Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Out of Commission(s)!!!

"Spring's Murmurings, Algonquin Park Logging Museum" - oil on canvas 24x18 inches

"The Rumble Homestead, Hillsdale at Dusk" - oil on canvas 9x12 inches

I wrapped up the last of the three commissions that I brought along with me to Rockport this afternoon.... so now... on with the show! Rockport and the Islands call... and I shall jump right into the fray immediately! I finished up the demo piece that you may recall that I carried out... but didn't complete at The Algonquin Park Paint Out. You'll remember... that my painting box caused "quite a stink"... for a couple of people. I shied away from finishing the piece, I think... simply because the "stink made"... put me off when I tried to get back at it.Well this afternoon... with fresh paint on the palette.. I told my Self: "Get over it Buddy! Why lose a nice painting over a petty incident... which is now well back in the rear view mirror!" It's now complete... and I am well pleased with the result!!

Today, I delivered flyers and brochures to several key locations along the River announcing my intention to conduct Tuesday plein air classes in oils during the months of July and August in Rockport and the Thousand Islands! I already have a good number of people who have indicated more than a passing interest. We will soon see! I am excited about the project which will amount to a class from 10:00 am until noon... with a brown bag lunch break for an hour during which time I will present a one hour oil demo. We will then spend from 1:00 to 3:00 pm completing a second  painting... en plein air. I am keeping the numbers intentionally on the low side to maximize a more one-on-one opportunity for all. Prices will be low as well... $35 per session... pick n' choose... or four sessions for $125 paid in advance.

I will also be putting the finishing touches on my cedar strip canoe... giving it a new coat of dove grey paint and an odd repair here and there to maintain its lovely looks! She and I will be spending many hours together... wandering through the islands in search of new material and experiences.

I will reiterate what I said earlier. "I" am Home... and FULLY in Heaven! I shall no longer worry much about the "hereafter" because this has always been what I was... here after! I am deeply blessed!!!

Good Painting and Happy Painting to ALL!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nearly Commissioned Out!

"Rumble's Flour and Feed Mill, Hillsdale, Ontario" - oil on canvas 20x24 inches

"St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Hillsdale" - oil on canvas 20x24 inches

The view ... from my outdoor "studio" location... on our front lawn.  South lighting was great! ha ha!!!

No one should ever complain about having clients who have faith in your painting style... who are willing to give you artistic licence to complete the commission and who wish to pay you right up front for your effort. I never complain because it is part of our business and in these economic times... it pays the bills.

However... I always feel uncomfortable and a bit pressured to have someone else's money jingling in my pockets until the commission is sent off to the clients and they are happy with the work. This was amplified by the fact that we had much work of our own to get settled into Rockport before I could settle into the commission work.

I decided to use afternoons over the past week to dedicate time to completing these commissions t... thus alleviating this feeling. This afternoon, I put the finishing touches on the second 20x24 inch canvas to complete the painting(s) part of the commission. Now ... it's over to Deb for the framing and we can send off the work to the clients in Hillsdale. I'm quite sure that they will be more than happy with the outcome... and I can only hope that they will understand about the length of time needed "to deliver the goods"... as they say.

I have one smaller work... a 9x12 inch canvas remaining... which will be in the done basket by Tuesday at the latest. Then... on to the joys of Rockport! I am truly excited to get started and will focus on village scenes at first because that seems to be where the interest... and sale potential lies for visitors here. Then... I will get my canoe in the water and head out island hopping to record the multitude of landscape and river home sites that are just minutes away... and crying out to be painted. Summer Island Folk adore their homes in the Islands. Many have been owned by families for five and six generations and they have a great deal of pride in their castles.

So I will be posting as I go... newer and I think very pleasing works, along with the photographic references I gather as well. I do hope that you'll continue to check in regularly and follow me on this exciting new path I am on!

"Summertime... and the livin' is easy... Fish are jumpin' and the livin' is high..."

Good Painting... and Happy Summer to ALL!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Paint Box Gallery, Rockport... Officially Launched!

We officially opened the Gallery to the public this past weekend to coincide with the annual "Up the Garden Path"Studio Tour." While we were too late this season to be one of the nine participating members of the tour... we none the less were very busy with the May 24th Holiday traffic that was drawn to visit Rockport and tour the Islands. The entire weekend weather was perfect... with temperatures reaching into the low 80's F each day! A perfect weekend for touring!

