Summer in Wakefield

Everyone's raring to go!

A Plein-air session in beautiful Wakefield….we’ll be back again this year!

Last summer, France and I held a couple of plein-air sessions in Wakefield. With warm support from the Community Centre, Fairbairn House Museum and elsewhere throughout the village, we townies were as welcome as long lost Wakefielders!

We’re returning this year! Get ready with plenty of crimson to paint that famous covered bridge, powder tones for the colourful village and greens galore to capture the harmony of nature – not forgetting some deep cool blues for the Gatineau river.

Join us in our explorations: July: 26, 27 & 28, and
August: 23, 24, 25. Check out the details on the courses page of the website.

Browse our our photo album  – fond Memories of Wakefield 2015!

 

Plein-air painting at Fairbairn House…

"August at Fairnbairn House" 14"x11", Watercolour and ink

“August at Fairbairn House” 14″x11″, Watercolour and ink

Our two plein air courses in Wakefield started at Fairbairn House: both Museum and Tourist Information Center – directly across the road from Wakefield’s famous covered bridge. The program included a tour of the museum, for those who could tear themselves away from the scenery that is…. easier the second week as weather was a tad damp.

Gimme Shelter!

Gimme Shelter!

Mara and her team at Fairbairn House made us very welcome. In appreciation, I presented an original watercolour sketch. In a couple of weeks, on the 30th of August, Fairbairn House is having their tenth anniversary party. France and I are planning to go and we hope to see you there! Fairbairn House and its environs are well worth a visit – don’t forget your sketch book. Check out the details at Fairbairn.ca.

Presenting my watercolour to Mara at Fairbairn House

Presenting my watercolour to Mara at Fairbairn House

You can also now find some pictures from our Wakefield sessions in the Workshop Galleries section of this blog: 4th to 6th August course and 11th to 13th August course, and on my (finally updated!) Facebook page.

 

Plein-air and studio…Part 2

Two recent plein-air studies

Two recent plein-air studies

My last post “Plein-air and studio…” included these recent plein-air studies, both of which returned to the studio for some finishing.

To get a sketch going, you sometimes have to be quick – before life moves on! In the first study – the relaxing cyclists – I was taken in, partly because they had rented those nice new green bikes that we see around the region nowadays. I could only glance at the scene from my park bench and getting out my paints might have put the subjects on the spot.The second scene was sketched from my parked car, on a day where France and I were doing a round of errands. The drama of the tree at the top of the rise along with a visiting pick-up truck caught my attention and I had just enough time to sketch. Then it was onward to the next stop!

Thanks for the positive comments on the last post. In the studio, my habit is to paint standing, often holding the sketch book in one hand and brush in the other. I did not have the dexterity to add detail which was probably a good thing!  I hardly used my reference photos at all.

Parc Jacques Cartier, 11 July 2015

Parc Jacques Cartier, 11 July 2015

Cimetière St-Francois De Sales, Gatineau, 13 July 2015

Cimetière St-Francois De Sales, Gatineau, 13 July 2015

 

Join us in Wakefield this August for one of our plein-air and studio drawing and painting courses. Details are found on the courses page of my website!

Plein-air and studio…

Parc Jacques Cartier, 11 July 2015

Parc Jacques Cartier, 11 July 2015

For one reason or another, it’s been a bit of a slow start to my plein-air work this year. Things only shaped up in July after the finish of the Spring Term at the Ottawa School of Art. So far, I’ve managed 4 little sketches going out and about, exploring the environs.

I’m not a plein-air purist and from time-to-time finish-up works in the studio. For me, the most important part is to make a substantial start in-situ.  Having acquired the eye for a scene, a little follow-on work is fine – as long as I keep the approach fresh. I invariably take a reference photo, although very rarely making much use of it, if at all. Finishing the picture is the thing, not adding more detail!

This said, the pieces I’ve finished on site invariably rank among my very favorites. They feel of the time and place……

Two of these recent studies were completed on the spot, the other 2 ended up back in the studio. Can you tell which? Let me know and perhaps why!

I’ll publish the answers in a few days!

Parc Lac Leamy, 16 July, 2015

Parc Lac Leamy, 16 July 2015

Cimatrie St-Francois De Sales, Gatineau, 13 July 2015

Cimetière St-Francois De Sales, Gatineau, 13 July 2015

Masson Flee Market, 16 June 2015

Looking south from the Masson Flea Market, 16 June 2015

 

Join us in Wakefield this August for one of our plein-air and studio drawing and painting courses. Details are found on the courses page of my website!

Hurrah for the Plein Air Season!

Winslow Homer, Artists Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868

Winslow Homer, Artists Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868

Hurrah! Hurrah! We’re now in May, Plein Air Painting is on it’s way!

Spring is finally here. Hard to believe with these last few weeks of “weather”. Yesterday, I finally felt the urge for plein air and tackled a small watercolour sketch. Beginning Friday, May 30, I’ll be hosting four Plein Air drawing and painting sessions: These Friday morning sessions will be at scenic locations close to town.

I often get questions on how to handle the logistics of all that painting paraphernalia and what about water supply and oily clean up? I can truly see why it can all seem a bit overwhelming: more of a chore than a challenge. In getting started, I think it’s a good idea to keep things  simple: small studies or sketches, without too much need for equipment. Enjoy the outdoors! The painting and painting kit will naturally follow! Why not just start with dry media?

Each of my upcoming sessions will include personal coaching and a short demonstration on how I approach Plein Air work. I’ll also be reviewing practical information on composition and technique.

You can check out all the specifics on the courses page of my website.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Lac Lemay, Gatineau, 12 May 2014

Lac Leamy, Gatineau, 12 May 2014