Derivative Speculations IV

eading off to the garden just to be completely immersed in beautiful summer air opens the door to opportunity.  The opportunity for the artist is that so many plants are in flower presenting a whole new selection of subjects ready and waiting. The biomorphic shapes created by the blooms capture my eye. They are a pleasure to work with smoothing the way and softened even more by the fragrant air.

There is something about the blooms that just seems crazy or bizarre exploding into the air each one different and vital.  The derivative speculation project allows the computer program to add its say to the image adding to the already intoxicating swirl of sweet summer air.

Painting in Gardens

ime in the garden is time well spent. Watching the garden grow and bloom while working with paint to record the event is like adding cream on top of cake. The cream comes in the form of the speed of painting and drawing which is very much a human speed. Time to breath and hear time to see.

The Random Residual paint project serves to arrange the palette remnants in unplanned ways to open the doors to a world of endless possibilities.

 The exact colours of Narcissus in our garden rearranged from the painting above.

Red Fox

ecently an older image of a red fox made its reappearance in the studio. There is something about the animal and its red coat that seems so magnificent and thoughts emerged about image making and all the conventions attached to the process. Conventions of composition and of colour. Conventions of subject matter itself. How does it all fit together? Like a fox living in wild and not so wild places.

Change of Scenery

U sually on a drawing day the massive industrial harbour at Halifax is my destination but on this day it was not. Instead, I headed off to the Minas Basin which is part of the Bay of Fundy.

The morning was idillic. The sights and sounds of trains and cranes were replaced by a slight breeze moving leaves on tree branches and the occasional call from local birds. Not much was stirring as the tide moved out exposing red mud cliffs above the shoreline. A very different spot to draw but none the less exciting to be a part of.

What a difference a few days make when I realized that just last week I had found time to make it to the opposite shore and render a image of Blomidon itself which would be a short drive along the road to the left of this site. 

The view from that outing can be seen at Perfect Timing.

Stranger than Fiction


The view from our window on a very cold day in the middle of the just past winter.

Through the night high winds out of the north had blown fine grained snow onto the frozen surface of the lake.  I couldn't help but to record the beautiful abstract patterns temporarily on display. By noon they were gone.


The Random Residule Project always said that at the end of real painting paint remainders must be used but no brushes could be part of the process.  

Along went the work, paring down to fingers and hands. A painted record of conversation engaged with paint more so than ever before.

Magical Garden Scene

Spring is firmly in place. Garden seeds are sprouting and a swallowtail butterfly crossed my path this morning. The air has really changed. Each year bringing new surprises and of course ever changing arrangements. There are some projects that I just keep adding to. 

I remember the first painting of the narcissus that was made in our yard. The plants popped up beside the kitchen door and were surprising for two reasons. The first was that the plant survived at all as the whole yard had been dug up the previous summer to allow a new cement foundation to be poured under our house. The second was that I didn't know the name of the plant only that their fortuitous appearance was perfectly timed.

Finding the plant name and searching for a reference led me down a trail into ancient Greek myths. I think the mythical story must surely be a tragedy but to think that the found plant by the door would lead the way through years of painted exploration is even more overwhelming. The painter in me decided early on to leave the myth behind and just work with the form and line and tone delivered by the plant itself.

Blended with the lily of the valley familiar shapes make a magical garden scene.

Painting Clouds

Watching clouds in the sky is something that goes way back in my memory. A start point for day dreaming.

Recording clouds in paintings and drawings also goes back a long way.

About forty years ago on a road trip across Canada at Riding Mountain Park in Manitoba. A very warm humid day cooked up a full on thunder head. I watched the clouds build into a gigantic pyramid of boiling storm. Within minutes the sky broke and the thunder and lightning and rain soaked us all. Dream on.

Perfect Timing

The chance to rollout in the car studio came the other day. A few hours opened up in a very busy week and a walk on the beach was a golden opportunity to sketch on site. Not far from home is a beautiful spot looking across the Minas Basin to Blomidon. We headed there and the timing couldn't have been better. As we arrived the tide was moving out and exposing the shore and bottom of the bay churning the water into a red and green glow shimmering against the ever changing sky.

Sketching Halifax Harbour

Loading and unloading ships, sometimes in a matter of hours, before turning around and heading out to sea allows a short period to sketch the activity along the shore. So Many shapes and forms.