We were kept well busy meeting and conversing with the steady stream of visitors who paid us a visit and we were lucky enough to sell three more paintings and numerous smaller gift items and Rockport Series Card Sets that Deb had created over the late winter months. We were thrilled with and very much encouraged by this initial success.

I managed to sneak in a first Rockport painting session from the front lawn of the Gallery and sold the result directly from the easel to a friendly couple from Brooklin, Ontario. They have shown interest in possibly purchasing yet another larger painting that they were attracted to during their visit. I kept the first painting to a small sketch format... given my five week hiatus. I think you will agree... that it is hard to get back into the zone and to get a handle on one's palette after a lengthy span away from painting. I was pleased with the resulting 12x9 inch  oil on panel... depicting the Captain Carnegie/ Ed Andress century homestead. It is ... I feel ... fresh and painterly and captures the hot day and green landscape that now has transformed Rockport into almost full summer dress.

It was nice to have old friends from my earlier and youthful Rockport years come to visit and renew old relationships. Things to change... and Time does indeed move along... however, meaningful friendships and ties based upon good times shared do survive these aspects of aging. I am deeply blessed in this regard! AS well... we had our dear Hillsdale friends Rolly and Grace Hallyburton visiting for the weekend... and we were joined by Frank and Janet Genyk from Utopia. What a grand time we enjoyed chatting on the patio!

I hope that you enjoy the jpegs that I have added to this post to offer a flavour of the weekend and the changes that continue to enrich our new life and blessings here in Rockport.

 Dining with Friends Rolly and Grace Hallyburton at The Cornwall Grill and Pub in  Rockport

 Islesview gardens refurbished

 A lull in the action in Rockport's Harbour

 Church of the Redeemer, Est 1896

A simple but elegant  cottage home on Front Street

 Another summer home on Front Street

 Our own version of a Canadian Inuit Inukshuk stone landmark which Deb named "Deuce".... DE from Deborah and UCE from Bruce

 Facing on to Front Street
 Evening quiet on the River

 Male Cedar Waxwing visitor

Nesting neighbours... our friendly Gray Cat Bird residents

 Captain Carnegie-Andress Homestead - oil on panel 12x9 inches

 Back behind the easel... FINALLY! Feels good!!!
Good Painting to ALL!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Inspiration... From Perspiration!

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at our feeder

Juvenile American Goldfinch
Deb hanging The Small Wall Gallery

Hanging in process....

"Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning."
-Igor Stravinsky  (1882- 1971) U.S. Composer

Its hard to believe that a month will have passed since we arrived in our new home Islesview in Rockport on the 19th of April. Hard to believe as well... that we officially open for business on May 19th for Up the Garden Path Studio Tour. We were too late to officially be included as a site/ destination... but three sites already exist in the village so we will most likely catch the traffic passing through.

Despite this disadvantage... we have had  many visitors through the Gallery already while we were in the process of organizing for the weekend. Deb managed to draw first blood with the sale of a piece of her lovely jewellery and a box of our Rockport Images Series to a visitor from Japan. This morning a couple from Ottawa dropped in and purchased a largish River scene which I had painted previously entitled "Silence ... Is Indeed Golden." So we believe that the Universe is indicating a prosperous tenure here.

I have not been able to resume my painting... not due to the lack of inspiration... as my posted photos well indicate. It is rather related to the reality that I have had to assume a role of grounds-keeper/ gardener to reclaim the gardens and large grassed areas. It has been a good many years since I was into that business... and though it is indeed taxing... I find it very soothing and fulfilling as an activity... especially when I am being serenaded by a such a varied bird land chorus. This chorale offering indeed rapidly turns outdoor work into pleasure... as I'm sure my Blogger gardener Friends can well understand and appreciate. I am 10 lb. lighter to boot... so... win-win!!!

I will jump back into my painting for certain this weekend... hoping to complete the three commissions that piled up on my lap in the last week in Hillsdale. Despite the fact that I'd much rather be sinking my artistic teeth into the plethora of inspiring subjects amongst the Islands and everywhere in the village... I must continue to make perspiration my first goal... before new Rockport painting sorties can materialize... and they will... when inspiration and imagination can range freely! Be certain!

Stay tuned!

