Paint Faster

It seems as if summer has finally arrived. The fog and drizzle of the last few weeks have cleared away leaving us with warm air and blue skies.

On that note the garden perennials have taken the opportunity to push out buds. I made a point to watch the whole thing happen. What could be better? Well, watching it happen with a canvas and some paint to record the event. It the spirit of keeping it simple only a bare minimum of equipment is used. 

A tripod and canvas, paint, brushes and a palette to mix on is about it. Water and rags for cleaning and wiping also help make the work easy. 

As was the case with the narcissus earlier in the season the painting went on into the evening and the work moved towards a garden nocturne as light left the yard. 

Drawing Halifax Harbour

A standing joke about my drawing harbour sites goes something like "Dad gets in car studio drives to the harbour. Nothing happens." Sometimes, I think the joke is on me but as I have mentioned before there is always something going on and sometimes it happens while I draw. Often when I arrive on site everything seems quiet and still.

The massive cranes are at rest just before the dance begins. They begin rolling along the wharf and into place and once beside a ship the cranes will move giant sea containers one at a time from one resting place to the next.

To accomplish this task the cranes use a type of suspended car on rails controlling cables that raise and lower the containers through the air to new positions on their journey around the world. One act in a transportation play that hardly seems like nothing. 

This year we also have a huge project underway to replace our oldest bridge deck. Massive preassembled sections are floated up the harbour two at a time by barge before the delicate task of lifting and fitting.  Totally amazing to watch and drawing seems to work at just the right speed. Sometimes fast and sometimes slow.

Just when you think you have it all sorted out a giant ocean container ship enters your field of vision and gets added in to the drawing. The variety of shapes seems endless and one day while drawing under the bridge fog moved into the harbour and everything disappeared right in front of my eyes.

    Hard to believe but true.

"A pot to piss in"

The rain gauge sits on the picnic table ready to collect moisture. The gauge really only gives a general idea about moisture as it's previous use was as a "piss pot".  I found the ceramic pottery bowl placed by the side of the curb and marked with a sign that read "take me i'm free".  The handle was broken and the beautiful floral pattern disguised its purpose and the reason I mention the "piss pot" is because the house that was it's previous home is set for demolition in downtown Halifax. I wonder about development and scale and neighbourhoods and will always remember the street the way it was before the latest round of building makes its mark.
Sitting in our garden at this time of year means you are sharing the space with the narcissus. I have made drawings and paintings of the plant as it blooms each year.
The blooms change from year to year which adds to the attraction as a painting subject. This year I did something different and worked the image up over three sittings. Of course the lighting changed because of the time of day available and the middle sitting ran late into the evening which turned the work into a nocturne.

The third and final sitting was in the afternoon as the sun broke through the fog and lit up all the lily of the valley scattered around. Now, I am told by a fellow artist that these plants stink. It turns out her father used to force the plant in the house in pots each year until the smell took over. I guess they are better of outdoors.