Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finding A Rainbow In the Greyness of Late Autumn

A painting friend recently commented that the "good fall colour" was already gone in his area... and that it was getting cold. Both observations are indeed correct... to a degree. The high rich red colour of the annual maple magic has been clawed from their crowns by the rain and vicious winds. But that is the usual case for the end of October. Yet pockets of rich colour can still be found to enjoy and to paint... if one searches them out.

We finished our important chores and winter preparations around the house and Gallery. Our outside Gallery officially closed for the season this past weekend, so we brought all of the works and gift ware inside, hanging many in our full studio in the basement. We will entertain "come-by-chance" visits, or appointments when requested... but those are rare. The "high" summer season has passed.

Autumn is indeed a bitter-sweet moment for most of us. We relish the rush which the rich colour and warmth only found in these too few days of Fall. Perhaps it is this "fragile truce" between Summer and Winter that we call Autumn which animates all living creatures and things into a state of restlessness.Perhaps it is that same influence that drives artists into a frenzy to squeeze out as much of the colour to perhaps retain it somehow... if only on canvas.

When we departed to do grocery chores and a few other odds and sods, the sunlight... the azure blue of the sky and pockets of remaining colour triggered my painting impulse. I readied Deb for the fact that I "might" head out painting when we returned at lunch time. I find that painting helps to balance out my bitter-sweet... butterfly feelings. Other fellow Canadians, referred to as "snowbirds" have at least packed their bags in restless anticipation of their annual escape from long and cold Canadian winters to southerly places of choice.

The archetypal Autumn day rapidly disintegrated had all but disappeared during our quick lunch at "Islesview." But I decided to press on with my painting plan struck earlier in the morning. I would head out to a nearby... now fully vacated and empty Ivy Lea Provincial Park. It is my painting "Honey Pot/Tree", as Pooh would call his source of comfort! "Still waters..."

I heard this gaggle of very noisy... mostly bachelor mallards...  feeding and talking anxiously about something long before seeing them. I paused... unseen... just to watch and I marvelled  at the newly acquired sheen of the drakes now iridescent winter plumage. It would be this change of male attire that would fuel the Spring mating frenzy after their migration southward.

Here... they rest and drift..."tipping up" as one can see at the rear of the main grouping to feed on vegetation in the shallows below. Might that be their version of.... Thanksgiving? I wonder.....

Follow me ... as I tour about this pristine... ancient and sacred place.These are but a few of the views... just to whet the appetite... before settling down to paint. There is quite simply no shortage of varied subject matter to paint... but I know exactly where my set up place for the afternoon will be! Stay tuned....

Solemn stillness...

Unexpected emerald waters... This unique environmental  habitat has many unexpected micro features to ponder scattered throughout it

 Gloomy?... Not to my eyes and heart!

 Bold jagged "erratics" (various sized rock slabs and pieces) composed of  metamorphic and igneous (volcanically formed) rocks covered by sparse soil... left unmoved for countless millenia. These were deposited here as the great glacier melted... receded and formed the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. This Park and the Thousand Islands form the point where this immense geological formation... which covers half the area of Canada thrusts its way southward from Hudson's Bay in the far north to more southern reaches in the United States. The Thousand Islands are merely islets left to reveal  the eons of erosion by the strong river current on this band of the oldest rocks on earth. Lucky for us!

 No colour...  maples gone? Pshaw!

Vacant... vibrant campsite patterns.... everywhere!

Unusual species of trees... this one a jaunty yellow leafed tulip tree. Wonder where they got the name? HA HA!!!

Fungi Fantasia!... Every shape and colour... Fun to look at! Strangely and exotically... and likely toxic-ally beautiful!

And here we are! This is my intended painting site. I missed doing it last year... I was in Algonquin Park... but that's another story... already told. This is today's story. Here ends my wordy description for this post. I will let this scene... and my response speak for themselves. Imagine what you will... but enjoy!

The mallard flock and the cold breeze continually etched and reworked the water area... seen so calm in my photo. I liked the disturbance they caused ... and the fact that it was not man made.

"October Opus... Composed at Ivy Lea" oil on canvas 11x14 inches

This is my "Rainbow". See the gold?

