Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Beat Goes On....

"Jail Birds!" - oil panel 8x10 inches

" Final Fanfare" - oil on canvas 12x16 inches

"Sunlit Lane" - oil on panel 8x10 inches

"Forgotten... Until Today"- McFadden's Sugar House - oil on panel 10x12 inches

Friday morning... when the sun reluctantly did crest the eastern horizon... what did we behold... but white stuff on the ground... "just a dusting"... as we refer to insignificant first flurries... but nevertherless - SNOW! The forecast on the radio this morning is for more snow in our area over the next few days... but the snow tires are on... the car's winterized and a good supply of windshield wiper fluid is on hand. We're ready!

Despite the cold temperatures that have swept into the Oro- Medonte... the colour continues to hang on... the sun continues to provide warmth and lighting. I've been able to be "out there"... still capturing more village material for our upcoming "Friends and Neighbours" exhibition in two weeks. This morning... I will return to the field... two, or maybe even three sites already on my radar... weather permitting!

The jpegs posted today are favourite places that continue to interest "me"... a couple I have painted on more than one occasion. Two others are "first timers" for me. Not that they didn't strongly pull on me to be painted... just that the old adage...."the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence"... seemed always to draw me away from what was beautiful... and at hand. No longer! They are now painted... and "I" will feel less guilty in passing them... as I did frequently because they now have a presence.

The top image is an old throwback... a designated "Heritage Site" from Hillsdale's earliest rural past. It is a one room jail... two holding areas... complete with iron bars... each with a cot... and a wood stove to provide the "amenities". There was no need even for a guard I'm told... so "visitors" were simply left to their own thoughts and amusements until feeding time... or release.

I noticed this site on many... many occasions before painting it finally... simply because it is located on a lane leading directly to our parking for our Gallery. We must pass by it each and every time that we return to our Gallery and home. The colour was still rich and enticing on Thursday... so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a stab.

Earlier in the summer... as I swung up the lane... I was met by a small gathering... or "murmeration" as it is known.. of starlings either feeding, or gathering small stones for their crops in the view ahead. It struck a funny chord within... which I have held on to until this pleasant wee painting...."Jail Birds" came into being! Sometimes the waiting... is about rethinking...revising what is merely visual... into a stronger image with something more to say! I like the final cut!

The second jpeg... a lovely Victorian vintage Ontario brick was once the manse for St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Since serving the servants of the Lord... it has served as the home for a very gifted potter... and presently is the home and business of Event Decorator and Design... owned and operated by Elizabeth and Steve Johnston. Liz is the only daughter of Biker n' Triker, Rolly Hallyburton. Deb at one time was the book keeper for this very high end event planning business... until her "craftiness"... got the better of her! HA HA!!!

I painted this painting yesterday morning... watching the half inch or snow on the tree branches and ground melt out of existence... for now! It was a lovely bright and crisp day. The quiet and solitude was broken only by a couple of interested school children... headed of to classes at the nearby elementary school... a block or so further eastward down Albert Street... and a very busy blue jay that kept noisily ferrying back and forth into the fir cover to the left in the painting.

The third image lies up Mill Street West... near St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. I liked the higher elevation of the sunlit clapboard house... joined to the foreground by the brightly lit roadway and dark foliage shrouded wings left and right. It was a simple composition... simply painted and I am pleased with the outcome.

The fourth and final image for this post... John McFadden's Sugar House... has been on my list-to-do for three weeks. However... the leaf cover was too dense and gaudy to offer a pleasing and uncluttered composition. So I patiently waited... and that paid off! As Kenny Rogers so aptly put it: "Ya gotta know when to hold!" Painting outdoors is indeed like playing in a game of poker with a myriad of other "players" in the "game"... playin agin ya! Sometimes the cards are stacked against you... and "Ya simply...gotta fold!" HA HA!!

During the next week... although I will be away for two days... I will be concentrating my attention upon more contemporary and modern homes in the new subdivision... to show that the village is composed of both the old... and the new. Life is lived quite differently in both places... but I quite enjoy walking through both areas... and have friends living in each. Both add a distinct flavour to village life.

So Autumn continues to hold Winter in abeyance... for who knows how much longer? But who cares? I look forward to Winter's arrival... as a continuation of expected seasonal change. I will be ready! I have my winter clothing... cotton gloves... boots... and trusty snowshoes at the ready! But until winter arrives... I'm out there!... Painting another piece of Autumn 2011!

Good Painting to ALL!


  1. Good morning Bruce,

    You are a master of color, composition,& tone.
    These painting are vivid and alive with color, words fail me, all I can say is they are simply BREATHTAKING!! Well done and thank you for sharing.

    All the best to you,

  2. Good Morning Joan!... Thanks for dropping by... and for leaving such encouraging comments! Glad that you enjoyed the paintings so much!

