Sunday, August 26, 2012

Metamorphosis... Final Stage

I must apologize for the excessive length of my last post... and for perhaps a too deeply personal diatribe on my part concerning my interest in social metamorphosis. In reviewing the post this morning... to see where I left off it, I can clearly see that the post might have been originated from my sense of sadness and feeling of nostalgia which always arrives as summer draws to an abrupt close. This feeling dates back to my childhood days when my seemingly endless summer days of freedom on the River suddenly evaporated as the Labour Day Weekend approached. I have discovered since living in Rockport that my feeling in this regard is shared by some... who like me are saddened. Others are gladdened by the fact that the hurly-burly insanity which grips the village as hundreds of loaded tour buses descend upon us to board the tour boats... will soon draw to a close. This year for me as well... September's arrival will mean that "we get the River back." And I don't need to report to classes... either in a seat at the front, or in those front-facing! So enough of sadness!

I would like to use the remainder of today's post to showcase the "metamorphosis"... of my painting student... now my painting pal Robin Heberling. Robin had been keen in her pursuit of new skills and learning in her artistic expression even before our first plein air outing together. She meets regularly with other artists in her home town, but her experience was limited to studio painting. Her goal in joining my summer classes was to "get a leg up" on plein air painting. She recognized the gains to be made in this choice and had an ultimate goal to paint more freely and loosely - in a "painterly" fashion as the term goes. In viewing her paintings... the progression of very obvious steps she has made towards accomplishing this goal can be easily seen as the weeks have evolved. Along with the actual technical skills she is gaining... it is obvious to me and to her... that she is now painting with a very new sense of confidence. She now risks... without hesitation... and paints under her own power and vision.

The word metamorphosis clearly defines the artistic life and search for each of us who choose to paint... whether in the studio or en plein air... whether in oils, water  drawing media. There are no tricks to leap frog one to the head of the line. There is just Time.Time spent working.Time spent searching. Time spent playing.
Time spent using more than one's eyes alone to seek out new answers. "Seeing"... meaning understanding... which creates confidence only will be achieved through the passage through the metamorphosis of artistic growth... not unlike human growth and development.

Look at Robin's lovely crisp water colours... each full of vitality and richer colour than before she began her new journey. "She" is indeed a "Monarch"... a butterfly... now free to continue her exciting adventure and journey as "Queen" of her own Destiny! I sincerely hope that you enjoy and are encouraged by this post... and its application to your own struggle and challenging relationship with your own easel and brushes!

Metamorphosis... a process of systematic... experiential learning... in stages.

Lesson #1   Focus was on perspective and creating a focus. Mission accomplished!

Lesson#2 Chose this floral study over landscape choice. Added Seran Wrap texture at home. Focus was to paint quickly and to choose shapes that interested her from the whole flower.

Arrived for second lesson with these extra studies... "home work... not assigned! Guess which one was painted with a glass of red wine in hand?... Fortification of spirit! HA HA!!

\OOPS! Sorry! Tilt yer head!  A quick study of one half hour completed at home from photo reference

Lesson#3  On the waterfront!.. Eugene's Work Boat... another look at perspective.... and "getting the proper line and proportions" of a boat. Very difficult assignment! This one is PERFECT! Interest in water movement... help required! A nice study!

Lesson#4 Fred's Retreat!  A strong effort with little or no need for my help. I suggested some "sponge erasure" in the foreground reeds to make it less linear.

Lesson#5 - Captain Carnegie's House... Very little need to achieve this lovely airy water colour... just help in creating the transparency in the shadowed areas of the house.

Lesson#6 - A lovely floral in every respect. Completed...mostly... indoors in our kitchen but touched up and tweaked at home to attain her own state finish.

Lesson# 7 -  On location at the park in Gananoque. Tough because the light kept changing and the wasps continual interruption. She asked to watch me complete mine... wanting to see how I achieved fluency through speed of brushwork and decision-making. We'll post her final interpretation from the reference I gave her to work from!Here's my quick study... as it will remain... I think! It "is"... what it is a study!
Why work it to death????

At a lay in stage.... Ready! set!... GO!

"A Quiet Day at the Tourist Bureau, Gananoque" water colour on Watford Paper 14x10 inches

My hat's off to "You" Robin! "You" should be proud of this summer's achievement!... "I" am!!! See you on Tuesday! We're off... across the bridge... to Fred's Retreat at Alcatraz Island. But that's another story... for another day! Stay tuned!...

Good Painting to ALL!