Ed Andress, Boat Builder's  Homestead

Caleb Seaman House an the back street c. 1850's

Quebec-styled log home on the back street
Plaque outside the Church of the Redeemer showing interior

Sunset sail along Club Island

Foggy morning, Andress Boat Works

"Back Street" Frame home

"Silence...Is indeed Golden"- oil on canvas 12x36 inches- SOLD

Good Painting to ALL!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Memory of my Mom... and to all Moms out there in Blogger Land

There would be no tomorrows... no gentle men... without the blessing of a Mother who teaches you to trust... love and become how to become a loving parent a parent yourself!

I am forever blessed and empowered by the countless sacrifices and wisdom of my own Mom throughout her entire lifetime. I think that "She" would be pleased that "I" have come full circle in my life... back to the very sanctuary that she provided our family in our important growing up years. "I" am Home Mom... and the River whispers your name softly... and your varied choir of songbirds still constantly trill your song in your honour. I am at peace and am''' deeply blessed!

"I" will love "You" forever dearest Mom! Sleep in Eternal Peace!

Here is a bouquet of fragile fragrance... just now gracing our lawn... for all of my Friends!


"Cherry Pink and Apple Blossum Time"- Acrylic on canvas 14x12 inches

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dandelion Daze... Moonlit Nights... and New Life... Beside Still Waters

Hello from our new home in Rockport! We arrived without incident and have been up over the tops of our hip waders with divided duties given to arranging our spacious and bright new home... to setting up and rehanging The Paint Box Gallery in its new quarters in our newly refurbished... invitingly colourful and equally spacious double spaced garage off to the right of the house. The rest of our "spare" (HA HA!) time has been spent offering  full eight hour days dedicated to resurrecting the very large garden spaces and lawns on the property... no easy task for a pair of hearts and bodies who have lived free of these responsibilities for the past decade!

Nevertheless... the rewards and pleasures for this labour are evident and manifested daily to both of us in every waking hour that we are here. Our decision was correct... and we both feel confident the dividends for the risk will continue to grow and multiply as time moves along. Though we have not officially opened yet... Rockport Boat Line tourists poke their heads (and camera lens) into The Gallery... with numerous polite requests for us to pose for "Kodak moments." A good omen perhaps for future interest and success!

I cannot begin to relate to you the effects that the quiet and release from the noisy environs of Highway 93 in Hillsdale has had on us both even in this very short span of time. We are ever glad to head off to our bed by day's tired... but grateful to retire before 10:00 pm and to rise each morning at 6:00 am together to enjoy our morning coffee ritual with a view to die for of The St Lawrence in its various morning garbs... ranging from mirror perfect waters... to fog and mist that evoke a mystical and epic feel. Life does not get any better... for "Me"!

This past week, I spent two spell-binding evenings after dark totally alone... not another soul about in the entire village out on the large dock at The Andress Boat Works... enjoying the full moon's private dance recital accompanied by the distant and steady music of several loons droning their eery... hauntingly lonesome... but truly typical musical score for this part of Canadian wilderness spaces. They were truly memorable and magical events that I shall not forget... a great welcoming fanfare for our new adventure. I am deeply blessed!

Deb has kicked unexpectedly into a new ( to both of us) gardening mode... and spent all of yesterday designing her first ever garden bed... with me joyfully acting as her go-fer and garden hand. She certainly has a flare for it and has transformed a rather derelict and previously uninteresting eyesore into a really eye-catching and beautiful front entrance to our home and and patio area.

Bird life and voice are unbelievable as some of my photos will reveal. There isn't a single moment when one stops to listen... that at least a half a dozen voices are simultaneously present with you while you are working outside. Work becomes suddenly turns to pleasure... when music is in the air when time and the sense of labour fairly seem to simply... melt away!

Our committee headed by my landlord/friend/neighbour and Rockport Development Group Chair Wendy Merkley has already had its first meeting to plan for The Second Annual Rockport Plein Air Paint in mid September of 2012. We hope to attract as many new artists as we can to eclipse last year's flock of twenty-five. That won't be at all hard to do... this place is out-of-site gorgeous to paint in and artist-friendly for certain! Wouldn't it be great... if some of "Us" could be together to actually meet  and  spend time painting together? I'd pull some special strings for sure! Think about it Friends! Life is short! Perhaps the Universe is speaking... through "Me" ... to "You"! Could that possibly be so? Only if we might... "make it so"! A thought!

Thanks to all who expressed their good wishes and offered their verbal support during our move! Much appreciated! I'll be around for a much-awaited return visit to your sites... PRONTO!

Good Painting to ALL! Glad to be back!
Warmest regards,