Archive for June, 2009

New Whistler Art

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

“Symphony” 22×30 Original Watercolour
Available at Mountain Galleries

When I went to Jasper I took all of my new Whistler paintings with me. Mountain Galleries has three gallery locations in the Fairmont Hotels in Jasper, Banff and Whistler. The owner, Wendy Wacko, took seven out of my nine winter paintings to send to Mountain Galleries in the Chateau Whistler.

“Horstman T-Bar” 22×30 Original Watercolour
Available at Mountain Galleries

Here is a link to view the rest of my Whistler art.

Lake Louise Abstract Shoreline

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Lakeshore Shapes Lake Louise
15×22 Original Watercolour

This is a painting I did last night of the interesting shapes in the lakeshore along Lake Louise. I really liked the fanlike rocks falling into the lake out of the mountainside. I was going to paint it a lot more abstract but before I knew it I was painting little details like spattering rocks on with a toothbrush and creating fir trees with the side of my round brush against the texture of the paper. It took on a life of its own.

Banff Paintings

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

June 10, 2009
I left Jasper on Monday afternoon to drive to Banff where I have been staying in staff accomodation at the Banff Springs Hotel as part of Mountain Galleries artist in residence program. It is beautiful here. Yesterday I hiked Johnston Canyon to take photos of the seven waterfalls. I also went to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake which was amazing. I got to Moraine Lake just after 8pm when the sun was about to set. The light on the mountain peaks was stunning. I was so lucky.

Early this morning I drove around the Banff Springs golf course by the river to take photos of the backside of Mount Rundle. Then I hiked Silverton Falls, took pictures of Castle Mountain, drove to Lake Louise, painted a picture of Victoria Glacier and walked around the lake, stopped at Castle Mountain on the way back to start another painting, and then tonight I walked along the marshes taking photos of Mount Rundle.

Neither of my paintings turned out the way I hoped today, but then again it is a bit overwhelming with all of Wendy’s advice floating around in my head and also intimidating seeing all of the awesome art in her gallery. The Mountain Galleries in the Banff Springs Hotel is so nice. I have to remind myself that many of those artists have been painting for over 50 years. I just have to relax. I am honoured to be here painting for the same gallery. I am so grateful for my creative lifestyle and to be able to do this already while I’m still young. I have a lot to learn and a lifetime ahead to do it in.

I have lots of good material to paint when I come home from my trip. I have taken well over 1400 photos! Definitely a lot of inspiration.

The Johnston Canyon Falls painting is one I did in my studio after my trip from photos I took on my hike. Here is a studio painting I did of the sunset at Moraine Lake:

“After Eight Moraine Lake”
11×15 original watercolour
Available at Mountain Galleries in the Banff Springs Hotel

Here is a link to view the rest of my Banff paintings.

Aritst in Residence

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

When Wendy Wacko, the owner of Mountain Galleries, went to art school one of her art teachers was Doris McCarthy who later in life became her mentor, painting partner, and dear friend. Doris McCarthy is 99 years old and she is a very successful Canadian artist.

In Jasper Wendy passed on many of the tips that Doris gave her when she was starting out as a young artist. I am so lucky to be receiving feedback from Wendy. Her artist in residence program has been an amazing experience.

One of the things I have learned on my stay as artist in residence at Mountain Galleries is that it is really worth it to catch the early morning light or the evening shadows. In the middle of the day the hills really blend together.

One of the areas I’ve struggled with in my paintings this week is the foreground. I now know that I need to plan ahead to save my light areas and not try to paint every branch of every tree. My forte is the snow on the mountains. I’m glad I came in the spring when some of the snow was still left on the peaks.

One of my favourite tips from Wendy was when she told me to work really hard and paint my heart out. Now that is advice I can definitely try to live up to!

Painting En Plein Air

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Wendy Wacko, the owner of Mountain Galleries in Jasper, Banff and Whistler, is a firm believer in painting outdoors. She invited me to come to Jasper and Banff to paint for her galleries so that I could develop some paintings ‘en plein air’. In contrast to painting from a photograph, when you are in nature the colours are so much more vibrant, the shadows have more depth, the shapes and contours of the land are easier to decipher, and the light is ever changing. Wendy told me that not every painting you do en plein air will be a master piece, but you will develop more expression in your style and a better sense of colour and light.

I have painted only a handful of paintings en plein air before this trip. It has been so exhilerating to be outside painting the Rockies. It is so different from painting indoors. Your paint dries much faster so you need to use more water, which in turn disolves more pigment filling my paint strokes with whooshes of intense colour. The paint dries so quickly that the painting takes on a different texture than in a studio painting. It has more hard edges, spontaneous brush strokes, broad gestures of suggested shapes. There isn’t time to get wrapped up in little details when you are painting outdoors so the paintings are more spontaneous, fresh and loose.

One of the tricks is trying to get a massive mountain onto an 11×15 sheet of paper. Often I would set out to paint an entire ridge and end up with a painting of one peak! When I tried to paint Lake Louise I even ran out of room for the water, the most important part!!

The landscape in front of you is gigantic and sometimes it is difficult to wrap your mind around the shapes. You look up trying to make out a crack in the rocks, you look back at your paper and you wonder ‘where is it supposed to connect?, which ridge meets up with which?’

Painting en plein air in Jasper and Banff was a fabulous experience and I will definitely be painting ‘en plein air’ again in the future.

Painting in Jasper

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

June 5, 2009
I am soooo tired. It is after midnight and I am still at Wendy’s art studio where I have been painting as part of my week as artist in residence at Mountain Galleries in Jasper. I wasn’t going to stay late tonight but I couldn’t put my brush down. “Just one more painting”.

I am having so much fun.

This trip is so good for me because I am trying so many new things and releasing a lot of creative energy. It will be very refreshing to be in my art studio with so many new ideas floating around in my head.

Here is a painting I did from Wendy’s art studio tonight just as the sun was going down:

En Plein Air

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

June 3rd, 2009:

I am in Jasper right now painting up a storm. I was invited by Mountain Galleries to be their artist in residence for a week in Jasper.

It is very beautiful here. I’m enjoying myself a lot. Yesterday I went on an awesome hike at the top of Whistlers Mountain with a full 360degree view – it was incredible.

My ‘en plein air’ paintings are so different from my studio work. I usually paint snow scenes so these spring mountain scapes are full of new colours. Each one has something different I like about it. I can really see what Wendy, the owner of Mountain Galleries in Jasper, Whistler and Banff, meant about colour outdoors as opposed to photos. In my camera the same mountains look grey but in real life they are red and orange, gold, blue and brown… and grey too in spots. ;)

We haven’t had any one-on-one time yet which I’m looking forward to since she is also a successful artist.

Yesterday I took pictures all day from 9am to 10pm. Today I got up at 5:30am!

Here are two ‘en plein air’ paintings I did of the Pyramid Mountain at different times of day from different locations: