anticipated. I was bunking with Poul for the rest of the trip and looked forward to painting with him again. Just before the Lodge site, I spotted his white van perched on top of the hill overlooking Shanie Ride's old log homestead... a favourite subject for many paintings over the year.

At 85 years young, Poul prefers to paint in the comfort of his van... comfortably rigged and "beveraged" to enable carry on plein air painting in much the same way we have always done over the years. I quickly set up my easel close by and lept into the subject with an energetic and confident manner. The painting fairly "painted itself" from start to finish and I was finished the 16x20 inch panel, "Madawaska Relic" entirely inside one and a half hours of steady painting. This painting is my favourite of the trip. Wish I could paint this way all of the time!


  1. It sounds like a wonderful and inspiring time thanks for sharing it the paintings are just marvellous.

  2. Thank you both Steve and Ralph for visiting and for your encouraging comments!There is no greater or more inspiring experience... than to access wilderness places in the company of those who share your love for them and for making Art!

    Friendships like the one Poul and "I" share make Life rich and memorable!

    "I" am richly Blessed!

  3. What a great trip! loved reading about it and the pics look like you guys had a lot of fun. One can see how much fun and inspired you were by the paintings you have posted, thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Jonathan!... Thanks for dropping by again... nice to hear from "You"!

    We share a lot in common in our painting I think.I am inspired and motivated to struggle on myself each time after visiting your wonderful site!

    You are indeed a master in the handling of a still life... rich in texture... colour... ambiance and mood. Despite the painstaking and exacting detail... your work maintains a necssary "painterly" quality... taking it "exist"in its own realm... beyond camera blandness!

    Good painting my Friend!
    Warm regards,

  5. Hi Steve!.... Thanks for dropping by! "You" are absolutely right! Being with long time friends... sharing painting time... laughter... GREAT meals... and the Park is a great time! Life doesn't get any better my Friend!

    Good painting!