    There is so much to paint "out there"... and most autumns seem to fly by too quickly. There never seems to be enough time. However... for some strange reason, the colour has continued far beyond what I have experiencedin years past... to allow much more fall painting this season!

    Voila!... more results!

    Good Painting to "You"
    Warmest regards,

  3. Holy Crap! You're prolific!
    These are wonderful. When you go out for a day's work, you don't kid around! Do you know the work of British artist David Curtis? I have ALL of his how to paint DVDs. You might like his stuff. I prefer his oil to his watercolour.
    I love the forgotten house. Beautiful work.

  4. What gorgeous homes and a beautiful spot where you live, Bruce! I have heard of the snow flying up along the east coast...It sounds as though you are catching it as well. Nothing for us yet, though we hit below freezing last night. Brrrr...(but I'll take it over the heat any day!).

  5. Wow! These are so beautiful. Thanks for the history lessons. Wonderful blog, Bruce.

  6. Good Morning Nora!... Thank you for your visit and for the Sunday morning lift... with your encouraging comments!

    Becoming "prolific" comes from passion... commitment and simply... getting your Self "out there"... or up to the easel... and painting your little heart out! Time flies... and work increases! Good fun!

    Thanks for the David Curtis bit... I'll look him up!

    Good painting!
    Warmest regrads,

  7. Hi there Sherry!... Thanks for visiting again... and for your compliments... they are much appreciated!

    Hillsdale village has its own special charm and beauty.But also has its own fair share ofnegative energy and less-than-beautful eyesores as well... like all places! Yin and Yang! HA HA!! "I" prefer to focus my attention and energies upon what I enjoy and what seems positive!

    Colder this morning...heavy overnight frost... the maples are finally surrendering their leaves one after the other! Took some last minute photos... just to support my ol' memory!

    Good Painting and Writing!
    Warmest regards,

  8. Welcome to my site Suzanne!... Thank "You"... ever so much for your kind words... becoming a Friend... and for visiting!

    I so enjoyed my first visit to your eye-popping site! I loved those high keyed and painterly close up compositions and studies! All beautiful!

    Look forward to more back n' forths!
    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  9. Hi Bruce,

    You are a 'painter' in words as well as in paint! I really feel as though I am looking over your shoulder when you describe these adventures.

    I like the jail painting. It looks just like some of the old buildings we have on the estates around here.

    You are building up to a good exhibition, with a nice variety of subjects. The more modern buildings that you have planned should round it off well.

    I think you have sown a germ of an idea in my mind for a series of paintings. The community around here is very scattered and open, so I'm not sure how well it would work. It's something to think about though.

    P.S. I've gone back to the old style of blog, so I think the problems should be resolved now. :-)

    All the best,

  10. Good Morning Keith!... Weather is holding... and the project continues to go well! Fingers crossed!

    I managed my first modern home piece yesterday and am pleased with how it fits into the theme stylistically. Hope that my luck continues!

    Do try this idea out in your own area Keith! I have used this approach to "educating" locals wherever I haved lived. You usually are just taken for granted... until you extend an option that addresses/piques their interests. It has never failed to work for me...Yet??? HA HA!!

    Worth a try Keith. The economy is such that artists are going to have to reinvent themselves... and will have to freshen their approaches to exhibiting and selling their wares. The market is mired with a glut of competition... and the economic realities really have made potential buyers much more wary.

    Glad that you've adjusted your site. Makes it a lot simpler... for simpletons like moi! HA HA!!!

    Thanks for visiting and for your most gracious and appreciated comments!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  11. These are all beautiful...beautiful paintings, Bruce.! You truly did a wonderful job on each one and love the stories behind each one.

  12. Hi there Hilda!... Thanks for dropping by... and for your very generous compliments.

    It's always so much more meaningful and uplifting... to receive acceptance by peers whose work you admire yourself!

    I think that passing along some of the thoughts and ideas that supports one's interest in painting a subject... does in fact make it more meaningful and enriching for the viewer!

    I am truly enjoying the project... and hope to add a few more before fall finally succumbs... or the deadline is reached!

    Thanks for your enthusiam and for taking the time to visit Hilda!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  13. Hi, Bruce,
    I happily discovered your blog by Suzanne Berry's one, and I am glad to watch your paintings ,Ontario landscapes, and your stories.Have a ggod day!

  14. Hi Sylviane!... Welcome to my blog! Thank you for visiting and for your kind compliments! Do visit again... I look forward to checking out your site as well!

    Have a great day!
    Warm regards,

  15. Hi Bruce,

    Wonderful work! I especially love the Jailhouse and McFadden's Sugar House. Your paintings are a delightful walk in the woods with all those beautiful, vivid fall colors.

    Best to you.


  16. Thank you Sue!... For your compliments and encouragement!

    I think that the fall brings out the best in us all with its joyous colours and bounty. How could one not respond with enthusiasm and gratitude? It's a special time... and especially ... for that "walk in the woods"!

    Happy Fall and good sketching to "You"!

    Warmest regards,