  1. Hi Bruce...I'm so sorry I missed your last post. The one day it did populate on my blog roll and I clicked on it, it said that the post I was looking for was not available (so I figured you were working on it). Somehow it never showed up again as a new post. The tiger lilies are gorgeous though.

    I loved seeing Robin's summer work and see a definite progression of her abilities too. I love her Captain Carnegie house so much. Your piece at the end? Truly stunning and powerful with the red house.

  2. Hi there Sherry!... Sorry for the "technical difficulties"... likely caused because I was (re) editing some rough spots in the post! Sorry!

    Robin has truly moved ahead... most especially in the area of self-confidence and risking! She is truly a treat to be with... en plein air! We share a lot of laughs when we're...."out there."

    I kinda like the Chamber of Commerce piece for the liveliness and rich colour... resulting from just... "letting the pigment fly"!

    Good Painting and Writing Sherry!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Well done Robin! all the best to your painting journey. Hi Bruce, you are lucky you had a summer time of bustle and sunshine yet you will be noticing that everything is closing once the kids go back to school and that you will see your new homeland in a different light. I was only thinking this morning as the rain poured down and the temperatures started to drop that we haven't had a summer here at all in the highlands of Scotland. Ok a few days but not enough to really make me feel as if I had a break from winter and the dark seasons. Anyway I decided to think about painting some colourful paintings just to record those five days of summer we did have! Keep painting and enjoy the quieter and rich days of autumn. I look forward to hearing your words of wisdom and reflection on your blog when I visit my library. take care laddie!

  4. I'm looking forward to seeing those "new" Fall paintings from your new location...I will miss Summer...I enjoy the warm weather...leaving windows open and enjoying the sounds of the birds is what makes me smile!! Although the Autumn is wonderful as well...I love your last piece, Bruce!...The red house is beautiful as well as your shadow work!!

  5. Hi there Caroline!... Thanks for dropping by and for your newsy comments! Seems the weather is playing tricks everywhere on the planet this summer.

    Looking forward to the annual fall colour here... it's a glorious time to paint outdoors and to get to Algonquin Park! It is equally beautiful in autumn as well... so stay tunerd!

    Good Painting... and Fairer weather Lass!~

    Warmest regards,

  6. HI there Hilda! ... Thanks for your visit and encouraging comments!

    I will miss summer as well... with the departure of the hummingbirds for certain! They are our morning entertainment and get the day off to a rousing ... happy start!

    Autumn is indeed special for the plein air painter... as short as it is... it is the colour fanfare of the year! Raw pigment... straight from the tube painting!

    Stay tuned... not far off!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  7. My first time visit... enjoyed seeing your art work and getting to know you a little.

    Can totally appreciate the feeling of sadness as something lovely comes to an end. And perhaps it also stems from childhood in my own as good things coming to an end usually meant the sense of 'back to the grind' in whatever form that happened to take.

    But in recent years I've been deliberately choosing not to go that sad route... and to anticipate that God will gift me with new joys, new experiences that will be lovely too, and lots of moments in any given day to relish and cherish (even if there might be some grindstone stuff to get through). And it has been the case over and over.

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places.......

  8. Hi there Brenda!... Nice to have you visit the blog!

    Thank you very your very positive... supportive and upbeat comments!

    My "sadness" mentioned should not be construed as an overwhelming state of loss... but rather more like a feeling of wistful yearning for the continuance of something which offers joy. ie... our humming birds not appearing daily.

    Like you... and many other folks... I have had my fair share of real... and honest-to-goodness sadness... and "I" too prefer to take the high road and live in the Now! It's all we are promised!

    Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your own thoughts so openly!Do visit again... soon!

    Warmest regards... and blessings,

  9. Hats off to you and Robin. It's wonderful to see the love of painting and growth of an artist. Robin shows us that work and the joy of painting can lead to such wonderful achievement to all artist at various stages in their journey. Robin is fortunate to have you as her teacher.

    All the best
    and Happy Painting

  10. Hi there Joan!... Thanks for visiting and for your supporting comments re: Robin's "blooming"!

    Her wonderful progress... even in such a short period of time clearly demonstrates that the journey is about searching and reaching out... passionately and with dedication and determination... to learn more about one's Self!

    I have been fortunate to find two new pals... one on line and the other... a mere island away... but Friends indeed... in Art!

    Your own voyage is on the same trajectory!

    Good Painting Joan!
    Warmest regards,

  11. Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a brilliant writer. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.. :)hgh