The Lavender Festival was a two day event. Our group was supposed to paint on location in the lavender beds on Saturday, but mother nature decided to dump torrential rains on us once again. Will it ever end?! I know California could really use some of this rain. Fortunately, Sunday was a much better day. It was a bit windy, but their were bright fluffy clouds, and beautiful sun.
Art, Beach, Birds, botanical, Botony, Campfire, Canada, Fire, Flooded farms, flower, Flowers, Food, Friends, Harbor, Harbour, Holiday, Jiimaan Ferry, Lake Erie, Landscape, Leamington, Nikon D90, Oil painting, Ontario, Pelee Island, Pelee Island Winery, Photography, Plein Air, Portrait, Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists, Wine, Winery
It was my first trip to Pelee Island, Canada’s most southern Post. I am so blessed to have good friends. My Plein Air group the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists is chock full of wonderful people. I could not be more grateful. One of our members and incredible artist Vera Graham, invited the group to spend the night at her cottage. Two of us, Kathy Hudak and I, were able to take advantage of her generous offer.
It was an early day Monday. We had to be at the Leamington dock by 9:00 to board the Jiimaan Ferry to the island. It’s amazing what this vessel holds! A huge backhoe on a trailer bed, large trucks, a garbage truck, a cherry picker lift, and many other smaller vehicles.
It was a full and heavy load. The ferry listed on the Port side from the incredible weight of the trucks. I’m sure she was never in any danger of capsizing, but I was very grateful for calm seas. Just to be sure I made note of the life jackets and lifeboat locations!
Once we’ve boarded we headed up to the deck to watch the boat leave the harbour.
The one and a half hour cruse was pleasant. The brisk breeze was refreshing. I could hardly contain my joyous anticipation of what the two days ahead would hold for us.
OOps! We got into a bit of trouble. We walked down a set of stairs into a restricted area. Well they didn’t have any signs, and the steps were not roped off! How were we supposed to know? The equipment was just so COOL!
First order of business snacks! Chips, salsa and Pelee Island WINE!
Then off to paint.
The rest of our 2 day painting holiday was filled with a great beach bonfire, nighttime thunder storms, hiking on the beach, hiking in the woods, sack lunch at the winery, snacks at the cottage, and good friends.
Monday’s sunset is an incredible light show.
Tuesday’s tour of the island saw that Monday night’s storms flooded much of the farmland.
A walk through the forest at the south west end of the island.
The southern most tip of Canada, which is the south west tip of Pelee Island.
The harbour lights signal we are home again.
Mary and I went to visit our friend Margaret today. Margaret is the co-founder at the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society. She and I founded the group back in 2009. She’s been laid up with a broken leg for over 6 weeks, and we all miss her.
I first got the watercolours out after having them tucked away since fall. The pot was sitting in the shade, and lack of sun made it difficult to give it depth. I should have put a cast shadow in, but I forgot. Oh well. It was just a quick sketch. You always see your mistakes once you photograph your work. I don’t go back in and fix my plein air paintings in the studio. Why? Discipline. My mistakes will glare at me and hopefully make me get out of bad habits.
I also brought along my vintage Sheaffer fountain pen to try out. Everything was going swimmingly, until I tried to add watercolour. OOOPS!! The ink was not waterproof. So… I rescued the sketch by washing the ink. It was fun. Need some waterproof ink though. There is no one who sells it around here, so I will have to go online and have it shipped in. That of course raises the price beyond reasonable. *sigh* … and people wonder why artists charge so much for their work.
Yesterday we cleaned up the front garden. My hydrangea bush had some incredible blooms on it this year. It was a joy to bring these inside. I found a lovely spot for them in my office. The background is a section of my abstract watercolour/rice paper collage which measures 40 3/4″ x 49 3/4″.
When I was a child we had two very large lilac bushes in our backyard. Every spring I would cut lilacs from these bushes and bring them in for my mother. She would go to the china cabinet and pull out this vase to hold them. Little did I know that this piece of American pottery was anything special. It is Red Wing RumRill art deco pottery with the number 629 on the base. The crochet table runner was made by my mother.
This was one of my final BFA pieces. My classmates, I’m sure, didn’t appreciate having to hop over this painting every day in order to get to their studio’s. I had to lay it on the floor with fans drying the large pools of watercolour. This process would take hours.
I love it because it was one of those pieces that I pushed beyond the breaking point and brought back. I thought it was trash, but my professor Adele Duck made me work it to death, or should I say back to life. I think I learned more on this one failed painting than in all my other works combined. Thank you Adele!
