Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Grey Skies in your life??.

The grey landscape after the pageantry, lights, colors and excitement of the Christmas season generally contributes greatly to one's lack of direction and motivation. Simply put... it's a downer!

While the weather this winter has been anything but "normal", the dipping one day and rising the next... fluctuations of the thermometer's mercury derails any attempt aimed at active engagement with paints and brushes and easel - for me.

So, I decided to attempt to inject a dose of enthusiasm into my studio efforts by choosing an unusual  thematic  approach which incorporates some unusual format/focus with it to push the envelope wider. Throw caution to the wind.


I have decided to continue my warm up play adding to my earlier moon based theme. Lately, the moon has been receiving a lot of attention... this being the focus of the Chinese New Year celebration in the Year of the Rat. The first full moon of the New Year has long been wrapped in importance to story-telling within Indigenous cultures around the world. These peoples refer to this first  January lunar event as "The Wolf Moon."

The moon has always drawn the attention of creative human individuals to it. Hence such wonderful music as... "Clair de Moon"... "Moonlight Sonata"... "Harvest Moon"... "Sail Along Silvery Moon" to mention just a very important cultural cross-section of works we enjoy.

I have chosen to undertake exploring the above theme further using a few simple introductory watercolor and ink studies ... akin to my to my earlier VIA Rail series. I hope these smaller sketches will lead me towards a larger format, one which hopefully will grow into a larger space to encourage broaden my ideas and my brushwork into becoming a more emotive undertaking.

Who knows... it might perhaps inject into my final statement some new and unexpected element for my viewers' pleasure and interest. At the very least... it might allow the trapped inner spirit to reappear... and the clouds to move on.  Let's see where it takes us.

  I wonder...

                                    "Wolf Moon" - watercolor with ink

                                  "Moon Shadows" - 5x7 inch watercolor

              "Luv ya ... to the moon and back" - water color and ink 5x7 inches

When I completed the above study, I recognized the potential  to push this smallish water color into the Light... to make something entirely new. By using the same techniques that I always put into play when working en plein air... I create my own version of reality that serves as a template for my own creative vision. Yes... I do call this technique... Imagineering.

Here is the final outcome of my easel foreplay. You can easily compare back and forth to discover what is changed and the effects of the unusual format I created to house the final new image., using a process of "give n' take".

I pulled forward a previously used format based upon the commemorative postage stamp. I think that it accomplishes two purposes simultaneously. Firstly, the perforated border draws attention to the inner image. It is both clean and interesting to the eye. Symbolically for me, it subtly suggests my ongoing feelings of awe and peace for natural occurring events like this which are free for anyone to enjoy... time after time... year after year.

The previous title for the smaller version uses my lovely wife Deb's phrase which she shares with her treasured Grand Gals, Ava and Ella. The title chosen for the larger version reveals the homage that I owe the great classical geniuses of composers like Debussy and Beethoven. Their moonlight tributes are timeless... just like the celestial circus of the night sky.

Hope that this sharing inspires you on one dark day in your life... or studio. Paint your way through the gloom... bring music together with your brushes to... "play on... encore une fois."

Happy Painting to All!

"Clair de Lune" - oil on perforated MDS panel  (inner image size 24 x 13 inches)


  1. Hi Bruce,
    It's been a long time since I visited your blog. First and foremost hope all is well with you and Deb. We are already half way through February looking forward to March and springtime. Your work is simply put, wonderful, love the pen and ink and watercolor paintings and your Clair de Lune is brilliant. Well just stopped by to say hello and wishing you and Deb all the best. take care,

  2. Well... Hello there Joan! So nice to hear from you again. I've missed our sharing and conversations!

    We have made the necessary adjustments from our quaint village life to our condo living in Kingston. We do miss the river and seeing our friends there daily... but time causes one to make necessary changes.

    Glad that you enjoyed the post and the two medium approach. We really y creating and painting without having to be on tap for the gallery 24-7.

    I'll have to head over to see your newest work... it has been a while for me as well.

    Thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging comments. Let's continue to stay in touch Joan.

    Wishing you and your hubbie all the best too. Good painting

  3. Hi Bruce, it is good to hear from you again and to see that you are fine and busy working away on your moon pictures. I really do find them lovely and the last one the Clair de Lune is my favourite for sure! Keep us posted and enjoy painting time for yourself and not having to do it for your gallery! Best wishes Caroline in Scotland!

  4. Hi there Lass!
    Thank you for checking in and for your encouragement!

    It truly does feel good to be on the road again to better health... and painting! Just getting ready to head outdoors for my first sortie into winter.

    I have a good painting pal who is coming to join me! Very excited!

    Stay tuned!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Have a wonderful painting day with your pal Bruce!

  6. Hi again Lass!
    We did indeed have a great time together... "out there." Took him to a couple of my favorite haunts in this part of the woods and we both got some great canvases.

    Stay tuned for my upcoming post. All the detail will be included there!

    Painting is such a great bonding agent. The landscape... anywhere just adds further to it!

    Happy Painting!
    Warmest regards!