Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Another study done in my sketchbook, this time looking South from Whistler peak. I love the feeling one gets when looking at the distant landscape. And viewing other mountains from where I stood looking across what seems like eons of space and time was truly exhilarating. It really didn't matter which direction you looked. Fortunately the weather was only slightly cool with a bit of overcast so we were lucky in that regard. This set the scene for some interesting skies along with cloud shadows and the occasional bursts of sunlight breaking through. Whistler was certainly one of the highlights of my trip and I'm eager to start working back in the studio creating some oil paintings from what I have seen and experienced.


About a two hour drive north of Vancouver is the village of Whistler. Initially only a winter resort, the village now has about 10,000 residents which swell by many thousand more during the peak season. We visited Whistler last week and I was treated to many spectacular vistas surrounding the village and also on the drive up. After exploring a bit and watching some of the many mountain bikers, we took first a gondola ride up Whistler mountain (which goes about three quarters of the way) then an open ski lift to the top. I can't begin to describe how beautiful everything was. From the peak the view is simply incredible! There were many distant mountains to focus on, most of them capped with various amounts of snow. The sketchbook study above is from the end of the gondola ride looking North. While I only have studies to show at the moment, I'm sure that there will be many oils to come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm away in Canada at the moment staying on the Fraser River about 45 min south of Vancouver. This is my third visit to the area and I have come back once again to explore and to paint the landscape. The surrounding mountains make the area particularly beautiful and this time more than ever, I am hoping that some exciting paintings will come out of my visit. I have managed a number of drawings and watercolor studies so far plus some photos of evening skies although for the most part, it has been hot and sunny. Away from the mountains and forests, the lowlands are interesting too and being mostly flat, one is able to get a better understanding of the landscape. 'Clearing Skies' above was painted on the Eastern shore of Maryland back in the US but in some respects is similar to what I have seen here. There are plenty of lakes with the occasionally boggy area much like what we have back East although most of that is tidal.
Birds have been good here too and I have seen a number of 'lifers'. Plenty of Eagles and Osprey patrol the river and on my early morning walks through the forest, I am treated to the etherial fluting song of the Hermit Thrush - surely the most beautiful song of any North American passerine. Now I'm anxious to return to my studio and get busy painting some of the things I have seen here and recording my ideas and impressions. Some of them are sure to look like the painting above. Clearing Skies is in oil and measures 9" X 12".

Friday, July 11, 2008


While I am still hard at work on a few larger works which aren't finished yet, I did manage to complete this small study. This one is more about the clouds than anything else - I like the effect of the sun bursting through the bottom of the cloud formation and it's reflection on the water. Since the clouds were so heavily back-lit, I struggled to get the tones of the clouds correct but this is why I do so many smaller studies like this. It really doesn't matter how many times they are repainted or if they become finished paintings or not. In many ways, each one is more of an experiment than anything else and my studio is littered with them! Some are mere scraps of canvas tacked to a board, others are done on gessoed paper but all are important to me in one way or another. This oil is 8" X 10".