I will close my post today with a stanza from a song "Rainbow Song" made popular in the early 2000's by the Philippine Pop group South Border. It summarizes the content of today's post and my belief system... expressed both in print and visual terms. Food for thought!

"Take a little time HONie
See the butterflies colour
Listen to the birds that were sent
To sing for you and me
This a wonderful place
Even when there is pain
Everything would be all right
For as long as the world turns
There will be night and day
Can you hear me
There's always a rainbow after the rain.

Forget those "Rainy Day Feelins." Look up!... That's where more most rainbows can be found. If one's not there ... then look around you. Sometimes there's a rainbow on the ground! Get out and paint it!

A Pine Island Rainbow Evening

Good Fall Painting!... to ALL!


  1. Hey Bruce,

    Thanks for the wonderful photo trip and the memories they bring back. Lovely painting as well and you are completely correct...attitude is everything.


  2. Hi Jeffrey!... Thanks for dropping by and for sharing your comments!

    You are right on the money about attitude. On the down side version... the only "disability" in life is attitude. On the up side version (which we share)... it is indeed... everything!

    Good Painting and Happy Fall!
    Warmest regards from one Ontario boy... to another!

  3. Oh what wonderful ruminations and your painting? Just absolutely exquisite! What a wonderful location for a home, snuggled into the trees and yet right on the lake front. Really beautiful, Bruce.

  4. Dear Friend Sherry!... So glad that you enjoyed the post! This riverside home in nearby Smuggler's Cove has always drawn my attention as I trekked about the Park in each season. I knew that it would be especially glorious at this time of year ... and had hoped that some of the colour had hung on... and as you can see... it had!

    I truly enjoyed my afternoon there and came home with what I feel is a good solid painting! One can indeed make something good in less hospitable conditions than hoped for ... or even adverse conditions. Those unepected gains mean more than the "comfy couch" ones!

    Thank you for your visit and such uplifting encouragement Sherry!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Thanks for taking us along and reminding us that, in spite of a less than gloriously colored fall, there is still beauty all around - if we just stop and look. Love the painting!

    1. Good morning Rhonda!... Thank you for visiting and for leaving your encouragement!

      There is indeed beauty everywhere in life. All that is required to access and enjoy it... as you have wisely mentioned... is to simply look for it...recognize it, and yes... as we both are compelled to do... paint it! Twice the pleasure!

      Good Fall Painting!
      Warmest regards,

  6. This is a charming painting Bruce, simply charming. No further brush strokes needed.
    Three of us were out again today, buuurrr, everything from sun, sleet, rain. We had a wonderful time.

    1. Good morning Karen!... Thank you for taking the time to visit and reply! It was a beautiful day that I will long remember. Might even keep this one for us to enjoy!

      Glad to hear that "The Three Cone Heads" ride again! HA HA!!

      Good Painting!
      Warmest regards,

  7. Hi Bruce, thanks for sharing autumn in your part of the world in your images, any one of which could be made into a painting. They show how, against a neutral background, even muted colours can glow.

    Your painting is a perfect representation of the season and the place. You must be pleased with that one!

    All the best,

    1. Good morning Friend Keith! ... Thank you ever so much for your meaningful observations and your enthusiasm about the post and the painting!

      We do share such a reverence for the unique and special spaces in which we each spend our own very separate and daily lives. How much a privilege it is to share our homes and feelings ... in words and pigment... to and fro!

      I so much always look forward top our connections and chats!

      I am pleased enough... and had such a moving experience while painting this one... that it might well be set aside... and hung... for us to look at... for a while at least! HA HA!!

      Good Painting!
      Warmest regards,

  8. Lovely post about the autumn days that are with us all just now. I thought the trees in the forest photos would make some nice oil paintings. I do like your painting of the house by the water, those autumn colors of the trees around the house are really beautiful. enjoy these days of autumn laddie!

    1. Good morning Highland Lass!... This painting gave me great pleasure along with my trek about the Park on that particular beautiful ...solemn... autumn day. Made my day feel full... and "Me"... greatly blessed! Does it get any better? Not for "Me"!

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment with so much enthusiasm and encouragement. I much appreciate it!

      Good Fall Painting !
      Warmest regards,