Wednesday, June 5, 2013

" Seeing" is Believing... and Believing .... Is Everything - Part One

There is a double entendre intended in today's post title. Used as a well-worn and overly used adage, it might come off as sounding a bit pedantic. However ... when placed in context with how I have tried to present the concept of "seeing" in terms of creating in past posts... a second and more important layer of meaning is intended. And my whirlwind weekend of painting activity led me try and pass forward some further thoughts that you might mull over... and apply in your own thinking.

The weekend was hectic... no frenetic is a better word to describe the state of action. Unwittingly, I had "double booked" myself and had made two painting commitments to two given parties for the same time frame. Both were extremely important to me... but setting one aside entirely for the other was absolutely impossible for me to consider doing. So I did both! To further raise the bar... I hadn't really painted, as my blog posts indicated for almost a month and self-doubt was edging its way into the picture. Both were situations that demanded being prepared physically and spiritually to participate effectively.

Rather than try to "splain" the whole weekend of activity in a single post, I have decide to spread the "Idea" over two and give each part a single focus to help describe the weekend as it unfolded for me. So, please bear with me...  there is a useful and meaningful (I believe) conclusion to be reached and to be shared by the end of the two parts.

I had accepted an all day Saturday.... introductory... first time plein air teaching session for three adults and two children here in Rockport. My family were long time friends through our cottaging lives with Brian Towe and I had in all truth, I accepted the opportunity mostly because of our past connection. I knew of his wife, her sister only briefly through the process of actualizing the proposed paint out. I had yet to meet the two young people. Along with the very "iffy" weather forecast for the Saturday... so many variables plus my absence from actually painting myself placed me on high alert.

Oh yes... did I mention that I had signed up as well... to participate in a full three day weekend  Paint Out competition with my long time friend and painting pal Frank Edwards? That would take place in the city of Belleville... some two hours west of here. Now you can perhaps better understand the dilemma that I had created for myself . What a pickle!

This is how I decided to engage as a singles player... in a doubles tournament... volley for volley! The truth was that I had to do in my own mind was to somehow honour both commitments... and I did. I went in truth to Frank and told him my sad tale. We agreed that I would paint Friday together in Belleville... as planned and looked forward to by us both. Then I would return to Rockport that same evening and prepare to carry off the Saturday painting class with Brian and family. I would then return to Belleville on Sunday to complete the Belleville Paint Out with Frank. Are you dizzy yet ? Stay tuned.... it gets better! HA HA!!

Friday at The Belleville Plein Air Paint Out

Pictures will tell the story and make the telling of the story easier for all of us

Frank... "brushin" his way thru' the heat and traffic on our dam first site perch above the Moira River

This was the deep view that we selected together to commence the weekend action plan

This fisherman joined me from below my perch for the entire painting session... a pleasant close up encounter with this Great Blue Heron. At least he had a cool place to work!

My view of things and set up

My finished sketch for the morning ...."Rolling Into Belleville on the Moira" - oil on canvas 20x16 inches

Site number two... Looking north from Victoria Park and Belleville Yacht Club towards Belleville town centre
My finished 18x24 inch cradle board sketch of the subject... second of two completed on the Friday

Day # One in Belleville was both exhilarating... and challenging for us both. Despite the heat and having to feel my way around until I found my painting groove... it was wonderful to be painting with my painting pal of thirty years again... after a decade of being apart because I lived elsewhere. That fact made me a winner... right from the get-go... and I know that it was the same for Frank. It was another great adventure... "out there" painting en plein air as.... The Lone Ranger and Tonto!

Stay tuned for the Towe Family Saturday Paint Out in Rockport and the conclusion of the Belleville "gig" in my next post.

Until then... Good Painting... and "Happy Trails"... to ALL!!!


  1. Wow what a challenge, I'm feeling the hectic-ness of it all, I'm sure you mastered it all, judging by the beautiful 'sketches' that you painted, looking forward to the next installment!

  2. Hi Bruce. Well that's one way of beating the "block"; I'm worn out just reading about it! You've "hit the ground running" judging by the quality of the paintings.

    All the best,

  3. Good morning Diana!... So very nice to hear from you again!

    Paint Outs are always hectic by the nature of the event... but actually it was the duality of the two events together that created the havoc and worry.

    However, despite restriction of time and at the last energy... it was a great learning experience for me personally... and for each of the parties that I painted with as well. We never once lost our focus... nor our ability to laugh and play... and in the same moment learn more about creative selves. It was a worthwhile weekend of painting pleasure!

    Thank you for visiting... and for your supportive comments about the "sketches." Much appreciated!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  4. Good morning Keith!... Thanks for dropping by and for your ever discerning and supportive comment left!

    Yes... a bit of hectic... but being back with Frank painting again after the decade of not being able to was worth all of the back n' forth and the tension that I felt. Painting with children is a pure joy for "Me."

    Watching them effortlessly pour over their painting... never once really showing any strain or worry reminds me that painting must come from within... and elicit Joy. That fact was transposed into my own painting psyche for certain!

    Yes, I did indeed "hit the ground running"... and I did leap over the block and past the "issues' which had led me to that place... and for that I am grateful! The sketches... not my best really, but it was that restored magic between Frank and I that I returned with... as my "prize."

    I learned some valuable lessons over the past two months... lessons that will reshape my mission and painting from here on.

    Thanks again Keith!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Yes, but inquiring minds want to know who was the Lone Ranger and who was Tonto? LOLOL Ah Bruce...I always love your paintings and these are no exceptions.

  6. Hi there Sherry!.... HA Ha!!... you weren't the only "inquiring mind" that didn't know... or recognize "Who" Tonto is!

    Perhaps the memory of those "good 'ol days" rests in the hands of "Those"... who wish to remember! Just my own take on it!

    Thanks for your uplifting comments and visit!

    Happy Trails ... and Painting to "You"!
    Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce,
    Happy to see you back in the saddle of plein air painting again. Your work looks great. As far as the Lone Ranger and Tonto, I even know the name of their horses. HA!HA!

    Take care and enjoy,

  8. Hi Joan!... Thanks for your visit and comment.

    Knowing the pair and their horses names dates you... and you don't look of age to remember such facts! HA HA!! Join the club!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,