I photographed this in natural light. It’s a bit grainy because it is a cloudy day.
Hosted by Toscana Americana Workshops
Watercolor en Plein Air in Tuscany with Artist/instructor Elizabeth G MacDonald May 8-15, 2013 Cortona, Italy
I am very excited to offer a workshop in Tuscany next spring 2013.
In this workshop I will be focusing on sketching and watercolour en Plein Air. The day will begin with a short discussion, demo and question period. Throughout the day, each student will receive individual instruction. We will Alternate between quick sketches in a journal, and larger paintings. As an urban and a landscape painter I am at home painting in any environment. The focus will be on capturing the rapidly changing light and contrasting values as the day progresses. You will also learn how to interpret colour using a limited palette. I will teach you how to edit what you see en Plein Air to create your cherished memory of Tuscany. As an added bonus I will show you how to use photography as a tool to plan your composition,photograph your work for the web or to make art cards from your paintings. These keepsakes can be shared with friends and family. You will learn how to work Plein Air painting into your daily life. I will be only demonstrating watercolour, but if you are an experienced painter who wishes to do your own thing you are more than welcome to participate at the same cost. You may bring any mediums you like with you. However, if you bring oils do not bring thinners, as they are prohibited from flights. You may purchase thinners at the local art store.
I wish to introduce you to the joy of painting in the largest studio in the world, the great outdoors. When I paint en Plein Air I experience nature and the world in an intimate way not experienced by the casual observer. The experience exhilarates me. I am also a photographer. When I capture nature and life through a camera lens I feel more like a voyeur, stealing a moment in time. However, when I paint I become immersed in my surroundings with all my senses. I am alert, and the scene becomes a part of my existence. My heart yearns to interpret what is before me. By painting en Plein Air I go beyond copying that stolen moment in a photograph in the studio. I live the moment. I live the painting. The experience becomes a memory not soon forgotten. When people see my work, I’d like them to experience a bit of what it was like to be there. There is no greater joy for me then when I introduce others to painting en Plein Air.
Recommended supplies, partial list.
Orchids have long been one of the most cherished of flowers. They are associated with love, luxury, beauty and Strength.
My father converted a room in the house dedicated to growing them. They were not easy to grow. My dad loved orchids so much that we had a casket blanket made out of living orchids. I had to tell the shop what I wanted. I wanted to be able to take apart the blanket after the ceremony. They shook their heads in confusion, but did manage to do as I asked. Each child was given one of the orchids to take home in remembrance of him.
Dad lived with my hubby and I for the final 13 years of his life. When he passed it was as if someone blew a huge hole in my heart. Then, after 4 years in dormancy the orchid bloomed. I took it as a sign that Dad was telling me it was time to shake off the sorrow. If it were not for this orchid (which I really didn’t take very good care of) blooming, I might still in deep depression. So this plant gave me back the strength to get back into life again. I’ve never looked back.
My best two female friends and I ventured out to Amherstburg this morning to paint during the Garden Tour. We were not disappointed as the gardens were in full bloom. I’ve taken to doing smaller watercolours in my Moleskine. I have fallen head over heals in love with this book. I bought two larger one’s when I was in California, but I’ve yet to take the plastic off them. We have an exciting summer planned for the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society in this our third summer.
Amherstburg Garden Tour, Navy Yard Rhododendron, and Azalea Garden, originally uploaded by photographerpainterprintmaker.
Just an incredible day in Amherstburg. I wish we could have stayed longer.
A knock on the door brought a delightful surprise today. It was a lovely bouquet from a dear friend of mine who had to move out west. We met only a year ago through my Plein Air outings. Jeanne is a wonderful artist, and a beautiful woman. It was heartbreaking to meet someone so nice only to loose her to a large move. Thankfully the internet allows us to keep in touch, but it definitely is not the same. We did get to share some great times last summer drawing and painting together.
Today was such a beautiful day that I was able to open up the back door and take some lovely photos in the natural light. Mind you the back room is our mud room, so I had to disguise the junk with some drapery. I think this photo turned out rather well.
I wish I had time to paint them. I’ve got a couple of big things on my plate these days. One is getting my artwork organized for Margaret’s and my show next week. The other is helping Patricia to get an Ontario Arts Council grant written. Maybe I will get a moment to breath, and in that moment I can paint or draw these beautiful flowers.